About the Author

Kristen Strong, author of Back Roads to Belonging and Girl Meets Change, writes as a friend offering meaningful encouragement for each season of life so you can see it with hope instead of worry. She and her US Air Force veteran husband, David, have three children and live in Colorado...

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things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. Dearest (in)courage community, may I sneak down here in the comments to ask for prayer? Our girl has surgery this Wednesday to correct her spine’s malformation. While we are on-our-knees grateful her condition is treatable, questions remain regarding her recovery and future abilities. Only time will give answers, so today – right now – we rest knowing He already has all those answers! I *know* this is truth, but the Mama nerves flutter nonetheless. Please pray for my Faith and her parents? Thank you! You are *so* loved here!

  2. Yes, we will be praying.
    God does work in mysterious ways… using the weak to confound the wise…. working all things for good…. and as you said, His plan for your daughter will unfold and you will be so blessed and awe inspired at how He, our God, will use even this for His Glory! Hold on to that truth and HIS hand this week. I know He is holding you!
    Sending hugs and prayers your way!

    • Katherine, I love your image of not only being blessed in the unfolding but *awe inspired* ~ beautiful! Our God always goes above and beyond, doesn’t He? Thank you for blessing me!

  3. Life is full of limitations. Mine came early in life. I was “blessed” if you will with 2 busted ear drums, could not hear. When my parents found out they tried surgery. It worked on the right, but not the left.

    I was limited in what I wanted/could do. Through the years, though, God used it to His good. I now do sign language to music for my church and everyone seems to enjoy it.

    We are all given some kind of limitation from God–I feel we should learn to live with it and try to use it for God’s good!

  4. Wow! What a blessing this was to read! What a perspective shift! And doesn’t God call us to grow closer to Him in part to shift our perspective. His ways are not our ways, but boy must that hurt. Please know that all I can offer is strong, feverant prayer for you and Faith, but we serve a God who hears those prayers and does something beautiful with them. Lifting you up in prayer!


  5. Kristen,
    Definitely praying for you all today. Thank you for your words. They were a true encouragement to me today. My dad has been diagnosed with a rare disease and is now in a wheel-chair. I have struggled so much with trusting God in this. It’s hard when this isn’t what you imagined your life to be – I’m sure you understand that. Your beautiful, comforting words brought peace to my soul. Thank you.

    • Amy, I’m praying for your Dad right now. And may I say I’m so thankful to have you to walk with on this path of trust? It is so much easier to do together…

  6. Nothing can rattle a mother’s peace more, than the words, ” You child must have surgery”. We are not in control and we cannot fix the problem.

    That information takes us outside of our mothering skills into the area of trusting someone else with our treasure. I am praying for you.

    Greater peace will come as you worship the one who knew her before she was ever in your womb. Sing to Him today, sister.

    • Diane, isn’t. that. the. truth! My knee jerk reaction is to get 14 second opinions {instead of just 1 or 2} because of that very thing. And this sentence here: “Greater peace will come as you worship the one who knew her before she was ever in your womb. Sing to Him today, sister.” Oh this! This encourages me. Thank you!

  7. “Life’s limitations are His invitation to change our expectations.” I think that may be one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read. Such truth. Thank you, Kristen. Prayers are going up for you this morning.

  8. Lord this comes as no surprise to you at all. You formed Faith. You knit her together. And this is all part of your plan. We thank you that you go before this sweet girl, that you walk with her in the now, and you have already walked before her – you wait for her in the blessed future you have planned.

    And for her mama – my sweet friend Kristen who is all about (in)couragment and love and building up the precious women here – would you fill up her heart with your Word and the kind words of others? And will you give her the ability to treasure up each one, to tuck in her heart for the times she needs it most? Will you breathe hope to her now?

    I know you will – because this is who You are Jesus. You are hope.
    We thank your now for the Holy in this moment. For life now. For trusting – for Faith.

    In your name.

  9. Kristen,
    I am praying for you and Faith – today, and Wednesday especially! May God guide the surgeon’s hands, and may He comfort your heart in a way that only He can. My own “mama’s nerves” brought tears to my eyes as I read your words here today, but I know He has CHOSEN you, and Faith, for this particular journey for a reason. He will see you through it!! Sending many prayers and hugs your way!!

  10. I will be praying for Faith’s recovery and for your mother’s heart to be comforted during this time.

    It has been difficult for me to face the limitations that two of my kids have. One has Aspergers and though he is doing well overall, there are areas that will always be a struggle for him. One of our daughters has a severe lung condition and a neurodevelopmental disorder. Her lung condition prevents her from doing so much of what her active nature would like to do and as a mom, it has been hard to see her have to miss out on so much, but through her, I have learned so much about faith, determination, and a joy that only God could have gifted her with. Even though I would like to take away her pain and missed opportunities, I have seen how God is using this in her life to bring Him Glory and to touch the lives of others. I have to accept that this is part of the plan He has for her.

    Your “life’s limitations are His invitation to change our expectations” is such a beautiful way to describe what I have struggled with and finally accepted in the last few years. Thank you for sharing your heart about this and I will be praying for your family.

  11. Sending up prayers for Faith and your entire family!
    Praising the Lord that His truth is infinitely larger than our fears and anxieties and that where He is, darkness and fear can not exist!!

  12. Sending up prayers for Faith and your family. Prayers of thanks that her condition is treatable, praying that God will bring her safely through her surgery on Wednesday and that He will be there with you and providing you strength, and praying that God will make known His amazing plans for Faith in all of this.

    I had measles when I was small, and it messed up my eyesight. I can still see well enough to read, use a computer, and even to get a driver’s license (in most states), but because of how limited my sight is, God taught me early on that there is a lot out there besides just those things I can see with my eyes.

  13. As mothers we want to “fix” everything that is happening or wrong with our children. We would gladly change places with them if we could.

    I know. As a registered nurse working in ER and ICU, I was forced to stand helplessly by as my own 16 y/o son was secured to a spine board in the middle of a dirt road and airlifted away. Never to return home. I should have protected him. Isn’t that what mothers are supposed to do? We want to do it all for our children.

    Praying for your Faith and for you. It is a blessing that this was found when it was. God working in his mysterious ways. But – oh, it’s so hard to step back and let God . . .

  14. All I know is Papa has managed to stand this little 4’9″ frame of mine on one leg and grace. Where the strength of men can not go, I am so often privileged to be in a weakness that is greater than governments and guns because it is filled with Him. The docs told my folks I’d die, could be paralyzed, and a 1000 other things and the expert predictions were all defied, the expectations exceeded and Papa gets the credit. It is not a lesser journey, it is simply a different one.
    Heading home into in a few hours South Sudan praying for you!

  15. Alli’s wisdom is blessing; her words of encouragement, peace bringing. I’m SO thankful you have her there in flesh and blood to hold and hug you, to speak truth when you might be tempted to puddle on the floor.

    “…forces us to get out of the way as God’s plans and interests make themselves known…” I can’t wait to watch from the sidelines as the Lord uses this to change you, Faith, your family. Your frailty and reliance on Him is beautiful, Kristen.

    {{more hugs}}

  16. What a beautiful reminder that GOD has formed us and ordered all our days. I am definitely praying for Faith and your family.

  17. Oh my! God has used so many circumstances, including a daughter with significant disabilities, to unfold His story in my life. The road is often bumpy and at times quite scary, but hang in there, Kristen, His plans are truly amazing! I shudder at what I could have missed if I had gotten my wish.

  18. Praying. For you. For me. For all of us. That we would step back, rest into Him, and See how we can trust He knows what’s best–a plan that brings our eyes and so many others to See His beauty. It’s never what we could imagine…always so much more!

  19. Kristen, I was so glad to hear the surgery went well! I have two daughters with spina bifida occulta, meaning they are missing the spiny part of their three top lumbar vertebrae. Their spinal cords are also at risk. It is scary – there is no repair except for fusion – so we just keep praying for God’s leading and timing and wait until they are older and bones matured for the repair. I feel your pain over this news!