After surviving the plane strike at the World Trade Center on 9-11, I fell into a fog for weeks, months and even the years that followed. The feeling and depression of survivors guilt is something that can’t be easily explained. The only people I have found that can relate are people that have also suffered from it, Vietnam Vets, crash survivors where others have died, other victims and so on. I guess first-hand experience is best to be able to relate to it. But even if you have not experienced it there is much one can do with good reason and results.
I was truly struggling to keep my head in the game post 9-11. The whole experience was amplified by the fact the company that I was working for stopped paying me. It is a much longer story that maybe I will address. Suffice to say the depression, funk, lack of money lasted 6 years. The church I go to did a God@work story about it.
During that period there were many people that helped out. I am talking emotionally. Some people wanted to encourage me. They would offer a prayer or give some advice or guidance. All these were wise and appreciated. But my depression allowed only a momentary impact. To be honest I didn’t think there was anything anyone could do. I thought I had to work through the darkness alone. It is only looking back that I can point to key events and people that without them coming into my life I am not sure what the outcome would have been.
One of those people is John Demarco part-time pastor of Jacobstown Baptist Church. He would come over Saturdays, not to talk or console me, but just to be present. His attitude was what are we doing today. Having a small farm there was no shortage of work to be done. As money got ridiculously tight and I found odd jobs that would provide some money he would tag along and help me. While John is not much of a talker, however, his actions went a long way in keeping me sane. His unique form of encouragement kept me from slipping into a most certain deeper depression than I already was experiencing. His actions let me know he cared. He will never know how much his friendship has meant.
Fast forward to the present day the next notable encouragement I have been getting has been from writing these blogs. I get many verbal comments, some emails, and even posts in the blog. I also have received emails from people offering suggestions and ideas. The most encouraging is when I see them reposted on people’s Facebook page or other social media. As a side note please do that. I don't even care if you copy and paste or edit and take credit for authorship.
One of the comments that stood out was simply, “thanks for the encouragement”. It is amazing to me that my blog was encouraging someone. His note, in turn, encouraged me. I reflected on the verse, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV. The verse has taken on new meaning to me.
How encouragement can be a strong motivator. In the case of brokenness, it brings us out of our despair. In the example of my blog, it has a way of amplifying itself. It is humbling to know that anyone would read what I have written and even take the time to say something back to me.
I pray that something you read on the website catches your attention that causes you to pause and think or rethink your faith in Jesus and why you believe. Additionally, I pray that it gives you the confidence to profess your faith and that you can find a Christian brother or sister in the near future and encourage them.
I will leave you with this final thought. 4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. 5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had. Romans 15-4-5 NIV
Feel free to share your story of encouragement below, It might encourage someone else.
Author - Guy Yasika
Looking to profess my faith to anyone that will listen.