Lonely Encourager

It seemed so selfish.  As soon as the thought crossed my mind I quickly attempted to bury it under the busy of my day.  How could I be feeling like this?  How could I, the encourager, the cheerleader, be feeling like I had been left out, left alone?

I can’t even really tell you why I was feeling this way.  I have a community that just flat out loves me, in real life and on line.  Yet, I could not stop the feeling of loneliness that took over my morning. I tackled my to-do list with a singular focus to try and silence the questions.  I continued to exist as if I wasn’t dying to ask what was burning in my heart.

Who encourages the encourager?

Where does the encourager go when they feel empty, depleted and lonely? 

It was days later during my quiet time, the fireplace on, the house quiet when I finally murmured those questions out loud.  Tears leaving tracks of lonely on my cheeks and I cried out to God, because beyond the the apparent selfishness I was feeling, the awkwardness of begging for encouragement, I knew that He would get it.  He would understand this need I had to be filled up, to not feel like I was completely alone.

“Then Jesus brought them to an olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, ‘Sit here while I go on ahead to pray'” Matthew 26:36

He was empty.  He had to be.  He was at the end of His ministry on earth and the burden of His death, the continuation of His purpose weighed heavy on Him. But what startles me most about this moment, what just makes my breath catch and has my heart leaning in close to Him is the fact that He did not want to be alone. 

“He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John…” v. 37a

The Son of Man, God in human skin, could not bear to take the next step alone.  He needed those He loved close to Him.  The King of Kings, the silencer of wind and waves did not want to face His darkest hours in the anguish of solitude.

“… and he began to filled with anguish and deep distress.  He told them, ‘My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.  Stay here and watch with me.'” v. 37b 

We were made for community.  His broken body, the blood that spilled red at the foot of the cross was the intentional knitting together of His body, the reconciliation of His bride to Himself at long last.

So in the quiet of the morning, at the foot of the cross I uttered my request to Jesus.  I spoke my need for words and the comfort of community out loud.

And, in the spaces of my day, He came, encouragement filling and overflowing His cupped and pierced palms, an offering to my weariness, a companion to my loneliness. 

He came with, a Voxer message from a friend, a FaceTime chat with another and a sweet email from yet another. Jesus accompanied me in the garden of my silence and held me close to Him while I asked to be filled up.

We can not be afraid to ask Him for what our hearts need and we must stop living our lives as if how we feel; the tiny cracks in our hearts, our pain and hurts don’t matter to Him – because they absolutely do! 

He desires the entire landscape our hearts, from the deepest of our valleys to the highest of peaks. His scandalous gift of redemptive grace was intended for every moment of our lives, not just the highlights. 

So what do you need?  What area of your heart are you longing to bring into the light?  

Go ahead.  Tell Him.

He knows.  I can guarantee He knows. 

1 Comment

  1. Thank you for posting this, I totally feel you and I guess this is what I need.

    I’m a strong INFJ since young and I see it as God’s gift that I am extra sensitive towards people around me. I often see things even before they happen and I sense people’s emotions very well. This has aided me in being an encourager, and being there for people even when they don’t tell me to.

    The problem, however, is that I am easily deflated myself. People see me and judge me by my words to others, they think I have it all together when honestly I don’t. Who encourages the encourager?

    Thank you really for fixing my eyes back to Jesus, for reminding me that even Jesus has been through this or even much worse than this. If Jesus could find strength through His prayer to Father God, then as He is so are we in this world.

    Thank you Tonya! God bless you and your family.

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