I had breakfast this morning with my dear friend Sara. I love Sara. She and I had a deep connect from the very first time we met. We started the program at the same time and we sat next to each other at Sheryl's house and it was a connect right away. We laugh and cry and have great conversations over good beer in St. Paul together often. So we went to Egg Harbor and had some great breakfast because it's hard not to have a good breakfast at Egg Harbor. And as she walked in, I noticed that a leader I use to serve along with in Elevate was also coming into Egg Harbor. I excused myself from my table and went to give him a hug.
I loved serving with this man. He was so much, so encouraging, such a servant and I thoroughly enjoyed being around him. He made my time at Elevate so enjoyable. In fact, all my leaders did (once we got past 3 months where it was so hard) and I wouldn't trade my time with them for the world. Actually, I wanted to bring all of them with me when I transferred to Oasis and Champions.
As I went in to give him a hug, he said the following "I miss your leadership". And something inside my soul jumped for joy. There were so many mistakes I made while I was at Elevate, and I own those. It was the hardest season I've ever had in ministry (my whole second year was tough) and now 6 months after I left, I hear those encouraging words that I didn't mess up, that I wasn't a failure, that I was valued. We both said we should catch up some time and he went to his table and I went back to mine.
My breakfast with Sara was amazing. Talks about Denver, friends, life, school crap, etc. It was what my soul needed. But let me tell you, those words that my old leader spoke to me will be the encouraging words I needed for this week. It was amazing.
Trust me, I'm in a good place right now. A major season of conflict resolution has ended well. Oasis ended last night until January and I have all of Thanksgiving off. Last night as I was laying in bed, I realized that I had grown, that I have changed, and I'm so much more of who I was created to be that I love it. I'm doing really well and those words still had a huge impact on me.
Encouragement is so hard for some people, especially if they didn't grow up with encouragement in their families. But try it. Tell someone how much they really mean to you. Send someone a piece of real mail, one that requires a stamp and the postal system. Pick up the phone and make someone's day...You have no idea what it will do for them, you have no idea what it will do for you.