A First Step to Finding Forward


I wake, my first thoughts shouting the same worry I slumbered with. The concern so deep, it fights to swallow my peace.


I struggle to get up; to get the day started, the gloomy, rainy weather, a reflection of my heart. I lay and begin to push my thoughts toward hope. Toward my Father.


“Our Father in heaven …”


I know the prayers I pray reach His ears though I feel the same. Yet, I won’t give up. I am desperate to find a first step to finding forward.


Though my feet haven’t moved, my mind has begun the process. Rehearsing the faithfulness God showed to followers in the Word, I remember the steps they took. They continued to believe, though they hadn’t yet seen their answers. I reach out to grab hold of their faith to strengthen my own.


Abraham … waiting for a promised son. Never giving up hope, his faith-fueled him to keep believing in the promise of God year after year after year. He kept believing even if he hadn’t yet seen the answer.

Rahab … day after day, keeping that red cord hanging in the window. Though she had yet to see any sign of the spies’ bringing the promised rescued, she believed their God would come through.


David…running, running, running. So much of his life spent crying out to God to set him free from his enemies. Though the struggle tarried through many winters, springs, summers, and falls, so did David’s faith in his loving God.


After contemplating the faith of those who have come before me, I find the strength to put both feet on the floor, shuffling to find my robe. I know to make it through this day I need to read some of these stories for myself, supplying my soul for what will come this day … whatever it will be.


I settle in my chair, the one where I meet Jesus on most days, looking up. There hangs the print, given to me by a friend, many years ago when life. I hung it then because it looked pretty in that position. It remains today because it strengthens my soul.


“Even if … I still will.” Habakkuk 3:17-18 it declares.


Some days, I feel that. That inner strength that says, “No matter what, God, I will follow you.” And on the days I do not, when my heart only feels pain, I still cling to this … This what? I guess it is a resolve of sorts. Yes, I’ve come to a definite and earnest decision. No matter what, I will follow You, Jesus. I will choose You. I will praise You.


Many days, the words that reinforce my decision come from the Psalms, for so often I find the writer in a place similar to my own. Desperate for help, the words are cries to God to bring relief. “Help us, God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake.” Psalm 79:9 (NIV) And though I hear the wrestling, mirroring the struggling in my own soul, I read the resolution as well, found in today’s key verse: “But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.” Psalm 79:13 (ESV)

Yes, no matter what this day brings, or the next, or the next week, month or year, we, Your people, will give thanks to You forever. We will tell of all there is to praise you for.


No. Matter. What.


I have found my first step forward.



Father, many days we seem stuck because we don’t feel our faith. With Your power living in us, today we say, even if … I still will. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Finding your first step forward isn’t easy some days. Yet, God’s word can empower us to do just that. For help finding where His word will intersect with your need to move, click here to purchase my women’s Bible Study: Make Your Move: Finding Unshakable Confidence Despite Your Fears and Failures. 

I’d love to pray for you today as you take your first step forward. Share in the comments below and I’ll join you in taking your concerns to the Father!






  1. I can really relate to your post today. I’ve struggled through depression for years & then post partum depression after my second son. I didn’t realize that what I was battling earlier was actually depression until I went through post partum dep. I’ve had so many days start like the beginning of this post. However, some days…well actually a lot of days….rather than choosing to move forward, I chose not to look at God & lost hope. The last year has been really difficult, but also hopeful in that in my weak attempts to look up at God, even if that was all I could do, He has been building my weak faith & meeting me. I’ve realized that all I knew for so long was to be sad. I almost found comfort in it…like protection. God has been so faithful in pushing away clouds of fear & pain that I can actually see His love & Joy…even when I was afraid to do it. I can find refuge in His person. I’m still so vulnerable & tender, but I can feel the Spirit’s strength in me a little more month by month. Thank you for writing this today. It is a such timely reminder on the days when I wake up with no resolve, to remember where God has brought me from & that only in Him is strength, healing & true peace & joy. I actually have hope for these things now & believe that joy is for me & my children.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      I hear the progress, Britt! He doesn’t ask us to pretend we are not struggling all He asks is for us to look to Him. A simple prayer. A reading of a verse. Just as you said, each of these small acts are steps forward and those small steps will take us where we want to be.

  2. Happy New Year Lynn. You so described my morning today. I know you and I have discussed my daughter before. A new semester 4 days in and she is struggling with panic and I’m receiving her texts and calls. Lord free her and free me from this! But even if….. Please pray for her and me as a mom to walk in confidence. Thank you for the reminder of Rahab and the other saints.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Father, thank you for giving Lisa her precious daughter. Thank you that her girl has a mother who loves her and is there for her. I pray that You will supply the wisdom Lisa needs to know when to be there for her girl and when to allow her daughter to be stretched and to use her tools and lean into You. This is a hard, hard thing, Father and yet, I see You do it with us Your own children. You are the wisdom we need and I ask for it for us all, especially Lisa according to James 1:5. In Your name, Amen

      1. Thank you Lynn! I pray in agreement with James 1:5

  3. Dori Sheese says:

    My family (both sides) has entered into the season of senior care. Both my mother and mother-in-law are failing in health. I covet your prayers as we begin the journey to help them on a daily basis. Thank you for the reminder to take a first step and rely on God to help all of us.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Lord, You showed us how to be a servant and that is what Dori and her family are being; loving hands and feet of You. Give them strength, patience, and wisdom each day. Show them in the supernatural the value of the work they are doing each day in the natural to love as You call us to love. Amen

  4. Stephanie says:

    My daughter has bipolar depressive disorder, and several years ago she was sexually assaulted by someone she knew (she was an adult at the time). She has made great strides through therapy, but the other day she saw this person in a store and has been devastated ever since. I pray that she gets back to where she was with progress. My heart breaks for her. Please pray for my precious daughter.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Hi Stephanie,

      My girl has also struggled with bi-polar; I know the struggle well.

      Father, I lift up Stephanie’s girl to you. You are the healer; Jehovah Rophe. I asked you to set her daughter back on the pathway to having this traumatic occurrence as part of her path. Heal her mind and her spirit. Show them the way to finding the peace her daughter longs to walk in. Amen

      Stephanie, I have shared before, but here are some of the things that have really helped my daughter:

      1. She fills her heart with God’s word on a regular basis. It helps to ground her and fill her anxious mind with truth every day.
      2. She fills her mind with worship music. This resets her thinking back to focusing on Christ.
      3. With the help of a psychiatrist, she has found the medication that is working. (I know this is a struggle.)
      4. For many years she went to counseling on a weekly basis. Now she goes as she needs it.

      Maybe one or more would be helpful to your daughter as well.

  5. Sierra Stadtmueller says:

    Hi Lynn I have autism and I also have anxiety/obsession.Your book brave beauty has helped me in so many ways and I just want to say thank you so much,because throughout my life I have dealt with so much that I want to cry because I don’t know how to handle all of it. My mom especially has been my rock through all of this. I have been on so many pills but nothing has work. I know that it is a sin to worry but I can’t stop my mind from thinking it never stops immediately when I wake up my worries start .

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Sierra, thank you so much for sharing how Brave Beauty has helped you and thank you so much for sharing your struggles with me. My heart breaks for the daily troubles you experience. I am very familiar with these types of troubles; I have a daughter who struggles with bi-polar and OCD. Here is how the Lord has helped her.

      1. She fills her heart with God’s word on a regular basis. It helps to ground her and fill her anxious mind with truth every day.
      2. She fills her mind with worship music. This resets her thinking back to focusing on Christ.
      3. With the help of a psychiatrist, she has found the medication that is working. (I know this is a struggle.)
      4. For many years she went to counseling on a weekly basis. Now she goes as she needs it.

      Through the power of the Holy Spirit, these things are helping her. If you are missing any of these pieces, maybe the Lord would use them in your life as well?

  6. hi Lynn. grateful for your emails, and this last one really spoke to me. my husband and i have faced the loss of three children to miscarriage. we don’t feel like our family is “finished”, but we are so wounded from grief. we need clarity and wisdom about how we could have another child. we are open to different means God could use. i need faith to wrestle with God and give him my hurts and doubts. thank you. it’s hard to trust God as i look at my losses, although i feel like Peter- “where else can we go? you alone have the words of life.” thank you.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Julia – I am so very sorry. You have been through so much; I can see why finding forward seems so hard.

      Father, only You understand the pain Julia and her husband have experienced and You see how they sense You still have another child for them to love and invest in. Please provide Your guidance, direction and understanding of Your will as they seek You with their open hearts. In Jesus’ name, Amen

      Love to you and your family, Julia!

  7. Habakkuk 3:17-18 is one of my favorite passages in the entire Bible, especially during a period of deep, dark depression many years ago.

    Like you, I found the Psalms to be very precious during that time. I’d lived with tremendous inner turmoil for several months, feeling guilty, considering myself a bad Christian because of the anxiety, despair, anger, lack of energy, hopelessness, and other symptoms that make up clinical depression. From what I’d gathered in the five years since receiving Christ, a good Christian, a real Christian didn’t experience this kind of emotional pain.

    Then I read the Psalms with new eyes, and God ministered to my needy soul, comforting me through the words of David. “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8, NIV). Initially, I focused on the middle part of the verse, “Pour out your hearts to him.” Was I really allowed to do that? He drew me so much nearer to Himself as He reassured me, over and over again, that it was not only okay, but encouraged by many Bible passages.

    Reading this verse again recently, the first few words jumped out at me: “Trust in him at all times.” I was struck by the idea that we’re supposed to both trust in Him and pour out our hearts to Him. One does not negate the other. And when we do both, we experience the truth of the last part of the verse—God is our refuge. We see more clearly how He protects and nourishes us.

    (Adapted from my blog at https://thosewhoweep.blogspot.com/2018/10/pour-out-your-hearts.html.)

    Thank you, Lynn, for your honesty and ministry.

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