Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Power of Words

I don't believe the saying, "Sticks and stones may break some bones but words will never harm me."  There is power in words and they can be used to hurt or heal.  I realized the strength of a single sentence, as certain quotes or scriptures would really speak to me. 

I've always loved inspiring quotes but the past few years have been drawn to them even more.  It amazes me how one phrase or sentence can evoke emotion, bring a sense of calm, fill your arms with goosebumps, or tug at your heart.  Through the years I've grown fond of certain quotes or held specific scripture dear because of the moment I was in when reading them.

When I was young, newly married, with a baby boy, and juggling college as well as a job, one of my favorites was, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."  On days when I was overwhelmed and my goals so far out of reach, I would think of this quote.  It would remind me that regardless of where I wanted to be in life, I had to take the first step, however difficult or stressful it might be at the time.

For so many years, I treasured the scripture, "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." - Philippians 4:13.  This one scripture got me through the first few difficult months after our wreck.  Each time I'd stand, wobbling in pain, I would recite this to myself and it would give me the extra boost to make it through.  Through the remainder of that year, I leaned on the verses from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, which are, "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you."  It spoke to my soul so much that I wrote it out on an index card and kept it on the visor in my truck so that I would see it daily.

Through the years, I've found many quotes that touched me and have stuck with me.  I find that I will recall them when I need those words most.  Some of those include....

Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Count your smiles instead of your tears; Count your courage instead of your fears.

We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand, and melting like a snowflake.

Of course for the past two years, I've drawn inspiration from anything relating to child loss or overcoming grief.  There are certain scriptures that will always hold a special place in my heart because they remind me of Austin, like 1 Timothy 4:12.  Or quotes like, "It's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years."  and "Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away."

Lately, I've found comfort in the scripture from Romans 5:3-5 "Rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."    When I'm drawn to a certain scripture or quote, I will notice that it seems to find its way into my day, or week, just when I need to be reminded.  What I know is that God sends us these words when he knows we're ready for them, even when we don't think we are. 

Knowing how powerful a single sentence can be, and how by molding letters together to form words that create a thought which can affect others, weighs on my mind more these days.  If God's given me this "talent" - and I use that word loosely, I feel led to use it for good.  It's part of the reason why I started this blog.  More than anything it was selfishly therapeutic, as writing through this grief has been a tremendous help to me.  What I have learned though is that through sharing, I have been a help to others, which I never imagined possible.  Anytime someone lets me know that, after reading something I've written, it brings me such joy, unbelievable as it is to me.  Some days it is hard, putting my emotions to print, but most days it is truly a comfort to be able to express myself in this way.  I'm just grateful for receiving a gift from God that I can use for him that also brings me happiness.  It is my goal though to strive each day to do a better job of writing so that people see Him and not me.
"Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you..."2 Timothy 1:16

Psalm 28:7 "The LORD protects and defends me; I trust in him.
He gives me help and makes me glad; I praise him with joyful songs."


ojbaker said...

I really needed that Heather! I can't sleep. I am sitting here watching my grandfather sleep and was so happy to read your new post. Thanks!! I love you!

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