I’ve been privileged to meet women who don’t believe there ‘s anything significant about them.  Perhaps that’s why they’re amazing to me – because what’s seen in them first is their Savior.   Most of them will say, “I’m just living my life” but they have obediently lived in difficult places while walking in Him, not themselves.   Many of them show boldness in taking life’s challenges and persevering through them with courage and strength.   That’s what makes me stand in awe of them.  While they don’t know it, other people are watching them, gaining strength themselves to walk in difficult places, modeling Christ’s strength when needed in the darkest moments of life.

For me, one woman was Carol Kent.  Though I’ve met Carol personally, it’s been knowing her story through When I Lay My Isaac Down that I received hope in a difficult time.  A time when I wondered if other Christian families experienced pain and struggle, the kind you’re afraid to share because “what would people think” rolls around in your head.  Carol was courageous and vulnerable in sharing her family’s story.  It gave me hope that while God allows pain in our lives, for various reasons, regardless of who we are, we can still walk forward in Him.  It gave me courage to accept the challenges we were in by moving towards God rather than blaming Him.   It gave me strength to view pain not as a punishment, but as a natural course of life, contrasting the “Health and Wealth” gospel often presented in Christian circles.

Out of my journey and from working with others, I’ve found great value in sharing stories of strength and courage in the midst of adversity.  At Life Beyond the Picket Fence, I have the privilege to share stories of people whose lives are real, powerful, and inspiring.  They are typical women who have faced adversity in their lives with courage, strength, and perseverance, not giving up or retreating when expectations of life were shattered.   I recently shared Nettie’s Story about a mother’s grief and will soon be sharing Lou Anne’s story, a mother of a child with cerebral palsy.  Please look for her story this weekend.

Another amazing story of courage and strength is Kim de Blecourt’s story.  Her book, “Until We All Come Home” was released this week and, as part of her book launch team, I have the privilege to share it with a reader needing encouragement to persevere in unbelievable circumstances.   My complete review of her book is here, but I can honestly tell you I received strength by her boldness in an adoption-story-turned-nightmare when I read her book.   The book reads like a thriller-adventure novel, but it’s not.  It’s the story of a typical family in Michigan who wanted to adopt a child.   In doing so, their nightmare began, but their courageous walk with their Lord and Savior prevailed.

It’s an honor to give a hard-copy of “Until We All Come Home”  to one of my readers.  The giveaway will be open today through next Friday, November, 17.  In order to enter,  please comment below to the question “Whose story has inspired you with courage and perseverance and why?”  After commenting, email me (yoderbl@gmail.com) indicating you are entering, also providing your physical address.  Both a comment and email need to be done jointly to be entered, so you can also provide encouragement to others who need tangible examples of hope!

Other opportunities to enter are listed below.   Hopefully, as we learn from each other’s inspiring stories, we can be empowered to walk in His strength in overcoming adversity, increasing our own faith of a God who loves each of us and walks with us no matter what.

So, readers, whose story has inspired you with courage and perseverance and why?  Please encourage us with your comments, allowing me to also share Kim’s story with one of you!

 “It’s not important who does the planting or the watering.  What’s important is that God makes it grow.”  I Corinthians 3:7, NTL

Additional entries for “Until We All Come Home” beyond commenting/emailing include

  1. Commenting on Lou Anne’s Story that will be posted this weekend (1 entry).
  2. Joining the ministry family through following on Facebook or Twitter (1 entry each). Buttons on sidebar.

Brenda receives no compensation from sharing Kim’s de Blecourt’s  story or any other personal story shared.  

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