Five years ago, I sat in a dingy office staring at a computer screen. I was astonished to discover other women finding community in that box, and one of the sites I visited daily was (in)courage. Their writing was always a breath of fresh air and encouragement, brought a peace into my heart, and though I sat a world away I felt like I’d found a home away from home.
I signed up to receive their posts via email, and the day they followed me back on Twitter was one for the books. When they posted an opportunity to review a product, I leapt at the chance. They began the (in)couragers community groups, and I was thrilled to be one of the guinea pig leaders. They had their first un-conference, and I hosted with a new friend (2012), then with an old friend (2013), and then helped plan and brought my 4-day old baby (2014). My friend Crystal began working for (in)courage, and she brought me onto the staff to help with (in)couragers, and then to be on the (in)courage social media team. And when they put out an all-call for new writers, I applied with heart in hands, and God said yes.
I share my (in)courage journey and story with you because I feel like I’ve journeyed with them over their first five years. The (in)courage site and authors have helped me become the girl and writer that I am today. God has used their words to minister directly to my heart, over and over again. The people of (in)courage make me want to follow Him harder. The women (and men!) who make up the behind-the-scenes team are absolutely the real deal, encouragement and grace pouring from them onto others. The writers are Spirit-led, on-screen and behind. To be a part of the (in)courage community has been humbling and a lifeline for my heart, and I know so many of you feel the same way.
Today (in)courage is celebrating FIVE years!
Today we celebrate this online space that has given us so much. Encouragement, fresh air, grace, joy, tears, and love. Thank you to Holley and Stephanie, who dreamt up this online beach house and followed God’s gentle promptings. Thank you to Lisa-Jo, who took the reins with grace and love. Thank you to the (in)courage staff for creating such a beautiful space, for pouring into us all, for being covered with grace. Thank you to the (in)courage writers for welcoming in this girl (awkward as she is), for continually writing your heart, for offering a window into your real, everyday, messy, beautiful faith. Thank you to the (in)courage community for making the virtual beach house exactly that:
…a place to put your sandy, dirty feet up on the coffee table, to laugh late into the night with girlfriends, and to hear God’s Voice through our broken, shared, beautifully redeemed everyday stories.
Cheers, (in)courage! Here’s to five more years of grace! I love you so.
Do you have an (in)courage story? I would LOVE to hear it! Share in the comments?