Mary E. Leanburg

Be Brave in the Scared: How I Learned to Trust God during the Most Difficult Days of My Life


An Uplifting Account of Human Frailty Surrendered to Faith

In this book you will not find a story about frolicking with puppies and unicorns (as if) and chasing rainbows to pots of gold (although that would be nice). Instead, you will read a true tale of desperation, fear, longing, doubt—and faith.

In Be Brave in the Scared, author Mary Lenaburg tells the heart-rending story how caring for her severely disabled daughter affected her self-image, her marriage, her family life, and her faith. With audacious authenticity about the challenges we all encounter, Lenaburg writes about control, blame, exhaustion, fear, acceptance, self-sacrifice, trust, choosing joy, and much more.

Lenaburg’s extraordinary story affirms that God’s redeeming love never fails, and shows readers how they, too, can “be brave in the scared.” You will learn that being brave in the scared means facing the hard challenges that we can’t escape no matter how hard we try. Allow God to walk with you, friend. If you do, he will show you his mercy in the middle of your mess.


Wendy C.·May 13, 20195.0 out of 5 starsVerified PurchaseFormat: PaperbackA How-To Manual to “Let Go and Let God”In her debut solo publication, Be Brave in the Scared, Catholic speaker and author Mary Lenaburg deftly weaves a powerful story of sacrifice, pain, loss, rebellion, heartache, healing, forgiveness, redemption, courage, hope, and above all – love.

Mary and her Navy sweetheart Jerry were married with two kids when their world imploded. Daughter Courtney began seizing during her Baptism ceremony at five weeks old, an affliction that followed her throughout her 22 years of life. Subsequently, an adverse reaction to medication led to blindness and a cessation of Courtney’s neurological development before she was a year old. The Lenaburgs were faced with a lifetime ahead of caring for their daughter around the clock. But that wasn’t all. Courtney’s condition impacted the young family in other ways, too. Incredible emotional, financial, and physical stresses strained their relationships between husband, wife, and their older child Jonathan. As she pulls back the curtain of their family life, readers glimpse Mary’s attempts at self-medicating with a food addiction, a marriage confined within a prison of pornography and shame, the toll on Jonathan’s behavior and emotional health, and financial challenges that left the family dependent on others for help. For each crisis, though, Mary relates how her family ultimately surrendered to God’s providence, and how they allowed Him to bring healing and redemption into their deepest messes.

Mary’s book had me chuckling – but mostly weeping – as she shared the joy, hope, wonder, and sorrow that illuminated Courtney’s life and beautiful death. The outpouring of love and grace upon Mary, Jerry, and Jonathan as they walked the road with Courtney was nothing short of miraculous.

Permeating every detail of their journey is Mary’s overarching theme – the idea that Being Brave in the Scared means letting go of our human limits, expectations, failures, and visions for the future, and abandoning ourselves to the will of the Creator who loves us. Mary gives concrete examples of what that looked like for her over the years, providing a roadmap for those who might be in the midst of their own battles. Each chapter concludes with self-reflection questions for readers to ponder, and journalling space to capture thoughts, prayers, or notes.

Be Brave in the Scared is a must-read for everyone looking to dive deep into the ocean of God’s unfailing mercy and finally learn how to “let go and let God.”

Reviewer’s Note: Chapter Five, on the scourge of pornography within their marriage, is a particularly heartbreaking look at how porn devastates marriages. For this reason, it might be difficult for some to read. It is in no way graphic, but does shed a light on a topic that desperately needs to be exposed for what it is – pure evil

.Beth Cotell·May 17, 20195.0 out of 5 starship Verified PurchaseFormat: PaperbackThis is a must read!I knew a lot of Mary’s story from reading her personal blog for many years so I wasn’t expecting to be surprised by this book but it really knocked my socks off! Mary was painfully honest about issues in her marriage and struggles raising her children. I found this honesty refreshing. I will admit that I shed some tears reading this book but don’t let that stop you from ordering your own copy and reading her story for yourself. It’s a quick read – I read it in one day! This book is a beautiful reminder that God can use anything for His glory!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *