Who I am, Where I’ve been

I’ve loved your stories about meeting your friends. Thank so much for sharing them. Some have made me smile, some have made me laugh (Hazel!) And some of you have been gut-honest about how hard friendship can be, and I love it (the honesty that is)!

This week I wrote a story as part of a devotion for P31 that will run next Friday. I am going to post it below. So many of your comments resonated the past week with thoughts and stories of how hard it can be to make friends and fit in with people who seem like they have more to offer. So, today I wanted to share more of who I am and where I’ve been.

I know how easy it is to see someone in ministry who is in a role that the world would require she “have it all together” and then assume she does. I cannot even tell you how far from the truth that is for me. But I understand. I have looked at other women in ministry (who were in similar places to where I happen to be now) and thought, “They have something I could never have. They are someone I could never be.”

Not just externally, but internally. They have confidence, security, special gifts, etc. But I have been shocked that someone would look at me and feel that way. Recently one of you so sweetly commented that you hesitated to leave a comment on my blog in the past because you didn’t think you had something to offer someone like me, but then you realized I was normal. Oh, thank you Jesus for revealing that!!

Actually, at time I feel abnormal and quite inadequate. I’ve especially struggled on and off during the past two years after God called me to be on the radio and to the role of Executive Director over three major areas at P31. Many days I wake up with doubt and wonder how I am going to fulfill the roles God has called me to. I’ll share some time how I respond to my doubt and experience God’s power to get up and go in the strength He has given me.

But what I want you to know is that I am so much like you – a woman on a journey toward becoming the woman God created me to be! I am surrounded by very gifted women and it’s taken me YEARS to get comfortable in the skin God put me in.

I decided just this week that my new motto is: “I can’t be what I’m not; I can’t give more than I got!”

But I sure have tried in the past.

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Mocha with Linda says:

    I just love the way you share your heart and are so authentic. It’s so important that we all take off the masks and not try to act like we “have it all together”. We are all works in progress, and we need to encourage each other instead of feeling inadequate and inferior.

    You are a treasure, Renee!

  2. Digging for Pearls says:

    I agree with what Linda said, you are a real treasure Renee. Thank you for being willing to be so gut honest open with the ups and downs of friendships and the insecurities we all seem to have. Even those of us that ‘seem’ to have it all together. You are a real blessing to so many.

  3. Love your heart my friend. You have no idea how you are ministering to me. Thanks for understanding what I shared before – so glad the Lord removed those blinders.
    Love & prayers,
    Joy

  4. Thank you for being so honest.
    I have found that now that I am back in the workforce, it seems to bring out insecurities that I thought I was over. I was a stay at home mom for 5 years and thought I had “gotten over” certain insecurities, but I guess not. I tend to be more of the quiet type and at times feel that I miss out on certain opportunities because I am. Then I start to compare myself to co-workers and if I am not careful, start to beat myself up for being more of the quiet/reserved type.
    I guess I need to realize that God made me this type of person and as long as it doesn’t become a stronghold for me, then I need to accept it.
    Thank you for this blog.

  5. Thank you for being so honest.
    I have found that now that I am back in the workforce, it seems to bring out insecurities that I thought I was over. I was a stay at home mom for 5 years and thought I had “gotten over” certain insecurities, but I guess not. I tend to be more of the quiet type and at times feel that I miss out on certain opportunities because I am. Then I start to compare myself to co-workers and if I am not careful, start to beat myself up for being more of the quiet/reserved type.
    I guess I need to realize that God made me this type of person and as long as it doesn’t become a stronghold for me, then I need to accept it.
    Thank you for this blog.

  6. That is very comforting and refreshing to hear. I have been struggling with some of the same issues. My husband and I are on a journey of lifechanging proportions. I am faced with the struggles of “will I be enough?” “Can God actually use me?” “I’m nothing like other Chaplain’s wives I’ve met.” “They are so put together, their kids are perfect.” (ok, I know they aren’t, but that’s the way I see them.) “I’m not sure I can fit the Chaplain’s Wife Mold.”
    I know in my head that God can use all personality types to reach others for Christ, but I’m not sure I can. I’m not sure I’m qualified for “ministry.”

  7. Amy L Brooke says:

    Thanks for sharing! I’m catching up on it all. I had computer difficulties and was without a computer for several days. I missed stopping by!

    Thanks too for stopping by Jill Savage’s site http://www.jillsavage.blogspot.com She is enjoying all the comments.

    Have a great day.

  8. Sharon Sloan says:

    Renee: I am so blessed by your unveiled and honest heart before the Lord and us, your sisters and friends. God has put you on my heart the last several days, and so I have been praying for you extra. He is faithful. I love you, dear sister. In my personal Bible study and devotional time, God keeps bringing me back to how Abraham was a friend of God. I am in John 15 and also in the Old Testament passages about Abraham. It’s amazing how He calls us friend and yet we are privileged to be His servants as well. You had mentioned you were studying Jesus’ friendships, and so I wanted to share this with you.
    Love, squeezes and prayers,
    Sharon 🙂

  9. Renee, thanks so much for your visiting my blog today! I am SO excited to come to She Speaks! I can’t really believe it’s true! It will be GREAT to meet you!

    And regarding your adoption fears, etc. I so totally can relate! I felt many fears especially at the beginning of our process. But God in His goodness, continued to fill me with peace. Through talking with good friends who had been through the same thing, I realized that my fears were normal. God will do amazing things in your life as you journey to your children! I’m excited to see how he does that! 🙂

    fyi: I chronicled our adoption journey at http://www.hudsonsstory.blogspot.com

    There were so many ups/downs emotionally but my Hudson was/is WORTH IT ALL! 🙂

    See you in June!!!!!! 🙂

  10. I’m just making sure my identity settings are set to email follow up comments on the blogs I read.
    Keep up the good work!

  11. Great motto! I’ve found that sometimes as a woman in ministry that it’s lonelier than if you weren’t. People come to you for advice and look to you, etc but sometimes you just need someone to go to for yourself. But even though we struggle just like everyone else (sometimes more so) God can fill our well and give us just what we need so that we can fill others’.

  12. I would love to sign up for your book and CD so that I can discover who I am.
    Thanks for your willingness to share.

  13. ghostwriter128 says:

    Hi, Renee. A close friend of mine introduced me to “Encouragement for Today” recently because I’ve been going through a lot of turmoil. I am so thankful for this devotional. “The Real Me” & “What is Real?” really touched my heart and made me take a closer look at myself. Thank you for your insight and compassion. God’s timing is truly remarkable. Let me know if you will be in south Louisiana. I would love to hear you speak.

    Blessings

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