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Are You Up to the Challenge?

two strangersWe can never know what is going on in another person’s life at any given moment. If someone is on your mind or crosses your path and you feel compelled to reach out, or speak to them or say a kind word, I challenge you to act. It may be the perfect time for someone to hear those words. What may seem silly to you could be precisely what that person is desperate for. 

My day started out slow, dark and cold and I’d overslept. Lately, my body seems confused about what time to wake up – nearly an hour later than usual for a few weeks. It could have been the recent cold and rainy days, but I attributed it to being troubled about a job with one of my clients.

It had become challenging in ways that made me wonder if it was the right fit for this time in my life. And, just as I finished a brief meeting, I was informed that the challenging part would increase. I agreed out of a sense of duty more than desire. Driving home, I felt more depressed about it than seemed normal.

At home, I barely said hello to my husband before locking myself in my office. That’s where I go to sort things out. After a while, I pulled myself together enough to serve dinner–slow cooker soup. But, it didn’t cheer me up.

The job isn’t intolerable, it’s just more effort when my heart wasn’t in it. Strong feelings seemed strangely out of proportion but grew bigger by the minute. Tidal waves of self-doubt came, images of being trapped, and a more hopeless future. Despair edged in silent as a knife.

Praying through darkness.jpegAfter dinner, I sat on the edge of our tub thinking through the meeting. It felt irrational, but I took a shower and did what many of my girlfriends do standing under the water.

I prayed. The sadness I felt in my heart was so heavy, I nearly wept, but couldn’t pinpoint the sorrow. It couldn’t be that job. I felt disappointed. I could end the job if it wasn’t working out, but it didn’t feel like time to do that. A dark cloud began to crush me with heaviness in my chest and weight in my mind. With nothing specific to pray for, I prayed simply.

“God, help.”

I dried off, dressed and lay on our bed. I didn’t want to do move or think or talk. As it began raining outside, I imagined God hugging me close to him and I fell asleep. When I woke a little later, I felt compelled to go to my office. I didn’t feel like working but went anyway. There was a message from a new connection. Someone I’d never met.


“You are an inspiration… You have the rare ability to see deeper, reach farther and strive for the greatest good. You are a light in the darkness… please keep shining!!”

Instantly, the smothering darkness vanished completely. It was the strangest sensation like a bully had left the building. It changed my whole evening. I felt happy–thrilled! Instead of accomplishing nothing for the rest of the day, I wrote two pieces, picked up another assignment and made a new friend (who just might be an angel!)

Have you ever been encouraged by someone’s words? Please share your experience!angel-clouds-weather-vera-161199.jpeg


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