Friday, May 23, 2014

Words that (in)courage

"But God is the God of the waves and the billows, and they are still His when they come over us; and again and again we have proved that the overwhelming thing does not overwhelm. Once more by His interposition deliverance came. We were cast down, but not destroyed."
-Amy Carmichael

Words of encouragement can heal even the deepest wounds.
Don’t think so?
Well then let me tell you a story…

Numerous times in my life wounded people wounded me with their words. Whether they meant to or not didn’t matter, the things that were said hurt me deeply and in their wake ugly scars were left.

Each time hurtful words were spoken, or hurtful things were done the wounds became deeper as the enemy of my soul whispered the lies I so quickly believed- you aren’t good enough, you have no worth, you have no value, you were a mistake.

I believed that I had no value and therefore I didn’t value myself. It was evident in my choices, in the ways that I allowed others to treat me and the way that I viewed myself. I believed that others saw no value in me and I believed they were right.

This outlook may have begun in childhood but it carried over throughout my entire adult life. Although I am now happily married to a Godly man who values me, I experienced two failed marriages and several attempts at careers that ended in failure as well.

A little over six years ago God opened the door for me to work for an incredible company and while He had a plan for me, the enemy had a plan for me too.

The first several years I was continually criticized by a person in authority over me. I was offered very little, if any, affirmation. She saw no value in me and I believed she was right.

It was difficult and I wanted to run like I had done so many times before when I was hurt and situations felt out of my control. I begged God to open another door but instead He encouraged me to push through and to stay.

And so I did. After four long years God closed the door in a way I hadn’t expected. He kept me right where I was but brought someone else into a position of authority to encourage me. This person spoke words of affirmation and I began to believe that I could do more than I was told or ever thought I could do.

After a year of being encouraged and affirmed, God opened yet another door to a position I never dreamed I could be in and certainly didn’t feel qualified for but I know that God doesn’t always call the qualified but qualifies the called.

This time however, the person in a position of authority over me continually offered words of affirmation and consistently encouraged me saying "I know you can do this. I have faith in you." Her words of encouragement began to break down the walls I had erected to protect myself and demolished the lies that I had believed for so long.

I finally believed that I had value. I finally believed the truth of who God says I am and what I’m capable of and I finally began to believe the possibility of God sized dreams for me!

While there were many years that I didn’t believe that God could possibly have a plan for me, now I know that He not only has a plan but that I have a purpose…

  • to encourage other women with words of affirmation, hope and love!

  • to pour into them, what has been poured into me!

  • to destroy the lies of the enemy that have held so many women in bondage to shame, fear and doubt.

Healing is a process but with words of encouragement applied to the woundedness of our past, the Healer sets us free to be exactly who we were created to be!

I am so honored and blessed to be an (in)courage leader, co-leading Healing for Wounded Hearts with Sherry Curtiss!

I just know God is going to do great things through all of these wonderful (in)courage communities!

"Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be."

Ralph Waldo Emerson





  1. do you know about LeadHer? You'd be perfect!!

    1. I do not, but I'll check it out. Thanks Amber :)

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  3. Hi, Lanette! I'm visiting you from our (in)courager writing group.

    This post touched a raw place in my heart. It's like you've read my journal or something! I so admire that you're allowing God to take the wounding of your past and transform it. No doubt that many women will be blessed and uplifted by your words, just as I was today!

    1. Thanks so much Marie! I'm so thankful for your words and so blessed that God used my words to encourage you!!

  4. Ralph Waldo Emerson was one wise man. That quote echoes the cry of my own heart! I'm so deeply encouraged by your willingness to stay and wait on the Lord and His timing! Encouraging words really are a balm to the soul!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Missy, I'm encouraged by your words!

  5. Hey Lanette! I'm visiting from the (in)courager writing group and I'm so glad I found your words here. Our stories sound quite similar, with walls built up high from being hurt and broken by community... and then with lies that immediately come - and that we begin to believe and tell ourself, too. I've written a lot about this and through writing it out I've realized that one of the most helpful things was, just like you said, having someone there to speak the truth. One friend now calls me on it all the time, point blank saying, "Kaitlyn that's a lie you're believing. Let's talk about the truth." So neat to see how similar these stories are!

    1. Kaitlyn I plan to come and visit your blog today, I'd love to hear your story! I love how so many of us are connecting through our similar stories, being encouraged and encouraging each other!!

  6. Coming from our (in)courage writers group. What a powerful story! God absolutely doesn't plan the hurts in our lives, but he uses our experiences through those hurts to love and lift others up (and to form connections.) Yours is a classic example of that!

    1. Misty I'm looking forward to visiting your blog to hear your story! Thank you for your encouraging words!!