Through our emptines we find His fullness

Tears dripped down my cheeks as I read each word. I recognized them as my own. Stories of twenty very different from all walks of life are reading my book before it is released . The work He’s doing in each heart, and in each life, is the same work He did in me before and during the process of writing A Confident Heart. Here are some of the words I read:

A Confident Heart moved me from believing what God says about me, to receiving it and living in it. Renee taught me is how to “fail forward” by learning from my mistakes and leaving them behind for good – along with my guilt, shame and worry! – Lisa S.

Through A Confident Heart Renee helped me see that “salvation is a one-time decision, but finding satisfaction in Christ and living in the security of His promises is a daily process.” I will read A Confident Heart over and over to keep it fresh in my heart and mind. – Margaret S.

Exhausted by the weight of perfectionism, and discouraged by the fact that I was a Christian and still struggled with insecurity, I cried out to God for help. A Confident Heart was part of His answer! It’s given me an arsenal to fight the lies I’ve believed far too long. – Kimberly H.

A Confident Heart is the most vulnerable work God has called me to. I’m comfortable being transparent in my speaking but something about sharing my most personal stories, tender insecurities and paralyzing self-doubts on paper and knowing they would be printed in permanent ink was unlike anything I’ve done before.

I felt so unguarded. And did I mention, vulnerable?

Being real about how empty we sometimes feel is especially risky when it comes to our insecurities, isn’t it? I think it’s because we’re afraid if we let people know why we doubt ourselves, they’ll start doubting us, too.

Yet, I needed to take that risk with my book. I didn’t write it because I’m an expert. And I don’t want anyone thinking I’m a woman who has it all together, because I don’t. But I do want each woman who reads my book to know she is not alone in her struggles and something isn’t wrong with her because she battles insecurities.

But she also doesn’t have to stay stuck in that hard place as long as I did.

The truth is, our insecurities are part of our spiritual formation and completion in Christ. Think about Moses, Jonah, Peter, Gideon, Martha, the Samaritan woman. All of them had self-doubts, but those doubts led them to depend more on God. And that is a good thing.

God wants to use our self-doubts to work for us, instead of against us.

We just need to recognize insecurity and self-condemnation as an indicator of emptiness that can lead us to His fullness.

But I don’t want to just tell you how to do that, I want to show you. And that is why I wrote A Confident Heart. Through real-life stories from a woman who wrestled with self-doubt for 40 years (that would be me), I want to show you how the transforming truth of Gods’ Word has the power to change the way we think, feel and live.

And I want to invite you to step into the pages of scripture with me so you can see and experience GOD’s demonstration of His Love in YOUR everyday life. Love that is patient. Love that keeps no record of wrongs, love never fails (even when we do) and Love that is perfect so that we don’t have be.

I could go on and on but today we need to know this one thing: It isour emptiness (inadequacy, weakness, insecurity and doubt) that leads us to His fullness (sufficiency, strength, security and confidence)!

I want to unpack that this week with you, but this time I want to talk face-to-face. Now I wish we could gather in my living room and have some girl talk. Or plan a weekend away. But that isn’t possible right now, so I thought I’d talk with you via video this week.

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Video Details: Going against all online expert advice, I’ve decided to load a full message on video below. Statistics tell me you won’t watch it because it’s longer than 3 minutes. But will you consider it? You see, I’m convinced Jesus led me to load it here because He has something to share with you through it sweet friend.

I’m on Spring Break with my family so this will be up til next Monday. You can watch it in parts. Or maybe we could have lunch together. Perhaps, you could curl up with your Bible and journal and let Him speak to your heart sometime this week. (The opening is a story you may have seen in my promo clip, but this full message includes the “rest of the story” and so much more.)

Pre-order BONUS: I have something special just for you! If you pre-order your copy of A Confident Heart through Proverbs 31 Ministries this week (before Easter Sunday) you will receive a signed copy of my book in August, and a free copy of my message “Letting God Fill the Empty Places in My Heart” on CD next week (it’s similar to this video message).

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To start the message, click on the arrow and give it a few seconds to load. If there is a delay, just press the arrow again a few times.

Renee Swope – Part 1 from SMCC on Vimeo.

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In my message video, I talked about the word “worship” and how it was originally derived from a blend of two words “worth-ship.” This reminds me that what I “focus on” is what I derive my “worth from”. Where, who, or in what are you most tempted to get your worth from (performance at home, work, church, relationships with kids, friends, husband, etc)?

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. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing some of your insecurities with us in the video. God is using you in a powerful way. I too have placed my worth in several things other than our Lord. Men, Career, higher education….these are only a few. In the past year I have centered our Lord in my life. I can see changes for the good in my life. These have not come quick, nor easy. I am still and will always be a work in progress. However, if I have God centered in everything I do, I will be fine wherever I may go.

  2. I place my worth too often in what others think,even in others whose values are very different in mine. I can see that when I step back, but when it's in the moment , I'm like that high schooler who wants the popular girls to like me.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I place to much value in what I think others are thinking of me. I thought that I was over this already, but working at a new job with a boss who points out negative things, has helped the timidness come back. I really need my confidence placed in the Lord and not be affected by the lies of the enemy.

    Connie

  4. I loved reading about Sam in your book and I love hearing about her on this video. There is so much I hadn't thought about in her story before, or put it in such terms as you have. So eye opening and so powerful.

    Christ knew the depths of her need, the need for water that would satisfy her parched soul. Oh, to think that He knows the depths of my own parched soul and how to wet it and saturate it in His love and mercy and forgiveness. Amen and amen!

  5. Your video is freeing and like a breathe of new life. Thank you for sharing. You have a very sweet spirit and thanks for being transparent, I needed that.

  6. I wish I could get this book tomorrow!!! I am struggling with some things that I seem to not be able to move on from. This book is what I need right now at this moment.

    Juanita
    juanita641981@yahoo.com

  7. Renee,

    I am so exicted about your book release, and I am thankful for your transparency.

    I just wanted to pop over and say "I love you!"

    Tammy

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hi Renee. I receive your blog in my inbox. I love your sweet spirit and your transparency. I have strugged for years with God's love for me, worry and doubt. It truly does rob us of the peace and joy God wants for us and the intimacy He so desires to have with us. Last year I took a bible study through BSF on John and this year on Isaiah and have learned so much about God's love and the bondage and lies that we believe from the enemy when we do not seek out that daily quiet time with Him. We truly do need to meditate on His word, His promises and trust His truths are for us.

    I watched all three segments of your videos. They were so inspiring, encouraging, amazing, and uplifting. Thank you, Renee, for sharing such vulnerable places. I have been there, and know so many women will be touched by your book. I have placed my order and cannot wait to receive it when it is released!

    I hope your time away with family is restful, relaxing, and refreshing.

    Sweet Blessings to you,
    Donna

  9. I will come back with a proper comment after I watch the video but wanted you to know in preparation for Easter, I am rereading parts of ch. 11–The Woman I Want to Be. I honestly feel the best worship I can give Jesus is to live confidently, securely and freely in Him after all He suffered for me.

    Thanks for writing it Renee. Many women will be blessed beyond measure!!

    He is risen indeed!!
    xoxo

  10. Jeannette says:

    You said, "If we let people know we doubt ourselves, they will start to doubt us too." This is easy to feel. However, I find that with Christ in our relationships we can be that vulnerable we each other. We can realize how alike we are. We can realize how much someone loves us by being vulnerable instead of self doubting. Thank you for sharing your heart & soul in your book.

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