Be Brave in the Scared (A book review)

I hardly remember when I first stumbled across Mary Lenaburg’s blog. But I vividly recall following along as Mary and her husband and son said goodbye to their daughter and sister, Courtney, before she passed away in December 2014.

Mary shared their story with sadness, with hope, with faith, and with love. I read every word. I prayed for and with her family, as so many people did around the world. But I never actually thought I would meet Mary in real life.

Then the next spring I met her at a blogging conference. I walked into my friend Julie’s home to help set up for the gathering, and Mary was already there, arranging beautiful vases of flowers for the tables. She was welcoming and warm, easy to talk to, and exactly the person I expected her to be from her writing. Over the past few years, I’ve heard Mary speak a few times, and each time her words have moved me.

So, it’s no wonder that Mary’s book, Be Brave in the Scared: How I Learned to Trust God During the Most Difficult Days of My Life, is easy to get pulled into and impossible to put down.

If you’re like me, Mary’s writing will challenge you to want to grow and change. By sharing her vulnerability and strength, Mary may compel you to look at your own life and ask important questions about faith and trust and being open to God.

Before I started reading, I thought I knew the Lenaburgs’ story. But Mary writes it more fully and with the perspective gained through the journey she’s been on since Courtney’s passing. She speaks right to you, sharing openly with an open, honest voice.

There is grief in the book, as I knew there would be. There is also incredible joy. You’ll find love and life and transformation and beauty—and God on every page. And, I have no doubt, you’ll find some messages that are just for you. Because I’m still thinking about all that I discovered not just about Mary, but about myself.

And I am still thinking about how God helps us be brave in the scared.

You can find Be Brave in the Scared: How I Learned to Trust God During the Most Difficult Days of My Life here.

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Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner

Rita Buettner is a wife, working mother and author of the Catholic Review's Open Window blog. She and her husband adopted their two sons from China, and Rita often writes about topics concerning adoption, family and faith.

Rita also writes The Domestic Church, a featured column in the Catholic Review. Her writing has been honored by the Catholic Press Association, the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association and the Associated Church Press.