Read / Articles /

The Gift of Encouragement

Self | Cindy Branton | 7 mins

I had this weird experience a few months ago. A friend had tagged my name in an Instagram giveaway…..AND I WON! Guys! I won! It was for a MedSpa in the Valley (Phoenix, Arizona Metro Area), and I won free services. I truly believe my love languages are free stuff and winning. I was beyond excited!

So I messaged the company and set my appointment for the next day. I couldn’t wait! I showed up at the Spa, ready to be pampered and told I was a winner. But it was actually just a one-room office building with a curtain sectioning off the back. There was soft music and an expensive waterfall wall … so it must be legit. 

The middle-aged accountant-looking man at the desk (who by the way was the only living soul there) told me that I had won a Myers’ cocktail. Out loud I thanked him and told him I was excited...but inside I was screaming, “What?! I was expecting a facial or massage. Or maybe some sort of laser treatment… What is a Myers’ cocktail??"

If you’re already laughing at me. A wise woman would ask. This woman, instead, filled out twenty-seven forms about my physical health and then followed him around the curtain, where he asked me to lay down. 

Are you scared for me? You should be. Are you questioning my judgment? You should be. The whole time he was trying to tell me what a Myers’ cocktail was and how lucky I was to have won. “These are worth hundreds of dollars!” That’s when he wheeled over an IV stand, on which was clipped a Myers’ cocktail. I was there for some sort of intravenous vitamin infusion. 

The IV was hooked up. Blood trickled down my arm and onto my skirt. I found myself getting pumped full of vitamins. As I was laying there, all I could think was, “Who pays for this?” I don’t even want this and it’s free. So the next time my man-nurse/CPA/receptionist came by to check on me, I asked him, “What demographic of people usually come in for this treatment?” His answer surprised and amused me: “Honestly, bodybuilders and people who are going out to party.”


“Sure, especially in Arizona, where people get dehydrated easily, especially if they are getting insanely drunk, people will come in and get Vitamins before they party, so that they aren’t hurting as much afterward.” So dumb. Or brilliant. I don’t know… but I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

That is what I want to be. That is what I want to do. I want to be a Myers’ cocktail. I want to be a source of life for people who are preparing for or experiencing the worst. Would it be possible for my words to be as powerful as these pricey vitamins in this IV?

The word encouragement has always been one close to my heart. I’ve told my husband before that when people encourage me, I can feel my heart growing. Encouragement is this beautiful, magical thing. This powerful force that can replenish what’s missing; it's an unseen truth. True encouragement always leaves us changed. It leaves us stronger. More prepared. More alive.

The root word of encouragement is obviously courage. I’ve always thought it a mysterious thing that God has given us a way to instill courage into someone else. The word “courage” comes from the word “heart.” There is power in our words. When we encourage someone, we “put into” their heart. Encouragement, to me, is not mere words but when spoken in truth, can cause an emotional, spiritual, and even physical renewal in someone. 

We are heart builders.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another (infuse each other’s hearts with truth - my “translation”) and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 

I’ve always had this philosophy: If you think something kind, say it. I regularly look like a weirdo encouraging strangers, but I’m okay with that. 

The other day I was mailing out some packages for my daughter’s little side hustle business. Out of a pile of envelopes, I grabbed a random one and wrote, “You are Special.” I wasn’t even thinking about it, really. I didn’t really even remember writing it, until a few days later when I got a pretty emotional etsy message from a woman in Ohio who had been going through a really difficult time and felt everyone in her life was tearing her down. She thanked me for the message and told me I’d never know how much it encouraged her. 

I got to be a Myers’ Cocktail! My encouragement made someone’s heart grow. It infused her with courage. It was her Myers’ cocktail. That encouragement gave her a clearer picture of what was really true.

Our words matter. My words matter. Your words matter. We have this gift to increase people’s hearts. 

I know you need encouragement. You may try to be a Myers’ Cocktail to others, while your own bag is feeling depleted. You might be at a place of exhaustion and emptiness. 

Here are some words for you:

Be strong and take heart, 

all you who hope in the Lord.- Psalm 31:24

You've been called to encourage others. You’ve been called to be that source of life and of hope to a dark world. There are things that God has planned for you to do that will literally change the lives of people around you. This is not easy. That’s why you need courage to do it. Encourage one another. Look for opportunities to increase the “heart” in those around you. Don’t let your words deplete, shrink, or discourage each other’s hearts. Build each other up as you have been and will continue to do!

Written By

Cindy Branton

Jesus lover, smitten wife, active mom, tenured teacher, and writer of words. 

Published on Nov 4, 2021