Shop the fall collection ➔

I don’t know who said it but I’m not sure it matters: 

“She believed she could, so she did.”

This post serves as an important reminder. I’m just a blogger to you, but I can tell you one thing about yourself that you may not know. Yes, I’m talking to you. And this message comes directly from me, someone who was raised to never stop, to never listen to the nay-sayers, and to take constructive criticism, fix it, and do better next time. I was raised to believe in myself, but that didn’t stop others from telling me I couldn’t achieve my dreams. That didn’t stop me from wondering if I was good enough, smart enough, or if God loved me enough to help me make my dreams happen. I’m not perfect, but I work my butt off, I fight hard for what’s good and true, and I like it that way. I make mistakes, stick my foot in my mouth, and regret things I say and do from time to time, but I chalk it all up to learning and growing. Say sorry and get over it.

I know you have your own story and dreams, so I won’t bombard you with the details of mine. I’ll just give you a little info so you understand we all have challenges. We all have a story, obstacles to overcome, and people to prove wrong.

Use your challenges to make you stronger, work harder, and find your God-given journey.

At one time, my husband and I believed we were being punished, even believed our challenges, mainly depression and suicide attempts, were the worst things that ever could have happened to us. Now, we’ve shared our whole reality in our book, “Never Alone: A Husband and Wife’s Journey with Depression and Faith.” We learned we can’t help anyone if we stay quiet, if we stop fighting to understand our purpose and choose rather to just stay alive, rather than truly live. 

Do you trust in God enough to truly believe He will make your path open for your dreams to come true? If He’s putting it on your heart, He’ll help you make it happen. Trust Him. Trust your journey.

We don’t have it all figured out, but I will say we’ve never been happier having learned to find good in everything and believe in ourselves. Trust is a funny thing; it always comes down to faith.

Here are a few things to help you learn to believe in yourself and in your purpose.

1. Find your passion.

You probably already know what it is. If it’s your passion, figure out a way to make it your life. My passion is helping those who can’t easily help themselves, being a voice for others, and advocating for individuals with disabilities and mental illness. How am I making it my life? After taking a lot of leaps of faith, I’m almost a Doctor of Special Education (working hard on my own research dissertation now) and I just landed my dream job as a lecturer at the University of Nebraska at Kearney in the Teacher Education department. We also started a weekly support group for people suffering from mental illness or supporting a loved one.

2. Make it happen.

If there’s a will, there’s a way. We won’t talk about the balance of my student loans right now, but every time I start worrying about it, my husband reminds me that we can’t focus on that. There’s a reason student loan programs exist, and I’m trusting that God will make it good because I know my passion and my purpose. You can too.

3. Surround yourself with a fan club.

My husband and kids are the best cheerleaders I could ask for. While my leaps of faith have been hard for other friends and family members to understand, because of societal pressures like those pesky ideas of money and insurance, they eventually got on board. I had to defend decisions often, but that only prepared me to fight harder in other areas. I’m thankful for the opposition now, as getting my doctoral degree doesn’t come easy and I am having to fight for it.

4. Remember not everyone will agree with you.

We all have different passions; that’s healthy. My favorite saying right now is “Be nice or leave.” It’s true. Just be nice. Simple as that, and if those around you can’t grant you that respect, read number three above.

5. Grow your faith.

In your own way, grow your faith. I like Christian music, nature, my baths with a book, and my research. That’s how I connect with God, but you have your own way.

6. Think about how you’ll feel in 10 years.

Ten years from now, will you be pleased with the decisions you made to hold back, or will you wonder what would have happened had you decided to believe in yourself?

7. Remember, we are our own worst enemies.

We can do a lot of damage to ourselves by believing we aren’t good enough. If your primary support person isn’t so supportive, you’re going to have to work even harder, especially if someone is making you feel like you aren’t good enough. Yes, you are. Now prove it.

8. Be positive.

A positive attitude is, by far, the best defense you can have. There are many who will try to make you feel inferior, even throwing in little digs they just hope will get under your skin. Smile and walk away. Keep going. Achievement comes in many forms, and no form of achievement is better than another.

9. Remember your happiness will upset some.

This one is a hard one, but it’s also true of many humans. Some want to see you fail in order to make themselves feel better. Some get past it and grow up; some don’t. Be happy and spread goodness (shout out to Ashli with that line). Your happiness, positivity, and strength to persevere will help many…most you won’t even know until much later, if at all. Love to prove the haters wrong. 

10. Find your reason.

Why do you want this? What’s your driving force? For me, I wanted my kids to see me fight. I wanted them to see that education is important, but also that it means nothing unless you use that education for good. I wanted my boys to understand that good will come from terrible every time if you allow yourself to trust in His plan and His good. I wanted my husband to be able to truly understand his brain and what his mental illness was doing to him, that it wasn’t his fault. I wanted to help many in many ways.

11. Forgive yourself for your mistakes.

This is probably the most important. Remember we all make mistakes, but I once heard someone say to another, “Don’t act like an a**hole and then go sit in church and act like you’re better than everyone else!” Really? Is that what you think of Christians? I’m sorry you’ve been made to feel that way, but it sounds to me like your faith has been in people and not in Jesus. Put your faith in Him. Thank God I now understand that Christians aren’t perfect humans who make all the right decisions all the time. I’m forgiven because I have a Savior, and so are you. Forgiving myself has been harder, but it comes in time. Forgive yourself.

If you can’t tell, I believe we all have a purpose. My husband is literally on life number eight. After six suicide attempts, a near-death car accident, and a heart attack, God has made it clear He’s not done with Jeremy yet. We work better together, so we aren’t done yet. What’s your passion and purpose? Now go for it because you can.

Bailey Koch

Bailey Koch is an advocate for those who can't easily advocate for themselves in every way. Married to her hottie hubby, whom has survived 5+ suicide attempts, and mom to two teenage boys, the oldest with High Functioning Autism and youngest with Epilepsy, Bailey is passionate about mental health and parenting through the messy realities. Additionally, Bailey is a Doctor of Special Education and works as an instructor at the University of Nebraska at Kearney preparing future special educators to be advocates for the learning of all. Bailey and her husband, Jeremy, have written and published two books. "Never Alone: A Husband and Wife's Journey with Depression and Faith" details their struggles with severe depression and the journey toward understanding their purpose, accepting help, and finding faith. "When the House Feels Sad: Helping You Understand Depression" is written for families, at a child's level, to open up a conversation about the reality of Depression. Follow their journey, the triumphs and the challenges, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/anchoringhopeformentalhealth and Instagram at @anchoringhopeformentalhealth.

The Best Marriage Advice We Ever Got: Touch Feet Every Night

In: Faith, Marriage
Couple touching feet in bed

Twenty-six years ago this summer, I got a tiny piece of advice on my wedding day that has kept me from making a huge mistake time and time again. A wise woman told me, “When you climb in bed each night with your husband, make sure that your feet touch under the covers. It’s hard to be mad at someone and touch feet.”  I had no idea, all those years ago, how impactful this piece of advice would be and how many times in our marriage this would be the small act that kept us united. This simple act of...

Keep Reading

Faith is a Verb, So We Go to Church

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman and teen daughter in church pew

Every Sunday morning we rush out the door bribing, coaxing, and threatening our kids to just “Get into the van!” Luckily, we live remotely rural so we don’t have neighbors to witness our often un-Christlike eye rolls and harsh sighs as we buckle each other up. We’ve always lived within a five-minute drive to a chapel, and yet we are usually there not two minutes before the service starts. Once sitting in our seats, we’re on high alert for noise control and sibling altercations for the next hour of what is supposed to be a peaceful, sacred, spirit-filled service. Which...

Keep Reading

3 Simple Ways to Be a More Confident Mother

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and young child smiling outside

Do you ever ask yourself why you can’t be more like that mom or why can’t your kids be like those kids? The comparison trap is an easy one to fall into if we aren’t careful. At the click of our fingers, we see Pinterest-worthy motherhood in every category. From the mom with the black-belt kids to the mom with Marie Kondo organizing skills—it’s easy to look at their lives and feel like we’ve fallen short. Even worse, is when we start to strive to become something we aren’t or prod our kids to become something they aren’t.  Comparison makes...

Keep Reading

Grief Is Persistent But God Is Faithful

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Woman praying by ocean

The loss of a parent doesn’t just sting, it leaves you with an irreplaceable hole in your heart. It’s been two years since my loving daddy went home to be with Jesus, and the loss I feel is still unimaginable.  I know in my heart he’s in a better place that is absent of pain and distress. However, his physical presence and wisdom are so dearly missed here on this earth.  He left behind an army of a family who adored him and looked to him for solid guidance. No matter how hard I try to look to the bright...

Keep Reading

I Gave up on God but He Never Gave up on Me

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother hugging son, color photo

I grew up in a religious house. We went to church every Sunday. My mom taught Sunday school, and we participated as a family in most church events. We believed in the power of prayer, hope, faith, love, and forgiveness. As a little girl, I watched my dad kneel at the side of the bed every night and say his prayers. In the last six years, my faith has not been what it should have been. It has plummeted into the depths of nothingness, buried deep below the darkness. I have felt angry and abandoned by God. In response, I...

Keep Reading

I Count My Blessings Every Day

In: Faith
Mom and child by beach

I remember being jealous of my classmates often. I would look at the girls at my school who seemed to be living such a carefree life. They would do well in school effortlessly and go home to their moms, dads, and siblings, to a house they’d grown up in. I wanted that so much for myself! I wanted my mom and dad to be together, and if it wasn’t too much to ask, a sibling or two. I wanted us to live in a house where I could have my own room, but I wouldn’t mind sharing if I had...

Keep Reading

Dear Lord, Make Me a Grace Hunter

In: Faith
Woman with crutches looking out window, black-and-white photo

I want to be known as a grace hunter. Every day, I pray I would be given eyes to see the world in which we live through a lens of grace—a lens that causes me to marvel at the ways of my God and be constantly filled with wonder. I am thankful I have no choice but to live life at a slower pace. I pray for the ability to see the beauty and God’s grace in the seemingly small and insignificant things. RELATED: In the Midst of Grief, There is Grace I pray for eyes to see His grace even...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughter, Follow Your Beautiful Heart

In: Faith, Kids
Mother and daughter smiling

When I held you in my arms for the first time, it was like time stopped. As you looked up at me with innocence and new life, I was struck by the reality that my main role in your life would be to guide and direct you on the right path. I hoped I would do the best job possible. As I watched you grow, I basked in your joy of putting on your pretty dresses, adorned with layers of costume jewelry, parading around the house for your father and me to see. I dreamed often of what path you...

Keep Reading

So God Made Midnight

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and newborn

When God created a mother, He created her to love and serve in every moment. He knew the constant need would sometimes overwhelm her and she would have no choice but to rely on His strength and grace. He knew she would feel like there weren’t enough hours in the day . . . so God made midnight. He knew a mama’s days with a newborn would be busy and sometimes chaotic. He knew she would be distracted by meeting needs and attempting to find balance—that sneaking in a hot shower would become almost a luxury . . . so...

Keep Reading

Lord, I Don’t Want To Face This Storm

In: Faith
Rain cloud over a lake, color photo

“I feel like I’m right in the middle of that rain shaft, suspended over the ocean,” I told my husband as we waited out a Florida afternoon rain on our hotel balcony. “There’s light and beauty all around me, but I feel like I’m just lost in that storm.”  Just two nights before, we awoke to the cries of our 11-year-old son, the pain in his right lower abdomen so great that he woke up from a deep sleep. Our vacation took a solemn turn as my husband loaded him up in our rental car and drove to a children’s...

Keep Reading