A Signed Contract and a New Chapter

I signed an important contract a few weeks ago.

I’ve been sitting on my hands, trying to keep myself from saying a word about it until the light turned green and I received the go-ahead. Today? Today is the day.

The funny thing is, it’s one small sentence. But it means so much more than you know, and in many ways it’s a full-circle picture of redemption that has me both honored and humbled.

I’ve accepted the invitation to be one of the ten new (in)courage contributors!

It’s a new chapter in an old story, but if you’ll indulge me for a minute or five I’d love to share a small piece with you.

Never place a period where God has placed a comma. - Gracie Allen

(in)courage has long been one of my favorite sites for encouragement, honesty, and important conversations in the online space. I’ve read every blog post since the year it began, and so when I say it feels like home — I really mean it. Back in 2012 I became the first (in)courage (in)tern. After a year or so, that three-month-long (in)ternship that was extended and then re-extended (is that a word?) became an official position: Social Media Manager and Guest Post Coordinator.

It’s a mouthful, that’s for sure, but it looked like serving behind-the-scenes every day through running social media, writing, editing, graphic design, and more emails than you’ll ever know. In May of 2013, in an unexpected turn of events, my words were posted on the main page of (in)courage. The title: There’s Power In Your Story. (Don’t read the comments unless you have Kleenex nearby.) Two months later I shared about mentoring the next generation. Four months after that, I wrote about Catching Joy and remembering that each moment — the difficult and the ordinary — is preparing us for the next.

The calendar flipped to 2014, (in)RL: We Need Your Story launched, and God completely blew me away with the way He connects all the little details long before we have even a glimpse of the picture He’s painting. I stepped far outside my comfort zone and said yes to filming a video about experiencing broken community, struggling to trust again, and ultimately building bridges instead of walls.

Building bridges instead of walls is risky, but it's worth it.

It was shown world-wide to thousands of women (cue all the feelings) and afterwards, these are the words I wrote: It was surreal and exciting and also completely nervewracking to sit on a couch and watch my own face appear on the screen. But it was okay, way more okay than I was expecting – because we did it together. We shared our stories because we wanted to hold open the door for others to do the same.

It’s a beautiful story, all these behind-the-scenes happenings and words shared, friendships built with a team of women who feel like family (really and truly).

But it wouldn’t be completely truthful of me to wrap it up there, to skip over a chapter that I’ve held close for years. There are some stories that aren’t meant to be pixelated, conversations that take place far away from the Internet, but I’ll simply put it this way: behind-the-scenes, there were broken pieces and broken hearts. I stepped away in January of 2015 and prayed and prayed and prayed for three years as God worked and healed and redeemed.

The work God does within us while we wait is just as important as whatever it is we're waiting for.

I said yes to working as a Virtual Assistant for several (in)courage contributors, graduated college, accepted a position as the Social Media Manager for DaySpring (you know, the absolutely incredible company that I visited as an (in)courage (in)tern), and continued to watch and wait and hope. And all the while, God was at work behind-the-scenes.

I think that’s the theme in this entire storyline… that He’s at work behind-the-scenes, even as we serve behind-the-scenes, because the words I wrote in that first (in)courage post are truer than I even knew:

He’s weaving pieces together that will tell of His faithfulness when generations to come read the pages of your life.

A couple months ago, after a lot of prayer and important conversations with the ones I love, I quietly accepted a small position with (in)courage. And y’all, I can’t even tell you how wonderful it’s been, how grateful I am to see with my own eyes how God has been at work bringing beauty from what was broken. We don’t always get to see the answers to our prayers, but what a gift these few months have been.

When we let God do the mending, broken things become blessed things. (free printable from KaitlynBouchillon.com, words from Even If Not)

Trust me when I tell you, the staff working quietly and humbly behind-the-scenes at (in)courage? They are incredible. They’re exactly who you would hope them to be, through and through.

And the contributors? The women I served for years and am now absolutely humbled to count myself among? They’re the real deal. Above all else, they love Jesus and they love His girls.

At the heart of it all, (in)courage exists to glorify God while serving and encouraging women around the world.

It would be impossible to pull out and share every piece of the puzzle, look at every page of the story, but I share these rambling words to hopefully give you a glimpse of the redeeming and restoring work behind what looks like a simple yes and an exciting announcement.

It is a yes. It is exciting.

But it’s so very, very much more. Because He isn’t done writing. The story isn’t over. He is a good Father, a kind Friend, and an incredible Author. He works in the waiting, He heals what is broken, and the glory is entirely His alone. It’s a new chapter, friends. The page is turning, something new is coming, and you’re invited (in).

You *do* have a story.

Will you join me at (in)courage today? Come meet the amazing team I work with behind-the-scenes, read the words of the contributors who faithfully serve and pour out encouragement each month, and know that there is a seat at the table for you. I’ve saved you a spot… you are welcome here in this place, you are welcomed there in the (in)courage space, and I am more grateful than you’ll ever know that you’ve been with me every step of the way, on every page of the story.

Is God incredible or what?! Full-circle redemption, grace upon grace.

 

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