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If you’re joining me today from my Encouragement for Today devotion, When What You Need is Bigger Than You Are, welcome!

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Maybe after reading my devotion today, you, too, are wondering what is happening in the life of your loved one that you just don’t understand. If you’d like to learn more about our journey of thriving in the midst of mental disorders, just click here to listen to this podcast.

I am a very visual learner; maybe you are too! That is why I had my friend Jana at Sweet to the Soul Ministries design this beautiful printable for you to frame with this reminder:

“Confidence is not a feeling;

it is the strength to move even in the face of fear.”

Free Printable on confidence at #makeyourmovebook


Click here to enter your email address to subscribe and you will receive an email with the PDF to download and print.

Would you like to begin your journey toward having this kind of confidence? The kind that doesn’t slip away when life spins beneath us? If so, you’ll want to get Make Your Move: Finding Unshakable Confidence Despite Your Fears and Failures today!







  1. Hello Lyn,
    I hope and pray that your daughter is coping with her illness, I’ve suffered panic attacks for over 40 years, I’m agoraphobic, praying one day I’ll be able to walk out my front door on my own.
    God Bless. Joy

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Joy – thank you so much for being vulnerable here. Madi is doing so well! She has been going to counseling all these years, taking medication to help her brain performance and so importantly, soaking her mind every day in God’s truth through His word and worship in song.

  2. I loved your post on Cheetah at Proverbs 31. My husband whose 54 was just diagnosed in June with early onset Alzheimer’s. We have 3 children at home and I desperately need God’s strength and guidence.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      I am so very sorry, Jen. I haven’t gone down that road but I do know and have experienced God’s faithfulness in the hard places. May you draw closer to Him – closer and closer – as your needs becomes bigger and bigger.

      Lord, You know what lies before and You are there. Thank you for Your power already at work in us and for being close to us. Amen

  3. Kimber Rogelstad says:

    Thank You Lynn for the beautiful devotional this morning. I too have a child with mental illness and it is tough road. So glad their are others out there learning how to care for them and to trust the Lord through the process!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Yes … we need each other to share the journey and to share God’s faithfulness in it! One courageous act in one woman encourages another to do the same. I believe it begins with being authentic and vulnerable with each other.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Love you, friend! 🙂 Time to get together again …

  4. Hi Lynn, thank you for talking about your daughter . My daughter and husband have both been diagnosed with depression. This is a hard road that I am just figuring out how to navigate. Thanks for the encouragement .

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Gina – surround yourself with the tools and support you need. God’s word and worship, continued counseling and medical treatment have all been part of the tool box Madi has put together to partner with God to thrive in her life.

  5. I have been struggling as my daughter has been struggling with anxiety and one worry is bringing her to the wrong doctor who may prescribe a medication that is not good for her long term. Medications for mental health scare me a little. I don’t even know for sure that she needs medication, just some techniques in coping? She is 14 and hard to know where to start. She has mentioned difficulty in breathing correctly sometimes. She has fears that are hard for her to get past. Prayer works for her but sometimes they get out of control and she panics. She has a hard time calming herself down. I am worried. Thanks for sharing your story.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Hi Katie – It is very hard to know next steps. I can share our’s.

      We started with professional counseling. Madi did counseling only for about 3 years. Next we went to a psychiatrist that came as a recommendation from her amazing counselor. He then recommended a medication based on Madi’s specific diagnosis. I think you are a wise mother to want to take each step slowly. If you find a highly recommended counselor, they can help your daughter by teaching her the tools she can use when her anxiety is tightened.

      I also highly recommend the books by Dr. Caroline Leaf.

      1. Thank you so much. Am asking God to lead me towards that counselor if it is necessary. I am open to it. She has started telling me she wants to talk to someone (other than me!). So looking for that door to open. Please pray for us! This post came at just the right time! Thank you!

  6. Lynn,
    Thank you so much for your post about mental health. This subject is not often talked about. It is especially important to be addressed in the context of faith. I struggle with mental illness and am starting to see some signs in my son that frighten me. I am praying for strength to be the warrior he needs to get through this, despite my own history with the disease.
    I will pray for you and Madi as well.


    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      He will give you what you need … not only one day at a time, but some days it is one moment at a time!

  7. Jeannette says:

    Thank you for your honesty and transparency when you said, ‘ I was too embarrassed to admit my lack of understanding to the physician. ‘ That right there garners my respect for you a hundred times and makes me want to sign up for your email, because we’ve all been in similar situations. Thank you.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      So glad, Jeannette 🙂

  8. Thank you for sharing- also listened to the podcast- exactly what I needed to hear this morning. It’s so cool how some of the words I’ve been using & praying (contentment, ‘lean into’) you used as well! God knows what we need before we know what we need. Putting your book on my wishlist! Prayers + continued blessings to you & Madi!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      So so glad, Jen!

  9. Hi Lynn,
    In my younger years I would experience similar feelings but instead of not breathing my thoughts would spin out of control with the “What ifs”, until I would literally pass out. Usually in situations of large crowds or medical procedures! Of course I am in my mid 60’s now and with help in my mid 30’s it has stopped. I thank you for this post today. With help and just knowing I was not alone in my emotional behavior has brought me to better understand how our brains react to our earthly existence. God bless you!

  10. My son was recently diagnosed with Affective Mood Disorder. It has been a very rough and lonely road. I am afraid to open up to people because I fear their judgement but I am struggling so much with feelings of sadness and anger. Most days I want to scream and shout, begging God to take away the pain that is radiating in my son. He goes days with such depression that it is hard to breath and sleep. Your devotional spoke right to my heart. Thank you!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Hello Kay – I can hear your aching heart for your son and for yourself. I encourage you to look for a support group through NAMI. Meeting other parents who were struggling was helpful to me.

  11. Hello Lynn ,

    I cant tell you how much your post and podcast meant to me. i had read a prior devotion about your daughter and posted a comment but it was good to actually hear you speak. My daughter is a sophomore in college and was diagnosed with anxiety disorder in 3rd grade. in middle school ADHD and a nonberval learning disorder was also added . its been hard with years of therapy and medication but she always trusted in God and made good grades. But college took it up a notch and last semester she had a breakdown. God still allowed her to pas ss her courses but not with the grades she is used to making so was devastating. We changed her meds over Christmas break and she is back and seems to be doing better but i walk in fear . each call or text i get from het causes me to wonder if she is in a bad place and my thoughts about her future and her career goals just set me on edge. i thank you for your story about maddie doing well and making all As. its a big deal for kids with mental issues. I praise God with you. when my daughter went back this semester she declared that was her goal after such a traumatic prior semester. i also know about concussions. The enemy really tried to take me out. At the same time my daughter in college had her breakdown my highschool daughter had a sports related concussion. i honestly was holding on by a thread. So i can totally relate . I dont like the mom i have become living in fear of both my girls. im in counseling and trying to meditate on Gods truths. i would love to get your book but im reading things from my counselor now and another book by Alli Worthington on a new devotional so i feel a bit overloaded right now. But thank you so much for your testimony. it helps to hear it from another mom’s perspective.

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