Affirmation. Most all of us agree it’s important, but it’s not easy to admit you need it.
Maybe you’ve never looked in the mirror and asked yourself: Who believes in you? But we’ve all pondered it at one time or another. We’ve wondered — silently or in a vulnerable moment — as we fought off self-doubt and battled feelings of rejection. We want to know we’re not alone; that someone is cheering us on.
This longing isn’t frivolous or foolish. Our Creator put a desire for connection deep within each of us. A yearning for relationship. A need to be affirmed. And it doesn’t wane with age. Taking time to nurture purposeful, intimate relationships is essential for a healthy empty nest season. Walking with one who affirms you empowers you.Walking with one who affirms you empowers you. #emptynest #empowerednester Click To Tweet
But before I go any further… let’s define affirmation.
- It’s not telling someone what they want to hear.
- It’s not manipulation, to get something in return.
- It’s not mushy cliches that fill a void but quickly fade.
Godly affirmation speaks the truth of who God sees you to be, both the growth up to this point and the potential still ahead. Affirmation is to agree with God for you. And since true affirmation originates in the heart of God, it is fulfilled, first and foremost, in relationship with Him.
Who can better teach, then remind, you of who you were created to be than the One who knit you together?
- As a loving Father, God speaks truth when everything else screams failure and hopelessness.
- He gives you a place to rest, strength to go on, and hope for your future.
- When you have His word, consistent and current in your ears, you are standing on an unshakable foundation.
This will naturally flow into you speaking hope into others. You’ll notice the pain and weariness in the eyes and actions of those around you. You’ll recognize the perseverance and hard work without reward. And you will have hope to give away. You will have words of encouragement because God has encouraged you.
There is great joy to be found in seeing Life fill another soul. To be the one who pours truth and courage into a fainting heart. And in like manner: God created those around you to support, shape, and be an intricate part of your growth.
Don’t give up on relationships.
We all have seasons when we think we can go it alone. When others don’t see what you see or dream what you dream. When unexpected pain pierces a friendship or circumstances simply find you with no one to call. Though these might nudge you to retreat into your own safe world, silence the temptation to isolate and run into the refuge of relationship. Little shapes and shelters you like godly friends.
No one is going to be the perfect friend or family member. Even the most loving and mature will, at times, fall short. Or they will fall short in our minds, at the least. But they are still a necessary piece of the puzzle of your life. You’ll never reach your full potential on your own.Little shapes and shelters you like godly friends. #emptynest #relationship Click To Tweet
Treasures found in godly affirmation…
- Multiplied strength. You have a certain amount of strength in yourself, and it’s good to be able to tap into that vitality and not be completely helpless. But there’s strength others can pull out of you that you may not know you have. And even more, a multiplied strength in unity.
A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12
- Accountability. Accountability isn’t about pushing someone around or controlling them, but lifting each other up to our highest potential by reminding one another of truth. Paul gave this gift to Timothy.
Timothy, I thank God for you… I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you.” 2 Timothy 1:3, 5 NLT
- Encouragement. When you reach the boundaries of all you think you can do, it’s imperative to have others standing alongside, calling you into your inheritance of courage. Literally speaking to the courage God has put within you and agreeing for it to rise up and fill you.
This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
2 Timothy 1:6-7 NLT
- Celebration. Life is incomplete if you don’t embrace joy and celebrate victories. And the joy of overcoming is meant to be shared with those who believed you could do it. With the Holy Spirit, first, but also those God has given you to walk alongside.
But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.” Luke 15:22-24 NASB
- Vision. Our vision can become murky without input from others. Multiple verses in Proverbs exhort us to seek wise counsel, which establishes plans and provides safety. We need the perspective and wisdom God gives through those who have gone before.
A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel…” Proverbs 1:5 NASB
Take a moment and think about these questions.
- Who believes in you?
- Who have you opened your heart to?
- Who has shown themselves honorable and trustworthy?
- Who speaks life to your mind and courage to your dreams?
Don’t ask yourself in despair, but knowing God desires to speak hope and encouragement to you. He works to reveal truth to you by His Spirit and through those who surround your life. Ask, expecting God to fill the void.
Please comment and encourage others with how God has affirmed you, by His Spirit or through others.