Looking Back So We Can Move Forward

When I was in elementary school, I used to make bouquets out of azaleas and walk down the aisle of my dad’s long driveway lined with magnolia trees, imagining a prince waiting for me on the porch. Those were little girl dreams I thought I’d left behind.

In my devotion “I Haven’t Got Time for the Pain,” featured today at P31, I shared about struggles I had years ago with anger and unrealistic expectations towards my husband. One day God showed me that my broken dreams had become bitter expectations taking root in my heart: I wanted my husband to make up for all that my dad had never been, and it was destroying my marriage.

God showed me that I needed to forgive my father and release my feelings of bitterness, abandonment and disappointment, and invite Him into those hurting places. Only He could bind up my broken heart and set me free from the fear of never have a happy ending.

As I released my grip, God began to heal my heart and my marriage. It was the beginning of a bigger work He was doing in my life.  He walked me through a season of looking back so I could move forward, and used that time to “rebuild [my] ancient ruins and restore the [broken] places [in my heart that had been] long devastated” (Isa. 61:4).

During that time, I realized there were several areas of my life that needed restoration. I decided to write out a timeline of my life and asked the Holy Spirit , whom Jesus referred to as our Counselor, to help me see the wounds I had buried in my past.

With each wound, I asked Jesus to heal the pain and claimed Isaiah 51:3, “The Lord will surely comfort [me] and will look with compassion on all [my] ruins; he will make [my] deserts like Eden, [my] wastelands like the garden of the Lord.”

Over time I started to release the pain of rejection, shame, wounds and deep disappointments. Although I knew God wanted me to deal with my past, I also knew God did not want me to dwell in the past. He would speak through His word, reminding me again and again, See, Renee, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you see it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland (Isa. 43:18–19).

Forgiving each person who’d hurt me wasn’t easy but it was essential. Often we are afraid to forgive because it might open us up to be hurt again. Or we’re afraid to deal with it, so we just leave it buried. But any time we bury a hurt that’s still alive, it just rises from the dead to haunt us.

In Ephesians 4, the Bible tells us to “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love… forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (vv. 2, 32). Forgiveness was demonstrated on a cross where Jesus displayed His perfect love by dying for imperfect people. At Calvary, Jesus laid down His pain and hurt and chose love and forgiveness instead. His forgiveness frees us to forgive others and ourselves.

Of course, some things are much harder and take more time to forgive than others. When I am really having a hard time forgiving or finding healing from a deep wound, I ask Jesus to cover my wounds with His blood. As Scripture tells us:

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding . . . he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Eph. 1:7–8; Isa. 53:5)

As I shared in my devotion, we can’t go back and change the circumstances or relationships that have wounded us, but we can go back and process the pain with Jesus. In fact, we won’t completely heal until we do. And left unresolved, the pain from yesterday can keep us from experiencing all that God has for us today and tomorrow.

As you process pain from your past that you have carried into your future. consider making a timeline of your life with key events, and write down any painful emotions and memories. Then ask the Holy Spirit to remind you where you have been, what those events caused, how far from God those things took you, and how they hurt you and others.

Invite God to enter into those memories with you. Give yourself time to grieve your losses as you ask Jesus to heal them with the power of His Holy Spirit as you focus your thoughts on transforming truths in His Word. As He shows you broken places, ask Him to bind up every wound with His healing touch and set you free from any captivity that has held you until now. Pray His promises. Cry if you need to. Just please take time, sweet friend, to heal so you can be whole again.

* If this is an area of your life you sense God leading you to dig deeper into, more about this part of my journey and this topic are in chapter 4 of A Confident Heart,

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I’m giving away 2 copies, A Confident Heart today. Just leave your name or a comment to enter by clicking on “Share Your Thoughts” below this post. Also, I invite you to share your thoughts  about this post, or about today’s devotion, so I/we can pray for you. It would be my honor to do that. I love you sweet friends. God has given me such overwhelming love for each of you!

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. Thank you for your devotion today. It really spoke to me as I’m currently attempting to deal with many issues from my past that have trapped me in a long lasting depression.

    • I read your comments today and was all familiar. I am going through the pain of an abusive childhood and have recently started counseling. As much as I do see what I need to do and how to do it, my mind is totally blocked out of actually doing it. I dont really have any friends to confide in and this is proving to be a real struggle for me. Your words do give hope and I thank you for that!

      • I had a similiar experience and I joined a women’s counseling group at my church. There I developed several long-term friendships, which I needed so badly. I knew I needed this is my life to help me to heal instead of hiding from love. Since then, I have joined a Christian women’s group for women over 40 called Seasoned Sister – Pres is Pam Farrel. Many new groups have been developed in So. Calif. I also have been helped by secular counseling groups. Dealing with the pain of the past is not easy, but can be done with God’s and other people’s help. I love The Confident Heart – it’s been one of the most helpful for me. God will make a way – we will have valleys and mountains. Esp – the devil does’t want us to be healed. But Jesus Christ is in control and we can be MORE than conquers through Him. I will pray that the Lord will help you to develop relationships. It often takes time to be able to open up and trust others. I too deal with depression and anxiety from abuse as a child and then as an adult. God is the great healer. The stuff we have stuffed for so long has to be healed. It’s helped me to really forgive others also. The only person it hurts is me unfortunately. I will pray for you during your journey of healing. Blessings and love, Paulette

    • I am so thankful for the message that you did today; “Looking back so you can move forward.” I didn’t realize that I had not cleared out a hurt that I had experienced about fifteen years ago. As I read your message God began to show me that I never really dealt with this hurt. I truly thought that it was a past, as I went on to make a future, but there was always something holding me back from being totally free. I have asked God to help me to truly deal with this and heal me from it. Again, Thanks

    • I can identify with dealing with the past. I’ve been in a struggle for a long time. But God is faithful and with this devotion – I’m sure that God will see me through one day at a time. I haven’t always dealt with the stuffed feelings and anger – but again I didn’t know it. Now is the time God has shown me that He will help me through it. It’s really hard and I don’t always know what I am facing, but I am looking forward to healing.

    • I deal with my past probably everyday, but I also Thank God for bringing me out of the mess I had gotten my life in. He carried me when I was in prison and He has called me to help those with drug addictions through a Recovery group at our church. If my past can bring God glory then I will boast in my weaknesses because they show His strength and I will praise Him and Thank Him everyday of my Life!!!

    • Lydia Ghinoo says:

      This came at such a right time (Gods perfect timing) I thought that I had dealt with my past feelings and emotions when I was going through my Divorce. I took the class called Divorce Care which allowed me to grieve the loss of my mate and start to heal. However, I saw my ex husband recently and boy those memories of the past just surfaced. I thought that I dealt with all my feelings but I didnt. I am now spending time with God as Renee suggested and have the Holy Spirit show me what I am clearly hiding from. Great insight Renee thank you! Please keep me in prayer as this is so deep.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. I too needed healing for a horrific past, and spent years in depression, thinking there was no way out. Suicide was my constant companion from the age of eight until two years after I got saved. I ran from God, turning to every occult path I could find – spending forty years in the wilderness. It took God bringing me to a pastor who showed me the love of the Father and counseled me for two years before I could accept Christ – the hurt was so deep. I am now healed, and the first step to my healing was forgiveness. I used to think it let my abusers off the hook until I finally realized that it was God’s incredible love and a gift for me, so I wouldn’t have to carry my past with me day to day. I got saved in 2001, and am so grateful to God for all He has done in my life. Your post touched and blessed me. God bless you. Heather

  3. Stephanie says:

    Hi thanks so much for your devotion today.I am also trying to deal with and resolve hurt and pain from the past.it has caused anxiety and depression and I really want to break free from that! I would so love to receive a copy of a confident heart I really feel that it would be a great help and such a blessing! Thanks again

    • Thank you very much for your devotion today.I am also trying to deal with and resolve hurt and pain that caused me anxiety,depression and all of the evil thoughts in my life and i really want to be free from everything.I am always thankful for all your help in prayers.

  4. Since before I was born I have always had ‘love leave’. Wondering my whole life why I was never enough for someone. 3 years ago my husband (17 years of marriage) up and left me and our 5 children. I blamed myself for so long for not being good enough, yet I remember going over everything and trying to figure it out. He would even tell me what a wonderful mother and beautiful woman I am. To this day he says those things, yet he is not here. During these past 3 years I have held onto God like nobody’s business and I have found a relationship with my heavenly Father like I have never known. Midlife crisis for hubby they say, but whatever is going on with him is not because of me, It affects me yes, but my prayer would be more for him (my husband – Joe) and somewhere along the way he can find God who can satisfy all he keeps seeking for. He claims he knows our Lord, but it is so very evident (actions) that he does not. If you want to pray for our children, that would be awesome as well. Thank you.

    • This devotion is exactly what I needed today and struck a chord in me. I am currently going through a very trying time in my life. My husband and I are separated after 20 years of marriage. He just decided one day he wasn’t happy with me & our marriage, and abruptly moved out of our home. Since then, I have found out many things he was up to that are not what a spouse should be doing. He has continued to blame me for his problems and his actions and will not take responsibility for anything. At first, I believed everything he said about me being at fault. But I now know his problems are not my fault. I can only control myself and my actions, not his. I love the Lord with all my heart, and I am striving to be a better Christian and better servant to Him. The only way I will make it through this life is to trust Him and put all my faith into Him. God Bless to all! Thank you.

  5. Thank you so so much! This is exactly what I am going through and have went through for many years. It has caused so much destruction in my marriage. I am attempting to put my marriage back together now and ask for prayer for my healing and the heart of my husband. I am climbing this mountain with God and just pray that I make it to the top. Thanks again God has definitely used your words today to speak to me.

  6. Thanks for sharing today. Getting over a hurtful past is so much harder than most people can imagine. Just when you think you might be over it, something happens that sets you back again. I can’t afford counseling and I know I still have unresolved issues from an abusive ex and parent. I would love to win a copy of this book to help me get over that so I can move forward. My husband now is unbelieveably patient with me, but I know it wears on him. I also know i am not the best me I can be.

  7. This devotion touched my heart deeply today. I have had this exact process with the Lord! I fought the pain for so long, so afraid it would overwhelm and destroy me. I denied it, rationalized it and ran from it for years and years. I turned to alcohol and drugs to help put distance between me and the pain of disappointment, the loss of my “happy-ever-after” life that never came to be.

    But God faithfully waited for me to be at the end of myself and cry out to Him. I have walked for the past five years with my life completely in His hands. The healing He has done in my heart and soul is amazing. I find I still sometimes feel sad about what could have been and the wasted years of anger and hurt and disappointment, but I continue to remind myself that God is faithful to restore the years the locust have eaten and I am happier today than I have ever been.

    Thank you for sharing the process with us. It blesses me to be shown so clearly that my process was not unique and that God works in all of His daughters as we surrendere to Him and let the Holy Spirit in to do the healing work.

    Bless you.

  8. Melanie McKinley says:

    I am in that place right now. Thank you for the timely post. I realized yesterday there was unresolved pain left in my heart. A deep well of it that needs to be dealt with. I too am being turned inside out/upside down. God has placed a calling upon me but told me I have to heal things from my past first. He is now working to free me from the things that have bound me for far too long. God Bless you and P31.

  9. Thank you for this post. I have been reading your blog for a while and most days I feel like you are talking directly to me.
    Todays’ post spoke even deeper to me. As I heal after learning of my husband’s infidelity and I look to my past to heal old wounds in order to start fresh. I am thinking of this as our second chance.
    The problem is I am still stuck in my hurt  I have been grieving my perception of my happily ever after and am encouraged by your words. I trust in the lord to help me see a way to letting go of past hurts and help us find a way back to a happy and healthy marriage.
    Thank you.

  10. Marnie Cordes says:

    I can play back the messages I’ve read for this beautiful devotional and they could be my words as well. Throughout a marriage that was anything but good, I tried to stuff the feelings of abandonment and sorrow I felt from my past. My husband was dealing with his own hurtful issues from the past. You’d think the marriage was doomed. Instead, through my walk with God, as my husband was dying from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), our marriage turned from hurtful, bitter to sweet and loving. Sadly, as my husband became dependent upon machines and nurses for his existence, our relationship became very tender and beautiful. After his passing, I became aware of my depression, but I have faith that God will stay with me as I attempt to work through things. Thanks so much for the encouraging thoughts today.

  11. I received your devotional emails from my counsellor who has been helping me cope with depression, suicide, anger etc…I so look forward to your morning emails…i print everyone of them and re-read them throughout the day..of course, being a child of misfortune growing up I have lived thru struggles for my life and now thru struggles of being married to a severe alchoolic…I am so trying to find a way to the Lord but fail so many times with anger and resentment towards HIm…why me pops into my head each and several times a day…I am 53 today and have had this demon follow me for over 40 years…it seems that i am having problems breaking the cycle and at times wonder if its best to give up and finish this horrible ife i am living in…please continue emailing me as i am subscribe to your site…thanks so much..

  12. Lisa Taylor says:

    I needed to hear this , this morning I am and have been struggling with bitterness, abandonement and disappointment from the time I was a little girl. My parents divorced when I was 4 yrs old and for the most part my father has not been a part of my life.. When my husband was alive I put some big expectations on him , that he could never do, we had a lot of problems in our marriage, but I had vowed I woulnd’t have my children grow up without a daddy like I did….I need to go back and handle these things and they scare me. Thank you so much for sharing your story. My life right now is such a mess, please pray that God and I can get through it soon……Thanks again, Lisa

  13. Blessings,Thank you for sharing how The Lord has brought you from your desert to your destiny. Just through your transparency I truly believe many shall be made whole and become the women of God that He has called them to be for such a time as this. Some years ago I dealt with pain I didn’t even know I had it was so well masked and one day while in worship the Lord spoke to me and revealed so much to me in regards to how hurt I really was because of my mother who I thought I had forgiven(my way of forgiving) That day I cried like a baby I was healed and delivered and truly set free and the hole that was in my heart the Lord poured His balm of Giliad and joy and peace and wholeness took place. I can only give Jesus the glory.That which was pain the Lord has turned it into a testimony. Thank you again. I truly believe your book Confident Heart will heal the broken hearted and set the captives free.

  14. ella davis says:

    thanks for sharing today ,i am fighting to get over my pain from my past,i was raised without my father i never saw him,i got married went through a lot in my marriage ,but GOD healed my marriage then my husband died he has been gone eleven years now,when i was getting past that my son died he has been gone three years now sometimes i am fearful to get into another relationship,

  15. Your devotions often enter my life at the perfect time! Two years ago, I was finally free from a past in an abusive relationship, so I thought. I pulled God so close and by his grace gained so much confidence and strength. I prayed and told myself I was forgiving. I really thought I was and I thought I was letting go. I am now in an amazing relationship with a wonderful Christian man. A man who adores me and sees me in ways that I can’t even see myself. I am so happy…which is when it all starts to surface. All the fears, doubts and thoughts telling myself things like “he’ll never marry me, why would he”. I know how ridiculous it is, yet it still happens. I will be creating my timeline tonight and talking with God. More than anything, I want to let this go. Thank you for sharing today!

  16. Kari Wold says:

    Thank you for sharing your journey! I have never dealt with past issues because I didn’t want to acknowledge or feel the pain. I have always denied just how much things have affected me. My response to trials in my life has always been, ” I’m tough. It’s no big deal. I will be fine. I can handle this on my own, etc.” Now I am forced to make a choice. I can deal with these issues or let them destroy me. I always believed I could conquer on my own until lately. I have developed an eating disorder this past year and am becoming convicted that the only way out of the pain is to go through it. My prayers now are for wisdom. I am asking God to show me what he wants me to do.

  17. Please pray for me. I have asked God time and again to bind up my broken heart. He has yet to do that. I am weary of asking. I am ready to give up. I am at the point where I don’t want to ask God again.

    • Dear D,
      please don’t give up. i know the feelings of wanting to give up are so strong. i, too, have been praying for God to bind up my broken heart. God tells us in Isaiah 61:1-3 (of the coming Messiah), that Jesus came to bind up the brokenhearted. God’s promises are true. Jesus quoted Isaiah in Luke 4:16-20, speaking of Himself and why He came. Through faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are reconciled to God, and that means we are His children, in Jesus and all He accomplished on the cross. So, what God promises for His children, He will do, you have His Word on it. when am weary of asking, i think God must be weary, too. but i was just reminded this morning in one of my devotionals that God never grows tired, and He gives strength to the weak. Isaiah 40:25-31. He knows we get weary. i pray that you will have an opportunity to take in these Scriptures and let God remind you that you are loved. as soon as i read in your post that you are weary, i thought of this morning’s devotional, and wanted to share with you what God says, what He wants you to know about Him. God bless you.

    • Hi D, don’t give up, wait for Him. I don’t know where you are but I sense desperation, from one sister to another I’m praying you hold firmly to God’s hand ans I know He’ll come through for you sis. Please don’t give up.

    • When going through the storms . . . do not take your eyes off Jesus . . . Our God is way so much bigger than satan; Please remember . . . God will never give us more than we can handle. I pray peace for you to stay strong and not give up . . . when all else fails . . . read the Bible; even though at the time you may not understand or comprehend those words . . . ask God to reveal what is written in your heart; let you feel His mighty presence – when you think you can’t go any further – feel God carrying you my friend. HE LOVES YOU SO MUCH MORE THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE

    • Christina Burgess says:

      Sister hang in there , He’s right there with you, seek him. I often have doubts, lord knows, be strong in the lord, god’s got his hand on you. I’m here for you, any time, find me on facebook, or email me, I’ll pray with you. Christina Burgess / jobsdeveloper@yahoo.com
      Your so special, hugs
      Christina

  18. elke schwartz says:

    As I was reading your devotion this morning I felt as if God was talking directly to me. For the past several years God has been revealing to me the brokeness and bitterness/ anger that has built up in my heart stemming from my dysfunctional upbringing. Since June my mom has been battling stage 4 lung cancer. My dad has not been very helpful and very uncaring toward her condition. It breaks my heart to see him treat her that way and reminds of how growing up as a child I remember the unloving ways my dad was toward my mom. Talking would be like walking on egg shells as we as would never know if what we said would turn into big argument. I am 43 and a single mom, suffered though broken relationships, and found that God had revealed to me this last week (confirming through your devotion) my broken dreams and unrealistic expections of finding my “Prince Charming” and having my happily ever after. I now know that I need to allow God to come into those broken places and heal me. I need to be restored allow God to rebuild my life so that He can bring me the person I need and not want. Thank you so much for sharing your story and praying that I God will now start the process of restoration.

  19. Hi Renee! Hope your little one is better soon!
    I’v shared with you before that I had been depressed as far back as I can remember but it did’nt dawn on me that it was depression until this year. I guess since I had been like that since a little girl I thought it was the norm for me. In recent years I have had some vague memories of possible sexual abuse from my childhood. I say possible because in my mind I’m not sure if it was real or a dream. I know that sounds odd but I have wondered if it really happened and if thats the cause of my depression. Honestly, if its true I don’t want to remember anything else. I’v never spoke of this to anyone before but for some reason the tite of your post today “Looking back so we can move forward” brought this to mind.
    As I read the comments posted today, I see that so many of us ladies have painful pasts. I’m praying for each one of us to be able to forgive where needed and to live in joy and peace that only Jesus can give.

    Blessings,

    Janet

    • Thank you for the devotion today! The past does hurt even when we look back. As we get older we can look back and see it and make sense of it sometimes. Depression hit me hard when I was trying to have a child and then it hit me hard after he was born because I did not know how to be a parent and my life was turned upside down. Had to quite my job. I still have not gone back to work. Time spent with my son is worth a lot more than a job. I can feel God working in my life. I see Him working on my husband. We have been going through a lot during the past month. I turely believe things happen for a reason and my church family have been great! I believe God put some people in your life to test you and some in your life to comfort you. As I look back I my family when I lived with my parents had a lot of problems but I know there are people that has had worse. Depression does run in my family. I have turned to God when I need strenght . Some people in my family turned to drinking and drugs to fight the pain or depression.. Pray pray pray!!!!!! God will put a christian friend in your life to help you if you pray for it! Please pray for my family! I will pray for you !

  20. Please pray for me as I start this process with the Lord. I so want to move forward with all that he has for me. Thanks and God Bless!

  21. Your writing and honesty explained something so very simple, yet so profound, that I’ve been harboring in my life. What an awakening! Thank you for your truth and for sharing God’s work in your life. You have seriously impacted me profoundly today. I can only pray that God now gives me the strength and courage and guidance to work through things of the past that still hinder me today. Thank you for sharing. God blesses you!!!!

  22. Your words have given me hope, I am dealing with a friendship that has been a struggle for me and didn’t know why. After reading todays devotion, I have realized that my insecurities go back to my early years when I was hurt by my best friend and for no reason known to me, she quit being my friend. So everytime I get close to someone, I keep waiting for the friendship to end. I guess I am the one that keeps pushing them away, so I wont get hurt, but I end up hurt everytime. Praying that I can look into my past and forgive my friend and myself. Thank you for sharing your stories!!

  23. This is definitely something I’ve been dealing with over the past week. It seems God is tired of me pushing my past aside and wants me to deal with it head-on. It’s horrible when you didn’t even know how hurt you are but the release so far has been worth the pain dealing with it.

  24. I have been in a dry place for some time and my life is seemingly falling apart. My relationship with my husband (whom I’ve adored for 15 years) has taken a negative turn and I’m not really sure why. As I sit in my quiet time trying to figure out what to pray/how to pray about it, I have been at at loss. Reading your post has given me direction. Thank you for your obedience and listening to God’s heart.

  25. Kay Rogers says:

    Thank you for today’s devotion and your message to those dealing with past pain that there is hope and healing ifyou turn toward God. I went through a very painful marriage of 23 years, with a husband who suffered from depression and addiction, which eventually lead to a painful divorce, followed shortly thereafter with him being killed while being robbed. I can’t describe the pain I have gone through, my heart acually hurt from the pain, which I discovered is an actual condition called Broken Heart Syndrome. But rather than turning away from God, I turned toward Him and received an unbelievable strength to get me through some very tough times. I am the closest to God now than I have every been and know that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I encourage all those who are going through any type of pain in their life to hang in there, keep praying and keep God in your life and in the midst of the pain, try to see the beauty in life God has given you. God bless.

  26. Renee, it’s through you and writing out a timeline of my hurts and emotions that I’ve come to a place where I’m going to get intensive Christian counseling for healing the pain of my past. It’s going to be the weekend of the 28th. Please pray that I’ll be open to reveal my pain and that God will bring healing and freedom. Thanks, from my heart.

  27. So what if you have buried the pain – which to most would not seem all that bad as I have had a really good life – so deep you don’t really even know what it is or where it is coming from?

    • D, I understand what you are saying. I refer to my pain as having been packaged up, very neat and tidy, and it has all been stored inside a huge warehouse – my heart and soul. Thanks to bible studies and prayer, God has started to help me take out one box of pain/memories at a time, open it up and go through it with me. I have been able to unpack and discover where the hurt, anger and meanness has come from. God’s love, the support of my husband and friends has allowed me to face the hurt and forgive. It is so hard to do this! I would prefer to just smile and put the box of pain back in it’s spot, but my heart needs to be free and I know it is something God has convicted me of. Stay strong D – pray, forgive yourself and know that God loves you and so do I. May he bless you greatly this day.

  28. Thank you for this scripture and devotion. I’m currently healing from my friend and husband having an affair. He wanted to stay with me and I’ve forgiven him but my unrepentful past friend who is trying to get Christian book deals off the whole thing is mind boggling to me and makes it harder to heal. Trying to focus just on Christ.

  29. Betty Weatherford says:

    Thank you for today’s devotion. I am writing because of my granddaughter who is 14. Our daughter died when she was 31 and left two girls, ages 6 and 3. We adopted both girls and legally changed their last names to ours. Their father had left our daughter with no child support and did not care if we adopted the girls. Our oldest granddaughter has had so many problems with no father, no mother, and living with two old people. Also, she inherited the heart condition that her mother had and at 10 years of age she had a pacemaker/defibrillator installed, another thing that makes her different. So much of what you said in the devotional applies to her even though she does not have a husband. She is mad at God, her father, and us. Please pray for her that the Holy Spirit would heal all her damaged emotions and bring wholeness to her. Thank you.

  30. PHYLLIS WOODS says:

    GOOD MORNING RENEE…
    GOD BLESS YOU FOR TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AS YOU ARE ME AND I AM YOU ONLY WITH A TWIST AND THE TWIST BEING…I HAVE YET TO GET WHERE YOU ARE SPIRITUALLY, MENTALLY, LOVINGLY OR WHOLELY! I AM IN A STRUGGLE JUST TO SURVIVE EACH AND EVERYDAY…I CAN RELATE TO ALL THAT YOU SAID YOU WENT THROUGH BECAUSE I AM GOING THROUGH THE BATTLE NOW ESPECIALLY WITH MY HUSBAND WHO CATCHES THE RATH OF MY TROUBLED SOUL AND SPIRIT EACH AND EVERYDAY. PLEASE PRAY FOR MY HEALING AS I TOO WILL PRAY FOR MY HEALING ONLY THIS TIME WITH TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL IN MIND. I LOVE YOU RENEE AND WHAT GOD HAS BROUGHT YOU THROUGH AND OUT AND THE SHARING OF OUR TESTIMONY!
    GOD BLESS YOU,
    PHYLLIS WOODS (PWOODS@FIRSTINDUSTRIAL.COM) AS I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL I GET HOME TO READ YOUR RESPONSE, I NEED TO READ IT WHILE AT WORK NOW!

  31. Hi, I really related to the devotional this morning more than you’d ever know. I need prayer to look at my husband with love instead of hate. I loved him so much when we got married and I felt his love more than anything in this world. He was injured on the job about thirteen years ago and became disabled, our whole world changed and my dream was crushed. So now I’m very bitter and angry towards him. I hate the feelings I feel, it is taking its toll on me and our marriage. Please pray for me and us. Thanks.

  32. Renee Vangilder says:

    I love your devotional. It really touched my heart. Your book is great!!! I am having a rough time processing my hurt through my second divorce. I married two men thinking they would be what I needed. I did not ask God. I had a very neglectful father, too and my mother was not affectionate. I am still working on forgiving them. Especially my father. Now I find myself alone without anyone to care for me. I know God loves me but its still very difficult to be alone. Thank you for your words of wisdom and your openness.

  33. Peggy Kennedy says:

    My father passed away when I was ten my husband and I went through many struggles much like yours Renee. I thought our problems were all my husbands fault and some of them were but I read in the Bible you cannot fight evil with evil. I know God was showing me I have to fight evil with love and part of that was forgiving my father and my husband. I still struggle with anger issues but they are aimed at myself now and I am not sure what’s up with that.

    Tammy, I am praying God will speak into your life in ways that will help your marriage become even more beautiful than before:)

  34. God must have wanted me to read this post…it may have hit the nail on the head for me. Lately I have been feeling so discontented, angry at nothing, and retreating from the world. I am married to the most wonderful man, (3 years on the 17th) and was married to my high-school sweet-heart for 29 years before cancer claimed his life…so God has blessed me with not one, but two wonderful men in my life. I think that my heart is full of hurt and pain from an abusive parent…I know that I need to get rid of it and move on. But I don’t seem to have any success. Please pray that God will help me learn to release all the pain in my heart.

  35. Thank you Renee, for every devotion you share. Each time I read something you have shared, my heart is moved.
    I grew up in a good home, no real problems, except that I grew up insecure in who I was/am. I am now in my 60’s and at times, I still feel inadequate in who I am.
    I do not see myself as a strong woman of God. Rather I find myself doubting myself and if I am praying w/others, it seems I close up and have a hard time.
    But I know IN CHRIST who I am – well I know in my heart … it is the doubting self that continues to interfere.
    I think some of this went into my daughter, who at 38, called by God to sing and speak to others about teenage rape, drinking, suicide, she doubts herself and carries her past instead of giving it up and living a Spirit filled life.
    again, thank you for all your encouraging devotions.

  36. This devotional hit home today. I have spent much of my life parked in the past. The hurt I have felt from my father destroyed my self esteem and self worth. Four years ago, he passed and I’ve been searching for closure that I will never have, and answers to the questions that I can never ask. I have two beautiful daughters and a loving husband who seems to always fall short of my expectations. You nailed it today….I’m expecting him to fulfill my “happily ever after”. I think I also pass this burden down to my daughters…now 26 and 19. My 26 year old now finds herself unmarried and pregnant. She is a college graduate with an ok job so I guess things will work out but this is not the “happily ever after” I dreamed for her. I find her situation somehow a reflection on what I did wrong as a parent. My youngest daughter just ended a three year relationship with the guy who I thought would be her “happily ever after”. My dream guy for her. He treated her like a princess yet they are too young to be so serious. Nevertheless, I find myself mourning the situation as if it was my breakup. It all stems from the past and the fear of my children or grandchildren not having the perfect father or that perfect “happily ever after”. Thank you so much for writing this devotional. I needed to hear this and even though at times I think I have walked through the pain, it is a reminder that I still have work to do. I thank Jesus for taking me as far as he has so far and I will trust in Him to keep me moving so I don’t park again. God Bless you Renee.

  37. What a great devotional today! It is so important to bring Jesus and His light and life into our hearts and any pain residing there!

  38. I was on crosswalk and read your devotion today. I love this perspective on healing. For many years, my family has ignored hurt, which has led to hurt along with the ability to ignore it being passed down for generations. The cycle will never change unless one of us is willing to deal with past hurts and break the cycle. I have been praying for that person to be me. Your book looks like a GREAT addition to my healing journey 🙂

  39. Renee, I am glad I read this article. I needed this. Please this is my story too. A sudden rush of anger and rage at what I think is unfair treatment, I am an emotional wreck and ruining my relationships. Yes childhood issues lead to bitterness and even though I love God I sense this is a real battle. Thanks for what I see as the detailed directions. I am going to pray these steps starting tonight. Would you bear me up please?.
    God bless you for being so real and sincere.#

  40. Thank you for the great devotional today! It really spoke to me. I know that I have a lot of hurt from my past that I need to deal with and hurt right now from what we are going through with both my husband and I trying to find work. It has been very rough since my husband lost his job in July.

  41. Oh how your devotional hit deep within my heart today! Last night was one of the many times that I looked to my husband to “fix” my pain! I was so angry for something that my husband has done in the past and continues to do even though he knows it is destructive to my confidence. I held my tongue and didn’t say anything to him, because I knew it was pointless. He would say I was hormonal…and I probably am! But instead I prayed. I asked God to help me figure out how to handle my feelings of “never being good enough”, and “he (being my husband) wants me to look like the women in the emails and texts”. His Holy Spirit spoke to me so gently, the way He always does, and said, “yes, your husband does have a problem with pornography, but you can’t change him. You can only change how you respond. Sweet daughter, you have got to realize your husband doesn’t define you, only God defines you.”

    It comforted me…sort of…My dad was never there and when he was, I was still “never good enough”. I was too fat, or he would compare me to other daughters of friends of his. When will I be complete? When will the pain end? It isn’t everyday, but when I forget about how God loves me, I allow Satan’s lies to crush my spirit.

    I know hearing God say that only He defines me should make it all better, but it still hurts deep in my soul. I continued this morning to pray that God would help heal my empty places in my heart, that were started also when I was a young girl.

    AND THERE YOU WERE! IN MY INBOX! I know God placed your devotion there especially for me! Thank you so much for sharing your heart and your pain. You are an amazing woman and I want to thank you for listening to our Heavenly Father. The perfect Father!

  42. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s encouraging to hear how you and others have experienced God’s healing touch. I hope that day will come for me someday. As I continue to struggle through my second year of counselling, I know it’s the right thing, even though everything within me fights against it. I experienced horrific sexual abuse as a child, a violent rape by a co-worker at the age of 23, Christian parents who expected their daughter to be perfect and were oblivious about everything else that was going on. I became a master at burying my pain and disguising my life. I lost my self in the process. It wasn’t even until a couple of years ago that I told anyone about the abuse and rape and I am now in my late 30’s. I’ve suffered depression since the age of 6, several suicide attempts, past eating disorders and now panic attacks, anxiety and flashbacks as I try to continue on this healing journey. I so often want to quit but know deep within that I can’t stop now. I’ve come too far. I have a loving husband, 3 beautiful children and a future worth fighting for. Some days though, it’s just so hard to face the past again when all I want to do is bury it deeper. There is so much pent up emotion, so much anger towards God, so many questions, so much hurt. One day though, soon I hope, I know, I KNOW this healing will be complete and I will rest in the palm of my Father’s hand. He’s never let me go.

    Would you please pray for me?

  43. I can’t believe what I’m reading here. All these comments show me how I am “not alone” in what I’m going through. I have “sisters” who are hurting, just like me. Struggling with the same hurts and disapointments as I have been. Thank you all for your openness and honesty. I am just at the beginning of my healing and it’s a frightening place to be, but I’ll trust in the Lord to hold onto me while I walk this healing road.
    I feel as though God Himself just spoke directly to me.
    God bless you all!

  44. Hi. Thank you for your post today. I too suffer from a hurtful past, alcoholic father and uncaring mother. I was married at 20 and then realized that he to was an alcoholic. We are coming up on 23 years, and he is coming up on 12 years of sobriety. I still struggle with everything in your post. I too have asked God to come in, heal and cover up the hurt, but it all still comes back. Please pray for me.

  45. Just this morning, I sent my husband a message saying I didn’t think he loved me anymore. In fact, I find it hard to believe that anyone really loves me. My whole life I have struggled with the fact that my father willingly allowed my step-father to adopt me so that he could get out of paying child support. Wow, I’m now still stuck in my ten-year-old heart…knowing that my daddy put a price tag on me! My step-father never ever treated me anything differently than his very own, but I’ve struggled all these years with the pain of not being wanted by who every young girl needs. I’ve struggled with the fact that my mom does not want me to have anything to do with my biological father and the burning desire to establish some sort of relationship with him. Against my mother’s wishes, I did try to have a relationship with him. Unfortunately, it’s not in him to give me what I need and here I am at 42, still wanting what that 10 year old little girl still grieves for.

    So when I read your devotion on Proverbs 31 today, it went straight to my heart. I don’t know if I can let myself heal. But I know if I don’t I’m never going to feel whole and maybe that is what I’m afraid of. I don’t know what feeling whole might mean for me and sometimes I feel as though God doesn’t hear me when I pray, because I’m not worthy. But reading your words have given me hope and I will be trying to heal these old wounds…and trying to trust in my Father to help me grieve and then heal. Thank you so much for your words, you have no idea how they have impacted me this morning.

  46. Thank you for this right-on-time devotional today, Renee! I was praying on my way in to work this morning and God answered with your words. 🙂 This pain comes from my past, yes, deep-rooted issues of my upbringing and also hurts and insecurities along the way. And I have brought that into my almost 15 year marriage and boy is it suffering. Your words of trying to control and a critical spirit toward my husband pierced me as that is totally me – ouch…but THANKS!

    Blessings to you, your ministry and your encouraging, challenging, and Spirit-led words to those you touch!

  47. I always find your entries so encouraging. I struggle with my own doubts daily, and my best friend struggles with skepticism. I think your book could really help us.

  48. Wow! As I’m between clients and the drives of work, I got ‘my’ time to read today’s encouagement. Then, I read all of the well deserving women’s comments who definitely qualify to receive a free copy of your book! I just wanted to say thank you for writing! I have too had a lack of an earthly father, and have made plenty of poor relationship choices. I will say however that God is good and He works in our lives through such ways as this post today. He has been a heavenly Father to me by helping me through the pain. Thanks again! I look forward to reading your book. Many Blessings!

  49. I have never visited your site or Crosswalk before. I regularly have daily devotions but use my church’s suggested scripture readings or a devotional book that I have in my home. This morning I was lead to look for an electronic devotional. I literally googled daily biblical devotions and chose the Crosswalk site.

    As I read the devotion, I could not believe what I was reading. Your story sounded so much like mine. I have been married for 24 years and there has been hurt and pain. The hurt and pain has turned into bitterness and I too am very controlling and critical of my husband. While growing up, both my husband and I discussed many things about our childhood that bothered us. We talked about mistakes that our parents had made and how we did not want to make them. I was certain that we would have a” happily ever after” since we knew what to avoid. Well, that did not happen and as crazy as it sounds, I realize after reading the devotion this morning that I resent him for not making my “fairy tale” come true.

    I have contemplated leaving many times and plan on doing so after our child graduates high school this year, because I just cannot seem to shake these angry and bitter feelings. I have trusted God on many things in my life, but cannot seem to give this totally to Him and know that both myself and the marriage can be healed. Please lift me up in prayer that I may totally give this over to God and receive His healing power. Thank you for the inspirationall devotion!

  50. WOW! I thought I was alone in the feelings I have! Thank you Renee for sharing. I’m still dealing with the hurts of my past. God is revealing them to me one at a time. How faithful our God is that He does carry us through. My marriage is on the brink of breaking up. The addictions my husband has and the fact he doesn’t want to recognize them along with the hurts from his past he drinks away has me wanting to walk out. I’m being encouraged to stay and let God work on him. I’m just not sure how much pain I am to endure through this process. Please pray for my faith in God’s plan for me and my marriage. Thank you Renee, for sharing your life and your faith.
    May God bless you richly!
    Renee

  51. I have suffered from depression for many years. I am fighting so hard to overcome it. I have been reading lately that depression stems from repressed anger, possibly from my childhood. I was raised in a Christian home and in a very functional family. But I don’t remember alot about my childhood. I have been divorced for almost 7 years, and was in that marriage for 17 years. My husband was a Christian, but I suffered alot of emotional abuse from him and his mother. And then 3 years ago I lost a child custody battle because my 2 daughters wanted to live with their dad. Up until September, I had been dating a guy for almost 2 years, but he had been cheating on me since March, but trying to hold on to both of us, and I had allowed it. But for the past 3 months I have had anger and rage just bubbling up. I have changed my antidepressant and I am seeing a psychotherapist. I have done Mary Southerland’s Bible Study on “How to Handle Hurt.” I am taking her advice and trying to keep my nose in the scriptures. I feel like I have forgiven and have a forgiving spirit. But I can’t seem to shake this depression. I would love to read your book so I can better understand how to bring the pain forward, and how to deal with it, and get on the other side of it. I pray continuously for healing, and for God to fill me with His peace and joy. I covet your prayers too. Thank you so much for being used by God.

  52. I am praying for you and your daughter Aster. I am praying for healing, strength, understanding and peace. Thank you for you devotion . I like the AM and FM thoughts. I never viewed my thoughts in that way and that truly spoke to my heart. I can easily apply that to my busy life .. mother of 4, working mom, servant, helper, problem solver, chef and judge… the list goes on and on. My best devotion time is behind the wheel while traveling to work listening to my favorite christian radio station and my loved talks with God. I will truly apply the FM thoughts and remember God’s truth to apply them to my day. I ask for prayer for our family finances. I cling to God’s truth Jeremiah 29:11

  53. Jana Payne says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart through the pain that you’ve walked through! I’m not unfamiliar with this process, but I did need to hear what you said(or more accurately, what God said through you). I am signed up for the online bible study, but haven’t kept up. I’ve done the 7-day doubt diet, but think I need to do it again. Again, thank you so much for your obedience to Christ!

  54. I am so amazed how God always puts things in my life right when I need them. I have been having a very difficult time lately and I know it’s from past hurts. I’ve had counselling for years and I’ve prayed about many things. I find it so frustrating that things always creep back in. I have been so frustrated at thinking I have to “take the time” to heal more…. But your email today was very encouraging and I am definitely going to be picking up a copy of your book. I am so thankful to you for listening to Christ and sharing your pain and your situation..It was just what the dr. ordered today.
    Blessings to you.

  55. Alisa Voss says:

    I truly believe your P31 devotional was HIM speaking to me, trying once again to get my attention and this time it was a hammer breaking down my walls of anger and resentment. Is that anger and resentment still there…yes, but I believe I’m more open to seek the tools, such as your new book, to finally look at my past and what I need to deal with to resolve many of my issues and give myself, my marriage and God another chance to work everything out. I’ve been running far too long in any direction other than God’s, trying to justify my actions and behavior, feeling like God wasn’t there, but not facing the fact that it is my fear that is keeping me away from Him and that much needed peace. Thank you for your devotional Renee…

  56. Beautiful! I’m amazed at how often we doubt God’s ability to heal even the most broken things. He can and He will, if we allow Him to! Thank you for sharing!

  57. Charissa Wiese says:

    Your devotional today really touched me. I have so much pain in my past that I am afraid to deal with because I have so many other “present” struggles that I don’t have time to fall apart. Thank you for your words and the wisdom that God has revealed through you. I pray that I will find the strength to begin to deal with the past so I can move forward.

  58. All of my life, I’ve always been the stable, reliable one. Everyone comes to me with their problems. They know that I will help. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have problems. Trust me, I do. But in trying to take care of everyone else, I’ve shoved my issues aside. Not a good plan. I’m tired of hurting. I want hope and healing, but I don’t really know where to start.

    • I can relate to how you are feeling kate. Everyone comes to me too, but when it comes to me and my problems, seems like no one wants to listen, EXCEPT, the most important one of all….our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. You are in my prayers.

  59. I need to look back to a time of bitterness and anger that resurfaces when I least expect it. I don’t want it to affect my marriage or relationships with family or friends. It’s mostly not a problem, but I don’t want it to have any affect at all!

  60. Growing up in a home where my father was not always present and when there, there was “too much” drinking and then “fighting” between him and my mother. He passed in 1998 and I feel I forgave him, but now I wonder if the difficulty I have in communicating with my Heavenly Father is a result of the past relationship with my earthly father. Could the past be the reason why I continue in a marriage that does not bring me joy (27 years). Seeking God more for guidance.

  61. Your devotional today is exactly what i needed. Recently I have lost my father, whom i have never had a close relationship with, and the past relationship has been eating at me. I always loved seeing fathers and daughters together enjoying each other’s company, but I never really had that wil my dad. His expectations were so very high for me and I wasted so many years trying to acheive them at the expense of the relationship with my husband. Now that he is gone, i realize there were some good memories, but those were overshadowed by rejection and disappointment. I have not really grieved very much for him cause bad memories kept coming back. Well your devotional hit the spot where i know that the past must stay in the past in order for me to become all God wants me to become. My passion is to help others with their past and present problems….and NOW, this is a gigantic step towards that, all for the glory of God. Thank you Renee

  62. I would like to say thank you for all of these posts being available for me to read this morning–I was recently gone for a few days with some girlfriends and really took a long look at where I am at in my life as a mom, wife, friend, and all of the other roles I signed up for—what was I thinking–or was I? Last night I sat down with an ink pen and paper and wrote a 6 page letter (front/back) to her about all of the things I was letting weigh on my heart and mind for quite some time—I feel pretty intimidated by this person–whom I have known for 33 plus years and call my BEST FRIEND”—-After reading these posts I have decided to do the right thing and first of all give my issues to GOD—and toss the letter—-God is the way to cleanse my heart and find the right words (when the time is right) to share with my friend my feelings—-Thank you again ladies for the words of encouragement, strength, and CONFIDENCE!

  63. I think you were talking.about me thanks for your prayers.

  64. Cheryl Carter says:

    Renee,

    I first saw you at the She Speaks Conference this summer. I attended the conference with my Pastor’s wife. I took the writing part and she was in the ministry. We heard you speak and immediatetly looked at one another and said your book is definitely what we want for our next Bible study. We just finished chapters seven and eight. It has been such a success that we have had to break up into two classes. I am also doing your Seven Day Doubt Diet. It seems you and your book came into my life at just the right time. Several weeks ago I had major surgery and have not healed as well as I anticipated. It set me into a tail spin of self-doubt and worry. I have gone through many struggles during my life time and have been encouraged to write about them in hopes of helping others. During my recovery I became very depressed and Satan began to have a field day with my emotions. Some twenty years ago I went through severe depression and attempted to take my life, so I knew that depressed feeling only too well. After talking with my daughter I decided to read my Bible and prayed that God would get me through this rough time. I pleaded for his help. After reading several scriptures my phone rang three times in succession from three people close to me that said God was laying me on their hearts and they felt the need to call. This was no coincidence. God knew I needed to talk and he sent just the right people to do his work. At this same time that I was doubting what I could and could not do and worry about everything, I was reading your book “A Confident Heart”. You had just the words that I needed to hear at that moment. This also is no coincidence. I couldn’t be reading a better book to help me through this emotional time. I thank God for you and your wonderful words. Isn’t it amazing how God works? He knows just what we need at just the right time.

  65. Thank you for today’s devotional. A weekend with my husband in counseling for 3 days and rather than dealing with us as a couple he felt led to deal with us as individuals. Your devotional hits my heart issue on the head! I have to work through the past and not sure how I would but with your testimony, I’ve been given a starting point. Thank you!

  66. I hope your daughter feels better soon, it’s no fun to have sick kiddos. I’ll say a special prayer for her. I have struggled with not letting go of negative things that have been said about me in the past. I try to forget them, but thru continually come back to drag me down. Thank you for your devotions – I always enjoy reading them – you truly have a gift from God.

    God bless,

    Emily

  67. Diana Howard says:

    Today’s Proverbs 31 devotional really touched me! At 17, I took childhood hurts into a marriage with an emotionally abusive young man who had brought in a lot of hurts of his own. We ended in divorce but though a lot of counceling God has done amazing things in my life. While reading your devotion today I realized you were describing my second daughter & I realized that my marriage had effected her & she is trying to fix or re-live things in her marriage that she missed from her childhood. Thanks for sharing in such a transparent way, now that we see the problem we can start praying for healing and restoration from our wonderful Lord and Savior. May God continue to use and bless you!

  68. This blog has been a God-send for me. I have so much anxiety in my life that there are days when your blog as well as Lysa’s and P31 are the only things that keep me from breaking down. Your encouraging word, spirit, outlook, and attitude are amazing and truly an inspiration. You are an amazing woman. I hope one day that I am able to love myself as much and as strongly as you do. Renee, please keep up all the positive work you do. Because of your encouragement, I am feeling more and more empowered each and every day. Thank you so much!

  69. Beautiful message Renee. I thank God for being all knowing, all seeing and ever directing my footsteps (in this case, my fingertips as I typed up this message from my inbox). My sister and I are going thru a true awakening period and I hadn’t finished reading the 2nd paragraph when I hit the forward button because I knew you were about to bring a Word from the Lord and an answer to our prayers. We have been an encouragement to each other as we push through to what we know will be a testament to how good and true God is. Crosswalk for women has a message today about being the “secret of the Lord” and sharing with us in such an intimate way surely fits in the definition of what that means. Thank you for being obedient to God’s calling in our lives.

  70. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. I can relate to having a broken childhood. The pain and past are excess baggage that you haul around, weighing you down, but not really paying attention to that baggage. Soon that baggage becomes so heavy you can hardly function, if at all. You seek someone else to carry it for you, only to find they are unable to lift it. You hear God calling, but it’s too painful, and you REALLY don’t want to go there. Besides, you’d been there before, so why go back? For any of you reading this, it is so worth the journey to go with God and release that baggage you’ve toted around. Excess baggage is sin your hanging on to, damaging sin that continues to fester. Let it go, take that journey with God as your guide, He will heal you. You will not only forgive, you will feel a freedom like you have never felt before. A feeling so wonderful there are no words to express it. You see, my brother molested me when I was 7. I carried my baggage for 17 years. Don’t make the same mistake, forgiving heals all hurts. Psalm 91:4

  71. So many of us are going through so much pain. Some of us have healed already. Some of us are still on the journey. I watched the movie couragous this past weekend. One of the lines from the movie which sticks out in my memories is “It is like having your leg amputated. It heals but you are never the same again.” I pray that all our pains will be healed one day. The Lord loves us even with our amputated leg. My sisters and I may never stop greieving the loss of that leg. I know that we cannot forget that we are missing that leg now. But with the grace of the Lord I hope we can forgive who ever is responsible for the missing leg. And in our forgiveness may we find peace and a new found joy.

  72. Thank you so much for your devotion today. It is exactly what I needed. Thank you for sharing your life so the Holy Spirit could use it to pierce my heart. I come from a broken family. My Mom and Dad divorced when I was 10. My Dad was not around alot. He came in and out of lives. My Mom remarried and I was abused by my Step Father. I got married at age 18 and had my daughter at age 20. That marriage ended in divorce and I am now remarried. I have been married now for 20 years. We have had a very rocky marriage but the Lord has healed many things and kept us together. I have really realized today how bitter I am about several issues and that I have really not dealt with them even thought I had thougt that I had. I need to ask my husband to forgive me for trying to change him and not allowing God to do that. Also for expecting the happily ever after that I was so set on and not being thankful for who God is and what He has done in my life. I have stuffed alot of things that keep coming back up. I have been bitter about alot of things. I never really realized until today. Please pray with me that the Lord will take away the bitterness and help me to be thankful for what He has given me and not always expect more.

  73. Your post today was so inspiring for me. I am in tremendous pain from a troubled marriage. The pain is so deep that I have so many sad days filled with self-doubt, anger and fear that God is not listening. Your post led me to follow your website and the free resources were even more encouraging and the reminder I needed that I have to let God take over. I have never posted on a blog in my life but your words today brought me some peace and clarity and also hope. I pray that I can sustain this clarity and strength in my dark moments when I tune into the AM station. I believe that your post today was a message to me and an answer to my prayers. Thank you for your ministry.

  74. I am so glad I read this today. It sums up perfectly what I had been dealing with, and rather badly at that. I know I need to take the time to process, let go and be able to move forward to be the kind of person I should be. Realizing I have unrealistic and bitter expectations of others, and that when things happen, I took the blame, but inside thought, there must be something wrong with me, and didn’t deal with it by denying and avoiding and pushing people to the limit. . And there it is, but it’s a daily process, and when I let go of the unrealistic and bitter expectations I can accept others and myself for who we are with hope and gladness. A daily process, but one I am trying to make. And there have been successes, and even failures, but to keep moving forward. That is life. This is my journey.

  75. I just read the Becoming the Real Mean from May 18th. I like to go back and read through some and this hit me today right in the gut. Lately, I have been right there wondering what my purpose is and the passage Psalm 139:13 really hit me over the head that God took the time to form me for his purpose. I pray that I don’t waste it by not listening to the plans He has for me. Thank you for your insights and calling each of us to be more Godly women.

  76. Today’s devotional was exceptionally encouraging to me today. I have been feeling a bit down this morning before I saw today’s devotional. I never thought of writing a letter of forgiveness, which I will never mail of course, to my biological father. He rejected me before I was even born. I am hoping to experience some inner heart healing as I dig deep to write this letter. I want to be totally free from the pains of rejection from my biological father and my ex-husband that are buried deep down. The crusty dried up callous part of this pain seems to be sticking out to the surface. I believe this “sticking out part” is partly responsible for occasional re-hurting experiences in my life. Please keep me in your prayers.

    Thanks for praying.

  77. I am amazed at how many readers have experienced the same type of situations in their lives. Satan would have us to believe that we are the only ones going through these issues, but Praise God!, we are not alone. Thank you Renee for sharing your stories and following where God leads you.

  78. Janet Gray says:

    I really enjoyed your devotional today, and it came at the right time because I have had something from my past thurst upon me and all the bad memories came back in full force. Reading your words gave me the encouragement that I need to face the memories that I have pushed down inside for so long and let God perform the healing in me. Thank you, or should I say thank you God for using you, Renee to get the message to me.

  79. This devotion today was exactly what I needed to hear and read. I had a bad marriage that ended in DV and I almost didn’t survive, but by the Grace of God I am here today.

    I am also a Pastor with my new husband of 17 years and we have a small missional church. We reach out to the “Undesirables” of our community. We are a church who help love people back to Christ and they are the ones that people walk around like the injured man in the Bible whom people walked around.

    I will share this with a few of my ladies in our Women’s Bible study, I sure hope that they will realize that we are all on a learning curve and that they are special and they are worthy to be loved.

    Thanks again.

  80. Oh Renee,
    I never realized! I never knew the reason I do the things I do or feel the way I feel. I know now what has been happening and it is exactly like your story. Please pray for me and my family and my marriage. I’m going to have my husband read this devotional and my family too and maybe theyll understand me a little better, then I’m going to ask them to forgive me.

  81. Hi and Thank You for this helpful post! I really do appreciate the openess and being real .Sometimes I think Im the only one having all these problems. Praising God for you .

  82. Kelly Anne says:

    this was soooo freakishly accurate to my life. i just kept going oh my gosh over and over and over again. i dont even have a boyfriend but most of the time i dont want god to fix me right now because i know how painful it will be dealing with the healing from the pain my father has caused me and my family. i need it healed though cuz God can do amazing things! im so on fire after reading this! thanks so much!

  83. God is good…thank you for the right words at the right time. Your words and insights have brought me so far in my healing. My father left when I was just an infant. My mom was absent due to trying to care for my sister and I. Until recently I had this overwhelming abandoned feeling. Through the words in this book I have come to realize that the Father never abandoned me… He has been with me all along and He will be with me forever. God bless everyone going through this discovery process. Thanks be to God.

  84. Thank you for sharing your God Story, God is really working in my heart about these things

  85. this devotion it seems looked right into the heart of all my problems. I didn’t deserve the physical and mental abuse, which has really ruined my life emotionaly and medically. My dad made me feel like it was all my fault and no one could love me, I wasn’t worthy. I know it was him and not me, but I didn’t learn any other way, and it has been a constant struggle with depression. I thank God that my husband of 20 1/2 years has been very patient with me and God has given me such a loving gentle man. I feel like I’m stuck. thank you for your devotion, it has opened my eyes.

  86. Thank you for sharing this.. It is right where I am!!

  87. Renee:

    Thank you so much for your honesty & transparency! I can relate & identify with a lot of what you shared today. I have worked through a lot of my childhood wounds, but there are still more to work through. Thank you for helping me identify some of my struggles within my marriage. I appreciate you!

  88. Nicole David says:

    After reading your devotion this morning, I immediately posted a link on my facebook page… you’re transparent honesty is such a blessing… thank you for doing what you do and encouraging so many women with the hope that is only found in Christ.

    Always look forward to reading what you have to share.

    Thanks again,
    Nicole

  89. I forgive past hurts, but they still hold me captive to setting patterns for the present. Don’t know “how” to get free of that.

    • Hi Jean – I have been there. Paul in Phil. encourages us to put the past behind, and reach for the goal Christ has set before us.
      I read a book several years a go by Katie Brazelton “Pathway to Purpose for Women”, the second chapter deals with putting the past behind. A Life Purpose Coach can help walk you through this. A Holy Spirit led process. You are welcome to email me.

      It’s Christ who sets us free, then and only then are we free, indeed.
      Dianne

  90. Renee
    My father died in 1986 I and not forgiven him they he treated my mother. I still see a picture in my mind of him with a knife at her neck. Why can’t I forgive him? This happened in my ealry 20’s and I am now is my 60’s. I want to forgive him before it’s too late. I love your website.

  91. Anastasia Weigold says:

    Renee, first let me take the time to thank u for you and your teams faithfulness and obedience. Without you I don’t know where I would be. You have helped me get through so many thing regarding my weight and how I see myself. But today was a total lightbulb no spot light day. My husband had an affair on me 3 years ago. It has been a struggle for forgiveness. Forgiving him as well as myself for not doing the things I neede to to meet his need. After reading your devotion I said to myself ” I thought God went through everything we have been through” he didn’t have sex and get cheated on. Then that’s when the spotlite hit me. He did! He got betrayed He had all those feelings I had and yet forgave all. This might seem obvious to most but this is such a huge moment in my walk toward forgiveness. Thank you again

  92. Renee,
    Thank you so much for the devotions you write. They have a way of really helping me look at all that I need to be addressing in my life. And realizing that I do have to look back so that I can move forward from the mess of my life today is an eye opener. It’s not bad enough that I am having to try and figure out how to let go of the pain of divorce after nearly 30 years, I am seeing that I need to first deal with some things that have been around my entire life. Even though there were extremely painful events in my childhood, I have realized that my way of coping was to just pretend they weren’t there, when in reality I think I have felt the pain from those hurts every minute of every day.
    Lots of praying to do as I know that right now, that is all that is going to get me to the other side of this pain I am in right now.

    Thank you and God bless you!!!

  93. Moranda Miller says:

    Thank you Renee. I have really needed the messages you have shared. Also the comments have been great! I am unable to open up here yet…but one day..god willing:). Thanks (Am praying for your family and little one!)

  94. Joyce Pilliard says:

    Thanks for all the devotions.

  95. Audra Ford says:

    You have struck a nerve in me. Everytime I read a post it is like a word from God that I needed to hear right then. I am going to start a small group study on this book because I know I am not the only one that have this issue. Thank-you for all that you write!!

  96. Thank you for your devotion today. I have been struggling with dealing with issues of the past that are impacting the present. I have to confess to feeling less than enthusiastic about dealing with anything. God is probably looking at me and shaking His head at my rebellious, stubborn streak. While I am tired of hurting, I’m afraid too of moving forward. I can’t fall apart.

  97. Wow! There is so much pain and hurt out there. I intended to write about my “issues”, but reconsidered after reading many of the previous posts. My troubles pail in comparison. I will lift a prayer for all of you on this board. I recommend you all read Paul’s thoughts and Christ’s words found in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

  98. I love how God speaks to us through others. In your devotion today it was as if you were writing about a chapter from my own life or a storm I am currently going through. A question was recently asked of me “If great things come from seeking God in your suffering, would you stop it to ease the pain?” Wow! As painful as the healing process is, my experiences and trials will not be wasted, I look forward as to how God will use them to fulfill His(not my) purpose for my life.

  99. Your devotion pierced through my heart and soul today. It was spoken from inside my deepest repressed thoughts after 48yrs of life and 24yrs of marriage. I have experienced an indescribable spiritual awakening to KNOW Christ and feel Him within me now. I fervently pray and ask you to as well that the Holy Spirit embraces my husband as well..since he has filed for divorce.

  100. carmen stewart says:

    This was an eye opener cause i have been struggling with my marriage for 5yrs now. I have been so hurt and rebellious for so long that i dont kknow how to go on without thinking somebody is trying to hurt me or discriminate me. I always turn to God. I guess i am stubborn,, I need help but from where Its so hard to trust….

  101. Debbie Belisle says:

    I like what you said; would love to win a copy of the book to learn more. Thanks.

  102. Thanks for revealing your honest emotions. Like Helen M., I was also raised in a good, solid Christian home and I’ve been married to my childhood sweetheart and best friend for over 30 years. My doubts come from within myself. Currently I’ve been dealing with an issue over the last 10 years that doesn’t look like it will end anytime soon. The Lord has assured me that He is in control and I’m just waiting on His timing. However, I’m sure at some point this will become the issue of my past that I will have to face and confront.

  103. Ouch! The bandaid on my life has been ripped off and the festering wound exposed to fresh air so that it can continue the healing process. It’s interesting to me how, often times, we look for husbands who resemble our fathers, which then can lead to similar hurt and heartache that we experienced as children. So what’s different? What has changed from dealing with an issue from a daughter/father standpoint vs a wife/husband standpoint? We are allowed to speak into our own life. We have seen more, experienced more, learned more, become a more confident child of God. I grew up where children were seen, not heard, so speaking my feelings about a situation, an injustice was intolerable. And that’s what is ingrained in me. When I see an injustice in my marriage, a situation that just doesn’t seem right, I revert to childhood coping methods, instead of developing new, more mature ones. So, my inclination was to sweep something under the rug….until I read your post. Now, I will confront the injustice, because I am the daughter of the almighty King; the God most high; the Father of the universe!

    Thank you for the truth and wisdom!

  104. I appreciate you sharing your heart. It is encouraging to know that my heavenly Father does not want me stuck in the hurt of my past, but wants to heal me. I just need to give it all to Him. We don’t even realize how far our pain touches others, as well as our healing. Thank you for sharing how your healing, changed you and your marriage. God bless you!

  105. Pamela Hanson says:

    oh my gosh Renee, that picture of you with a white and red dress or top on..When I scrolled down that picture was up and I thought I was looking at me and wondering how I got on this site..Very scary,but in a good way..I can’t believe how much we looked alike when we were kids… I love you and I am enjoying and learning soo much from your book. Thank you soo much for all you do.

  106. Shelleye Buckliew says:

    Things are piling up on me and I have allowed those things to interfere with my relationship with the Lord. I asked the Lord to find me a devotion that would help me and low and behold, I found your devotion page which led me to your site. What a blessing it was for me to see someone dealing with the same issues I have. God never ceases to amaze me as to when we reach for Him, he always helps us! God bless you !

  107. I can relate to what you shared, Renee.

  108. God has been healing me of some past hurts as well. Thanks for sharing!

  109. Dear Renee,
    I just want yuu to know what a blessing your 7 day diet has been to me. I often lack confidence in my self and my abilities. I know that God wants to give us hope and a future. I truly plan to buy your book. I am excited about the opportunity God has created in my life. Thank you for your prayers as I will pray for you as well. God is our refuge and our strength. Blessings to you and your family.

  110. Bonnie Jean says:

    Renee, between, you, Lysa and Mary Beth, I think you reach into every dark or hurting place in my life…I am so thankful to have come to “know you ” a bit through your honest and vulnerable ministry. Between your broken little girl dreams and Lysa’s twirling hoping for acceptance… is me… the Pollyanna dreamer… always waiting for her prince to come and rescue her. Except I have always looked to men and abusive men at that. I did not feel worthy of someone who would respect me. And I didn’t realize that the Prince I really needed was the Prince of Peace until recently … and today I turned 54. So much healing to be done.I feel like I am sifting through the “archaeological dig” of my life trying to find the treasures … if there are any… and trying to figure out what to do with the “trash” which would be most of it. Forgiveness is essential I know but it is a lot longer process than I ever knew. For awhile I kept hoping I would wake up one day and “poof” … the fairy dust would make the pain go away and the forgiveness complete. I thank God for the three of you. You have helped me survive the last several years of my life with your openness and vulnerability. Praise God for you.

  111. God is so good! Bless you for your testimony. Jesus surely came to heal the brokenhearted! He still does, doesn’t He. When I have trials it helps me to remember that the people in my life are not my enemy. Satan is the only enemy we have. … and he is a looser. Praise Jesus!

  112. Wow…God works in some awesome ways… This whole devotion is screaming out at me… I couldn’tho figure out why I was so unhappy and walked around hurt and confused… I thought all the stuff from my past was just my past… But while reading this devotional tears fell uncontrollably and I quickly realized the Holy Spirit tugging on my heart making me see that I have to go back…. I have to let God heal my hurt and put together all the broken pieces.. I have to let go of the unrealistic expectations I have put on my husband.. I have to forgive my father… I also need to forgive myself.. I won’t give up…this past weekend was an emotional mess, completely my fault… I really just wanted to walk away.. I felt like everyone had abandoned me, even God… How very thankful I am for this devotional today. I need to make getting your book a priority…In the meanwhile I will be making a time line of my past! God Bless You! I pray your little one is feeling better, it can be rough…I have 5 of my own.

  113. I am going through the pain of being misunderstood and feeling my reputation is shredded. This is the place where I have to give these negative feelings and sense of abandonment to the Lord who will be my shelter in this storm of depression and defeat. It was good to hear your words of healing. I need to let go and receive the healing from a torn relationship that only the Holy Spirit can offer to me. Thank you for your words of wisdom that lifts me up and leads me to focus on the precious Lord Jesus.

  114. I have realized that I have not gone back and worked thru so many things that have hurt me over the years. I went to Biblical Counseling for our marriage but even that has made me realize that it’s so easy to say we forgive but it’s so hard to forget!
    Thank you for your devotion.

  115. Michelle Frye says:

    Thank you so much for this devotion today. I am currently dealing with so much pain from my childhood that I had buried deep down but at the same time it is affecting my relationships today. Once again Thank You!

  116. What a heart felt devotion today

  117. I am struggling with my weight. I was so disappointed and frustrated with myself tonight and had such self-doubt as I once again embark on a diet tomorrow (albeit a healthy one). I came upon your website and read the first chapter of your book….I believe the Lord led me to it! What a breathe of fresh air has been breathed into my heart! I will conquer this weight problem once and for all and not look back at my past failures! Tonight I was given hope. Thank you, Renee.

  118. P31 devotions have taken a backseat to hectic schedule lately.
    A still small voice told me to take the time to today’s.
    I now need to slow down and read it again. And again.Thank you.

  119. Renee, what a post. Forgiveness is something we all need to learn to give but oh how hard it is. I struggle with forgiving when the person who hurt me either has no idea that they hurt me or they don’t understand me when I try to explain how they hurt me. I want to learn how to forgive without feeling like I need that person to acknowledge their part in my hurt.

  120. Wow! You hit the nail on the head. So many of us still have open gaping wounds from the past. I’ve been there! I got past it, it wasn’t easy. The two keys is forgiveness and praise. Not in that order. Oh sure we know we have to forgive people but how do you do it when they continue to injure you? Praise! Praise God all the day long. For the person for the situation for all of it. The bitterness melts away. Oh sure you will have to have it out with the person, even if it is just in your own mind. But, there is power in the name of Jesus. Hard times with the husband is difficult to swallow. No matter the anger praise God for the wonderful man he brought you. Again even if you don’t feel like it just say it. It changes the other person. It is like saying a prayer for them. No life isn’t a fairytale like when we were kids, but you probably aren’t the dream girl he thought he married either, sobyourveven. Now sit back and enjoy eachothers company and support him and tell him how great he is. Men want to feel good too! And through it all praise God!

  121. This message couldn’t have come into my inbox at a more perfect time! I read it right after I found out that my ex-boyfriend is on a dating site again – yes, same one we met on 🙁 It wasn’t wise of me to respond to the 10 day free trial email. I think a part of me was curious if he was on there because a friend had mentioned she saw him there.

    It hurt a lot when I saw he had 2 different profiles going at the same time and he described himself very different from my experience with him (ofcourse his profile sounded like the kind I would be interested in – wants to become best friends, take things slow…what a bunch of B.S.) He also mentioned something that alluded to me and it was so sad to me that he could misunderstand me so. I feel like explaining myself and helping him believe the “truth” about me, about himself. My adrenaline began pumping, then I felt numb, then I cried. I talked to a friend on messenger and said, I don’t want to deal with this! I felt exactly like what you said in your email, there is a fear that I will fall apart and slip into depression and lose everything – my friendships, my job…my dreams of being a pottery instructor and successful potter.

    What hurts a lot is this guy pushed my boundaries sexually, and I was so upset when this first happened that he disrespected me in a “small” way, it happened again and I should have gone with my first reaction and just ran and kept running. It clouded our relationship. He tried to pray to God whether or not we should get married…but I don’t think God was happy with the way we were doing things in our relationship. 🙁

    I have a lot of grieving to do. 36 years old, never been married…technically a virgin but really coming close to going over the edge. This guy represented the end to my singleness, loneliness…he disappointed me in many ways.

    I am busy, not getting enough sleep at all…working full time, teaching pottery in the evening, making my own pottery to get ready for a sale on the weekend, working on a mom2mom africa project. I really don’t know how to fit processing the past into this busy schedule…and I honestly don’t want to go to counselling any more…I don’t want to deal with stuff and go through the process while my ex-boyfriend goes on to get married to someone else and get his dreams while I’m “processing”. Honestly!

    But then, I recognize that I need healing and how can i ignore that God wants to take me through that process? The only good thing right now is that God is speaking to me through your writings and all I know is I needed to let you know that you are on the right track, the Holy Spirit is obviously blessing what you do. I would really appreciate your prayer…I have no idea who to talk to about this (I have talked to God). I’ve been through a break up in the past that didn’t push physical boundaries at all…but the older I get..it’s wearing me down…I’m giving up on myself and giving up on God’s ways of doing things. I do really need help…please pray that God continues to lead me every day and give me wisdom to know what my interaction should be with this ex-boyfriend. 🙁 My heart still hangs on to some kind of hope that we will get back together. 🙁 What foolishness..please pray that God would break the soul ties and help me to not get into a situation like this again.

    Thanks for being obedient to the call on your life.

    Sincerely,
    Sally

  122. Dear Renee

    God is Great! I’ve read your post of the past three days. Thank you so much for the advice/guidance. I am about to get married to a pastor and have had the doubts of “will I be able to make it as a Pastor’s wife, what if I fail, am I worthy of doing such a great job for God ? etc.”
    Todays post was just as awesome! Dealing with the hurt and pain of the past so that it does not have an effect on your present.

    Thank you so much for being God’s vessel. Much appreciated. God Bless you and your family.

  123. Toni Gomes says:

    I am in the process of walking through this with God. Unfortunately my marriage didn’t make it. Pls pray for me becauseas this healing process it’s confusing and painful. The enemy keeps throwing distractions and doubt . I can’t wait to be set free and to begin to walk in peace fulfilling Gods plan for my life. Your book sounds amazing. Thanks for touching me today with hope.

  124. It is 4:58 in the morning and today is 10/13/11. I’m 36 wks pregnant, couldn’t sleep so I decided to read my emails. Your devotion from yesterday knocked down the door to my heart. I’m currently dealing with present pain that is connected to past pain that I decided not to deal with due to my prenancy and simply put”I haven’t got time for the pain.” You have blessed me tremendously.

    God gives ordinary people the ability to bless others in extraordinary ways.

    Thank you, Again

    Necole

  125. Your book sounds like the perfect gift for my friend who is dealing with pain from the past. Thank you for sharing your journey. There are so many who are hurting and yet don’t know how they can “solve” their problems. Thank you for all that you do to encourage us. I will be praying for you and for your family.

  126. It is so great to read this, and to know that I am not alone. I am haunted by a vicious past, but my now is wonderful, and I am strong enough now to lay the past to rest. All I needed were faith, hope and a road map. I really want to get your book, but things are tight, so I admit I am gleaning every bit of info you are posting. I will be starting on my timeline today. Unfortunately mine begins at 2 and a half, when my parents gave me and my twin away because we were too much for them to handle. My adoptive father was physically abusive. So I definitely have a starting place. Say a prayer for me as I undertake this journey, as you have explained it to us. Thanks and God Bless yOu!

  127. Hi Renee. Your blog post spoke right my heart. I have a lot of hurt, regret and pain that I want to resolve so that I can be closer to Jesus, but I haven’t been able to do so. Over the last month, I have talked to God, asking Him how I can get past it all. I have cried on several occasions while in church, as my head lays on my pillow and in the arms of friends as I feel an immense amount of regret for my sins.

    I feel regret for the decisions I made and how the present reminds me every day. I will have to do a timeline like you suggested but not until December because my life will be less crazy after the first of the month.

    Thank you for your words, your encouragement and sharing your talent of putting words onto paper with us.

  128. Jennifer hodge says:

    Wow! Love your words today. Thanks for the opportunity to win two copies of your book!

  129. Have a number of issues I need to address, this has made me decide to make the time to do it in spite of the pain I will feel. Thank you

  130. This is something I have really been struggling a lot with lately, stuff that resurfaces from the past and affects my present. Pain from a divorce where my ex choose drugs/alcohol over our marriage. I will be reading chapter 4 in hopes to heal this pain once and for all! I know I need to give it all to GOD! Thank you for your blessings.

  131. Thanks Renee – this is something Im struggling with myself and your words are very encouraging!! You are such an inspiration!!

  132. The Lord led me to Isaiah 43:18-19 recently but I got stuck on the “I am doing a new thing, do you not perceive it?” I couldn’t perceive it. I am now starting to get a glimpse of the new thing but self-doubt holds me back.

  133. Renee,
    As always, thank you for your transparency. Your devotion spoke to me–I came from a broken childhood home and I have had to grieve the dad I had verses the dad I “expected” to have. Those feelings of fear and abandonment from childhood run deep. Just when I think I have overcome them, more issues surface. I thank the Lord for your ministry.

  134. Robin in New Jersey says:

    This book would be perfect for someone I know who just can not get out of the past.

    Thank you Renee.

  135. Chargaile Askew says:

    I am amazed by what only 2 days of this study has done for me. I think of myself as a very confident person, however, I am beginning to realize that maybe my “over confidence” is actually stemmed from “lack of confidence”. I am learning that maybe in running away from things in the past, that I learned to coverup with a false covering of “over confidence”. Thank you for this study as apparently God led me to it in order to “remove the scales” from my eyes.
    (Sorry your little one is sick, hope by today that has improved)

  136. Renee, today’s post reminded me of this blog I felt led to write recently entitled, Back to the Future: Rowboats, Timelines, and Goal-Setting … “The Hebrew concept of time is like a person rowing a boat. We see where we have been, we back into the future. I can clearly see that God has been there with me all along. I am not stuck in the past, I am rowing into the future, moving forward, proactive, with my focus, my mindset, on God, who is sovereign. He sees the past, the present, and the future all-at-once. Morning after morning in my quiet time, I bring myself back to the Cross of Christ…as I bow before Him, I experience anew His forgiveness, redemption, mercy, and grace, as I sense His blood dripping over the Crown of Thorns pressed into His brow, onto my heart, covering my sin, and I get up from my knees wearing His Robe of righteousness as I face the day ahead…rowing into the future.”
    http://bethwillismiller.blogspot.com/2011/09/back-to-future-rowboats-timelines-and.html

  137. I love your vision of walking down the driveway, flowers in hand, to wed your prince. I think many of us have that dream. Though I don’t have the same time of father issues that you reference, I do think I’m very hard on men because I expect them all to match up to my father. And that’s just not going to happen. Guess that’s why I’m still single.

  138. I identify with the anger and unrealistic expectations you experienced toward your husband. I deal with this as well and have never thought about the root of it. I’m going to do as you suggest and take a hard look at things from my past. Thank you for the encouragement to face it.

  139. Thank you for these devotions. I have struggled trying to be good enough my entire life. I never felt like I measured up because I was the awkward, clumsy child. Even though I know I have accomplished more than most in my circle of life, I still feel the doubt of being good enough. My family was always comparing me to my brother or cousins. My failures, and being told how I wasn’t good enough, caused me to go down the wrong path as a teenager just to gain acceptance. I have done many things I am not proud of, but I know God has brought me through so much so I can help others. Since I was not encouraged as a child, this is what I crave, and I see how to encourage others. God is using my wayward years to recognize the problems others may have, so I can encourage them. We would not doubt ourselves so much, if as a child, we were encouraged. I work with young children in our church and I try so hard to say something positive to them to make them feel good about themselves. You never know…that one small compliment may just be what they need to wipe away their doubts and fears and help them grow to be confident young men and women!

  140. We serve a Great Bib Wonderful God. It is amazing that he loves us. We just need to be willing to allow the Holy Spirit to dig deep into our hearts to heal the hurt that we all have experienced in our childhood. God can do amazign things with us women if we would allow the Holy S
    pirit to do his work of healing in our lives.

  141. I had similar experiences regarding my earthly father, Renee. God has shown me, just today, that alot of my feelings and emotions and doubts have been caused by those experiences long ago. I asked God to show me what was causing all the “stuff” I was feeling and going through despite having a wonderful husband and marriage. And HE did! I feel like a burden has been lifted off me, just by knowing where it all came from. I had been blaming myself for alot that actually I was just a innocent kid at the time. I’m in the process of releasing all that and getting back on track. I don’t want to lose the wonderful relationship that God has blessed me with. Thanks for your emails as God is surely using you to speak to me!

  142. I can totally relate to having to forgive your father and struggling with a little girls unrealized dreams of just wanting to be loved. The little girl who never felt her father wanted her is healing in me ever so slowly and your devotions have been a part of that healing, thank you for sharing such intimate parts of your life walk with all of us. May God bless you and your family through this study!

  143. God is so good to His children. He heals us in places we don’t even know we are hurting. Thamks you for all your sharing. It is always good to hear how others have overcome. One can never hear enough testimonies.

  144. thank you for being real. i really needed this today.

  145. Thank you so much for sharing, Renee. I really am inspired by you.

    I know I have a broken heart… I just turned 44 and have never been married – I have always wanted that and to have children, but it has never happened. I feel like a failure… And my work is really stressful- I want to get out of the unhealthy environment– and tried last summer to no avail– so I am left just really feeling trapped and unloved…

    But I have a sense of joy in my heart at the same time– God does refresh my soul (Ps 23). And for that I am truly grateful.

    God bless you abundantly!

  146. Please enter me to win the books. I really need them!
    Thank you!

  147. I’m so overwhelmed with emotion this morning as I read today’s devotion. I realized today that I need so much healing from past events in my life. My childhood was tough, my mother was very strict and believed in strong disicpline and my father was always sick, never really involved ever, and so many other memories that flooded my mind as I continued to read. Renee, I feel as though you are speaking directly to me. So far each devotion is speaking directly to my heart. I thank God for your ministry and I know God brought me to your website for my healing. Thank you for all that you do.

  148. Thank You for sharing your story, blesses me beyond measure. I deal with alot of hurt from my childhood. PRAISE THE LORD with GODS help he I have overcome alot of the pain and it’s made me who I am today. Im special to him he has a plan, each valley we go thru makes us stronger in our walk with JESUS if we allow it too. I always ask myself WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? To be Christ like we must ask ourself this question. JESUS certainly went thru more than any of us have and he did it all for his children. Just thankful I can still say I HAVE BEEN BLESSED.

  149. I am dealing with a lot of negativity and expectations that are not being met as a mother. I struggled with infertility for many years and i now have 2 adorable children…but my life as a mother is not how i pictured it. I need God’s help to change my attitude and accept things the way they are…

    Thank you for your devotion.

  150. Deanna Nalley says:

    Thank you sooo much for these words!!! I can still get so stuck in burying hurts and not moving forward behind a wall of defense. Its hard to forgive and forget and move in faith. Thank you for your encouragement! I hope to get a copy of your book, it is not at my local Christian Bookstore yet.

  151. Susan Perales says:

    THANK YOU for this post and the P31 post. I too am dealing with pain from the past and not quite certain ‘how’ to let Jesus have it. I am sensing that God is saying to look at Scripture and the answers are there. Sooo hard to let go.

  152. I’d love to have a copy of your book A Confident Heart! I, too am asking God for healing. My heart has been broken and bruised for a long time. I have started to journel on my path to healing. I realize that until I release my “stuff” it stays. Your updates have encouraged me in this process. Thank you!

  153. Thank you so much Renee for being such an inspiration and encouragement to me! I’ve been dealing with alot of hurt and doubt for a little while. I think by God’s grace i’m starting to finally stamp it out, little by little! I deal with alot of doubt about God’s plans for my life. He showed me at a very early age what I’m supposed to do with my life, and has given me countless opporunities, encouragement, and reassurance about it, but still I doubt. I know I need to reflect on His goodness and truth, and not my fickle feelings or Satan’s lies. If anyone sees this, please pray that thought the Lord I can finally conquer this doubt. I want to have joy and excitment in God’s big plans for me and not suck all the joy outta them! Thank you for your posts so much 🙂 They’ve really, really encouraged me!

  154. Melinda Jahn says:

    This devotional was a huge encouragement. God does rebuild the ancient ruins. I am learning to wait on him and that my expectations are in Him alone.

  155. Thank you for sharing your heart, Renee. Would love to have another copy of your book to give to a friend at church, actually I have been sharing some of the things from your book with our ladies Bible study group. I am not sure how to process everything from my childhood, I do forgive my family members.
    As I look back I was very shy and insecure from when I was probably about four years old. My story is hard to explain. My parents were Christians, but if we went to the chapel (which was considered church) on base it was because my mother took me and my sister occasionally. She also taught us the commandments and a few other stories in the Bible. My dad, an airplane pilot in the Air Force was gone alot. We lived four years in Okinawa, then Florida, then another two years in Okinawa.
    After my dad retired we moved to Laurel, Mississippi, where my parents were both from. We settled down there and my parents started to church where my grandmother and some other relatives attended. At age 16, I became a Christian, my parents rededicated their life to the Lord and my sister was saved.
    The teen-age years were difficult for me. I did not who I was or what I wanted to do. My mother said things that made me feel I was not good enough, that I would fail at everything I do, and I felt defeated most of the time. We had several disagreements.
    Then, one day I was visiting at my grandmother’s house. She had stepped outside to hang some clothes on the line. My grandpa was still inside with me (alone) and he inappropriately touched me, then kissed me. I immediately backed away then my grandmother came in the back door, I told her I had to get back home. I was in tears and I told my mother that her dad was sick and what happen. All she said was don’t go up there alone anymore, I felt lost and rejected. But, now I knew the truth and what my grandpa was really like and I was scared. She never talked about what it was like to live in the same house with him, but through the years I found out from an Aunt, how he treated her the same way as he had treated me. It is like some kind of family secret kept throught he years. Let me say this, years later a friend talked to my grandpa and he was saved and baptized_which I am glad, but it is still hard to process everything.
    My mother later died from cancer. All that guilt and hurt just came flowing through me after she passed away. I felt if I had been a better person, if I had not been so selfish, maybe God would have let her live longer. It was my fault God took her, so this added pain on top of pain for years I stuffed this inside me.
    About five years ago, I had some counselling and was able to process some of this and after reading your book and God’s promises it helped me to trust God’s Word, so God has given me the joy, peace and happiness I have been needing in my heart. I do have a wonderful, Christian husband and twin boys, God has blessed me with. So very thankful!

  156. Hi Renee…Thank you so much for sharing your journey. I have been stuck for so long and reading your story is a great encouragement to me. I now have hope that I can move forward. Thank you for the opportunity to possibly receive a free copy of your book.

  157. I am just getting to read your devotional today and I was so encouraged. I lived my childhood in an abusive family and married not once but twice to abusive men. I have found that God is the only source of comfort for me and believe me He has helped.
    I would love to get a copy of your book. I was privileged to read the advanced 7-week plan and felt so blessed but I have not been able to purchase the book. I know there is so much more in there that would benefit me. God Bless you for using your talents to serve others.

  158. When I read your thought of the day, “I Haven’t Got Time For The Pain”, on Proverbs 31 Ministries,it got my attention! It was as if it was reading MY own journal! I felt so alone but now I know that I’m not! God bless you!

  159. Renee, hi! really enjoyed reading your devotional today.

  160. Thanks for being so real.

  161. Oh, how I can relate to today’s message. I feel like I’m looking into a mirror of myself. I never realized how marriage can be so very frustrating. Your devotionals, my bible study groups (many done individually) and lots of praying have helped me enormously. I’ve discovered that every time the devil puts these horrible thoughts of my past in my mind, I fight back often verbally. It’s a minute by minute battle of the mind but with God’s grace and singing Christian songs aloud (with radio), I know that it works for me. I’m having a more positive outlook on life as a result. With Christ, nothing is impossible plus Never Give Up!

  162. Christy wilson says:

    I can so relate to much of what you share! I too was missing the father figure and had horrible things happen to me as a child. Here it is 20 hrs later. After I’ve done much work and counseling……..out of what appeared no where things r popping up again. Feeling like I’ve already dealt with these and shocked by the disarray it has caused in my life…..I seek counseling. She said I’m suffering from post traumatic stress. I am still shocked how much it is throwing me off but realizing this past will always be a part of who I am. I just have to figure out where it fits in now so that I can remember but not be dragged down by it!

  163. I just got done reading “I Haven’t Got Time for the Pain”. It could not have come at a better time. I am struggling right now from an almost crippling depression. I have hurts from the past that I have not dealt with. Thank you for being so transparent and honest in your writing. You have given me hope and courage to face the hard things of my past. I know that God is mighty and able and that He will walk through this with me, for He has proven Himself faithful over and over again. Again, thank you Renee for being yielded to God’s call on your life. God Bless you and your ministry!

  164. Autumn Bear says:

    Tears are slipping down my face at the reading of these thoughts. I am here in this moment at a physical place of facing years of abandonment and rejection . . . memories I didn’t even know that were still hurting me. I would rather have not come back ever! but here I am and you have shared the Truth of God’s Word to show me how to heal the ancient ruins.

    Dear God, bind my wounds so that I can move on a whole person in Christ.

  165. Mary Rose says:

    Thank you for sharing your struggles of life with us. It helps us tremendously to know that we are not the only ones going similar situations. God bless you!

  166. The Lord has been talking to me through your posts and some other places. I too have some broken dreams and unspoken unmet expectations. It’s hard to look at that little girl inside of me and see how vulnerable she is and how much she just wants her Daddy’s tenderness and affection toward her. I’ve tried so hard to be tough, stick my chin out and hold my head high and power through the pain. All it’s gotten me is a lot of loneliness and a pile of broken relationships. I’ve been learning for the first time in my life about how my Heavenly Father sees me, who He says I am and that has brought me a lot of peace and strength. I was raised in a Christian home, grew up in the church and somehow I missed all this. For a long time I’d ask over and over what ARE these promises of God that people keep talking about. I feel like I’ve found that treasure box finally, the one that He made just for me. I’m not there yet but I’m getting there. Thanks Renee for your honesty and vulnerability.

  167. Thank you so much for being real and sharing from your life. I would love to lose the doubt and heal the hurt!!!!

  168. Thanks so much for the post yesterday; (which I just read today) I needed this word so much. As I read this post God began to reveal to me that I had issues; I thought I had dealt with these long ago, but as He talked to my heart I realized they had not completely been healed. Now that I know where I stand with this I am able to begin really getting healed. I see now that these issues are probably why I haven’t been able to get my relationship right with God. Thanks again Renee, I am praying for your ministry, it blesses me so, Billie

  169. I felt like I was reading my own story as I read the P31 devotion yesterday. I have dealt with much of the pain and worked through some of it, but like the idea of the timeline and feel like I have more to work through. God is so faithful and speaks to us in so many ways. My confidence has really been shattered these past 2 months for absolutely nothing except Satan honing in on my weaknesses and my mind. The mind can really make matters worse, I have really been leaning on God and his promises, but need to rebuild my confidence in Him as well. Thanks for all you are sharing while going through your own struggles.

  170. Thanks for this blog today. I’ve gone through the forgiveness/healing process so I understand what you experienced. This post was a good reminder of how God brought me through, especially as I’m beginning to write my story.

  171. this is what I needed to read today…thanks so much for encouraging through your words!

  172. This is the second time in three weeks that I have read something about holding my past hurts against my husband and it being bad for our marriage especially since he isn’t the one who hurt me. The first time I could only glance at it because I knew I didn’t have the right heart to even read about how wrong my expectations of him were so I had to pray about it for a few days then swallow hard and soldier on. This time it still hits me but I’m understanding mire and just praying that God will stay after me and help me get over it and move into the blessing he undoubtedly has for me.

  173. thank you for your post. right now i am focusing on digging deeper into God’s word and my relationship with Him. Thank you for the chance to win two copies to be able to share with a friend.

  174. Thank you Renee for this series on Doubt. I’ve spent most of my life doubting my abilities and wanting to be active in church but afraid to take the chance on teaching and other activities. I suffer from anxiety and depression. I know and trust Jesus as my Lord and savior and with His help I’m slowly overcoming some of my self-doubts and this series is helping me a lot. I need to find the triggers to my self-doubts and I’m trusting Jesus to help me. Thank you for your help.

  175. Renee, God always knows what’s best for me and His time is always remarkable. This past weekend I was challenged to start praying about some childhood memories that are painful and repressed. Your P31 devotion was the perfect encouragement to continue this process. Jesus was there all along and now it’s time to recognize where He was. I would love to win a copy of your book and learn more of your story.

  176. Cheryl Andrews says:

    Renee, I’ve been patient in praying, and I can forgive and forget very quickly, but I have got a problem with my Mother, I think she hates me, because she always find fault with me, I dont know why but the harder I pray the more my Mother hates me. And if something happens to me, she’ll ask me where is my God now.

  177. Judi Splint says:

    Thank you for this Renee. I had joined Celebrate Recovery, where I did find healing…but I also found judgement and condemnation. So, on one hand, I was healing, but on the other, I was being thrown back into the pits, so to speak. I often think that nothing can hurt worse than ministry people coming against you. I suppose it is because I know they are (claiming to be) servants of the Lord.
    Your words have been so important to me; so comforting; so promising. I have wondered, on occasion, if you knew my story, would you turn your back on me too? I tell myself you wouldn’t.
    I so desperately need someone to care enough about me not to turn away. I sit here in tears as I type this. I feel so pathetic. I know God has more for me, but this is so hard.
    I promise I will continue to try and I will put my faith in Him for healing. I only wish there was someone I could call a friend.
    I am fortunate to now have a loving husband, but he is all I have. I only wish I had a girlfriend I could laugh and cry with. Maybe you could pray for me. (thanks)

  178. Judi Splint says:

    Thank you for this Renee. I had joined Celebrate Recovery, where I did find healing…but I also found judgement and condemnation. So, on one hand, I was healing, but on the other, I was being thrown back into the pits, so to speak. I often think that nothing can hurt worse than ministry people coming against you. I suppose it is because I know they are (claiming to be) servants of the Lord.
    Your words have been so important to me; so comforting; so promising. I have wondered, on occasion, if you knew my story, would you turn your back on me too? I tell myself you wouldn’t.
    I so desperately need someone to care enough about me not to turn away. I sit here in tears as I type this. I feel so pathetic. I know God has more for me, but this is so hard.
    I promise I will continue to try and I will put my faith in Him for healing. I only wish there was someone I could call a friend.
    I am fortunate to now have a loving husband, but he is all I have. I only wish I had a girlfriend I could laugh and cry with. Maybe you could pray for me. (thanks)

  179. This is so awesome! This echoes the process of a recovery program I am in. I love the clarity of these words and the scripture and comfort and deep love I can feel in them. I want to share this with all of the women I know who walk through life with the baggage of their past pushing them around. I have done so much of this work myself and learned that only Jesus and the Holy Spirit can help me heal. It has been at time terribly painful, but the healing that has come as I’ve trusted the Lord and let Jesus take the pain…is amazing. I am free from much of my past. As the days reveal those things that continue to hold on, it is easier now to turn them over and ask the Lord to cover me and heal me. Thank you for the depth of your love and compassion to share these insights so clearly.

  180. Where do I begin? I have been very troubled lately and I know the Holy Spirit is working in my heart. I have so far to go. I have walked a Christian life, but I am not so sure I have lived a Christian life. I have failed in being the Christian wife and mother that I should have been. I have been a coward. I have not stood up for the Lord of my life so I am not sure people have even seen a difference in me. I need a confident heart so that I can live the life Christ has truly planned for me.

  181. Diane Sullivan says:

    That was so helpful for me thank you very much! It’s been a continued journey of dealing with an alcholic father as a young child, a legalistic and dysfunctional mother and loosing my father when I was 23. God is good he’s never left me nor forsaken me. Your devotion confirms that.

  182. Thank you Renee. I am stuck in an area that needs healing — not from wounds from others, but wounds from myself. And I need to take time to really process that pain with Jesus. But I didn’t realize that need until I read your devotion today. I know it will be freeing, but it’s kind of scary too — I want to be free, but I’m so used to these “crutches” that I have a hard time being willing to give them up. It comes down to a need to trust in God’s goodness, which I am just beginning to. Thank you for gently challenging me to do so.

  183. I woke this morning unusually early & thought I’d get a start on my day. For whatever reason, the enemy of my soul was able to take advantage of this & immediately fill my heart & mind w/doubts. Soon, I found myself in tears & wanted to quit everything, even the things I hadn’t committed to yet. Fortunately my husband had the presence of mind to stop on his way out to work, (which spoke volumes to me because he was running late). I was able to go back to bed for a few hours. When I woke, God gave me kind of a “do over” pass & sit me down in front of my computer to look in my inbox & find today’s devotion. THANK YOU Renee, for your obedience to speak god’s truth in love to my heart today! I’m going right now to His Word to fill up & sit at His feet.

  184. I too have struggled with numerous aches from my past and not so distant past! I have been learning so much through these daily devotions and I have numerous speakers on my iPhone such as Beth Moore who has helped me greatly!! Thank you for sharing the heart of God with me!!

  185. Thank you for your devotion and for your book!! I am going through the Proverbs 31 study of your book and it was so nice to read Chapter 4 and then have your devotion be on Chapter 4 as well! I was a little unclear on how to make the timeline before I read the application notes on your devotion and now that I understand I am planning on working on my timeline tomorrow. Thank you so much for your ministry!!

  186. Thank You for your genuiness. I have been struggling with feelings of comparison, critical thoughts, and such. Its so hard to overcome it and you said it bang on with (my paraphrase) If we are a child of God why do we see ourselves as unworthy? Why can’t we see what He sees, how He created us? I am always, ashamed to say, thinking “oh yeah she would do that ministry so well.” Diminishing myself and basically rejecting God’s plan for me. I’ve really enjoyed receiving the 7 day doubt diet emails, they are definitely an eye opener and tool set to defeating the defeatism spirit! May God continue to use you and bless you and your ministry :0)

  187. My church and I are going through a healing process and your devotional as well as your book, “A Confident Heart” is just what I need. Thank you so much and God bless.

  188. This is such a new journey of courage for me. Learning to let go….and let God be the centre of my healing. I pray for courage, strength and gut courage. Thank you for your website and blog to encourage me.

  189. J. Johnson says:

    Thank you so much for providing this devotion. Although I read it the day you posted it this morning in my quiet time God nudged me to make my timeline and get more of the healing I desire and need. I am going thru a divorce now and I want to be completely healed from all the pain that I have endured thru this and my lifetime. I believe God wants me whole and more than anything I want to be. I don’t want to go another minute with out being healed. I have learned hurt people, hurt people and I don’t want to cause pain to anyone. JJohnson

  190. I started reading a Confident Heart this weekend and this blog touched me in very painful places today. I can’t leave my past behind so I can enjoy my present and future. This blog has given me the tools to forgive myself. I need to forgive myself so that I can love God more and let God love me. Awesome message!

  191. It never ceases to amaze me that just when i think i’m starting to get it together Satan will dredge up something from my past and throw it in my face starting the whold doubt/insecurity thing all over again. We must keep ourselves in God’s word and not even open the door a crack for Satan to get his foot in. If we let him get that foot in pretty soon he has wormed his way all the way in wreaking havoc in our thoughts and lives. Thank you so much Renee for this devotion. I know i’m a bit late but, severe back issues keep me from being on my pc a lot lately.

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