A Wing and a Prayer

“Let me find refuge and trust in the shelter of Your wings.” Psalm 61:4b (Amp)

Today I’m asking God to help me find shelter under His wings. I’m being stretched to believe I can rest in God’s sovereignty and choose inactivity (on my part). Instead of working on something I need to do, God’s challenging me pray instead…to be still, talk to Him and trust He is working when I am not. This is where believing God and doubting play tug-o-war. When a deadline and responsibility hangs over my head and something keeps me from moving toward it, it makes me…

Doubt I can get it done.
Doubt I heard God right.
Doubt God’s perfect plans and timing.
Doubt my ability to follow through.

Satan wants us to doubt ourselves
But God wants us to believe HIM and trust Him! This is where we learn to live in the power of HIS promises. It’s the only way to live beyond the shadow of our doubts as we walk forward or rest in faith. But it’s hard when you’re having a bad day. Like the one one that just culminated with a run-away dog this afternoon, and me crying ’cause I didn’t think I’d find her since she didn’t have her tags on her new collar.

I drove around my neighborhood and surrounding area with my windows down crying out, “Daaaaaaaaisy, Daiseeeeey!” And saying, “God, please don’t let this happen. Not today. Not Daisy. You know she’ll run forever. She’s a beagle whose nose will lead her to SC and she won’t even know she left home. This is the last thing I need today. Pleeeaase help me find her.”

Finally a man who lives near us brought her home while I was out looking for her. He told mom it took a piece of bologna to get Daisy to come to him. I could’ve strangled that bologna-eating dog when I got home. But she was smiling and jumping on me like she’d gotten back from a friends house.

I know, life happens! But I sure do wish it would coordinate itself with my needs and deadlines. Today was a writing day and now my brain feels like a sledge hammer is pounding on it. Why do things like this happen on the days I block out time to write my book? Seriously. And can I be honest with you? It’s frustrating. I can’t write every day so when I can, I really need to.

Sometimes it feels like I am living in the middle of impossible.

So what do we do in the middle of impossible? I am still trying to figure that out but the past several months have given me lots of opportunities to try a few things. First, I am learning to cling to the promise- With God all things are possible! Then I am learning to ask Him to give me a very specific “word” (a promise or a principle) from His Word to act on and put my trust in. Then I look for what next step He wants me to take.

For example, before all this craziness happened today, I was stressing a little about my book deadline and blocking out time to write until I meet it. This weekend He gave me 2 Timothy 1:12b, For I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I’ve entrusted to Him for that day.

Then today He challenged me (gave me the opportunity) to walk it out: to be convinced that He is able to guard what I’ve entrusted to Him for this day. For me it means that I am entrusting Him with the chapter I feel like I should be writing, and the words that are now stuck inside my pounding head.

As far as a step to take, the Holy Spirit reminded again today that God’s been nudging me to for a while to ask friends to pray for me and the message of “A Confident Heart” and the women who will read it – until it’s written. He’s reminded me that the enemy is not happy about what God is up to on the pages of this book and that he will do all he can to stop me.

So, today I am walking out 2 Tim 1:12, and then taking the next step of obedience by asking some friends to pray with me.

Would you’d like to be part of the “Confident Heart” prayer team?
I think it’d be so wonderful to seek Christ’ heart with you and ask Him together to make Himself famous through this book. Leah (my assistant and dear friend) and I are excited to see who God will gather with us. We’ll collect names/emails to send requests and we’ll also be praying for them too! To join us, leave a comment below with your email address and we’ll send you updates, probably once a week. (Or email aconfidentheart@gmail.com with “Prayer Team” in the subject line.)

Now that I’ve written all of this, I have a feeling God is writing a chapter right here in the middle of impossible. I’d love to know if you ever feel like you are living in the middle of impossible? What are some promises you cling to and some steps you take to help you get out of that hard place?

I love to hear from you! (and pray for you, too)

***********************************************

UPDATE: Thank you so much for blessing me with your words of affirmation, ideas, suggestions and perspectives for the subtitle of “A Confident Heart.” It was the best feedback I could have gotten!! You make me want to write this book even when it gets hard! Random integer chose Stephanie Pace as the winner of the $20 giftcard. So sorry it took me a day to count the names and get it posted. Congratulations Stephanie!

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. Sandy Atkins says:

    I like the name of your book. My Name is Sandy Atkins and I am from Lubbock Texas.

    God bless you with the book. Love Proverbs 31

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi – just to say thanks for your writings which are very helpful and encouraging (even though your head hurts!)Re today's posting, I am finding it very hard to discern between what may have been God's plan for my life ( and that of another) and what may have been the thwarted outcomes of the enemy. I'm very much a fearful "new" believer…taking small steps but with lots of insecurity and doubt in myself. Sometimes I wonder how I've even come to find Proverbs 31 or how I've come to have the nerve to post comments on the site. I really do find it a great site and it is of fantastic help and encouragement. I'm writing from the UK and visit the site every day/evening. Wish some of your speakers would tour over here! x

  3. Loved your honesty! I would love to pray for you. So glad Daisy got back home safe and so glad to have found your site. I'll visit again tomorrow. Thanks.

  4. Mary Lynn says:

    Headaches when there is a lot to do- I can so relate! Yesterday was one of those days. I have lots of days where worry, feeling overwhelmed or not able to measure up to being the kind of mom, wife, ministry leader I should be get me stuck. I feel bogged down and then end up feeling so guilty for not getting things done that day. I know it is Satan working on my insecurities and simply my lack of faith. I keep a huge stack of index cards in my reading basket with verses or quotes that encourage me. Lots of the verses and quotes I have gotten from you, Lysa and other Proverbs 31 writers. These are 3 of my favorites: Joshua 1:5-9;18 I will never leave you nor forsake you,….Be strong and courageous.Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go…. Only be strong and courageous.
    2 Corinthians 12:9 My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.
    Isaiah 58:8-11 …the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.Then you will call and the Lord will answer, you will cry for help, and He will say: Here am I. ….The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and He will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
    Thanks for your honesty and encouragement!! You are in my prayers!
    Mary Lynn – Georgia

  5. haha! I'm just laughing because i don't know how to use a random number generator so my drawing will have to wait til morning…

    I, too, have had one of those days where i need to spend time covered in his wings! Feels like it's midnight and it's just 8:30!! (and the dog-hollering-crazy-woman is me most days 😉 !)

    Anyway, I'd be honored to pray for you, sweet friend and I know you are already praying for me. Consider yourself prayed for even now. xoxo

    lisa smith
    lisa@andrewsmithteam.com

  6. Renee – Since I use P31 devotions many time in my teaching I do pray for you girls in general but it would be an honor to be able to pray for you, your book and Leah's specific needs.

    Amy Boyd
    amypboyd@bellsouth.net

  7. I would love to be a part of your prayer team!

    Prayers and blessings,
    Rebecca
    tiggerdaisy@gmail.com

  8. Renee,
    I have been and will continue to pray for you! I am so encouraged by your honesty! I can relate to feeling like I'm living in the middle of impossible and sometimes I'm beginning to wonder if that's just the way GOD wants it. Obviously when it's impossible for me, I will have to trust in Him. I know Satan wants to sieze those opportunities and will do all he can to have doubt replace the trust and I suppose he is trying to do that to you right now. Like you said he wants nothing to do with this book, so I will pray you keep pressing on.

    When I find myself in a season of stretching, one thing I like to do is read my prayer journal or even blog posts. It's encouraging to see God's answers and His faithfulness. Also can be a reminder of my own faith – if my words were true when times were good, God hasn't changed just because times get tough.

    Renee, as I'm typing this I think of an athlete stretching out – it's an important step in training and competition. I believe the same applies to us as Christians but the game is life and sport is our walk of faith. I believe your time of stretching is simply preparation for the race that lies ahead!! Keep running with perseverance my friend, I'm honored to pray for you!
    Blessings,
    Jill

  9. Thank you for today's post, Renee. It was just what my weary heart needed. I'd love to be a part of your prayer team. I'm praying for you and the continued progress of your book!

    Blessings,
    Amy

    amymarie.smith@gmail.com

  10. I needed to hear a post like this today. Yesterday was one of those days where everything seemed to run together and I wasn't sure if I could get it all done. I was short with my husband on the phone when he called and asked me to do something… like I wasn't doing enough.lol I thought it was impossible to get everything finished and in time. But, God caused it all to work out… and softened my heart enough to ask for forgiveness for my attitude.

    I don't handle too many things happening at one time well. I get stressed because if I'm doing something, I want it done right and on time. Control. I have to have it, and if something gets thrown into the mix that I wasn't planning–throws me for a loop and makes me loopy.;-)

    I know I've mentioned it before but Deut 31:8 is something I meditate on often.(Or maybe not often enough since I still stress.) "The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed."

    Please add me to the prayer list.
    endeavor2@bellsouth.net

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hello. My wife and I bought our house about 6 months ago. It was a foreclosure and we were able to get a great deal on it. We also took advantage of the 8K tax credit so that definitely helped. We did an extensive remodeling job and now I want to refinance to cut the term to a 20 or 15 year loan. Does anyone know any good sites for mortgage information? Thanks!

    Mike

  12. Renee, would love to be on your prayer team.

    kimwhite62@gmail.com

  13. Renee, I would love to be part of the "Confident Heart" prayer team?
    I have been seeking Christ through you since I first began getting the P31 devotions. You have prayed for me and my husband, you have ministered to me during the night when I can't sleep and I go back read your blog and the scriptures that you post, and I have even had the honor to be embraced by you. Please keep me in the loop as part of your prayer team at kella1953@aol.com and know that with this many people praying for you and your book that there is no way Satan can get anywhere close to you! Love you girl! Kelly

  14. Renee, I would love to pray for you as you write.

    Deb
    deb@debbrown.org

  15. i would like to be a part of the confident heart prayer group. i thank God for you and your ministry. you are a blessing to me as i run this race…you have reminded me so many times that giving up is not an option. may God continue to Bless you and your family beyond measure.

    Therefore, let us trust GOD and believe without any doubt that He can do the impossible. Indeed, GOD can raise the dead.

    Chelsea

  16. Sedou Madi (UK) says:

    Hi Renee Swope
    I like to read your blog email all the time. it help me in my journey with the Lord our God, my name is Sedou Madi and I want to pray for you.
    Thank You

  17. Angela from Texas says:

    Please put me on the prayer team to pray for Renee and the goings on for her up and coming book.

    I'd also like for you all to pray for me and my writing. No, I'm not writing a book (I wish!). I'm just trying to get into the habit of writing.

    Blessings—Angela

  18. Renee,
    I am so blessed by your updates. You are so transparent and that's what I need. Please include me on your prayer team. We are studying the Holy Spirit on Wednesday evenings at my church. Last Wednesday night, Pastor Brian shared a verse, Matthew 11:12: "From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it." He explained that passionate people lay hold of God's blessing and will suffer death before they give up! I will not quit praying until God touches my family, my job, my church and eveyone I come in contact with! Pray "violently". I've already seen results! Praise His Name!

    Belinda in Burlington

  19. My name is Shirley and I would love to be part of the "Confident Heart" prayer team.

    Blessings!

  20. Elizabeth says:

    Please add me to your prayer partner list for A Confident Heart

    How I would love to sit with you over a nice cup of hot tea and talk about how absolutely loving our attentive Father is. I know we could share story after story laughing and crying together.

    I have been following your story of your daughter gift and have been very moved by the realism of our Father weaved throughout.

    I have been through many seasons and Fathers' faithfulness was aways there, joyful in the midst. I too am writing a book and I have to say, I feel you sister! Thank you for allowing me to enjoy your journey with you. I can't tell you how often father encourages me through you!

    Please pray for me, Father is doing a big thing! The enemy is prowling around seeking whom He might devour; too bad his teeth were broken 2000 years ago at a little hill called Calvary.

    Be encouraged every season leaves us totally engulfed by His light coming and going. One of my best teachers of this is my youngest cat Promise. He too likes to test the boundaries of his safety and get out of the house. Fortunately has ended with him back safely in my arms. Can you imagine how Father feels about us when we turn our face to some distraction; involved to our neck before we realize it. So many distractions some days!

    I am so proud of you!

    In Him…living out loud,
    Elizabeth

    Virginia

  21. Anonymous says:

    Count me in! 🙂

    Myrlande Desulme

    "With God, the impossible is possible!"

  22. Anonymous says:

    Count me in! 🙂

    Myrlande Desulme

    "With God, the impossible is possible!"

  23. Hi my name is Tina Drago, and I would like to be apart of your confident heart prayer team. My email was sent to aconfidentheart@gmail.com

  24. I will await prayer requests.

    Thanks.
    Diane Chris McCague.

  25. I would love to be a part of your prayer team Renee. I so enjoy your writings. I have learned so much through you and I know God is up to something awesome with you and with your book 🙂 I can't wait to read it.

    Have a blessed day girlfriend!

    Rejoicing in Him,
    Suzanne Tyria

  26. Please add me to your prayer team. I will definitely be praying for this book and for you as I know it will be a blessing from God. With love,

    Tasha Cantrell, Oklahoma

  27. Barbara says:

    Hi Renee

    For MANY years, I have said "yes'" to anything that people or organizations have asked….serving on a board here, a committee there, and a fundraiser or two. I felt unfulfilled and not exactly where God wanted me to be. Last year, I started saying "no, thank you" more, and asking God "where do you want me to be" more. It has been a lonely place, I must tell you, because it has taken me away from the "busyness" of all the meetings, telephone calls and e-mails, and discussions about what color ribbon to use for this or that. In the quiet, I have realized that waiting on God's direction is just where He wants me to be. I am on a journey! Today, your words …"God's challenging me to find shelter under His wings through prayer….to be still, talk to Him and trust He is working when I am not."…struck a familiar chord with me. The word "challenging" notes something that is difficult…a mountain to climb. For me, sitting still, spending time in prayer, IS a challenge.

    We met at the St. John the Divine Women's Retreat in February, and I really enjoyed your messages, and also love getting your devotionals via e-mail. Would love to be a part of your prayer team too!

    Barbara Schusterman

  28. Oh Renee, I could just sit and cry along beside you. I have been so in the middle of "impossible" right now…but a very dear friend has been opening my eyes to something that I want to share with you too.

    When I'm in the "middle of impossible" it's because my eyes are fixed on circumstances instead of on God. God says that with Him NOTHING is impossible, so if I'm choosing to sit in the middle of impossible, I have removed God from the equation. I see 'can't' and He sees 'can'. I see 'no way' and He sees 'the way'. I see 'visible' and He sees 'invisible'. So much is happening around me that I can't see and I cannot…cannot give up hope and remain in the middle of impossible.

    Renee, I'm writing that to me. I've been drowning in the middle of impossible, but a friend threw a life-line and as I'm still floating out at sea, I am trying to rest and trust the process and in that floating I am strangely secure. (Just to give you an idea: http://ponderinginhispresence.blogspot.com/2010/03/found-at-sea.html )

    Praying for you…and I'd love to join with your prayer team…I'm praying for you already anyway 🙂

    Hugs,
    Joy
    joybells.brown@yahoo.com

  29. I wanted to make sure I don't only comment on giveaway posts! 🙂 Just wanted to say thank you for your post today- I woke up and had a bad start to the day, and much of what you said really spoke to me.

  30. The easiest way I have found to deal with "living in impossible" is to just surrender everyday to the lord, giving him all our worries and concerns, reminding ourselves that GOD is in control of every situation no matter what. I pray about everything no matter how small the issue and I find strength in knowing I can't change the situation but my GOD can. When I step out of bed each morning, I recite the verse Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you not to harm you, plans of future and a hope". Once I totally surrender my day to the lord and realize GOD is my leader for that day everything seems to fall right into place. When I try to control my day, it never works. We have to die to self every day so that we can humble ourselves before our King.

    God is so good and I personally find it exciting to serve him because with each new day you never know what gift GOD has for you that day.

    Thanks,

    Evonne J. McCaffrey

  31. Anonymous says:

    I would love to pray for you.

    ~Debbie

  32. I would be honored and blessed to pray for you and your team.

    Tammy
    tea_lady_tammy@yahoo.com

  33. Dear Renee,

    Please count me in as a member of your prayer team. Your message was very encouraging and I've learned that if all I can do is pray, then I am doing a great job and am entrusted with an awesome responsibility!

    Prayers,
    Teresa Oshvalda

  34. Would be honored to be a Prayer Warrior for you and your success with reaching others with your book.

    Carol Cox

  35. Anonymous says:

    I would like to be part of your prayer team.

    Blessings,
    Joanne

    1holycow2@gmail.com

  36. Renee,
    It is always a blessing to see a woman being so thoroughly wrapped in her Saviour's arms. You are dead on when you said that Satan wants us to doubt ourselves. You are doing the absolute right and essential thing in shelter under God's protection in prayer. Our pastor is preaching on the power of prayer in his current sermon series. There are so many accounts in scripture of so many who have struggled and yet been thoroughly sustained by hearing from the Father.

    It would be an honor and privilege to lift you up as you write.
    Stephanie
    stephanieypace@gmail.com

  37. Anonymous says:

    Well… that's amazing but to be honest i have a hard time determining it… wonder how others think about this..

  38. I would love to be a part of your prayer team too!

    I have those days…Mostly I feel impossibile during pms. But I have had my share of anxiety…and since Joy is my friend, I read her comment…it reminded me of Oswald Chambers when he says anxiety is "calculating without God" (I have done that. A time or two~lol)

    But~it is my weakness, I will rejoice all the more in my weakness, because when I am weak, then He is strong!

    Love and prayers! You are more than a conquorer in Christ Jesus! Stand Stand Stand and when you have done all to Stand Stand firm!
    Kathy

  39. Renee,

    The last few months have been living the impossible for me. Since my husband told me he wanted to end our marriage – no great surprise to me really – all the issues that come with that I've tried to handle very logically and with a sound wrestling with the Word to make sure I, at least, am abiding by God's instructions.

    In that situation, I have found 1 Cor 7:13-15. I have taken great refuge in that verse because it describes our situation to a tee and I know that I have done all that God has required of me as a wife. I can now move on.

    I've also come to believe that God has amazing plans for me and he has brought me to a place where another transition is coming in regards to ministry as well.

    I also struggle with scheduling. I'm a freelance writer and editor, while trying to raise a toddler and 13-year-old who will be starting high school next year. I always have my week laid out, just so, but something always comes up to throw a kink in it. I think I've had one day where everything on my schedule actually happened as I planned it.

    Every time I look at my schedule, though, I see that I haven't any of my own writing time. I have found lately that's what I really long for. The Lord has always been faithful in providing the desires of my heart. I have no doubt He will also work this out.

    Looking forward to your book, Renee!

  40. Renee – I can relate with this post on oh-so-many fronts. I would love to partner with you in prayer for your book. Would LOVE.

    emily

  41. A Confident Heart….wow. That I firmly believe is what most women, if not all, yearn for & so many fail to see that ache with in can only be filled by God. Thank you for your post in the midst of your impossible. Has anyone watched The Pursuit of Happyness (with a "y")? You want to talk about an aching head & heart….but this man perservered & I was amazed at how he did it. My husband & I talked about it too…he never complained…he was honest…his word meant something & he kept it…his child came first & he did what he had to do to get things done & when circumstances where crashing in, he did not resist them…he flowed with them. AMAZING. You are learning how to flow with them & so am I. The energy you have when you don't waste it fighting or resisting your circumstances is staggering. I will keep praying for you Renee..God will provide!
    Your sister in Christ, Pam K.

  42. You know what's making me doubt Rene? Lack of comments on blog post. The weirdest thing is that I get comments on post that I don't even think or that good. And then I look at other women blogs and see where they say, "Hey I've been thinking." And they get 200 comments, or they offer something for free and get 500. Comments can sure make a girl question if she heard God right, or at least this girl anyway.

    I was thinking about doing what my friend Ann over at Holy Experience has done…she disabled her comments. I leave mine though because I do blog tours and I'm trying not to be vain and care.

    I know this may be ridiculous to someone like you, but that has been the biggest discouragement for me.

  43. I have been praying for you and would love to be part of your prayer team for your book!

    Mary
    mboswell98@bellsouth.net

  44. Angela, your feelings don't sound ridiculous to me at all. I completely understand and I am praying for you to have the confidence God wants you to have to do what He has called you to do!

    I have had those same feelings when I post something and there are few comments. Words of encouragement is my #1 love language so hearing from women here on my blog is a big way that God loves on me, too. I love feeling like we are in community talking and figuring out God and life together. All that to say, I do understand.

    One thing I've learned is that there will always be someone who is better at something or getting more of what I want than I am. Satan loves to use comparison as a trap and to discourage our hearts. With each blog post you write, I encourage you (an me) to write it as an offering to Jesus and pray for each person whose life will be touched by it. Then listen for His whisper, "Well done good and faithful servant, well done." Hugs to you sweet friend!
    Renee

  45. I feel like I've been living in the middle of impossible for over a year now. Some days all that gets me through the next minute is thinking that "maybe tomorrow we'll all be together again."

  46. Renee, Thank you, thank you for sharing your struggle today. I'm "living in the middle of impossible" this morning, too, and I needed to hear God's truth speaking through you.
    Here's one of my favorite verses to claim, especially when I'm in the middle of impossible: "But I trust in You, O Lord. I say to you, 'You are my God'; My times are in Your hands. Deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me." Psalm 31:14-15

    I would be honored to pray for you and your book.
    michelle.westbrook1@gmail.com

  47. Renee, Thank you, thank you for sharing your struggle today. I'm "living in the middle of impossible" this morning, too, and I needed to hear God's truth speaking through you.
    Here's one of my favorite verses to claim, especially when I'm in the middle of impossible: "But I trust in You, O Lord. I say to you, 'You are my God'; My times are in Your hands. Deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me." Psalm 31:14-15

    I would be honored to pray for you and your book.
    michelle.westbrook1@gmail.com

  48. Hey Renee! I would love to be on this team to pray for you and this journey. I did it with Lysa and would love to do it for you too!! God's got great things to come from this book/message!!

    Praying for you this weekend too!

    My email: nickikoziarz@yahoo.com

  49. Anonymous says:

    I would love to pray for you and be part of your prayer team!
    Lisa

  50. Anonymous says:

    I forgot to leave you my email address! valleyla@earthlink.net.
    Lisa

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