When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
~Horatio G. Spafford

My mom chose that hymn for her funeral. It was her prayer for those of us left behind. And as her just-turned-eighteen-year-old only daughter I sang the words and they ached in my mouth. She left me stranded between two brothers and a father, with no road map into womanhood.

I wore my black boots to her funeral and ever since I’ve wondered if my clothes were a right choice.

This past week I spent almost every day barefoot. Barefoot alongside my baby daughter and a group of girlfriends.

Empty parts of me filled right up.

She helped me curl my hair one night. She framed memories of my daughter that make my insides hurt they’re so beautiful. She reminded me of the wildly gracious wonder of a servant’s heart.

She wound her way into each of our hearts like a stray, golden curl.

These women, they inspire in a hundred different ways. With their wit and their encouragement and their laughter. With their enthusiasm, their openness, their willingness to dream big and bold.

I met every single one of them through a computer screen.

It was a doorway into a world of real.

My toes curled into the dark wet beach sand as my arms wanted to reach for the sky. There is healing in doing life together, slowly, even if only for a few days.

And to have Zoe with me. To have her celebrated and photographed and smothered in the love of the women I love. It made me feel like this

To the women of (in)courage – I love you.

I love the missions you are walking into, the callings you follow with abandon, the passion you lavish on dreams, and the laughter you serve up like so much banana pudding.

Launching a real life version of (in)courage while all together was almost more than this happy heart could stand.

To the God who sees fit to use me in this community, please go ahead and use me right up. It is my honor and my prayer.

And to my mom, in case you’re wondering, it is well, mom. It is so very well with my soul.


DaySpring and Hilton Head Island Chamber of Commerce hosted the (in)courage bloggers for a long weekend of dreaming, praying, and planning for the (in)courage communityResort Rentals of Hilton Head Island generously provided accommodations, and DaySpring graciously took care of all the incidentals and meals for each of the (in)courage writers. Grateful thanks to Jessica Gardo from the Hilton Head Island Chamber of Commerce for all she did to make this getaway so life giving. And my profoundest thanks to Ann, Emily, Dawn, and Lisa for photos of my baby girl that quite literally took my breath away.