My flowered card box is full...

For years, I have had this card box. It has fancy stationary in it, birthday cards, sympathy cards, note paper, thank you cards and even a few mass cards.  I have always wanted to challenge myself in the ways of writing. I was blessed with the gift of gab so writing a few lines here and there is still a challenge for me. Often times I fail to find the right words in stressful and sorrowful times.  This is one of those times.  

I hear the words echoing …And who knows but that you have come…for such a time as this? Esther 4:14  

I have been called to the challenge of bringing hope and encouragement to those around me? What. In such a  time as this? How? How can I? I am still feeling the effects of this past year without my job, the past summer has come and gone, I miss my beloved Steven dearly, fear has me crippled as my father recovers from open heart surgery and today – as this rainy Sunday begins it is National Day of Encouragement – I must begin the journey back to Scranton with my mother for the funeral services for my Uncle Bob, who recently passed. It is in this dark time that I must be the hope and encouragement to those around me…. for such a time as this.  

Oh boy, I never expected this to be a challenge. As I received and read through the 2011 Hope and Encouragement Card Pack from (In)Courage, I found myself being prepared and made stronger for these events. I still have butterflies in my stomach, I still fail at the right words at the right times, but I still pray for the Father’s guidance. I need it, those around me need it…they need me to double-check myself because I surely do not own the right words to say.  I pray that God will give me the time and the place to share His grace and peace…in such times as this. 

... and filled to the brim, with hope, love, sorrow and peace.

I have already begun to share my thanks and my prayers of hope and encouragement with those closest to me. Even in a time when I feel truly tested and stressed, I know that there is hope and peace. The pain comes and goes, the sorrow shows it’s face, I fall to my knees and weep and the Lord hears my cries. He always picks me up and I know that….  

“…Jesus is closer than we ever realized and we’re loved more than we ever knew.”

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