The past couple of weeks have been extremely challenging. I get ministry is hard; after 17 years, I have figured that out…thriving in disability ministry really is all about balance and making adjustments, as seasons of life change constantly. But I am reminded when I am at my weakest, He is strongest. Recently, however, ministry has been overwhelming with such need from the families Access serves from situations ranging from sickness, to death of a child, to surprise medical diagnoses, to financial ruin and job losses. People whose lives have been turned upside down and the rug pulled out from under their feet. As I and the staff scramble to meet the ever-growing, complex needs, it seems to never be enough, as the world is full of such brokenness and suffering. How can we meet every need? Accepting our limitations is so often difficult to do.
On top of this, my church is going through a time of major transition, resulting in staff being laid off and some ministries no longer functioning. During this state of flux, I have been burdened for my fellow staffers and friends, many of whom were directly impacted by job cut backs, which filled me with such sadness and sorrow.
In my personal life, I have two parents whose health is failing and the long-term prognoses are not very positive. One parent has a neurological regressive disease, and the other a rare form of bone cancer. I am in that sandwiched generation of caring for elderly parents while still raising my two youngest in the home, one of whom has significant emotional disabilities and is teaching me daily what true patience and selflessness look like…neither an easy lesson to learn.
With all that has been going on, I recently felt very empty, running on fumes close to an empty tank. Out of the blue one day last week, a fellow special needs ministry worker randomly shot me an email on a day that was especially challenging. His words of encouragement meant so much and actually helped breathe new life into me and validated again that the daily grind of ministry is so worth it in the long run. “Kind words bring life, but cruel words crush your spirit.” Proverbs 15:14
Never underestimate the power of your words; whether words of love, encouragement or concern, via email, text, phone or in person, really does not matter. What does matter is those words shared on a particular day may be just what the receiver needs to hear to keep them going, and sustain and bless them.
Who has God laid upon your heart today for you to reach out to encourage, edify and equip? If no one comes to mind, pray for God to reveal that person(s) and listen to Him. You have no idea how your small act of kindness may be what that person needs to renew his or her soul that day. Your words have the power to transform someone’s day. Language is at its best when used to inspire others to find the best in themselves.
“Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Proverbs 16:24