“You’re doing a great job.” Those five words spoken to me by one of my neighbors was a small act of kindness that, in the moment, was immensely encouraging but also, over time, was used by the Lord to enlighten me to the true significance of words.
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” (Prov. 25:11).
How true that is! We’ve all been there—that moment when we’ve felt as if we’re drowning—that we’re completely overwhelmed mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—that we’re in need of some sort of a lifeline. Then, someone breaks through and speaks a word of affirmation with sincerity at the most opportune time. It’s like a breath of fresh air, a priceless gift, a picture of timeless beauty; and we know within our hearts that only God could have orchestrated something so good.
“A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!” (Prov. 15:23).
“You’re doing a great job.” When those five words were spoken to me, I’d been overwhelmed for a while, feeling as if my efforts as a stay-home mom were all in vain—as if maybe, somehow, I’d missed my true calling. My neighbor had no clue how stressed I’d become or to what extent I’d begun questioning my life. We simply were having a typical, casual conversation. She gave of herself—taking time to listen, being attuned and sincere.
Her actions and words were simple, yet those words she uttered served as a source of encouragement which continues to impact me to this very day. It wasn’t necessarily the words themselves that held the greatest significance but the realization that dawned upon me a few days later. I finally realized that I too possess something of significance that if used appropriately can edify and encourage those around me. I hold the ability, as we all do, to minister to others through our words—words spoken in sincerity at the most opportune times.
I suddenly felt the Lord pricking my heart. I was convicted like never before by how many missed opportunities I’d bore witness to throughout my own life—times I’d merely thought affirmations but never turned them into actual words. Since then, I’ve prayed that God would use my words as an instrument in His service—that I would be attuned to the needs of those around me—that my words would bring edification, hope, and healing—that He would fill me with love and sincerity for those He brings across my path. May my words be pleasant, breathing life into those who need it most.
“Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” (Prov. 16:24).
We oftentimes, especially us stay-home moms, view ourselves as the ones with nothing of significance to offer because we possess so little time, money, and material substance but we fail to understand that the most awe-inspiring act can simply be a sincere word of affirmation. If we’d only take the time to actually listen to those God has placed in our path, we’d learn that our words are powerful, more so than we could ever imagine if we’d only place them in His hands.
No matter the stage of life. Be an encourager. Make a difference. Let your words edify.
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” (Eph. 4:29).
Shauna Williams is an Alabama native, a stay-at-home mom, and a member of the ACFW. She is a born-again Christian, saved by the grace of God. She is married to the man she considers to be her best friend and soul mate, and together, they have two beautiful children and one spoiled-rotten calico cat. When she’s not attempting to snag little snippets of free-time to write, she can be found spending time with her family and reading. Even from a young age, she has always enjoyed getting lost in the midst of a good book, and in 2014, she finally found the courage to release her very own novel. Her goal as a writer has always been to inspire and encourage others to seek God and remain faithful to His calling in their own lives through the struggles, lessons, and triumphs her fictional characters experience. “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” (II Peter 3:18).
Connecting with and Contacting the Author:
Emily Faith Johnson is no stranger to the dark recesses of loneliness, pain, sorrow, and despair. Her life is marked by unrelenting abuse, from the verbal onslaught of her bitter, alcoholic mother to the physical aggression perpetrated by godless men. She copes as best she knows how—existing in a fog while numbly going through the motions of life. Then, one day, four months before her twenty-first birthday, everything changes when she wakes up in the cab of a tractor trailer, faced with the fear of the unknown, the offer of a man she barely knows, and the promise of a complete stranger. Will she be able to find the courage necessary to attain a better life free from abuse? To trust a man who makes her question everything she knows to be true? To believe in a God whom she knows nothing about? To rise above her past to become the woman she was meant to be?