(Week 1) – A Confident Heart Online Study

So excited to start this “Confident Heart” journey with you!

The first thing I want you to remember: This is YOUR journey. You’ll be reading the chapters, listening to God speak to your heart, highlighting sentences, promises and quotes you want to remember and apply. You’ll be answering reflection questions and interacting with the group.

You’ll be doing the work of believing God!

I’ll be shepherding, leading, encouraging, connecting and pacing us. I’ll be sharing my heart and more of my story…because I want you to see you are not alone and give you courage to see and share yours. I’ll be praying for you and challenging you – but you’ll only get out as much as you put in.

Today, I asked the Lord what I needed to give up – so I can give more to Him – and this study. I immediately sensed Him whispering “work.” And I knew it was Him. I love my job and I’ve been working too many late night hours after the kids go to bed. So I’m cutting back the next several weeks to consecrate more of me TO HIM and to you!

What will you cut back on to make time for Him and yourself these next several weeks? I’m really going to challenge you and give you permission to block out at least a little bit of time each day to concentrate on replacing the OLD with the NEW He has for you! Ready? Here we go:

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A Confident Heart Online Study (Day 1)

Read the Acknowledgements (I’ll explain tomorrow why I wanted you to do this).

Read Chapter 1. Please highlight verses and sentences that grab your attention or tug on your heart. What is God saying to you though this chapter? Write down what you sense God speaking to your heart in the margins of your book, or in a journal/notebook that you’ll use throughout this study.

A video message from my heart to yours is coming later tonight. I’ll post it on my website later since I’m not quite ready to post it yet. But I wanted to go ahead get this loaded so you can get started!

I’ll send an email and post on our Confident Heart Facebook page to let you know when the video is up and ready for viewing.

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GROUP CHAT: What sentences in Chapter 1 resonate with you or tug at your heart?

Click “Share Your Thoughts” below (or click  here and scroll to the bottom of this post) if you’re reading this via email).

Also, please share one or two on our Confident Heart Facebook Page or on Twitter (@reneesswope) using the hashtag #AConfidentHeart.

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. When God whispered to your heat: You can only see the shadow because you have turned away from the light. Turn back toward the light. That hit me. I need to turn to the light and learn to trust God more and then I will find the self confidence I used to have.

    • This is the exact comment that struck me in chapter 1. To realize that we really are only in the shadow because we’ve turned away from the Light has a whole new meaning in my life now.

      • Donna Hemlow says:

        This also meant oodles to me because the Lord reminded me that bigger than any shadow that He is bigger than any shadow that is cast.

        • That struck me, too. I’m sometimes (too often!) paralyzed by the shadows around me or the ones I imagine coming ahead, and instead, I should be turned toward God, the Light, so I won’t fear the shadows.

          • “You can only see that shadow because you have turned away from the light. Turn back toward the light.” A good friend of mine once told me that God often whispers to us. Sometimes I want God to scream at me so I can be confident that I’ve heard him. I am learning that God does not need to scream when his light can illuminate the world.

        • Phyllis says:

          I’ve written here before saying what a great book study God has found for me! I have read a lot of comments. It is so good to know there are women out there who go through the same stuff I go through. Now I’m totally blind. I’ve mentioned before. i have a computer with a speech program and with the proper keystrokes commands that I do, I’m able to do a lot. the only thing i noticed the chapters are p.d.f. files and my computer only reads word files, however, I’ve still been able to be really involved in this. I’m getting the e-mails every week. I’m hearing the videos. Now something interesting I found out Yesterday, I decided to sign up for the seven day doubt diet and I have found the chapters are read. so this is great. I can now read the chapters. Now being blind. I go through a lot of self doubt and hearing negative voices say I can’t do things and believing the negative voices. I pray a lot and God is really helping me every day. and He was so good to find this book study for me! Renee I love what you say at the top of your web site leading women to live confidently in christ! I love that! i want to live confidently in christ! I’ve never done a book study like this beofe and I’m excited! and I’m glad I can read the book and I’m getting it in my e-mail for free! I’m on a limited pension and I live on my own, so, it’s hard to pay for things! i thank god for you renee every day! thank you! and I’m looking forward to connecnting with you all and hope to make some friends. I don’t have a lot of Christian friends I do have negative people in my life and it’s really heard to deal with I have a mother who every time I tell her about something I want to try, she always starts off her sentences with you can’t do that, but you know, Satan uses other people to make us doubt ourselves. so, like a lot of you, i have quite a battle a lot of times, but God is Good amen!

    • The statment turn back to the light was huge for me. When the fear of _____ gets to be to much and I doubt my actions I have to remeber it is just a shadow. To give my full attention to God and allow him to remove the shadow…

    • I agree… that really hit me to. I sometimes don’t realize how much I am letting doubt be a shadow and keeping me from the truth of His light! This was a good eye opener that I need to be more aware of that.

    • Exactly the quote that hit me as well when I was reading this chapter. I am tired of living in the shadows of my own doubt. Ready to live in the light.

    • I agree as well that was a big eye opener for me as well…I’m excited about looking toward the light and never looking back. 🙂

    • Debbie Butler says:

      Great reminder to lean into Him instead of away from him in times of doubt.

    • This statement goes to the very heart of the issue- I know that for myself, the times when I have not been making time with God a priority in my life is when I struggle the most with self-doubts. So, not only does doubt push out hope, but keeping steeped in God’s Word can push away doubts… I am looking forward to meditating on scriptures I can use to fight against the self-defeatist thought patterns that are a daily struggle.

    • This is exactly what hit me the most as well. I find myself doubting God and I need to remember he is why I am here. He knows what is best for me, my life, my family, ect. Just follow his lead.

  2. That shadow in my bathroom and what God taught me through it completely changed my life because it equipped me to deal with my doubts through by turning towards Jesus in dependence on HIS truth instead of my doubts. So glad it spoke to you!

  3. I’ve heard the phrase “shadow of doubt” a million times, of course, but when you compared it to your actual shadow on the wall and how it distorts things, something clicked! “Just like my shadow on the wall was distorting my shape, my doubt was distorting my thoughts and overpowering my emotions with confusion and questions.” Simple but powerful. Thank you for this revelation!

    • I really like your comment about the “shadow of a doubt”. Living with confidence will not happen if I continue to let that shadow of a doubt whisper that God doesn’t care about my problems or that I will never find peace of mind. I struggle with doubts every day and am praying for God’s help to chase them all away!

    • “shadow of a doubt” really clicked. I have doubted myself all my life, and that big shadow hanging over me brings on alot of negativity and very little confidence in myself as a new christian I am learning to live with more confidence even starting a new job. People dont always realize that I have so little confidence in myself because I hide it by joking or avoid new things, but as I start bringing Christ into my life I have noticed change in my life and a new outlook in all that follows

    • Shelly,

      I really identified with your comment about “a shadow of a doubt” also! The doubts i replay in my mind over and over again, distort the reality of God’s grace and love for us.

  4. I am ready to let God’s word change the way I think, which will determine the way I feel, and eventually transform the way I live! (Romans 12:2) Thank you for this powerful reminder!

    • Me too!! So glad you are reading and studying with us!! God’s going to do a new thing in each of us!! Believing Him big for each of yoU!

    • Me too. I am looking forward to experiencing how I think will lead to a new way to feel and live.

  5. I’m so excited about doing this Bible study again. I did it online with Melissa Taylor this fall and I had done it on my own before that! I feel like I’ve grown so much but still have such a long way to go. I think the thing that’s really jumping out at me this time is how limiting and destructive self-doubt can be. When I trust in God without question I am so strong and sure of myself. But it doesn’t take long for the hiss of the serpent to arrive and make me begin to question the things I thought I was so sure of. So for the third time I’m going to strengthen my self-confidence through the power of God’s Word and this wonderful study and community. I pray that we will all be blessed with God’s love and truth.

    • Diane Vaughn says:

      Sandee, I also did the Confident Heart with Melissa. I loved it. I learned a lot and have felt like I have made a lot of progress. I am looking forwarded to reading the book again and to going through the study. Proverbs 31 has been such a blessing to me.

  6. Rhonda Anderson says:

    The words have to be more than words, but a knowledge of the Living God behind the words. It is the only way they are believable. Take up the cross and follow me. It’s the follow me that is so difficult as we get caught up in the daily grind of “living”. But is the “living” worth it? No, we certainly cannot rely upon ourselves, the confidence, the peace, the joy only comes through Christ. Come fill me Lord Jesus, increase my trust, so that I might be filled with your confidence and be your mighty servant.

  7. Robin Kern says:

    I enjoyed reading the first chapter and like everyone above, I felt convicted with your statement about turning from the shadow and facing the light. Your email really made me stop and think. You listed what you would be giving up for this study. As a working mom, I often use my job as an excuse to put aside time with my God. I know this lack of personal time has a direct effect on my confidence.
    I am very excited to be part of this study! I could not wait Saturday and today for my emails about starting. I cannot wait for what God is going to reveal and change in me through this.

    • “I know this lack of personal time has a direct effect on my confidence.”

      I have been noticing that with myself too. And it breeds a terrible cycle that feels like I can’t get out of. But that is a lie. Only Jesus can pull us out. We just have to give Him the signal to jump in the ring. Def have to presevere and sacrifice, trust and surrender to Him. Thanks for concisely stating and cinfirming one of my issues. I was challenged by Renee being led to cut back. Even in figuring that out, I saw how sad I had become. BUT NOTHING can actually satisfy but Him, so the flesh will have to skirm!

    • As a stay at home mom, I struggled with what I could ‘give up’ since so much of what I do feels very necessary on a daily basis. However, as I look at my day, I know that when my kids both sleep at the same time (which doesn’t happen every day, so it’s a treat) I tend to want ‘me time’ and invariably go to magazines or a tv show. I need to set that time aside for time with God, time to look to the light and be renewed in my spirit to face the challenges of the day.

      • Lydia, I will be praying for you as you are obedient to Him in setting this special time aside for more of HIs presence. I will also pray that your children will spend more time sleeping at the same time in the coming days and weeks! Blessings to you…

  8. Ever since I can remember I’ve been filled with self doubt and it’s worsening as I get older. I instantly related to your feeling fear about speaking in front of a large group… in my past I too have frequently spoken before crowds and would have done anything at the last moment in order to absent myself from doing so. I have also given up many opportunities for advancement because of self-doubt. Your study came to me right at the time in my life when I need it the most. I’m going to pray for all of us that the Lord strengthen you with your teachings and that he renews each of our minds so we are able to see ourselves as God sees us. Thank you.

    • I can relate to you Andrea. I have also been plagued with self-doubt most of my life. And, as with you, it is getting worse as I get older. I no longer enjoy going to places where there will be a lot of people like the mall or even shopping in a grocery store. I have been spending more time at home. I have a home based business that requires talking to people of all kinds, and even speaking in public at times. I have started not going to meetings etc. because I don’t feel like I meet the standards of the people I meet. My business is really suffering, and my family life is starting to be affected too. This study came to me at one of the lowest times in my life. I am praying everyday that I will change into a confident person with a loving heart.

      • I can relate totally. My self-doubt affects every relationship I have. I have a very hard time building lasting relationships. I’m praying that this study transforms me into the confident person God wants me to be.

        • Self doubt also is effecting every relationship that I have. I am in the process of going throuhg a divorce which only seems to magnify my insecurity. What I am finding is that the insecurity has always been there, Ive just been able to mask it with relationships in the past. I think God is calling me to depend on Him alone…but it is so hard!!! Im so excited about this book, Im praying God will use this really get ahold of my heart..

  9. I have really been looking forward to this bible study. I really believe that my walk with the Lord depends on how much trust I place in Him and how much I believe His promisesare for me. What spoke to me the most on this first day was how you said you went beyond believing in Him to really believing Him! That is the deepest desire of my heart, to really believe Him! Thank you Renee for listening to God and leading this bible study for such a time as this!

  10. I am very excited to start the bible study not only with Renee but to do it along side with my sister-n-law, Jodi. We don’t live in the same town but we vowed to keep each other going and encouraged with reading and asking questions to each other! May God bless each one reading and listening to that small still voice & grow a much more Confident Heart & Confident Lady!!

  11. becki driscoll says:

    I was surprised to realize in answering the questions how much of my daily life is plagued with doubt. How I filter the meaning and don’t accept that the scriptues actually apply to me because of the insecure child within me. I will be reminding myself with the scripture, about ‘all things are possible to her who believes,’ this week when my insecure child wants me to procrastinate by reading, wasting time on line or eating something instead of just going forward with the things I need to do in a timely manor.

    • Erna Dueck says:

      I agree. Answering the questions helped me so much to see that I have been buillding on past experiences too much. I realized that I need to believe Gods promises even tho experience wants to put so much doubt in me. Thank you so much for this study. I am very excited about what God is going to do in my life!

    • Becki, I relate to using procrastination as a form of giving in to my self-doubt. I may have a task that needs to be completed, but if I am not confident in my ability to complete it as it should be, I avoid even trying. Sometimes it’s a conscious decision, sometimes a bit more subtle, but it definitely is motivated by an unfounded fear of failing or disappointing. This is one thing that I am hoping to gain control over through Christ and this study, as I know it will bless not only myself but those around me who will benefit from my no longer procrastinating.

  12. As I read chapter1, two sentences jumped out at me. The first sentences that spoke to my heart were from the forward as the author explained how not hearing the words of love and affirmation led to adult insecurities and the second is when the Lord asked her to turn back toward the light. I can relate to the lifelong insecurities. I am anxious to discover how I can overcome my insecurities and fear so I can become the woman I was created to be.

    • I think my insecurities started to take root at any early age, too, since there was not a lot of praise or affection in my (pretty ordinary) family. Then I got into relationships that left me feeling less-than-cherished. I still feel like I have to prove that I “stand out” from others in order for others to value me. Which is pretty irrational, lots of women are ordinary and they have people that are just crazy about them, right? But what I’ve realized from Ch. 1 already is that the source of my insecurity comes from other people…if I would just focus on what God thinks of me, I should feel treasured, etc. So I’m challenged to learn (memorize) God’s word that deals with this, such as Rom 8:28, so that I will remember who should be the source of my feeling valued!

    • Those were the two statements that struck me in a very special way too. It’s great to see and understand why we got to where we are and how we are going to fix it!

    • I am so enjoying reading some of these blogs. It totally helps me rethink the chapter and my feelings about some of the readings. I had not thought to much about the shadow but now I am. How much I have lived in a darkness, partly of my own making. I made wrong choices for so long that even when I began walking with Christ and making right choices I doubted myself. I too need to not listen to others or to my own self talk but to trust who God wants me to be and is transforming me into. The homework was hard because I had to look over my past, yet again and I keep beating myself up. I forget to give myself credit for what God has done in my life.

      • I totally understand what you are saying. I too have doubted myself so much and constantly beat myself up over things I said and done and things I left unsaid and undone. I have questioned myself so much I wasn’t sure if I was distinguishling God’s will, or just hearing my own thoughts. But He has whispered to me “The battle is the Lord’s”, so now when I am fearful and doubting, I pray for the Lord to help me be still and let God fight for me.

    • I have not done the questions yet, but I do know that my childhood environment contributed- and I look forward to working through exactly how that has played a role, moving forward and looking at the light of hope rather than the shadow of the past.

  13. Chaper 1, p. 24 “The God of all hope is calling you out of the shadow of your doubts so you can live with a confident heart! Are you ready to let His Word change the way you think, which will determine the way you feel and eventually tranform the way you live (Romans 12:2)? I say yes, yes yes!

  14. This study is coming at a good time, me leading a Bible Study and also feeling that I’m not smart enough to lead. But the Lord told me that I am smart enough, there are no special ways to lead, lead as the Lord challenges you! That is for me, I have accepted the Lord’s challenge. Isaiah 49:23 says, “Then you will know that I am the Lord. Those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” Doubt and hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time. PTL!

    • The study is coming at a good time for me too…I was abandoned by my husband a couple of years ago and am only now starting to date and am TERRIFIED…of eventually being rejected. To the point where I am nervous around this man that I really really like and am afraid I’m going to scare him off. He’s a Christian too. So Ch. 1 has helped me to realize, if God didn’t mean for us to be put together, it wouldn’t be happening…and God values me and “has plans to prosper me and not harm me”, so…I should CHILL already! I want to disarm doubt and claim hope!

      • Suzanne, amen! One of the things God is teaching me over the past 6 months is to trust Him to write my love story. He has the perfect plan for us both girlfriend!

      • At least you are dating. I have not been asked out in longer than I care to think about. I fear online dating (or no one choosing me even online). Which of course all this only adds to my insecurity and feelings of not being enough. There is so much that I need to keep out of because it is Gods business not mine. Even if this is not Mr Right there is a purpose for the relationship. I know this even the bad relationships I have been in have been learning experiences for me.

  15. Oh my I feel a lot lighter from do this lesson, it made me feel better afterwards and now I know what I have to do to stop doubting myself. It shed a lot of light and I answered my questions whole heartily. I look forward for when my book arrives and I could fully read it. Thank you.

  16. Tonya Ellison says:

    There are two sentences that stuck out to me in chapter 1; “Doubt and hope can not live in our hearts at the same time:, and “When we pray God’s will we pray God’s word”. The second of those two sentences is something that has been on my heart a lot over the past few months, I plan on praying God’s promises daily, I know that the only way to have doubt removed and hope and confidence grow is to pray His promises.

    • The exact two sentences stood out for me also. Loud and clear!! I need to pray God’s word and promises more. They do make my heart so much lighter. I did like the idea that when we speak them out loud and hear them, the Holy Spirit engraves them on our herts and writes them in our thoughts. : )

    • That was profound- we cannot serve two masters and we cannot have both hope and doubt (fear) existing in our hearts. I swear the light got brighter when I read that and the shadow shrunk a little!

  17. I have been in and out of self-doubt for as long as I remember. I am praying God will use this book to bring me to a place of no self-doubt. A couple of things spoke to me in Chapter 1. “When I choose to dwell in the assurance of Whose I am and who I am in Him, I have a confident heart.” “Self-doubt blocks the promise of God’s power and truth to change us from the inside out so that we can live with a confident heart.” and lastly, “Doubt and hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time.”

    • Those last two you mentioned struck a chord with me as well, especially that doubt and hope cannot be in our hearts simultaneously. What a simple way to explain the link between self-doubt and depression/anxiety… we cannot grasp for hope when we are pushing it out of our hearts!

  18. Charlotte Lennartz says:

    The part of the chapter on Listening to Doubt’s Whisper’s really resonated with me. It is exactly where I am right now – paralyzed by insecurity! I am so glad I decided to start this study. I have always been a confident woman until the last few years and now it has all changed. I say I am a child of God but am I really giving myself to Him 100%. Thanks for giving me a safe place to regain my confidence by getting closer to my God.

  19. It is so true how we often ask God the same thing over and over. When Renee is talking about asking God, once again, to take away her doubt, hit me that I do that all the time. The amazing thing is God knows our needs before we even ask of Him. Instead of getting frustrated, He keeps on loving me despite my doubt and fears. It is my desire to get to the point where I don’t just believe in God’s Word, but REALLLY believe and live it.

  20. Carrie swearingen says:

    Several things struck me while reading chapter 1. When you said when I choose to dwell in the assurance of whose I am and who I am in him, I have a confident heart. Knowing that god chose me and that he has a purpose for me helps me to stay confident and put my trust in him.

    We need to focus on god’s will for our lives and not our own.

  21. Oh girlfriends!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I love reading them and seeing how God is speaking to each of you and overlapping our lives. Keep on sharing. You mean the world to me and to Jesus. I”m so excited we’re in this together. We’re gonna have so sweet sister bonds and memories and life stories to share throughout this journey. Gonna go bathe a baby girl and then come back with my video message for you!

    • Renee, I love how real you are…thank you for answering the call to be a leader and friend to those of us whom you have never even met.

  22. Diane Stevens says:

    After reading the 1st sentence in the forward, I wrote in my notebook that I grew up with a loving family, yet still struggled with insecurity. Part of that was because I’m an introvert, but then I read these sentences from the book: “Why do we look to things of this world to give us security, self-confidence, and fulfillment? I think it’s because the message that worldly things can fulfill us is all around us.” Bingo! Not only do we look to the world for fulfillment, but the world gives us a “perfect” image of what we should be: thin, tan, fun, funny, gorgeous, well-dressed, and on and on and on.

    • Totally agree with you 🙂

    • Totally agree. Instead of looking to see ourselves as God sees us, we look to see how the world sees us.

      • Anne-Marie says:

        This was the verse that hit home for me too. I have always been one to care what others think or think. I am also a pleaser and want to make sure I don’t upset others. This leads me to doubting myself and carrying “shadows.”

      • So many times, too, it’s not the world telling us we aren’t good enough, but us thinking it’s the world telling us. It is, in fact, our doubt in ourselves that beats us up more than anything. If we can truly believe how loved we are by our God and how accepted we are by Him; If we can love ourselves and accept ourselves this way, that weight of the world truly lightens up. MOST of this “world” we refer to is just like us, the same insecurities and the same doubts and the same needs. May you all truly feel this love and acceptance.

    • That is so true, yet it is difficult for us to not live by those standards. I am trying daily to live by God’s standard and not the world’s standards and expectations.

  23. What stood out to me was “God declares things can change!” and the scriptures that followed. It reminds me that not only does God promise us good things, He also delivers on those promises! They’re not just empty words.

  24. I really enjoyed reading Chapter 1 and going back to the Word of God. I believe in my spirit God is already blessing us and making changes deep down in our hearts and souls.

  25. Marie Roberts says:

    The part in the forward about not having the daddy to swing me around and tell me how beautiful and special I am really hit home for me. That hurt not only because I didn’t have it growing up, but because my girls didn’t have it either. I now know better than to try to fill it the wrong way, but I find myself simply changing what I try to fill the hole with. As a new Christian 10 years ago, I quickly gave up some “obvious” wrong ways, but God is revealing some “not so obvious” wrong ways that I am still using to try to fill the void that is only meant for Him. God is really speaking to me through Romans 12:2 and Jeremiah 17:7-8 today. I want to confess that I am struggling to believe that God really wants happiness for me. Isn’t that awful? I don’t feel that I deserve it, so surely God won’t bless with me with the desires of my heart like time for my family, a job I enjoy, a thriving ministry. I am staring into the shadow instead of into His love.

    • The same part of the forward about Daddy swinging you around and telling you how special you are also hit home with me. I also did not have a Daddy to tell me how special I was. Instead I was told I was good for nothing, as sad as that is, I know now that my father also was told the same thing and he wasn’t able to say how special I was to him. I have learned to keep my eyes on Jesus, and through forgiving my father I do not look at that shadow any longer. Yet, I seem to hear those words echoed each day and it erodes my confidence and hope for my future. I am prayerfully asking for the Lord to heal those painful memories and show me how special I am to Him.

      Thank you Renee for writing this wonderful book, and sharing your blessings with us.

      • Amen! I didnt realize until several months ago that we relate our relationships with our father (or husband or both) to our relationship with God. It skews our perception. For me, I realized that my perfectionist, over-achieving and beat myself up for not doing “good enough” came from those two relationships. (For example, getting the B instead of the A or getting an A- instead of a A+, or picking up dinner and having it thrown across the counter at you because mayo is on it because you forgot to check it before you left the restaurant) I was and still do to some extent try to make myself lovable to God.

        • I felt I needed to share this: Romans 12:2 (NIV)

          “Do not change yourselves to be like the people of this world, but be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.”

          We all are who we are and we are loved this way! We need the confident heart to help us realize this when dinner is being thrown across the counter at us, instead of receiving a Thank You. May God give us the strength to say a prayer for the one who acts in anger, instead of reacting to them. We can’t change them, but God can. Say the prayer and trust God is at work!

        • Sherry,
          I can relate. A good friend once told me, “God gave us free will and the choice to choose whether or not to believe in Him and accept the gift of Christ. Likewise, He does not want us to be in a relationship where we have no free will, a relationship of abuse and power and control dominating over us.” That advice helped me accept that abuse is a deal breaker and to start to have the confidence that God wants more for me and for my daughters.

  26. As a fairly new believer I have more doubts about myself now than I did before. My doubts stem from watching other Christian women and comparing myself to them. I can’t pray as well; don’t know the bible as well. These insecurities have stopped me from witnessing. Doubt is constantly with me, will I ever be a good Christian? Reading the first chapter of this book, has started me on a road of confidence with the knowledge that God chose me. He has a plan for me.

    • This is one of my great struggles as well. You are right though, God has a plan for you, and me and He can use us right where we’re at. We just have to keep in touch with Him.

      • Barbara-I go back and forth with these feelings too. I pray from my heart and would love that confidence of leading prayer but I think I’ve come to realize my strength isn’t necessarily to be a speaker, praying out loud or teaching what I learn from the bible but living it and being an example. I’m sure Gods plans are much bigger for me as I’m sure they are for you!

    • “See, I am doing a new thing” Isa 43:19. This spoke to me as a fairly new Christian also. We all have to start somewhere and it is our own journey. I look for the new things that God wants me to know each day and it is so exciting. Each morning I ask,,,,,what does God have for me today. What miracle is He revealing to me today!! I do sometimes struggle with the confidence around more mature Christians but know that my confidence is in Him. And someday, when God is ready, I will be able to nurture a new Christian myself.: )

    • Always remember: There is no wrong way to pray and the Bible takes time to know. Just like learning anything else – how to type properly on a keyboard, learning a new language. It takes time and effort. Be thankful God has allowed us to realize how important it is. It is a blessing to have been given God’s grace – to be where we are today, even if this Bible Study is the first thing you have done as a Christian!! Baby steps is where we all start.

      I was part of another Bible study and one of the members talked about how she could read the same verse she read a year ago and how different the meaning was. God is always translating his word to you in His time.

  27. When I got Renee’s email this summer announcing her book I heard God saying to me very loudly “you need to read this book”. At the time I was looking for a teaching position because my youngest was entering kindergarten and it was time for me to go back to work. I love teaching and I love being a Mommy but I was being a Mommy for the past 7 years and was doubting my ability as a teacher. I did get a job and I am loving being back in the classroom. When I saw you were doing a bible study on the book I was excited once again because with work and family I have not had time for a bible study and a regular time with God. I am looking forward to this time with you and a book I adore.

    Chapter 1 spoke to me but something that stuck with me was self doubt blocks the promise of God’s power and I think it even blocks our relationship with him. It can also hinder us from living with a confident heart. God believes in us and what we can do. We need to believe in him and ourself to have that confident heart. We need to hand over our doubts about ourselves so we can change from the inside out as stated in the book.

  28. I think the words you wrote on page 18 “Over the past few years, I’ve found lasting confidence by living daily in the security of God’s promises. He’s led me beyond believing ‘in Him’ to really ‘believing Him’ by relying on the power of His words and living like they are true no matter what may fellings tell me.” really resonated with me. It is the refusing to believe the words/thoughts that I hear when I have insecurities and replacing them with God’s truth that makes all the difference in the world for me. Also, I really appreciate how you end the lessons with praying God’s Words – how very powerful! I want to line up with His plan for my life and praying His Words keeps me centered on Him.

    Love the book – this is my second time through it!

    Kathy

  29. I agree with most of the others on here. The image you used of the shadow of the wall just made it tangible. You hear about how doubt can make you believe things that aren’t true but having that mental picture makes it more real. I have to remember daily to turn toward the light!!!

    • I have also been really looking forward to participating in this study – all the way from Australia! Have been a Proverbs31 fan for a few years now. Visual images are a great tool for me, so this one is going to be an amazing help. Thanks so much Renee. I too will be remembering to turn toward the light!!

  30. Karen O'Ha says:

    Renee, you’ve given us much to think on. So much of chapter 1 hit me. “God doesn’t want us stuck in a cycle of defeat or living in the shadows of doubt. He reminds us in Isaiah 49:23, “Then you will know that I am the LORD. Those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” Yet, doubt and hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time. As God’s girls, we need to know and believe that change is possible.”

    I’m also doing the Made to Crave study. Much of what you say can be applied to this study, too. Thanks Renee.

  31. To be honest, I wasn’t so sure how I was going to like this book. It’s not a book that I would typically choose to read. However, after reading the first chapter I see why God has put me in this study with you ladies. I’ve come to the realization that it is possible to be confident…in yourself…or in your abilities, etc. I believe that I am going to have a journey of digging deep to see where my confidence comes from, and learning to shift from myself over to God. I certainly need more God-confidence and less me-confidence.

    • Marie Roberts says:

      That’s where I am, Sue. I have believed in my toughness, independence, intelligence, etc. even while knowing Jesus as my Savior. However, God is allowing me to fall apart in some ways so that I can shift as you said from being confident in me to being confident in Him. One benefit of this is that ‘m finding myself easier on others as He has begun this new stage with me. I am finding myself less judgmental as God allows me to crumble and be built back up. It’s amazing that 10 years as a committed believer and I still have so much of God’s true character and heart to know.

    • Thank you for sharing. I too want to become more God confident.

  32. Page 24 “We’ll do the most important thing first: spend time digging deep into the heart and character of God so we can learn to depend on His heart toward us.” That just makes me close my eyes, grab onto hope and say “Thank you, Jesus!!” <3

  33. This part really hit me: “Maybe you’ve asked God to take away your insecurites & give you a more confident personality, yet you’re still waiting. Perhaps you’re good at hiding your doubts and no one but you knows the paralyzing power they have. ” This definitely describes me. I think most people would see me as a confident trusting Christian, but if they only knew! I am 55 yrs old and so tired of being this way. Thank you Lord, for sending me this Bible study. And thank you Renee

  34. Doubt also robbed me.. This is so true for me whenever I think about doing something doubt will jump in and tell me in millions of ways not to do it. And then I will listen. I am so ready to put that doubt behind me and be the confident women of God I know that I can be.. Thank you for doing this study so I can read your book again and reading in a different way…

  35. I knew I needed to read this book when I heard about it. And I knew I needed to do the online study to keep me accountable and help me stay committed to seeing it through to the end. I am not sure exactly what caused my lack of confidence in myself but hoping that through this book I can get to the root of the problem so that I can heal. Something that stood out to me and tugged at my heart was in the prayer at the end of Ch. 1: “When self-doubt tells me I can’t overcome my insecurities, I will believe Your promise that all things are possible to whoever believes.” I’ve read this verse probably a hundred times and I have not yet truly believed it. But I recognize that and know that it’s something I need to work on!

    Looking forward to going on this journey with you wonderful ladies!!

  36. Susan Lane says:

    The part of Chapter 1 stating……”the voices of insecurity that cast shadows of doubt over our perspective and keep us from becoming the women we want to be-the women God created us to be.” So true. I’m ready to have a confident heart and I’m looking forward to this book/online study. Thanks Renee.

  37. The statement from the first chapter that really struck me was, “You can only see the shadow because you have turned away from the Light”. Insecurity, doubt, fear of rejection and failure have plagued me since I was a little girl. Living in this shadow of doubt has caused me to seek acceptance and my self worth in compromising relationships, perfectionism, an eating disorder, a need to control, my performance in school and now in my job, religion…all of which fill me for a time but in the end leave me feeling even more inadequate. The one experience that has really rocked my self-worth was when my 1st husband rejected me for another relationship…it was my worst fear come to reality. Now re-married with two step children I find myself frequently staring at that shadow of doubt wondering if I can be a good enough wife this time and a good enough step-mother. I have been a Christian for a long time but have never fully learned how to live in the power of the Spirit and walk daily in His Truth and Promises. I’m tired of throwing away my confidence and letting Satan’s fear paralyze me and keep me from the will of God. I am tired of living from an insecure heart…I have always desired a Bold, Confident heart. Doubt and Hope, Fear and Faith cannot live in my heart at the same time. Today, I choose to begin to think, speak, pray, live, and rely on the power and confidence of who I am in CHRIST!

  38. I have always been severely lacking in self-confidence… those doubt whispers have taken me down so many times. I love this from chapter 1… “You can only see the shadow because you’ve turned away from the light. Turn back toward the light.” That’s so true. As soon as we buy into those whispers of doubt we’ve turned away from the light. And from the power it gives us to be confident… not in ourselves, but in HIM. Such great perspective Renee.

    PS Our bible study group starts your book together this Wednesday night! What great timing doing this with them and with you online!

  39. I have to agree with the prior posts. The part about the shadow really made me think about the power that we put into our doubt, and how large we make the doubt. Also the part regarding your father hit home to me in so many ways. I did not have that father either – instead it was a father who yelled and didn’t form any bond with me. I still do not have a relationship with him to this day.

  40. Page 22 Listening to doubts whispers- This statement really struck me “self-doubt blocks the promise of God’s power and truth to change us from the inside out so that we can live with a confident heart” I wrote in the margins: “pray-God change me from the inside out” this is the place where real change must take place and it must be a change that God does!

  41. Pg. 20, par. 5: “I questioned if I was good enough…, so I avoided some great opportunities because they brought the risk of rejection.”

    This has happens to me time and time again. I end up feeling angry a myself after-the-fact and even make a pact to never let it happen again. However, when opportunity comes knocking again, I’m right back at square one, questioning my abilities and eventually passing up another great opportunity

  42. -But, I’ve found that when I choose to dwell in the assurance of Whose I am and who I am in Him, I HAVE A CONFIDENT HEART. page 24
    -We will find our heart’s confidence in Christ as we learn how to rely on the power of His promises in our everyday lives.page 25
    -As Gods’s girls , we need to know and believe that change IS POSSIBLE. page 23
    “all things are posible to her who believes” Mark 9:23 page 23
    The unknown is too scary. Althought you’ve been miserable, at least the misery is FAMILIAR where you are now. page 21

    Praying God’s Promisses: every single word is beautiful to my heart. Amen

    • I love all these quotes!! I have found hope for change as I have dwelled in the place of God’s endless grace and all-consuming love. For the first time, I have found rest in the belief that He is enough.

      My favorite part of this chapter is Renee’s vulnerability in sharing her innermost thoughts and struggles–because I can totally relate to wanting to do the safe and familiar thing instead of the thing burning inside of me that God has gifted me to do!! I look forward to stepping out in confidence…

  43. On page 20 the first thing that caught my attention was the “What if….? I am always asking God that!
    So, I would never commit to much. I grew up in a very bad family life. We were told we (my siblings & I) were good for nothing. So I have never felt good about myself or could do anything right or was good enough for anyone…even God! This chapter said everything I have been living with for my 51 years. I am a believer. I believe I am a child of God. It is hard for me to really hard for me to believe in my heart God loves me! Thanks again for this study! This is going to be hard journey, but, with the help of God my Father I can do it, right?

  44. The things that stuck out for me the most were, “Turn back toward the light”, “Self doubt blocks the promise of God’s power and truth to change us from the inside out so that we can live with a confident heart”, “He led me beyond believeing in Him to really believing Him by relying on the power of his words & living like they are true no matter what my feelings tell me”. That’s big for me! I also want to learn to pray God’s Word better. Thank you so much for this book! I can’t wait to see what’s ahead!

  45. pg 23 – Isaiah 49:23 “Then you will know that I am the Lord. Those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”

    Isn’t it amazing how little He asks of us, and how much we ask of Him??

  46. “He’s led me beyond believing in Him to really believing him by relying on the power of his words and living like they are true no matter what my feelings tell me”. The last several months I have been challenged to really believe the word of God. When I talk to others I say that the bible is either true or it is not- you either believe what it says or you don’t. You can’t pick which part you think is truth and which part you think may not be. It’s all the truth or it is all a lie. I have chose to believe it is the truth and if God said it then it can happen- no matter how big it seems to us. When he says, “nothing is impossible” he meant nothing. He speaks truth and only truth. We just have to believe it!
    Thank you Renee!

  47. Michelle Rupprecht says:

    The sentence that hit me was In the shadow of doubt, insecurity paralyzes us with statements like: I can’t do this, things will never change, my life isn’t going to get better and I will never have the confidence I need. These sayings are constantly running through my head.

  48. Michelle Rupprecht says:

    The sentence that hit me was In the shadow of doubt, insecurity paralyzes us with statements like: I can’t do this, things will never change, my life isn’t going to get better and I will never have the confidence I need. These sayings are constantly running through my head. I do like how it is interpreted into shadows to keep us from becoming who we need to be.

  49. Isa 49:23 ans Jeremiah 17:7 both spoke to me because both of them mention HOPE. At times my confidence is so small that I cannot even HOPE. I am so glad to be doing this study and plan to recite those two passages along with the prayer daily, sometimes hourly, this week.

  50. After reading Chapter 1, I was reassured to know that I am not the only one who has doubts and fears. The fact that they whisper to me in my own voice makes it easy to feel like it is, indeed, an ingrained part of me and will therefore determine my destiny. I agree that not having a father to affirm those needs and replace feelings of inadequacy have made my adult life and thinking patterns broken. Praise God, He is my Father and the author and finisher of my faith. I don’t have to believe the lies that I tell myself, but getting to that point is going to be a journey and I am so thankful that God has given Renee this message. I can already tell that it is going to be powerful and life-changing! I was really touched by the statement that I need to move from believing in Him to believing Him. It’s amazing how taking that little preposition out reiterates our “position” and relationship with our God! Lastly, I loved the verse of scripture from Isaiah 49:23, and, upon reflection, it caused me to think about the “appointments” that God has in store for my life versus my own ideas of being appointed. If I rely on Him to appoint me, I will be fulfilling His call and be perfected and complete; on the other hand, if I follow my own will and way, I will be DISappointed. Pun intended!

  51. Hi there – thanks so much for Chapter 1 – it was me down to a tee!! I’m now on the journey from believing in Him to Believing Him. I live in New Zealand and am unable to purchase the book from here until February (I’ve ordered it) but I look forward to doing the study be it a few weeks behind the rest of you!

  52. Doubt frequently whispers to me, despite my faith, despite my intelligence, despite all common sense, so many times the shadows take over and overcome the light of God. I pray that this book and bible study helps me to always reach for the light.

  53. The sentence that resonates with me is, “He’s led me beyond believing in Him to really believing Him by relying on the power of His words and living like they are true no matter what my feelings tell me.” Two job losses and spending too long in a bad relationship have left me with little self confidence. On one hand, perhaps God has taken my self confidence from me so that I can depend on His confidence and not mine (as Jeremiah 17:7 says). On the other hand, my lack of confidence often leads me to believe that God’s promises don’t apply to me. I turn the promises around in my mind to justify this thinking: I’m often disappointed, so I must not be one of the ones who hopes in him. I don’t see God working for good in my life, so I must not be called. Etc. I don’t think this way all the time, but I’m certainly ready to put the doubt behind me and live in God’s confidence.

    • Charlotte Lennartz says:

      Claudia – You are right where I am – 2 job losses – This study will help both of us – God will do good work in our lives!

    • This is the sentence that ‘hit’ me too…’He’s led me beyond believing IN Him to really believing HIM by relying on the power of His words and living like they are true no matter what my feelings tell me.’
      Our feelings will come and go, moan and groan…but our GOD NEVER changes!
      I think I’ve always had this ‘abnormal’ fear of God…not a godly fear…therefore I believed the judgements but I couldn’t bring myself to believe that the promises were a part of this too. I find it waaaaaay to easy to see the ‘negatives’ in life…my life…it’s only been over the last year that I’ve realized how merciful our great God is. However, I still REALLY struggle with this…which is why when I read about this Bible study it sounded just like something I needed…I thank our God for you Renee!

  54. Wendy West says:

    I want to start with a thank you, for sharing such an inspiring book and online study to go along with it. Just the title of the book is an encouragement. I hope to come away with insights I’ve never had before and to be a strong woman of God. I’ve always lacked self confidence and have never had the courage to do much. I am hoping to build myself up with the help of your book and Gods will to become the person God has for my life.

    “When self-doubt tells me I can’t overcome my insecurities, I will believe Your promise that all things are possible to whoever believes”.

    That is a powerful statement. I need His reassurance daily. I seek him more now than I ever have in my whole life. I realized at 47 yrs of age that I need Him more than anything, things or person of this world. He has become first in my life.

  55. Hi, I guess the one thing that really spoke to me the most was that one about only seeing the shadow, because you turned away from the light. I have to keep focused on the Lord at all times. The scripture I picked was Is.49:23 “Those who hope in me will never be disappointed.”

    • It is so easy to constantly turn from the Light and be confused by huge, dark, confusing shadows of doubt. God’s probably whispering, “Turn back to the Light my sweet daughter!” Yet I find myself floundering in darkness and forgetting how logical it would be to just turn to the Light!

  56. I tried to pick one part that spoke to me. But my message was more broad. Rejection, insecurity, doubt, disappointment and abandonment – all themes discussed in this first chapter and they pull at every heart string I have. I hear voices telling me that there is something wrong with me at the core of who I am and that it will never get better.

    But what I heard in the chapter tonight is that He can and WILL deal with all of those feelings. (paraphrased a bit) ” Those who hope in ME will NOT be disappointed … His Word will change the way I think, which will determine the way I feel and eventually transform the way I live”. So there is hope and there is another way to be. I have been putting my hope and my trust in the wrong places. It needs to be with God and he will lead me to the right paths. As the prayer said, (put in first person) “I will persevere so that when I have done the will of God, I will receive what he has promised.”. What an uplifting and inspiring start. So long since I’ve had hope that it could be different.

  57. The first major thing that struck me was Renee talking about the way we stay past the time we should stay in something, because we know our current misery well but are terrified to venture into unfamiliar territory, even if it would be beneficial. I’ve been staying in a very toxic, miserable job for almost 12 years. While I’ve been earning my bachelor’s degree & graduate degree online, and have done some job searching, I often find myself doubting it will ever happen. I wonder, with the opposite of confidence, whether I’ll ever be able to find something new. I have doubts creep up telling me I picked the wrong majors and will have incurred school debt and long hours for naught. I lack confidence that if I do find something new it will pay enough or be satisfying. I feel doubtful more than confident and terrified I’ll be jumping out of the frying pan into a worse fire. I find myself in turmoil and confusion, not knowing where to turn next. I wonder if paths I’ve chosen were paths Satan urged me to take, or my selfish flesh urged me to take. I question whether I’m following God’s will or making a horribly wrong turn! How can I have hope when all these doubts fill my mind and heart? I do derive comfort from Isaiah 43:19 but then wonder if I’m getting in the way.

    • You may also find comfort in Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” To me that means that even though I have taken the wrong path, God will use it for His good works. We just need to turn towards the light and let go of our doubts. I am praying that this will lead me there also.

  58. Two thoughts stuck with me. “Perhaps you are good at hiding your doubts and no one but you know the paralyzing power they have on your life.” Wow….so true for me. I hide my feelings from most of the people in my life, and yes doubt has a paralyzing power!

    “As God’s girls we need to know and believe that change is possible. We need to hope that life can be different.” Doubt and insecurity have often convinced me that things in my life will never change or get better. I so needed to hear those words.

    Jeremiah 17:7

    So excited to hear and learn more of what God wants me to learn.

  59. The part of chapter one that was particularly meaningful to me was “Yet, doubt and hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time. . . We need to hope that life can be different. Otherwise, doubt will win every time and our hearts will be eroded by attitudes and emotions of defeat–but it is not supposed to be this way.”

    It can be all too easy to fall into a pattern of hopelessness and defeat, and I need to constantly remind myself that God did not create me to live like that.

  60. Sandy Segur says:

    All the witnessing – how blessed we are – God working through you Renee, reaching out to all of us. Pg. 24 – Looking for a friend you can trust with the things of your heart – my whole life (64 years) – Here I am LORD, It is I LORD looking for a confident heart.

  61. “Self-doubt blocks the promise of God’s power and truth to change us from the inside out so that we can live with a confident heart.” (page 22) I’m practicing blocking the self-doubt instead of God’s promises. ALSO, praying God’s Word is LIFE CHANGING!
    Thank you, Renee. Love and Prayers.

  62. Linda Wade says:

    The statement in Chapter One that was life-changing for me is that I want to move “beyond believing IN Him to really BELIEVING Him by relying on the power of His Words and living like they are true no matter what my feelings tell me.” I have no doubts that I am a Christian. I have believed in him. But I have not been living like I BELIEVE Him. I am going to claim His promises for my life and not let my feelings or my circumstances control my self-confidence and joy in the Lord!

  63. if we totally depend on God to work in our lives, doubt would not have taken up so much space,but has we read when we turn away from the Light we are faced with the shadow of doubts.
    Only God can give true confidence.

  64. Shontavia says:

    The sentences that stood out to me was “my doubt was distorting my thoughts and overpowering my emotions with confusion and questions. The shadow of doubt had become bigger that what I doubted–myself”.

  65. “I mean if God calls you to something shouldn’t you feel confident about it? Shouldn’t you want to do it? Shouldn’t self-assurance be a part of God’s equipping?” I’ve answered yes to all of these questions and steered clear of God’s direction too many times. I sense God using this study to get me to trust His spirit like I never have before. I’m so tired of doubt, and of going through the motions. I want to “rely on the power of His words.”

  66. “… doubt and hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time.” This is what sticks out to me, because I feel one can have hope about some things and doubt about others. I am eager to learn more about what this statement means.

    The unknown is scare and the miserable too familiar but familiar is comfortable – how true.

    “If God calls you to do something, shouldn’t you feel confident about it?” This would seem to be the natural conclusion of the if/then statement, wouldn’t it? Therefore, is the doubt in the ability or the calling?

  67. I think for me the part that really resonated with my heart was the statement that “God declares things can change” and the scripture references that followed it. I had to stop at that point and really allow these verses to sink deep into my heart. I have written each of these verses down, and am going to continue to meditate on them for the next couple of days to really try and allow these truths to become real in my heart.

  68. I always feel like I fail at everything I do. The sentence about praying to become a mother and then doubting that I am a good mom was so true for me. I am glad I am not alone in those feelings.

  69. “He’s led me beyond believing in Him to believing Him by relying on the power of His words and living like they are true.”
    This is a concept I struggle with, but when I read that something clicked and I get that even Satan believes in God, I need to believe what he says and stop believing my emotions.
    Also,the doubt and hope can’t live in our hearts at the same time. That’s pretty powerful, I have to let one go…obviously.

  70. I have struggled with self doubt for as long as I can remember, and I’ve prayed asking Him to help me in this area of my life. When I received an e-mail from P31 Ministries announcing this study, and I couldn’t help but smile! I caught Him answering my prayer! 😉 Jeremiah 17:7 and Hebrews 10:35-36 really spoke to me today! I’m so excited to begin this study, and I look forward to embracing His truths! I pray for Renee as she leads us during the following weeks. May God bless her and give her wisdom and confidence each day as she ministers to us. And I pray for each of us participating in this study, that we may be open to what is presented and receive God’s truths; believing that He wants us to live with confidence!

  71. The whole Table of Contents is speaking to me, to be honest! But two things really stood out. First, as others have mentioned, is what Renee says about the lies that the world tells us: “If only I had____,I’d be so secure and fulfilled.” Even though I KNOW this is a lie, and that “the reality is, every single thing the world offers is temporary,” I fall into this trap so easily. I am a reluctant military wife and I have struggled with the long separations that come with military life. I often think “If only he were here…” “If only he could be fulfilled another way…” Even knowing they are lies doesn’t make those tapes go away! Which leads me to the second thing that really stood out, which is the distinction between believing IN God and believing God–similarly, believing “in” what the scripture says about marriage and trials and truly BELIEVING what it means and that it applies in all situations. One small word makes a big difference!

  72. “We can be confident we are praying God’s will when we pray God’s Word”…pg.25 “When we pray God’s words out loud, and hear them, the Holy Spirit engraves them on our hearts and writes them on our thoughts.”

    Amen. This isn’t something we should pass over without grasping onto power of what it can do for us.

  73. I’m terrified, daily. I work with two ladies who constantly put me down and criticize the way I do things. I’m not stupid and have run an entire department once with fluid know-how. Now at this job, their comments have become prophetic as my anxiety rises from being disliked/taunted and demeaned in front of other coworkers, I can’t seem to think clearly to do my job. It will be a hard journey to drown out their words and embrace/replace them with the Words of God.

    • Becca, I am so sorry you are going through such a hard time with your co-workers. I will pray for you. Hang in there!

    • Charlotte Lennartz says:

      I will keep you in my prayers Becca – I have been right where you are and know exactly how you feel.

    • Im praying for you Becca. I”m so glad you are here and God knew it was just what you needed. I have a feeling those co-workers might be jealous and threatened by you. That is no way for a person to act so it doesn’t reflect your inadequacy but their not-so-nice hearts.

      Remember Jesus was falsely accused and so mistreated. You can live in the power of HIS love as you remember you are not alone. He understands and HE is with you. Do what HE did and focus on the Father’s love. Claim and pray the promises all throughout chapter One.

      Tomorrow we have a free download to print and put up all around us. Also, chapter 12 has a whole chart full of truth to copy and take with you. Keep HIS word ever and always with you. Just keep speaking truth to your heart and drown out their accusations.

    • I’ve said a prayer for you as well as your two co-workers. Just know you’ve got a pretty big support group here!!!

    • Like the others, I already submitted a prayer for you. My mother is going through the same thing presently, so I have a short Psalm for you – Psalm 64. It is “on the money!” Know God is a God who SEES! In due time you will see Him work things out for your good.

  74. Cathy Carucci says:

    What stood out to me was how fear and doubt paralyzes us and stops us from being all that God is calling us to be. “Self-doubt blocks the promise of God’s power and truth to change us from the inside out so that we can live with a confident heart.” pg22

    God is about to do a “new thing” in each and everyone of us through this study. I can sense it in my spirit. We need to stop listening to the lies and start believing God’s promises for our lives. We are loved, so loved by our God. He is calling us unto Himself. We are His Beloved, and He’s calling us to come away with Him and discover the fullness, and depth of His love. That’s where we will find our confidence…in the revelation and encounter of His love. I love you all and I’m happy to be on this journey with you!!

  75. Fran Bruno says:

    …..as with all the comments shared…I must say…”I am not alone”…..and ever so thankful to be apart of such a group of so many special women who desire to be closer to our Lord Jesus!
    Onward to turning to Him… ” the light of the world”.

  76. It was easy for me to identify with all the insecurites from the beginning. I was adopted and found out when I was nine, I couldn’t understand how anyone could abandon a little girl and carrying on with their own life. I felt hurt, heartache, isolated, alone, deserted, and confused. At the same time there has always been a Savior there to help me sort things out and believe in him. However, I have found myself at time wonder if he REALLY love Me. It’s just plain ole me, nothing special, no one knows if I am around and won’t know when I leave. How could God care so much for me. I should be proud of whom he is and that I belong to him but yet and still he has to continue to conveince me. I am looking so forward to truly believing and finding the one and only friend that is there for me regardless. That is something I don’t have right now. Thanks Renee for talking the lead on this one. God Bless

    • Cathy Carucci says:

      Kristie, I like you have suffered with the insecurites that come from “rejection” in childhood. My parents divorced when I was five and my mother gave me up in exchange for the house. I did not grow up with her and it’s been 34yrs since I’ve seen her. I can feel and understand your pain. Kristie, don’t ever doubt God’s love for you. You are so worthy of His love. Your circumstances can never separate you from His love. ” Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39
      You are so special to Him. I pray that you will grow in a deeper revelation of Christ love. Seek Him, and find your confidence in Him. Also, remember you are NOT alone. I pray that through this study God will connect you with friendships that will help and encourage you in your journey.

      • Thank you so much for you wonderful words of encouragement. As I was reading back over this I felt ashamed of the way I feel. God supplied me with wonderful parents and very loving extended family. I have three children of my own and grandchildren that I probably suffocate from fear of losing them. My mom passed away when I was 33 and my dad when I was 39, even at that age and being grown didn’t keep me from feeling like a little orphan girl. I still go through periods of waking up in this pantic of them not being here with me. I struggle with loss and fear of being alone. So, thank you again for your sweet words. I do pray this study helps me to realize I will never be alone, and learn to face my fears with the confidence God has instilled within me. I just have to figure out how to tap into that confidence.

  77. Pg. 23 – ” God doesn’t want us stuck in a cycle of defeat or living in the shadows of doubt.” I spent the last two years going through a divorce where I have ended up a single mom of three children who just turned 7, 4, & 2. I have grown so much during this difficult time & am still on a journey to find out my true value & worth. This sentence stuck out to me because I am learning to make decisions on my own and to stick by those decisions. I am learning how to talk to God more & more and trust what He leads me to do. Since I don’t have a spouse to pray and discuss my decisions with, I doubt myself. I want to learn how to be solely dependent on God and to trust what he tells me and leads me to do.

  78. Thank you so much Renee, for leading all of us towards accepting God’s plan for us to be confident women!

    Page 24 was the stand out for me, full of good stuff.

    o “Some days I do better than others and you will too.” — Reassurance!

    o “Are you ready to let his Word change the way you think, which will determine the way you feel and eventually transform the way you live (Romans 12:2)?”
    [Romans 12:2b is → “let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” Need to say this one over and over and over!]

    o “relying on the power of his words and living like they are true no matter what my feelings tell me.”

    I have hopes (scary hopes), that I will let God transform me.

  79. To trust him for my justice from all that has wronged me….Salvation is calling….Out with the OLD IN with the New!!!! More of him in his word and praise to shut the mouth of my enemies…

  80. I was struck by many of the same thoughts as others are mentioning, but one that I truly love is when you say “We’ll learn how to live beyond theshadows of doubt by holding each of our insecurities up to the light of God’s Word.” THAT excites me. It amazes me to think that there will be so many of us reading this book and journeying along together, but that regardless of what each of our insecurities or situations are, God’s Word sheds the TRUTH and LIGHT on them all! This is what truly matters-God’s Word, and shifting our thoughts to a God Perspective!

  81. “He’s led me beyond believing in Him to believing Him…..” pg.24

    Wow that hit me like a Mack truck! Of course I believe IN God but I don’t always believe God. When he says he loves me, that he has a plan for my life or when he showers me in blessings all I can think is, ” but I’m not worthy Lord. I don’t deserve you or your love or your blessings.” He really opened my eyes with Renee’s statement. It’s not enough to believe in Him and love him. I need to believe Him and what he says and promises. I never realized that before. I find it kind of funny because of all people He is the only who isn’t going lie or exaggerate and here I am having trouble trusting what he says 🙂

    • You are not alone Candace – I think we all come to that realization and like you said – it hits us like a truck!! Oh that we would believe HIM and live like HIS promises are true in OUR LIVES – no matter what our circumstance or emotions tell us. We have been blessed with every spiritual blessing through CHRIST!!

  82. Baby girls asleep and my video is loaded but YouTube said it would take a while before it’s processed so I”ll load it here in the morning. Night friends!!

    Remember this….We’re all broken in some way but He chose us, adopted us, restored us and wants to do some something beautiful even in our brokenness — revealing His unfailing love in the midst of our failures and frailties. You are loved by an ALMIGHTY God!! His goodness makes you good enough!

  83. I feel like I can be more transparent on the blog than posting on FB but will post there from time to time too. One thing that sticks out with me about self doubt is when I fully believe God is speaking to me and He continues to say it over and over but when I share with friends, the majority think I am nuts. I am sure I will share more about that later and in more detail. What continues to help me refocus is LT stating in one of her books that NO ONE but You knows what God says to you. So, all that said – Jeremiah 17:7 spoke to me. You asking God to take away your uncertaintys spoke to me as I have continually done the same thing for months. Isaiah 49:23 and especially Mark 9:23 – – All things are possible to her who believes. My struggle has been one day being rock solid sure of what He says, and the next day wondering if I made it up! I keep wavering. It’s not that I don’t believe Him, it’s me – – with the self doubt! Did He really say that or am I reading someting more into what I think I’ve heard?!?

    • That is completely fine. You do what is most comfortable for you. The blog is really where we’re going to gather in community, share our hearts, pray for each other and share some of our stories (as we feel led and comfortable) But, I’d love for us to encourage one another through FB by sharing quotes and verses so we can keep God’s truth and promises before us all day- and share them with others. 🙂

    • Thank u for sharing this because I feel the exact same way!!!!

  84. I have been crying out to God for direction and discernment in a particular situation I’m going through. I kept thinking if I was where God wanted me to be it wouldn’t hurt so much and I wouldn’t be so unsure I was on the right path. I’ve been praying about the same thing for almost 2 years so I often think I’ve just misheard God and am only doing what I want not what God wants..after all if I was in His will things would change, right? Well today, like so often, I felt God tell me to trust Him, He was doing a new thing and it would be. When I read in A Confident Heart tonight that “God declares with confidence that things can change-See, I am doing a new thing” that gave me confidence that I do hear God and to keep persevering regardless of my pain and exhaustion!

    • I understand the struggle with hoping you are understanding God’s desire for you even though it is painful. I wonder every day if I am living God’s plan for my life. I am happy to have this “community” to remind me I am not alone and this wonderful book and Bible study to strengthen me!

  85. After my divorce 4 years ago I struggled with letting a man fill me, complete me, make me happy, instead of letting God heal my brokenness. I have grown some in the past year, but I want more of God. I want to be confident in the abilities God gave me and reach out to those who have gone through the same struggles I have. I want and need God more now than I ever have. With the insecurities I feel I haven’t been able to do much. I want to do more all for the glory of God.

  86. Assignment from chapter 1 Study:

    My primary remedy was to find someone or something that would make me feel secure and significant.— from lysa TerKeurst’s forward. Man, I’m doing that everyday and I need to figure out a way to stop and just let God be who He is supposed to be. As for Chapter 1: “Go ahead and give up, just close the book now and walk away” That struck me, hard! Let’s not give up, let’s go through with this study expecting something great to happen.

  87. There are a few things that popped out to me – Doubt has robbed me of joy – . The voice of insecurity cast shadows of doubt over our perspective & keep us from becoming women we want to be. Doubt and hope can not live in our hearts at the same time – I choose hope to be in my heart. And with choosing hope and having confidence in the Lord I will make changes in my life and become a more confident women.

  88. Well……….I haven’t been able to read the first chapter as of yet…but on my way. Church service was off the chain this morning and then time with the family and then cell group.God sure shows up and moves like no other! Hope each of you had an AWESOME SONday in the Lord’s house.
    I have read each of the comments and WOW…this is going to be a Godsome!! study!! I can’t wait 🙂

    Have a Godtastic week everyone!!

    Blessed

  89. Hi Ladies, praying for all as we go through this study together and of course with our heavenly Father.
    I have felt very much like not going and doing what I have been asked to do sometimes, staying home and ordering pizza sounds good but…..He does not want us to stay where we are when it comes to walking alongside Him.

  90. Abbie Wells says:

    This first chapter spoke so much truth to me, and I was really tugged by the the last couple of sentences of the second to last paragraph on page 25. Where it mentions, “when we pray God’s words out loud, and hear them, the Holy Spirit engraves them on our hearts and writes them on our thoughts. We internalize God’s truth as our faith grows and we are transformed from the inside out.” This personally is my struggle. When I am in a battle and find myself seeking Christ, the enemy puts so much doubt in my mind, but the minute I start declaring God’s word out loud, those thoughts leave!

  91. This study is also coming at a time that is so needed. I also loved the shadow story. I allow so much of my fear and insecurity to dictate my thoughts and even tear at my faith. No matter how much the Lord shows me over and over again how He is there with me thru ALL things, good or bad? I still question myself and His will. I look forward to this study of growth and trust!!

  92. Dawn Tuller says:

    Some sentences that I related to very well were: (pg 21 doubting you have what it takes to be a good mom.) I have 4 kids and home school them, and I feel I’m not a good mom most of the time. (pg 22, insecurity paralyzes us with statements) I feel paralyzed and that’s just the best word I can find for now.

    pg 24 When I choose to dwell in the assurance of Whose I am and who I am in Him. Gave me something to focus on.

    Also on page 24 to the top of 25 you talked a lot about what we are going to do. learn to depend on His heart, understand who God is and who we are in Him, identify triggers, learn how to live beyond, holding each of our insecurities up, and learn to actively trust. I’m hoping so much in these steps to learn how to deal with my doubt, depression, and negative thoughts.

    Thank you

  93. I find it comforting to know that I am not the only one who has doubts and insecurities. In Chapter One when it said “Perhaps you are good at hiding your doubts and no one but you know the paralyzing power they have on your life” really hit home with me. I have struggled with doubt & insecurity most of my life. As a result many times I have paralyzed myself and simply do not have the confidence in myself to move forward. Doubt and insecurity had me convinced that my life would never change so why try. I’ve always believed in God but have never really believed God and his promises-I pray that God through this study will help me to overcome my doubt and insecurities and become all that He has called me to be!

  94. Cindy Jones - Madison, Ms. says:

    Father, please create in me a new heart. Send your Holy Spirit to fill me and free me. Help me, Lord Jesus, to trust you at work in my life this week. Thank you that when I invite you into my heart, I find you are already there. In Jesus name, Amen

  95. I am so looking forward to this book study. This past week I have felt a lot of self-doubt. See I have trouble with pronunciation of some words. My career, I have to speak alot in front of groups, and my supervisor told me this past week that due to the fact I have trouble with pronunciation of words it might keep me from advancing in my career. This has been the first time anyone had every said anyting about the way I talk. Boy has this left me with alot of self doubting and worthlless feelings. So right now I really can use this book.

  96. Sharon Allen says:

    My earliest menory of feeling self doubt and feeling insecure was when my Mom & Dad divorced and thinkng is was all my fault and worried about if we were going to be poor.I went looking in all the wrong places to prove I could be loved. I have since learned all I needed was to ask my Heavenly Father for the love I was seeking.
    The things that jumped out to me while reading chapter one was on page 23 ~ As girls we need to know and believe that change is possible.I liked praying God.s word and that oneway God tells us that confidence will come is when we ask Him for what is alreasdy part of His will.
    Looking forward to what this journey brings.

  97. Hey ladies. I’m so excited that God allowed me to find this study and after reading the first chapter, it was divine intervention. I haven’t been able to identify a specific sentence that really spoke to me because I could identify with all of it. I have second guessed myself in one way or another for the better part of my life. Inadequate. Silly. Stupid. Lonely. Foolish. Just a few words that have been used to describe me. Sadly, those words came from no one else. I said them to myself. This study is an answer to a prayer that has been said daily for many years. Now its time to change. Praying for all of us to have open hearts and minds.

  98. I have struggled with doubt and insecurity my whole life. What really struck my heart tonight as I read Chapter one is that God really does want me to be confident and bold. I feel like He is saying to me that it is time for change. Time to let Him heal me as only He can. And all I have to do is turn on the light.

  99. The forward, acknowledgements, and chapter One spoke loud. I’ve prayed the verse, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief” daily and found it written in a different way in the study. God wants us to believe that change is possible and life CAN be different. My earliest memory is that of my parents always fighting and thinking it was my fault because I wasn’t a “good enough” daughter. The “If only” internal conversation started very, very early in life. It was validated by my father’s comments that “I wasn’t pretty enough, no one would ever love me”, and so many others.

  100. “Doubt keeps us from believing things can get better.” “Doubt and hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time.” Sometimes I feel overwhelmed, and I realize it’s because I have replaced my hope in God with the shadow of doubt. Thank you for this book and this study!

  101. What you wrote about not just believing in God but believing Him really resonated with me. I’ve sensed God gently nudging me in that direction recently. It’s like He’s saying, “Ok, you’ve heard and read and studied My Word, now it’s time to launch out and put Me to the test. Do you really believe my promises? Are you ready to embark on the most exciting adventure of your life–truly trusting Me?”

  102. p. 23 – As God’s girls we need to know and belive that change is possible. We need to hope that life can be different. Otherwise, doubt will win everytime and our hearts will be eroded by attitudes and emotions of defeat.

    I am trying hard to “fight” the erosion of my teacher’s heart with this hard school year. I have to constantly keep my attitude and emotions from feeling defeated…I am full of doubt about staying a teacher – my calling upon my life; I have been in education for 15 years. It’s hard for me to beleive that I feel like this after all this time. I am holding onto the promise the beginning of this chapter: Hebrews 10:35-36

  103. Myra Varela says:

    Renee, everything you talk about in chapter 1 speaks exactly what I feel, doubts always whispers in my mind and heart. It’s true that I avoided some great opportunities because they brought the risk of rejection (page 20). Insecurity has convinced me that I’m not smart enough or gifted enough (page 21). We will always be struggling with self doubts and this on line study would be a great help in my daily living with God-confident heart. One thing that hinders me most is lack of self discipline to study and reflect God’s words that would strengthen my faith, maybe you can guide me as well in this area. Thank you.

  104. Karren Reed says:

    The first part of the verse in Hebrews 10: 35,, “So do not throw away your confidence; struck me so hard the first time I picked up the book several monthsths ago. My husband passed away a little over a year ago and since his death I have struggled so much in the areas of confidence, insecurity, and self doubt. One thing I haven’t ever doubted was God and His faithfullness, but the other issues have been big.
    My husband was always such an amazing encourager and I never realized what a powerful. positive thing that had been to me (even through his long illness he was an encourager).
    The more I read that verse the more I could sense God telling me that I had to begin to find my confidence in Him, and that has begun to turn me around with all those areas of insecurity. So to narrow down just one passage from that first chapter would be impossibleas I have three forths of the chapter underlined, but the verse has made the difference. When you mention in the chapter about praying Gods word that stuck out. That is something I have found comfort in, journaling prayers from the word all through my husbands illness!!

  105. How lonely I often feel when I struggle with doubt and insecurities — Believing that other women have it all together and I just don’t measure up! Reading all of the comments posted here tonight helps me to realize that #1 – I am NOT alone. #2 – “Believing” such things tells me that I definitely need to recheck my belief system. Growing up in the church I “knew” a lot about God and the Bible but I can honestly say that I haven’t learned to really, I mean, REALLY believe in His love and promises. In the first chapter where it says that our doubting thoughts weasel their way in and disguise their voices as our own – that just gets me everytime! I’ve always wondered why I get so confused when today’s thoughts are completely different from yesterday’s thoughts. I believe that God has given me this opportunity to find clarity in the midst of those voices so that I can truly BELIEVE in Him. And He has opened a door showing me that He is there with me and so are all of you. I am exciting about what He is going to do! 🙂

  106. Thank you Renee. I appreciated your recalling when and how your Mom reminded you that you had a purpose in Life to fulfill. I pray for all of us who are still discovering our God designed purpose.

  107. On the first of the year I made a commitment to do DAILY bible reading and more focused prayer. When I read about this bible study I was moved immediately to buy the book and join the study. Since I have been praying for God to lead me in the direction I should go and to open my heart to hear his voice, I jumped on the opportunity. I tend to over think everything, worry that I may be doing something wrong or offensive, worry that others will think I am silly or whatever and often end up doing, or saying nothing. That is my shadow.

    I was moved by your line “We can be confident we are praying God’s will when we are praying God’s Word”
    We actually just talked about this in our Sunday School class.

    Thank you for leading this!!

  108. Janice Davis says:

    I cannot remember a time when I have not be filled with self doubt. I am SO tired of it and I long not to be this way any more. It has crushed my spirit and I am now ready to fight and get it back. What resonated with me was when you spoke of all the things that you went to to try and get them to fill your cup. I so do that. Even though I know God is the ONLY way, I still look for other things to fill that cup. What spoke to me the most from this first day and what I want to hold on to is that I don’t want to just believe IN God, I want to believe Him!!!! That is my prayer.

    • Corina white says:

      Janice this comment that you made sounds sooooo like me. I know that God is the only way but look to other stuff to make me feel better. I am not sure I know where to start!! Also, just a little off the subject info you have the same name of my aunt!!! I thought that was really cool! (sorry I just had to throw that in there too!!!)

  109. “if God calls you to do something, shouldn’t you feel confident about it? Shouldn’t you want to
    do it? Shouldn’t self-assurance be part of God’s equipping?”

    How many times have I run from doing something because of my people fears and lack of confidence? I’ve questioned God’s calling and believed the very fears were a confirmation NOT to go! Yet I feel like such a failure because I see little fruit in my life. Am I to be satisfied with the lack ? Am I not satisfied with what He has granted me? Am I limiting God’s best in my life? I do want more of Him but I’m afraid of the cost and the agony of self doubt. Yet I long to hear “Well done, My good and faithful servant.”

  110. The section of the chapter that talks about praying to become a mother & then doubting you have what it takes describes my life perfectly. It’s so encouraging to know that others struggle with this as well. The sentence that spoke the most to me is, “…when I choose to dwell in the assurance of Whose I am and who I am in Him, I have a confident heart.” How I pray that my confidence comes only through HIM and who HE has created me to be.

  111. I was actually about a third into the book but decided to stop and go back from the start to do this study. Different things have struck me this time. Like so many, I can’t even remember when I started self doubting, it seems like it’s been me all my life.

    ” As God’s girls, we need to know and believe that change is possible. We need to hope that life can be different. Otherwise, doubt will win every time and our hearts will be eroded by attitudes and emotions of defeat- but this is not supposed to be the way.”

    This is exactly how I feel. I’m looking forward to learning more as we go along.

  112. Too often I’ve been discouraged and disappointed because I’ve relied on things or the people in my life to give me hope and confidence.
    Jeremiah17:7 says “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.”
    This verse really spoke to me as I was tackling the questions at the end of chapter 1. It encourages me to be hopeful and confident not only in my everyday circumstances, but also as I step out beyond my comfort zone to do more of the things that I’m too often afraid to even try.

  113. peggybythesea says:

    “Doubt keeps us from believing things can get better. Doubt convinces us that it’s not worth the effort.
    This is where I have been living for so long…50 something years of it! I have more head knowledge than I know what to do with …Tell my heart, Lord, tell my heart! I have beat myself up over things for no reason logically for so long.It is what I have done, it is what I have known….I raised three sons, it seems the only good thing I have ever done. Now they are busy, married and far away ..My self worth is in the pits, and I have been trying to live out of their lives as it is where my worth lies. My worth is in Christ, my head knows that…My failing marriage and my insecurities tell me different…I am tired of fighting, I am weary from the Battle…I pray this is just not one more study, one more maybe this will work…I know I have to do the work and I will…I strive to walk with God…Thank you Renee…

    • Peggy By The Sea, I’m praying for you. Trust your journey – it is the way. I’m a few more years into life than you and yet know you, kind of am you. Growing closer to God seems like it is going to take A Confident Heart. Love, Sandy

      • peggybythesea says:

        Oh Sandy thank you….I just woke from a nap, I fight taking those because i wake up so anxious. Be anxious for nothing, says the Lord but the mind is a terrible thing that brings me to the most awful places…i so appreciate your responding to me. I know by reading all of these women’s responses that i am not alone and now i have a friend and sister in you Sandy and in Linda below. Thank you, thank you…God helps us move forward with wonderful women like you in our lives…God Bless you my sweet sister!! I pray your journey in this life gets better daily also!!! <3

    • Me Too! I am praying for you also. You are at the right place in life and journey. Just think, Peggy by the Sea, everything we go through makes who we are in Christ. You are in the process of becoming one beautiful jewel through this refinement or you can think of it as a rose just beginning to bloom! Either way, it is just the beginning for you. Your friend in Christ, Linda

      • peggybythesea says:

        Thank you Linda….I replied to Sandy above and I say the same to you….I am grateful for new sisters in Christ!!! You also helped me through another day of doubting who I am in Christ!!!

  114. I was going to do this study when Melissa was doing it last time and didn’t have time to do it; but saved all the emails. 🙂

    When I first came across it I was excited not only to do it for me, but thought what a great study to do with some of the ladies at our church. I am part of the leadership team for our women’s ministry and we had done a bible study in the fall with with one of the ladies in our church leading it. Our pastor’s wife asked those on the leadership team a couple of weeks ago if one of us felt there was something on their heart to do as a bible study and this book/study immediately came to my mind. I stepped up and told her that I felt that I would like to lead this study with the ladies that sign up for it. Talk about a leap of faith!! I definitely struggle in this area and then to say yes I’ll head up the study in an area where I struggle, well you know that I will be relying on the Lord big time for this! We won’t be starting the study until a couple of weeks from now so I’m looking forward to being able to get a head start by doing this study with you online and then leading it with the ladies. I’ve told the ladies that we’re all on equal ground here and I’m doing it along with them. I am really looking forward to what the Lord is going to do in my life as I know He wants me to come up higher and go deeper with Him so that He can equip me for what He has for me this year, and I know He has great things in store for all of the ladies who do it along with me. Thank you, Renee!

  115. This is my second time reading through the book. I’m so excited about studying it with Renee. The line that resonated with me this time was “when I choose to dwell in the assurance of Whose I am and who I am in Him, I have a confident heart” (p.24).

  116. “The Whispers of Doubt” Oh yes, I know those little voices. They have deflated me more times than I would like to admit. I also loved it when I read “Whose I am and Who I am in Him, I have a confident heart.” As you can see, I like so many of you stand tall in Christ, completely trusting Him and then the next thing I know I am drowning in the Sea of Doubt. I am ready for this journey and to stand on even ground in Christ and serve Him in a confident heart.

  117. “Self-doubt blocks the promises of God’s power and truth to change from the inside out so that we can live with a confident heart”. This pretty much sums up where I am at right now. In 2000 God put in my heart to do something, at first I was soooo excited, doors were being opened that would have financed the start-up of this adventure. I was to quit my job, God said that He was going to supply all of my needs. I shared this with a few people (what a mistake). Out of all the people I shared this with, one person encouraged me and even to this day asks me about when I was going to get started, and she was the only one not saved that I shared this with.:). So of course the thoughts and voices I heard always told me that I must be crazy to think that I could do this, and I was not hearing from God, but these were my own desires. Well eventually a situation gave me a chance to leave my job, and the thing God told me to do would come up again and again every time I would start out to get started something would come up. Then I started telling myself that I must have been trying to do something out of my own desires. After much thought I realized that the thing God put on my heart to do was defintely something I was not equipped to do in my own strength, my patience for it was not there, and this is something I would not pick for myself to do. After coming to these conclusions DOUBT has flooded me in every area of my life. I am very thankful for this Bible Study, because I have decided I need to get to a place where I face all of my doubts and fears so I can do whatever it is God asks of me.

  118. I am so thankful for this study, in fact, I am passing it on to a few others who are struggling. From young to old, this matter of insecurity and lack of confidence plagues women, in particular. I pray for all the women involved in this study, that God may implant His great hope in our hearts and that we may look to Him for our confidence and security and that we may be women that can step out to what He would have us to do, especially out of our comfort zone. Doubt hits me hard by telling me to give up, throw in the towel when things get too painful. I’ve suffered a lot of loss in the last two year, from my parents both dying within 14 months of each other, to a teen who left and is living a life not of God, to my husband leaving me in July. God is slowly and tenderly teaching me that He is my comfort, the one who will never leave, but I’m still struggling with the insecurity and looking to others to fill that need. I am looking foward to this adventure!!

    • peggybythesea says:

      Oh barb…i am so sorry for your losses!! They are huge and somehow it makes my issues seem small, but I cannot minimize my pain. I can thank you for being here and for sharing your heart. What a weapon the accuse has against us!!! They are lies from the pit and I thank God for every woman writing here that is a testimony to the goodness and love we women all have. god made us special and we need each other. I thank you for sharing your heart and am grateful that you are on this journey with me…love your sister in Christ, Peggybythesea

  119. “doubt and hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time,” wow, stated very simple; however, very profound. Those two feelings are extremely contradictory, you can’t hope for a closeness with God if you doubt yourself and intentions. These words really put a new perspective of what I really want in my heart, basically coming to the realization that there isn’t enough room for both, so I need to make the choice to have hope in my heart and get rid of the doubts. Thank you for a great chapter and eye opening thoughts and feelings.

  120. I have been cut down so many times by other, my confidence level is low. I like your shadow illustration, never thought of it that way. I am looking forward to God doing great things.

  121. I bought A Confidant Heart a few months ago…before I heard there would be an online study. Something in one of Renee’s online devotions resonated with me. I have been encouraged by reading the comments and finding I am not alone in my insecurities, fears and doubts. I have always had these, but as someone else noted, they have intensified as I have aged. I have allowed some difficult family situations to become the “shadows.” Additionally, we have four beautiful daughters (ages 17-22). As our nest is almost empty, I have discovered just how much of my identity has been “mom.” This past year, in particular, I have lost hope that I will ever be rid of fear and insecurity; page 23 addresses this despair. It encouraged me last month when I read it and again yesterday when I re-read it: “…we need to know and believe that change is possible. We need to hope that life can be different. Otherwise, doubt will win every time and our hearts will be eroded by attitudes and emotions of defeat–but it is not supposed to be this way. God declares with confidence that things can change–‘See, I am doing a new thing!'” A quick request: please pray I find a job that works with family life and in which I can use my gifts and abilities. Fear has held me back for so long.

    • peggybythesea says:

      I am so grateful to read Iam not the only mom who’s identity was lost in her children….I wait patiently for the day I know who I am in Me and nothing but me alone in Christ!! Love to you…Praying…

  122. “God calling you to serve Him in way that requires steps of faith, but insecurity has convinced you that you’re not smart enough or gifted enough.” I struggle with this alot. I know in my heart that God has great plans for me, but I have alot of self doubts. I doubt my ability to hear God or even undersatand what His word says in order to apply it to my life. One of the things I believe God is calling me to do is leadership, but I feel very uncomfortable when I have to speak in front of a group of people. I want to overcome this because I want to live in the plans that my Daddy has set for me.

  123. Holly Fleener says:

    Jeremiah 17:7 really hit me hard. I need to not just have my hope in HIm, but let Him be my hope. Wow, how powerful is that? Thank you so much Renee for sharing your heart and for allowing God to use you to help us. Let’s be blessed!!!!

  124. After reading the beginning of this book, I knew it was something I had to get involved in right now. Struggling with confidence has been a life long issue for me and I’m ready to have God-confidence and live out what He has planned for me giving Him glory always and in every circumstance.

  125. Jeanie Kelley says:

    The one thing that hit me again right between the eyes was that God was for me and that he loves me with a love that is unconditional. That really speaks volumes to me. I did not hear “I love you” from my dad so just hearing it from God is so powerful. He is my Father here on earth and he is for me in everything I do. That gives me hope and strength to keep going with God on my side. I am feeling more confident with just hearing this.

  126. “Help my rely on the power of Your promises and live like they are true.”

    This is the most profound statement to me.  I have to learn to live like they are true even when I don’t feel like it.  When I don’t feel like they are true.  When I am in a pity party and don’t feel like I want to live like they are true.  I have to always live like they are true.  If I live like they are true they will become true in my life. This is a similar tactic that Satan uses.  He whispers lies in our ears.  We hear it enough and start to think about it long enough so we begin to believe it.  When we believe it, it becomes true in our life or so we think. So, if I can “believe” the father of lies and live like his words are true, I should be able to live like God’s words are true. Even when I don’t “FEEL” like it.

  127. Donna Hemlow says:

    My description of a woman with a confident heart: One who looks at difficulties and challenges as another way for God to “show off” and she can laugh and be joyful knowing she is secure in God’s hands. Does this sound a little like the Proverbs 31 woman?
    As far as the question of what I can cut back on this week to allow more time with God: I am committing to cut back on the amount of time spent obsessing over what went wrong and spend more time in God’s promises.

  128. I am sure I got something totally different than anyone else because I was totally ecstatic when I read you adopted from Ethiopia! My husband and I are in the process; we are currently waiting on our referral! Awesome!

  129. See, I am doing a new thing.-Isaiah 49:13. God promises our life will change, but why does this statement and promise terrify and paralyze me at times? The idea of new?
    “The unknown is too scary. Although you’ve been miserable, at least the misery is familiar where you are now.” pg 21
    –Boy, have I been there, too afraid to step out in faith, but at times angry at how I’ve allowed my fear to hold me to things that are not “new”.
    I WANT NEW, (no matter how scary), and God promises it to me!! I believe Him!

  130. I read this book last fall and now reading it again while doing this bible study is so more meaninful to me. I am a wdow struggling with an alcoholic daughter and the words doubt and hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time really made me realize that I have to quit doubting that God is in control and live with the hope that his will will be done and I can take comfort in that his plans are to prosper me and not harm me but give me hope and a future.

    • Sandy, I also have a daughter who is an alcoholic. I will be praying for you and your daughter. As I read, I also realized the truth of the inability of doubt and hope to live in our hearts at the same time. Alcoholism can certainly cast a large shadow. But our God is bigger!

      • I am a recovering alcoholic – 11 years sober. I was a low bottom drunk. There is hope! God does not waste a hurt!

  131. Turn toward the light….so easy, but yet so hard to do!!! Trust and believe…Be obedient to God’s word and his plan for us!!! I really like the thought of him “doing a new thing” I want to be NEW, renewed and refreshed….and, full of confidence!

  132. What has been on my heart since reading this first chapter, is that if my hope in God, I will not be disappointed. Been reflecting on are part of my doubts being overpowering due to past disappointments. I had not thought of that as being part of my insecurities.

  133. the sentence that spoke most to me is pg 23 about Doubt keeping me from believing things can get better. I have been thinking the thoughts “its too hard, I might as well quit (on my marriage). I am tired of crying the same tears about the same problems without seeing change. I hear God speaking to me to look at him instead of the troublesome circumstances in my life.

  134. Much of this Chapter I was able to say..”you too?” It was awesome to actually see it in print somewhere else. I often feel quite alone in my feelings. One of the first things that tickled me was the hope that
    God would just zap you with self confidence! I have often hoped and prayed for that very same zap, but have also come to the conclusion which you mentioned, and happened to be one of the parts which tugged at my heart – it is only when I recognize, and I believe in whose I am and who I am in Christ, can I live with a totally confident heart. I won’t pretend that Im 100% there, i struggle each day to see who I am in God (work in progress), but I know as long as I ask Him He will show me just that.

  135. I’m so excited about doing this study! I’ve already read through A Confident Heart once but the messages are so powerful and relevant to my life today that I need to read through it again! I know God is going to show me a fresh revelation that applies to my right-now circumstances and I’m excited to be joining each of you through this amazing journey.

  136. I loved the whole chapter! One of my favorite things was “Praying God’s Word has been one of the most life-changing ways I’ve learned to live in the security of His promises. ‘This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.’ (1 John 5;14) So, there you go: we can be confident we are praying God’s will when we pray God’s Word.” I want to memorize more scripture so that I can incorporate it into my prayer life.

  137. I loved the part about going beyond believing in Him to really believing Him! In order to really believe Him, I need to spend more time with Him. You only can trust someone by getting to know that person more and more. I feel like this is where my confidence breaks down. I spend entirely too much time online, and that is what I am going to cut down, so that time can be used in learning more about aim, and developing the trust and confidence that is only found in an intimate relationship.

  138. I am truly excited about this online study. I read Chapter 1 twice and God really spoke to my heart. I myself have lacked confidence and had self doubt from a child although not too many people know because I was or might i say am now good at covering it up. When I saw the statement in the book regarding that I said wow I am not alone. I would back out of things or just not go if I thought somebody wanted me to do or say something because I lack self confidence. I would even have ideas about things and they wew good only to let others speak out and say what I would have said or done. Self doubt can be paralyzing and that is what I got from this chapter. But God spoke to me through the Scripture Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing. This lets me know that things will not be the same and that I will be and do what God has for me. I will have the confidence necessary to fulfill the destiny he has set. That promise “I will do a new thing” just makes my heart glad.

  139. Thank you for turning our thoughts and attention to “digging deep into the heart and character of God so we can learn to depend on His heart toward us.” We are created in HIS image! His image, His character is the place where we will find who we are to be, what He wants for us to do. This has to be our daily spiritual discipline like the Children of Israel picking up manna in the desert. Looking forward to the 12 chapters/weeks of disciplining my heart and mind in the character of Jesus – taking every thought captive to Him! What a blessing to do this study with so many others around the country! We are doing it with a weekly group, too!

  140. The sentence that caused me to pause was “But I’ve found that when I choose to dwell in the assurance of Whose I am and who I am in Him, I have a confident heart.”

  141. I to have been dealing with doubt and fear of not being good enough and I know that God is helping me turn back to his light .I just have to stay in his word and not be afraid of what I feel all the time and know that GOD is in control of my life.Your book is really helping me thank you!

  142. Like so many, I have struggled with self-doubt and insecurity since I can remember. God has been working on me regarding this for quite some time now, and although I trust Him and want to believe I am not worthless, the scars from childhood go deep to the marrow. The phrase that hits home for me is “Or maybe you’ve sensed God calling you to serve Him in a way that requires steps of faith, but insecurity has convinced you that you’re not smart enough or gifted enough.” I KNOW where He wants me to serve. I have surrendered over and over to it. But as soon as I motion to step, I pull my spiritual foot back, and there I remain. I know that God can make me move. I pray that He would shove me thru my wall of doubt, because I am too scared to do it. Lord, please smash my wall to crumbs.

    • I too am waiting for that shove through the wall of doubt, or all the courage in the world to take that step. I have to ask Him for the courage to do more than believe that He will help. I read somewhere once that faith is not believing God will – it’s knowing He will. I guess it’s how Renee says in the book that we have to move from believing in Him to Believing Him.

  143. Many setences resonated with me in this first chapter of “doubt”. I have struggled with doubt in myself since I was 10 when i was first picked on for being chubby. It started a lot of the doubt that continued to plague me and still does these past 22 years. I am fit now, physically, but emotionally the doubt is always there. One sentence in particular, “Even as a young bride, I doubted my husband’s faithfulness. Our newlywed memories include a lot of arguments about trust.” This really spoke deep to my heart. I met my husband in our church choir, and knew he had walked longer than I and had a heart for God; even still, I worry about his faithfulness to me. In Renee’s video message, she states that we need not worry what man thinks, or we will be cursed, and I am living proof that her statement is right and that scripture is truth. I have been cursed, though not by God, as he wants nothing but blessings for me, but I have cursed myself and that needs to stop. I need to find my confindence in Jesus, and in doing so, I will know what it means to be truly loved for my heart alone and the faith that I feel in God and His son will guide me to true confidence – the confidence that only comes when one is BLESSED.

  144. You had my heartstrings in the foreword, with that line about the little heart-shaped cup. I too grew up in a dysfunctional family, with a father who not only wasn’t loving and attentive, but was also abusive. It’s interesting how those early experiences formulate how we go about our relationships for the rest of our lives. After that, the line about the light and the shadow, and the part about how doubt and hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time. What a beautiful moving book. You had me at hello. 🙂

  145. The opening of Chapter 1 with Hebrews 10:35-36 weighed heavily with me because it puts the reality of self-limiting beliefs into a different perspective. When I find myself getting down on myself, it’s obviously not to intentionally limit myself but that is what it does and this passage reminds us that a clear head and confidence in God’s plan is necessary to accomplish anything and lead a happy/healthy life. That in itself opened my heart for what was to come throughout the chapter. The “shadow of doubt” analogy was brilliant. The way you showed the correlation between the physical shadow when turned away from the actual bathroom light and the shadow of doubt when turned away from the light of the Lord was so true and is something I find myself inadvertently doing pretty often. Being mindful of these types of things ultimately is what will help with eliminating them and the way you present instances of them does just that. Tying in the scriptures is also very helpful with bringing it all together spiritually and building that God-confidence.

  146. THe acknowledgements and the amount of love and thankfulness you have for each of the blessings in your life was the first thing……the shadow of course: the big shadow of doubt that always is looming overhead,even in ministry, where we should be confident because we are doing the work God wants us to do, but here too, it slips in unawares and changes our thoughts. We are what we think, it influences every aspect of our behavior. God intended us to have a Christ like Mind and to do that we must make the decision to increase our time in the word and soak in it and renew our mind and do it now!!!!! This first chapter so lined up with our sermon yesterday> I have a feeling there is going to be a lot of “ONLY GOD” on this journey.

  147. I agree and feel or have felt what so many of you are posting. I am so excited to see how God will change me with this study because this is one I REALLY struggle with.
    One part that struck me was…”there are the voices of insecurities that cast shadows of doubt over our perspective and keep us from becoming the women we want to be- the women God created us to be! Self-doubt blocks the promise of God’s power and truth to change us from the inside out so that we can live with a confident heart.”
    THE WOMEN GOD CREATED US TO BE! I pray daily for God to show me the woman He has created to be and to use these gifts He gave to me…. I really need to let those voices fade and stop living in self-doubt, He created me! And He created me for great things!

  148. “Self doubt blocks the promise of God’s power and truth to change us from the inside out so that we can live with a confident heart.”

    Isaiah 43:19 See-I am doing a new thing!

    believing IN GOD to BELIEVING GOD

    away with the what if’s, self doubt, risk of rejection, insecurity, robbed joy, wondering if I’m good enough, uncertainty, and replaying questions over and over…

    Looking forward to this study and some life changing knowldge!

  149. The lines in Chapter 1 that stood out the most to me… words I have said over and over again in relation to my job situation…. are: The unknown is too scary. Although you’ve been miserable, at least the misery is familiar where you are now.
    I have been working to correct this thought process and hope that this study will do just that!

  150. all of the readings/questions and prayers were so true for me personally. like someone was in my head and following me around each day. The insprining hope that I ended with is……….” Blessed are those who trust in the Lord; the Lord will be their trust.” Jeremiah 17:7 this personally gives me a prayer of Hope each day to implement in the food choice actions as well as in my thinking and doing things that are physically challenging for me right now…………………Hope is such a strong motivator for me and with this verse I have that with God. ty for this service!

  151. I think when things are repeated, we ought to pay attention — in the Word that is. And, today, I was all over the place (as I’ve been lately actually) and needing to honestly get into God’s Word. Eventually, the idea came to start at Psalm 1. Here is a snippet:

    Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked or stand around with sinners, or join mockers. But they delight in the law of the ord, meditating on it day and night.
    THEY ARE LIKE TREES PLANTED ALONG THE RIVERBANK, BEARING FRUIT EACH SEASON. THEIR LEAVES NEVER WITHER, AND THEY PROSPER IN ALL THEY DO.
    Just like in Jeremiah 17: 8.

    I, too, have been struggling with my confidence and I do not like it one bit. It is embarrassing to me. I had improved and was EXCITED, but managed to be here…again–and worse, though I know better now Thanks to God. It is time for me to live BLESSED in my present and future and not mope over the progress I had made. We are not to be complacent–riding off of our blessings and our quests after God… of yesterday. Frustration and fiery arrows of defeat get me nowhere I have experienced, but bitter and worse off. I believe if I turn to God, humbly, and seek after Him, wholeheartedly, He will truly heal as only He can. So, I pray that I am disciplined (a recent struggle), humbled, and genuine/sincere in His Word and in this study–not just going through the motion–because we really NEED God desperately. I am tired of questioning my faith because of my struggled. I do not want to waver and let the enemy mess with my mind ever few months. I need Him. I need Him. to rescue me from this place.

    Btw, Thanks for the prayers.

  152. I wanted to post the reason I bought this book and am participating in the Bible Study. There is sentence in Chapter 1 that grabbed me and made me think “wow, it’s not just me?” – that sentence is “although you’ve been miserable, at least the misery is familiar where you are now.” That thought has held me back in so many ways and has also made me think very negative thoughts about myself when I have moved forward. I am really looking forward to finding God’s peace and BELIEVING in it – this study will be wonderful! I am BLESSED to be here with this great group of women and with Renee!

  153. The statement that really stuck out for me is to stop just believing IN Him and start believing Him! I’ve believed in Him all of my life, and have read these scriptures SO many times in my life, but actually hearing the Word and believing that they will make a difference has been a stumbling block for me. I really want to TRUST that I can believe what He is saying is true!! I suffer from panic attacks so I have doubt whispering to me all of the time. I am HOPING and praying that my self confidence will grow as we continue this study!

  154. i went to your blog and tried to listen to video,but my sound on my computer didnt go very high. so didnt get anything,i am sorry. looks like a very interesting bible study,one i am much neeeded for. but dont have the book either,so cant really comment on anything other then what i just said. its disappointing. oh well,
    have a great study and would still like your devotionals i been getting through e-maIl.
    thankyou,
    in christ
    judy hoff.

  155. A few statements really stuck out for me: “Or Maybe you’ve sensed God calling you to serve Him in a way that requires steps of faith, but insecurity has you convinced that you’re not smart enough or gifted enough…The unknow is too scary.” I feel there are things that God has put on my heart but it requires steps of faith and I always here the you’re not good enough or you won’t make it voice, and then all the doubting I do I never take the steps of faith.
    Also the moving beyond believing IN Him to really BELIEVING Him has been hard for me..I see little blessings and answered prayers here and there but I really want to move to were I BELIEVE all His promies and don’t have any doubt.
    I’m very excited to be doing this study and for the change that is going to take place.
    Have a blessed day!

  156. Barbara Ruark says:

    My biggest struggle is believing God.I believe in Him and love him very much. His will for my life and my dreams do seem to match and I have a hard time believing he has a good plan for me. I keep telling myself that God’s plan is better then any plan I could come up with but some days are easier then others to believe it. I am going to give up some televison to spend more time with the Lord. I work 2 jobs and go to school and often find myself staring at the television. I want to spend more time with the love of my life, Jesus!

  157. Cindi Taylor says:

    I struggled many years because I put my trust in man desiring man’s approval. I’ve come a long way, but I have not “arrived”, because I know I will always struggle with it. I’ve come to realize my this weakness is a reminder of my need for Him and proves His power is made strong in my weakness. Jeremiah 17:5 is kin to the Proverb I have leaned on many times: “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.” Proverbs 29:25.

  158. Marie Roberts says:

    What a powerful group of verses in Jeremiah. Verses 7-8 really spoke to me yesterday, but verses 5-6 are the result of putting your faith in people instead of God. Of trying to please the world instead of God, which I do a lot. I curse myself (and my family is affected) when I turn away from God to seek after the world. Such a simple truth. I am posting this on my fridge and in my car tonight. I really want to make changes. I want a renewed mind and confidence in God alone.

  159. look forward to learning to walk away from those shadows and dwell in the assurance of Whose I am and who I am in Him–to have a confident heart, gaining confidence in what I do.

  160. Two things touched my heart 1) moving beyond believing God – to really believing Him – and on page 25 – to ACTIVELY trust God – for me – circumstances that are past difficult for the past six years and the ending of a dream – that is extremely difficult to keep actively trusting God – God’s promise – all things work together for good – God blesses those that wait on Him – so I am looking forward to moving into a Confident Heart –

  161. Hebrews 10:35-36(NIV1984)
    35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

    Would rather stay home and do something predictable rather than stretch out of my comfort zone..Watching kids, taking in other peoples Laundry????

    Uncertainty creates a HUGE “shadow of doubt”
    Shadow only visible when you turn away from the Light

    These were the sentences and verses that resonated with me. But the one that I identified with the most was

    “Opening my mouth opens my eyes”…Speaking, writing, sharing God’s word will help me understand see God better. Thank you Renee for opening your mouth, writing these words, and providing us the outlet to open our mouths online so that we may open our eyes wider as well.

  162. There were many hi-lited sentences in my book! I chose one however and it is usually difficult for me to choose.
    “This will be a process that happens if you are willing to have honest, soul-searching conversations with God, yourself and a few people you trust-conversations about where you are, how you got there and where you really long to be.”
    When I really get honest with God he always deals gently with my heart even is opening my eye to my sin. However in the past the process has seems never-ENDING!! Somedays I survey the land I have traveled with my Lord and just weep from immense gratitude and humilty and sometimes I think really God, again?? Not again? I know this is oh God and I oraise him to have the courage to even get on here and post. I can be bold and I am safe in Christ, He is my shelter.

  163. I’ve struggled with being a “people-pleaser” for most of my life – getting involved in things and trying to force them to work because I felt that it would make people happy with me, make people like me, and make people respect me if I was successful at whatever that “thing” was. I’ve been struggling for some time now with finding the true purpose and direction God is calling me toward, but am finally becoming comfortable with letting go of the “people-pleasing” and truly connecting with God, my soul, my calling, and my passions.

    Rom 8:28 really hits home with me – definitely going to keep coming back to that one, especially when I feel pulled in that people-pleasing direction and know I need to look back to the Light and my confidence in my calling and passion instead of saying yes to things I know aren’t right for me!

  164. First of all, my husband and i were both raised in church all of our lives but I have lived with self doubt, low self esteem, depression, one suicide attempt for all of my adult life. I had serious issues with believing my mother actually loved me. Things that were said and done to me as a child that were very hurtful to me even though she was unaware. I held that against her for 25 yrs. I was full of anger and bitterness towards her and felt like I could never measure up to her standards. These things and Satan have all worked together to form the miserable person I am today. They have caused marital strife, distance between myself and my 2 sons and numerous other things. Two years ago I was so empty and lonely and feeling completely worthless and disappointing as a human being that I went crazy. (that’s what I call that time period) I started drinking heavily (and secretly to all but my husband) because it helped me escape those feelings if only for a while. I wanted my husband to “fix” things. To “fill” me, and that is simply not possible!! That being said, for the most part, my husband is a wonderful husband and father and is very kind and laid back. However, he is far from perfect. (who isn’t?) there were many issues in our marriage that were a result of MANY small things throughout our 18 yr marriage and he was unwilling to resolve or even admit that they were issues. I was constantly being told that the way I felt was stupid, wrong, unrealistic and was unimportant. If he didn’t think the issue was important then it wasn’t. End of story. That led to even more self doubt. It just kept coming at me from every direction and I felt powerless to stop it. I had a close friend that attempted to help but I was just too far gone. This all led to me breaking my marriage vows and I had an affair. I guess I was looking to that man to fill my needs. I don’t know. The affair lasted about 4 months, all the while I was drunk every single night of the week. My husband suspected an affair but I lied. I finally came clean after the 4 months because I just couldn’t do it anymore. It was killing me inside. I refused to talk to God because I knew He wouldn’t care just like everyone else. My husband is usually a quiet laid back kind of guy but when I told him what I had done he blew up and I sat for over 2 hours letting him scream and cuss and throw things and call me every bad thing in the book because I knew I deserved every bit of it. I was trash. I did not deserve to live. I had never been spoken to the way he did that night and when he told me he wanted a divorce and I had best not contest it because he wanted it done cheaply, I died inside. He really cared that much? He never acted like he cared about me or our marriage before?!?!? I was devastated. It was my own fault and I have never denied that. Regardless what he did or did not do, I should NEVER have done what I did. There is simply no excuse. I take full responsibility for my actions. I was so distraught that I took an entire bottle of Tylenol PM because stupidly I thought I could go to sleep and never wake up. The pain would stop. The feelings would stop, the screaming and name calling would stop. I would no longer have to feel worthless!!!! God PLEASE make it stop!!!! After an hour or so he started in on me again and I threw the empty pill bottle at him and said “here’s your cheap divorce”. Pastor was called and my husband, pastor and wife tool me to hospital where I stayed a week. Guess who stood beside me and held my hand and comforted me for being such a horrendous person. They had to lay in the floor of the ER to keep from passing out at me puking up black stuff they were pumping into me. MY MOTHER!!!!! I asked her several times. Why are u here??? She was dumbfounded. Why would I ask such a thing?? Because in my mind she loved my husband more than me and I KNEW she would choose him over me. I was there for a week. Got some much needed counseling, my parents drove an hour and a half one way to see me every single day during my 2 hr visitations. I learned a lot about my mother that week and she learned a lot about me. Now, my mother is my very best friend in the world. On the sidelines, Daddy was working on trying to get me allowed back home. I had no contact whatsoever w my husband this entire time. He allowed me to come home. We started working on our marriage and 3 months later his brother was given a death sentence. Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer. 6 mo to live. Well, how do u work on a marriage when that is going on?? You don’t. That was put on hold. His brother lived almost 18 months PTL!!! So now it’s been 2 yrs since the affair. Many things have changed. One thing that hasn’t? My feeling of worthlessness and being unlovable and basically a piece of trash. My husband is an angry bitter man and never fails to remind me that it is all because of me. I have made his life a living hell for 21 yrs. the worst mistake he ever made was not divorcing me. He also has a new thought process about prayer and God. Why bother?? God will do what He wants regardless how we pray, how much we pray and everything else. Then if the prayer is not answered in the way a person was expecting them they just use the lame excuse of “it must not have been Gods will”. If Gods gonna do what He’s gonna do then we might as well just sit back and let things happen and not waste our time w prayer. He will not waver in this line of thinking regardless what is said or what scripture is quoted. He firmly believes that God wants him to divorce me because he said so in the Bible. I show him all the scripture where it says that Gods despises divorce. He says that those scriptures are talking about other reasons besides unfaithfulness. So, they don’t count. Now, in my mind??? I firmly believe that Satan is trying to destroy this entire family and he is using every weapon available to him. Mainly, the “voices” in my head telling me I’m not good enough, I’m trash and will never be anything else but trash. I also believe that it is Gods will for us to stay married. Isn’t that what all of those scriptures boil down to? God always wants a marriage to stay intact if at all possible. So, as u say in your book and as the Bible says, praying for something that is already Gods will etc…… If that is what I am to hope for and believe in, why does my marriage get worse and my husband gets even more bitter and angry as time goes by?? It is so hard to believe what the Word says and believe its Gods will when things just get worse and worse. I just don’t know how to do this!!!! I try with all my might to push away doubt and stand on Gods promises but oh my goodness, I’m so discouraged!!!!! I pray and beg God to help my husbands heart to heal, and to help me to feel better about myself even knowing the terrible thing that I did. I beg forgiveness every day from God and my husband. Will it ever come??? Will I ever feel worthy, lovable, good, clean and whole again? My friend has sat and watched all of this for years and finally told me that what I feel is NOT all in my head. There are times that she has witnessed my husband emotionally abuse and manipulate me but never said anything because she knew I wasn’t ready to hear it. I was floored! My husband always says its just me. I’m the only person to feel the way that I feel about things. All of you are proof of that not being true!!! My feelings are real and I have the right to feel them without being ridiculed for it!!! I’m sorry this is so long but I’m just beside myself. I’m pretty much at the end of my rope and about to fall into the abyss again. I am not strong enough to keep fighting. Please pray for me, I need it in the worst way. I brought all the heartache on myself by being unfaithful so I guess I’m just getting what I deserve.

    • I pray that God is holding you in his loving arms and lifting you out of the abyss of which you speak!! The words of a song by Francesca Batistelli com to mind right now.

      “God is bigger than the times we fail, so why can we not forgive ourselves?”

      God has forgiven you through Jesus Christ on the cross. Let him lead you. Open your heart and mind to hear his voice.

      Blessings to you!!

    • Oh Trish, when you wonder of your worth, please remember that Jesus died for you. He loved you and thought you were so important that He didnt want to have to live without you – so He chose to die.

      Would you die for something that was worthless?

      what you are dealing with would be impossible for anyone to get through on their own, but you are not on your own as long as you have asked God to be with you, to help you to walk, to hold you up. Ask Him, God hears our prayers. He loves you too much to ignore you.

      I dont know if you listen to much music, but listening to Laura Story’s “Blessings” has helped me through a few of my rough patches.

      Im praying for you, that you understand how God feels about you. Punishing ourselves, does nothing much more than make us miserable – it doesnt help anything. Think of it, you have been punishing yourself for two years – has it brought you closer to your babies? Has your husband expressed his love more? God is the one you have to turn to and depend on to lead you through, Have you asked Him to forgive you? If so, you must believe that He has read 1 John 1:9 in the word. He has promised that he would forgive us, so believe Him, repent of your sin, then put your hand is His, and ask to trust Him where you cannot trace Him.

      My heart aches for you, another song just came to me it says – please don’t give up on God – He wont give up on you.

      Ever.

    • Trish…Renee knows my own story, very similar to yours and after reading your comment, she asked me if I would share my heart with you. Affair, suicide attempts..sister, we could write the same book. I too never thought that our marriage could survive everything, but it has but only by God’s grace. By pushing forward everyday and believing that He is capable of doing the unthinkable. One thing my husband and I do is attend Family Life’s Weekend to Remember marriage conference. It teaches us and encourages us so much in our marriage. I want to encourage you to keep reading “A Confident Heart” and most importantly your Bible. These 2 books have changed how I live life because of choosing to apply what I learn and read. Knowing that others are out there that have gone through some very dark valleys and survived only because of Jesus keeps you clinging to Him no matter what happens. I will be praying for you and if you want to chat, please let me know. Hugs, Lelia

    • Trish,
      To begin with you are a very strong person just by sharing your story with us. I know God has put us all together here to help each other and pray for each other. I don’t believe in coincidence. I believe God is going to change your life and with prayer and God’s favor your family will be restored. God Bless

    • The Lord will bless you for acknowledging what you did and what you want to do with your life. Thank you for having the courage to write your story down Trish. What was the point of the cross if there is no forgiveness? Praying for you girl xx

    • Trish, my heart reaches out to the Father and to you at the same time. May His arms be felt around you in a tangible way. May you know just how wide and deep and long AND how powerful His love truly is.
      When we are at our weakest that is when we are strong… because we get out of Gods way and He moves and works. The Father fights for you, Trish. Remember that.

      Praying for you, sister!

    • Trish, have you read the book Why does he do that? Inside the minds of angry and controlling men by Lundy Bancroft? I was told I was the abusive one, overemotional, irrational, controlling, demanding, selfish, etc etc etc. A good friend (actually more than one) told me my now ex-husband was abusive. I didn’t want to believe it. I still felt it was all me – after all, that’s what he told me. We went to marriage counseling which made it worse. I took more and more responsibility onto myself. Finally I read this book (it was given to me by a friend to read) and one of the conversations from one of the abuser personalities could have been recorded in my living room. It’s been 4 years since my ex-husband left my daughters and me for a separation for reconciliation. That’s what he called it. Really he was trying to punish me. Often if I asked him to help me clean up around the house while he was playing video games, he’d tell me he’d show me what not cleaning looked like or other such examples. The bottom line was always if you think I’m not helping, I’ll show you not helping. The same was true with his leaving. I’ll show you by leaving and you’ll beg me to come back and let me do whatever I want whenever I want. However, I didn’t let him back in the house after the 3 month separation period. I grew to understand that I wasn’t mental and that I was stronger than he or I thought (with God’s help). I used to pray that our marriage would be saved. God chose to ignore that prayer and instead saved me from an unhealthy marriage. I would not have left. My little girls no longer have an abusive marriage as a model for when they are adults. I don’t know if you are being abused or not, but if a good friend has the strength to tell you what she sees, it might be worth seeking counseling and maybe reading the Bancroft book too.

  165. “NO PERSON, possession, profession, or position can ever fill the cup of a wounded, insecure heart– not my heart, nor your heart. It’s an emptiness only God can fill.”

    The statement that grabbed my heart the most was actually in the foreword. Thank you, Lysa. I was moved to tears by this reminder. For so long my thoughts have been, “If only I had a baby, I would be happy.” God is reminding me that only He can FILL to overflowing that emptiness in me. I’m going to keep trusting Him and remembering that His Will is BEST, no matter what that may be! So very excited to be a part of this amazing study. I’m also thankful for the opportunity to build friendships online with dear ladies that I may never meet face to face, but we share a common desire to love the Lord and walk closer to Him. Thank you, Renee, for setting aside time for us. I needed this.

  166. Doubt and hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time!!! What a revelation! As I walked through the worst storm in my entire life, a child going through deep depression and watching them believe the lies of the devil that their life is not worth living,I spent every single day for 8months speaking, reading,reciting Gods Word. Longing to stand on His promises and wondering WHY I HAD NO PEACE?? Because I had that doubt ,as I looked at that huge lingering shadow over my child and my heart battled daily for HOPE! I spoke it to my child, but God knows I struggled with believing it myself. All I could say every day was I TRUST YOU LORD! Through the strength that only our God can give, my child is healthy , healed and whole!! My heart is full of HOPE. And I will proclaim it in thanksgiving with every breath I have left! To God alone be the GLORY! Thank you Lord for my heart of HOPE! My tears have turned from sorrow to joy! That my sweet sisters is God.

  167. We are all gathered here to try to silence the whispers of doubt in our lives. All of us! Look how many! We are a community of believers, united in pursuit of the King of Kings and His touch in our hearts. I was struck by the statement that ” When we pray God’s words out loud and HEAR them, the Holy Spirit engraves them on our hearts and writes them in our thoughts.” (emphasis mine)…. so, all WE have to do is CHOOSE to pray His Words aloud, and trust the Holy Spirit to do the reminding.

  168. Doubt and hope can’t live in our hearts at the same time. That my doubt and insecurity is paralyzing me and basically putting me in a viscious circle that is pulling me away fom God and others. Going through this first chapter so far has been eye-opening. I never really saw just how much doubt was in my life and how much of it I was trying to cover up so others didn’t notice and that by doing that instead of seeking God, I am just making myself miserable.

  169. The Lord showed me Hebrews 10 v v 35-36 a year ago, at the time all seemed okay and I was working in God’s Will for my life.Then my world fell apart and my husband of 32 years became ill. I asked the Lord for a word to help me understand, he kept bringing one word back to my mind TRUST. Then in September my beloved passed away. The Lord took me back to Hebrews 10. since then I have been reading the Word with purpose and looking at many on line studies and when the Lord directed me to ‘A Confident Heart’ imagine my delight when the opening Word was – Heb 10 v v 35-36. I believe God was saying to me – ‘remember what you were doing before and continue, it is my Will for your life’.
    Even though I am in the midst of great grief I know God still has the same plan for my life, He doesn’t make mistakes or change His mind. Even though the world tries to change our minds, we will trust Him. All the scriptures are so relevant and have been prayed over me during recent times. May the Lord Bless you Renee and the people joining you in the study. xx

  170. “Doubt keeps us from believing things will get better. Doubt convinces us that it is not worth the effort.”- This is exactly how I feel right now in my life. I know my confidence is low and it is because I am not seeing myself through God’s eyes but seeing myself through the world’s eyes. I love and want to claim Hebrews 10:35-36 and grow through this study.

  171. When I am outside my shadow is often with me. I just can’t seem to get rid of it. My shadow is either behind me or in front of me, or off to one side. My shadow reminds me of how distorted my thoughts about myself and my emotions can often become as they remain glued to me, much like my shadow. I become entangled within my own distortions and my own negative mindsets. My shadow needs to be dis – entangled from me. Then I can become free to allow my thoughts to lean toward my Savior, the lover of my soul. All those old distortions and negative mindsets need to be released from me, so I can be set free. My shadow is there to remind me, to help me become more aware of my old mindsets. With the help of Jesus Christ, He can help heal my mindsets, help me to release some of my hopeless dependence upon myself, and turn my eyes to Jesus. 2Cor 4:18 “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal .” Our shadow is what we can see, but Jesus is the unseen ( in the physical world. ) So, my confidence can grow when I fix my eyes on Jesus, instead of all of my old quirks, old mindsets, and fear and doubts. Dis – entangle yourself with the help of Jesus, only He can set you free. John 8:36 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” Confidence comes when we have freedom to have Jesus with us and walk with us daily. Now begin your shadow walk today, and know that Jesus is hiding inside all of your shadows, as you journey this life together ! Now , go for it !

  172. Kristin Smith says:

    “The unknown is too scary. Although you’ve been miserable, at least the misery is familiar where you are now.” What a powerful sentence for me! I must work to trust God’s plan for my life, even when it is scary, even when doubt tells me I’m not able.

    • This is exactly what jumped out at me! It may be painful, but I am “comfortable” here. The doubt allows me to believe that this is what it is going to be like no matter what.

  173. I am so happy, excited, and joyed to be a part of this online study! I do not have any friends who share the same faith for God as I do, and this is exactly what I need. I look forward to reading, talking, and learning with everyone. God Bless!

  174. “The unknown is too scary. Although you’ve been miserable, at least the misery is famiilar where you are now.” (p. 21) I remember sharing something like this with a counselor about 4 years ago. Although I have moved closer to God’s Truth since then and He’s continued to do a work in my heart, this statement still resonates to a part of me…..a part bigger than I’d like to admit. Thank you, Renee, for being obedient to Christ.

  175. Holly Fleener says:

    One way I can practice hearing God’s voice is to stop and consider the thoughts that come to my mind. Rather than brushing them aside and moving on with my day, I need to ponder them and see if they may be the Holy Spirit prompting me. There have been many times that I had a thought, but dismissed it only to find out later that it was the Lord trying to help me. If I had recognized that it was information from God instead of just a random thought, I would have saved myslef some trouble. I want so much to become more sensitive to the Spirit of God. The Bible teaches us to pray without ceasing. The only way to do that is to have constant open communication with God. It’s like realizing He’s right beside us all the time. Anytime He needs to speak to me, I’m right there and He can turn to me and speak, and I will turn and listen. If I need to speak to Him, the same is true. When He hears my voice, He will turn to me and listen. Wow! What an awesome privilege we have – an open ear from the God of all creation. I want to always have an open ear for Him as well. Praise God for His patience with us as we learn how to hear him more clearly!

  176. Thank you so much for bringing this study group forward. After reading chapter 1 and answering the reflection and discussion questions, I was forced to take a real look and think back on where my self doubt originated. I had to admit that my insecurities went back to my childhood. My first memory was the day that my older siblings came home from a visit with their father and his family. Being the only child that had a different and absent father from the other siblings and often teased for it, made me feel that I was alone. As I started reading the first page of A Confident Heart, I felt that the Lord has guided me to this group at this time in my life. He knew that I would makeup all kinds of excuses if it had been any time other than this time in my life. For over 17 years my excuse has alway been “my children need this time, so I’ll do it when they are older”. By sons are 23 and 17. There are NO MORE EXCUSES!

  177. I just wanted to share a few of the answers I feel God gave me to the questions at the end of Chapter 1. Hopefully they will speak to some of you as they did to me.

    Question 6 – Describing “a woman with a confident heart.”

    One who hears God’s voice, understands it, and follows what it says. A woman who is only concerned about what God thinks about her, and unconcerned with the opinions of others. One whose faith and confidence in God allows her to do what God has called her to do for His kingdom, in His power ALONE.

    Question 7 – The promise and encouragement of Jeremiah 17:7 and how to “live in the power of of this promise.”

    Those who trust God ARE blessed (not will be) and have their confidence in Him ALONE (not in ourselves)

    I will not listen or believe when someone tells me I’m weird or different – God made me that way to do something spectacular for Him that no one else could do – He made me uniquely special so I could offer my one-of-a-kind talents for His use and purpose

    This study seems as though it was written just for me. It had to have been God that led me to Bible Gateway, to wanting to receive daily email devotionals (which I’ve never done before), to the women’s daily devotional (which normally I would never have done), to reading the exact devotional that spoke to me so directly that I followed the link to this study at the end of it, to having received giftcards for Christmas to Barnes and Noble so I could afford the book, to Barnes and Noble having what appeared to be just one left in stock…..

    God is truly amazing! He is going to do great and astounding things in the lives of the women who love Him, follow Him, and live confidently in His promises!

    I John 3:19-20, Isaiah 49:23

  178. Amanda Feist says:

    What stuck out for me was the line, “Self-doubt blocks the promise of God’s power and truth to change us from the inside out so that we can live with a confident heart.” No matter how many way I try to “change/improve” the outside I’m still lacking the confidence.. well hello AMANDA, the change needs to be made on the INSIDE! Why hadn’t I already thought of that? Romans 12:2 is a good reminder for me of this.

  179. Sorry for joining in so late Renee, but just had to make sure that I got on board with this great study. The thing that spoke to me was the paragraph on page 22 that says, ” These are the voices of insecurity that cast shadows of doubt over our perspective and keep us from becoming the women we want to be – the women God created us to be, Self-doubt blocks the promise of God’s power and truth to change us from the inside out so that we can live with a confident heart.”
    This felt like you were talking about my life, about my experience with self doubt. Self doubt seems to be someone I have dated for a long time, and because of it I have stop listening to the promises that God has promised me through His son Jesus. Thanks for putting this in writing and allowing me to see it, accept it, and start working on fixing it. You are a true instrument of God.

  180. Tammy Monroe says:

    The shadow and light sentenced also piereced my heart. Also, where it sait “Doubt keeps us from believing that things can better. Doubt convinces us that it’s not worth the effort. Doubt shout from the sidelines. and also “Yet doubt & hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time, As God’s girls we need to Know and Believe that change is possible.”

    Wow, that’s a lot to think about and take in. I’m ready!

  181. Andrea Lopez says:

    “You can only see the shadow because you have turned away from the light”. This, as with so many others resonated in my heart. I have been a believer for as long as I can remember so “I know” what I need to do… In my human-ness, busy-ness (you name the excuse) I have turned away. It has been a gradual turning, really unnoticeable, until one day (now!) I am shocked to find myself where I am – alone and floundering around in shadows…groping at anything that will keep me afloat. I am thrilled for this study and am really ready for God to work in my life, turning me once again into who He desires for me to be.

  182. Sorry for joining in with everyone so late in the week. Such a supportive group already!!

    The things that stood out to me so far are that I have the power to CHOOSE whether or not to “dwell in the assurance of Whose I am and who I am in Him”, that “self doubt is blocking me from His promise of His power and truth to change me from the inside out so I can live with a confident heart”, I need to KNOW and BELIEVE change is possible and that “doubt and hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time”.

    So much to reflect upon and learn from! I could so relate to the statement on page 21 where it says “Or maybe you’ve sensed God calling you to serve Him in a way that requires steps of faith, but insecurity has convinced you that you’re not smart enough or gifted enough.” Really struck home!

    Looking forward to this study and the positive changes it will bring!

    • Hi Judy: You are not alone. I also started late but better late than never. Had a lot of things going on in my everyday life but I am ready to do this. LETS DO IT.

  183. Elizabeth Scruggs says:

    Ok I must Confess I am already behind but I am trusting God that I will get everything he wants me to get out of this study!! Here is a quote that stood out to me on week 1: “You can only see the shadow because you have turned away from the, light. Turn back toward the light.

    • Elizabeth Scruggs says:

      I have spend so many years feeling alone and useless, like God has forgotten about me but I am starting to see that it was me who had forgotten God in my life, God hasm’t forgotten about me.

  184. My insecurities begin in childhood anumber of things contributing- as with most kids you have to fit in and you want o be with the in crowd- also I remember a comment an aunt made to me as a child which I still remember today- a lot of my childhood memories are gone-not this one. The statement which jumped out at me was Self-doubt blocks the promise of God’s power and truth to change us from the inside out so we can live with a confident heart. I don’t want to willingly let anything block God’s truth and power to change me from the inside out. when I saw you were going to do this study I didn’t have the book and searching online decided I couldn’t afford it – Yesterday I went into the bookstore to purchase a gift and found the book on sale for $5.00. I think that is a clear message from God I need to be here. Looking forward to it.

  185. Anne Green says:

    At last your book has arrived from USA :-). I have been saving the emails so as to be able to follow them through. I have been a bit shocked to find that my self doubt has had such a control over my life. God has been showing me this whilst I have been waiting.
    So many of your posts are bright and encouraging. Right now I feel tired and discouraged. I know that some of this is lack of sleep. But hey! I am glad that the book has arrived and I will be able to follow them. Praise God.

  186. I have just started reading chapter one, i know you ladies are already ahead of me so I hope you will be reading this. What immediately struck me was that I was chosen and picked by God. It reminded me of the times I was in elementary school and they picked you for a team. I was always last and sometimes only picked because they had to pick ya. But God Wow, He chose me first before i was even born. I had to stop and really think – And PRAISE God because to him I’m not an after though … Just that thought alone made me smile and realize – things can change.

  187. Chelsea says:

    Looking forward to what God is going to do in each of our lives during this study. Thank you, Renee, for hosting this study and allowing God to speak through you in order to build up the women of His church. He wants us to have confident hearts and I trust that the Holy Spirit will build that up in each of us through this study.

    I was particularly moved this week by answering the reflection questions. It took me a while to recall my earliest memories of insecurity…which is a very good thing, but whoa! When I did see that my insecurities took root, they were really deep. Thankfully, I know the love of Christ and those insecurities are being uprooted and replaced by His promises. What a wonderful exchange!

    God bless!

  188. Mona Cunnikin says:

    I know this started on April 1st and I’m very late but I just started the book yesterday. I can say that I’ve wrestled for many years with my self confidence. As a student, as a mother, as a wife and even as an employee all of these points in my life I have questioned myself. I’ve been afraid to show my work as a very skilled artist and to this day no one has ever really seen my artwork .

    What I was able to relate to in this first chapter is the fact I have been paralyzed by my insecurities throughout my entire life. I have been praying everyday since I acquired a new job that God would give me more confidence and everyday, I still struggle. I do feel that this book will help me understand why I feel this way daily. But I know that God is my true help in my time of need. I look forward to letting you know of my progress.

  189. Michelle says:

    I just started the book too and am joining late.

    A couple of things that stood out to me: Regarding the voices of insecurity, how they have cast shadows of doubt over our perspective and kept us from becoming the women we want to be-the woman God created us to be. Self doubt blocks the promise of God’s power and truth to change us from the inside out so that we can live with a confident heart. That is so true in my life. Self doubt has limited me at so many turns. When I first graduated from college 25 years ago, I lacked the self confidence to really promote myself in a career, skewed my ability to make decisions with confidence, so many things. Becoming a christian at age 30 brought about a turning point as I accepted that the Lord truly loved me and had a plan for me. In some ways through him I have become more confident, yet in other ways I am still pummeled by the voices of insecurity.

    I am in the middle of a career change. I have been a stay at home mom, and a homeschool mom. We have been done homeschooling since 2008 and in the years since I have struggled finding something of equal “worth” to do. After a few different jobs, I returned to school to pursue Nursing. I just finished the last of my science prerequisites and begin the Nursing program in August. I have finished with A’s. This is huge for me as I never thought of myself as smart, but I believe the Lord has really helped with that! And I am hoping through this on-line study that I”ll learn more about what God says is true.

    Discussion question #4: Describe what happens in your heart when you read God’s Word. My answer HOPE! Isaiah 43:19 especially speaks to me, “See, I am doing a new thing!” I love this. It is applicable to my life right now and I want Him at work changing me from the inside out.

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