I chose brave as my one word for 2017 for several reasons. In 2016, I struggled with some unexpected physical challenges that shook me to my core. As I was going through that difficult time, I found books about other people who had overcome different situations inspiring. While their circumstances were far worse than mine, some of their strategies for overcoming could also be applied to my own life.

  1. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand is the story of Louis Zamperini, an American soldier who survives for 47 days in a raft, only to be captured by the Japanese and held in a Prisoners of War camp…for two and a half YEARS. Talk about a challenge! Louis Zamperini was an Olympic athlete before the war, but even he was pushed to the limit by his experiences. In an effort to avoid spoilers, I won’t detail the Christian content in this book. Believe me though, it’s powerful to read about how God worked in Louis Zamperini’s life!

    Favorite Quote: “When he thought of his history, what resonated with him now was not all that he had suffered but the divine love that he believed had intervened to save him.”

  2. Off Script: What to Do When God Rewrites Your Life by Cary Schmidt was recommended to my husband by his brother. When my husband gave me my Kindle for my first Mother’s Day, Off Script was already loaded on it. I truly believe that God orchestrated that! Cary Schmidt wrote this book while he was in the midst of being treated for cancer. His book differs from many other books on the same subject because it was written while he was still undergoing a trial; NOT after the trial had already been endured. His perspective grants a certain authenticity to his words that is powerful.

    Favorite Quote: “As much as God hates murmuring (complaining from a bitter spirit against His heart), He welcomes mourning (bringing our truthful hearts, mournful communications, and our very burden to Him)!”

  3. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe might strike you as an unusual addition to the list, but I found myself inspired by Tom’s commitment to his faith, even when he was surrounded by the atrocities of slavery.

    Favorite Quote: “I make no manner of doubt that you threw a very diamond of truth at me, though you see it hit me so directly in the face that it wasn’t exactly appreciated, at first.”

What inspired your word of the year?

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