In about 3 weeks, I will be on a plane headed to Jamaica (Lord willing), and I am excited. Expectant. I know what to pack, how to prepare, and that the whole experience will be wonderful.
Back in 2009, though, a different story. I was trying to be excited, but wasn’t really. I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t pack enough, and the main underlying feeling was panicky fear: “what am I getting into??”
I didn’t want it to show, because I was supposed to be one of the leaders; mature, seasoned, has the answers. I was nearly a college graduate. But, I had never been out of the country and although I had done other missions opportunities, this one was bigger. Scarier. Certain to stretch me.
I said my goodbyes and kept everything together until the friend who dropped me off at the airport drove away. And then it was just me, alone and small, taking the first step on the first plane that would result in me meeting up with the rest of my team and ending up in another country for a week.
Sitting there, on that short flight, nervous as anything, I pulled out a few notes that my friends had given me. It was calming just to see their handwriting, and seeing their names made me smile. How special that they had taken the time to write to me, encouraging phrases and kind thoughts and shared verses.
At that moment, high in the air, when I needed courage and stability, those cards saved the day. I read them over and over, during each flight, breathing in the words of joy and strength, until I reached my destination.
I recently received a sample pack of beautiful cards from Dayspring, which was perfect because I am trying to revive a habit of writing cards and encouraging more. In junior high and high school, I did that all the time! I even had my own little business of making and selling cards to ladies in my church! 🙂
Here is a hint I remember learning from them: if you already have the card on hand, you are more likely to write and give it away. Keep a blank card or two tucked in your Bible. I keep some in my planner, too.
Chances are you are reading this right now on a glowing screen, in a generic font, in the midst of your busy day. Nothing wrong with that! But I like to remind myself of how a handwritten card creates a quiet space, a personal connection that can brighten someone’s day and perhaps give them a healthy dose of courage when they need it most.
(Dayspring sent me this free product to review, but the words & opinions are my own!)