Encouraging Souls by Susan Browder
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
In 2014, two ladies, Ali Hathcock and Dana Eddins, came into our lives. I am forever grateful for both of them. Ali was Jacob’s homebound teacher and Dana was his speech therapist. Both of them came to our house two times a week. Ali already knew Jacob because she is a teacher at the high school and Jacob hunted with her husband. Over the next sixth months, they both grew very close.
Jacob was having a tough time in his math class and Ali changed all of that. She gave him the encouragement and hope that he needed to improve. I will never forget the night that she was so proud of Jacob. She said a word to him that would be “their word” from then on. As she watched Jacob finish a math problem that he had struggled with, she said a long drawn out, “Beautiful…” As the weeks continue, Jacob and Ali smiled and got tickled every time the word “beautiful” was said.
Dana was introduced to us through a friend of mine. She was the speech therapist for the school system. She was also an encourager with the sweetest spirit. She made all the tasks fun for Jacob and really got to know him. She was always creative with the lessons and used a lot of humor. Their relationship grew close quickly. Speech was not a therapy that showed quick results. Dana gave Jacob all kinds of crazy alliterative phrases to say to improve his speech. We heard “putuku” so much it made us all crazy. The object was to say “p
utuku” as fast as you could correctly and to improve in the number of times it was said.
I am so blessed to have two ladies come into our lives that encouraged Jacob and built him up in a time when he desperately needed it. My family and I saw the attitude of Jesus in both of these ladies. This May, after Jacob walked down to get his diploma, he saw Ali and Dana and took pictures with them. After a big hug, Jacob looked over at Ali and said a long, “Beautiful,” one last time. Ali was brought to tears.
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had.” Romans 15:5
Counting My Blessings,
“Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.” Romans 5:2
Third Day-Faithful and True