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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& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. Kristen,
    I can so relate to this post. I’ve lived with chronic pain a good portion of my adult years. Some days it’s monumental just to be able to go up and down the stairs. But I have to say, I do not take the blessing of something as simple as being able to walk for granted. On good days when I can go on a fairly lengthy walk, I count it a victory. There is always some degree of pain, but I’m doing it. Life is kind of like that – there’s always some degree of physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual pain, but we keep putting one foot in front of the other and before we know it we’re making progress. God keeps coaxing us on. He doesn’t ask us to win the race, but simply to show up at the starting line (obedience), and ask for His strength to make it to the finish line where a glorious crown awaits those who believe. Beautiful!
    Bev xo

    • I couldn’t have said it any better, Bev. Thank you for being here, dear lady–the pain is easier to endure when we can walking alongside one another toward victory!

  2. Your thoughts came exactly when I needed them. Isn’t this the way of our God? He is so good! I trust that you and your family are not affected by the fires in Colorado. Prayers for all who are~

    • You’re so kind to ask. We’re a few hours away from the fires, but our prayers are certainly with all the good people around Grand Lake, Estes Park, and other nearby areas. God sent an abundance of snow yesterday and today to the area, and for that I know we’re all so thankful!

  3. Good Morning,
    This devotional has been food for my soul. My pastor just ministered about God being the “super” and that I need to show up in the “natural” to create the supernatural in my life. I am not eager to run the race today but I will run. God will show up for me. Thank you

    • Yes he will! And I love what your pastor shared–it’s a helpful way of framing our own circumstances we walk through. Thank you for sharing it with us, too.

  4. Today morning I prayed to God ” Lord should I really keep going or should I quit, this is so so hard ,have very less time to accomplish this task, it doesn’t come naturally to me, doesn’t look like ‘this is what you want me to do’, because I’m striving so hard and it seems impossible,should I quit??please guide me.” And this email from (in)courage is my first email. God still speaks and guides those who are committed to Him. I’m not quitting. Thank you and God bless you Kristen strong.

  5. Thanks for sharing this. Such an encouragement! God is working in my heart right now to trust HIM more everyday.

  6. Kristen, your story is so inspiring! Thank you! I am just trying to do something small right now. I am only trying to lose the weight I’ve gained during the pandemic. I only have about 8 more pounds to lose. But it’s so hard! But not as hard as prepping for and running a marathon. Wow! I can do this one small thing. And I’m going to look for something bigger. Something to help others.

  7. Thank you for the story about Pennie. She did not give up once she felt God gave her an assignment. Although her pain was diagnosed and it was not just in her mind. Her pain was “real”, she still did not give up.

    This is a confirmation for me. I have challenges with the symptoms and discomfort of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Yes, I am thankful to have medicine and medical professionals to advise me. My prayer is for healing and recovery from symptoms.

    I am even more compassionate toward others in pain. I do believe that I will see my healing while I am young enough to enjoy moving about without symptoms and discomfort.

    I won’t give up either. I will also set an example for my girls to see me remain prayerful and positive. God is my Heavenly Father and I am His daughter.

    • I believe the same, Brenda. And I think that sometimes, part of the reason we have to go through pain in its different forms is because it does grow compassion in us. Pressing on alongside you, sister!

  8. Kristen,

    Someone once said “no pain no gain.” Paul likened life to running a race. He ran in such a way to win God’s approval. There have been many days I didn’t want to cope with life. My aging dad’s dementia/psych issues made life interesting to say the least. Never knowing when the phone would ring or what mood he’d be in. I felt God telling me to keep on caring for him the best I could. Being obedient to the end I took the best care possible. Going so far as to leave a good job for him. Life is about being obedient to God. Just show up, wait & listen for God. He will tell you what to do. You will get your miracle someday.

    Blessings 🙂

  9. Kristen, you have become Alli to all of us, shepherding our hearts with a story that points us back to obeying God no matter the cost. Love you, friend. Thank you for these words.

  10. Lovely, encouraging, full of hope – what a story. And what a tremendous woman, husband and family.
    Thank you for sharing, Kristen