Sisters, I want to talk with you about where (in)courage is headed in 2021. You are our people, our community. You choose to spend time here in the (in)courage living room, soaking up words and stories, sharing pieces of your own hearts in the comments. We are so deeply grateful that you do.
As Community Manager, every year I feel an intense excitement in looking ahead for what God wants for (in)courage. But after a year like 2020, it would feel like a miss to barrel full-steam ahead into hopes and dreams without first making space to acknowledge the great sorrow we’ve endured collectively and individually.
Tears well immediately to the surface just thinking about it. We have lost loved ones to the coronavirus, which also robbed the dignity of saying goodbye. Hospitals remain packed with COVID patients. Lord, bring your healing! Livelihoods have been threatened and forever altered. Racial tensions rose as awareness of injustice increased. Political sides became like battle lines, separating family members and neighbors. Word-wars waged over social media leaving everybody wounded. Many churches and schools closed their doors and have yet to reopen. What is right? What is safe? The questions reverberate — they ricochet like sharp arrows we can’t dodge. The grief is too much. Our mental health has fractured. Our country remains broken and divided. Hope can feel too heavy to keep carrying. Truth can seem too elusive. Which voices can we trust? Which sources actually advocate for our best interest?
Friends, if you feel heavy and burdened and like hope is an unraveling thread that you’re losing your grip on, you’re not alone. But know this: God never loses His grip on us.
Will the next twelve months continue the same late-night anxiety and early-morning uncertainty, alarming headlines, widening divides, prolonged loneliness, and unrest of all kinds that marked 2020? I don’t know.
There’s one thing we don’t have to wonder about: the faithfulness of God and reliability of His Word.
Over and over, Scripture beats the drum of God’s fierce with-ness.
When facing the great unknowns of transitioning from their wilderness years and stepping into the Promised Land, Joshua and the Israelites hung on the assurance that “the Lord is the one who will go before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or abandon you. Do not be afraid or discouraged” (Deuteronomy 31:8).
When facing down a great storm that threw the disciples into a flurry of fear and panic, Jesus reminded them that His very presence had the power to right the boat and calm the raging waters (Luke 8:22-25).
In the face of our own trouble and uncertainty, God alone is our steady rock. Our sure footing. Our refuge and ever-present help (Psalm 46:1).
As we look at 2021 as a community of Christian women, let’s anchor ourselves in the unshakable Truth! Let’s stake our hope, our future, our way forward in God’s Word.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 clearly says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”
I love how the Message translation says it, too: “Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another — showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.”
2020 has undone us like no other. Yet, through the Word, we are put together.
Oh, how I wish I could reach through these screens to cup your face in my hands, gently shake your shoulders, and hug you tight, sister! (Of course, no COVID in my dream world.) I want us to look into each others’ eyes and preach the truth to one another. Over and over, as many times as it takes for us to remember that we are not alone. We are not unequipped. We are not without a compass in the storm.
This year we will continue to champion our (in)courage core values to build community, celebrate diversity, and become women of courage by being rooted in the Word.
In addition to the honest stories you find here every day at (in)courage from our team of amazing writers, we are thrilled to study God’s Word more intentionally as a community through our new Courageous Bible Study Series! Every three months, we will release a new Bible study that will help you walk more closely with Jesus and make an impact for the kingdom of God right where you are.
Our first six-week study is Courageous Simplicity: Abide in the Simple Abundance of Jesus… and we want to invite YOU to study God’s Word with us!
Join the Courageous Simplicity Online Bible Study!
Beginning February 1, gather online with your (in)courage sisters as we learn together how to fix our eyes and our lives on Jesus! All you need to do is:
- Register for the Online Bible Study.
- Get your copy of Courageous Simplicity.
- Check your email for info + an invite to our private Facebook Group.
We’ll send the weekly teaching videos out via email so if you don’t have Facebook you can still participate. Also, we have created some great resources to help you lead this study with your church or a group of friends. Get your leader guide — it includes leadership tips, ice-breakers, discussion questions, and six teaching videos!
Sisters, are you ready? May we let the power of God’s Word steady our hearts, transform our minds, and set the course for our future.
What truth are you clinging to as you start 2021?
How will you let Scripture be your compass?
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