By Bethany Kimsey
God's Brave Women - Bethany's Story
I sat slowly, hesitantly on the couch, unsure of what I would hear that week in counseling, but knowing her words were important. They were necessary. And she was honest.
Oh, from the moment my daughter had peeled back the covering and exposed the shreds of darkness and despair eating at her heart and her mind, she had been honest. She answered the questions. She thoughtfully responded with how she saw life, and my heart broke a little further each week. Depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts had all sunk talons into her mind, yet she bravely battled for Truth.
On life's path, the middle is often murky, and in motherhood, the middle can be downright scary.
"On life's path, the middle is often murky, and in motherhood, the middle can be downright scary."
You can look back to see where you started, vivid memories signifying the moment life took off—the fear of a new role, the excitement of discoveries, the thrill of the first. But deep in the middle, life often turns cloudy, bleak at times, and scary at others. We wonder when we will come out of the darkness, when the path will straighten or the new day will begin.
In the middle, we often worry we are losing our way. It's in the middle that we suddenly look around and hate the scenery on the path. We believe we have been deserted by the One who promised to hold our hand. We begin to tremble. We begin to consider the whispers that we cannot do it, that perhaps simply stopping would be best.
I am in the middle now, walking with a child wrestling with anxiety and self-doubt. Sometimes tipping into depression, the dark places of hopelessness and despair clouding over some months. And I have had to realize not only does she need to choose courage, but I also must choose brave.
"I am in the middle now, walking with a child wrestling with anxiety and self-doubt. Sometimes tipping into depression, the dark places of hopelessness and despair clouding over some months. And I have had to realize not only does she need to choose courage, but I also must choose brave."
For the first few years, I packed down the panic, heartbreak, and frantic wondering that bled into every part of my life’s fabric. I summoned a brave facade. Terrified of the next moment, I was desperately angry at an enemy who seemed to have her ear more than I did, grabbing at any piece of debris that might keep us afloat a little while longer in this storm. My eyes darted every which way, looking for signs, listening for the lies she was hearing. Terrified. Undone. I was never sure how much more she could endure, and I was scared that I wasn't mother enough for what she needed.
Then God began to define bravery His way.
He welcomed my anguished heart and steadied my trembling steps. As I walked with my girl as closely as I could in the valley, I desperately sought Him. "My heart shall not fear, I will be confident," became war cries straight out of Psalm 27:3 because "He will hide me in his shelter and conceal me under the cover of his tent." We have no better hiding place than in the stronghold of God's hand.
He clarified my purpose with my child. I am not the one to set her free, to heal her mind, or to slay the enemy. But instead, I am an ambassador who proclaims Christ, the hope of glory, and the one who faithfully prays on her behalf.
"I am not the one to set her free, to heal her mind, or to slay the enemy. But instead, I am an ambassador who proclaims Christ, the hope of glory, and the one who faithfully prays on her behalf."
He clarified my calling to telling "the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD and his might and the wonders that he has done." (Psalm 78:4) He repeatedly pointed to passage after passage of prayers specifically for my daughter, teaching me the importance of standing on His Word alone.
The power of the lies gripping her astounded me. Lies about appearance, ability, performance, personality all needed uncovering before Truth could be applied. Truth transforms the targeted heart over time, making it bolder, wiser, more discerning. We can learn to love His Word and anchor in his Truth.
He comforted my trembling soul and gave me insight into her struggle. 2 Corinthians 1:4 tells us that God "comforts us in all our afflictions, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." We comfort because we experience God's tender hand through adversity, not because we have just heard about hardship or difficulty from afar. God faithfully walks us through, and we can point others to Him when they are caught in the struggle. We become His hands and feet to offer comfort, rest, help, and Truth to the ones wracked by hardship that feels overwhelming and never-ending.
"We comfort because we experience God's tender hand through adversity, not because we have just heard about hardship or difficulty from afar. God faithfully walks us through, and we can point others to Him when they are caught in the struggle."
Some days feel triumphant, and some seem painfully slow. Often, I want to descend back into the flustered worry and fear. But I love Spurgeon's words that we "destroy distress by bringing God upon the scene." Bravery is genuinely choosing courage in the face of fear. Returning to His towering strength, trusting His Truth in moments of panic, leaning on Him instead of lunging in fear – all have become proven postures.
"I love Spurgeon's words that we "destroy distress by bringing God upon the scene." Bravery is genuinely choosing courage in the face of fear. Returning to His towering strength, trusting His Truth in moments of panic, leaning on Him instead of lunging in fear – all have become proven postures."
People ask if I would change this or if I would wish it all away. She's still in the middle of all God is doing. So, I'm still in the middle. While I would never choose this path for my little one, and never deny that I resent the enemy who one day will lay crushed permanently, I will not discount His glory. I will not shortchange His majesty. His glory and His tender majesty have been on display in my child's life throughout this journey. So, like Psalm 27:6 says, "Now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the LORD."
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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Bethany Kimsey believes God reaches down into the messiness of our lives to display His love, mercy, and grace. As a mother to 8 children, she has seen God radically change her messy motherhood from weary, anxious, and frantic to peaceful, joyful, and triumphant. She helps weary mothers win the battle against worry and fatigue as they understand their identity in Christ and rest in the hope of the Gospel in community with other moms. As a writer, speaker, and encourager of mothers, she wants to see a generation of Grace-Filled Warriors stand together and walk triumphantly behind the One who sets them free from performance, doubt, and fear.
She would love to connect over at her website bethanykimsey.com, where you can grab her free gift Learning to Pray Scripture for your Children Prayer Guide. She would love to connect on Instagram or Facebook as well.