When You Feel Discouraged {a promise & a prayer}

The phone rang and I answered right away, seeing that it was an out of town friend I hadn’t talk to in a while.

But much to my surprise, the fun catch-up-with-each-other conversation I hoped for turned into a tense discussion about how I had let her down.

I didn’t see it coming and I felt horrible. There were unspoken expectations I hadn’t lived up to and her disappointment in me carved out an ache in my heart. Never in a million years would I want to hurt this friend of mine.

I apologized, and she graciously forgave me. But hours laster her criticism stuck to my heart like dried up Crazy Glue. All afternoon I tried to stop thinking about our conversation, but I couldn’t. My magic memory eraser wasn’t working and as the day went on, I felt my heart sinking into discouragement.

Eventually my runaway thoughts became a cry for help, kinda woven into a prayer of sorts. Lord, show me what I need to do to let this go. I need your help. 

Earlier that morning I had read a devotional on one of my favorite promises: “a generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25

I wished I could make plans with my far-away friend and bring her chocolate and a card to tell her how much I loved her. But that wasn’t possible and it felt like I’d just be doing it to make up for my failure as a friend.

But I needed to be refreshed. I needed God to pour something into my soul that would replace the heavy weight of my defeat. Maybe the best way to get what my heart longed for, was to look for a way to give someone what I needed.

I texted my friend Angela, a single mom who works at my church, to see if she could have lunch the next day. She texted back immediately, “Yes! I’m so glad you asked.”

We met for lunch and I gave Angela my full attention. I asked about her kids and told her what a great mom she is, and how much I admire the work she does in our community and church. And you know what? Giving her what she needed changed everything.

Somehow in God’s economy of grace, when we give we get.
When we pour out, He fills us up.

And I guess the lesson I learned that day is that the best way to overcome discouragement is by pouring encouragement into someone else.

Encourage Someone Else

When I feel discouraged Lord, show me who to encourage

When I feel sad Jesus, show me how to give someone a little bit of happy.

When I feel forgotten, show me who in my life needs to feel seen. 

When I feel like I have nothing to offer, remind me that the greatest offering I have is YOU. 

Help me give Your love, Your attention, Your encouragement, Your smile to someone today.

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.