Have you ever received a hand written note? I don’t know about you, but in this instant-message world, I often forget the significance of the precious gift found in a hand-written note. As a recipient, the joy felt upon receipt of a word written just for me is immense.
This past weekend, I joined an amazing team of students in a visit to the City of Refuge. It is an honor and a joy to walk through the doors of this place where many residents call home. Those who serve The City of Refuge have brought light into darkness for 20 years as they love like Jesus. It is through this love that God has transformed over 20,000 lives.
WOW - Over 20,000 hearts have walked through these same doors and found transformation and restoration from the light and love of Jesus!
I am humbled to be one such heart. Saturday, I was honored with an invitation from Restoration Atlanta (RATL) to share my love for Jesus with a roomful of beautiful women. I do not take this invitation into their home for granted.
A home filled with varying stages of need.
A home filled with varying stages of experience.
A home filled with varying stages of faith.
A home filled with encouragement.
I am honored to see the heart of Jesus in their home.
My heart soars as I consider the faith that fills this place and the love that these women harbor for Jesus and one another.
Our lesson for the day was tucked away in John 17. As we shared in the greatest prayer ever spoken, Jesus encouraged each of us through His Word to The Father for Himself, for His disciples and for future believers. Yes, He prayed for US!
We were encouraged through the vulnerability He showed before His unforgettable walk to The Cross. The unity which He asked the Father to give encouraged us to see the relationship between Father and Son, combined with the desire to draw us into their relationship. And interweaved through this beautiful prayer we find the heart of our Savior encouraging us to be one with one another.
As with every serving opportunity that God has placed in front of me, I find myself once again in awe of His grace. He is teaching me to walk through these doors without any expectations except to see the light of Jesus. I become the one humbled and blessed as He encourages me to #BeWith.
At the close of our message, we were challenged to write a letter. A special word of encouragement to someone we know, a family member, a friend, a fellow or even a future resident.
God stirred my heart, “Don’t rush this moment, Eve, watch me move.”
Time stood still as I observed thirty beautiful women take precious moments to write encouraging thoughts to another. There were tears as I noticed letters written to fellow residents, to long-lost children, and yes letters written with the salutation "To Whom It May Concern.”
God is so good. As the morning ended, God blessed me with the opportunity to hear the contents of several of these encouraging words.
Beautiful letters of forgiveness interspersed with encouragement:
“You can do this.”
“I believe in you.”
“God is with you!”
There is just something about writing another person that opens the floodgates of love, grace, and hope with just a simple word of encouragement. I have to recognize that Jesus emulated this action not only in His prayer for us at Gethsemane but also in the Love Story He wrote to us. WOW, what a beautiful gift.
Words are powerful, words bring life.
Thank You, Jesus for Your example, for the Word of encouragement you have shared with us. Thank You for these beautiful women who ALWAYS inspire me with their hearts. May we all be encouraged by their inspiration.