On Friday of last week, I was getting ready to drive but feeling really unmotivated. I just wasn’t looking forward to driving and was really dragging my feet. I was dreading getting out there. A little while before we headed out, I received a package. The address looked unfamiliar to me, so I couldn’t imagine what it was or who it was from. Upon opening it, I realized it was from a dear friend of mine.
Inside was a little golden box. Curious, I carefully lifted the lid. Inside, I was surprised to find a beautiful key chain my friend had sent to encourage me.
Fingering each little charm on the key chain, the tears came to my eyes. A cross. An antique key and spoon. A bead angel complete with halo. The words “wonderful” and “beautiful.”
Could she have sent it at a better time? My heart warmed at the thoughtfulness my friend had shown me. She’d taken time out of her day just to think of something to encourage me. And what a perfect gift! Something I could take with me on drives and remember I was not alone. I had God and my friend on my side.
It was amazing what one little gift of kindness like that could do. After receiving the key chain, I couldn’t wait to go driving! I felt re-energized and ready to face the roads. I had the new key chain to try out, after all! More than that, the key chain was visible proof someone out there was pulling for me and wanting me to succeed. I wasn’t alone in my fear. Knowing that, I felt strengthened.
The drive was all town driving and went really well. It seemed like everyone and their mother was out, but when I started getting stressed, I just glanced at my new key chain for a quick dose of courage.
That same week, I also received a really encouraging card from another friend. She’d even included two little pull-out cards with comforting Bible verses on them. Once more, I found myself touched beyond words. Who am I to be blessed with such friends?
I’m still not sure I can answer that.
It’s been a trying journey sometimes, facing my fears. Hard at times. Rewarding at others. Always scary. But there’s something I’m beginning to realize: I am never alone in my fear. Never once has my God abandoned me or left me in my fear. He’s always been with me in the fire, and will always be present to deliver me:
But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, ‘Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.'” (Isaiah 43:1-2.)
He’s also blessed me with friends who love and care for me-who aren’t interested in judging me, but in simply being there for me. That’s a gift I do not take lightly.
For all of my readers, for every one of you who have prayed for me or left behind your encouraging comments, I thank you. With your love and support behind me and pushing me forward, it’s not hard for me to believe I can win this. Your love and friendship continually strengthens me.
Today, I don’t look at what I don’t have, but what I do. And what I have is you.
Fear Tip: Proverbs 11:25 says, “The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed,” and Proverbs 16:24 says, “Kind words are like honey-sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” In need of refreshment? Try encouraging someone else today. Something as simple as a kind word or a small gift can mean the world to someone. When you’re thinking about someone else’s problem, it’s hard to think about your own.
P.S. How can I be a friend to you today? Is there anything I can pray about for you or any way I can encourage you?