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(in)courage is a place where authentic, brave women connect deeply with God and others. In the middle of your unfine moments and ordinary days, you are invited to become a woman of courage.

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  1. This sentence, Rebecca: ” Our roads are going somewhere glorious — into the heart of God Himself.” I’m sorry for the suffering on your own hard road, but rejoice that it led you to the very heart of God. This spoke to me: I’m on a hard road, careening like I’m on a drunken high. I have relentless vertigo. While my head reals, but heart begs God to make it stop. Yet I know He is teaching me to cry to Him and to look to Him on this road. I am encouraged to know that no, not “all paths lead to God,” but the one, true path leads, Jesus, to the one, true God, and so that whatever road on which He has placed me will, indeed, lead to Him!
    God bless you dear one
    Lynn

    PS TO IN-COURAGE STAFF: PLEASE, PLEASE MAKE YOUR GENERAL READING FONT BOLDER. IT IS SO FAINT. I JUST KNOW THERE IS A WAY TO DO THIS TO IMPROVE THE READING PLEASURE OF YOUR FOLLOWERS. SEE FORMER IN-COURAGE BLOGGER ANN VOSKAMP’S BLOG. SHE USES A THICKER TYPEFACE INITIALLY THAT HAS MORE DEFINITION AND THEN INCORPORATES BOLD HIGHLIGHTS,TOO, AND OCCASIONALLY INCORPORATES AQUA FOR GREATER EMPHASIS. BUT IT IS A BLUE THAT IS LEGIBLE. IF YOU WOULD MAKE THIS SIMPLE, EASILY CONTROLLABLE CHANGE IT WOULD GREATLY ENHANCE YOUR BLOG! THANK YOU FOR LISTENING. I’M NOT EXACTLY SHOUTING AT YOU, PROMISE, BUT ALMOST. 🙂 NOTE THAT EVEN BY MY WRITING IN CAPS, THE FONT ITSELF IS VERY THIN.

      • Oh thank you kind sister. I hope people aren’t a bit upset w/ me. All very well intentioned. 🙂

        • Hi l can say l have had epilepsy 53 years in 2014 they have become severe l can count on going to the hospital emergency room 4 times at least a year and God has allowed me to be aware of most of my bad ones which is so frightening in 2014 l was overmedicated on a medication and had to go to 2 rehabilitation centers men neurologists are so out to lunch the are impatient not creative believe to much in facts and they just dont care when l finally got back to my female neurologist she had me off off that medication in 3 weeks a Christian customer where l work was overmedicated by a Male neurologist the just dont get it l have had to rely on doctors my whole life. I usually get recommendations for mine I do not trust psychiatrics l love children you realize real fast it is not all about you you have to give sacrifice think of them before yourself called love

    • I have gone through a hard road ignorant of the word for 20years severe spiritual warfare 198519881993 and 2014 it would really be nice if l could have some kind of help guidance whatsoeverunbelievable unbearable pain in 2016 whatever goodness happens beside protection and favor l have to stumble over l would call this negligence ? I would not say anybody has helped me besides myself ? I have earned a lot of glory what if l never get to heaven? With what l have had to deal with l would not call that love ? Does he need some hints or pointers how to love me ? John

      • John, I understand some of what you’re going through because I have had epilepsy. It was years ago, but I was gunshot in my left temporal (left side of my head). The neurosurgeons did not expect me to live. After about two weeks, they told my family that I just might live, but that if I did I would be paralyzed from the neck down, lose my left eye and have complete memory loss. None of that happened. The chief neurosurgeon said that he could not explain it medically at all and simply added that God had miracles happen. He said that since God was 100% responsible for it, they were not charging for the surgery. Of course, I had epilepsy for years after that. I’m grateful today to still be on this planet for 39 years after the gunshot. Yes, God has a Plan for us. Always. We go through rough (sometimes horrible) times in life, but He is always with us, no matter what. “His Eye is on the sparrow, so I know He watches me.” God loves us more than we can ever begin to slightly imagine. He loves us so much that He came to this planet as a human, Jesus Christ, who died for us and paid for all our sins. If we study what crucifixion actually does to the human body, we are somewhat less likely to complain. I do know that we cannot do anything to earn our place in Heaven. It’s very simple in that Jesus our Savior said, “ For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16.
        One day about 40some years ago, I read another verse and memorized it. This has gotten me through everything and I’ve suffered much in many ways. Only He can do it. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

    • Lynn,

      Praying for healing from your vertigo. May God put His healing hand on you & take this away. Praying for more good days than bad & for peace to rule in your heart & soul.

      Blessings 🙂

      • So grateful. So hard. And this is day after ear surgery. Supposed to help. God bless you for caring and praying
        xo
        L

    • Vickie, I am so glad this resonated with you today. Interestingly, I can relate to your vertigo! I’ve suffered from chronic vertigo for the last six years. It’s a HARD road to walk (stumble) on. Prayers for strength coming your way!

  2. Thank you Rebecca. We all have hard roads to travel at times. Sometimes it is a forever road. Mine is being a widow and finding my purpose. But I know as in the past, God will be with me. He always has. He will make a way for us that is more than what we originally asked for. I pray for you and your husband for continued faith and strength. God bless you!

  3. I never wanted kids. Because I was not brave enough to have them. But don’t get me wrong I do love them. I was a Registered Childminder for 19 years. I took seizures because of my periods. Now I don’t take them anymore because I had women operation. But I know what it like to have horrible Doctors. One Doctor said once to me my seizures were down to stress because I wanted kids because my sister’s had them. I and my late Mum plus my Husband were so cross with him. We said at the time I was ill with seizures I couldn’t tell the Doctor that. No I don’t want kids. I happy with my life the way it is. So we changed Doctors the second doctor listen to me. Said it all to with my hromes every month being a woman and women problems. I was listened too in the end. But had to go after that see another Doctor near home for a check up to see how the tablets I was on until I got my operation to stop me having seizures every month. That I prayed to God and he said was right for me to have. When me and my Husband went to see the Doctor. I felt like crying this Doctor had no manners. Manners mean a lot. My Husband was not amused with him. He didn’t even say hello. I was so glad too leave. When I came out my husband said put it behind you. You will never have too see him again. I had my operation which will be 3 years ago this October. I have never looked back. Seizures I don’t have anymore. I trusted God. I did what God told me. Had the operation it was a good choice. Sometimes we have to listen to king of the world. Sometimes what he tells us is good news and sometimes it not so good we don’t like what he has to tell us. God tell us for our own good. Because he loves
    What comes to mind for you guys if still want kids. It is keep praying keep trusting God like Hannah did. Look at what God did for her God gave her Samuel. Love Dawn xxx

  4. Thank you, Rebecca for a story without the “fairy tale” ending. This is what is real. This is the life most of us know. I love the encouragement to… “simply walk with Him in prayer, read His Word, and trust in His good and loving heart.”
    That is really the only way to keep walking long, hard, discouraging roads. Bless you, sister.

    • Cindy, glad that my story speaks to you. I have a hard time reading the “fairytale ending” stories because I know mine will not end that way. Even so, it’s so much better to remain in suffering yet draw close to Christ instead!

  5. Rebecca,

    Jesus clearly states in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Everyone at some point in life will endure trials & tribulations. This year especially many people are dealing with Covid, work issues, racial tensions, & an upcoming election. People are asked to home school their children, work from home, scavenge for food, etc. In the midst of all this God is with us. He walks with us daily. A few years ago I put my aging dad in geriatric psych hospital. I was scared. Didn’t know what was to become of it. I cried out to God many times. After 1 month time my dad was completely healed. We got to enjoy a year together before he passed on. Through out the entire time God was walking right beside me on that hard road. This year I’ve been ruminating on Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Take heart everyone God is walking this hard road & will see us through these dark valleys.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Thank you so much for sharing part of your story. You are no stranger to hard roads, Beth, and I appreciate the words and verses you shared!

  6. What a beautiful devotion. Brought me to tears this morning. I’ve traveled a hard road the last few years. I thought that after I recovered from the removal of a large brain tumor in 2017 that my health had returned to normal. A year later I developed a group of mysterious symptoms that tho my doctors tried to figure out. None would find the cause or a solution for any of them. I’ve spent the better part of 2 years searching for answers. One of the most upsetting symptom was severe cognitive dysfunction to the point I thought I would have to stop working. That really freaked me out since I’m only 54 years old. These symptoms would ebb and flow. Each time they ebbed I thought I was better only to have my hopes dashed a couple of weeks later when the symptoms returned. During the periods of feeling unwell and I guess because my brain wasn’t working very well, my faith faltered. During those periods I coasted on the faith of my dear friends who prayed over me, anointed me with oil (a first for me) and believed (when I could not) that God could heal me and would carry me in the meantime. I kept bracing myself for the possibility that this could be Gods plan for me this side of heaven. I continued to have my quiet time and study the word but none of it sank it and I sank lower and lower into a very scarey depression. I am once again having a complete reprieve of my symptoms- soaking in Gods promises and renewing my faith. To supplement the devotions I read thru this ministry Ive read Lisa Tyrkheurts book “it’s not supposed to be this way”. I suspect I’ll reread that book many times in the years to come. For now I will
    Cling to the truths Such as those written in this Devotional. And for anyone out there whose faith is being challenged along their hard road I pray you will let your friends in on your pain. I kept it to myself for over a year which was exhausting. Once I opened up to my closest friends they were more than happy to help me carry the burden of a chronic illness and remind me of my value here on earth. I will be forever grateful that God saw fit more than 20 years ago to put lasting friendships in my life “for such a time as this”.

    • Laurie, thank you for sharing your story. I can relate, I experienced bouts of cognitive dysfunction after I had brain surgery in 2015 (not for a tumor, but still an intense surgery!) and my faith went through so many ups and downs. At the time I didn’t know it, but I was being led through a dark night of the soul by God which is a very disorienting place to be. At times it was so very dark. I am so glad that you have friends to pray for you, you are experiencing a reprieve from symptoms and that the devotions here help you continue forward. I would love to also recommend you explore talking to a spiritual director (funny name for someone who simply helps you attend to your spiritual life and process the ups and downs of faith). I will pray for continued healing and that your faith would continue to be resilient each day!

      • Thank you Rebecca. I’ve actually just spent this weekend with a friend I think of as a spiritual mentor. She’s about 10 years older than me and has immense wisdom not only about the word but about the application of it. She pours so much truth into me. Challenges me but loves me. Everyone needs a mentor like her!

  7. Really enjoyed your writing on fertility. I too don’t have children. I know what it feels like. You sound like such a lovely lady and I’m sure your life will work out long term. I hope you continue to have a great life with your husband. God bless Gabrielle

  8. Oh, how I needed this reminder to keeping taking one step at a time on the hard road. I know that God has put me on this path for a reason and that the timing of the pandemic with my illness is no coincidence. Some days it is easier than others to keep moving forward in faith, but every day I am reminded that He walks with me.

  9. Wow, I commend you for accepting God’s will with a submissive heart. This is such a refreshing take on a difficult topic. Following Jesus is hard sometimes; we have to remember that. I was listening to a Sam Allberry interview yesterday where he talked about his own hard. We all have hard to go through for Jesus and mine is enduring the alienation of my family who don’t believe in Him. There are other hards, too, but this is the primary one. This post is so helpful because it’s a reminder that God doesn’t always prevent the storm, but He is with us as we go through it.