Each day I am so grateful for the small pockets of energy I get. Where the exhaustion lifts just enough to sit up – to think, read and escape for a moment.

Exhaustion and muscle pain has been one of the hardest aspects of this journey so far: for someone who was always on the go it can feel crippling and incapacitating at times.

Last night my mind ran active, thinking of how I might be able to create a paradigm shift in my attitude, looking for what opportunities this slowed journey could bring. I can’t move very well and I spend the majority of my day asleep in bed. But during those brief pockets of energy I can write. I thought to myself if I can write then I can share what I have been learning during this journey so far – to hopefully encourage those who have taken the time to read my posts, encourage me and pray for me.

Today I contemplated how appreciative encouragement liberates. I have experienced first hand, throughout my life and especially during the past weeks, the uncontainable power of encouragement. Your encouragement has sustained me, uplifted me and more importantly liberated me to a place where I long to make the most of my circumstance to encourage others.

If we are honest with ourselves, encouragement can be intimating at times – it can make us uneasy because it makes us vulnerable. But in a culture where we are bombarded with unrealistic expectations and discouragement we need to be brave.

A simple text message, a genuine smile or a word of affirmation can brighten someone’s day. A contagious spark enters a person’s life when they feel seen, valued and acknowledged. Sometimes we just need to slow down and make that small affirming comment. If someone comes onto your heart and you have a word of encouragement for them, text them, write them a note or if you’re fortunate enough to be with them take the moment to let them know! Encouragement will never go astray.

A culture of reciprocated encouragement builds a healthy society of individuals that are resilient, who know that they are appreciated and valued and are unstoppable.