Water the Flowers Because You Care: Finally, It's Not About Me

One of my gifts is the gift of encouragement. I have had many opportunities to exercise that gift in my interactions with other people in a nonthreatening way after a quick prayer to the Lord for guidance and waiting for the power of the Holy Spirit to intervene.

When I see others near me or in my space so to speak who are presenting visual signs of discouragement, I will have a desire—and often do prayerfully and in a nonthreatening manner—to inquire and ask the question in a nonthreatening way whether there is anything that I can be of help with. I further say, “You seem as though that something is weighing heavy on you,” without saying you look like you are carrying a burden. Telling them about the burden barrier can be presented later if the person accepts me in the situation. If that happens, I can share that I have had similar experiences and share in a testimony of what made the difference.

On this journey, we are going to have trials and tribulations, and the real answer is how we react to it. All of us have a story to tell, but the best conclusion of any of our stories are the ones that includes what the outcome would have been—worse—if it had not been for the Lord who was on our side.

--Jessie Pannell

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