About the Author

Stephanie Bryant is the co-founder of @incourage and a podcaster at the #JesusLedAdventurePodcast. She owns a Marketing & Business Coaching company. She is passionate about guiding you to your promised land and personal brand therapy. She enjoys spending her days with her husband and their miracle daughter, Gabrielle, on #BryantFamilyFarm....

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  1. Stephanie,
    I can definitely relate to this post. People wondered why on earth I would be passionate about starting a Christian school for orphans and destitute children in Pakistan. I was met with rolled eyes and looks that said, “Good luck with that one.” At our school children find refuge from the streets and from hard labor. At our school they find refuge from being recruited into jihad seminaries or trafficked as slaves. They are given safety, the love of Jesus, and an education. They are given hope for the first time in their lives. We have met with many obstacles, but God has been faithful in helping me stay the course. When my heart doubted, His love answered. We are taking the light of Jesus right into the epicenter of evil. If something is in God’s sovereign will, He will be faithful to see it through…regardless of what the world says. Thank you for the encouragement I found here this morning!
    Blessings and all the best to you on your dream,
    Bev

  2. Stephanie, thank you for this beautiful encouragement. This is a Scripture I’ve felt God put on my heart lately. I am surrounded by unbelievers, even my husband, having given my heart back to God a year ago, already married with two children. Only just starting to grow into God’s love, doubts started plaguing me with others either laughing at my belief, belittling it or questioning my faith in the midst of the heartache I am in. But this Scripture speaks such truth….because in each doubt, if I fix my thoughts on God, the peace comes. I find the skies right now especially comforting: the stunning beauty always makes me think of that Scripture, “What is man that you are mindful of him?” Looking up helps fix my thoughts on His Majesty.

    • BTW congratulations on your farm. I LOVE wide open spaces. We holidayed on a farm once with our kids and I loved getting up early to look outside and read my Bible with the sun rising and the wide open field and skies before me.

    • Anna,
      As the sun shines in my window this am, I am praying for you that His Son would shine on you and that He will be the lifter of your head and the calmer of your doubts. Praying He will enable your eyes to stay fixed on Him no matter what others say or do. You are not walking this road alone…He walks right beside you…carrying you if need be. Keep looking up…
      ((hugs))
      Bev

    • Anna,
      I just want to tell you that I share some of your struggles with having many unbelievers in my family including my husband. I, too, became a true believer years into our marriage. I have experienced the questioning of my faith and/or belittling or minimizing my faith when it comes to decisions about the way to live. I have wrestled with the doubts that can so easily rise in these circumstances. But, like you, I found that fixing my thoughts back on the very truths I’ve come to believe, on the Lord Himself, peace returns. I’m also amazed by your notice and comfort that has come through “the stunning beauty” in the skies. I just came back from a walk and had noticed the same thing. As I praised the Lord for His creative beauty so evident to me at the moment, I finished my walk with joy in my heart and a smile on my face! Thanks so much for sharing your story today. I pray right now for the Lord to help us both navigate the unbelief around us in such a way that Christ is glorified as the One who is working it out in us.

      • Diana, thank you for taking the time to respond with your encouraging words. It helps to know I am not the only one with the same struggles and it is so wonderful to hear how God brings you joy through the skies as well. I just went running with the sun setting and I couldn’t help but be awestruck by the God we serve. Praying for you too, that God may continue to lift your head and move your heart in the little moments of your day.

        • Praying for you Anna and Diana. I am too in a similar situation and I know how hard it can be. May we find comfort that Jesus has a great plan for our families.

          God bless!
          Marissa

          • Lifting you up in prayer right now as well, Marissa. Praying for deep joy to pour out from within you into your family, blessing them with God’s love. And praying for Diana’s, your and my husband, that God would open the eyes of their hearts to His Truth and continue to soften our own hearts in loving obedience, so that we may be a blessing through the struggles.

          • BTW the song “No Longer a Slave to Fear” from Jonathan David and Melissa Helser is a song that has been a real blessing to me lately. Not sure if you have both heard of it. It’s a powerful song of just how much God is with us in it all.

          • Anna, I join your prayers for Marissa’s, yours, and my husbands. “Father, open the eyes of our husband’s hearts to see the treasure that Jesus is as our Lord and Savior.” I’m also in agreement with your prayers for our own hearts to be transformed into loving obedience. “Lord, may Anna, Marissa and myself be so deeply rooted in faith expressed through love that our husbands will be won over by this transformation. I pray that all we do honor and glorify Jesus as the One we adore and abide in daily.” Oh Anna, I just heard that song recently and it ministered to my soul immensely. We seem to be having a number of connections through God’s loving Spirit, huh?!?

          • Marissa,
            Thank you so much for your prayers. I’ve joined with yours and Anna’s below in a comment connected to Anna’s. Yes, may the comfort of Jesus’ good plan for us be something we can clearly see and feel in order to praise Him as the One who comforts us! Blessings to you!

    • Anna,
      Prayers for you. May God shine His light in your life. I pray others see Jesus in you and want what you have. Keep on praying for them and one day He may work a miracle in their lives. You are not alone in the journey! We are here for you my sister in Christ!
      (((((Hugs)))))

  3. Stephanie, I’ve never thought about some of my dreams with this perspective. The Mary perspective. I love that slant on it. Sometimes we are the ones God shares the vision with first. I need to keep moving forward on the path God shares and then trust Him to bring others alongside in His way and timing.

    Isaiah 26:3 is one of my go-to verses when life seems overwhelming. Thank you for the reminder that, even in those times, God is moving, bringing to fruition the plans He has. I’ll be meditating on your words today.

  4. Stephanie, Thank you for this.I think I have clearly heard from God a number of times about a relationship (future husband) but then I see nothing concrete happening. I am trying to stay the course, pray and be obedient. But it seems crazy when I don’t know the other person is being spoken to.

    • L,
      Praying with you! May God reveal His plans for your life!! God is molding you into the woman He wants you to become and possibly molding your future mate as well. Keep on praying and shining His light.
      (((((Hugs)))))

  5. Thank you for this! It’s amazing how the right posts come up at the right time for me here at (in)courage and speak to precisely what I’m going through. I have been deep in prayer for some people- one person in particular – over the past couple of months. And it’s a prayer for a complete 180 degree turn that this person doesn’t even know they need (ha! isn’t that the way it always works?) and when I pray it, I say, “God, this is praying against all hope…” because what I’m praying for I cannot even see a glimpse of right now. But then something in the landscape will change; a small shift in an attitude, someone else coming in for this person from another angle, opportunities to invest in this person’s life and let God work. And I feel the wheels turn ever so slightly and I give Him praise. He hears my dream and sees my passion because He is the one who put it there. who gave me the desires of my heart.

    Your post summed up for me what I have been experiencing – “But when you hear clearly from God and you see Him changing your circumstances to create the vision He shared earlier, you stay the course. ” Yes, yes and yes again. My dream is not a farm (altho I think that’s my husband’s!) but it is a person’s heart; that it would be sold out for Jesus and that God would use this person to glorify Him.

    Can’t wait to see what happens!

  6. Such an important reminder for us all, Stephanie. How wonderful to see God fulfill that dream He placed in your heart! He is such a generous and loving God. Your point is so critical. We must keep praying, seeking, and trusting. Blessings!

  7. Wow. This came at an absolutely perfect time. I am a single mom working full time as a nurse with zero desire in my life to ever be a teacher, (other than wanting to have full access to write on those really cool over head projectors that I doubt still exist). But at the beginning of the summer, I felt and saw The Lord changing my heart and calling me to homeschool my daughter. I couldn’t and still can’t believe it, but here we are in week 2 of homeschooling and I truly feel (a little scared), but a lot covered by His provision and mercy and grace. I was met with both encouragement and excitement, as well as resistance, doubt, and questioning by some family members. It’s hard to not consider their questioning and concerns and in turn question and doubt myself. We don’t look like the “traditional” home schooling family, but that is just fine. As you suggested, Mary likely didn’t seem like the expected carrier and Mother of The Messiah at the time, but God is funny and awesome and sovereign in that way, and in His good and perfect plan. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for the reminder and encouragement that we are not here to conform to the patterns of this world, but we are here for Him, and to answer HIS calls for HIS glory; not ours or theirs. May The Lord continue to bountifully bless you, your family, and your farm. Xoxo

    • Kathie,
      I recently read an article about what a positive experience home-schooling can be for the parent and the child. It sounds as if there’s a wonderful blessing ahead for you both.
      God sees around the corners of our lives. What sometimes looks to others as if it is a detour is really the path.

    • Kathie,

      I wish you well in your new experience and hope that you both fully enjoy it. Good for you to follow through.

      Penny

    • Looking back, now that I have three adult children and two of them a bit rocky in their faith, I’m wishing I had homeschooled. No one could have convinced me of it at the time because there were some mornings I just couldn’t wait for that big yellow bus to come and take them to school because I was working or home with a baby. But, years later, I’m wondering if I’d do less worrying now having homeschooled them then. One can never be sure about hindsight and of course there are no guarantees, but I commend you for following your heart and the Lord and going for it!

  8. Stephanie,

    Thank-you for sharing your wonderful news with us. It’s very inspiring.

    Waiting on the Lord takes patience and sometimes I need reminding of that. I am not in control, each day is a gift, whether it’s spending time with a loved one, seeing a rainbow, a tree blossoming or a baby deer following it’s mother, they are all gifts. We all receive them differently and so personally. And whatever dream is met that too is a gift.
    Penny

  9. Just what I needed …as confirmation of what God has been speaking to me about today. I can say as did Mary “May it be to me as you have said”. Be prepared…be ready for it to occur – suddenly

  10. Stephanie,

    I have a girlfriend who uses the phrase, pray, obey and sit back and watch the movie. It goes right along with the devotion you wrote for today. Good reminder with all that has been going on in the externals. Thank you!

    Blessings,

    Joanne

  11. Bev,

    It’s wonderful what you are doing for those children. I’m glad that you didn’t back down from what you dreamed to be possible.

    blessings to you,

    Penny

  12. I am smiling at this post, I often tried to relate to Mary but it’s the Old Testament Joseph that comes to mind more often. I’m a dreamer. I have often wondered why I wasn’t on the same page with everyone else or them with me is more like it, maybe, I’m in Mary mode after all. He’s moving in mysterious ways.

  13. Thanks for sharing this. It seems as though we’re constantly in a holding pattern with everything, and it’s frustrating. Our 6th anniversary is Saturday and we still, after all these years, CANNOT move due to circumstances that, for the most part, are out of mine/my husband’s control. I too dream of the wide open spaces, a safer property for my child to play in, and a place where I can actually view God’s handiwork in the skies each morning and night from my own porch. I feel like giving up on this dream because everything is moving so slowly, or not at all, while all the bad in the world accelerates even faster than God seems to. I’m not sure I’m making any sense (just woke up and I’m still exhausted) so I’ll end with saying that this has blessed me this morning, and thank you for sharing.

  14. I love this! What a great post of encouragement for our God instilled dreams! For the past year, the Lord has been whispering small things about hospitality on my heart. I’m not sure what it will lead to or even the steps to take, but I’m trusting that it is something He wants to cultivate in my life. And it wants me to focus on Him all the more to see what comes of it. 🙂

  15. Stephanie,
    Congratulations on your farm!! I was raised a city girl and find myself married living in the country (and loving it!!) I would love to own some acreage and a farmhouse way out in the country away from people! I love looking at great countryside and having quiet surround me!

    I never thought about my dreams on the Mary/Joseph angle. Just watched the movie War Room and this post goes right along with that. We must pray, pray and pray some more for our dreams, desires, etc. Then we get to sit back and watch how He works!! It is amazing what can come from prayer!! It may not come in our timing, but if it is a God given dream it will come to fruition.
    Blessings 🙂

  16. Stephanie,

    As always, you have no idea how spot on this post was in my life right now! The Lord had given me the verses from Luke 1 & the sort of idea in my heart of “let Me speak to others involved” when I was getting frustrated that He gave a promise/dream to me but others hadn’t heard from Him yet – and THEN I read this post & wow, what an encouragement & confirmation! You are such a BLESSING!

    love,
    Nina Ruth 🙂