By Cynthia Ruchti
God's Brave Women - Cynthia's Story
In college, I thought the bravest thing I could do for God was volunteer to work in an orphanage in China. Then the dream shifted to Mexico since, after all, I had three years of Spanish under my belt. Then I got married and realized it would take a lot more courage to care for my own kids.
Still had to raise my own support, since the household budget didn’t cover everything.
Still had to deal with plenty of ugly challenges, and I’m not just talking about diaper blow-outs and toddlers/youth/pre-teens who couldn’t manage to “hit the bucket,” if you know what I mean.
Still counted down the days until “furlough,” then realized a mom doesn’t qualify for furlough. No reassignments every four years to recoup, visit friends, regroup, and…raise more support.
I once despised snakes, mice, and spiders. A few years into parenting, I realized I’d need to delete those phobias and become the go-to person when my little ones spied a snake, mouse, or cobweb (much less spider). I was no longer the person standing on a chair, but the one standing between my children and real or imagined danger.
Who knew how much courage it would take to dive back into caring for an infant after a nine-year hiatus, and after already deciding that two children were probably enough? Or that it would necessitate taking Saltines and Sprite with me to stave off morning sickness while taking my Sociology final in my grand scheme to augment our one-income family by pursuing a degree in Elementary Ed…which, as it turns out, wasn’t anywhere close to God’s plan for me.
Who knew my superhero cape would get a solid workout when our family name showed up in the court news section of the newspaper? More than once. Or that I’d need to use my “shield of faith” as a real live shield over my traumatized heart when darts of abandonment, betrayal, addiction, and loss raked raw the hearts of three of my grandchildren and their by then single dad, my son?
I didn’t know I would sometimes need to clench my fists and stomp a foot on the word is when saying, “It is well with my soul.”
Or that it would take courage to set aside the pillow I was clutching in the middle of the night and open my Bible instead, crying out, “God, You have to give me something!” Or that the courage to believe what the pages said was also a gift from Him? Miraculously, I could sleep after reading, “Then Solomon said, ‘The Lord has said that He would dwell in the thick darkness,’” (1 Kings 8:12 NASB). I recognized thick darkness. And He was there. Even there.
I could have been holding babies in an orphanage in China or Mexico. Instead, God asked me to hold my hurting grandbabies. Of all that has occupied my time or attention, perhaps the greatest demonstration of bravery has been to set up a Hope triage center, a place where the hurting can sense the presence of His peace before they recognize what it is.
"Perhaps the greatest demonstration of bravery has been to set up a Hope triage center, a place where the hurting can sense the presence of His peace before they recognize what it is."
Boldly proclaiming…and living out…the truth “I can’t unravel. I’m hemmed in Hope” may be the most courageous act any of us can do in a world that can’t hold onto hope any longer than it takes to scroll to the next empty, hopeless scene or words.
"Boldly proclaiming and living out the truth “I can’t unravel. I’m hemmed in Hope” may be the most courageous act any of us can do in a world that can’t hold onto hope any longer than it takes to scroll to the next empty, hopeless scene or words."
In my youth, I was willing to leave all American comforts behind and “sacrifice” to serve Him far from home. He said, “Yeah, that’s noble of you. But are you brave enough to accept an assignment that will cost you more within the walls of your own home?”
"In my youth, I was willing to leave all American comforts behind and “sacrifice” to serve Him far from home. He said, “Yeah, that’s noble of you. But are you brave enough to accept an assignment that will cost you more within the walls of your own home?”
Good thing He didn’t ask first. He shoved me into it. But by then, I’d already learned that sometimes rocking chairs have chariot wheels and “Jesus loves me” lullabies can spear thick darkness.
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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Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed-in-Hope through novels, nonfiction, speaking events for women or writers. Her more than 36 books tackle tough topics tenderly, including in her recent novel Facing the Dawn (Revell) and nonfiction book Spouse in the House: Rearranging Our Attitudes to Make Room for Each Other (Kregel). She serves as a literary agent with Books & Such Literary Management.
Cynthia and her grade school sweetheart husband live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and six (to date) grandchildren. You can connect with Cynthia on her website cynthiaruchti.com where you can find her books and sign up to receive updates HERE. Feel free to follow Cynthia on Instagram and Facebook as well!