Who inspires you?
I feel like whenever I’m in a small group with women at a conference, or a bible study, the question always comes up: “who’s that one person who inspires you?” I always had difficulty answering this. Not because I haven’t had that ONE person inspire me, that has really change the person I am for the better, but because I have TOO many people in my life that have shaped me, molded me, and inspired me to be the woman I am today. I think that’s pretty dang awesome. Sometimes I think about all these people and I just want to pray and give thanks for them all, and that overwhelms me. I was reading through Ephesians and came across this prayer Paul has for the Ephesians:
I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you may know Him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people and His incomparably great power for us who believe….
So I prayed that. I prayed that over myself and I prayed that over the women in my life that inspire me. I gave so much thanks for those who show me love, grace, and friendship. I pray that they continue to chase after our Father, with everything they have. I pray that because of that, they receive the wisdom to know him more. To be shaped by him more. To love better because of knowing him. I wanted them to be reminded of the hope that is right here, right now, and is to come.
Sometimes I feel like we forget to encourage others. We look at one another and say “they have it all together, they are doing awesome.” But in all reality, we could feel deep down, that so many things are falling apart. That we feel inadequate. That we feel shame. That what we’re doing isn’t good enough. Due to all those feelings + more, we put on our mask of “I have it all together.”
So I sent out that passage from Ephesians 1:16-19 to a majority of those women in my life who have helped me become a better Kelley. I was overwhelmed by the responses. A lot were similar in the fact that “this is what I needed to hear.” I was talking to my best friend later that day, encouraging her in her strengths, and that I envied her (envy is not a good thing my friends!!! I’m working on that…) in the things she does so well at. Little did I know she gave me the same feedback, and even told me she doesn’t feel like she measures up. That she feels like a mess. I look at her, a strong, beautiful woman of God, and little do I see those insecurities. I look at her saying “she has it all together.”
Don’t forget that we are all human and despite the masks we put on, we are all a mess. We could all use a little encouragement. So don’t forget to thank those who have shaped you. Don’t forget to tell those who you love, that you love them. Don’t forget when you see a friend who is serving/working/loving people, and seemingly looks like they are doing a good job…remind them how amazing they are at what they’re doing. Also, remind each other on how BEAUTIFUL they are. Because they truly are wonderfully made.
One more thing, as women, we look at each other way too much with envy or judgement (I’m guilty of this). Let’s wipe those away, step out of our comfort zone, and lift up other women whether it is with words or actions. Because none of us actually have it “all together.” And you never know, you words have the power to change how someone views how they look at themself.
Let’s build up a strong community of women that encourage each other, because we all need encouragement to thrive during this life.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11