About Renee

Like having coffee with a friend and mentor, Renee’s authentic style and soul-stirring messages draw women closer to the heart of God and each other. As a national speaker, author and co-host of Proverbs 31 Ministries’ international radio program, Renee connects with women of all ages and stages in life. She has a unique way of knitting women’s hearts together, inspiring them to no longer compare and compete but to encourage and complete one another. Sprinkled with humor and saturated with Truth, Renee’s messages help women:

• Discern God’s voice and apply His Truth in their lives
• Exchange insecurity and self-doubt with God-fidence and trust
• See beyond who they are to who they can become in Christ

Renee serves as Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Executive Director of Radio and Devotions. She is a regularly featured writer for Encouragement for Today devotions and a contributing author to Leading Women to the Heart of God and God’s Purpose for Every Woman. She has written for the P31 Woman Magazine, Christian Women Online and Focus on Your Child, a division of Focus on the Family. Her highly anticipated book “A Confident Heart” will be released in July 2011!

From Renee’s Heart
I love to laugh. I love being with my family. And I love having fun with my girlfriends. Oh, and I really love coffee – especially sugar free cinnamon dulce or pumpkin spiced lattes!

I am a southern girl with a mix of Louisiana sass and North Carolina sweet – I think it’s the iced tea we drink. I was born in New Orleans and grew up there until my mom re-married when I was twelve-years old. We moved to N.C. and I love it here. We are nestled right between my two favorite places to experience God’s presence – the mountains and the beach.

I fell in love with Jesus when I was a senior in college. He took my breath away when I found out how much He loved me and I have never been the same.

Soon after, I felt God calling me to share my story with other women. My journey included years of struggling with clinical depression and days that were so dark it seemed that suicide was the only way out. But God rescued me from that pit, and from a whole lot of other things that had led me down the path that finally led to Him. I knew that was the story He wanted me to share, but fear of rejection and failure paralyzed me from telling my story for 10 years.

In 1999, I finally devoted my life to fulfill the life verses (Is. 61:1-3) that God had given to me in 1989, the summer after I surrendered to Him as my Savior. I finally said,”Ok Lord, I will trust you. I will tell your story. Even to just one, even to a small Bible study and even if you call me to a share with a larger group. I will do whatever you want me to do for you have set my heart free! I want to be a display of your splendor, not my own.”

For the past several years I have gone wherever He has called me to “bring good news to the poor…to bind up the broken hearted and proclaim freedom to the captives and release to the prisoners of darkness…to proclaim God’s favor…to bestow on them a crown of beauty…the oil of gladness and a garment of praise…so they will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.” Isaiah 61:1-3

Sometimes it’s to one…my neighbor, my child, my friend…sometimes it’s to many. Wherever He takes me, whatever He asks me to say, all I want is to make Him famous and help others fall in love with my Jesus. My prayer is that my love for Him and His Word will be contagious and that women will leaving wanting to know Him, be known by Him, and make Him known…to one, to some or to many!

Here I am with my favorite people in the whole wide world – my best friend and husband, J.J., our sons Joshua (15), Andrew (13) and Aster (2yrs). They make me laugh, tell me I’m beautiful without make-up and remind me every day of what matters most – family!

I am blessed to co-host the Proverbs 31 Ministries’ international radio show with with my dear friend, Lysa TerKeurst. Our show airs on over 3000 stations across the world each weekday. Click here to listen to a minute of God’s peace, perspective and purpose that we pray will linger for a lifetime.

 

My Statement of Faith ~ I believe in:

One God in three persons—Father, Son and Holy Spirit

Jesus Christ’s deity, virgin birth, sinless humanity, substitutionary death, atoning blood, bodily resurrection and ascension to heaven

The entire Bible is God’s infallible revelation to man

Salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone

The resurrection of the body: eternal glory for believers in heaven and everlasting punishment for unbelievers in hell

The one true church, the body of Christ, consisting of all believers

Obedience to our Lord’s command to lead people of all nations to faith in Christ and to grow in Christ-likeness

Christ’s personal return to establish His Kingdom on earth

The Holy Spirit indwells and empowers believers and is given as a seal and a pledge of our inheritance in Christ Jesus

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. Welcome to blogging Renee. I found your blog while looking at Dawn’s newest designs. Your blog is beautiful. I love the colors.

  2. Are you planning on coming to Texas sometime soon? Dallas-Fort Worth area or Amarillo?

  3. Hi Joyce,

    I would love to come to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. My schedule is determined by invitations to speak at a church or women’s event. Do you attend a church that hosts women’s events in your area?

  4. I know this may not be typical of you but could it be possible for you to come to a college in the Texas panhandle and speak to college students? I came across your blog by a devotion I got in an email and I think the calling God has placed on your life is amazing! Please email me at tathomas1@go.wtamu.edu, Thank you so much for your time and your obediance to God to share His word and the work He has done in your life with many!
    With love and care in Christ,
    Timberly

  5. Hi Renee,

    Thanks for sharing your life stories. It’s inspiring!! It reminded me that life can be challenging but when we decided to be obedience to God, life will be different.

    I came across your blog through reading Proverbs 31 Ministry Daily Devotion. I love reading the articles posted. I am grateful for the many wonderful women who posted their stories.

    By the way, I’m from Singapore…

  6. Hi, i would love to thank all of you at proverbs 31. You have touched my life a big deal it’s unreal. In your devotions i laugh with you and cry with you.
    Thank you and God bless

  7. Anonymous says:

    My questions to you is how long did it take you to become sucessful in overcoming your depression and what approach did you use? Can you point me to a book to read? I am a 28 year old mother of three(8,6 and 5)I am saved and have absolute assurance I have Jesus in my heart ( which makes it that much more embarrassing that I do not have victory over this) but I just can’t get “out of the hole”…. Looking for something new to try. I am so tired of being this way.

    Thank you in advance for your help.

  8. Hi Renee, I get the Proverbs 31 devotionals and that's how I got to your site. I just wanted to share that your stories about your boys are so wonderful and have ministered to my heart as a mom. I happen to have three boys ages 7, 4 & 10 months old. Their names are Joshua, Andrew and Matthew. Yes, the first two are just like your boys. I even had a friend forward me one of your devotionals asking if is was me writing! Funny. God Bless.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I saw you at the Houston’s “Girl’s Night Out”. I think you so much for sharing you story.. I had my daughter with me and it was exactly what we both need to hear.

  10. Anonymous says:

    To annonymous at 2:10 pm: know that God had heard the cry of your heart, and expect a special delivery!
    Love, a sister in Christ who is praying for you.

  11. To Anonymous at 5:42pm
    Thank you so much for praying for our sister. Your note encouraged me so!

    To Anonymous at 2:10pm

    I wish I had an answer that could really, really help you. I wish there was a cure or a ladder to climb out of that hole.Please do not be ashamed of your struggle. There are many who I know and love who are right there with you and I have to be careful with my thoughts, my emotions, my time, my sleep, my exercise and my relationships or I could end up back in that dark place.

    I don’t have a simple answer but I do have my story and sometimes that is the best thing I can share.

    I experienced depression and anxiety from the time I was 10, and it grew more consistent by the time I was 15 all the way through college. I had life experiences that led to my sadness and emptiness. I don’t know where the line between circumstances and chemical imbalance was drawn. My depression wasn’t constant and it wasn’t always clinical. Many people didn’t even know that I struggled with it. I was good at hiding it. Sometimes I’d be okay and then all the sudden the clouds would come over me and the feeling of unexplainable sadness would cover me. It was always worse during certain times of the month.

    By the time I was in college I became almost suicidal. I was not a Christian at the time. I went to secular counseling for years and tried to talk through many issues from my childhood, hoping to identify the cause. There were forgiveness issues I had to work through and emotional healing that took place over the years. But in the end my counselor came to a point where she realized she had done all she could.

    I felt like a house that’d been renovated but never completed – stripped down and empty – with nothing to make me new or beautiful. In January 1989 I heard a message about Jesus’ desire for a personal relationship with me. It resonated in my heart in ways I cannot even explain. I responded to the invitation with prayer. I thought I had signed up for fire insurance because I found out I wasn’t going to hell. But what I discovered in the years to come is that Jesus died not only to give me fire insurance but to give me life insurance – life to the full. I started searching for the fullness of the life He promises in John 10 and becoming away of the thief He warns about – who comes to steal, kill and destroy the life Jesus died to give us.

    Over time I was able to learn and grow in a deep awareness of God’s love for me – love that doesn’t fail even when I do. Love with no strings attached – that doesn’t have to be earned and cannot be lost. Over time I tapered off of my anti-depressants and was able to stabilize with good Biblical counseling. I also discovered that being on the birth control pill had contributed to some of my chemical imbalance. To this day, I cannot be on the pill. Makes me neurotic!

    I know many Godly women who have also walked and continue to walk the path through the journey of depression. Some are on medication. Some are not. I complete support medication if it’s needed, under a doctors advisement. I am also a big proponent of counseling as long as it’s Biblical.

    There is so much I could share with you about my fears and doubts that lead to my depression. I have a message on DVD where I share how I process those. It’s called “Beyond the Shadow of Doubt” and you can find it at http://shopp31.com/beyondtheshadowofdoubt.aspx

    Also, we have a book I highly recommend. It’s easy to read and has great insights and very practical steps you can take to care for your heart, your mind and most importantly, your spirit. It’s written by a friend of mine, Mary Southerland and it’s called ” Finding Hope in the Midst of Depression.”

    We offer it on the P31 website at
    http://shopp31.com/hopeinthemidstofdepressionhowtoembracelifeagain.aspx

    I pray that this loooonnng response will somehow encourage you. You are not alone my friend. I am proud of you for reaching out. God wants to lead you out of darkness. I pray that you will find HIS Light as you seek Him with all your heart. He wants to lead you out of the darkness of captivity into the promise of His love and purpose for your life. My prayer for you is Jeremian 29:11-13.

    Sweet blessings!
    Renee

  12. Anonymous says:

    Renee,
    Please pray for me to have the courage to be obedient to whatever would honor God. I am having great difficulty with this right now and don't know what to do. Tears come every day because I feel like I have missed the opportunities he has set before me and they are gone. I don't want to make wrong assumptions (read Numbers 14:39-45).
    My emotions are a rollercoaster and I'm afraid of assuming what he wants me to do and falling flat on my face for an even greater disgrace than what I am already living in. I want to be at peace, and not do something without his power to hold me up. I couldn't bare that. Thank You for the listening ear and sincere prayers for God's Love to overwhelm my life to the point I don't want anything but HIM no matter what He wants me to do. I want to be sure I am on his plan not what I wish I had done.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This is anonymous from 5:56,
    I woke up this morning and entered God's word knowing He is the only true help, there is know other way.
    I thank anyone that prayed for me. I seemed to get a clearer picture of God's desire to protect, Love and heal. Full surrender…..I want to know what my next step is. I so want to be able to stand before Him one day and hear Well Done with his hand on my face. Please pray for my discernment of His will and friends that will help me grow into a grounded growing healthy Christian. Relationships aren't easy for me. I pray that Jesus will be right smack dab in the middle of what ever happpens. I know that fear sould not take up much of my life as a Christian, but right now I am scared of my ability to hear God correctly and making Huge mistakes.

    Renee, thank You for your candidness about your own life. I need to here real stories that include the struggles as well as the victories. I will also be praying for you and the other women out there to grow deeper and closer with Jesus Christ just as I want for my own life. Once again, Thank You.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I'm not sure if anyone is reading this. I blogged for the first time in my life on the two entries above (I have dial up, that ought to tell you something)so… this may be in the wrong place for current reading, but, I must tell… that my God has met me in SO many ways this past week and I do want to give Him glory and His children encouragement by letting you know, He has been strengthening me with encouragement that can only come through Him. Thank You for getting out and doing the work God has for You.

    May God bless Proverbs 31 and it's outreach as it is pleasing to Him.

  15. Hi Renee,

    Just came across your site and what I read has touched my heart. Sharing that God rescued you from such a dark pit in your life is so encouraging because I know God can and will do the same for me. I have been battling some dark spots in my life and although still a baby in Christ (just under 2 years since being saved) I am finally starting to understand God's steadfast love. It's unbelievable. I am finally starting to understand that He really has forgiven me,completely, and will cure all of my diseases (Psalm 103). It helps to know other woman who have suffered and been redeemed by our Lord because it gives me hope. God is my only hope. Thank You and I look forward to visiting your page more. God bless!

  16. my name is carson,i came to accept JESUS as savior 1yr ago.i look forward to your inspirational words each day on the radio. you & renee are truly a blessing & your ministry , i believe is so vital for christians old & new. thank you & GOD bless. your friend in CHRIST JESUS, carson

  17. Hi Renee. I am so glad I found your blog (along with Lysa's and Wendy's)a few weeks ago. What a gift it has been. I have been struggling with something for the last few days and waiting on God's guidance. Today I turned to Wendy's and Lysa's blog hoping to find something that might speak to me. Well, Wendy's most recent posting is on the steps we should take to make wise choices. One of the steps is to get Godly counsel from someone who's been through a similar situation. I couldn't think of one person who could relate to what I'm going through…and then the Holy Spirit reminded me of you, Renee.

    To be brief, I've struggled with anxiety and OCD for about 15 years. I have tried to get help at various points in my life, especially in recent years, but have been unable to find a therapist who possessed the expertise and compassion necessary to treat my issues. Recently, I started out in search for help once again, and found a psychiatrist who I felt might be worth trying. However, in the days leading up to my first appointment last Friday, I was weighed down with doubt and anxiety over going to see this person. After the first session, I'm still having these feelings, and I don't know if it's God's way of telling me this isn't the right thing/doctor for me, or if it's the normal fear that comes from trying something new.

    Renee, if you could please include me in your prayers, so that I might be able to have peace and wisdom about this situation, I would be so greatful. And if you have any advice for me, I'd appreciate it!

  18. hudsonmotherof4 says:

    Hello Renee–
    I've been getting Encouragement for Today for a year now. God has spoken to me in such direct ways through the P31 women. It's been very amazing–I've been so blessed by this ministry!

    I've dealt with clinical depression for the past 10 years. I have a past that includes sexual abuse and deep anger toward men….I grew up with six brothers and I'm the only sister!! P31 meets my Daily Bread needs because I can relate to so many of the stories!

    Encouragement for Today has basically been my friend throughout the past year. My family relocated to our current town a year ago and I still don't know many people. We've moved 4 times in the last 5 years and have lived in 3 states throughout this period of time. I always try to get plugged into a MOPS program in each new town but moving is just so hard and so exhausting with little ones.

    Two weeks ago I was sharing a small part of my testimony with an old friend over the phone. I realized that I had admitted for the first time (out loud) that I truly believed God could heal me and take me out of my pit of depression for good. Ever since I made that statement I feel like God has opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities. I feel like I have stepped out of the boat and started walking to Jesus with a whole new faith.

    I would really love the opportunity to go to the She Speaks Conference. Please consider me. This is my only chance to attend…through your choosing. We are having an enormous financial crisis as a family….we are among the thousands wounded by the failing housing market. We are currently renting (with 4 young children!!). Today I paid for a loaf of bread with quarters and dimes from my 3 year old's piggy bank. This has been the most humbling year ever! But God "rains" on the unrighteous AND the righteous….He said we WOULD have troubles. We are fighting for the hope and trying to push away the despair.

    Please pray that we can trust God to meet our needs. And please pray also that as parents we can keep walking across the lake to Jesus knowing that He can do the impossible.

    Thank you.
    hudsonmotherof4

  19. Hi Renee-

    I've been getting the proverbs 31 email devotionals for about 3 months now and I love them. I just read your bio a few minutes ago and I was shocked as to what I read because it was like I was reading about myself. We have the same story! I have a calling and a stirring in my spirit to get into ministry for girls and women and to share my story and all that Jesus saved me from. I was suicidal, depressed, aching, empty, and lost. (I just finished my first year of college) This summer a close friend shared the love of Jesus with me and He came into my heart and completely invaded it. I am so in love with the One who created me. He is now calling me to share my story and to help share His love and His name with others. I didn't grow up with Christian parents or going to church. I made the leap all on my own and Jesus has come in and is leading me. I actually am taking a year off school to study the word, focus on Jesus, and get involved in ministry. I'm singing worship now at my church and I am going on a mission trip in January overseas. God has confirmed over and over again that I am exactly where He wants me for now. I'm thrilled. Thinking about where I was 6 months ago compared to now; I took a complete turn. I will forever be thankful to my friend for introducing me to Jesus. I now want to do the same for others. It's my calling!

    Thank you for sharing your story!

  20. I just heard you on the radio telling a funny story form your childhood, and I have one I would like to post. My Dad is Native American, and when I was about 18, My parents, myself, and brother and sisters went to Florida. Us kids put some woatermelon gum in our mouths, and shortly after that we entered Florida. My dad, the Indian he is, said, Just smell that fruit in the air! We just about died from laughing. Even to this day, it cracks us up!!

  21. Carolyn,

    I loved your story!! It brought a huge smile to my face this morning. I can just see your daddy's big grin when he smelled the "fruit" in the air. Thanks for sharing!

    ~Renee

  22. Hi Renee

    Keep sharing your story! There are so many women in our communities who need your God given encouragement.
    Can't wait to see you in January. Praying for you!

  23. Thank you so much Judy for your prayers and your note. It really encouraged me today! Looking forward to meeting you in January too.

  24. WOW! Reading some of the posts really stirred my heart for you sisters who are struggling with depression and other issues. And Renee, sharing your story empowers those of us to do likewise. How freeing (and scary)it is to give up the mask and get real with what our lives are about. I have 17 years clean and sober. Spent nearly 4 years on different antidepressants, antipsyotics the whole deal, including twice weekly counseling sessions and group therapy. NOTHING worked. I gained 40 lbs from the meds as I ate and ate still running from the pain not understanding honesty and the courage to change.I had had enough. The pain deep inside that ate at me was the anger and hurt in growing up in an angry, alcoholic and abusive home where I was the "lost" child.

    I thought God had given up on me. Was I wrong; I gave up on God.Tears came easily at any time of day but inside I was screaming. Well meaning people pried me with self-help books and I would start reading them and say to my self "yup, know this already, so what do I do now?" One day something flooded over me and I threw out all those secular books, dusted off my Bible and began to talk God. It wasn't easy at first, yet the more I read, the easier it became to talk to God. In one of those "ah-ha" moments, I came to understand God already knew my heart and being honest with my feelings and hurts and dreams flowed more freely.With a wacky work schedule, I would wake up in the wee hours and start typing. As I wrote stories about my life, tears were all over my keyboard and desk yet to put on paper began to take the sting out of the wounds. Gradually I felt a lifting of things from my past that held me in the cycle of pain. Guess that was the 90's version of blogging for me.LOL!

    I know this is long, but I too have been there. Aside from God's mercy and grace, one big thing that is the memory imprinted on my heart of my then 13 year old stepson's face as I was admitted to a psychiatric facility; with such a sad face that said "where did my stepmom go.? That was 20 years ago.Yes, sometimes we do need the right medication, but Renee you are so right on, a trusted Biblical counseling that you feel good about. And when in doubt, He is always there to talk, cry and yell out to.
    I pray this encourages just one sister to know there are a lot of us out there to bring light to what seems so dark. Peace and blessings.

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