I’ll never forget the first person who told me I was pretty.
Or the 5 faithful readers who read my beginner blog.
I’ll never forget the people who came to my piano recitals growing up, or the family members who always remembered to send birthday cards.
I’ll never forget the first check I received for freelance photography work.
Or the first person who told me I was a writer.
The people who reminded me that healthy was better than skinny.
The perfect strangers who said something kind about my mothering.
The people who commented on my photos and the ones who’ve stopped me to say how much they love A & C.
Those people spoke a collective message, loud and clear, and it will forever be etched in my brain…
Those people heard my voice when I barely had one.
And supported my first feeble notes to a song.
They told me I was special and worthy to be loved.
They saw things in me that I didn’t even see in myself. And pointed out gifts God has given me that I could give back to the world. Without even realizing it, they unlocked this door to a whole new exploratory world and gave me the greatest gift…
…the gift of confidence.
And I’ve thought a lot about that over the past year. How there are people all around us with gifts and abilities given by God…and how they may not even know they have it. Because no one has told them, “You are great. You can do it!” How they may be blinded by the same fears I’ve had of failure or people judging. Fear of not being taken seriously or not being good enough.
And my heart hurts and aches for people in that place. I get it. I’ve been there. I battle with it every day.
There are some things in life that hit you hard one day, staring you in the face, and suddenly you know you need to change direction or jump ship to get on the right path. And then there are some things that sail slowly into your life…the still small voice…that take years of life circumstances and soul searching to etch into your heart and make an impression.
And it has hit me this past year: what if little old me took the time to say, “attagirl!” to someone, like people have said to me? What if I purposed to be an encourager, a supporter, a commenter, a sharer. What if I took the time to see people, really see them, and I told them what I saw. That they are beautiful. And loved. That they are talented and creative. What if I I told them how special they were? And how much they meant to me. What if I pointed out their unique gifts and qualities? And mentioned how thankful I am for their imprint on my life.
What if I did this with my husband?
Newbie photographers like me?
Big bloggers who don’t even know who I am?
Because deep down I think we think other people already know how awesome they are. That they don’t need us to say it. That they have it all together. That they are already confident, and by golly if we say anything complimentary it will just puff them up and make them mean and ugly.
But being on the other side of someone who is feebly attempting to pursue my passions, I realize how wrong I have been. How much we all need encouragement and confidence boosters. How scared of failure I’ve been. How unsure of myself I’ve been. How desperately I cling to affirmation that yes. God gave you those gifts. And yes. Attagirl.
And I’ve been so convicted about that.
So this year, I am purposing to be a bigger supporter. A bigger fan. A better blogger. I am purposing to say, “You are great.” ”Keep up the good work.” ”Attagirl.” To the people closest to me. To the people I barely know. To the people I think are struggling and the people who appear to have their life all together.
And maybe…just maybe. I can bless someone else’s life like mine has been blessed.
linking up to: God-Sized Dreamers.
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