Butterfly shy, and all cocooned up was my life when I decided that I could hide in the hurt or fly in the free.


We all have those seasons of loosing a friend, struggling to find your place in community, or wondering if we will ever have a friendship that is real and trustworthy.


The loss of a friendship and community sent me on a quest to find purpose and place in life for me to live. Our soul longs for a place to flourish, flower and bear good fruit.  To find my voice in a world so loud – we are created for such things!


I was new to blogging – still trying to find my voice, as I read the blogs of others.


It was Emily Freeman’s blog about her friend who had gone home to the Lord, which first caught and held my attention.  Her blog introduced me to (In)Courage.


One (In)Courage blog led to others – women who talked honestly about their fears, their struggles, and hopes, and dreams.  They said words out-loud that I had spun away deep in my cocoon. Feelings and fears I never wanted to admit.


They were not ashamed, nor apologetic.  They were simply real!


“I want to be real like this,” my soul whispered to my heart, trying to not sound like a puppet that wanted life.


These women sat on virtual benches talking about real life, and this butterfly sat close behind the benches listening, taking it all in.


Occasionally, I would press a note through the slats in the bench telling them how much I loved their words.


On the breath of (In)Courage, this butterfly began to leave the cocoon, stretch wide her wings and fly.


So frequently we see a disaster in our life as a sorrow, when actually it is God only changing your trajectory.


A directional change seems painful, lonely, and even unkind at the time.  But these things are only one perspective. Changing from sorrow to thankfulness was one breath of wind that lofted this butterfly upwards.


When the winds of change blow, and our location shift, it is God redirecting our destination – We frequently cannot see the road ahead or know where it will end, but God does.


Now, I can thank God for the changing winds that blew me to (In)Courage.  Many of these women have become like sisters to me, and (In)Courage has become a safe community of friends.  My life is richer having met them.


Each year, (In)Courage offers a free conference to anyone who would like to attend!  I know – Crazy Good!


It will have real women, telling real stories, which are brutally honest and…real.


Stories about God’s faithfulness in the hard times, and how He works all things together for good.


Would you please join us?  And, (drumroll, please) I am hosting an (In)Courage meet up during the conference and you are invited!


Just go to (In)Courage and register so we can expect you!


Do you have a story about community and living in real life?  We want to hear your story!!!









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Diane W. Bailey is the founder of The Consilium – an online community of wisdom and purpose for women over 45 years of age. She is a published author. Her books include String of Pearls – From Tears to Treasure, and 30 Days To A Better Stepfamily. She creates her own line of precious metals bracelets. Diane lives in the Deep South with her husband Doc. Together they have created a stepfamily, each having two stepchildren and two birth children, and share three grandchildren, one black lab named Charlie and one long haired tabby cat named Lil Girl. Diane’s passion is to encourage women to be all God has created them to be by pressing past fear and daring to live life as an adventure. Some of her life adventures include traveling to Israel, speaking, entrepreneurship and backyard farming with Doc. She loves Gumbo, fried shrimp and seeing all sunsets across water.

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