By Rachel W. Rains
God's Brave Women - Rachel's Story
I got married when I was just 20 years old. You could say I went straight from one man taking care of me to another. So, there are certain things I never had to do or learn.
Things such as changing the smoke detector battery, or changing the lightbulbs, or mowing the yard, etc. To this day, I still don’t know how to change the time on the microwave. Although, I’m sure I could figure it out. That is, if I set my mind to it… and God called me to it!
I’m a right brain thinker by nature, a creative by trade, and an introvert in crowds. But I’m also an Enneagram One. And by definition, an enneagram one is known as “the Reformer,” or as I like to say, a “Justice Seeker.” God knew all of this when He called me to chase justice and become a ‘forever guardian’ to my orphaned, twelve-years-my-senior, special needs cousin in early January of 2015.
The Lord had lovingly prepared my heart and cleared my proverbial plate when the call came that changed the trajectory of our lives forever. The journey required me to do all of the hard things I once relegated to others; driving long distances, reading complicated legal documents, making small talk, understanding processes that take more than three steps. (Right brain thinker, remember.)
Not only that, but I would have to face some incredibly hard, scary days—alone. Time and distance made it a necessary fact. As someone who was used to relying on others, this journey would require me to bravely step out on my own to answer His call.
"As someone who was used to relying on others, this journey would require me to bravely step out on my own to answer His call."
Although something in my spirit told me that my cousin’s world had gone terribly wrong since my uncle’s death, never could I have imagined what God would ask me to do just six months later. But I knew instantly (and instinctively) God had called me to this journey, because I had prayed for it. I had prayed the previous fall that God would equip me if my cousin ever needed my help. Not only that, but I also prayed a seemingly harmless prayer, at that time. I had prayed for God to “complicate my life.”
Folks, I’m here to tell you, “Be careful what you pray.” Because when we align our wills and desires to those of the Heavenly Father, glorious complications are bound to occur.
"When we align our wills and desires to those of the Heavenly Father, glorious complications are bound to occur."
Due to the litigious nature of our story, I am still unable to share much of our journey publicly. But many of my voice clients, day after day, had a front row seat to the miracle of it all as I fielded calls from lawyers, prosecutors, social workers, and the such.
Eventually, the days stretched into months and the months turned into years. Five incredulously long, exhausting years… But through it all, God was glorified every step of the way, miracle after miracle. His provisional hand evident in every delay and disappointment.
As I left my very first Christian writers conference, in late 2019, I pulled the car over in a north Dallas parking lot to receive yet another call. But this time, it was great news! Justice had prevailed. A plea bargain had been struck. Our prayers were answered. And just like that, our chasing justice days were over.
I walk a little taller in my inadequacies nowadays because I know “I can do all the hard-to-me things He calls me to through Christ who strengthens me.” I can proudly look back on the journey and say, “Wow—I did that!” with God’s help and an army of believers who upheld my righteous hand.
"I walk a little taller in my inadequacies nowadays because I know “I can do all the hard-to-me things He calls me to through Christ who strengthens me.”
I fought the good fight God called me to. I was brave and still am. I saw mountains move. I learned new skills I thought I could never learn. I exercised immeasurable restraint and control. I loved with extraordinary grace in the face of insurmountable challenges. But mostly, I learned that if God calls you to do something, He’ll equip you for the journey.
"I learned that if God calls you to do something, He’ll equip you for the journey."
Would you believe the ink was barely dry when God gave me another opportunity to make brave, bold choices!? Once again, my life complicated. I experienced grief hand-in-hand with joy, and I had the choice to trust Him once more with the meaning behind the journey and all the journeys to come.
Friends, no matter what hard thing God is calling you toward — just do it! You’ll never regret the brave choices you make for the Kingdom of God.
"No matter what hard thing God is calling you toward — just do it! You’ll never regret the brave choices you make for the Kingdom of God."
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
Is God calling you to a journey that requires hard choices, new skills, and scary circumstances? Be BRAVE, step out, and trust Him in the journey.
Brave Woman Manifesto
Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story.
And by the way...
You are Brave!
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Having accepted Christ around the age of five, Rachel W. Rains was raised in a family deeply rooted in the Christian faith and a few ‘religious’ beliefs. She is a Nashville Vocal Technique Coach turned writer/speaker, who laughingly admits that knowing about church life and having her type of upbringing doesn’t necessarily guarantee a problem-free life.
Rachel currently resides outside her hometown on the OK/TX border and describes herself as domestically and directionally challenged. She is a wife to her hubby of thirty-plus years, mother to a remarkable adulting daughter, and guardian to her special needs cousin. Rachel finds tremendous joy encouraging and equipping maturing believers to find meaning in their journey—this side of heaven! Especially, through the widely shared campaign, #acceptthelovechallenge.
Connect with Rachel on Instagram and Facebook. Or visit www.rachelwrains.com to grab the latest newsletter, read the AMJ blog, and download your free mini-devotional, The Love Challenge; Loving a Broken, Unlovable World One Challenge at a Time.