Monday, January 31, 2011

Affirmation, part 2

What a wonderful gift from God affirmation is.  Last Tuesday our couple’s group convened at our home. That meant I provided the main course and set the table.  I enjoy setting a nice table.  That day I had carefully chosen greens from the trees on our property to mingle with the pinecones surrounding the fat candle for the centerpiece.  It came out well. 

As my dear friend ~ and wonderful cook ~ walked through our front door, the aroma of my meatballs met her and she said, “Sue, you are such a good cook”.  You might remember from my first post on affirmation  that it’s often easy for me to discredit that type of affirmation with a comment something like, oh, that is such an easy recipe.   I’m learning.  I thanked her.

I’m also learning that affirmation is hidden in many different circumstances.  God, our ultimate affirmer, is pleased when I learn to recognize them.  Here are a few more places I have experienced affirmation.

  1. Affirmation is sometimes most easily recognized in times of great need.  I remember once being very angry about something.  I don’t remember what.  But I was letting anyone (and thankfully that was only Bill) in range of hearing know about my anger.  I finally looked at him with tears in my eyes and said, “Do you even believe I love Jesus?”  He came to me, encircled me with his arms and gently replied, “Of course I do”.
I melted into his embrace.  With his words and his touch, I was so affirmed.

  1. Affirmation means the most when it is a surprise.  I know you can think of many stories when a young child is told, “tell grandma thank you”.  Or “tell grandma, you love her”.  The child is usually obedient but their words are not from their heart.  As the recipient of the words, they may be appreciated but they are not necessarily believed. 
I experienced the opposite when our precious GRANDdaughter was 6 months old.  After traveling for 8 hours in the car, we finally arrived for our weekend visit with our son and his family.  We walked in the kitchen and my daughter-in-law handed Ashlyn to me.  You know what, she hugged me!  And I melted.  Did a 6 month old know what she was doing?  Probably not.  But I decided to accept that hug as an affirmation from God.

  1. God is the ultimate affirmer.  He has so many ways of being that besides using little  6 month old children.  His Word offers regular affirmations when I feel like He is speaking directly to me.  He uses other people.  He uses the great hymns of our faith. 
A few years ago I was driving into our headquarters for a meeting and the hymn, “Draw Me Nearer” came to mind.  I hadn’t sung that hymn for years.  I only remembered the first verse.  It ended up being a difficult meeting.

The next morning as I was alone and processing my experience of the day before, I remembered the hymn.  I got our hymnal from the piano and looked up “Draw Me Nearer”.  As I read the words of the second verse, my eyes filled with tears.  Those words communicated my heart to me.  Oh how I needed the consolation those words provided. I was so affirmed! 

Father, would you help me ~ and all my friends reading this post ~ to recognize the affirmation you bring our way. 

There is more.  But that’s for another time.

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you.   Philippians 1:3


  1. Thanks Sue. Just what I needed to hear - you are doing a great job of putting your thoughts to words. thank you!

  2. Thank you to you, Julie. You are an encouragement to me!