There were plenty of moments while raising my son, when I felt that life was too much and it was difficult to go on. I clearly remember, the moments of sadness and feelings of restlessness, which left me crying and wishing to vent to someone, just to let out my feelings.
Since I was a single parent, there was no one at home to share my issues. So, I would pick up the phone to call a family member or a friend, to let out my pain and anguish. There were times that no one answered, which angered and frustrated me, as I screamed out…
“Is there anyone around when I need them?”
After a few times of not connecting to my loved ones, I had to understand that people were not ignoring me, they were simply not available during the time I needed. Family and friends worked and had their own responsibilities, making it difficult for them to help me when I called. Therefore, I had to learn how to help myself when others weren’t available to walk me through a problem. I had to encourage myself.
Now, I will be honest, encouraging oneself is not easy. Trying to uplift, inspire, and energize yourself when you are angry and in a sad mood is a bear. In my attempts to help myself, I have tried many things, from listening to music, reading a quote or affirmation, even screaming out loud telling myself that I could handle my problem. I can still hear myself now…
“You can do it Charlene.”
“You will be fine.”
Although this was all well and good. Sometimes it even worked. Yet, over the years, what I found was more powerful was when I went directly to God for my encouragement.
One of the first things I do is pray. Talking to God about my problem always (yes, always) makes me feel better. Just recently, I was feeling down about the delays in my son’s move to his new residential facility. After praying, the feelings of stress and impatience slowly weaned off me.
There have been other moments, from my son’s behavior issues, the fear of his future, and medical appointments where God has helped me. I have watched Him calm me down, soothing my anxiety, when I decided to pray.
Reading God’s Word is another thing I do to encourage myself. The bible is essential for my encouragement because it provides me with God’s healing powers. For any situation and problem, there is a bible scripture that can get to the heart of it and medicate us. And I can attest, that after reading the Word of God, I feel lighter, as I have given my problems to The Lord.
When I have given my burdens to God through prayer and reading The Word, I can finally rest in Him. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Encouraging oneself is a continual process. It is something we may feel like doing one day and the next day we may not feel like uttering a word in prayer, reading our bible, or resting in God. Yet, we must do it. When we put forth the effort, we will experience the most exhilarating amount of peace that we could ever imagine. A peace of knowing that God loves us and will help us through any problem that we present to Him.
Thank you Ms. Deborah Palmer for bringing this song back to memory.