About the Author

I'm the mother of two little girls, the wife of an amazing husband who'd rather play the guitar than anything else and I love to write. I spend my weekends watching my daughters ride horses and play soccer. I blog daily and my greatest wish is to see women healed...

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  1. It’s ironic. Because one jump of courage I’ve taken in the last year was learning to swim.
    At mid-life. Yep. That’s right.
    When I was a kid, my parents took me to swimming lessons and going under water freaked me right out. Despite living near an ocean for over half my life, I somehow managed to do all sorts of water-y things and never actually have to learn how to swim.
    Then I went on a trip where friends of mine and I went out on a boat — and they all went snorkeling. It was the first time I felt like I’d missed out on something I would have really loved to do. So I came home and a friend offered to teach me.
    I felt ridiculous and silly for feeling brave about the whole thing. But I finally found the courage to face the fear of being under water (which was really the fear of drowning so….)
    And yes. I still felt afraid. I just did it anyway. 😉

  2. Courage. What is it and how do we get it? I think courage is kind of like a pallet of oil paints and that it could be like the different colors. We don’t know we have it, we don’t know which colors it will take, we don’t know how to bring it out of our inner being until the situation arises and yet, when we have it, mix the situations with the different colors and blend them together it can result in a beautiful picture, but not till it’s done. For many of us who have endured years of health issues it is just there, inside us. For me, I’ve lived with serious heart issues/surgery, having my heart shocked to return to the correct rhythm and some have commented on the seriousness but when you live with it, it’s just a part of your life. I know we ALL have courage, we all exhibit it at some time or times in our lives and we never even think of it but for those of us who know God in a deep and comforting way we just know it will be there when we need it. That’s trust and faith and expectation that He will meet us when we need Him and will give us what we need when we need it. Courage? Living every day as if it’s our last knowing He will catch us if we fall.

  3. I’m learning that sometimes you have to let go. I’m still struggling to actually DO it, but I’ve learned that it’s necessary.
    Thing is, I’m really not very courageous.
    But the most important thing I’ve learned is that God is with me, and that He truly won’t forsake me.
    And that’s a pretty good thing to know.

  4. When my son was just 3 months old last June, he was diagnosed with craniosynostosis (a deformity of the skull) and we were told he needed a major reconstructive surgery to repair the problem. When he was 9 months old in December, he had the surgery. It took a lot of courage to trust the Lord with my son. I had to truly lean on the word of the Lord and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He loves my son more than I ever could and was holding him in the palm of His hands. The surgery went so well and my son came through with flying colors, praise the Lord! But my need for courage wasn’t over.
    As soon as we were home from the hospital, my husband deployed. I was dealing with all of the emotions of my son’s surgery as well as dealing with the emotions of my husband being gone and I felt utterly alone taking care of my son during his tumultuous recovery. There was a lot of crying. A lot of crying out to God. A lot of support from friends and family. We made it through. My son is healthy and happy, my husband is home, and we are all stronger for having faced such a fearful time by trusting in God to take care of all of our needs.

  5. We’re about to jump – a cross country move this week, my husband’s role in church planting, learning how to be a mom of three now – all of this is happening in this transition. When I feel fearful, I try and remember that my security is not based on the stability of my circumstances…which is easier to say when things are stable – ha! Thanks for your timely words.

  6. I am learning to be patient as I wait on God and as I wait until I can become a missionary (post university!) and to be patient in that but still not waste the opportunities I have.

  7. I’ve always been shy. Social situations scared me. I rarely spoke, unless spoken to, and spent a lot of time looking at my feet instead of into others’ eyes. I am so insecure.
    My husband passed away in November of 2008. Last November, I got the opportunity to volunteer at a hospital. I jumped at the opportunity not even thinking about the fact that I’d be walking into strangers’ hospital rooms and talking to them. Was I, all of a sudden, getting brave??? Was I, all of a sudden, over my shyness??? Was I, all of a sudden, over my fear of IV’s, needles, and anything medical-related??? (Yes, I had that fear, too. I actually got light-headed getting my ears piecred!). No way. It was just that volunteering at that hospital was something my husband hoped to do but never got the chance. I felt like I had the chance to do it for him and that was all I was thinking about. The fear hit later, though. But the fear wasn’t stronger than my desire to do this — and I also realized it would be good for me. The fear hits me every time I show up to volunteer. But I arrive early and go to the cafeteria, grab a bite to eat, and find a quiet place to sit, have dinner, and pray.
    With God going with me into the patients’ hospital rooms, I can do this. I’ve been doing it for nine months now and have had nights when I hoped I did as much for the patients as they did for me. Some of them just wanted to talk to me. Me!!!? I never thought anyone would like talking to me. (I think I felt my self-esteem growing there.) Sometimes I hardly recognize myself these days and think “who is this person?” God is still working on me, I think.
    God is teaching me that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

  8. For the last year, I’ve been suffering from depression. Let me rephrase that: for the last year I’ve been getting help for depression that has been with me for years. With the support of my husband and the help of my pastor, I have learned to trust God in ways that I had never even imagined. The Lord has taught me so much about His compassion, His faithfulness, and His love.
    It has been more of a series of steps than a jump. But when you’re walking in the dark, every step takes courage.

  9. I suppose what I have learned recently is that life goes on whether you accept it or not. The church where I went since I was four years old, I can nolonger attend this year. It was where all my closest friends were. Socially I am not very skilled, so making new friends is extremely difficult for me, and I am starting over pretty much completely. In my whole life right now I think I have maybe five friends if you count the ones who probably would not consider me their friend back. It is hard, but I have learned that just because I am alone does not mean that I can just wish things were different, because all sitting around wishing does is cause the to-do list to pile up.

  10. I’ve learned through heartache that I am not in control. Not one little bit. God is. I KNEW that in my head, but making my heart understand when trials came was difficult. It’s much easier to take a deep breath, exhale, and pray to my Father to take it and do with it what He will. Much easier.

  11. My jumps of bravery lately consisted of applying for jobs even though I am not quite sure in wich area I should really start after having finished University yet. So I am asking God to lead the way by opening or closing the doors I am knocking on… And I am learning to believe that “God wants you to get where God wants you to go more than you want to get where God wants you to go… You can have a sense of destiny because you know that God has considered every contingency in your life…” and that… “Maybe it’s time to quit running and start chasing. Try something new. Take some risks.” (“In a pit with a lion on a snowy day” from Mark Batterson)

  12. In the last year I have seen the stable, loving family I took for granted collapse, and I have seen the career I worked so hard for sour and crumble. In the process, I have learned that God’s dreams for us are giant, technicolor epics compared to what we imagine for ourselves. While I continue to face the challenge of stepping outside my comfort zone daily, God continues to show up and move mountains as I entrust things to Him. After the past year, I can’t begin to imagine what life will look like this time next year!

  13. Wow that is a very big question…My husband of 14 years (who was my best friend for the last 20 years) decided that he felt like he was dying in our marriage and no longer wanted to be a daddy 24-7. He needed “HIS” time. So he left. I learnt that my God is an awesome God who has met my needs long before I knew they were going to be needed. I have learnt that the love of my children is enough to carry me through my heartbreaking days and I have learned that the rejection of a father to his children is worse than a man to his wife.
    The life I live 12 months later is so different. I cry nearly every day still and the gaping hole inside my chest is just as big, but I feel God is leading me and that is ok.
    I never thought I’d be here saying these words, but I am divorced and I don’t like it. But each day I get up and dig my heels in and face my day. For if God is with you who can stand against you.

  14. I have learned how much I need to trust my Heavenly Father. I have learned how to live without my blessed mother…she passed away in April of this year….I have learned how to live without my oldest son…he is away at a Christian Boys’ Ranch…my life seems so empty at times, yet so full because of my SAvior.

  15. Wow, thinking back to 12 months ago…I see now that there were so many things I had to do afraid and that I never thought I’d have to learn. I didn’t think I’d have to learn how to confess before an entire community nor did I realize what sweet intimacy and change that confession would bring. I didn’t know that I would learn to wait and that the waiting would be this long. Even now, I’m learning to jump into a lot of unknowns because of the way that God is leading me. But, through it all, learning to love God in a way that completely changes me shines through.

  16. So many things. Adopting an older child, taking my teen on a trip to Guatemala on my own, walking through the ghetto at night while there, possibly moving (still in courage mode on that one!)…and having courage to just be myself…and not trying to live up to other’s expectations!

  17. In 1991 my son survived a gunshot to the head at age 10. I turned his future over to God at that time and even though the doctors did not think he would live, my son lived for 18 more years. He passed away last year just a few weeks shy of 29. He was truly my miracle. After the accident he could not speak, he could not walk and his abilities were that of a child. But there was something he was very good at….making me (and everyone who met him) smile. He made me a better parent, a better daughter, a better person.
    Throughout the 18 “extra” years we given with him, I had to learn to deal with doctors, nurses, medical supply companies, insurance companies, assisted living personnel, etc. For a “shy” person, this sometimes was not easy but my promise to God was that I would make the best life for my son possible if God just let him survive the accident. I hope and pray that I did that. He was a true joy and touched many lives during his short life.
    I did something last year I did not think I could ever do. I stood in from of many of those people he touched at his funeral last year and thanked them for being a part of his life and mine. His life was a journey….a wonderful journey that is now being continued in heaven. God loved my son more than I and needed to bring him home to free him from the physical pain that was wreaking havoc on his body. I miss him more than words can say but I know that he is in heaven talking the ears off the angels and making them smile…just as he always made me smile. I miss you buddy!!
    Thank you God for giving me the courage to accept your plan for us.

  18. Trusting God enough to jump off into the deep end. Oh I so get this topic. I could write a book but I’ll summarise the past few years. My former husband walked out after 8 1/2 years of marriage five years ago. He walked away from God and from me. I was extremely ill at that time and my whole world fell apart. God however was right there and became the dearest thing to me. I could trust Him with the hurt and the heartache…. and even with the unknown future. Fast forward a couple of years and there was finally a divorce. When I didn’t even know that I was ready God brought a lovely, gentle and Godly man into my life who loves me in the most amazing way. We’ve been married for 15 months. We found out this summer that we are expecting our first baby in March. We are about to take a new leap of faith into parenthood. It is something that my heart has longed for for so long. I actually had to give up this dream due to what happened in the past. When God brought my Godly hubby into my life I never dreamed that He would allow us a family. To all those who are standing on the diving board remember that God prepares you for what He calls you to. Trust Him. Trust HIm. Trust HIm. He alone is faithful and true.

  19. I’ve learned, this year more than ever, that I am not in control. I am trapped in a career that is not for me, and am learning to lean on God for the answers about what His will is for my life.

  20. I relate to battling fear. I am such a scaredy cat at heart. Twelve months ago I put my foot down and flat out told God what I thought my limits were (I was unwilling to do X and Y because they would ‘put me over the edge’). As it turned out, God asked me to do both X and Y, and I cried out to Him in my fear and He answered me right there. I could see Him cheering me on. He will transform this scaredy cat into a warrior eventually!
    But that is the ‘weak shaming the strong’ and the ‘fools shaming the wise’ – why not the fearful shaming the brave? =)

  21. oh boy. i think I needed to learn patience. but what I never thought I needed to learn is how to relax, take a deep breath and take it easy. I get hot tempered sometimes, and learning to relax is really helping the family dynamic. jmls09@aol.com

  22. I think that I have had to take a couple jumps of bravery throughout the past year but it is something that I struggle with. This post is a great reminder of the things that I have pushed to the backburner and should address and the conversation that I should have with God to help me have the courage to do so. Thank you!

  23. I have decided to stop putting off my life for someday. I have spent too much of my life not doing things, not taking risks because of “someday”. I need to stop waiting for someday because today is passing me by.

  24. I am preparing for the “jump” right now. It is scary, uncomfortable, and it takes away my feeling of safety and security. I know God wants me to do this…sell my house and wait on him for the next move. I have a plan but I don’t know if it’s the entire plan God has for me (probably not) but He knows.

  25. I cried after reading this! Thank you so much for posting this about courageous faith! I had been in a bad marriage for years. After doing a study on Corinthians and spending a whole summer delving deep into the Word of God and getting close to Him, God revealed to me that it was time to gather up that courage of faith and leave my husband. I was in a dangerous situation, my kids were in a dangerous situation, and it took the Holy Spirit to give me that nudge to take the kids and leave. It has been a year of newness for me and my two kids and being very independent and in tons of ways gaining that courage of faith to do things to scrape by, but we are at a place now where I see God’s blessings for us. If I did not have God in my life, I don’t know where I would be right now. Thank you so much for posting this because this is exactly the way I felt the summer when the Holy Spirit took over and filled my sails to take a step onto safer shores. Thank you again and God Bless You!

  26. I just returned from a mission trip to Haiti where about the only thing we could rely on was God. But, no matter how little we had, the Haitians had less. Sometimes, it is so hard to see God – whether it’s in your living room or the streets of Port-Au-Prince. But he’s there. My personal issues are trivia compared to those I witnessed in Haiti and even those of the commenters above. While I’m still recovering from such a hard trip, I am still truly blessed.

  27. I’ve learned that I am capable. I can do it. I’d thought for so long I would be unusable. God was finished with me. After my best friend and husband said what he did and left, filed for divorced, divorced me, I imagined nothing would allow God to want me. I was wasted goods. But somehow He opened this door in Africa. A need no one was filling and blew wide open doors for me to walk through and I arrived. All alone but knowing I was where He wanted me.
    ANd so I’ve spent the past 13 months learning this new place. Finding my heart broken. Finding it healed. Finding out God isn’t finished with me after all.
    and Oh, His love that flows like the waters and ushers me in…
    Ushers me into Love. Beauty. Ok-ness.

  28. Bravery…with 5 children ages, 17,7,7,7 & 3 things can be pretty crazy.
    In the last 12 months, I have realized that my closest family members are not related to me by blood at all. My oldest has Asperger’s and bi-polar disorder. So, when things got especially rouogh this past year, I tried to explain to my family what we are going through in hopes I would get some much needed support. But in turn, because they couldn’t understand what we were gong through, it was easier to call me a bad parent and stop talking to me.
    So, I realized what family is…and what love is…love is unconditional and I wasn’t getting that from my family but I was getting it from my dear friends.
    Bravery came into play when I had to decide no matter how much I love my family unconditionally, that they shouldn’t be judging me but supporting me and I needed to let them go because my family needs unconditional love. I pray everyday that they will open their hearts and reach out their hands and stop being judgemental.
    “..Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away…” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

  29. I am grateful that God allows us to learn…sometimes over and over. I am learning to hold “things” loosely and hold people closely.

  30. In the past year, I have learned to jump into the arms of God when it seems that all others have betrayed or abandoned me. When vows are broken, God is my only strong tower. I have learned that through His grace alone, I can find courage to face days that otherwise would have overwhelmed me. I have found the courage to forgive and to allow God to work miracles in healing.
    in His precious, unfailing love,
    Melanie
    ~ melscoffeebreak.blogspot.com ~

  31. In the last year and a half since my husband passed away I have learned that courage is not something I have, but a reflection of faith in, and the faithfulness of, an awesome God. Putting my hand in His, and following His lead has taken me places I never expected to be, through storms I wanted to avoid and to mountain tops I only dreamed of seeing.

  32. I’ve learned that only God is God. My husband is just a man, full of insecurities and also gifts and talents,a but he is not my Savior. I’m learning to find my security in the only One who can give me rest.

  33. Courage to move and faith that our old house will sell. It’s been one year since we bought our new home and it has been tough waiting for the old one to sell. But we are hanging in there!

  34. I need more faith than ever before.
    Leading up to the past year, my husband and I have experienced an child born with a blocked airway, having a trach for 18 months, over 15 surgeries, years of therapies and severe developmental delays as a toddler; our son is now a healthy vibrant (almost) 12 year old.
    7 years ago we brought a 6 month old girl into our home and 2 years later adopted her, now finding that she has attachment disorder due to the severe neglect she suffered in her first 6 months of life. Things with her are at times extremely difficult and the guilt that we carry because things with her are different than they are with our other 2 biological children is enough to throw anyone over the edge.
    One year ago this week, my husband began to suffer from extreme exhaustion and severe dizziness and his heart rate dropped to the mid 30’s and was only functional for about 4 hours a day….a month later, Dr’s agreed that a pacemaker at the age of 39 was the only answer to his functionality. After many months of trying to figure out the dizziness, they realized that he has a low blood pressure issue and spent a few more months getting meds to make the dizziness more tolerable. Still, a year later, the dizziness is still there, and most days are functional, but some days it is all he can do to just do anything. Throughout all of this, he has never complained or felt sorry for himself. He has never taken those icky, dizzy feeling days out on any of us.
    Throughout the last year, my husband decided that he needed to start his own business and get out of the stressful sales career he was in. I needed him closer to home and where I could be there on days he was struggling to function, so….we did it!!
    Over the years, my faith has certainly increased, but at this point, with a husband whose health is unpredictable from day to day, a daughter I am trying to bond with, 2 other children who are in the busy HS and MS years and trying to learn to run a business, I have days where my faith feels a bit challenged.
    Lord, increase my faith!! I need you!!

  35. About a year ago, my friend (who is a runner!) asked me (who is NOT even athletic!) to participate in a half-marathon to raise money for some of the most beautiful little children in Thailand and Cambodia who are caught up in the sex-slave trade. I was afraid! Because, in case you didn’t catch it — I.am.NOT.athletic. And it was a huge commitment to train for 13 weeks, even though I was just walking it. And, I didn’t just finish that one, but I also did another one in May. And I can say, without a doubt, that it was absolutely God Who gave me the courage as well as the ability to do it.

  36. I was in a job that was detrimental to my health and sanity. I feel the Lord is giving me courage to be employed in today’s weak economic situation, and not be depressed, but to realize that He has just the perfect job out there that’s made just for me! I know at the right time it will be made available to me- I just need to trust Him for all my provisions (not easy for me to do…)

  37. i learned that i am really stuck up and need to change, i learned that God knows so much more than me, i thought i could be faithful regarding a situation and He has shown me, i would not have been. Took me long enough to learn.

  38. This very month I learned that there was something in my life that I honestly didn’t believe was possible for God.
    I didn’t even know that I believed that until He showed me it was possible and I was blown away. He still said no or maybe it’s just “no not now”(and that hurts) but I feel enveloped in love that He met that need that I didn’t know I had; to KNOW that with Him, all things truly are possible. I’ll be posting on this in a few days.
    Yep, here come the tears. What a mighty God we serve!

  39. Sarah – love this post! God is so good to prepare us even when we are not aware of it. As we look back we can see His hand guiding us and our faithfulness not only blesses us in the moment, but prepares us for a future we do not yet know!

  40. I have learned very similar lessons to all the previous comments. To trust in the Lord more deeply and to lean on Him more than myself. I think this is something that will constantly be developing in my life until my homegoing….whenever that will be 🙂

  41. Recently I’m having to learn things all over again that I thought I had already learned in the past. Well, apparently not, because here we go again… Learning not to hold onto MY plans for my life, learning to trust and accept HIS timing, learning to go to HIM for strength and peace of mind when I get frustrated with things not going quite like I wanted them to.
    Help me to trust you, Lord!

  42. One year ago I quit my comfy job, applied to a private college without knowing how I would pay for it, 10 years older than most other college students, to get a degree in education (which just so happens to be a very hard field to get a job in where I live) because God was calling me to do it. I have learned so much in this past year on how to be a better mother because I have had more time with my son. I am so thankful that I jumped.

  43. I’ve had to learn to let go of my timetables in favor of God’s. His timing has always been perfect in my life. Waiting on Him tends to make me anxious and frustrated, but His plan is for me to be calm and peaceful in my present moment … I am so grateful that HE is so patient with me.

  44. I’ve learned that through God, I am able to muster far more courage than I ever could on my own…that faith means trusting in Him & His plans, no matter how daunting or scary the road ahead may look…and that He will bless us with what we need, but we have to be brave enough to reach for it & use our strength in Him to hold onto it. Thank you, Sarah, for your blog & for sharing your story, which I’ve been following. Our paths of the last few years have been strikingly similar & it helps to know there is someone else who is walking that road & understands. God bless you…

  45. Two big things in my life in the last year that has required a big step of faith for me are
    1. Moving out of a city I loved to one that I dreaded
    2. While I was in the dreaded city began to see my sin, and make huge changes in my thoughts and attitudes
    3. Start a non profit aimed at blessing the people in this city, know not so dreaded!
    God is so amazing that when we are fighting and begging to stay inside our own built up walls of comfort , He has a place of amazing refuge inside our scariest situations.
    And never takes out of the game just because we doubted or feared.

  46. This past year has been a huge leap of faith, courage and trust in the Lord, with job loses, gains, near death illnesses, herniated disks and financial issues we have totally put our trust in the Lord to bring us through. This is something we both saw as a challenge because we are very much people who like to have things hammered down and plan for what is coming. More than once we have seen how things are possible with God….to the point of being called personal miracles in the face of challenges. Our lives this past year are a testamony to the wonders that God can do if you believe and have faith in Him.

  47. I learned that it’s okay to leave something that you’ve known for 40 years and do something brand new, if it’s in God’s will. I have grown so much spiritually in the last 12 months because of jumping off that proverbial diving board.

  48. Twelve months ago, I had just been injured through physical therapy. I had hurt my leg a couple months before and went to PT to get healed. But instead of healing, the therapist misdiagnosed my injury and did a therapy on me that further injured me. At first I was sad and angry. But a neighbor then introduced me to a Christian therapist with different methods. It has been a long year but I am beginning to heal and working on gaining strength in my leg. I have also had to learn to forgive the person who hurt me and to make the most of every day as best I could. Some days have been challenging in the waiting. I am learning that God is still here and loving me in the waiting. I have also learned to ask for prayer. These posts have been a real encouragement to me as I’ve gone through this struggle.

  49. To trust God with His call in my life to teach women. It has been a huge leap of faith, and I love it. But I need to surrender each and every time I get up in front of women to speak. May God speak, and not me.
    Thanks Sarah!

  50. What have you learned over the last 12 months that you never thought you’d have to learn? Have you had to take a jump of bravery lately?
    Where to even begin?! Which lesson?! :0)
    The most current one is being not only Mom to my 37 year old daughter – but her friend in a very trying time in her life. I’ve had to totally lean upon the Lord to be brave for her and encourage her with positive thougths toward and about her very ill husband – who is NOT making life very easy to live – not only is he very ill – but has such a “worst case senerio” attitude. Being brave with the grandsons – ages 17 and 7 – praying God to heal her husband and give my daughter grace beyond what she could ever imagine.
    Patricia Grable
    patricia.grable@wsdtx.org

  51. Sarah asks, “What have you learned over the last 12 months that you never thought you’d have to learn? Have you had to take a jump of bravery lately?”
    In a nutshell, it has been a year of courage…
    The courage to fly across the country to give my first women’s retreat, in the midst of my husband facing an unexplainable illness, while hearing the voice of my father say over and over again, “You have nothing to tell anybody! Your life is a disappointment!”
    The courage to face the unknown course of my husband’s illness immediately following my return from the trip, as he lay hospitalized without guarantee of normal life again.
    The courage to serve in ministry while my pastor’s marriage crumbled, triggering the pain of my own childhood all over again.
    The courage to heed my husband’s wisdom and stepped down from the women’s ministry I waited an entire decade to finally lead.
    The courage to believe that God is sovereign over all, even while witnessing loved ones in stronghold of sin of every kind.
    The courage to believe that God loves my unsaved family members, even though my prayers for their salvation seem to have no answer.
    The courage to believe that God’s plans are best, and He still loves me, even when one of my most treasured friend moves away.
    The courage to be hospitable in the midst of moving boxes, joyful in moments of uncertainty, faithful in the face of the unknown.
    God has, by His extravagant grace, granted me the courage to face each day of this passing year. He didn’t stop there. He also taught me in my inmost being that His plans are perfect, always. He has the big picture in mind, with the utmost concern for each one of us. My circumstances were never out of God’s control. Better yet, He intended for me to learn about His faithfulness, power, and love for me and those in my little world!
    Was it a year of courage? Yes. But in it, I met my Heavenly Father and Savior again and again! So it was worth every difficult, uncertain step.

  52. I learned that anything is possible and nothing is impossible with God. This year I had my fourth child and dealt with situations that brought fear, anxiety and shame to our family. Every frightening step was taken with God reminding me that I can jump in because he is there at the bottom to catch me. I have been praying for a blessing (bible verse) for my daughter and someone gave me the verse about nothing is impossible with God. I kept hearing that verse every where I turned. God brought a little tiny baby to remind me that anything is possible and nothing is impossible with him. Great post! God will bless you in your obedience to him!

  53. I have learned over the last 12 months that “home” is really where your heart is because that is where the God of heaven dwells if you are one of His. After leaving our small community and wonderful church and moving 2 states away to place of lonliness and isolation, its been a hard year. Change takes courage….FAITH takes courage….and as a child of God I AM NEVER ALONE….neccessary lessons learned from a year of crying out, selfish pitying cries….too busy seeing myself and not the work that God had for me here in this place…I am so thankful God is patient and merciful…and gives courage to do things to those of us who are the weaker than weak…and now we are moving on to another adventure, another state, more work for the Kingdom of heaven….and I will carry my “home” with me to my next pausing place because God gives me the courage to step out in faith and follow Him…

  54. I had to take the jump last October and let my family take care of me and my family. I had to have a hysterectomy and we were having major financial problems. We moved in with my Mother, Sister and her husband. It was a very difficult decision for us. I’m so thankfully for my family stepping in to help me, my husband and my boys.

  55. Great post!
    Hmmmmmmmm, courage. I guess what I have faced in the last 12 months is facing the fact that I am closing the chapter/door on my fertility/childbearing years…..we have been blessed with four beautiful children, yet our hearts have had the desire to add another to our family over the past 5 years. We have suffered about 7 losses these past 3 years and now I am well into my 40s. We do trust and know that God loves us and we give Him all the Glory for all the seasons!

  56. Oh yes I have been learning about courage and the faith God gives to be courageous. In the past 12 months my husband has been out of work 2 times and we have moved (including the move to our new house THIS week) 3 times; moving from Texas to Illinois, back to Texas, and finally to Missouri. But, God is good and has shown his hand on every moment. We are blessed.

  57. I have stepped out in leading a new team – the journey has been full of learning opportunities and growth. I have seen myself step out in confidence in areas where in the past I have been uncertain. It is so fun to see God use you beyond your own ability because you are willing to step in faith beyond comfort.

  58. I’ve been involved in a ministry for over 8 years and my season of leadership ended in May. I knew it was coming, anticipated it, and dreaded it…what was I going to do now?
    I was afraid of the in-between time, waiting for God to ask me to serve somewhere else. I feared not being used, losing my purpose. Little did I know God has much bigger plans for me. I am now beginning my journey as a Women’s Ministry Coordinator at my church. The scope of this ministry is way out of my comfort zone. I fear failure and judgement, but I am exercising my courage muscle to trust God in this venture.

  59. I think I’m in a place right now that the last 12 months have led up to… unlike you, I am still standing on the diving board. Waiting. Hoping. Breathing.
    The last 12 months have led up to me getting to the board and standing.
    I just wish it wasn’t such a HIGH diving board!!

  60. this past year I learned more than I thought I would about loss, sorrow, hope, love and new life.
    last spring my husband and I found out we were pregnant, at 10 weeks when we went for our first ultra sound, and just after we had told all our friends and family, at this ultra sound we found out that there was no heartbeat, no egg, nothing. wait… what? after a few tests, we discovered it was a molar pregnancy. basically it meant to us no baby, and we had to wait at least 6 months before trying again.
    We were devastated, felt unsure and a little lost. But we felt God’s perfect love and peace. Our friends and family gathered around us and (mostly) said the all the right words. He comforted us in our time of need, we were able to get through that month and the next 6 months. and now, as I type this, we are waiting in excitement, the last 10 weeks to meet our little girl, who loves to give me big kicks… a constant reminder of God’s love and faithfulness to us!

  61. Alcoholic father, cancer diagnoses at age 24, and now my church family being torn by the devil. In this past 12 months I have learnt I have never fully trusted people, so by faith I need to have the courage to trust and in the end realize I may get hurt. But God will be there for me, he has been since the beginning.

  62. In the last twelve months I’ve had to learn that when you seek to know yourself more fully you may find that you don’t like what you see and that it takes courage to change those things that aren’t pleasant to look at.
    I’ve also learned that being brave sometimes means toughing it out and wading through the muck right where you are at instead of being called away to a new adventure (but that isn’t always the case for everyone).
    I hope you’re doing well in your new adventure and that your family will find a wonderful place to grow and flourish in your faith.

  63. I have learned that I am a lot braver then I thought I was. I took the place of the pastor and ran the whole service at church, sermon included. It takes a lot of bravery to talk in front of a crowd, but I learned that God is always with you when you are doing his work. He will be there to hold your hand.

  64. I’ve had to learn about living with illness. I’ve had to learn how to live for my King when my body does not give me energy or strength. I’ve had to learn to rely on other people, get over myself and realize that on my own I am nothing. Just a girl saved by Grace. Great lessons.

  65. i am turning 40 this year and i have had 2 friends this year (same age as me about to turn 40) pass away. My friend Julie has battled with cancer for the past few years. She was an amazing woman and faith was evident in all she did. My friend Blanca passed away last week. She was diagnosed with a brain aneurism and it ruptured during surgery. Blanca was an incredible, dynamic , godly woman. She impacted people in so many ways. She lived her life with purpose and vigor. I have been left evaluating my own life and asking myself what legacy am I leaving? What have I done for God? No one knows how long they will live but what we do know is that God has a plan and we have an opportunity to use each and every day and make it count.

  66. I am a very shy person. It seems like I’ve had to step outside my shell quite often, meeting new people, teaching…this weekend I’m supposed to teach a session for a teacher training, and I am scared. to. death. I’m in need of LOTS of courage to get through it!

  67. Courage to trust God when He radically changes your path. January 2009 I was accepted at Dallas Theological Seminary. It took courage to take that step because I never thought I would go to seminary. But the fall before I really felt God pointing me that way and to take steps of faith to trust Him. So I did and got accepted. Two days before I was supposed to go to a day on campus almost 2 months later, I found out I was pregnant!
    Needless to say my world was rocked. In October last year I gave birth to our beautiful baby boy. And ever since his birth, God has been transforming me more and calling me to trust Him more for His plans for my life.

  68. Mine is going back to School.
    I’ve wanted to for so long, but I am terrified of going back. At 30 I’m afarid that I have forgotten so much and won’t be able to cut it.
    But I know that I want/need to do it to do what God is calling me to.
    So I’ve filled out applications and will start in the spring, I’ll get everything ready during this fall, and maybe test out of a few classes if possible…so 1,2, 3…here I go.

  69. I always thought I trusted the Lord but in the last few months I’ve learned that I really wasn’t trusting like I should. I’ve learned that He knows best. This life is for Him and not what I think my life should be.
    He has plans and I am learning to TRUST His plans. 🙂 The Lord has laid it on my heart for my husband and I to adopt a SN child from China. It’s been a couple years that He’s been working on me but I was stubborn and had my own thoughts about how my life was supposed to go. Recently I’ve began to listen better and TRUST. I trust that the Lord will lay this upon my husbands heart as He has mine. I trust that he will watch over us, guide us and help us through this long, complicated, somewhat scary process. 🙂

  70. I’ve had to learn to trust in *totally* new ways. I’ve been getting better at trusting God with me and my life… those of the ones that I love however… I’m still a bit OCD. God has been teaching me that as much as I trust Him with me and where I’m going, I have to trust that He is just as involved in their life and that He *will* take care of them even in the midst of extremely painful circumstances. Learning that it’s ok to only be able to pray is still hard for me.

  71. I am in awe of the things God is walking people through right now. What an awesome God we serve who is big enough to handle all these situations and yet still concern Himself with my everyday.

  72. Just recently I have finally found the courage for change. Change in my marriage, change in the way I handle things, and taking a big leap of faith. I have finally decided to go into therapy, something I have been avoiding for quite some time.

  73. Courage to ask others for help and treat my personal life as an open book. Courage to ask for help when I am so used to doing everything myself and to rely on others for that help.

  74. This past year has been a huge lesson on faith for our family. My husband lost his job in January and is still unemployed as of this post. We have had to fully rely on God for provision for our family of 5. We have learned that HE will provide and that even when all seems hopeless HE is there to give us a hope and a future and the HE has a plan for us. It is up to us to listen and follow.

  75. a year ago i was forcing myself through a deployment i felt like would never ever end. as the months passed some people i though were friends turned away from me, i found myself being braver than i knew i was capable of being. now he’s home and we’re both trying to be brave as we discuss becoming parents. its scary and we both know its a huge decision but we also know that god has his own perfect timing and that he will never give us more than we can handle.

  76. Courage – the ability to face fear, bravery. Those are words to live by in my life the past 12 months. My husband was hurt on the job over 7 years ago and in November of last year received notice that his job would not be able to accommodate him any longer because he cannot do part of his job. Needless to say that put a lot of stress on him. In December, he had a seizure in the store but the doctor could not figure out why, said it was from low blood sugar. In April of this year, he had another seizure at our home, which was very scary for me, but his blood sugar was fine. The doctor doesn’t care enough to figure out what is going on. Bottom line is the seizures were brought on by stress, but the doctor does not want to admit that. He also suffered from 3 compression fractures in his back and has not been able to work. He had back surgery in July, but didn’t completely fix things and still not working. I have had to take on 2 other jobs just to keep our head above water with the bills. It has been very stressful for me, but God has answered our prayers through all of this and continues to answer our prayers.

  77. Mine has def been TRUST. Trusting God in every aspect of my life. It’s been a year of letting go and letting God. Thanks so much for your encouragement. Blessings, SusanD

  78. I am learning that just because I can’t control a situation does not mean that I have to live in fear. I am also learning that I can actually do a decent job of being a mom. .

  79. Wow…how many posts on here relate to fear…I am also a scaredy-cat at heart! In the past year, I have learned that I have to LET GO and LET GOD. I have also learned that GOD is GOD and I AM NOT!
    I have 3 son’s that I have to let God have what He already does…control over their lives. Our first is adopted from Guatemala, which took more courage than I had. Our second has cerebral palsy…which is so beyond my control and that is hard. Our third son was born Aug. 5 at 34 weeks due to my water breaking early, but by God’s grace, he is perfect!

  80. What a timely post! I just jumped off a similar “springboard” in starting to share my secondary infertility story. Very few friends and family even know our struggles. I’ve started to write about it on my blog, where I know several can read it. I’m having the courage, in hopes of helping just one other person…to not be ashamed, to find peace in their only child, and/or lack of another child. Wonderful reminder of courage. Thank you.

  81. I have learned that as a teacher sometimes the lesson comes just before you start teaching. See my comfort zone says I need the lesson early…gives me peace and comfort when I have the lesson the day before…I pray, spend time reading the Bible and seek God about what I am to teach. Sometimes He shows up immediately with THE lesson. Other times He shows up ‘just in the nick of time’ and still other times I don’t get a clear direction on the lesson which really sends me in a tizzy!
    I am learning that if I seek Him and then walk in faith knowing He will lead me and even give me the words it will all work out and He will be glorified.
    It is when I try to do it on my own that even the best of my own lessons flops and it seems to end up in a puddle on the floor with young girls looking at me like they have no idea what I just said.
    Walking by faith not by sight has taken on a whole new meaning! Praise GOD it has 🙂

  82. I have learned how to deal with losing my job due to budget cuts and learning to deal with not being able to find a job.

  83. Wow, did I need to read this RIGHT NOW!! You see, I “jumped” this morning…dropped my daughter off at camp, for the entire day, for the first time…gulp…I almost cried when I left her, but I kept hearing “The Voice” telling me it’s gonna be all good 🙂
    Granted, this is small potatoes compared to what many have gone through/are going through, but that fear is similar.
    Great post!!

  84. I’m learning to take heart, have courage, and step out in my faith, taking a bigger part in our Church. I taught children during Bible school this summer and my husband and I have taken on a children’s Sunday school class and become part of the children’s ministrey. It’s such an important job helping these kids establish their faith, and it’s a little scary. But I’m handing it all over to God and already reaping the rewards of workign with these great kids!

  85. This past year, renewing my relationship with Christ has meant letting go of all the shallow foundations I built in my life, interms of my dependence on Money, relationships and academics to make me feel secure. Time and time again, God has slowly shaken all these areas in my life and turned them upside them to make me realize that He is all that I need – nothing more and nothing less. This has required me to take courageous leaps of faith – changing my future career path and trusting that He is leading me there, stepping out of a relationship and fully trusting that He knows best for me no matter how painful and knowing that despite my lack, i have all the riches through the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
    Thanks!

  86. I’ve learned so much in the past 12 months, I can’t even list it all. We became that family – the one whose father was unemployed and mother became full-time breadwinner for the family. We’ve lost one of our cars and our house that we’d owned for 10 years. We’ve had to move into a not-so-nice neighborhood just to be able to afford our home, and we’re still stretched beyond the limits. For a fanatical control freak like moi, it’s been a very difficult road, to the point of hyperventilating in the privacy of my bathroom so the kids wouldn’t see (although I’m sure they can feel it with their kid senses).
    I’ve had to learn (and relearn, and possibly relearn again) that I’m not in control of anything. I can say that I know it’s all in God’s timing until I’m blue in the face, but until I actually accept it and truly believe it, it’s all lip service. I think that God is trying to teach me that and give me the courage to accept it…the courage to go on with life just as He would have me do…the courage to ask for help when we need it…the courage to realize that the things we need to cherish don’t come easily, aren’t purchased, and don’t have any value on ebay.
    We are now facing a possible move across the country, which has me scared to death. Move away from the only area I’ve known? Away from my family and lifelong friends? Yup, that’s right.
    Courage, folks. Just when I think I’ve got it, I need a bigger supply 🙂 But I know that the supply is endless, as long as I’m looking in the right warehouse.

  87. I thought I knew all about patience, but I’ve had to learn a lot more about it this year and re-learn patience all together. I have a two year old who I stay at home with full-time and patience seems to be my constant prayer. Praise God, He is listening!!

  88. I’ve learned how to grow with two kids. How to move with a two month old. I’m learning how to pack again for a cross country move with a 8 month old and a 4 year old. But, I’ve mostly learned how to live within our means and how to still live a nice comfy life and pay down almost all of our medical debt. We should be out by the end of this year!

  89. I have had to have courage to trust God when life really hurts. My husband and I lost our daughter at 20 weeks of pregnancy. Having the courage to get up and be a mom for the four wonderful children that God has already blessed me with took every ounce of courage I had.

  90. I never thought I’d have to learn what it meant to minister to a grieving husband. Not at our age, with parents ranging in their late 40’s and 50’s. However, my husbands youngest brother committed suicide at the age of 28 about 3 months ago. It’s taken a lot to be brave FOR my husband, especially as a hormonal pregnant woman caring for a toddler. When I’ve wanted to be carried emotionally, I’ve had to do the carrying. It’s really taught me more about not relying on our spouse to meet every.single.need. That has been, and always should be our Heavenly Fathers role. We should spend our time seeking to please Him, and in turn we’ll be what we need to be for our spouse. That’s taken quite a leap of faith for me.

  91. Oh my goodness, how timely was your post today! This past year has been a rough one for me, full of moments of emotion I thought I might not survive, LOL! It was about a year ago that I disclosed a sexual assault from many years ago that I had never talked about. And along with verbalizing it came an open floodgate of emotions and tears. A year later, I still struggle, but finally feel free. I cannot explain the courage it took to let that little girl breathe again, to wipe the shame off of her face and see the beauty. Courage I never would have had without God, my counselor, and my loving husband by my side. And now here I am scrounging the floor for courage again, courage to move on and trust that God has the best for me. Courage to keep my eyes focused on Him, and to trust Him to heal all my wounds. Thank you for this post today. It is time for me to move on from victim to victorious, God give me courage.

  92. I truly needed to read this today! The past several years have been filled with trial and tribulation, with this current year truly taking the cake so to say. As I was reading today’s inCourage, I realized that this past year has been a time where I have had to step out in faith, in Courageous Faith, more than I ever have before. I truly understand your quote:
    “I’ve begun to learn that courage doesn’t cast out fear altogether, but it asks you stand up and do it BECAUSE you are afraid. Because you know it’s right to do.”
    There have been so many instances this year that I have been filled with fear, yet I chose to step forward as I knew God was calling me to do so. It truly hasn’t been easy, but I’m finding it to be tremendously rewarding! Even now I see a huge leap approaching, but looking at the jump that will be required through the lenses of courage, I know God is there with me preparing me for His better plan for my life. <><

  93. Courage. I am taking a giant leap of faith next week. I am quitting my well-paying and secure job to complete my student teaching. I’m hoping beyond hope that I’ll find a teaching job quickly so that I do not end up sending my family to the brink.

  94. After reading some of these comments, I am not sure my act of bravery/courage is in the same league…My husband recently got a full-time job (yahoo!) and that meant that we had to find full-time care for my child, as they had been home together for 3 years. So, I researched and found a great place that we love, and have found the courage to leave him in the care of people besides blood relatives. And, he is THRIVING and changing and doing wonderful things! (again, yahoo!)

  95. After years of learning “how to be a leader”, I’m in a position where I have to train others. I’ve always been the one planning events, making decisions, figuring out details, and now I’m in a role where I have to train leaders to do that. I’m used to getting my way, but I am learning how to let them have theirs, even if I don’t think it’s the best way. I’m not sure why it makes me so fearful… none of the events or decisions are life or death… but the loss of control sometimes makes it feel that way!

  96. I had the courage to let go of my sweet husband, who died of cancer in February. But really, I had the courage to marry him – as I knew he had terminal cancer when we got married just 8 months before he died. We are blessed with an amazing Savior who gives us that courage!

  97. My biggest leap of courage has been to embrace the callings of my grown Children. We have a wonderfully close family with 4 married children and 12 beautiful grandchildren (ages 8 to 0). Ten years ago they all lived close enough for frequent family birthday parties and other celebrations. The cousins have enjoyed growing up and playing together. Now we have the spread out to different states and countries in Asia. We see each of them 1 to 2 times a year and Skype with the grandkids in between. I have learned over this time that God is my Source of happiness, peace, and joy. I have been seeking Him and allowing Him to fill this void as only He can. God is using all our children as witnesses to the ends of the earth and in between and we are still shining our light here on the home front!

  98. I’ve had to take courage that God can do all that I can’t. That He doesn’t expect me to get it all or or accomplish His will. I just need to be obedient in the small things and He’ll work out the rest. It might not seem all that courageous, but to a woman who likes to do it all, it takes courage to stop trying so hard.

  99. I have entered a new season in my life. In the beginning I felt alone and hopeless. A serious fall took me out of a vibrant life of work and play to a new life of walkers, physical therapists, etc. You really learn about friends and life when you hit the bottom. That learning lesson had me bound for five years, however now a new lesson to learn. Life after! I am climbing out of the barrel of despair and learning life can be new again. I am enrolling in school again to begin a new career path. You see all things are possible with God! That lesson was staring me right in the face but I kept overlooking it. I get it now!

  100. I had to learn courage in the wake of being told I had breast cancer a year ago. But, God is faithful, not just to my physical body, but my emotional and spiritual body as well.

  101. Reading this post made me realize that I have been frozen on “my diving board” for the past 12 months.
    I haven’t yet had the courage to “jump.”
    I’ve been stuck in my rut paralyzed.
    I’ve wanted to.
    I’ve made plans to.
    I just haven’t yet.
    This weekend I just explained to someone else that they need to realize their fear is holding them back and know that their God is bigger than that!
    Gulp – guess I need to swallow that pill.
    Perhaps God has been preparing me over the past year. Perhaps because I can explain it to someone else, I’ve learned it.
    Now it’s time to jump!
    Thanks for this (in)courage-ment Sarah!

  102. For me, courage is doing what God’s Word says to do no matter how difficult.
    It’s knowing that doing the right thing is enough–and believing that when I walk through the fire, I’ll come out purified.
    Each day my courage grows because it is being exercised consistently. When a big act of courage is required, it will be strong enough to meet the test.
    Thank you for your encouragement!

  103. I have learned so much over the past year. My sister and mother were both diagnosed with breast cancer and while it has been a long journey my mom is now finished with chemo and my sister has just recently been diagnosed with cancer on her brain and in her lungs. I have learned that I have to trust God to get me through the rough days that have past and now the rough days in the future. To trust that His will is best even if we don’t understand.

  104. I have always been ‘afraid’ of making choices of my own. I am making a ‘move’ to another state far away from family and friends and a whole new lifestyle… I am learning to trust God in leading me and keeping me safe and finding peace in that. this is a HUGE move for me to be making ..but I am excited about what God is going to be showing me what to do.

  105. Courage to jump into being mommy to a newborn again, when her arrival was an unexpected blessing. We continue to adjust, and we continue to rejoice. But the many changes her arrival demanded have required courage I didn’t think I had or needed.

  106. When I read the comments and see the wondrous, amazing, enormous things God has done in some of these ladies’ lives, my leap of Courage seems so much “smaller”. But it’s mine – all mine – and God is mine and He tells me He is in my everything. The size or complexity of my issue is not important; my trusting Him to carry me through, work it for my good, see me to the end….IS. He’s given me the Courage in the past year to not feel I have to have courage, but to draw on His limitless wisdom to know what’s best for me and to follow His lead. My husband & I are about to embark on a small group leadership & we’re petrified, but we have Courage, because He has us in His hand.

  107. I am having to learn to say goodbye slowly to my father who has been diagnosed with Early Onset of Alzheimer’s Disease. And with the looooooong goodbye, I am learning to: live each day to its fullest, live in a way that will leave you with no regrets, knowing and understanding “why” is not important.

  108. I’m having to learn how to move out of my house for our own huge JUMP of faith… We’re leaving suburbia and stability and all we’ve known as comfortable to take our 3 kids under 10 out into the mission field next year! But God is so good… : ) Leading us every scary step of the way and giving us tremendous joy in the process. : )

  109. After a long 2 year battle, my grandchildren were taken away from my daughter. They were adopted out to strangers. I love those kids so much and now will not get to be with them, watch them grow. My heart was ripped out by the courts that are suppose to be fair and just. All of this because of a false accusation. I thought that I would be on the road to healing, but it is long and hard. When will the tears stop? When will the ache in my heart not be so intense? It takes courage to get up every morning and have to pretend that I’m okay when I know I’m not. To know that this is God’s will and trying to understand the message that comes from it is completely overwhelming. Please Dear Lord Jesus, help me to understand….

  110. I am in the midst of anxiety that continues to build over things I cannot control. My jump–my leap–has been in talking to God with every single anxiety attack. Every time I have found myself not able to control my world, my own thoughts, I have had to turn to my father and ask Him to do it for me. He’s been waiting for this; for me to turn it ALL over to Him all the time. But, my courage to let go of control has never been there. So, instead, He allowed me to feel the anxiety that comes with taking it all on myself, and waited for me to realize that I have to have Him to do it all for me. I do nothing myself; it all comes from the One who loves me.

  111. After a really horrible church situation with leadership that lacked integrity, the Lord asked us to trust again. SO, so difficult.
    It was like being thrown into the deep end of a pool.

  112. I have learned that God has been using everyday circumstances and experiences over the past 4 years to prepare me for an exciting new ministry opportunity – it’s amazing to look back and see where His story and my story have combined to create something amazing!

  113. In January, just days after her first birthday, my baby choked on a raisin while sitting in my lap. The minutes that followed were the scariest of my parenting life, possibly of my entire life. The paramedics were called, my husband was able to get the raisin out, she ended up being fine. The entire story is posted at http://www.burdinefamily.com/2010/01/lulu-and-raisin.html
    I will never forget the sight of my limp, blue baby. I still have trouble letting her go as much as I should, for I have learned that I am not brave enough to lose her.
    But what I have learned from it is that really, I am never in charge of what happens to any of my children. All the times when I feel like I’m in control, those are the times I am living under false security.
    But my God is the one who is in charge of every moment of their lives: the simple moments and the scary ones too. Nothing happens without his permission.
    So I can face every out-of-my-control day with courage: courage that something greater than my fallible self is orchestrating every moment. Which gives me the ability to let go of that precious little girl and let her grow.

  114. I’m really worried that people won’t like me, and I get utterly petrified when someone is angry with me (even my kids, husband, other relatives). I would say this past year in counseling at church I’ve slowly been learning that, yes, people get mad at me and it’s uncomfortable but God will always, always love me, no matter what I do or don’t do. I can’t describe how much it helps knowing that in my heart and letting it sink in.

  115. It took a leap of faith from both my husband and I, when we decided that staying at home full-time with my son was the right thing for us to do. It has tested our faith in God’s sovereignty and ability to provide for our family despite the loss of income.

  116. thanks so much for all these amazing posts. recently i’ve been learning a lot and i guess one big thing for me is that it takes courage to obey god like to believe him and know he’ll always come trhough for you..

  117. People aren’t all they seem to be and while they might seem to have many people fooled, they don’t have everyone fooled. It’s been a rocky road but I see some light at the end.

  118. I learned that I must love Christ more than anything else…sacrifice is part of courage and I can trust Him to replace what is lost with something even better.

  119. Once again, we find ourselves in the place of unemployment. We seem to have a cycle of three years. Start new company. Sell company. But this go around, the timing was perfect, God led. An offer came and a few days later we learned we got out just in time.
    Now we pursue new opportunities in faith that God will lead. He’s got plans and good ones. I just know it.
    We jumped and we’re still in mid-air. But underneath are the everlasting arms.

  120. Courage… I like you am not fond of change and yet the Lord has been working on me lately for the past decade or so(!), however more intense for the past year. I currently stand at a fork in the road of change and I pray I go the path to HIS glory alone.

  121. In the last year I have had to learn more than ever to trust others with my handicapped daughter. I could no longer take care of her after 30 years and had to place her in a group home for medically fragile. Almost a year ago she was attacked by an aid and taken to the ER due to an injury to the top of her head from this person. Police were not called and the person was allowed to resign. There were wittnesses but due to the fact that my daughter cannot speak this person was not held responsible. My beautiful daughter who is wheelchair bound and cannot fend for herself … this has all but destroyed both of us. My daughter is not the same. She no longer smiles and is fearful of new people now. I have had to learn to call upon OUR LORD and trust in HIM more than ever to watch over my precious child. I cry every day as “I” am the one I blame for anything that happens. I am alone here as we moved here from another state … no family … no friends … just my trust in JESUS and trying so hard to trust in the people at whose hands my daughter’s safety and well being lies.

  122. In the past several years of my life God has really been pushing me into getting out of my comfort zone. I’ve done many things I would have several years ago.
    One of the bravest/most couragous things I think that a person can be is a parent and this summer we found out that we are expecting in January! I’m scared and excited.

  123. …that with Him, all things are possible~Phillipians 4:13 is the scripture that I carried with me through some fearful and dark moments only too recently after my husband was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.
    Post-chemo and in remission now, my husband is a walking reminder of God’s amazing grace and love for each and every one of us.

  124. I had to reveal my deepest, most shameful secrets to someone, knowing that I’m giving them weapons to use against me if they wished so. And then, in amazement, watching them forgiving me and setting me free…
    I learned a lot about God’s Grace and Forgiveness. I learned if we want to grow closer to Him and be changed, we need to let go, submit to His will, realize that we cannot “do it’ on our own.
    It’s scary, it’s uncomfortable, but once we leap – it’s incredible!

  125. I am a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant. I worked my way to Sales Director in one year and then had some health issues. I had to step down as Sales Director and battle my health problems. I have never quit. I believe I am learning life lessons at every turn. I love your inspiration and it keeps me focused and when I see others struggling I know I am not alone. I know I am not alone because of my relationship with my Heavenly Father. It helps when I take my eyes off me and pray and help others. Thank you for all you do and your words of courage!

  126. I am learning what it means to be shepherded by God….and to follow only Him as I rely on Him completely to lead me the waters and green pastures, etc. I am learning to only be about His business not my own and how to wait on Him to lead before forging ahead with what I think should be done…I am learning to listen!

  127. Becoming a pastors wife and secure in my own skin; not being fearful of what others thought about me or my kids, but being secure in who God has made me and where I am at.

  128. It takes courage every day to choose to praise God in the midst of circumstances we wouldn’t have chosen for our family (specifically chronic illness). It’s worth it, though, because He has drawn us to Him in ways that we would have missed otherwise.

  129. My role has often been the fixer, the peace maker (3rd child and all) and now a mom of a 22 and 19 year old. I never want someone around me to struggle or go through hard times. I have a gut reaction to RUSH in and fix, never leaving time for struggle or hardship. My oldest child has moved several states away, often calling with problems that are just too far away for me to rush in and fix, and while my youngest is just an hour away at college, with schedules, again often I am unable to be there to really fix anything for her.
    I have learned the beauty and power in saying “I’m going to pray for you in that” and then not RUSH ~ but wait. Wait for the beauty of my children’s “adult faith” grow and strengthen because I am not the fixer of their struggles, God is. It has not only strengthen my children’s prayer life to see how God cares for them and protects them through daily life, it has strengthened my prayer life to bring the most precious things in my life to God and lay them at His feet in total trust. I have never felt my heart warm so much as when I hear my 22 year old say

  130. I’m learning to take risks. To not let the rejections and hurts of the past keep me from stepping out of my introverted self and share the gift of Christ in me.

  131. I’ve learned that the family who I thought I was the closest to turns out I am not close at all with.
    I’ve learned that each time I prayed at mass to sell a puppy from my litters of 16 that God provided a family in need who found me.

  132. Over the last 12 months I have had to learn how to be comfortable not being in control. My husband lost his job last October and we are truly relying on faith in God to get us through. I have taken a leap off that diving board knowing that God knows our path and He will continue to walk with us during this chapter of our lives.

  133. I did something I said I would never do and spoke at a womens conference about the journey of grief I went on after my daughter died at 6 1/2 months gestation. I learned that God will meet you where you are, give you an extra measure of strength and courage.

  134. I returned to school – online college.
    I panicked when I looked at the syllabus for my first class. “I can’t do this” I thought. Then I remembered I’m not doing this alone. I’m not doing this for me! I’m doing it to glorify God. “God”, I prayed, “I’m scared and I cannot do this without you, please help me.” Instantly, I was calmed. I continue to rely on that calmness and everlasting strength as I begin my 4th class today – it is another scary one that deals with finances and accounting. (YIKES!)
    I know I’ll be o.k. because I’m not doing it alone. Often, I’m reminded that I’m not doing it at all – it’s all God!

  135. May 18, 2010
    I am very scared. I can hardly breathe. I can hardly think. My daughter,Cat (Catherine), has been diagnosed with Raynauds, scleroderma, and Crest Syndrome by a rheumatologist she saw Friday. She has the rapidly advancing kind of scleroderma. It causes the skin to thicken and get tight. Her skin looks different. It can be inside, too, and cause tissue to die. It will stop the vital organs. It feels tight when she extends her arms, her pointer fingers are turning black at the tips. The black part must be removed by a hand surgeon as soon as possible. They can turn necrotic. They are extremely painful. She bought gloves especially designed for Raynauds — they sort of help.
    She is trying to work but types a lot and that cause lots of pain. She bumps them all the time. The worst is trying to shower even using rubber gloves. When the water hits it is excruciating. But, of course, all of our hope lies in Jesus.
    The doc says she can live in 1 of 2 places, Arizona or Florida. She is now living in AZ, so that is a real blessing.
    Our attitude is the following:
    God is the great healer and physician
    He loves Cat more than we can imagine
    He is in control no matter how things look
    We want His will for Cat
    Our prayer requests: Healing and the peace that passes understanding
    I am regularly climbing into Jesus’ lap and hanging on for dear life. He is already so obviously at work.
    Our God walks on water and moves mountains, He will heal Cat.
    Love, Sally
    Psalm 55: 11 Cast your cares on the Lord, and He will sustain you”

  136. My husband owned one FedEx route and last year he purchased a second one. All of a sudden we had employees and I had to learn how to do a payroll, how to work with state and federal agencies regarding withholding and taxes; and had to learn QuickBooks. People said, “Oh Quickbooks is easy,” but I’m a nurse, not an accountant and it wasn’t easy. My sister-in-law, Tracy, came to help me several times and each time she would start with, “Let’s pray.” God blessed me with a great teacher and He blessed me by helping me realize I have so much more capacity to learn thant I ever give myself credit for.

  137. Can I first just say Thank You to (In)Courage for this beautiful site. It truly does encourage me daily and I am so thankful for all the women who share their stories here. As for me, in the past year, I would say that one of the biggest things I have learned is how to let go and follow God’s plan for my life. I like to have things figured out and know how it’s all going to go, but He’s shown me this past year that His will will be done, and not mine and that His is so much greater. I am thankful for that.

  138. I learned that I can, in fact, be a mom! I am older and did not think it was in God’s plan for me to have children – and I was ok with that. My husband and I have had 15 great years of marriage, we are a great team and enjoy doing things together. When we found out that we were expecting it was a big shock to me. I was scared and did not feel worthy of the task! Though I took good care of myself throughout the pregnancy, I had a very hard time accepting that it was really happening. Now that my beautiful daughter is here it is like mothering came very natural to me. I was scared to death of this tiny little baby but now I cannot imagine life without her any longer! She is a great baby and I now have confidence that I really can do this! There have been many challenges already, but with God’s help we have gotten through just fine!

  139. For the past year I’ve been raising my children on my own and it’s been the most challenging situation I’ve experience thus far in life. The stress of raising them well, providing for them and meeting their needs emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually is overwhelming. I rarely feel I’m good enough for this job. But by God’s grace, I’ve found the courage to wake up each morning and be the best possible (single) momma I can be.

  140. I definitely have learned several important things just in the past several months since being diagnosed in February with Crohn’s disease. Sure, it’s not a fatal disease, but came on rather quickly and out of nowhere. For a girl of just under 26 years and no previous track record of any major medical issues, it hit me like a ton of bricks.
    And then God gave me perspective. And I view life differently now.
    One of my most cherished lessons I’ve learned recently is letting go of my pride, truly forgiving people in my past who have hurt me, and taking responsibility for my actions and words against them. I’ve managed to restore 2 friendships I walked away from in college and felt justified in doing- all while harboring resentment in my heart towards them. I’m working on a 3rd relationship that is my toughest challenge yet. It’s one that has been broken for a very long time with my sister. It might take a long time to heal, but I’m finally willing to lay it all on the line!

  141. When I married my military husband, I realized that we’d be moving every so often. What I didn’t think about was how hard it would be to make friends in each new place.
    Over this past year, God has taught me what a real friend looks like. He’s pushed me out of my comfort zone time and time again in order to make friends. For an introvert this has been really hard, harder than expected, but rewarding in the same token.
    For once again God is teaching me to depend on Him like never before.

  142. Last year’s VBS at our church nearly finished me…it was the end of a very hard year (two wildfires in our area, both times we evacuated) and the unexpected need for me to both teach the Bible lesson and be group guide/controller for 20 kids age 4-8 was too much. I wasn’t happy with myself. That kicked off a year of struggling with my judgemental nature! Praise God anyway…this year I’m in a much better place.
    So this year I got to teach the Bible stories again for VBS but only that: I wrote skits so we could act out the Bible lesson and God met us and the kids each day (“It’s not fair Joshua got to go in the tent of meeting with God and we didn’t!” -yes then, but now we all do!) And I had to persevere and trust God and he pulled me through and taught me the lessons of the VBS week! But yes, it was very much a dive off the board.

  143. The past 12 months have been full. A pregnancy, a miscarriage, depression and God’s healing and teaching. I have had to have the courage to believe when I didn’t feel. To choose God’s Word as my ultimate reality instead of my feelings. To believe that dying to self really IS the way to life. Still working on that daily choice to believe. But what a great and mighty God He has shown Himself to be in the last 12 months.

  144. I am the person waiting for “the letter” to be written…….and trying to find the courage to face her every Sunday and forgive her (my “friend”) over and over again, even without an apology. I may never get one. I am asking God to give me courage to be who He wants me to be, without anger and bitterness in the picture. It’s easier to hold onto it than to let go. Way easier.

  145. In the last year, I have learned how bankruptcy and losing a home do not define my worth… and how repaying the debts that a judge has legally absolved me from is infinitely more liberating than the piece of paper he gave me… and how the fifth year of infertility is no easier than the first, no matter what people say… and how gratefulness is truly the antidote to my discontentment… and how blessed I am to be a child of God.

  146. i think i am not brave.. i don’t take risks. i’m not adventurous. i feel that with the death of my mom, getting married & moving away, i closed myself to a lot of people other than my husband. i felt like i was hurt by a lot of people around me.. my father, my pastors, my best friend…but i finally just said i don’t want that to withhold me & keep me from moving on & living my life. i was tired of dwelling on it. i have forgiven them. and now, when i talk to them or whatever, i don’t think of the past & i just enjoy the present.. and not only that, but i have become more open with my thoughts & feelings to these people. and i know it took a very long time for me to open up to them. and now it’s easier. and i’m so glad i decided to let go and live life!

  147. I have learned to put more trust and faith in God because I am not in control, I may think I am, but truly things happen because He has a reason and plans. I am learning to put everything in His hands- cannot explain right now but someday.

  148. when i think about the last twelve months, i start to think,”wow, i didn’t learn anything…or i am so lame because i haven’t changed anything”..but if i really think about it, i think i havce gotten better at trusting God, i still am not where i sould be, but i am getting there…my mind knows what to d..it’s my heart that has a hard time….please don’t misunderstand..I love the Lord..i strive to take Him and His word in…and that’s what my goal is…

  149. The courage I’m facing is fighting for custody of my children by myself. My ex husband convinced my children to lie about me and he was granted emergency custody of them. I’ve only spent less than 48 hours with them since December 09. Court dates just keep getting pushed back. I’ve very shy and I’m really nervous about speaking in court tomorrow.

  150. What I’ve learned in the past year is that I have not been living my life to the fullest. I’ve learned that even though the last six years have been a challenge unlike any I ever imagined facing, God has faith that I can handle even MORE! I’m learning to see life in the bigger picture and that HE is the nucleus of that picture, not me. I can whine and cry and shout my frustrations, fears and worries from the highest mountain, but it’s in the quiet moments, when my fears have taken their toll, that I hear HIM. And he gives me courage and strength and I know that His love will carry me. He wants to show me more. To show me what life really has to offer me and it’s not the mud and the muck that I feel trapped in every day. I’m learning to see that these obstacles lead to beauty, faith and love that has no equal.

  151. I often look back at things that felt monumental, that are now smaller, non-scary things to me. Things I thought were bigger than I could manage, and now I could do them in my sleep.
    But that doesn’t diminish their weight in my story. It doesn’t diminish their importance in that time. Because without those huge, now small steps, I’d never manage the huge (someday, I’m sure to be small) steps of my future.
    So proud of you for all your leaps.

  152. I love your post! I’ve learned to say no and feel good about it! I’ve learned to follow God’s voice inside of me & you are right it takes a lot of courage. I’ve learned to trust Him more & that’s the best feeling!!

  153. These are my favorite words lately-courage & brave.. Everybody has a story of of God’s amazing love, how He makes us Brave in circumstances we never thought we would be in or have the courage to endure. My story is the cancer one 😕 When I have a hard day I always say to myself You are Brave, God gave you the courage to not only get through the day but to get through the day with Joy. So today I AM Brave!

  154. I’ve learned that confession is good for the soul (God taught me that through you, Sarah). That when you decide to seek Him like you’ve never sought Him before, He. Shows. Up. That it’s okay if you don’t have it all together. That a real relationship with God is not only doable, it’s downright necessary. Mostly, I’ve learned that God can be trusted. Even though I know that sounds silly. It’s taken me a while to learn He always wants the best for us.
    My act of bravery is coming up in 10 days as my little sisters leaves for the Philippines to work as a missionary for 3 years. Letting her go is probably the *toughest* thing I’ve ever experienced and as much as I’d like to keep her here so my life would be more comfortable and normal, staying isn’t what God called her to do. Trusting Him through this is taking all that I have but, I’m trusting that His grace is sufficient. And He’s proving me right. 🙂

  155. I am having to let go of my teenager as he is a senior and approaches leaving home next fall for college. It is so hard to release control. I keep telling myself that God loves him as much as I do and will watch over him when I can’t. But still scared….
    Judy 🙂

  156. I have learned to follow my heart as when I am involved in something that at one time was my passion and it no longer feels right that it is ok to step down from what I am doing. When I listened to God and what he was speaking to my heart I had such peace come over me. Now he has opened the door for another adventure I am equally as excited about. I know that as long as I am following his will for my life he will bless whatever I am doing.

  157. A year ago….I was helping my oldest child leave for college. I was afraid, unsure and filled with questions about whether I had prepared him for what he would face.
    My husband felt so much differently.
    Why are we so different than our husbands? Haha!
    I’ve learned so much this year. The main thing?
    I’m NOT in control! HE IS!!
    Now it’s time for our son to return to college (he had an awesome year). He’s moving into his first apartment and is thrilled. I’m excited for him!
    I know that God is with him….I can rest in Him!

  158. I have learned how to lean on God in a very unpredictable and scary journey I am embarking on. I am moving from California to New York on my own to begin the very difficult first year of law school. I am going to law school so that I may become an adoption attorney in order to serve God through devoting my life to serve children who do not have loving homes and families. It had been an enormous leap of faith and trusting God on this path that he has led me down.

  159. I am currently having to trust that He will bring me through the adversity I have faced over the past two years. I believe that he has a plan for me and I thank him for reminding me that my faith is the most important thing I have! We do not walk alone!

  160. Oh my goodness.
    I had to really jump in and be courageous about forgiving my husband. For so long, I felt that if I forgave him, he’d be “off the hook” for injuring me and our marriage so badly. Maybe that doesn’t sound like courage to some people, but it was for me, because I had to then open my heart to him again and to God in a new way. I can’t say I’ve really “gotten there” yet, but I’m farther along than I was.
    In late March, I was asked to take over the Nursery Director position at our church. This is something I *really* didn’t want to do because it’s truly like a part-time job. But I really felt like God was nudging me to step up and into a leadership position. Almost 6 months into it, I still don’t feel like the right person for the job; however, I am trusting Him. Day by day.

  161. I found that through my life, i received all my courage from Jesus my Lord and Savior.Especially when i had to go through open heart surgery for the second time ,that for me took a lot of courage my mind said no when ihad to sign my signature Jesusknew i was afraid, but took my hand and ifelt such peace and he gave me the courage to go throug this and now i’m healing day by day .Thanks for Him always being there to give us the courage and strength.

  162. I’ve had to admit that changing my daughter’s school last year may have been more about my trying to fit in, than about her. Now I need to face whether to switch her again.

  163. I learned that all I really have to do is trust in God. Now I’ve known that for nearly all of my 60 (!) years but in the last year I learned what that means and what it takes. He has taken me through a financial crisis that I really thought was hopeless. I put my trust in Him and it was done. Now I’m reading Psalm 91 every day just as a reminder. I also try to remember a quote from St. Jeanne Jugan. She says to leave everything to Him and walk away. He has an excellent memory.

  164. Wow, what a great post…you really made me STOP and truly think about the courage I’ve had to face and build up this past 12 months.
    I can hardly even wrap my head around it all now looking back, which means I know that there is NO WAY I could have done any of it with His strength.
    This past year my oldest son, 16, developed a seizure disorder that has sent my family spinning and my world topsy turvy. I would have never figured that I was “strong” about anything when it comes to stuff like this, but God continues to give me courage to face the fears and uncertainties of each day.
    I step forward in faith each and every day.
    xoxo,
    Melissa

  165. Over the last year I’ve been praying about who I am supposed to be in the writing world. I have an agent and am co-authoring a book that will be ut this winter, and yet I did not have a personal site because I felt afraid that I would not make it cool enough or that no one would care. Still, I knew that I needed a central hub and with the help of God’s constant reminder that it is about message/content & not all having the coolest looks I launched a blogspot a month ago this Thursday. It is getting LOTS of hits, which continues to amaze me everyday. It is another reminder that we cannot know how God will use us or our gifts.

  166. I’ve learned that Jesus wants to be my best friend and that I should always put him first before any of my friends, that sometimes it is ok that everyone else is too busy to chat. I have also really learned to have a consistant quiet time with Him daily and that the devil is always lurking around looking for ways to get me unfocused. I am so thankful to have ccome acroos the book “Having a Mary heart in a Martha world”. It is amazing and of course this website and just getting daily encouragement, God is so good!!

  167. I have had to take a jump of bravery every day for the past 12 months. 12 months ago I was pregnant. Pregnant while also suffering from a disabling and chronic illness, an illness that continues to get worse. Living in a small apartment. Living on a modest budget. Another child? In a tiny apartment? Our budget? With my illness? We didn’t know how things would turn out, but we chose to trust God. He chose to bless us with a baby, and we had to take that leap of faith and gladly accept His blessing.
    My daughter, our second born, is 8 months old now. We also have a 4 year old son. These two precious children brighten my days while simultaneously wearing me out! I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Is life hard? Yes. But God is good. Through illness, suffering, and life as a wife and mother, God has taught me to rely on His strength and rest in His grace.

  168. This I’ve learned how selfish I really am and have had to grow the courage to change. To be a more intentional wife and mom. To focus more on God’s will for me than my own desires. To trust that HE will provide for my every need in HIS perfect way. Scary stuff!

  169. My recent bout with my Lord, and the Courage that he gives me, involves coming to this country.
    I am no longer a young woman, and to embrace a life here — even with the love and help of my husband — took many tears and fears.
    Yet … my God has been so good to me. He has made life here, as simple as can be. No great demands are being made of me; so, in this way, I have had time to become acculturated into my small life in Ohio, USA.
    The Courage this time came from my other experiences with the love God has for me … knowing now … that I never walk alone.
    Thank you,
    anne winter

  170. Well, I think I’ve been afraid to jump. After making some choices, or not making choices (the same thing) I am ready to leap. And the Lord has been speaking. I am starting with following a little message He gave me through a divine messenger yesterday. And we will see where that goes. Thank you for inspiring us all. Each one of you at incourage. Thanx!!!
    beehope3 at gmail dot com

  171. I had to learn to let my little bird fly=let him jump on his new adventure, graduation and now college, and new apartment. But just like our father, I am so happy to see him grow!
    The other jump-was a leap of faith in someone I love. Having someone very special to me ask me to have faith and love in them, and wanted to change for himself and so he could be with me. It took all the trust and faith I had to let my heart open.
    Both events are life changing-I am taking that leap with them. God will guide me, as I am learning he wants all the good things to happend for me, and those I love.

  172. I’ve learned that life is short, each each breath God gives us is precious. Being 23 and needing a new liver, I’ve really come to face the fact that we don’t own our lives. Our days are in the hands of the Creator, and if we never had hard times in life, we would never learn to trust those gentle hands.

  173. I’ve been learning again and again how to love those God has put in my life – what it means to really love someone at church, my kids, my husband. I kind of just assumed I was loving those most important to me, but God is showing me more depths of His love for me and how to give that to others.

  174. In the past year, I’ve learned the courage of jumping into writing. While this was the career I had been trained for and worked in for many years, taking the plunge back into it again made fear grip my heart.
    Love and joy has been the reward for facing that courage and taking the dive.
    With voice barely able to speak the words, I also left a job last year–no promise of a new one on the horizon. The Lord provided for our family during this time in amazing ways. He also gave me a temporary job, and now the blessing of a new full-time endeavor that will once again take courage but deliver many blessings, if I lean on Him.
    Thank you for these 30 days of blessings,
    Janis

  175. I completely agree. I just wrote a blog post not too long ago about the statement “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” I refuted it saying that God will absolutely give us more that we can handle so we have to lean on him!
    The last year has been the toughest on my husband and I in our four years of marriage. We started trying to have children about a year and a half into our marriage, only to find out in the last few months that we probably are not able to conceive. Talk about trusting God? We had to, and fast. I have never sought his counsel more than I have in the past 12 months. I have learned what it means to be completely dependent on him; what it means to really hear his voice and follow his will for our lives.
    God has given my husband and I the courage to breathe again. The courage to trust him and his almighty plan. The courage take a leap of faith and start the adoption process. The courage live again.
    We are so glad that we have taken that jump.

  176. I have had to take quite a few brave jumps this last year! Including graduating from college, navigating the vague journey of finding out whether or not I had breast cancer, and continuing to try to give my love and forgiveness to my broken family.

  177. That i’m going to fail. I know through Christ I can do all things but, on my own I am going to fail. That’s something I have had to face this last year. Recently I had to brave up and speak some words that were so hard to say but I said them anyway out of love and truth. I couldn’t have done that without God on my side.

  178. Faith…pure and total..faith. My husband lost his job for 11 months…we have had to get rid of a lot of things we “held” on to and put our trust in…we have learned to lean on God for our day to day needs. We have had to trust and have faith that He will always provide

  179. I learned that courage takes trust and trust is not the same as faith. I would definitely say I have strong faith. I know that even if the worst things happen in our current situation my family will still be ok. I have faith that God is watching out for us, taking care of us and working on something bigger. Trusting His method is what I’ve learned I struggle with. I want the next step laid out for me. I want the master plan. I work better with plans than I do with “winging it”. That has been the lesson that I’m continuing to learn during this season of our lives. I’ll gladly follow where You lead me, but I don’t like being blind-folded. I want to see what’s coming. That’s where the trust comes in. Sometimes you just don’t have the choice to take the blindfold off.

  180. God has given me some situations that to me were the scariest, but I needed to trust him, and others, to keep me safe. I also hear his call to be a better friend and listener, and to be a better wife to my Husband.
    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me…

  181. In the past 12months~ I renewed my relationship with the Lord. I truly love in the bible~ Faith, Love & Hope the greatest is love. I married young~ and had my son young. Life was not easy or a smooth ride~ I believe in the power of prayer & that God knows our plans before we do. I hurt my family many years ago even separated from my husband & son. Holding onto Faith, Prayer. My husband & I celebrated 19yrs married in June. I love him more than the day we met.. I have been sick the past 7 plus months & it has been hard depending on others but in being sick I have discovered myself again~ My son is spreading his wings discovering what he wants in life. So mom has had to learn to sit with Mom. Believe in herself & listen when God speaks.
    I wouldn’t say I have had bravery but I have enough courage & faith for my family especially my middle sister. Sorry to be jumping around I am reflecting on the past 12 months. If I could nominate her for bravery & courage give her an award I would she is truly an inspiration. My sister had been trying to get pregnant for the past 4yrs. She was finally able to do invetro. She became pregnant with twin boys. In Oct of “08” she was rushed to the hospital, the gave her options, she knew that she had a tough decision. During that time period we became even closer than ever in our lives. We talked almost everyday from June when she told me. She decided to deliver the boys. I prayed & prayed. She delivered them kissed them, bathed them, dressed them. Then said Mommy & Daddy love you~you will both be with us, in our hearts forever..God had a better plan.
    A yr later June of “09”she became pregnant again. November 14th once again she was admitted to the hospital she was far enough along to start steroids they wanted to keep my nephew in for as long as they could. This time I locked my self in my room prayed & prayed & read the Bible no negativity. I would rebuke the enemy. On Nov 25th 2009 Mateo Milton was born~ he was due Feb 27th, 2010. 2 lbs 6oz 14inches long. He was breathing room air the day he was born. My sister & brother in-law went everyday to the hospital & when my brother in law went back to work my sister would drive 30minutes, get to the Hospital at 8am & leave some nights at nine. He went home in Feb. He is 22 lbs now smiles, laughs.. I cannot imagine all my sister went through I did not go to the Hospital either time. God answered our prayers & not that he did not answer them before there was a different plan for my nephews. My point is the courage, & bravery, I have seen in her inspires me. My nephew is healthy & has a few issues but rolling over to me is minor because he sits, loves to eat & sounds like a baby. He is a Blessing in all of our lives. I love my sister. I always say I will fight the enemy & pray for my family & have enough Faith for all of us until they decide to walk with me through this journey of life with the Lord~
    It has been a hard 12 months but with the Lord~ I can do anything~ I will end with this..
    Fear being trapped within your own mind, body, unable to move two steps
    ahead feeling like you have fallen ten steps back~ Faith~walking
    through the closed door~the unknown only to realize you’re not alone~ you’ve not ever been alone. It’s weird the more time I have
    with myself to write & listen the more I realize my blessings in
    life~ God is there if I put my hand out he will grab it & hold it tight..

  182. God has been so good to me this year by giving me several opportunities to share my story. Through no help of mine, He has brought several speaking engagements my way. The courage it takes to say “yes” to these is what He’s asking of me.
    But along the way, God is also showing me that my faith is not perfect–far from it. (I wrote about it today on my blog.) This is humbling, but I trust Him to work in me despite my weaknesses. He is good.

  183. My daughter was married Sunday. At the rehearsal dinner, all of the groom’s family spoke. I’m not a public speaker, but my x-husband refused to speak, and I felt someone from our family must. I was totally unprepared, but God gave me the words, and my daughter was so happy I spoke. She knew it wasn’t easy for me. It meant so much to her. Thank you God for giving me the words.

  184. My learning process is still going on…to be brave enough, courageous enough to apply God’s truth and promises in the midst of the the everyday ups and downs. I’m learning to think on Truth when I feel like being discouraged or grumpy, to give thanks when I really want to complain, to face the enemy’s tricky arrows of discouragement right in the middle of not-so-exciting, regular, housewife, homeschooler days.

  185. What I am facing now that I never thought I would have to face, is I’m having to replace the car I bought used in 2001 as my mechanic said the motor is almost shot and will cost way too much to repair. I’m drawing Social Security, but it’s only enough to cover my monthly expenses and nothing left over for savings. I’m trusting that God will help me find a car that will not be too expensive and will be reliable transportation.

  186. The Lord has asked me to step out. He has actually asked me to step out several times in the last two years. I have been asked to quit my job (that I went to college for), and now I am to write and illustrate. However, I have had no formal training with either of these. But, I have done what the Lord has led me to do, and I am still waiting on him to provide the finances for me to survive. I have learned about courage and trust through this time. It has been challenging, yet it has been very beautiful to be at the Savior’s feet for all my needs. I believe that’s right where he wants me.

  187. Courage I found this year is just taking one day at a time. I am in the midst of studying about relationships and friendships. It is hard to step out isolation but with God it can be done.

  188. “What have you learned over the last 12 months that you never thought you’d have to learn? Have you had to take a jump of bravery lately?”
    This is the first time I have visited your site. A friend follows you and “Like A Warm Cup of Coffee”, and challenged me to try the 12 new things with her. That challenge brought me here, and ultimately answering this question.
    It’s tough to think back over the entire year for the best example. A jump of bravery I had 2 years ago was moving from Texas here to Massachusetts, knowing not one soul – stepping out in faith that God was leading me across the country for His purposes. That is an ongoing lesson. Yet just yesterday – a think I put my feet down in a new step of bravery….I work with the youth at my church, and a few months back, something (My Father, of course) was stirring inside of me “Leigh, you should get up and talk in youth service. One week, you need to be up there, trying this new step.” I was terrified. While I’m extremely outgoing, have never known a stranger, and even have a theatre background – giving something of a sermon’s equivalency, by myself, in front of a room full of people – makes me visibly start shaking. Whenever it’s me, barred in front of others, it’s tough to do. Near impossible. But I did recognize that this was not my own inkling – that God was laying something on my heart, waiting for me to listen. I went to our youth director (a good friend of mine, and an amazing public speaker) and told him what was on my heart. He was pretty surprised. But he encouraged me, put me on the schedule for the summer, and met with me before my week. Yesterday was my Sunday. I spoke about The Thief on the cross. I did things a little differently, “playing to my strengths” as Jake, the youth pastor suggested. God showed up! I prayed and prayed that His words would stream from me, because nothing I could say would be any good. I wanted to be lost completely in what He wanted to reveal, what He wanted to say. My King stood with me, and I am so thankful. Nothing spectacular happened, but I did it. I didn’t run off the stage. I didn’t even shake (though I was all morning before another fortress of prayer was bestowed on me). This is a very small step compared to so many warriors I’m reading about. But for me, it was a way the Lord wanted to walk me past a fear, show me He has use for me in ways I don’t even know, and that He is such a Great and Mighty God. I’m so thankful!

  189. I have learned how to stand on my own without my parents’ support, approval and acceptance. I have learned that God loves me and will go through any valley with me no matter how dark it may get and that I am stronger than I ever thought I was.

  190. I’ve had to jump from depending on things I thought I needed to “get me by” or “get me through my day” to completely depending on God when those things were entirely stripped away from me (as they should have been; thanks, God!) I wouldn’t go back to them now that I can see how much stronger my life, love and faith is without them!

  191. Thank you for sharing so honestly from your heart Sarah. I have had to learn that in order to have the control I so desperately want, I have to let go and surrender everyone and everything into the Father’s hands. It is a journey of trust.

  192. What have I learned? That with God’s help you can do anything. We have applied with an adoption agency, with that you know that you are not in control. It is a waiting game.
    Also this past year I have lost two important people. My Mom and a close friend to cancer. My Mom fought for almost 5 years, but in her last month I was able to go to NC and take care of her. Then afterwards, I stayed for a couple of weeks to help Dad. With my friend, she was only 38, much too young to die. But I know that I will see both of them again one day.

  193. I’ve learned a lot about my self this past year. That I’m not as organized and as well put together as I’d like to be. That I’m more fearful than I thought I was. That I’m just plain lazy at times. It’s quite discouraging to realize such negative things about yourself.
    I’ve also learned that if God asks me to do something, I need to do it – and the reward of accomplishment will be there. The reward of a healthy, happy family, and the reward of knowing that I’m in the right place is enough for me. And it’s enough for me to keep working to improve myself and to let go of the fears and do whatever it is that God is asking of me.

  194. Perhaps my biggest jump of courage in the past year was the process of considering leaving my comfortable (if ennui-inspiring) job to open a store with a friend with whom I had a falling out several years ago. We mended our relationship, and we had separately developed the same interest that mushroomed into a possible business venture.
    I chose to stay with my job due to the economy and what was best for my family. My relationship with her is intact, if somewhat distant, and that’s okay, as we were honest with each other about what was happening in our decision-making processes.
    She opened the business with a different partner, and they are still open. I don’t know that it is thriving, but they are making it work, and it is my great pleasure to spread the word about the store whenever possible.
    It was such a tricky situation, fraught with old, hard feelings and some distrust, but we made it through with grace.

  195. I thought I’d never have to learn the art of humility when it comes to buying food on food stamps. My husband was without a job for 18 months. During this time, we had to apply (and we received) food stamps. I NEVER pictured myself as someone who would have to rely on food stamps to eat, but that day came.
    Now, I feel blessed that we were eligible for food stamps and praise God that this program even exists!
    I had to learn that God provides in the most mysterious, life-changing ways. If I depend on Him, He will provide and teach me a great lesson ; )

  196. The biggest thing I’ve learned over the past year has been this:”His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness…” 2 Peter 1:3
    I spent many years thinking I ‘needed’ this, or ‘needed’ that. I ‘should have’ this, or ‘should have’ that. But this verse says it all. God’s power has given me everything I need for life and for godliness. It’s hard to accept that I don’t ‘need’ more, I don’t have to have this or that, material possessions, etc., but God has proved over and over again that He has given me everything I need to live this life, and to attain godliness.
    And I am very grateful for that~

  197. How to love my children the way they NEED to be loved rather than the way I THINK they should be loved. To not change them from God’s design into my obedient robots – rather to love unconditionally.
    great question!!

  198. one of my most reason things is having a baby at 41, while at the same time homeschooling 6 kids. it was a very challenging time, but worth it in the end.

  199. my MIL passed away from cancer and a year later my FIL was diagnosed with the same type of cancer. when he got worse the doctors told my DH that he would need to be in a nursing home. there was no way we wanted that to happen if it could be helped, so we moved our family 6 hours away to be with him. we hoped he would improve and we would move permantly but that was not the case. we lived there for 10 months and it was the best decision we made. it was very difficult to watch someone wither away to nothing and it definitely took lots of courage and trust in the Lord. it was a precious time for our entire family and I would do it all over again.

  200. After six years of life altering pain, surgeries, drugs and no answers, something had to change. Last winter, I fell so far into a black as night hole and couldn’t get out. I didn’t know how. But I had to facing my fears head on with a permanent chronic illness and daily pain diagnosis. Letting go of some things, a lot of things, refusing help, asking for help, being bedridden for days on end, dealing with the anger, depression, anxiety, hate, fear. Everything I’m not. I’m the go to girl, the girl who has it all together, a deacon’s wife, homeschooling momma of 5, treasuer, coach, and concession stand director of the kids soccer club, founder of our HS co op. After a year of fighting, clinging, trying to yank control back from God, i gave up and turned in, to Him. To find rest in a storm, to find acceptence where I had none, to give the control back to the One it belonged to in the first place. So i jumped.
    And my family jumped too. My husband quit his very lucratic job to begin a business at home, in order to become my primary caregiver. We are sending our oldest 2 to Christian school this year, I’ve given up most of of my leaderships roles.
    We jumped, as a family, blindfolded, into His arms. Now, together, we begin to put the pieces back together.

  201. Taking a flying leap for me this year has been to allow myself two or three days off a week in going to visit and care for my 96 year old mother. For over two years she has been in a nursing home due to a fall where she shattered her ankle. Prior to that, she has lived near me for 10+ years. I have been a daily visitor for just about this whole time. My husband and I have taken one, yes! ONE, vacation longer than 2 nights in that time. This year, I had to learn to take some time with him and for me. It has been extremely difficult as I was so very used to going daily, doing her insulin for the first 4 years here, and then monitoring others’ care for her. I still do, but have let go to some degree. I have allowed the blessed caregivers at the nursing home to do their job and they do it well. And come two days after Labor Day, my husband and I have planned our first fifth wheel/RV trip (in the used but new to us trailer we bought in March following a LOOOONG held dream) to go to north and west and get away from this Gulf Coast for at least a couple of weeks. So very much needed and we are looking forward to. We pray Mama is alright and that the hurricane activity is calm.
    God is teaching me that He is my mother’s keeper and husband. He cares for her always, for which I am every grateful! I praise Him for teaching me these not-so-easy lessons. I am still learning, by the way. All it takes is Mom to have a topsy-turvy day and the nurse to call. But I am doing better. My husband is glad and a great encourager too!
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

  202. Amazing post! Thank you!! And I am so inspired by the other commenters.
    In the last 12 months, I have learned that trying to control everything in my life is futile…I am still learning this though. I used to believe that if I just weighed pros and cons then I would make the best decision for my life. When I accepted a job that turned out to be a difficult/challenging position, I realized that I hadn’t turned to God in the decision. As I turn my decisions to God BEFORE I make them, instead of AFTER I am learning to trust Him rather than my own understanding (or lackthereof). This has required bravery as I turn to Him daily instead of throwing the towel in or giving up as soon as things get tough.

  203. I started my own blog. I was really nervous about it. Especially to see the reactions of friends and family, but it is doing great and I am very excited about it!

  204. I’m definitely feeling challenged this summer to get rid of my ‘I’m fine’ facade and open up to others. I’ve realized that I put up barriers by not being open and sharing, and that in the process I’m holding people at an arm’s length. I’ve asked myself what exactly I’m scared of, and I think my fear is just that of being judged… the age old ‘fear of man’ syndrome. I’ve been in a ladies Bible study this summer, and have felt so linked and connected with this small group of friends, for the first time! Praise the Lord!!!

  205. At the age of 50, I’ve decided to go back to school. At first, I thought I wanted to get my BA in English, as I love to write and thought I could try to make it a profession. Then, one night while praying, I heard God’s voice loud and clear “Be a hospice chaplain”. I started to investigate what it would take and came across Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ, which offered a BA in Christian Studies. While taking my first course, I realized what I really wanted to do is be a grief counselor. You see, I’ve had my share of grief in my life.
    My first grief was losing my mom, when I was 27. She was my best friend and number one fan. She gave quiet advice that was always right. I miss her to this day.
    My second grief was not being able to work any longer. I was an RN, and made it to the top of the clinical field: I was a Flight RN, working independently of a doctor, saving lives. But I was diagnosed with lupus, which wasn’t compatible with my job. I had to quit and I hated it. I went on to work in oncology, where I found the grief experience totally different than that of trauma/flight. I was good at it. I’m not sure why- I just believe it was a gift from God. I spent 10 years being a stay-at-home mom, but as the years have passed, I’ve found myself less able to do the things regular moms do- housework, taking my son to events. Recently, I asked my son, who is now 11, if he wished he had a different mom, and he said “No, Mom, because you’re a better mom than most of my friend’s moms are. You listen to me, you help me with my homework. You make sure I have clothes and school supplies, even though you order them on-line. It was exactly what I needed to hear.
    So I’m in my second class in my major at GCU and have a 4.0 average. When I get out of school, I’m going to try the Social Security’s “Back to Work” program, where you can work full-time in your field while still receiving disability payments, and if you find you can’t do it, you just keep receiving disability payments. I’m not sure I’ll be able to work full-time, but hopefully, I will. It won’t be working 12 hour shifts, mostly on my feet. And I’ll be doing what God has planned for me and my life. And my son will see that anyone can get a college degree, even his mom. I think it will help me get back on my feet, both spiritually and literally. I just have to listen to God’s voice and His encouragement. And who knows? Maybe I’ll be up for getting my Master’s Degree as well!

  206. I took a leap of faith when I decided to move to a new state a few months ago. God has been teaching me how to be more dependent on Him. It has been amazing to see Him provide, whether it was a job offer 4 days before I moved or being invited to join a Book Club.

  207. I’ve learned that God’s timing is not our own. Just because I’ve prayed about something for 2 years, and I think I’ve grown through the trial, doesn’t mean God is done w/ the refining process yet!

  208. I’ve learned that I am weaker than I’ve ever admitted to being (or ever thought I really was). That I NEED God to carry me through each day. It took him stripping away all my security to remind me to run to him…and while things are not resolved and each day brings new anxiety I have learned to hand over all my angst and know that God is leading the way.

  209. courage is something that I have been learning a lot about over the last two years..This past year particularly I have definitely been face with fears as well..My husband has been tremendously ill and that has taken him off the fire truck which is what he loves about his job. He has been stripped of everything that he knows.. Thankfully the fire dept. has taken care of him and us as far as his job goes.. THere have also been other family struggles that we have been faced with as well..through his illness and what that has done to him as a human being it has forced me to have faith like I never have.I truly just wanted to wave a wand & make it better. I have had to come before God and desperatly ask God for help and faith in such a way that I never thought I would. I would wake up from day to day with new fears and realize that I am absolutely helpless without God. Yes, we all know that is true, but when you are going through the fire it is such a reality that you never thought would be so real.I am thankful for it because it has given me a kind of courage that I never thought was possible. Through all of this God has blessed us with expecting a little girl and given my husband and I courage that only comes from him to be patient and loving parents:)

  210. I learned that I am responsible for my own happiness. It took an act of bravery to admit that I needed help controlling my thoughts and emotions and enter an outpatient program before things turned dark. I’m not where I need to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be!

  211. I flew off the ICRS this year for my first Christian conference which was amazing . . . but scary. Having never flown, or left my family behind, I had to take a leap of faith and jump into the pool head first . . . and as God is, He proved faithful helping me to get on the plane – for the first time in my life – and meet all kinds of wonderful Christian folks. It was great!

  212. I am learning to have courage in holding onto hope and trusting God with an uncertain future in a long period of waiting. I am slowly learning to live with unresolved questions and to embrace mystery, to just be in the present – ragamuffin style, to be joyous and live wholeheartedly now. I can be more patient toward unresolved questions knowing that it will be revealed in God’s perfect time – a little more each day and then fully in heaven (1 Cor. 13:12). I want to take life as it comes – enthusiastically and graciously with God at my side 🙂 That all seems so obvious and yet it is incredibly freeing to be reminded that I don’t have to have everything figured out. It’s all good because God knows everything and understands. I can embrace mystery / uncertainty in life by trusting and resting in God. (Like Augustine said, “Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.”) I am wondrously free to savor the present and to leave the future in God’s hands 🙂 So challenging and yet so good!

  213. Over the passt year, I have realized just how little I trust God. Even though I saw Him prove Himself faithful so many times this year, it hit me in the spring that I do have such a lack of trust in Him and it actually puts Him in a box. Specifically I am fighting to trust Him to provide me with a husband. I am 27 and have lived with so many lies about God bringing me a wonderful, godly husband and this spring, I realized God is bigger than my lies and marriage brings Him so much glory. It’s definitely been a fight, but I’m fighting and I’ve loved seeing how my relationship with Him is getting stronger. I’d love this bracelet to remind me that what I have believed to be impossible for so long is not impossible at all to our amazing Father!!!

  214. I’ve been learning that letting God take control is way scarier than I’d expected, and way better than I’d ever dreamed. For a control freak like myself, it was (and still is!) a hard lesson that took tears, prayer and some courage. But it was – and, yes, it still is – worth it.

  215. One of my biggest acts of courage this past year was to let go of a dead marriage and begin the journey as a single mom. I had held on for 3 years, hoping and praying for restoration. But there was no change. Then God asked me to let go and trust my future with Him. It’s not an easy road, but I know He is with me and my kids. I see His goodness in our lives every single day!

  216. I faced some medical decisions I didn’t expect to face at this point of my life, am still trusting God for His purposes and healing. Meanwhile I took a step of faith and started pursuing a dream step by step. The beauty of the “crisis” was the God-ordained relationship which is a blessing out of it.

  217. This year I have had to have the courage to accept with gratitude that we are where God wants us, even though I’ve so badly wanted to leave – our church, our town – a fresh start in a new place. Two significant things are keeping us here indefinitely and so I am learning to embrace where I am instead of silently pouting.

  218. The courage in friendship is easy when things are going well for you and your friends. But when marital problems creep in at various degrees in each of our lives, the friendship gets harder and strained. It becomes the real test of courage to listen without judging and to have that box of tissues ready when the tears begin to flow. With God we have all become stronger and continue to walk our chosen path with courage and with a much stronger faith. Blessings and courage to all in need.

  219. The courage to believe God and His timing in my life. Especially when it isn’t making sense to me… or adding up. I have also recently had to really have the courage to keep my mouth shut, trusting the Lord to work things out and HE can fix things without my help. 🙂

  220. My toes are on the edge as we speak. I am taking a big jump. I am not only learning to let go as my son leaves for college, but I am realizing that I have had my life all wrapped up in my boys and have not let go of A LOT of pain from my past. I am realizing that as I let go of my sons, and let them spread their wings, I have some others things that I need to do. I am to a point where I have to try to find a life for myself again. I want a life where I can serve my Lord, not be consumed with worry and fear and know peace and joy again.

  221. When I read your article, I saw a lot of me in it. Courage…as Eleanor Roosevelt said, it’s looking fear in the face and doing it – it’s doing the thing that you think you cannot do.
    My sister commented just a few months ago that I was the courageous person in the family; the most courageous person she knew. I couldn’t believe she thought that of me because I live in fear and planned days. I kept at her until she explained that I’m “not afraid to confront, to do things, and yell at people when necessary.” I do it because I must, because if I don’t (advocate for me or others) who will? I do it because I am alone and there is no one else to hand off the responsibility. I was amazed at what she thought of me; and I was humbled. I never knew I was courageous.

  222. After 6 years of planning and one failed adoption, we finally brought home our baby girl from Taiwan last fall. I had passed the time waiting preparing everything. I covered every topic I needed to be a new Mom. The lesson that was taught over and over.. was that I was not in control. No matter how hard I tried to will things my way… God had a different plan.
    After loosing a baby we planned to adopt, I lost my job of 9 1/2 years. We had the babies picture for 8 months.. falling more in love with him every day. Loosing him was horrible. Then months later doors were opened that overwhelmed us! We had an opportunity to adopt form a Christian missionary family in Taiwan. The day we were put on the waiting list my job was eliminated. I was lost and feared it would delay our new adoption plans. God was so faithful to us. 4 months later we brought home our baby girl. God’s timing was perfect!! I have been a stay at home Mom for 9 months now. I would have never expected to get this opportunity. Never expected we could live on one income. What a blessing and a gift to have this time with my precious girl!!!

  223. I have learned to have courage in letting others have my heart. I learned this most tangibly when God asked me to tell my best friend that I had feelings for him. I hadn’t trusted a man like that ever, to be as vulnerable and trust him to not walk away.
    I ultimately did so (trust me, it wasn’t easy) and the reward was knowing that God and my friend see me, my heart and think it is beautiful. It was a moment I will forever remember as the day I found the road to becoming a woman of courage.

  224. Courage To Let Go and Say Goodbye:
    My husband has just entered Hospice Care at home and he is only 45 years old. It has been a long journey of 13 years of illness due to brain injury. He just now developed brain seizures and as a result broke his hip. After hip replacement he has not recovered and lost his will to live.
    It all started 13 years ago when my vibrant and active husband of then 24 years was involved in a motorcycle accident. He was not at fault. An elderly couple driving in their did not see him and hit him. He was in a coma for 5 weeks and away from the home either in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, or nursing homes for 4 months.
    While in his coma, he did get to see heaven and bargain with God to please let him come back to his earthly home so he could get his affairs in order for his family. He has now done this, and ready to be called back to his heavenly and eternal home.
    I have learned in the last 12 months how to be strong and have the courage to say goodbye to my husband of now 37 years. We have stood beside each other through sickness and in health. This is truly my jump of bravery letting go of my best friend so he can go to a better place and be with God our Father.

  225. I’ve learned that I can be a fantastic single mom, can enjoy my career and do my best in my classroom, and that I can only do it through the grace of God.

  226. Oh so timely! Needed to write a letter, and jump into something that God has really been speaking to us about, but honestly we have no idea how we are ever going to be able to do it. Trust….Faith…that is really what it comes down to. Do I not think that our God is big enough? Thanks for the great post!

  227. These past 12 months have been the most formidable months of my life thus far. NEVER did I EVER anticipate the experiences of this year. I had to heal. I had to say goodbye. I had to lose someone very, very, very important to me. I learned what it feels like to be deeply betrayed. I still haven’t jumped. Everyone is telling me that I must, but I’m the only one who can really take the plunge. I hope I have the courage to do what I know must be done.

  228. Because of all of the hardness of this past year, I am learning day by day to simply “Have faith in God.” Mark 11:22