About the Author

Heather is a brain cancer survivor who lives life on the edge. She loves her family, her bald head and, most of all, her Savior’s grace. She lives in the sunny yet very humid state of Florida with her husband, three children and 2 dogs, a miniature schnauzer named Bailey...

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  1. I have not been much of an encourager lately for others. I have been silent with God the last few weeks and it hurts me. I know he is there also, I know he hears me when all I can utter are a few words as a prayer, sometimes just a basic need–God help me sleep tonight please–But I get encouragement on a daily basis from the women he put in my life–specifically for me! I am in the midst of a horrible depression that I cant shake, starting another med because the others havent worked, made things worse in fact. I have 3 women who I turn turn–1 hears everything via email mostly due to schedules and its easier for me, but she meets with me whenever I ask and we talk in person. She has truly been God’s hands, feet and mouthpiece the past 3 years with me. Then she prays for me, that is a huge encouragement for me even when I dont feel like it. The other 2 are newer friends to me, we are learning about each other after meeting in a Bible Study last fall. We email each other as a group with concerns, worries, we pray for one another. We began meeting for breakfast once a month (twice now) I was going to cancel the second time–my depression was really bad and getting out of bed was just something I didnt know if I could do or not. The emails from them came flying one right after the other–its okay, we understand, been there too, come out, its just us, we dont care if you have no make up on, or showered, just come! I did go, got my hugs, and had a good breakfast with some wonderful Godly women!

  2. Beautiful words of encouragement. Thank you for writing and sharing your heart. I recently have had the truth literally ‘shoved’ into my face -as I am too bull headed to stop and see it on my own.
    In my harshness I hurt people, and most often, those I claim to love the most. I have major anxiety issues when they choose to make choices that are not what I would choose – and I see their choices as harmful to them. I try to save them from their mistakes before they happen – and end up alienating them.
    I am a bully, and my husband pointed this out to me – just yesterday. The truth hurts. And I think it pulls me away from God, as I think I have ( or perhaps I need) some kind of control.
    But by him being honest – I finally see that – and just maybe I can give that over to God and be honest with myself – and allow Him to make a difference in my life – and then I might be able to make a difference in someone else’s life – without pressuring them into it.
    Your writing has been a blessing to me today. I pray that God would continue to bless you in all that you do.

  3. I too have been in the fear, anxiety, anger place you descibe. I went in to an appt. two days ago to describe to my OB the PPD and PPP (post partum psychosis) I just experienced two months ago. I’m still going through the transition of coming out of it and wondering why I had to go through this at all. I’m usually on the other side of helping; it’s been hard to accept all the help I’ve received in the past weeks. Yet I know it’s because these people love me. My personality is to help others, so I just hope God gives me the opportunity in the future to help someone else who’s maybe been through this too.

  4. Good stuff Heather!
    Honest about our pain.
    That is hard to be. Why? Do we hide it, paint it, lather it with frosting or call it someone else’s to make it hurt less? I think when I hit that place I feared admitting my pain. Like hurting was somehow my own fault. But God made us with feelings, and I think He loves hearing all about ours whether they are pretty or not – so long as they are REAL.
    Thanks for the song too. Wonderful.

  5. Such amazing words … so honest and well put! I’ve been there lately with a few sitations, wondering if God was still there and listening. Of course, I know that He is, but sometimes it’s so hard to see that!
    As far as encouraging others, I love to send cards in the mail. Just to let them know I’m thinking of them or praying for them. A phone call or text is always nice too!

  6. Ahhhh, I love when women are real. I love to read words that remind me we are all in this together.
    One way I enjoy encouraging is a surprise left in a friend’s mailbox – a little gift, a note, a treat. Fun to surprise a friend!

  7. God has blessed me with some sweet and genuine friends with whom I can be real in any emotional state – and there have definitely been times this past year when it felt impossible to find God’s will amongst the mess! At the beginning of the summer I went through a job change, and with my new schedule I have been blessed to set aside time every week to write ecards, snail mail real cards and leave fun voicemail messages for my friends who I know are struggling with something or could use a pick me up this week. It has become a cherished part of my week and theirs!

  8. Dear God, I lift up the hearts who comment…and those who don’t know what to say…I ask you to comfort them, to stay with them until they can let you close enough to hear your whispers of love and peace. Thank you for holding their hearts. Thank you for the crazy deep value you put on each one of them. Thank you that right now you are making streams in the deserts and ways in the wilderness. Thank you that you are speaking hope into what feels like an empty void for some and encouraging others to take one more step because they are almost ther and restoring trust in yet others. Oh, God, thank you for being everything all of us need, and thank you for understanding that sometimes being honest is scary and painful. Thank you for staying anyway. Thank you for your honest love, honest promises, and honest desires for us. You are ever amazing. We love you! Amen

  9. I praise the Lord for using the internet as a means for Christians to encourage one another. Honesty is such a vital characteristic in all of our relationships. Heather, thank you so much for sharing. And Jerri, thank you for your uplifting prayer. Enjoy the weekend!

  10. Wow, this site for sure has been so tremendously encouraging! as I sit here wiping the tears from eyes after reading the posts, I am so greateful to God for continuing to lead me in the right direction. I too feel like Valerie, so hard to admit that yes little me (all of 5ft) can often be a bully to those I love the most! And thankful for Jerri Kelley Phillips prayer. I know I have a lot of growing to do, but i can see the light twinkling at the end there. Thank you ladies so much!
    I love to encourage others secretly, I bought a whole bunch of those buisness card size cards and will just sto randomly and stick them on peoples cars.. i also have snuck one in when paying for a drink at Sonic….
    Blessings to you all!! All the glory to our Jesus!!

  11. I am so grateful that I found this blog. So very thankful. Thank you for your words. . . reminding me that God is always present and there for us.
    And Audrey Hassad is awesome. Her song “The House Your Building” is a favorite of mine right now. I listen to it over and over again.

  12. Thanks for this post.
    Anxiety issues at our house. Yes and we’ve memorized the verse “Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God, and the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
    I’m waiting for the peace but just getting more waves of anxiety. So your post about giving it all to him… Encouragement although it’s not over yet.

  13. So encourage each other and build each other up……
    1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT
    Encouragement is the perfect gift! It can be something so small and simple as a smile but, have the impact to change a life forever! Unfortunately, it is not given enough and yet it is SO valuable to the recipent. You can never receive/give too much of it. So dont be stingy…lol!…AND remember the only way you can receive a gift is with your arms out and hands open (and empty). You must “give the encouragement in your own hands”..making them empty and ready to receive encouragement from others. I really try to make it a habit to find ways to encourage others. Many times I receive the gift as well…just in giving it. I always try to find the encouragement God sends me everyday. I find it in my Mothers words, my husbands arms, my daughters eyes, a rainbow in the sky and in Gods perfect love for me. Little is much if God is in it. God is love! Love and encourage one another!
    The Lord has abundantly blessed me all of my life. I’m not trying to pay him back for all of His wonderful gifts; I just realize that He gave them to me to give away. -Lisa Whelchel
    (Lynnette)

  14. It’s funny how hard it can be to find the right words for encouragement. Particularly when my heart hurts for someone else’s situation. We have to turn our thoughts to God’s promises as they are–already written for us through the centuries; and perfect.
    I try to find encouragement in the little pieces of my day; the way my kids are getting along even for a few minutes, or my baby boy holding me close. Receiving God’s blessings this way encourages my soul to remember my Maker.

  15. Thank you so much Heather! I needed to read this today. You spoke exactly what I have been feeling for the past several months…and you are right, my circumstances haven’t changed, but my perspective sure has. And boy did it need to! I didn’t realize until a couple weeks ago how doubt, insecurity, pain, and illness had left me angry and detached from joy. Thank you so much for the encouragement today and for the reminder of how truly and deeply He loves me. I needed to start my day to that! God Bless <><

  16. Thank you Heather – what a great reminder. I needed this reminder today!
    Much love to you and your sweet family!
    xoTiffany

  17. I learned during hurricane season that often in the midst of it – there is a calm we come to. Scientists call it the “eye” where everything stops, and you are wrapped in quiet.
    I think it is like that for us too. The storm winds blow – and we finally fall down on our knees in a quiet “eye” and God is there. To strengthen us and then hold us for the next round of winds and waves that are bound to come our way.
    Blessings,
    Stacey

  18. “There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, no more fears…but until that day, I cling to you always”… Help us to cling!!

  19. As Ann Voskamp says, “Only speak grace words.” That’s how to encourage others. Make sure the words coming out of your mouth are only meant to build up…not tear down.

  20. To someone who had a brief taste of being homeless when I was young, being able to give food to someone in need is a whole different experience. I didn’t know that this person was struggling and when the tears started to fall in thankfulness for the bagels I brought to work, I found out what was going on. She told me she prayed for God to sustain her today because all she had was a tomato and she was greatful for that. I was able to give her one of my lunches today as well! I was thinking it was odd that I had an extra meal with me today and couldn’t remember how that happened. So food can be a great encouragement, especially to someone who really doesn’t know where the next meal may come from.

  21. Amen, sister. I have come to realize over and over and over that circumstances are less important than my perspective. But I can’t let myself stop thinking about it or it will slip away in a breath. Praying for you today… For your perspective and the circumstances.

  22. What a beautiful post! Thank you so much for sharing.
    I try to encourage people with kind words and a smile… sending a card in the mail or dropping off a freshly baked loaf of bread…a hug.

  23. yes but how do you “give it to Him” and dont you have to do this over and over. i have a loved one who is right where you have been. i dont know how to help her give her situation to Him. i watch her try to fix it herself and she is only making it worse. i pray and pray for her but havent seen any difference and its been months.

  24. I help encourage others by praying for them or just finding some encouraging words. I also enjoy making bringing someone a meal or baked goods to help out.

  25. Being Honest in the Pain – is one of the hardest things to do. I often encourage others, but don’t give others the chance to encourage me.
    I have been learning lately to be honest in my pain and telling others what my pain is. And so then I have found just how much the encouragement means to me and how much others truly care. Thank you!

  26. It has been moving to read the comments here today. The hearts in distress, the hearts waiting to feel the Lord, the hearts praying for others, the hearts reaching out to encourage each one here. May God move in each one of your lives as you wait on Him. Waiting is hard, but He is faithful to accomplish the work He has begun in you. It just takes time–sometimes longer than we want it to take.
    The greatest encouragement or gift we can give each other is ourselves, our listening and caring hearts, our hearts of prayer. The many times I have hit bottom, I have a special friend who hears my heart and always has a word to encourage me, to build me up, to say,”I’m proud of you.”
    I like to give encouragement with a word, a card, a phone call or a visit.
    Janis

  27. My way to encourage is simple: I tell the person to pray to God and to go to His word, there they will find every encouragement they need!!! I also offer to do a bible study with them!!!

  28. I think it’s so hard sometimes to acknowledge that He’s there if we’re not hearing things. This entire year and a half has been like this for me — wondering why He isn’t listening, if He cares, etc. etc. I really just tried to persevere the entire time. I’m feeling better now but it gets so hard.
    Thank you for this post. I needed to read it today.

  29. Your honesty encourages me.
    When I come to your blog I see faith. When you question God, I see honesty, and that stops me from feeling alone. And, that gives me the strength to go on.

  30. Today I feared that God had left me. That because I wasn’t completely honest with my motives caused God to stop loving me.
    I can’t walk this road without failing. For me I have to be perfect, if I am not then I can’t go to heaven. I am always challenging myself. I get angry and refuse forgiveness. Then it’s a mad scramble to find him.

  31. It’s been 8 1/2 months since my son, Andrew (12 yrs old), went to Heaven. He battled brain cancer – GBM – for 4 months with 4 surgeries. It was so aggressive.
    I appreciate your honesty. Sometimes that’s all there is…standing or falling face down in tears…honest before a God who sometimes seems hidden and silent. Yet, He’s very present. I don’t always feel it but I know it.

  32. Amen, my dear sister. The only way for me to live life is to be raw, honest & vulnerable with my Savior. When I’m weak, He’s strong. I’m so thankful to hear this encouragement from you.

  33. Thank you for sharing that. I can relate all too well with your post. I struggle many times with understanding what the Lord is doing in my life but I can’t imagine going through my struggles without Him. My constant struggle has been in my marriage which I still have to rely on the Lord for and I recently posted about my cancer story and how the Lord brought me through it. I am so glad that I have found this site and your personal site as well. May God Bless you and continue to Shine His Face Upon You.