Don’t Give Up!

(2 Timothy 4:7 NIV).

It was the first swim meet of the year for our newly formed Middle School Aquatics team. The atmosphere on the three hour bus ride was electric with anticipation as the band of forty-eight adolescents thought of nothing but victory. However, the electricity turned into shock as our minnows filed off the bus and stared in disbelief at their muscle clad, Neptune-like opponents.

The coach checked the schedule. “Surely there’s been a mistake,” he thought. But the schedule only confirmed that, yes, this was the right place and the right time.

The two teams formed a line on the side of the pool. Whistles blew, races were begun, and races were lost. Halfway through the meet, Coach Huey realized that he had no participants for one of the events.

“OK team, who wants to swim the 500 yard free style?” the coach asked.

Several hands shot up, including Justin’s. “I’ll race coach!”

The coach looked down at the freckle faced youth and said, “Justin, this race is twenty lengths of the pool. I’ve only seen you swim eight.”

“Oh, I can do it coach. Let me try. What’s twelve more laps.”

The coach reluctantly conceded. “After all,” he thought, “It’s not the winning but the trying that builds character.”

The whistle blew and the opponents torpedoed through the water and finished the race in a mere four minutes and fifty seconds. The winners gathered on the sidelines to socialize while our group struggled to finish. After four more long minutes, the last exhausted members of our team emerged from the water. The last except for Justin.

Justin was stealing breaths as his hands slapped against the water and pushed it aside to propel his thin body forward. It appeared that he would go under at any minute, yet something seemed to keep pushing him onward.

“Why doesn’t the coach stop this child?” the parents whispered among themselves. “He looks like he’s about to drown and the race was won four minutes ago.”

But what the parents did not realize was that the real race, the race of a boy becoming a man, was just beginning.

The coach walked over to the young swimmer, knelt down and quietly spoke.

Relieved parents thought, “Oh, he’s finally going to pull that boy out before he kills himself.”

But to their surprise, the coach rose from the concrete, stepped back from the pool’s edge, and the young man continued to swim.

One teammate, inspired by his brave friend, went to the side of the pool and walked the lane as Justin pressed on. “Come on Justin, you can do it!  You can do it! Keep going! Don’t give up!”

He was joined by another, then another, until the entire team was walking the length of the pool rooting for and encouraging their fellow swimmer to finish the race set before him.

The opposing team saw what was happening and joined the chant. The students’ contagious chorus sent a chill through the room and soon the once concerned parents were on their feet cheering, shouting, and praying. The room was pulsating with energy and excitement as teammates and opponents alike pumped courage into one small swimmer.

Twelve long minutes after the starting whistle had blown, an exhausted, but smiling, Justin Rigsbee swam his final lap and struggled to pull himself out of the pool. The crowd had applauded the first swimmer, as he crossed the line, first place. But they gave Justin the greater cheer, for finishing the race. 

In 2 Timothy 4:7, Paul writes, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (NIV). On some days, when the swimming or running grows difficult – on those days when I want to quit, I long for friends and family who will walk the course with me cheering me on.  “Come on Sharon, you can do it!”  “Don’t give up!  You’re almost there!”

But there are days when I look around and there seems to be no one there to cheer me on. That’s when I need to look a bit closer, listen a bit more intently, and hear the still small voice of my Heavenly Father. He’s always there to pick me up when I fall, hold me when I cry, hug me when I’m feeling alone, cheer for me when I’m victorious, and love me when I’m just me. And He’s there for you too.

Our Heavenly Parent is cheering for you, my friend. He’s saying, “Keep going!  Don’t give up! You are precious to Me! You’re not alone! You can do it!”

Today, feel God’s embrace and listen closely as He speaks to your heart. I think I hear Him now…

 Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, sometimes I feel like I’m not going to make it. Thank You for friends that come alongside me and cheer me on when I feel like I’m about to go under. Most of all, thank You for always being with me and cheering me on in the great race of life. I love You! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What do you Think?

Can you identify with Justin?  Have you ever felt like you have bitten off more than you can chew?

What helps you most in times like these?

Can you think of a friend who is struggling today who might need a word of encouragement?  You might be just the person God has chosen  you to cheer her own. Why not give her a call, shoot her an e-mail, or write her a note of cheer.

Let’s honor a person who has been an encourager to you leave a comment and the name of one person who has encouraged you. Then tell her about it! I’m going to pick 1 random name from the comments and send 2 Starbucks gift cards. One for the winner and one for the winner to share!

Want More? 

If you would like to sharpen your listening-to-God skills, then check out Becoming a Woman who Listens to God. It is not a matter of whether or not He speaks to us. It is a matter of whether or not we will listen.

168 Responses to Don’t Give Up!

  1. M Frock July 24, 2012 at 3:15 am #

    My good friend Mary-Angela M. , thank you for encouraging me, and always sharing.

  2. jules July 24, 2012 at 3:54 am #

    ive been going through a season such as was mentioned. I’ve needed that someone to cheer me on and tell me I can make it. I thank God for friends that came to do just that. Names are Steve and Lynda. if I win I’ll give them both the prize as I am endebted to them both. let’s encourage someone everyday because we all need to be encouraged daily.

    • Joan Barrett July 24, 2012 at 11:45 pm #

      I’ve been going through some very difficult times for close to a year.Satan has been trying to terrorize me and,there have been times that i’ve fallen , i’ve even crawled. Nevertheless God has continually given me the strengh to get back up again and,again.In His infinite wisdom He placed a mature woman of God named Gerri Sistrunk in my path.We’ve become close friends and,she has helped me and,encouraged me continually.She does cheer me on to never give up or give in.

      • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

        Praise God for Gerri!

  3. Joyce July 24, 2012 at 4:00 am #

    I wrote a post but think I lost it in the process of submitting. (Internet probs) Someone who is very special to me, and whom I wish to honor is Magdalena Barrios. She has a been a wonderful friend, mentor, and a beautiful example of Christ’s love. She is also an experienced prayer warrior, and has faced many battles in prayer on my behalf and on my family’s behalf. I would love to share Starbucks with her! Thanks!!!!

  4. Kathleen July 24, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    My sister Dory has been my encouragement for a few years now. She has been with me through my physical pains ans supported me when my husband had major surgery by coming and staying with me for 2 weeks! What a blessing GOD gave me with her as my sister and friend.

  5. Dawn July 24, 2012 at 10:00 am #

    Sharon,
    My cousin has always been such a faithful believer. She is lying in a cancer hospital now dying from ovarian cancer. She has held onto her faith that Jesus will heal her up until these last few days. When asked if she wants prayer, she will say, if you want but pray to yourself. She has fought such a hard fight all of these years, never losing faith. How can I give her back her faith? Her belief that God is with her? Today’s message poke straight to me about Marilyn’s battle.
    God bless!

  6. Meg July 24, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    Mandy would b my biggest encourager by far… She has been a huge part of my journey back to Christ… She has stayed right by my side thru it all. She is a great friend… I’m so blessed to have her n my life…

    R4L

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

      Praise God for Mandy!

  7. Lori July 24, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    Tina Moberg has been a wonderful, genuine encourager in my life. We don’t see each other often, but when we do – we just pick up where we left off and Tina is always that friend who pours love and positive into me. I am so grateful for her! She is a Godly example to me! I think of her example often when I’m faced w/ situations. Tina is a treasure to SO many people! I am beyond grateful to be included in her life!

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

      Praise God for Tina!

  8. Sheryl Moskowicz July 24, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    Please honor my long-time, great friend, Patricia Zepp. When I got very ill with Bipolar/Depression disorder, she saw to it that I was placed in the hospital via the Emergency Room, assisted me over 30 years by listening and praying with me, accompanying me to doctor’s visits, and even gave me a wonderul King James version of the Bible. “Jesus is a light unto thy feet…”, which she inscribed on the first page of the Bible. Her faith has sustained me and lead me on a personal journey with Jesus our Lord and God the Father Almighty. Patty has been a wonderful person to everyone and exemplifies the love God desires in a friend. God Bless Patricia Zepp. Amen.

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

      Praise God for Patricia!

  9. Antoinette July 24, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    Lydia Langhorne, is my encourager she has always been. I thank God for her love and devotion to Jesus Christ and for her daily love and encouragement to me!

  10. Amy July 24, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    Becki is such a great friend and is always here to support my family and me when we have gone through some challenging times. She gives encouragement and speaks truth in a loving manner. She is a prayer warrior! I hope I can give her the love she has so easily shared with me!

  11. Laura B. Fogle July 24, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    My friend Michelle Schalliol encourages me when I don’t think I can finish the race. She cheers me with phone calls, gives me small gifts and prays for me. Thanks Michelle!

  12. Toni Wortherly July 24, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    There are so many people who encourage me; I cannot just name one. My mom, my best friend, Kimberly, and my sister in Christ, Christina all give me that encouraging shout of cheers, especially when I feel like I cannot go one more lap.
    http://elevatedvalues.weebly.com/2/category/encouragement/1.html

    Toni

  13. Natalie July 24, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    I am currently trying to fight the good fight..I have been struggling with postpartum depression since my son was born 3 months ago. Although I have come a long way, I still have some ways to go and some days I do feel like I can’t make it or that I’ll never get fully better! I have a friend Gisy that calls me and texts me everyday to see how I’m doing. She really wants me to get better and she has faith that I will get better and be me again. She is my encourager on days that I feel down. Another encourager is my husband. He accepts me for who I am and tells me to stay positive and have faith to move forward. I know that I need to trust more in God and know that this battle is able to be won! I need to remind myself that God is cheering me on and believes in me. This has been the hardest part of mg journey.

  14. Julia Fish July 24, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    Deb Gipple – longtime, faith-filled Christian sister. Deb has always cared for who I am, encouraged me to be more than I am, challenged me to look past her or any others to the God who is “I Am”. And all the while with joy and delightful companionship!

  15. Cathy July 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    @ Kathy Brown

  16. Dawna Harper July 24, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    I am fortunate to have several encouraging ladies in my life; however, two stand out in my life at this moment: Melissa B and Ginny D. They allow me to vent. They listen. Then they hug me and remind me of God’s love for me and that “I can do this because God called me to do this!” I love them very much.

  17. Tammy July 24, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    Wow, Sharon! I am grateful for your blog today. I want to thank you for encouraging the thousands of women who will read this post and be inspired to keep on keeping on knowing their heavenly Father is cheering them on through the finish. I thank God for you and pray you are motivated to continue the good work you are doing for the glory of God!

    God’s grace, peace and love with you!

    Tammy Bullock ~ Brentwood, TN

  18. Jenisha July 24, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    My dear friend and sister Cristina S. has been one of my biggest encouragers. There were times when I felt like I wouldn’t make it emotionally, mentally, and/or spiritually and my “Sunshine (as I call her) was right there for me allowing God to use her to be Him with skin on. She is a true blessing and definitely a ray of “sunshine” when days seem cloudy!

    God bless you, Sharon, for the work you do to encourage us women. May God look upon you with His favor!!

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

      Praise God for Cristina!

  19. Adonna Gattis July 24, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    My sweet friend Judy whom I met just this year has been such an encourager to me. She has helped me grow closer to my Lord by speaking supportive words and lovingly sharing her heart for Christ. She has shared her spiritual struggles and victories. Basically, she is that friend who loves at all times…not judgemental but honestly speaking God’s truth in love. I thank God for Judy…my sister and friend.

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

      Praise God for Judy!

  20. J.Rains July 24, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    Her name was Cheryl. She was what we’d call a “Special Needs” person today. She was the butt of many a joke in high school by cruel and heartless persons as she wore full head gear to school every day to correct a hair lip and under developed pallet. She spoke with a lisp. And if that was not enough to make her stand out from the other classmates, she walked with great awkwardness down the halls to class. Her legs seemed to be malformed and permanently bent at the knees. It appeared that Cheryl had great difficulties each day as she attended class not only physical ones but emotionally one would think in the jeers and sneers she faced each day by her peers. Cheryl and I were in the same gym class and this day we were to jump over the pummel horse. My handicap was not as obvious as Cheryl’s, it was the great dread and fear that welled up in my mind and heart causing me to cringe on the sidelines as I watched girl after girl approach the brown padded stucture and hurl herself over. I began to panic and was seriously contemplating my escape from the room and the F for the days participation when a still small voice came up beside me and quietly broke through my thoughts saying, “You can do it!” She continued in her quiet little voice, “You can do this, I know you can! If I can do this, I know you can do it too! It looks harder than it really is. Just try…You will do fine!” And then we heard the instructor call her name, “Cheryl! Your turn!” I watched as she then hobbled up to the “horse” and stopped, climbing over it in a most difficult and ungracious way. I saw the hands go up to faces as the girls standing on the sidelines quickly covered their laughter and mocking glances as she struggled. As Cheryl’s feet touched the other side of the floor she turned back and mouthed the words to me once more, “You Can Do It!” emphazing each word with a nod of her head…then walked to the side of the gym to take her place beside the girls who’d been making fun of her just moments ago. Not one spoke to her only making a tighter circle away from her. Cheryl watched as my name was called to do the same. I heard one voice in that gym that morning, and saw only one face of encouragement as I approached the hurdle. In my heart I was thinking, here was a girl that every day of her life faces hundreds of hurdles, much more severe than my one pummel horse. And every day she climbs over them unbeknownst to anyone but God the Father. Every day she succeeds to come back to the same starting place and repeat the same action. The miracle and accomplishment was Cheyrl was not defeated nor had she been over taken by fear! She even had the strength to come stand alongside another to be an encourager! I made it over 2 hurdles that day…the physical “I can’t do this!” and the mental, “I can’t do this!” That was almost 40 years ago since I heard her words of encouragement. Many times since when faced with new fears I have heard her sweet little voice and seen her smiling face saying, “You Can Do It!” I will always be thankful for the gracious gift she gave me that day! 🙂

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

      Oh my glory. I’m sitting here in tears. I would love to post this as one of my blog posts. I’ll email you separately. I hope everyone reads this!

  21. Stacy July 24, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    I have been struggling with back problems for about 3 years. Some days it’s just hard to get up in the morning but I thank my Daddy for the friend He sent to me her name is Penny Canter. Penny is one of the best prayer warriors I have ever met. She herself has been through some very difficult times but she’s ALWAYS there to encourage me DAILY! WE chat via e-mail everyday and meet every Tuesday in a share group of 3 of us. I have been so blessed that God let our paths cross. Penny has the biggest heart I have ever known and I know her desire is to help people. Not only myself but anyone whom crosses her path. I praise God this morning for Penny Canter.

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

      Praise God for Penny!

  22. Tina Clark July 24, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    Monica….we’ve been friends for over 20 years. She is the one who connected me with these devotionals. I have had quite a few overwhelming challenges lately and she has encouraged me and prayed for me….you can’t beat a friend like that!

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

      Praise God for Monica!

  23. diana July 24, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    Linzy – she is someone who believes in the power of prayer and is always available to pray, give a verse of encouragement and has remarkable wisdom.

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

      Praise God for Linzy!

  24. Yvette July 24, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    Beverly Day–What a tremendous blessing you continue to be. I love you.
    Yvette

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

      Praise God for Beverly

  25. Becky Valdez July 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    My friend Elizabeth Morales has been such an inspiration and is always encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone and keep moving. She always has a word of encouragement to lift me up and brighten my day.

  26. Melanie July 24, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    My dearest friends are the Cottage Divas of the Eternal 7’s (long story of a group of dedicated Christian women). They have been my encouragers through domestic violence, a rebellious teenager, an autistic child, a teen wedding, a reconciled marriage (now at 26 year mark), homeschooling and so much more. And I have had the blessing of encouraging them. We laugh, pray, cry, backpack, sweat, guide young women, confess…all together as the Cottage Divas. Thank You, Father, for giving me such delightful and perfect sisters in Christ. Melissa, Debbie, Terrie, Dineen, Brittany, Lynn and Jackie–hugs to you.

  27. Judy July 24, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    Marlyce is such a woman of God and she has inspired me and lifted me up more times than I can mention. She is a coworker and knows just when to show up, join hands and pray together. God Bless her as she blesses others.

  28. Linda July 24, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    I have been going through a LONG “season.” Just when I think things are going well, the carpet gets pulled out from under me. Through it all there have been a few encouragers: the woman God put in my life the day the judge said, we are in the 21st century, don’t think your husband is going to support you after the divorce, go out and GET A JOB! He ordered it, in fact. So there I was, a housewife and homeschool mother looking for a job at an employment agency. And there was Debbie, the placement counselor. For many years now Debbie has been my intercessor, my friend, my encourager. She is SO in tune to God that she can be almost knocked off her feet by the presence of the Holy Spirit telling her to pray for me. It even happened on her honeymoon. Thankfully her husband, a man of God, understood and gave her the time to pray for me.

    Then there are the many people God has sent across my path at just the moment I wanted to go under. Dodie Osteen got one of my prayer requests that I sent to Lakewood church and sent me postcards of encouragement for years. I’d turn on a TV or radio program to hear a pastor/teacher say: DON’T GIVE UP. People would come to places I was at (Bible Study, a store where I was demoing product) and say, I’ don’t know why I’m here, but… and it would come out that many of them had a divorce forced upon them and 10, 12 years later the estranged spouse would come back and they would remarry.

    So, my God has been faithful to send encouragers just when I need them the most. Last night is was a man who I’ve only met a few times. He and his family moved in a few months ago and are now moving out due to our new managers going into people’s apartments and stealing things, the rent be raised way above market, the poor condition of the apartments, etc. Anyway, he said he was moving out today but before he leaves he will bring me his phone number as he noticed I’m all alone. He wants me to call him any time I need help and he will come. Who does that anymore? All I did for him was give him information on how to get a grant to buy a house.

    My God is able to use anyone he wishes. As Joel Osteen said a few months ago, “sometimes we need our buckets filled, and sometimes we are the bucket filler.” May I ALWAYS have my heart and ears tuned to be a bucket filler!

  29. Jan July 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    What a wonderful reminder! My sweet Aunt Kaye has so encouraged me, even though she is far away, I can think of her smile!

  30. Amydoodle July 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    My friend, Misty, has been the best cheerleader anyone could want. Although she’s only been in my life for about a year and a half, she has taken me under her wing in the most supportive, loving, unselfish way. She’s cared for me during sickness, celebrated triumphs with me, prayed for me, & been an unwavering support. She even took me in when I needed a place to stay, reminding me that God places the lonely in families. What a
    friend!

  31. Carol Bowland July 24, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    I am a worship leader at our church, and my friend Gina Emerick constantly sends me encouraging emails, prays for me when I’m feeling down or afraid, and just pours out the love of God on me. She calls me her SOS (Song of Solomon) Sister. I thank God for her. She is one of the most humble, anointed and gifted people I know – and I know a LOT!!! She has a beautiful gift of dance and blesses us with her gift regularly in church. If you’ve ever had a chance to see her dance, then you know her heart and her love for Jesus. I can’t say enough about her. Gina, I love you and I know our Father is so proud of you!!!

  32. Kristin Westbrook July 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    Meme or known to the rest of the world as Virginia Ranney. My grandma:) She has built me up when the world felt like it was against me, helped me believe I could do what I set my heart to and been a shining example of Jesus unconditional love. She spoke of Him and I grew wanting more of Jesus for myself!! And I thank my Lord she is still here with me to share my children with my Meme.

    • Kristin Westbrook July 25, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

      Meme went into the hospital yesterday, after I wrote this. It’s not looking real good. Please pray for her?

  33. Melissa Elliott July 24, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    My mom has always been my encourager. Throughout my life she has always remained a strong Christian woman and she has always done whatever she could encourage me in what I wanted to do and who I wanted and needed to be. Even now when there are some things that I am scared to share with her, she still prays with me and offers whatever support she can give. I can’t imagine my life without her.

  34. TanyaCapulong July 24, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    My sister, Kerry has always been there for me. She has encouraged me as a child as we struggled with our earthly father. She encouraged me to become a teacher so that I could touch the lives of other children. She has encouraged me through the difficult years when I was trying to become a mom. She encouraged me to take my boys to church so that they too could have a close relationship with the Lord. She continues to encourage me today with whatever challenges are in front of me. She has celebrated with me the accomplishments that I have made. And now I encourage her with her struggles and I pray “May the peace fill your life and guard your heart, and may His love keep you in all your ways.” Numbers 6:24

  35. Dana July 24, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    JOYCE. She knows me well enough and underststands me well enough to be honest and straight forward with me. She is a Godly woman. Keeps me grounded in thought and right decisions (most of the time). She can simply say “I know you can do it”. I focus and go on. Joyce is my blessing from God.

  36. Ashley Jackson July 24, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    I would like to actually acknowledge two young ladies that have been helping me and guiding me to God. I was one of those stubborn people saying I don’t need Him or help in that matter. But, they kept saying, yes you do, you can’t do this on your own. I’ve just met them in the past year and I feel like God has brought them into my life for many of reasons and I thank Him oh so much! Their names are Rachel Tinney and Emma McCleary! <3 Such blessings in my life!

  37. Leslie Hurst July 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    Hi Sharon,

    I had a tumor removed from my brain 2 weeks ago. It was a rogue tumor from breast cancer I beat 2 years ago. While the removal was successful, there are days I am unsure of my path while I am at home recovering. I’m extremely active and it’s really hard for me to just heal even though that’s the most important thing right now. My mind wanders to what God has planned for me. I spend time with him every day and know that he always holds my hand and my heart — especially at this time.

    Your blog today is the focus of my journal. It’s extremely timely and really speaks to my heart. I definitely think God is using you and your blog as a tool to comfort me and to let me know he has so much in store for me.

    My mom moved in with me temporarily while I recover. Not only is she doing the laundry and managing the meals and kids, she is definitely a cheerleader in my recovery. She knows I will beat this and go back to my active self. Without reminding me that I’ve had surgery every day, she encourages me to stay strong, be thankful to the Lord and to heal. Just heal, baby girl. Just heal. Her name is Susan Mason.

  38. Donna Cox July 24, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    Debbie Tindell has been my encourager for too many years to count. When I separated from my husband and moved to the DC area, she came to visit me every 3 months the first year to make sure I was okay. After that she came back to get my home ready for sale, backed my excess stuff in storage, and then came back again to help me move when the house sold. She and I are now living in the same area, and I know she is only one phone call a way, and she will be here for me.

  39. celia storey July 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

    Brandice Wilson. After her husband died at 29, she has encouraged ME more than ever. Her beauty and bold faith to press on for the Glory of God has inspired sooo many. If I need encouragement she’s always there. I love u Brandice!

  40. Taña July 24, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    My mom. She has been there for me through so much. I have 5 kids and I am a recovering addict/alcoholic (2 years clean and sober this August!). Every single time I would hit a new bottom she would get on an airplane and fly 2,000 miles to be here for me and my children. One phone call and I didn’t even have to ask. She just did it. Everytime. She would stay and take care of my family while I was in the hospital or in treatment. She would use every bit of vacation time, personal days and FMLA she could get and come on a moments notice. She hasn’t been the perfect mother all my life. She made many mistakes as a young mother, but she has been there every time I have felt hopeless and alone. Not just for me but for my children and husband too.

  41. celia storey July 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    Okay, so I couldn’t list just one, there are two. The other is Kim Murphey. Though she lives in what most would say a a not s good situation, she ALWAYS is the first to encourag and send us lookin for the Lord. Love you Kim!

  42. K WHEEL July 24, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    Yvonne L., this woman here???!!! She has encouraged me, and blessed me, and cried with me, and just been something that I’ve never ever had before. She gives, and loves, and gives, and loves all within the mighty strength of the Lord. I do not have enough words to describe what she means to me.

  43. Kina July 24, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    My friend and sister in Christ, Niecey…. she is always there praying for me and encouraging me on…. I praise God for you Denise!

  44. Donna Dotts July 24, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    Helen Shackleford is a woman of faith. She is there for anyone at any time of day or night. Thank you Helen for being my mentor. I love you.

  45. Stacey July 24, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    Sharon I love you stories because I can always relate to them I thank God for a woman like you!

    Reading this devotion reminded me of something I was going through last month. Back in March I decided I wanted to do a 30 mile Multiple Sclerosis bike ride in June for my mom who has MS. I figure I would train daily, lost weight and get in shape while doing it, and I knew I was doing it for a good cause (my mom and her MS and anyone else who has it). HOWEVER, I didn’t train at all until the Wednesday before the big event and even then I did an hour and only did 13 miles. I figured that would be enough, 30 miles isn’t that bad. Silly me I was factoring in how it is while driving a 4 wheel automobile and not a 2 wheel. Those two extra wheel make a big difference! The day before the event I was nervous, lacked faith but still prayed that God will be with me during my race. My family and boyfriend said they couldn’t make it so I knew I would be by myself. So the big day came to do the 30 MILE BIKE RIDE! I was so nervous but I still kept praying that God will help me on this journey that I was about to encounter. During registration I met this lady, her name is Amy, and she too was doing the bike ride alone. We looked around and saw various people in teams. Amy and I decided we were going to ride with me other. I was so happy because now I wouldn’t ride by myself. Now as we were starting to head to the start line I said “Well since I did 13 miles at the gym in an hour it should only take me about 2 1/2 hrs”. I LIED! During the ride I was getting tired, in pain, wanting to give up and call the emergency van to pick me up, I started walking my bike and was ready to give up. PRAISE GOD he directed me to meeting Amy. She was a great supporter. Along the way she kept saying “Come on Stacey! You can do it! You got it! Let’s keep pushing! Only a few more miles left” Her motivation helped me to push through it and not give up. Praise God! At the end of the race, after 4 LONG HOURS, I felt so accomplished by what I did but was still sad because I had nobody at the finish line to cheer me on. Amy’s mom was cheering for her so proudly. I started to walk away but then I heard Amy call me and I over heard her saying “Mom, Stacey and I did the race together.I met her at registration. We were both ready to give up but we helped each other!” Then her mom started to cheer for me as if I was her child. I will never forget that day because as much as I was ready to give up God blessed me with Amy to help push me through when I thought I would be alone. Amy and I still keep in touch with each other and this is just another thing to add to my list of how God is a good God and will never fail me even if I think I failed!

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

      Praise God for Amy. What a precious story!

  46. Bev July 24, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    Pam Evans my in-home physical therapist is my God sent motivator for the past year. I cried reading your devotional today. Something I don’t easily do. But today Pam is coming over and I feel especially weak, like I just won’t be able to do it, and that scares me that I just won’t make Pam proud of me. I’ve been sick with a cough for 3 weeks now and and very weak. I pray to God this is not another setback and I will be able to overcome. God knows how much I want to walk and drive again. I pray that I will with his help. Ime.

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

      Praise God for Pam!

  47. Susie Debruyne July 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    My amazing friend Jennifer has encouraged me with everything I have done. Most recently she has encouraged me in a new fitness coaching endevor I have taken on. I had the courage to share your devotional this morning with my group and was blessed by the response.

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

      Praise God for Jennifer!

  48. APRIL MCHANEY July 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    The sweetest gift of friendship comes in the form of my friend Joanna G…a quiet strength and inspiration in many ways! God knew what I needed in a friend and he blessed my life with you. Love ya Jo!

    My other great friend is my mother! She knows me best and yet still loves me most. Thank you mom for the countless ways you have influenced my life through your actions. You are the most giving and compassionate person I know. I am blessed to be your daughter. I love you mom.

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

      Praise God for Joanna!

    • Joanna July 25, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

      Right back at you my beautiful friend!!! I would be lost without our beautiful friendship! God gifted me with a friend who knows my flaws, sees them on a regular basis and still loves me! I have such laughter and joy in my life because of you! Irreplaceable! Thank you God!

      Joanna

  49. Vicki July 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    I am honoring my mother, Geraldine Hite! She is such a great person, always going
    Out of her way to help everyone, and not just family! She is in a lot of pain today, so I
    Want to send her a prayer, that she will feel better today after her doctors appointment, and for her physical pain to be gone!
    Love you mom,
    Vicki

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

      Praise God for Geraldine!

  50. Laura Tobias July 24, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    Annette Link and Lisa Fernandez.

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

      Praise God for Annette and Lisa!

  51. Shelby July 24, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

    My mom, Debbie Whitaker, our family has suffered great lose within a 10 month period. My 23 month old niece lost her battle with cancer last August and then my family buried my 33 year old baby brother June 29th this year. He was killed at my parents work place while working on a semi truck. During these difficult times my mom has remained a rock and has kept the faith knowing that our awesome God has a plan and that we will all be reunited one day with the ones we have lost. She is such an inspiration to me and many others.

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

      Praise God for Debbie!

  52. Linda July 24, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    My mom, Eleanor, is always there for me, always encouraging with a shoulder to lean and cry on, when necessary.

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

      Praise God for Elanor!

  53. Sue July 24, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    It’s been a tough year. My Uncle Ed has been diagnosed with bone and thyroid cancer. My son and his long time companion, Sandy are no more. My son Matt, who is in Japan, has been going through tribulations. Then my Mom, who is in a nursing home, began to have siezures and was admitted to the hospital and put in intensive care. My dear Aunt Alice called to ask about me….and she offered prayers for my strength. She knew – that was all I needed.

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

      Praise God for Alice!

  54. Margaret Kidd July 24, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    My sister, Eloisa, encouraged me so much when I was younger and a single mom raising two kids. And today, she is still such an encourager and she is struggling and needs to be encouraged as well. I’m forwarding your email to her hoping it will help and encourage her as she’s always encouraged me. Thanks for sharing.

  55. Josie Grant July 24, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

    My sweet friend Kate Aranda. From the moment we met she has been my cheerleader. She and I have an appointment at least once a month at Starbucks where we share our struggles in life and the BEAUTIFUL things God is doing in our life. She is not only a friend but also my SOLE SISTER!

  56. Donna July 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    Thanks for the reminder, not to give up.

  57. Karen in Chicopee July 24, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    My closest, dearest, and longest (35 years!) friend Libby Martel. I was diagnosed with colon cancer in August of 2009. From the day of my diagnosis, through chemo, radiation, surgery and an extremely long way road of extreme pain and depression with a life changing situation, she never left my side. Took notes and every dr. meeting and stayed round the clock every time I was hospitalized. Oh yea, and when she wasn’t with me she was sending out messages to family and friends to update them on my progress and sending out for prayers! She also was working, had a husband to take care of and a daughter with 3 grandchildren. Libby is truly a blessing and I thank the Lord for her every day! If anyone deserves to be chosen it would definitely be her! How do you repay someone who is so giving?!?!?

    Cheers to you also Sharon for your messages. Every message brings with it a memory of something wonderful. In this day and age, it is always so hard to find the goodness in the world. You, too, are a BLESSING!

  58. Francy July 24, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    My friend Mel! We were up until after midnight texting each other what we were reading…and what we both wrote about each other in a bible study we are doing. ::::IRON SHARPENS IRON::::

  59. Beverly July 24, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    My Mom.. what can I say…This sweet lady has had her share of challanges in her lifetime but yet still remains to stay focused on her Lord and Savior! She is always willing to reach out a hand to those in need even when she did not have it to give, offer words of encouragement, has a passion for leading the children to learn about God, making sure the Senior group (RecycledTeenagers) has fellowship outings, and just simply be a friend to everyone that she can reach!

    Love you Mom!

  60. Maricel July 24, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    Paulette. Always there, no matter how hectic her schedule is, always have time to sit, talk, listen and encourage a sister who needs a shoulder.

  61. Colleen July 24, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    I have had many friends over the years that have encouraged me. but I must definately say that my friend Lisa has stuck with me over the thick and thin. Thanks Lisa.

  62. Kowana Farrar July 24, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    Sharon, my best friend Marie Gaddy has ben there with me through everything. I recently went through a divorce and as I was going through it she and her husband came to Texas from NC to make sure my kids and I were ok. She said Kowana needs me we need to see her. What a friend. She has truly inspired me not to quit ever because God has my back. Thanks again for your relationship with God I truly appreciate all you do!

  63. Sheri Crystal July 24, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    Amy Dahl

  64. Bria July 24, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    My mom(Anita) has been such a great encourager. I love my mother!!!

  65. Ivis Romero July 24, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    One of my friends from chruch called Ana Ruth reminded me of the love that we commit to when we get married, it´s not a humans love, because it would be conditional, it´s a GODS love, because it´s patient and unconditional. She helped me to get out of my head the idea of getting a divorce, because that´s what the world tells you do when you don´t see result´s even if you try hard, GOD tells us to pray, be patient, accept his will, have faith that He is always in control.

  66. Dee July 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    I have so many friends that are there for me during the hard times but one who has been there from the begining and loved me threw each trial.
    And now I am blessed to be able to help someone else out.
    Thank you for this I really needed this today

  67. Diane July 24, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    Sharon, I have to tell you that there has been a whole band of people cheering for me this year, and right now as I prepare to take my nursing boards eek. But my DAD: Dean E. Rogers had been my #1. We have always had a great and unique relationship/friendship. He is a very strong man of faith but quite about it until you come to him. I am 30 years old and still go to him for incouragment and faith. I went through a bad relationship and divorce about 5 years ago. I married young at 20 and divorced by 24. It was a terrible time in my life and i stayed in a haze without GOD for 3-4 years after that. Then when I hwas ready to take my life back my dad was there. Not pushing but was there to help me find my answers in the bible. But it wasnt till this year that i really started looking, wanting craving for GOD. It has been a crazy 2 years of nursing school. Probably one of the hardest things that I have done. But i made it through with a great god loving cheering team that never let me forget who was really in charge of this situation and not to doubt or worry (which is what I am famious for). I did through daily devotionals and readings find my way closer to God and his word and I am always praying to him for guidence, to take away my worry/doubt and anxety and give that situation to him to control. My dad and i have grown our faith relationship together this year too. I am happy to say that we are starting to hold converstations where I have input or a verse that I can reffer him to at times. I am still learning and have a along way to go.
    I am so happy for your message today. It hit really close to home. I am having a harder time relaxing about my state boards. Every now and then I have a freak out moment but then I pray and I know that God and my dad are cheering me on. It can be hard though. This was a great reminder. Thanks so much.

  68. April July 24, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    My Best Friend Patricia,

    Thank you for being obedient and for encouraging me along the way. I thank God for sending me a friend like you. It is my prayer that just as you have encouraged me that God would always provide someone to be there for you, if that person is me, I pray that I will walk in the same obedience as you have…Love you

  69. Regina July 24, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    My new found friend Saranette Williams sent me the message of today and encouraged my heart so. She has stood by me during this time of test to find employment and not give up. Her encouragement keeps me motivated and encouraged that God has not given up nor forgotten me. Her testimonies let me know that if God can do it for her He can do it for me as well.

  70. sandyh July 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

    Christine. Christine has listened to me and spoken truth to me. She has been an answer to my prayers even when I didn’t know what to pray. She has been the calm in my storms. I thank God for her and I don’t think I can ever express to her how much she really means to me and how blessed I am to have her as my friend/encourager.

  71. Sinead July 24, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

    I would like to honor all the women runners who have cheered me on, without pause, through injuries, tough times, great races, and not-so-great races, despite their own personal sufferings and weighty to-do lists. You renew my faith every day!

    May you never give up on your blog, Sharon–you fuel my faith every day!

  72. Anita July 24, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

    Thank you Michele M for always have something uplifting and wonderful to say, whenever I see you at church!

  73. debbie July 24, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    Hello sweet friend. Boy, did I need that today. Spiritual warfare is heavy. I thank God for the people He has brought alongside me to encourage me to go on. And I am grateful to know that when I feel alone, He is also always there to encourage me and support me.
    Thank you Sharon for your ministry. I always feel like God is speaking directly to you, telling you specifically what to say to me. You are clearly spirit led. You are a blessing.

  74. Nancy Bodenstab July 24, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    I don’t always read your devotionals as they come in. I felt drawn to click on this one. All I can say is that it was the LORD’s divine appointment for me TODAY! I shouldn’t be surprised at all but HE ALWAYS gives me what I need when I need it! In addition to today’s WORD, HE has given me CONNIE who also always to be on my wavelength! I think I just might get through this latest…..trial! Thank you LORD,thank you Sharon and thank you Connie!!

  75. Kim July 24, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    My Mom, Elayne, was always such an encourager. She went home to be with the Lord in April this year. She left me in the capable hands of my sister-in-Christ, Donna, and my Pastor Char, who have both been a tremendous blessing to me…

  76. Joan Tungseth July 24, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    Neola Richards: Next week my husband and I will fly to CA to honor our precious prayer warrior, for the last 20 years, at her memorial service. God has laid on my heart all the many things she taught me and ways she encouraged my walk with the Lord as a Ministry Partner and Prayer Warrior. She prayed not only for us but for our family. She always brought our focus back to dependence on God and not on our circumstances. She wanted us to remember that God’s mercy is present every moment and all we have to do is ask and trust Him to direct our paths. He will never fail us and delights in encouraging us. Praise the Lord and thank you, Neola!

  77. Sandy Iuzzini July 24, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    Thank you for this devotional. I do have a friend who always encourages me and cheers me on and knows exactly what to say when I am “giving up”. Her name is Rosemarie. She has been a blessing in so many ways and there to give me tough love when I need it. Although we have had a small separation and are now back to where we left off, nothing has changed during that time. The Lord knows who we need in our lives and who we don’t. He has shown me this many times and bringing Roe back to me was a blessing. Thank you Lord!

  78. Linda R-Schmidt July 24, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    Mahalo for reminding me this morning ” To never give up”, its a theme going on this mid-summer hump, Son started Miliani Middle school, 6 gr, with 7 and 8. year around, Elementary has lots of support, but now we have to seek it out, in new surroundings, and classes..
    Sign our son for Music, we’re behind, but will continue, … he has special needs,… we have to read to him and write out, Oral learner, His mind is bright and eyes have light, Just use the back roads in mind, no freeways, (brain term), all because of “Mala-absorption” lack of protein as baby into brain and muscles, We are in till the finish line… Thanks for cheering us on… aloha Linda and Keahi

  79. Maria July 24, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    For me I dont really have any girlfriends that I can share with in my struggle and storms. But my finance and my mom, have been arms holding me up. In fact my brother and sister have also given me strength, hope, and encouragement. If I could give the two starbucks gift cards to two people, it would be my finance, and my sister. I would give it to my mom, but she says she doesnt like starbucks coffee 🙂 Thank You.

  80. Machelle July 24, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    Wow.I got teary reading this! I am blessed to have not one, but two woman who have cheered me on for years,25+! Kim Webb and Betsy Updegrave GOD BLESS YOU!

  81. Annie Mae Flood July 24, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    My 6 year old granddaughter has been my sweetest and most consistent supporter as I care for her in the absence of her mother.

  82. Karen July 24, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

    My dear friend, Cindy James, is my biggest encourager. We are always there for each other. We are not sisters by birth but are chosen sisters for over 20 years. We have prayed over our parents, spouses, children, in-laws and now grandchildren. Her son is in the Army and left last week to go to Afghanistan for the next 9 months and she still had time for me. She is awesome and I love her so much.

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

      Praise God for Cindy!

  83. Jane Stanley July 24, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

    My champion for years has been my best friend Evelyn Walton-Lees. She is the most amazing and faithful woman I know. She always fights for the little guy, and has a word of encouragement when I need it!! She is one of God’s greatest gifts in my life. I do truly love her.

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

      Praise God for Evelyn!

  84. Sandra Wilson July 24, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

    I have to eliist my dearest friends name Margot De los Santos as the person who has never stopped encouraginge me and so many others. This is a woman of dear faith when through trials and tribulations she always stays positive. I have been the reciepent of her kindness, faithfulness and friendship. We have seen the Lord bless us in so many ways together as friends. With her strenght in God and in people, she has pushed me through some difficult times. Most of all she is who she is at all times. A rock on one had a velvet pillow on the other. I thank God for my dearest friend…..my BFF, Margot.
    Sandra

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

      Praise God for Margot!

  85. Lori July 24, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

    My mom is my encourager! Wind Beneath My Wings is my song for her! I love her so much and am so blessed to be able to laugh, cry, or confide in her daily!

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

      Praise God for your mom!

  86. Lisa Huffine July 24, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    thanks for ur support, to my sister Denese Conaway

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

      Praise God for Denese!

  87. Lynn July 24, 2012 at 11:47 pm #

    A woman that consistently sends me written messages, words of couragement, excerpts from devotions and words from scripture, has utimately touched my heart each and every week! I never knew how much getting a card on a regular basis could lift your spirits so much. During the past couple of months, I have been going through a really tough separation and this Woman of God has continued to show me strength and continues to encourage me that God has a plan! Thank you so much, Milly, for all of the time that you have spent to remind me that God is in control! May God richly bless you!
    Lynn

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

      Praise God for Millly.

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

      Praise God for Milly!

  88. jackie long July 25, 2012 at 12:46 am #

    there are two women, well three who have cheered me own through graduate school, ella-my sister, yolonda-future daughter-in-law, and joann-best friend. They were there to constantly telling me that i could make it. Well, I graduated 5/2012. Thank the Lord for them.

  89. Cindy July 25, 2012 at 1:39 am #

    My daughter Kelly, the most patient and supportive person to me as a christian. She has gone through alot in her short lifetime because of me and my marriages & divorces and crazy lifestyle. But she always stuck by me and slowly over the years would say little things to me like ” you know God has a plan for you”. It took her years but because of her love & diligence I have been saved! My life has changed drastically because of her. I think God gave her to me for this reason and I am so blessed because of it. I love her so very much!

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

      Praise God for Kelly! God does have a plan for you:)

  90. Jenny July 25, 2012 at 1:45 am #

    my friend, Apple, stood by me in severe marriage struggles. She listened and gave wise advice that helped me stay with my husband. Just yesterday i was thanking her for helping me during that time and enjoying the blessing of a mature and rich marriage.

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

      Praise God for Apple!

  91. Lisa July 25, 2012 at 3:19 am #

    My friend Vicki is the best! She has an encouraging word for every situation and I love her immensely.

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

      Praise God for Vicki!

  92. Tami B. July 25, 2012 at 3:26 am #

    Becky Saddler, the friend who sent this devotion to me today not knowing just how much I needed to hear it. She is the one I can go to & count on to tell me what I NEED to hear even if it’s not what I WANT to hear. The Lord speaks through her and I am blessed because of that. Thank you Becky!

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

      Love those friends who forward devotions and posts just when we need it! Is there someone you need to forward it to?

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

      Praise God for Becky!

  93. Arthelia Moser July 25, 2012 at 4:14 am #

    My military friend Ernestine, we were stationed in Guam with our husbands in 1977.friends forever. Always encourage me.

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

      Love those bffs

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

      Praise God for Ernestine!

  94. Kathy Findley July 25, 2012 at 5:29 am #

    Deborah,

    Thank you for your word of encouragement. They meant so much to me. I honestly have been feeling that I have not one friend in this world who understands my grief and will pray for me. I feel as if I have lost everything, and am powerless to move forward. Thank you so much for wrapping me up n prayer.

  95. Micaella July 25, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    My very good friend Uby Creek. She is truly a spiritual warrior and I feel so very blessed to have her in my life. Countless times she has cheered me on and taught me to praise and rely on our heavenly father.

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

      Praise God for Uby! What a fun name.

  96. Charcy July 25, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    I have a friend who has never wavered in her faith and has been an uplifting inspiration to me for over 16 years now. Her name is Marsha and she not only raised 3 children on her own being faithful to her incarcerated unfaithful husband for seven of those years but waiting for him to get out and taking him back. He not only turned from her and the kids after getting out but from God too. Yet, she has never lost her innocent childlike faith in Her Creator and Father above who sustained her through all of those years. It may not seem that she lifted me but let me tell you, the Godly example and believer that she was and still is amazes me daily and continues to lift me. She has had to live on HUD, Food stamps, go to food pantries and pretty much depend on help from her friends as much as possible. The years are getting better as the unfaithful man is gone from her life but she has to live with the children and the consequences of his leaving on them. Please bless my friend as she is sometimes what I like to call “The wind beneath my wings” for God! Thanks 🙂

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

      Isn’t it amazing how someone going through a struggle blesses us by how she does it.

  97. Shelley July 25, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    I could write an elaborate story and go on and on about this lady. And about the other 2 women I will mention. However, I want to be brief out of respect for the whole situation and for everyone reading;

    First, My mother AND my mother-n-law. Who at this current time are BOTH battling cancer. They were BOTH given their diag within 2 days of each other and they BOTH have chosen to honor our heavenly Father throughout this whole process.

    Secondly, I would most definitely like to mention and honor Ms Gina Dunn. As I have been struggling thru this ordeal with my moms and workin in our student ministry at our church, all during a time that our senior student pastor resigned. We had to still take 4 mission trips (1 overseas which I had to lead) and 1 camp to pull off. And all the day to day student ministry duties in the summer time at a church. Needless to say, I for one, didn’t handle things as a Proverbs kind of Gal! However, Gina did. She came to me with grace, humbleness and love. And encouraged me to go on. And to refocus. And I love and thank her for that!

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

      How precious. Mother-in-law love. Got to love it!

  98. Kelly Meza July 25, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    Good morning,

    I would like to honor Audrey Thibidoeux for encouraging me yesterday as a sister in Christ. I have been a little stressed about my surrounding circumstances and this has put a damper on me and my husband’s intimacy. After briefly speaking to her yesterday, she encouraged me…God used her to encourage me and get me back on the right path. I then had an alone moment w/ God and asked him for a little help… I couldn’t do it on my own… 🙂 I am much better for giving it to God and now want to dive back into the Word. I am thankful for people like Audrey… and thankful that Christ loved me enough to have a relationship w/ Him. God Bless…

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

      I hope you sent her by to see how you honored her!

  99. Lorene July 25, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    My boys, Arman & Ethan, and my sisters and brothers have always been there for me. They have given me hope and love, so much so, that I have overcome great obstacles. I thank God for blessing me with them. I can do all in He who gives me strength.

  100. Dee July 25, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

    Thank you Sharon for being my encourager via GIG…..each day I feel as though you are speaking just to me. It’s like you are my BFF. :o) even though we have never been face to face I sense a true sister connection.

    • Sharon July 25, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

      Hey Girl: I am your BFF! I just love doing life with you. So glad you came by my cyber “home.”

  101. Sandra B Brown July 25, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    My encourager is Evangelist Faye Dadzie of Victorious Life Ministries out of Florida. I receive her newsletters weekly and I can call on her anytime for any reason and she’s there for me. And when she encourages me, it gives me the opportunity to encourage others. I love doing God’s work and helping people. Whether its just listening to someone who needs to vent or lending a helping hand. When we help and encourage others, we help ourselves to stay encouraged. God Bless.

  102. L moody July 25, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    I thank God for my Uncle Dan Jackson! After my husbands passing, there has never been a time where I’ve been in his presence that he has not had an encouraging word or gesture for me and my children. Whether a 2 hour conversation, a God Bless you, or a hug, he has been there 100% for encouragement!!

  103. Misty D July 25, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

    Thank GOD for Tamara Marshall she is always there for me with I need that lift and encouragement. May GOD have favor on you always.

  104. Angela July 25, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    My friend Marcela is always praying for me and giving me words of encouragment! I praise God for her friendship!

  105. amy collins holmes July 25, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

    My friend would be Constance,when ever I go thru my low points she calls and say you were on my mind today how ‘s it going? God always sends her right on time.

  106. Corlis July 26, 2012 at 1:02 am #

    Auntie Wendy! She’s been such an encouragement and inspiration to me. She’s now fighting terminal cancer. I was just up to see her and told her what an encouragement she is to me. I will miss when she’s gone! I love you Auntie Wendy!!

  107. Bamsa Godwin (Nigeria) July 26, 2012 at 8:51 am #

    I don’t cry and now tears have come to my eyes twice this year already: first, 4months ago when my mentor, Dr (Mrs) Samuel, brought me to this walk with Christ, and now, as I read Justin’s story.
    I’ve been feeling like Justin in his fifth minute and the voices have been saying you can’t do this, give up, quit. And I’ve just been on the verge of quitting when Angel sent me this piece in the nick of time.
    Now I’m going to keep going!
    Thanks Sharon for this piece.
    Thanks Angel for sharing it with me.
    Thanks Doc for setting me on this path.
    Thank you mum for all your prayers.
    Thanks to all who cheer me on and encourage me.
    And thank you Jesus for all this people and for everything else.
    P.S.
    By the way, I’m male. I guess we need GIGs too 🙂

  108. Sophie B July 26, 2012 at 9:55 am #

    Hi Sharon,
    This is a message from Kampala Uganda. Ever since I came across your messages on Crosswalk, my life has not been the same. I took leave from BSF International so that I could work on my PhD, so I missed serious daily devotions. However, ever since I came across your messages things have changed I feel well nourished. Visiting your website is even much more of a blessing. May God bless you always.

  109. Deb Singleton July 26, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    My friend, Stephanie, has been such an encouragement to me, even though she is going through so much herself. Stephanie has survived an unfaithful husband, terrible divorce, overcome a major heart issue which required surgery, and is currently battling thyroid cancer. All this and raising three sons while teaching full time in the Christian school that I also teach in! Through it all, she has been an example of faithfulness and encouragement to me as I battle my own myriad of health issues. She has prayed for me and with me, sent me sweet notes and texts. Stephanie is truly running her race and not giving up!

  110. Pat July 26, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    My encourager has been my soon to be husband Jimmie. I prayed that the LORD would send me a saved man and HE did! He brings the scriptures to me on a daily basis and is my biggest cheerleader and also my harshest critic, but he does it in love. And we all need someone who holds up accountable and tells us like it is and he’s that!

  111. Shaun July 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    This week has been rough and I am very thankful to God for brining into my life my BF Carla who encourages me and tells me truth and has been with me thru thick and thin.

  112. Daniela July 27, 2012 at 2:19 am #

    I immediately thought of my dear friend Laura Goll- when reading this post. She has also been a wonderful example of what a mentor is like for the past 2 years or so and I m so grateful for her and for all her love and encouragement and sweet friendship. Love you!

  113. Nikki July 27, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    Karly has been an inspiration and blessing to me. I luv u Sis! Stay encouraged in the Lord.

  114. Lynda Schlender July 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    My beautiful daughters always encourage me and tell me what a wonderful mom I am even when I haven’t always felt that way especially when they were little. Now that they are grown women I want to be that woman they admire and it keeps me motivated to live a Godly life.

  115. Karly July 27, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    Kirston my dear sister Kirston she has always pray for me and most def is a true inspiration to keeping the faith, and trusting God and his word!!!! Thanks for always being YOU sis. Love Always GI Jane 🙂

  116. Ana Santos July 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    My sister in Christ: Cristina Pyper.
    I still live in Brazil and she has been living in USA for more then 20 years and she is my encourager until now. She´s a special woman, she´s still my best friend.
    I love you Cris,
    Aninha

  117. Ali July 30, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

    My sweet sister Carrie Buttler. She often sends me devotions, like Girlfriends in God, to encourage me and prays for me. And she is the best hugger ever!!

  118. Andrea July 31, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    I am grabbing on to Jesus. I have been having pain in my legs for some time now and I am claiming victory over that in Jesus’s name. No more pain! Like the woman with the issue of blood I am touching my Lord through prayers and believing he has healed me. Thanks for your posting

  119. Gwen Howell July 31, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    I’m GRABBING HOLD!

  120. Pamela July 31, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    Yes! I am grabbing hold! I acknowledge and believe healing, devine power, abundance and prosperity is already in me!

    Thank You so much for reminding me!
    God Bless You

  121. AndreaML July 31, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

    I am grabbing hold!! Thank you to my Angel here on earth GMLJR for sending me these daily devotionals and always praying for me, encouraging me and being my rock during this difficult time in my life. God Bless you baby and may God Bless everyone that is faced with challenges in their life…

  122. Tandis August 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    My friend Kathy just shared this story with me through email. She is the friend I want to thank. She has been going through so much since I met her yet she is the one standing by the side of the pool cheering me on and helping me finish the race. I am so thankful that God has placed her in my life and that I have the honor of not only calling her my friend but also my sister in Christ.

  123. Karen August 2, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    Blessings to you and all who read this,
    I have a friend who is loyal and trust worthy. She is the kind of person that reminds me of Jesus not because she preaches but because she cares. She and I were taking a walk and this sweet older woman was sitting on her steps out side, clearly in distress. As we spoke to this fine lady she needed a phone because she locked her self out of the house. Neither of us had a phone so we walked home in the opposite direction to my house. Once there Lori grabbed her phone and said “Are you coming?” We drove to her house waited for her to call her friend with a key. Once she was safe inside we got in the car and drove back to my house. I am lucky to have such a friend this side of heaven! Her name Lori. Please pray for her as she is truly God’s hands and feet.
    In His Hands,
    Karen

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