Rescue ME!

I know, I disappeared again. I’ve been living in the land of the blahs and I didn’t want to lure you guys there. It’s hard to write when you have nothing encouraging to say!

I’ve felt a heaviness over me ever since we moved into our new house. I didn’t recognize what was going on until this week but I’ve been oppressed spiritually, physically and emotionally. We have been in survival mode and it’s not a good place. God moved us here for a bigger reason than we even know and there’s someone jumping on every opportunity to get us down. I am trying my best to pray through it, believe through it, fight through it and move through it; but let me tell ya, what I want to do is sleep through it!!!

There have been non-stop demands, unexpected needs and mini-crises every day that are exhausting me. I got sick last week with asthma which really wore me down until I got meds this week. Yesterday, Andrew got poison ivy all over his face and near his eyes which meant another trip to Urgent Care. The Dr. prescribed the wrong form of meds (he can’t do liquids b/c he gags) so I had to make two trips to the store after a long day of driving everywhere. I’ve been running back and forth to school and the drug store to get him, to get meds, to get year-end supplies for classroom parties, teacher gifts, etc.

JJ and I have both been battling doubts (mainly tied to his work/my speaking). We haven’t been taking time to talk about it and didn’t even know until this week that we’re both going through the same hard stuff spiritually and emotionally. We’d spent so much time together the past two months praying, planning and working together to get moved that we got used to just talking as we went. Now we’re in our new home and working separately to get different parts of the house set-up and guess what, you cannot communicate in different parts of the house.

Plus he’s had to work A LOT of late night, has been discouraged about some things and has been sick with a cold, too. Last week he slept upstairs two nights b/c we was coughing so badly. This week we realized that a wall was being erected between constructed by bricks of frustration, disconnection, unmet expectations, opposing opinions on kid stuff, etc. A perfect set-up for the blahs and impending doom. Finally, last night after a heated discussion we prayed and confessed to God that we are too small to handle all that is going on. Honestly, we’re slap worn out!

On top of all that, I found out that someone I love has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and it is breaking my heart. I’ve been a prisoner to depression and darkness in my past which only makes it harder to imagine a sentence of 10 years behind bars. I know God is God and in control, but my heart is still very heavy and sad.

Then I feel guilty as I think about how completely and indescribably blessed we are by all that God has done in our lives and provided for us – why can’t my thankfulness bring me out of the pit? Then I remember David and Solomon and I stop beating myself up, knowing that material blessings can’t rescue me from defeat and discouragement. So I wonder how I can do what God has called me to do in the coming weeks in the state I am in…

Then Jesus comes, and He rescues me. He draws me to Himself, He turns my eyes away from my circumstances and emotions, and reminds me of His promises that have been my light when the shadows of doubt threatened my hope in the past. And He whispers, “You are…” (read below to see what He whispered to my heart and what He whispers to you now…)

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. Renee…this post is EXACTLY what my Pastor has spoken about in church the last two weeks. One message was titled, “Learning in the Be-wilderness” and the next was “Where is your refuge?”. Both were lessons from the life of David.

    Praying God will send people into your life to encourage you; that you’ll have more glimpses of His glory; that He will continue to intervene – that you’ll have a divine diversion. God is your refuge (Ps. 142:5) – He is your resting place. He will continue to rescue you.

    I’ve been too weary in the past and the heaviness too great to find the hope to believe those words…so I pray the Lord will send you an Aaron and Hur to hold you up until you can stand on your own.

    Love & prayers,
    Joy

  2. I am praying for you and cannot wait to see you at She Speaks. I would love to have lunch or something with you sometime, but I know you will be swamped. But it we coudl work it out.

    I had this hope thought the other night driving home from work. It’s on my blog, but I’ll put it here as well: When I was a child, I was disappointed to discover that the moon was just a giant rock that didn’t even have it’s own light. It seemed so large in the dark sky that there had to be more to it than that. It dawned on me tonight that there really might be more to it than that. The moon reflects the sun’s light. Perhaps God placed it there in it’s reflective capacity to remind us that even in the dark of night the sun is still shining.

    When that darkness pulls at you look around and see what God has put forth to remind us of hope — the mood, the new buds on a tree, whatever it is. God gives us daily reminders of his love and care. I am praying that he showers you with that at this moment.

    In the mdist of that, please pray for my prep. I am way behind schedule! Sigh.

  3. Prayed for you just now! Bless your heart!

  4. Renee – I too, have been in that pit, and it STINKS! I know that through God and your willingness to come out, YOU WILL GET OUT! I believe that what you are going through is just an attempt by the enemy to keep you and your family from walking in the blessings God has for you. I don’t know all you’re doing right now, but you and your husband are creating a loving and safe environment for your family (home), and you are part of something (She Speaks) that is about to change hundreds of women’s lives and equip them to go out and tell others about Jesus and what He has done for them.

    You are taking new ground, new territory, and satan doesn’t like it. Just stand firm and know that God is faithful, He is with you, and wants you victorious! He will give you everything you need to win!

    I know you are busy, but I want to recommend a podcast/video that will encourage you. It’s about taking new territory and I think it will encourage you. It’s from a church planters conference I attended in April, at the ARC – Association of Related Churches. Here’s the link:

    http://www.allaccessconference.com/

    Choose Main Session – Chris Hodges. He was the first speaker and really set the tone for the others.

    Although he is a pastor addressing pastors and church planters, what he had to say still applies to us as individuals who are doing great things for God!

    I hope it encourages you, and ignites something inside of you that is far greater than that pit you are in. Praying for you and expectant of what God is going to do!

    Laura B

  5. 2 Corinthians 3:18
    “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

    I like Amy’s reference to the moon–even though it “only” reflects back the light of the sun, it still illuminates the darkness. You might not be able to find the light inside right now, but you will continue to reflect His light and that will bring illumination into dark places. May God give you peace and rest in the next few days.

    Mary

  6. Patti VZ says:

    Renee…

    I’ll be praying for you over the coming days. I agree with Amy’s awesome analogy about the moon!

  7. You are so precious and your transparency is an encouragement to all who know you and read your words. What an amazing time and awesome testimony you’ll have for SheSpeaks. It’s just like LeAnn wrote about on her blog. The enemy is on double duty when God is about to rock the house.

    Continuing to pray for you and your family,
    Paula G.

  8. We are all faced with daily challenges and temptations, but I really feel that when GOD has something BIG going on in our lives it also makes us a bigger target for the evils of this world. They are never happier than when they can torment us with doubt, differences of opinion, or just plain lack of energy. Like I always tell my children, GOD and His angels are always with us. Keep Believing!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hey Sweet Friend,
    Well, seems like more lessons and stories, and of course scripture for your message on doubt!
    I love you and praying for you daily. I pray you will feel the peace of his love with his arms wrapped around you in the coming days.
    Hugs,
    Margaret

  10. Renee,
    Just wanted you to know that I am praying for you. I just sent you a long email. May you feel God’s love in a special way today.
    Blessings,
    Jodie

  11. Renee…may God’s blessings be upon you and your family today and everyday in a mighty and thunderous way.

    When you are in a place where God wants you to be, you can be assured that the devil will try to bulldoze his way in the door and take up residence right where he doesn’t belong. I know it’s not much comfort, but understand that you are where you are supposed to be…that’s why you are being attacked from every angle. Lean on God and know that with Him, brick walls built by you and your husband will be knocked down with a whisper of a prayer.

    Prayers and Blessings.

    Rebecca

  12. Kristen M. says:

    Renee…I do not know exactly what you are going through. I sure am glad our Loving Father does.

    One thing I do know is that when I am preparing to speak about a topic, it seems that the preceding weeks are always a huge testing time with that very thing. Over time, I have chosen to look at these times as God’s way of assuring the authenticity of the message. After all, I have had to completely rely upon Him in that area. (And I always seem to come away with the exact personal stories to use in the presentation too.) Hope this can encourage you.

    Praying you through to the other side,
    Kristen M.

  13. Thank you for being so real.For letting us know that even KNOWING God we sometimes feel alone. That getting out of the pit sometimes looks impossible.
    Here is one of my favorite storys:

    The donkey had fallen into a deep pit and it looked hopeless to the farmer. The farmer did everything to try an get him out but couldn’t. So he gave up and called the town folks to help bury the donkey,for he was going to die anyway.

    The town folks began to throw dirt on top of the donkey and with every shovel of dirt that would hit the donkey’s back it became heavy.
    The donkey felt like there was no future in ever getting out of the pit but he also became very irritated with the dirt that was on his back.So each time when the dirt fell on his back ,he would shake it off and put it under his feet. After a short while he realized that the very thing that was going to crush him could be the tool to his freedom.

    Within a few hours,he had reached the top of the pit by stomping the dirt under his feet. The farmer reached down,lifted him out of the pit and the town folks rejoiced.

    Renee,start stomping that dirt under your feet and reach for God’s hand to pull you out.

    I hope that so encouraged you,
    Tammy

  14. I love your transparency! Yes…”you are”! My 4 year old tells me daily that I am a masterpiece!

  15. Renee, at times when you’re worn out, sick, and life is so hectic it’s so easy to let those negative thoughts creep in. Remember, Satan came to Jesus in the desert after Jesus had fasted for 40 days, not when He was having a mountaintop experience. My husband says, “When fatigue comes in, faith goes out.” I’m praying that life begins to look a little more normal soon, but in the mean time God’s strength will be made perfect in your weakness. Also, if you’re being attacked in this way this close to She Speaks it’s a sure sign of great things to come!

  16. You are exactly what God created you to be, a wonderful encourager, uplifter and carrier of many others. I am praying for you to come through quickly. You are a treasured friend.
    I know this conference is going to be unbelievable with everything God is going to do.

  17. Hi Renee,

    I just deleted that comment above because I’m on my sisters computer and it posted as her name. How confusing.

    Thanks for your encouraging comment over at chatting at the sky. Survival mode has been my middle name the past few months as we’ve been moving, so I totally hear you on that. It’s easy to forget to remember the victory that is our in Christ, isn’t it?

    I look forward to meeting you at She Speaks. I’ll be the one with the double jointed hitch hiker thumb. You’ll spot me right away.

  18. Sick of me yet? Yeah, I’m back. I forgot to say thanks for hanging out and getting to know me on my blog. It’s always fun to discover other women out there who can appreciate the rediculousness that is me. And now I’ve made up a word. And spelled it wrong. On Renee Swopes blog.

    I’m going now. I promise to stop commenting. For tonight.

  19. Renee:
    I walked a similar road not long ago. Days when my desperation could no longer find its voice but only its tears.

    Life spins fast, and emotions unravel with the rotation. It doesn’t mean that life is bad. It simply means that life is hard. And without Christ, life for me would be unbearable.

    When I walked in the valley a few weeks ago, I kept rereading the story of Jesus appearing to his disciples after his resurrection…the time when he simply mediated his presence through a locked door and spoke the truth that their hearts so desperately needed.

    Peace.

    The visual that creates was enough to calm my worried and fretful state. I just kept repeating God’s truth…

    Jesus you are my peace. Jesus, you are my peace. He was faithful to come…locked door and all.

    That is the prayer I will pray for you as I lay my weary head to rest this night.

    Jesus, be Renee’s peace at this very moment. Amen.

    ~elaine

  20. Sometimes we need to fight
    through ourselves to get where He wants us next. Life catches up with us–praying He multiplies your time, orders your days and revives your spirit.

  21. Hiya girl!
    Love ya ~ mean it! I’m praying for you and for your family. I am claiming God’s peace and perspective and I know that He will supply everything that you need!

    See ya at the conference!

  22. Thanks for the comment and encouragement. I can’t wait. But I’m glad it isn’t tomorrow since I’m still working.

    I know you were just at my site, but you want to see somethng fun? I planted orange and white daisies and today God gave me a purple one! I was thrilled since purple is my favorite color.

  23. Renee,
    thank you for always sharing your heart. It is so encouraging to me.

    I pray that life will slow down for you soon. That as you become settled in your new home, that the frustrations, doubts and anxieties that you are dealing with now will also settle. I will pray this cloud of heaviness be lifted.

    I can’t wait to hear you at She Speaks. I am very excited!

  24. Thank you for sharing Renee..We’ve were in a fog all last week with weariness and issues weighing heavy on our hearts. Prayer and scripture really get us through times like that!
    Alyce

  25. thank you for being so open and sharing. it’s so good to know that others go thru the pits too in their marriages, parenthood, etc. satan tries to get us down that everyone else doesn’t have the hard times like we do.
    you are such a blessing. May God fill yer cup to overflowing.

  26. A year ago this past April we moved our family 2,000 miles to a new state. Those feelings of uncertainty, fear and lonliness became our new friends.

    Just this morning I sat reading back over my journal during that difficult time. Those were months of intense lonliness and blahs. I can so relate to where you are. One thing that came through my journal as I poured out my heart to God was the fact that I clung to Him and His Word. I knew that He works all things together for good. I trusted that the plans He had for us were for a future and a hope. It was a daily, sometimes difficult, choice to praise and trust Him during the storms of depression and isolation, but the resulting peace allowed us to weather the storm.

    One year later, He has begun to show us a tiny portion of His perfect will. Some things we may never understand, but we continue to trust Him just the same. Be encouraged and rest in His presence today. He loves you with an everlasting love and will not leave you where you are today!

  27. Thanks for the note. I got the orange ones at Meijer (kind of like Walmart which we also have here.)

    I put in purple daisies last night on google and I guess some places do breed them. Still, I think it was awfully nice to find one when I didn’t plant it and didn’t see any like it in the store or I would have gottent some!

    It just felt like a neat rememberance of God’s care.

  28. Renee,
    Thanks for sharing the good, the bad and the ugly of life.
    Your willingness to be open and real continues to draw women to our sweet Jesus.
    I know your heart is heavy over the prison sentence. I will pray that burden will be lifted from your shoulders and that each of you will receive rest for your bodies and spirits.
    Love you sweet sista,
    Zoe

  29. A lot of Christians seem to be under persecution lately. I think Satan is stepping up his tactics. I’m just so thankful that we have hope because in the last days it says God’s presence will be removed and I don’t know what I’d do if that happened.

  30. Yes, our wonderful blessed hope! If we’re saved, the Holy Spirit is in us for keeps; so He won’t leave without US! 🙂

  31. Hi Renee,
    Just wanted you to know that I am praying as you prepare for next week. May you feel God’s loving presence in a special way and feel His anointing as well.
    Blessings,
    Jodie

  32. Hi Sweet Friend…

    I have been praying for you this morning.

    Walk in His calm assurance and blessed confirmations…

    Love you!

  33. Renee – Thank you for being real on your blog. Cling to truth and throw out Satan’s lies. You are in my prayers.

    Blessings,
    Megan

  34. I am so sorry of your struggles. Depression is an evil thing and can destroy lives. I pray that you see the Light in the darkness (Jesus) and that you cling to that light. Remember there are lots of woman (myself included) praying for the P31 team, and the excitement coming with the conference.

    Remember you have a God who adores you, his sweet daughter, and he is there to pick you up when you are down.

  35. Hi Renee, I’m so sorry you are experiencing so much before the She Speaks conference. I just wanted to tell you that you and all the P31 women are in my prayers this week. I cannot wait to see what the Lord has in store for this time!! Praying!!!

  36. Renee – I am praying for you, your ministry and your family today. May God protect you and fortify you for the She Speaks conference. Turn your face to Him and He will give you strength.

  37. Renee,
    I really loved this post. Surprising? You are such a kindred spirit! I know exactly what you are going through. I went to my writer’s conference last week full of doubts and uncertainty. My roommate greeted me and asked me what I write. I just laughed. That was my way of saying, “I don’t what the heck I’m doing here!” 🙂

    You are on the front lines right now. Satan is aiming his arrows right at your family. I want to be committed to lifting you up and praying for protection as you get ready for She Speaks. God wants to speak THROUGH you and TO you.

    The blahs take up residence around here regularly. But I’m ready to be done with them! Phil 4:8 – I’m going to focus on GOD and what He is doing and not on Satan’s work.

    I wish I could just wrap arms around you and give you a big hug.

  38. Renee,

    This post was so real and transparent. By sharing your daily struggles you are helping so many others. Thank you for using your talent to lift us up just by sharing you heart! You and your family are in my prayers.

  39. Renee, as I read, I gathered together prayers, one at a time, held them into my hand, and lifted them up. God is now in possession of them.

    I’ve been hearing way too much lately about how the loser enemy has been compromising what should be joyful, God-glorifying times. Enough is enough. I pray that he gives up quickly (and he WILL give up) and hits the bricks.

    Much love and many, many prayers for you. When I read what God has been whispering to your heart, I felt my own literally swell inside my chest. We are THAT precious to Him. Let that Truth carry you through your current trials. He will not forsake you.

    Love and prayers!

  40. Renee,
    I was wondering through all the speakers, and your post hit the nail on the head. I have a serious case of the blahs, worries, with a little anger mixed in!

    I’m hoping (normally I would put praying but honestly my prayer life is suffering right now) that coming to the confernce will shake me up. I almost backed out of coming because of some issues, but felt like that wouldn’t be right either.

    See you soon!
    Jen

  41. Hi Renee…I’m back!

    Lysa encouraged her blog readers to let the P31 team know that we are praying for them…so…just in case you forgot :o), I’m praying and claiming Psalm 91 for you.
    May you find your refuge, strength and hope in the Lord,
    Love & hugs,
    Joy

  42. I am praying God will strengthen you, give you peace, and raise you up on eagle’s wings.

    I’m looking forward to She Speaks!

  43. Renee-I will be at She Speaks next week and am so excited at what God is going to do in and through you ladies for us!! I am praying for you daily until we meet!!

    In His Graces~Pamela

  44. I am so sorry to hear of all that you are going through. just keep holding onto God and He will rescue you.

    I am praying for you and your family today as you are preparing for the upcoming She Speaks Conf.

    May God give you His peace that passes all understanding.

  45. The Battle is in the mind. You have been prayed for! In your weakness the Lord will be your strength.

  46. Renee..
    just lifting you up for the upcoming She Speaks..I pray it is an amazing time and that God does great things..
    Blessings~
    Alyce

  47. Patti VZ says:

    Hi Renee…

    Just checking in to remind you that we are still praying for you.

  48. Keeping you in my prayers as you prepare for She Speaks. Look forward to meeting you and experiencing and witnessing the powerful moves of God.

  49. Wow. It is clearly God when you can’t put a label on what/how you are feeling and then someone else does. Popped over from Lysa’s site and it is so comforting to know that someone who so “gets” the power of God feels like that too. Even down to the “how could I forget how blessed I am” part. I am praying for you right now…..

  50. Renee,
    I know the storms of live and also know that God is the calming wind. Living on a farm, my boys have had their share of poison ivy. Ban Roll on deord. works great. I will be praying for you this week.
    God Bless and God’s calming wind,
    Diane

  51. I am praying for you and I’m looking forward to the amazing things God’s gonna do through you at She Speaks next week.

    My hubby’s been working a lot and stressed out. We’ve been finding we don’t spend as much time together as we used to, but we’re working on that. It is a conscious decision you have to make. God bless you!

  52. You are being prayed for in these days leading up to the SheSpeaks event. I appreciate that you are such a willing servant – to do all He asks of you – so that I can be changed. Bless you.

    All you P31 ladies have the prettiest blogs!

  53. Lysa asked all proverbs 31 readers to pray for all proverbs 31 speakers so hear I am I’m praying.
    “K”

  54. As Lysa requested I have been praying today for all you ladies on the She Speaks Team. I pray that God will wrap His loving arms around you individually and also as a group. You’re in awesome Hands!
    God bless you!
    Marilyn in MS

  55. You are in my prayers, Renee. You are a gifted speaker and have an amazing ministry. I am so looking forward to SheSpeaks, and am praying that all the little details go smoothly in preparation.
    Blessings,
    Laura

  56. Renee, you shared your battle with depression at our Fox River Christian Church retreat in February. I loved your honesty with the group and coming out from behind the Stained Glass Masquerade. I pray that after you have struggled for awhile, God Himself will strengthen you and restore you. (1 Peter 5:10). Look for the light, Renee. It is there. I will continue to pray for you.
    Love,
    Debbie Giese

  57. Following through on Lysa’s request…prayers for you here in Pa. I have to admit I am not as fully informed about your ministry as others, came across your ministry by accident awhile back, looking to add a daily inspirational e-mail to my pre-work prep. I want to tell you that every morning before I headed to work I took half an hour before getting dressed to read and learn from you and others. What a blessing you all are to me! “Our God is an Awesome God”- he will show those with unbelief just how awesome He is through this! I put that in because when I am emotionally drained I get my i-tunes playlist going and hit my favs: Kirk Franklin, Ce-Ce Winans etc…and if I’m lucky to be home alone and not in need of my i-pod I play it very loud! I pray God will speak very LOUD to you and to others through these trials!

  58. Hey there sweet friend! My prayer for you today:
    Lord, bless Renee and her sweet spirit as she stands in your holy presence. You have promised never to leave us or forsake us, so we know you are right there in the midst of all her trials. May she feel your sweet breath on her neck you whisper these truths to her heart. Lift her and allow her to float on your wings, we pray in Jesus’ name, amen!
    Love you girl, Luann

  59. Book propsal just about done! I put a picture of her on my site. (Okay, it is a picture of a pile of paper, but…..)

    In prep for She Speaks I decided to actually play with a little makeup. I don’t typically use much. Unfortunately, a poor male friend thought someone had decked me.

    No very confidence inspiring!

  60. Renee, I read your post yesterday and felt so bad for you and yet I could not comment, because I didn’t know how I could encourage you.

    I WAS having a rough time myself and didn’t want to add to your misery and difficult days, but I did want you to know that I said a prayer JUST FOR YOU.

    That is the way our God is .. He is there JUST FOR YOU! No matter what is going on, He has told us again and again, He will never leave or forsake us.

    So I come back today and pray that your days are better, things have “connected” and the puzzle pieces are in place.

    I pray that God has healed you and your family and provided peace above and beyond your expectations.

    I pray even today, that God will fill you up as you speak to the ladies this weekend and even you will be blessed by what God has to say this weekend.

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