Dear (in)courage Sisters,
Five years ago I stepped into the role of Community Manager here at (in)courage. It’s a role that’s allowed me to talk with you through books, Bible studies, and social media, to shepherd our contributors, and to help set vision and direction for new projects. But perhaps my favorite thing about working behind the scenes is praying for this community. I love praying for you through your brave comments. I love praying as a staff and writing team, seeking God’s direction, clinging to His unwavering grace and strength when everything else seems to be unraveling.
Personally, professionally, globally, it’s been five often-hard, always-stretching, ultimately-beautiful years.
As I pause to reflect on all of God’s faithful fingerprints, pause to pray and press my ear to His heart, listen for His voice and what He has to say about the next year (or five), I hear the ancient reverberation of Isaiah 43:19a:
“For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?”
I love this coupling of what God has already begun and the new thing He’s about to do! This was certainly true for the Israelites — God’s chosen people, rescued from captivity in Egypt, guided and provided for in the wilderness, brought into the promised land, all in preparation to receive the promised Savior. And it is certainly true for each of us.
God is working in our lives every day. Isn’t that great news? Whether you’re in a season that feels oppressive or seems directionless, a season of questioning God or relishing in His miraculous provision, a season of floundering or flourishing, God is with you and He is working on your behalf.
The season you’re in today is the continuation of God’s long story of redeeming all brokenness and the beginning of fresh growth.
Yes, God has begun and He is about to begin!
I feel this in my bones for myself, for my family, for you, dear sisters, and for (in)courage.
It’s important to both recall God’s track record of faithfulness and set our hearts to a posture of expectancy; to see what He’s done and to set our sights on what He will yet do.
For (in)courage, I think about the hundreds of thousands of words written in daily articles and recorded on the (in) podcast. We’ve created Bible studies about being courageous and letting God transform our hearts. We’ve written books about taking heart when life’s not okay, the power of kindness, and loving well when differences and disagreements feel insurmountable.
Why? Our (in)courage purpose and prayer in all things is that, as we look for God’s fingerprints in our imperfect stories and walk through Scripture together, we will be empowered to be like Jesus and live every day for Him.
Yeah, I’d say God has surely been answering this prayer!
So where do we go from here? How do we hold the goodness of all God has done (along with the heartache of living in a messed up world) and prepare ourselves for the “something new” God has promised?
In our individual lives and as a community, we can take our marching orders from Colossians 2:6-7:
“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”
Friends, we continue. We continue devoting ourselves to authentic living, Scripture, and Jesus. We keep showing up in articles and comments (and our everyday lives) with raw stories and real hope. We keep linking arms as sister’s in Christ — God’s chosen daughters — and following Jesus wherever He leads.
Are you with me?
It’s one of my greatest joys to serve here at (in)courage. I pray you come to this little online living room and feel at home, welcomed, and loved by others. But even more, I pray you encounter Jesus. I pray you are held up and called up. I pray that together this year we will grow deep roots in Christ while expectantly watching for the new things God will do.
So much love,
Community & Editorial Manager for (in)courage
P.S. If you were here with us five years ago, you might remember that Colossians was foundational in setting the new direction for (in)courage. How very like God to bring us back here with a reminder to continue. Makes me smile.