2.27.2015

Never doubt the power of speaking words of life into another…

There is a little piece of nylon rope attached around my wrist that boosts my heart on a daily basis.

Bob Goff put it there last June. He burned the ends together creating an astoundingly strong bond. “You belong,” he whispered.

And something deep in my heart settled.

If you’ve been visiting the blog for a while, you know my story. But for those of you who haven’t heard me share a bit about my growing up years, parts of my story are hard. Really hard.

I was the little girl very much unwanted by the dad who gave me life.

He doesn’t talk to me to this day. And while healing has been doing its thing in deep places within me, I still have moments where this whole deal reeks. Like cigarette smoke that suddenly swirls past me in a restaurant.

I don’t like it. It stinks. I didn’t ask for this. I am frustrated that I can’t block it from coming in my direction. And sometimes it even sticks to me for a while with an annoying lingering that’s hard to get rid of.

That’s a bum deal, right?

So Bob, this dude with a crazy sense of breathless wonder oozing with the sincerest Jesus love I’ve ever seen, crosses my path and stops to see me. Really see me.

He prioritizes me for a few moments above all else to whisper words of life into the very part of my soul that needed it the most. The part that never heard those words from my dad. The part that sometimes still wishes for something that a broken dad can’t give.

And Bob places this bracelet of belonging on my wrist for me to see daily. Jesus has done so many things to rewrite the truth of my identity… and this is certainly one of the sweetest.

Never doubt the power of speaking words of life into another.

speakingwordsoflife

Hit the pause button on all of the projects that are screaming at you from your to-do list today and speak life into another person. It doesn’t have to be complicated or well-crafted. Simple words of encouragement are simply powerful.

We need to make sure it’s people, not projects, that occupy the sacred places of our hearts. And to help us do just that we’ve created this beautiful printable set that reminds us to prioritize relationships in the midst of our to-do lists.

POP_ForSale-01

For a limited time, we’re making these People Over Projects Printable Sets available for only $1.99. Think of it as a fun, relationship to-do list – things you can do to invest wisely and deeply into people who need your encouragement.

Get your printable set here.

Comments

  1. Kim Duvall says

    Lysa, I totally understand where you are coming from…I was adopted and when my parents who adopted me divorced my dad pretty much divorced me. To this day, he still doesn’t speak to me. I understand this deep emotional void. I am 49 and even early this morning, I was talking to my Jesus, how I yearn to have a Dad who loves me unconditionally and adores me. I know Jesus is here and HE is my Daddy…but what I have gone thru in my life still hurts. So , sweet Sister, I love you and I understand how you feel…..Thank you for pouring out your heart and being honest with your life!!!

    • Louisa says

      Kim….I was just thinking this would be a powerful tool in my adoptive children’s life. Some know their earthly fathers and some don’t but we are creating a powerful place of unity and belonging and I just love this idea.

      Lysa…as always…thanks for sharing and being so transparent. Your messages flood hope into my life for my adoptive kids, my prodigal and my owns stumbling a. A single thread of hope is a powerful thing….a humble thanks to you and your ministry.

    • says

      I know that I’m most definitely loved unconditionally by my incredible husband. No matter what I may need help with, he’s more than willing to stop what he is doing just to help me in whatever way he possibly can, even though he can’t physically see the loo on my face.
      “NEVER DOUBT THE POWER OF SPEAKING WORDS OF LIFE into another.”
      Amen! What a powerful quote! When we speak positively to another person, it makes them feel like they are loved by someone besides themselves. It also allows them to hear about God, if they aren’t saved already. We can use our words to talk to them about spirituality.
      “There is a little piece of nylon rope attached around my wrist that boosts my heart on a daily basis.

      Bob Goff put it there last June. He burned the ends together creating an astoundingly strong bond. “You belong,” he whispered.

      And something deep in my heart settled.

      If you’ve been visiting the blog for a while, you know my story. But for those of you who haven’t heard me share a bit about my growing up years, parts of my story are hard. Really hard.

      I was the little girl very much unwanted by the dad who gave me life.

      He doesn’t talk to me to this day. And while healing has been doing its thing in deep places within me, I still have moments where this whole deal reeks. Like cigarette smoke that suddenly swirls past me in a restaurant.

      I don’t like it. It stinks. I didn’t ask for this. I am frustrated that I can’t block it from coming in my direction. And sometimes it even sticks to me for a while with an annoying lingering that’s hard to get rid of.

      That’s a bum deal, right?

      So Bob, this dude with a crazy sense of breathless wonder oozing with the sincerest Jesus love I’ve ever seen, crosses my path and stops to see me. Really see me.

      He prioritizes me for a few moments above all else to whisper words of life into the very part of my soul that needed it the most. The part that never heard those words from my dad. The part that sometimes still wishes for something that a broken dad can’t give.

      And Bob places this bracelet of belonging on my wrist for me to see daily. Jesus has done so many things to rewrite the truth of my identity… and this is certainly one of the sweetest.

      Never doubt the power of speaking words of life into another.

      speakingwordsoflife

      Hit the pause button on all of the projects that are screaming at you from your to-do list today and speak life into another person. It doesn’t have to be complicated or well-crafted. Simple words of encouragement are simply powerful.

      We need to make sure it’s people, not projects, that occupy the sacred places of our hearts.” ~Lysa TerKeurst, http://lysaterkeurst.com/2015/02/never-doubt-the-power-of-speaking-words-of-life-into-another/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzEmail&utm_campaign=0&utm_content=303165
      Amen! What a wonderful thing to remember on this dreary-looking Saturday afternoon! Whenever we are dealing with trying to do too many things at once, we should take time out of our hectic lives to do something nice for someone else to show them that they are loved.

  2. says

    I love that bracelet and what it means. your words touched my heart. I have a brother who has basically thrown all of us out and can be so hurtful. It has taken me a long time to let God in to heal the cuts and scars that have been left. It has also taught me how to love much more for my own family. Thank you for making my day and being a blessing.

  3. Linda says

    I can totally relate. I still struggle with acceptance and love from God. My dad had an affair when my mom was pregnant with me and they divorced after I was born. He married the other woman. My mom was 40 and emotionally shut down. So I grew up alone and with the emptiness of parents. My dad chose his wife over kids and there was no relationship. I have an older brother and sister 10 and 12 years older than me. None of us are close. I went to live with my dad when I was 16 on Christmas break against my mothers wishes. I had a boyfriend who was 17. In January to keep his wife happy my dad married me off and put us in a efficiency apartment. I had 2 children in that marriage and stayed for 19 years. We divorced and I later married a wonderful God loving man. He has shown me what unconditional love looks like. I still struggle with being enough sometimes. Now my grown son who is 33 has not spoken to me in a year. He is married with 3 kids. While my kids were growing up I tried to be the parent I never had so I was very close to my kids. When my son got married his wife didn’t like our relationship. I accepted her like a daughter and never made her feel less. But bottom line is she always tried to make me look bad. So now how do I move forward with the loss of my son and family. He won’t talk to me or his sister. We have tried to talk to him and he won’t respond. I have grieved for a year and when I see pictures I grieve all over again. I just want the pain to stop! All my heart’s desire was to have the family I never had growing up!

  4. Cindy says

    Wow, Lysa! My hurts now can’t compare to the hurt you have experienced, and still experience from your dad. How do you do it? I bring on some of my own hurts by not keeping my mouth shut and being a “Mrs. Fix-it Fox” (or trying to be). Just this morning I have been praying about truly giving it all to Jesus, and that is so very hard. I hurt, I get angry, I get irritated and frustrated and things don’t seem to change. I must change, but it is not easy. Thank you for sharing these thoughts this morning. Is there more that can be told about the bracelet? God continue to bless you richly!

  5. Nicolle Cambpell says

    I totally relate to the Daddy issue…I am 44yrs old married with 3 kids and I LONG to know an unconditional / adoring Daddy love. Thanks for sharing. I get so tired of wanting that void to go away.

  6. Sarah says

    Thank you for sharing this, Lysa. I, too, had someone speak truth and love into my life and I am so grateful to her for that.

    God Bless and thank you for blessing us with your words.

    Sarah

  7. says

    Yes … Thanks and Amen!

    I’ve been asking the Lord to help me “see” others, Lysa, so I can encourage them. So I’ve been pausing every hour to hear the Lord speak. Sometimes He directs me to write a note to someone. Sometimes He gives exact words to encourage. Sometimes He puts a finger on something to give. Sometimes He says, “Just stop and pray.” But the main thing is, it’s intentional. I want to become a better encourager, and that doesn’t just happen. Thanks again for the reminder that it’s people, not our projects, that are important. As I’ve heard so many times – only people and the Word of God go with us into eternity.

  8. says

    I’ve heard Bob speak. Truly an inspiration the way he radiates God’s love to everyone around him. So grateful you had a chance to meet him, Lysa. I’m not suprised that he changed your life.

  9. Debbie says

    Lysa, I searched you out today as I just finished reading Day 12 of your devotion on YouVersion about nothing being impossible with God. There are two special people in my life who are very far away from God. After reading that devotion, I changed the way I have been praying for them. While I have been praying that God would use me as a way to reach them, I realized that only God can touch their hearts. However, I can continue to pray for both of them. My prayer was that God would mess with them in a way that there would be no question it was Him speaking to them and that their hearts would be changed forever. Now, I pray for you that God would continue to place people in your path who will remind you just how special you are. Have a blessed day!

  10. says

    Unfortunately, I too know the pain you feel when it comes to be unwanted by your birth father. My parents divorced when I was 2 years old. Fast forward years later when I was 18. He came over to my grandparents, where we lived with my mom, to teach me how to drive a stick shift and give me a very old…but usable car for college. He made me pay a $1 for “tax” purposes and then proceeded to tell me now that I was 18 his obligations to me were done, so don’t ever expect anything from him again. At that point, I never received the obligatory birthday card, Christmas card, or any communication from him at all. In fact, we never even heard from his mom (our grandmother) ever again. He never knew I got married, nor did he ever know he had 6 grandchildren between my sister and I. I found out years ago that he died, but about a month after the fact, from his sister-in-law. She is the only one who had continued to send us Christmas cards every year. My dad’s wife never even tried to contact us to tell us of his death. Although, I really had little feeling about his passing, since he had become a complete stranger to me. Most of the time I am able to block all the hurt, but then there are those times that it invades my thoughts. I too wish I could just completely block it from ever entering my thoughts again.

  11. says

    Thank you Lisa so much for sharing a piece of your story with us. It’s a treasure and honor to be able to read about God redeeming a portion in your life. And from someone we can easily look at from afar and think “she’s perfectly polished, sophisticated, gorgeous and well… you have proven that wrong and you are even more enduring to me! Thank you! You are amazing

  12. Angie Bertram says

    Just finished watching the study video for The Best Yes. Thank you for sharing so much of your personal life.

  13. says

    Love this Lysa!! I too have been on the receiving end of life giving words and am so grateful!! Asking God to confirm His love for you now! Blessings from Iowa!

  14. Anne says

    Hi Lysa. I’m new to receiving your blog updates and I just want to say that having read through various of your past blogs I feel as if you might actually have been invisibly in my home and my head recently! I love that you are honest… that you can say you sometimes feel like you’re failing at being a good wife, good mother, good example of Christ to others. I usually balk at reading especially Christian articles on marriage and motherhood because I often feel nothing but worse about myself afterward. But here you are thinking the same thoughts I do, feeling the same weaknesses I do and confessing that you don’t have it all together. Rather than offering 5 step principles about how to be that good wife, mother, example – you are simply real about things.
    Lately I’ve felt that I my marriage could be better (23 years down and many frustrations later). Reading the blogs where you speak about throwing cups of orange juice, crying in frustration and finding it difficult to cultivate that “lovin’ feelin'” I realise that I’m not alone and I’m encouraged to make it better and forgive myself for my own failings and keep working at a relationship with the man God gave me.
    So, thank you for being an honest woman of God and letting your soul show. There is no doubt that you are simply trying your best even on the days you don’t quite cut it. It gives me hope that I might still get there myself :-). God bless you Lysa

  15. says

    I love this! 🙂 I started a small group recently online for my mom friends in a busy season – we all need encouragement daily, but grasping that in short snippets was our biggest thing we couldn’t figure out. The group is life giving even if it’s just a short thought of the day – it keeps us going and encourages seeking those ‘rest’ moments 🙂

    Thanks Lysa!

  16. Susie says

    I can so relate to this. My dad lives less than a mile from me— no relationship. You are never get too old to need your father — but I have grown over the years to realize I need a father who wants his daughter—not a father who doesn’t.

  17. Beth says

    Wow, I always love reading your posts but this one really hit home. I also am unwanted by the man who gave me life. He lives less than 20 minutes from me and I haven’t seen him in many years. He contacted me about 8 years ago when he was diagnosed with cancer because he thought he may need blood or marrow from me and as soon as he realized he didn’t need it, then he didn’t need me. It hurt for a really long time because I always wondered what it was like to have a daddy. Now don’t get me wrong I have an amazing mom and her and I have an amazing bond like no other, but it would hurt to see my girlfriends interact with their dads. I had to eventually forgive him for what all he was doing because it was holding me hostage and even though I will never want a relationship with him I don’t wish him anything but happiness. I had to forgive him for not being the father I deserved so that I could be set free.

  18. Anji Budzynski says

    I relate to you and your life story so much as we have encountered many of the same experiences. I am so grateful that you share with everyone what God has done in you so they can see what He has done for them, too. God gives us the moms and dads we need (and other missing people) through others who love Him and want to love us through our hurts. Praise God that He brought Bob into your life to speak the healing words you (and I) needed to hear! <3

  19. says

    God has kept showing me that I belong over and over. He just did it again. I was never the daughter my father wanted. I was not smart enough, he never told me he thought I was pretty, never invested any time in me, I don’t even remember him even saying I love you. My parents split when I was 11. All I was to them was a tool to fight over to see who was the better person, or who got the child support. My mother washed her hands of me when I was 17. I was looking for love, because I wasn’t getting it at home, and my mother told me I was useless, not worth anything, and I was never going to be anything. I’m now a single mother and I tell my daughter 20 times a day I love her. I’m unemployed, and I don’t see anything in me worth any value on a personal level. I think I’m a good mom, and that’s it. God has been showing me, but it’s like a hard math problem that I just can’t seem to get. I figured God is just going to keep telling me over and over, till one day it just clicks. Maybe He will have to tell me the same number times I have been torn down through out my life. Thank you for sharing it gives me hope, and hope is the one thing that has kept me going.

  20. Grace says

    How funny. I just wrote an email to my team about looking at people as people and not as projects- people over projects. It slows us down, makes us trust in His work in someone’s life, and He gets all glory when we speak life into someone.

  21. Bonnie Kelley says

    I was in Longview Friday & Saturday at Feminare and heard you speak. I had already been in the Bible Study of Unglued. I enjoyed both immensely. I also enjoy your emails I received daily. Sometimes when I can, I would like to write and tell you my story of my youngest daughter that God has brought out of hell into a heavenly light. I know you are supposed to be in Israel and I will pray for your safety. Thank you, again. Bonnie Kelley

  22. Kimberly Pierret says

    I struggle with so many of the issues you write about. I grew up in a dysfunctional family with am extremely abusive father. He passed away when I was expecting my middle child. My mother has no contact with me or her only 3 grandchildren. I have very limited contact with my only sister. It is really painful to see all her social media posts about her relationship with our mom. All I can do is be for my children what I wish I had. Thank you for sharing your story~ I know I am not alone 🙂

  23. Kimberly says

    Thank you for sharing your story… I too know my birth father but we don’t have any type of relationship… Long story short, the hardest part for me is he has other kids who he is close with. Since coming to know my Heavenly Father I have that loneliness going away. It’s something about being a girl wanting to acknowledged by her earthly dad.

  24. Jani says

    This speaks to me in so many ways. I too have a father who does not want anything to do with me, and it hurts. As much as I think sometimes I am healed from it and I have worth from my Father in heaven, it will rear its ugly head in ways both destructive and profound. Because is is a bum deal, and it feels vastly unfair to be saddled with something that chose me rather than the other way around. I am very fortunate to be blessed with a stepfather (who has only ever been called Dad) who built up the broken pieces of me, and though he is a quiet man, his love for me has healed holes in my spirit better than any friend, or kind word from a peer. It is truly another blessing to know I am not a weak person when those little daggers of doubt creep in, but a work in progress. I hope that some day I will be able to speak life into someone else that way. We are women of worth, and sometimes it is hard to feel that way, but I feel like our job as women, wives, mothers, friends… is to edify the others around us so that it becomes a circle of light. Wishful thinking maybe, but thank you for sharing your heart.

  25. RoBerta Witter says

    I can relate to the problems you are/had – having. My father was on his death bed, in the hospital, he screamed at me to get out @#$%^ out of his room so he could die in peace without having to look at me. I was send into the hallway. My brothers & mother stayed in the room with him. I have fought for years over the things that went on in my life. I have trouble relating Jesus as my heavenly father. Part of me feels dead, unlove-able. After years of therapy and Jesus’ Holy spirit, I make it one day at a time. I still have nightmares at times. I forgave him (very hard) because I don’t want to be judged wrongly. I would love to get hugs from a mate/have a mate, but I don’t even date to this day.

  26. says

    thank you, Lisa, for addressing a common hurt for children and adults of all ages. An unwanted child has a huge part of their childhood stolen…for the rest of their lives. I was hated as a child and was taught that I was alive only to be punished. Later, I studied psychology and understood that my violent father had Aspergers, and my mother was a manipulating sociopath. Many children were damaged because of them. Neither should have ever had contact with children. Later in my career, I see that my painful childhood is my greatest assett to healing the wounded and holding predators accountable.

  27. Danielle says

    Daddy issues. Some days I wish my father would just have never wanted me. That he had left me to be raised by my mother and that I would not have ever known what it meant to be utterly destroyed. No my father adored me for the first ten years of my life and I was daddy’s little girl. He could do no wrong in my eyes… Till he did. You see little girls grow up… And behind young women. My father was a pedophile… He liked young women to much. For two years he destroyed me. While I finally found Jesus and my heavenly father, it has been such a long hard road for me. I don’t trust much and I have a hard time letting people in who can hurt me. The Lord has done done wonders at healing me… But there is still so much pain and hurt. Yes, I truly wished he would have just left me done and that I had never experienced the absolute betrayal of trust and love. He is gone now. I have forgiven. It does not make all the pain go away… But it does help.

  28. G says

    I understand how you feel. I was sexually abused by my father when I was young and never felt loved by my mother…and still don’t. We haven’t talked in over a year and I haven’t seen her in over 2 years. All because she chose not to come see me and my children last Christmas, even though she was passing by us to go see my sister, her favorite, and her family in another state. I let her know how I felt and how much it hurt and now she wants nothing to do with me. She does keep trying to contact my kids by going around me. I told her that’s not ok, but she keeps doing it. I’ve always craved her attention and love, but never got it. There is a huge hole in my heart. I also have a prodigal son who won’t contact anyone in our family and a daughter and sister who want nothing to do with me. I feel so unloved by everyone, except my 3 kids who live with me. It hurts so badly. I know it sounds crazy, but I often wish an older couple would “adopt” me so I could have parents who love me in a Godly way and that I belong. I’m 46.

  29. Robyn says

    Hi Lysa,

    I have been struggling with how to deal with the issues relating to my absent father. I have only recently forgiven him because I trust that Jesus knows best and has the situation is his control. Forgiving him has been hard, but it has not taken away the horrible heartache and bad memories. Hopefully over time and through prayer, those bad feelings will be replaced with the love, comfort and support from my true Father in Heaven.

    Thank you for opening up and being honest. It’s refreshing, in a way, to know that other people struggle with similar rejection as I do.

    Praying for you and everyone else that has read your post and would like to heal through Jesus!

    xox

  30. Laura says

    I have not heard from or seen my dad since about a month before my wedding day when he told me to find someone else to walk me down the aisle because he wouldn’t be there. He was mad that his name wasn’t printed on my wedding invitation. That was almost 20 years ago. At the time, it was more painful than the molestation he had put me through when I was a teen. I spent years carrying around guilt, shame, indignation, and feelings of worthlessness. Then one day when my now 9-year-old daughter was about a year and a half old, I felt compelled to find his address and send him a letter. The basic message was, “I’m sorry, and I forgive you.” I never received a response from him, but I never really needed one. By offering and asking for forgiveness, even though it was not accepted or given, I freed myself from the heavy burden of all those negative feelings of shame and guilt. Thanks for the reminder of what’s truly important and that our Heavenly Father is always there for us.

  31. Cindy says

    My daughter is adopted. Her birth mother is my sister. She refuses to tell my daughter who her birth father is. It has left a deep void in her life. I married when she was 10. She would never bond with him. She was holding out for her “real Dad”. She had the fantasy that it was someone great and wonderful.

    She’s 23 and continues to make destructive choices. She’s still searching and trying to fill the void. It breaks my heart. I tried therapy. She was raised that she has a father in heaven that loves her. She still searches.

  32. monica says

    Dear Lysa,

    I really appreciate your raw honesty and feelings concerning your life growing up. I am adopted and struggled with the same feelings you do wishing that I had a dad who carried me on his back or when I twirled around in my dress said “You are my little princess”. He emotionally neglected me (because of his own insecurities) Later on in life I realized that he lived in poverty and was so focused on providing for us that he neglected the emotional part. I am thankful for reconciliation with my father (not that long ago!!!) Although I do struggle with being a child who never knew her real dad. My mother never talked about him. She cries or changes the subject stating “that was a hard time in my life”. Which leads me to believe that I was not born out of love and in anger she once said “You know I didn’t have to have you, you know that was big then”. I am thankful that God does not make any mistakes even though I have to admit sometimes I often struggle with “all of it”.

  33. says

    Thank you for being so transparent. We’re all a little broken in some way, but God can get the glory through our weaknesses because others will look at us and say, “There’s no way they can accomplish what they have accomplished, except it be for the power of God.”

  34. Tina B says

    Lysa,
    I relate to you a lot. My parents blamed me for them losing two farms because I was a premature child and had health issues. My parents don’t know what love is or looks like and it’s hard because I constantly get blamed for things now. My husband’s bio dad died when he was 4 and his step father put his bio dad down a lot and his mom never stood up for him at all. We are both finding healing and yet it still hurts. We know we are each other’s biggest supporters! Praying for you! The funny thing is they say I am wanted yet their actions don’t always back it up. IT’S Your not good enough!

  35. Heidi P says

    This morning I woke up and after morning prayer time, I read a few different devotions. It struck me how much relationships can hurt well past the life of the individual. And I am saddened by the sin of earth’s pleasure to ruin life after life. A close family member of my family stated that he loved his mom but never liked her. My own husband loves his parents but has little regard for them due to their selfish ways. And we both come from committed Christian families! The thought occurred to me that statements like these show years of hurt and yet, reflect hurt mirrored from the offender. I wish I could believe that as a mom, my kids will grow up with only love and admiration for me. But to be honest, I have messed up many times. I have repented to the Lord and to my family. However, reality shows that one day my children may state that they loved me as a mom and know the sacrifices of being a mom….but they didn’t like me for my weaknesses. This is a reality that can cause a mom to despair and yet, I have to leave it all to God’s hands. His grace filled hands to clean up the mess I may leave into the hearts of my family and the scars that I may never know were so deep. There are many reasons I look forward to Heaven….and one of them is the knowledge that everyone will love and like each other and not one person will hurt so much that their pain will reflect into generations to come. That is what keeps me going as a mom and gives me hope when I wonder if I can do this “mom thing”. Praise God!!

  36. KimD says

    Lysa, wow how God has known so many, many times what I need to hear, He KNOWS and that’s all I know to say!! Lysa this is wicked hard stuff to go through! It can literally tear a Girl apart!!! I wish people understood how very vital it is to a young girl to have her father be there !!! I mean be there!!! I too have experienced my father not being present and when he was I felt like he wasn’t!!! Jesus, please help all of us today with this story, I pray it is used and can be used to bring glory to you!

  37. Delia says

    Thanks God for people who are spreading your words of support and not give up, let us give this incredible experience to other. Not stay only for us this gift..Share with other the experience to be part of you kingdom, belong to it, making them the life plenty of encourage and love, like Mrs. Lysa is doing with us in this article. Father, you make all things possible, you infinite mercy and grace. In Jesus name amen…