Finding Hope for Our Future

“We can trust God’s plans as we realize that His story is being written into ours. His power is perfected in the broken places we consider to be our greatest weaknesses – our most vulnerable emotions we don’t want anyone to know about. In those hiding places, God calls us out of captivity. When we’re willing to let Him, He brings hope for our future despite the pain of our past.” – Chapter 4

Chapter 4 takes a lot of courage. And I’m so proud of you for being here and not giving up, for wanting all He has for you. I know your Heavenly Father is so proud of you too, for your pursuit and your willingness to walk with Him one step at a time. Remember Christ died to forgive our sins but also to heal our souls so that we can live in Him – with HOPE again!

Don’t give up friend, no matter what! Stay close to Jesus. Stay connected here. We’re in this together. HE is so worthy!! And you? You are so worth it!!

Here’s this week’s messages. Please don’t miss it. I want to be able to share with you face to face this. You were on my mind and in my prayers when I filmed this teaching several weeks ago. Please click the arrow below to watch.

Message Notes: You can download video “Message Notes” in a PDF format here or in a MSWord doc here.  I encourage you to watch it once and just let God speak to your heart. Then if you want to, watch it a second time and follow along with the message notes which include parts of the message, verses and blanks to fill in. 🙂

I know the timelines I encourage you to do are scary for many. I really do understand. And it takes time. I wish I had shared that more clearly in the book. Today I’m praying for God to give you courage and perseverance to press through any fear that would keep you from starting it.  Fear is Satan’s way of keeping us from the freedom God wants in our lives.  You don’t have to do a timeline if you don’t want to or if God doesn’t lead you to. The reason I encourage one is because it’s valuable for us to identify memories and emotions caused in the past that play a role in how you see ourselves and others, and how we handle life and relationships today.

In her comments under this post, May shared how she’s been taking it a little at a time and how answering the questions at the end of the chapter has helped her start her timeline.

Connecting in Community: Let’s share with each other what God showed you through our video message? Also, if you feel comfortable, please share some of your answers to questions at end of Chapter 4.

Click  “share your thoughts”  right below this post and do just that. I’ll be here reading and praying and commenting as time allows. Let’s take a minute today to pray for or encourage someone else as time allows. This chapter is one where it sure is good to know we have friends here to pray and walk beside us, isn’t it? LOVE you guys!!!

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Thank you for such an encouraging video Renee. You’r looking so good, praise God for His healing.You are so right, the thought of the timeline fills me with dread.

    The chapter a week way to study, is a great way for things to sink in. If I was just reading your book I would be rushing through it and missing lots of what God has to say to me.

    Blessings to all the ladies taking part in this where ever they are. I’m in the UK xxx

    • Angelina Wenceslao says:

      Today’s topic on “Finding Hope for My Future” is so timely because of what I am going through right now. I was involved in a car accident about nearly 3 years ago which resulted to a court case filed against me (Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Homicide). It was such a painful experience and my faith in Jesus was put to the test. By the grace of God, I’ve kept the faith and continually holding to His promises up to this day. It was the presence of God that keeps me going and although I have to face the “unknown” with regards to my court case, in my heart I know my life is in His Hands and my hope is in Him alone. Thank you for your encouragement through your book “A Confident Heart”. Although I don’t have a copy yet, I faithfully the topics thru your emails. Please pray from me especially on my upcoming court hearing on the 27th February. May the Lord be with me just as He had promised. God bless us all.

      • Angelina,

        I can’t imagine your waiting. May God give you supernatural strength in your waiting and pain. May his truths come incredibly alive to you as you continually look at Him and His word!

        Karen- Michigan

      • Angelina,

        Bless you for sharing your experience. Cling to the hope you have in Jesus as you wait. My prayers are with you!

        Valerie

      • Angelina,

        I pray the God of hope fills you with all joy and peace as you trust in him. Your faith is an encouragement to all of us. Thank you.

      • AKingelina,
        My heart goes out to all involved. A condo complex was built next to my house that is over one hundred years old. My house partially collapsed with my husband and I in it! It’s been in litigation three years now. It has been a long, confusing, trying and sometimes very dark journey. God is faithful though. Choose each day to seek God’s presence and help. I am amazed how God shows his presence and encouragement to me.
        Blessings,
        Mary Kay

      • Hi Angelina,

        Wow, my heart goes out to you and your pain.You are an example of faith and trust in Our Lord. Thank you for sharing. I will pray for you and for your upcoming court case.
        What touched me also was what you said, “although I have to face the unknown with regards to my court case, in my heart I know my life is in His Hands and my hope is in Him alone.” I face the unknown right now with regards to my marriage, because we are separated. As I lean heavily on my Lord, I know all my answers, help and hope come from Him alone. I will be praying for you.

      • Angelina, I want to share with you some scripture that is helping me go through my court cases process. For God’s Glory and Honor , He has already declared Victory in one of the cases. But what I am learning through this process is that it has brought me to a place where I needed God to help me. I needed to be weak in order to really cry out and depend on Him to really get to know HIm as my great “I AM”. I dont like the way I got to really know Him but Im sure glad it happened. If it never did I could not see how Real our God is.

        Romans 8:33-35

        33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

        Isaiah 54:17

        17 no weapon forged against you will prevail,
        and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
        This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,
        and this is their vindication from me,”
        declares the LORD.

      • What an amazing testimony of faith you have Angelina! I have really been going “through the storm” of the unknown in my own life and reading hearing your strength through your words & the faith you have encourages me to “stay the course”. God bless you during this time, may He guide you and keep you. I know what the devil meant for your harm, God is using for His glory! God bless you today & always. May this test become your testimony!

    • Hello, I am also in the UK , so a little out of the timeline but this book is amazing and speaks a lot to my heart. I have been struggling to come to Christ for years now – forwards and backwards and never sure of what I believe. Yet books like A Confident Heart get to me and hit home. I have prayed and asked for faith and confirmation of faith, I have felt strong, then like a fraud ,worried sick that I am rejecting the Spirit and so on. I also lost a relationship with a Christian partner as a result of my fear and panic and nothing has ever pained me more in my life or made me feel more of a failure. I live daily with regret and a longing for him which never goes away but yet knowing nothing has changed in my life, so we still could not be together. He has also moved on and found someone new. This has all been incredibly hard to deal with so I guess I’m a bit dispirited and in need of God to really, really lift me up if he is there and show me how to go on and what to do. Thank you for this blog x

  2. Thanks for being vulnerable with all of us, Renee. It has been a struggle for me, but God is showing me (even prior to this study) that I have been too strong and I need to show my weakness and deal with them. Only in my weakness can He show Himself mighty in my life. I’ve been in the way of may victories…and now, I’m allowing Him to move me out of the way!

  3. So far this study has been very good, but I am finding it very difficult to keep up as my time at home is not my own, and I work FT outside the home. I took a chance, hoping that I could do this. Please pray that my circumstances will change to allow me to indulge my heart’s desire and need to not only read and study, but to really dig in to the lessons and His Word on a daily basis.

    • I absolutely know what you are saying. My life sounds the same. The only time that is my own is from 4:30 AM til the 3 year gets up, as I go to bed as soon as I put him down, sometimes at 8:30!! It is HARD, but so worth it when I do get time in the morning or on my lunch break. Praying that you will have just 5 minutes!

  4. Thank you for these videos, they are a great way to reinforce what we are learning and reading and really helps me to process the information in a way that puts it in my heart, not just my head. I have processed a lot of my past hurts before this study but there is always something for the Holy Spirit to bring up for me to surrender! LOL Ladies….be strong and courageous, for the Lord Your God is with you! This is good stuff!

  5. Thank You Renee for this book & what you are doing. It is helping me through a very tough time in my life. It is encouraging me in many ways. Keep up the great work. I love being able to hear your voice through the videos. It makes me feel like you are right there to talk too. Thank you so much. God Bless You!

  6. First of all I want to say What a Blessing you are to Adopt Such a Precious and Beautiful little child of God.And I am so Thankful your feeling better.I Love you Teachings this one touched my heart as all the ones I have been doing in your Book.Doubt will rob us of Gods Blessing it is like a poison if we consume it it will destroy us.i Always heard you doubt you will do without.I don’t want to be a Doubting Thomas.I want to be All God called me to be.I kicked doubt to the curb.The devil can only mess with our minds if we let him.He is the one that tries to steal our Joy Our Peace.I have really grown in the Lord more then ever.I know when the enemy tries to take my mind by putting negative thoughts in I just Quote Scripture Greater is He that is in Me then he that is of the world-If God be for me who can be against me-ST.MATTHEW5:1-12 Love these Scriptures.Praying for You and all the Women in this online study.God Bless you and your Family thank you forus to grow more Stronger in God and His Promises.

  7. I actually got to read today and watch your video. You look beautiful, btw!!
    You quoted one of my favorite nuggets from the book in this video. Such a powerful statement about our pasts and our futures.

    Blessings to you, sister! I pray for continued healing!

  8. what an awesome video … Thank You Renee for posting it today! I just can not wait for my sisters to see it . I’m thanking GOD for you and yours at this very moment. Your work is inspiring many and many more will be inspired by the many. Your obedience to our FATHER is a blessing.

    • I hear you sister!!! I share with my friends revelations that I experience thru this who are not actually doing this study, so many will be blessed!! AWESOME!!!

  9. Awesome video! I love that God can restore our souls and make us whole again, when we think it’s impossible from the hurt we endured in the past. He is so amazing and His redeeming love is just waiting right there for us when we allow Him to take that hurt from us. The mistakes from my past (especially in college with excessive drinking and being vulnerable to males) have been wiped away and I’m not longer burdened with the guilt. I know that God has restored me and given me hope in His abundant life. Praise God!! Thank you, Renee, for this great bible study!! It has helped me immensely!

  10. I was just thinking how afraid I am of the timeline after watching the video and then I read the next paragraph and it addressed this very thing. For me it’s not the hurts of my past that are “the big ones” that scare me but the possibility of something being brought to my mind out of the darkness and into the light. I have worked through so much pain from my past and already brought so much to light by God’s grace in my life, but I know there is more to be done. At times I grow tired of all this “processing” and then I’m reminded of Isaiah 40:31, “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
    In weakness, THEN I am strong. It’s all because of HIM. Blessings Sisters!

    • Thank you Shasta for the reminder of those verses. I get caught up in feeling that some the times this is a race, and the reminder is that it is a journey and it is the direction that my path is going not the speed. But that is one of the lessons/promises I believe God is working on in me is of perseverance. It’s easy to to give up many times, but good to carry on.
      And Renee, the way you are presenting God’s promises in the Word is such a gift andI’m blessed for the timing and my heart being open to processing of this now. Going back to last week lesson one of my fears in sharing my testimony or faith with others is that doubt I’ll do it right. I don’t have the verses on the tip of my tongue, but it has been easier now to see where to look. Starting my own little references with the verses you use in the book and from here online Blessings to all Lou

      • Thank you, Lou and Shasta for those wonderfully timely reminders! This is a JOURNEY and we do have HOPE in the Lord!!! Yes, we grow weary and faint, but He will renew our strength!
        This is a lonely journey for me right now; well, actually, as I’m working through the timeline, I’m seeing LOTS of lonely parts of the journey. ouch. Although in truth, God has been alongside me all the way, much of the time I just didn’t pay attention.
        Yeah, Rene, lots of tears. Tears can be cleansing, though!
        Here’s to the “light at the end of the tunnel” or actually the Light that guides the Way!
        Blessings to you all, sisters in Christ. May He provide abundantly more than any of us can ask or imagine!

  11. this was a wonderful encouragement! i sure hope i can let go like i need to, please pray for it to be so, and thank you so much for your teaching and encouragement 🙂 this book is amazing.

  12. Dear Renee,
    As I read through your book a couple of months ago, I thought to myself how similar our stories are. My dad died when I was six so while I had some uncles in my life, it is not the same. My mom never remarried and so with only a high school education, she had to work minimum wage jobs all the rest of her life. She brought me up with the idea that I had to be strong and able to support myself in case something ever happened to me like what happened to her. When dating, I always was too possessive of the guys so most ended up just being friends. I finally met the guy that became my husband but like you, soon became critical and dissatisfied because he was somewhat independent minded and didn’t like being “trapped ” in a job and has gone from “good” job to self-employment several times. I was looking for security and stability. We have had some very rocky times and right now he is working in another state and we don’t get to see each other all that often. But, also like you, the Lord has given me Isaiah 43 and all that it promises. My pastor felt led to share that scripture with me one Sunday morning. Actually the date was 1/23/11. In that chapter, I feel that God has told me that He is going to restore my family to him and my marriage. There have been some really rough times in the last year, where I questioned if I was doing the right thing by holding on to something that seems all but dead. But God has really reassured me that if I am faithful, He will be faithful. Your book and then the videos are so much what I have needed for reassurance and for building up “A Confident Heart” in me. The world -and some of my church family – would support me if I decided to do different but I cannot disobey God in my marriage. I found your devotion and your prayer for husbands and have been praying that over my husband almost every day since I found it. I am also planning on doing a timeline because I know that my daddy’s death has not been the only factor in me being who I am. I am looking forward to getting rid of some strongholds that have been weighing me down for years. Thank you so much for sharing and encouraging us to seek our “confident hearts” in the Lord also.

    • When God speaks we cannot go wrong listening to Him alone Donna! YOU are right….if he said he’ll restore then watch and see – he will restore! Praise God for women like you. 🙂

      Karen- Michigan

    • Thanks for sharing, Donna. He will you strength. Keep clinging to His truths!

  13. Thank you Renee for this book and this study – it has come at a cucial point in my healing and growing process. I began this process by searching for peace a couple of years ago and God has walked me through my past hurts, disappointments and even sins and He allowed me to cry, heal and grow. As hard as it was it has been, I can truly say that it has been an amazing journey and I feel better than I have in…well….ever really! I found you through Lysa’s bible study, Made to Crave, which gave me a new outlook on my struggle with my weight/eating. Then I found your book and study and being guided to go to God for help with my confidence has taken my journey to whole new level! I never cease to be amazed at His impecable and perfect timing and wisdom! Learning to trust in His plan for me, understanding that I have lived with a very false sense of control, my whole life, and finally being able to relinquish that has finally brought me the peace that I have been so desparately seeking. Living in the past and trying to control everthing and everybody was exhausting and futile — His way is so much better!! So I would like to encourage those who are just starting this journey to pray for strength and courage and He will carry you through the process. Enjoy the journey because the end will be better than you can imagine! LOL and prayers to all…..

  14. Renee, thank you for your honesty and vulnerability and faithfulness. I too have much to heal from and have stuffed it for over forty years. God wants to heal me and I have fought to not deal with it because of the pain. I also have a young adopted daughter internationallly that is struggling through much of your sweetness’s struggles. It has been so difficult to watch her struggle. But I know that if I don’t deal with my own past, which mirrors my daughter’s greatly, I cannot help her. The vulnerability is so difficult. Thank you for standing as an example and in the gap for the rest of us to show us the grace and miraculous love of our Heavenly Father to accept us, love us and heal us as we walk it out and beyond. God bless you abundantly, Renee and your family for sharing you with us.

  15. Renee thank you for this message and for the messages throughout your book. Some of my past hurts have caused me to doubt myself in the area of my abilities to perform my job and to look toward career advancement with fear and doubt. Thank you so much for telling me that God does want to heal my past and take care of my future and he wants me to be confident in his love for me.

  16. I’ve heard a similar teaching that describes how Satan uses events from our past to oppress us in the now. Unfortunately he knows what has happened, even though we may not be able to identify what is bothering us….much like you mentioned with Aster. It takes the power of almighty God to break those unseen powers. I pray for all of us to have unseen bondages broken, that we may not be held captive by pain of the past…in Jesus mighty and precious name.

    • peggybythesea says:

      This is a great study and as usual God’s timing is perfect! Joanne, thank you for recognizing that “even if we can’t identify” god knows….A timeline sounds so stressful to me because I remember so little of my childhood. I know of little bits and pieces and thank God I went through some intense counseling a few years ago and in those memories Jesus is now there because of the places the Counselor had me go. He worked with me in replacing those times (in the dark closet, crying on the bus to school as a child while children laughed at me) with Jesus right there with me so that is what I see now instead of the fear and darkness i felt. But really, I don’t remember much. It wasn’t good, I know that, I know of my parents alcoholism, the violent outburst were there, the infidelity of my mother, my crying dad…But actual memories are not there. I know after years of Counseling, depression and anxiety, and more…that it was painful, i felt unloved and rejected and I wanted to fix it all. But god was there!! Praise him! for so long I believed He wasn’t’ with me, he let me get hurt. I know better now. Doing the questions is just a reminder of it, so it is difficult, but I press on…In His love

      • Denise Goodrich says:

        I too went to intense counseling to deal with abuse that I suffered while a very young girl. It was called theophostic. I went into my memories that were causing me pain and I saw God there with me. I prayed for God to reveal himself. I prayed for God to help me forgive those that hurt me.And by doing those things I felt like I broke from my past. It was difficult to “go” there to the memory, but so necessary to free me to live in the present with healing. I can honestly say that I felt like a huge heavy burden was lifted and felt so free and so loved by God. It may be hard to do a timeline, but when I do one, although the memories are still there, there is no pain, no fear, only peace. It is hard to explain, except to say God healed me of those terrible events and I can share specific memories and not cry or feel anything. God is good, 100% good. He never causes us to go through these bad trials or lets us go alone. He is there to help us heal and love us. Psalms 34:18

  17. This really resonated with me throughout. I too am finding that past hurts and dissapointments are causing me to be critical of my husband and trying to control the situation. As the message states this is just not working. It causes resentment in our marriage where rejoicing in each other should be. We have only been married a little over a year. Being 30 at the time we met, I had many years to mourn, but instead I ran from them and from God. To know there is hope is such a blessing, and like JJ, God has given me the husband He knew I needed. God bless you all this week.

  18. Thank-You Renee! The Video is exactly what I needed to hear. Thoughts about things in my past have been surfacing for awhile now. I couldn’t understand why things (hurts, pain, etc) I haven’t thought about in years-because I stuffed all of that down deep- all of a sudden started just “popping” into my head. I realize now it is God leading me to face these issues and heal them with him so that I can go on and become all that He created me to be. I believe God lead me to this study not only to heal those hurts, but to overcome my insecurities and fears and to learn to really trust in Him and to develop a deeper relationship with Him.

  19. Carrie swearingen says:

    So many things spoke to me in this chapter but I will name just a few. He knows our past and our pain can actually lead us to his plans and hope for our future. It is encouraging to know that god knows what hurts and struggles we are facing in our lives and can use these hurts/struggles for his good and his plan for our lives.

    I identified with your statement I have always felt like a pine tree, tossed by the winds of my emotions, defined by my circumstances, and uprooted by life’s storms.

    No matter what you have done or what as been done to you, god has a plan for your life. He wants to use everything he has brought you to, to bring you through.

    Learning to live in the security of god’s promises is a daily journey of dependence. His love is not only perfect and unfailing, it redeems and restores. His truth cuts to the core of our struggles, bringing purpose to our pain, redemption from our past, and hope for our future.

    • Thank you Carrie, your post really ministered to me today. The last line was a very special blessing to me. It is good to remember that God knows our hurts and pains that we are feeling today and has brought us through the past by being there with us, whether we knew it then or not. I am so thankful for that. What an awesome God we serve.
      I Praise Him!

  20. victoria chambers says:

    I am new to the group study, and as i was reading the thoughts, I felt Good I am some place where I can finally be understood,I have been through a lot in my life starting at the age of three. and I do remember those awful times, and I can’t talk about them, hopefully i can tell God all about them. Asking for his help now.

    • Victoria,
      I was looking for an encouraging scripture for you and turned to Psalm 40. I hope you have time to read it. Right now, I think that vs. 17 describes your plea to God: “Yet I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, do not delay.” God loves you and wants to deliver you from your past so you can walk into the future He has for you. Trust Him and He will provide just what you need.

    • Victoria, I love the Psalm that Donna has encouraged you to read. I also had a lot of pain from my childhood and Psalm 40:1-3 has become my life verses. I have walked through and processed through that pain with the Lord and although it is hard, as Renee said, it is SOOO worth it! Cry out to the Lord, cry on His shoulder and let Him heal. Do what He says do, no matter how hard, because it will set you free. He will lift you up from the pit and set Your feet on His Rock of truth. He will make your steps secure and you will have a song of praise to sing to Him. Others will see what He has done in you and will turn to Him as well. Blessings dear sister!

  21. One quote from chapter 4 that spoke to where I am right now is “When we let Jesus pour His healing power into our lives, His love flows into our pain and cleanses the wounds from our past. As we come to know God and fully rely on His love for us, we stop allowing the past to determine our future.” The video and chapter are what I need to hear. I’ve just recently realized that until I work though the hurt and disappointment of many years, and I will not have peace. It is hard, and sometimes I feel like giving up, but It helps to know that I don’t have to work through it alone, and the image of His love flowing into my pain is keeping me going.

    • peggybythesea says:

      I so know what you are feeling Jennifer! It is so hard, but as we press on, for me, knowing there are the Jennifer’s and the others who feel the same helps me get through it….Thank you my sister…Peggy

    • Kathy Sturgis says:

      I love that idea of pouring into our pain. It is that hurt empty place that waits for healing that is getting filled with Jesus.

  22. One of my favorite verses of scripture is Jeremiah 29:11. I’ll admit though that I wanted to shout AMEN when I kept reading to hear “then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you and will bring you back from captivity”!!! That deserves an AMEN!
    I never fully got this passage until now. I always emphasized verse 11 but there’s really good stuff that follows!
    I have to admit that I haven’t done the timeline yet and I’m nervous to do so. It scares me to really process mistakes I’ve made and scars I’ve been left with. I’ve talked to God about them and have confessed them to Him but I still carry alot of guilt and shame.
    It’s going to take time but I’m ready to follow God out of the captivity that keeping me from being all that God wants me to be.
    Praise God for you Renee….thank you for your courage, your vision and for leading us on this journey.

    • peggybythesea says:

      I understand this too!!! Jer 29:11 has been my life verse for 20 years adn i never thought about the verses after until this past December when i was going through one of the most difficult times of my life. I read on searching for “there has to be more than this” and then claimed that i would be found by god and brought out of captivity. He didn’t bring me where I thought I was going, but He brought me to an even better place, out of captivity from myself!!! Thank you all ladies for being here and I thank God for using you Renee, As always he knew His perfect timing was going to bring me to this study for such a time as this!!!

    • Amen to Jeremiah 29:11! I am seeing it also…..through this study I am learning I am the one who is responsible for my captivity and when I seek God He is there to set me free. It is when I don’t constantly seek Him the devil tries to intervene. It is really obvious to me now how I need and want God to fill me up completely, every minute of every day….. above anything else in this world.

  23. I enjoyed the video, I have been processing the pain of my past for some time now, and for all my sisters who are afraid, it is scary, but remember that Jesus is there with you and realizing how He feels about us makes all the difference in the world. It is so joyous to have Him heal you. The joy is amazing. I know i’m not completely there either, I love how Renee said it is a process. I know the Lord is not finished with me yet, but will continue to do the good work in me. Thanks so much Renee. Praying for everyone here to not be afraid to let Jesus heal us all!
    Blessings

  24. Hi friends, let’s pray for each other and just commit to pray for our timelines. Start jotting down a a few things and maybe we can work on this together next week. Not sure how but if I can get rid of this bronchitis I’m open to talking through it and walking through it by sharing mine with you. Just need to see if my new meds start to work. I speak out of town tomorrow night and then have a rest and retreat weekend with some friends – so looking forward to that. 🙂 Praying and loving your hearts for Him and each other. You bless me!!!

  25. Renee, thank you for the videos. I havent posted as much lately but I am reading, journaling, answering questions and have been working through my timeline. It’s amazing what God will reveal to you.

  26. I feel like every single word in this book is written just for me. It is amazing. I find myself highlighting paragraohs at a time not just sentences.

  27. His love is simply amazing!!! I cannot believe how much this study is helping with my doubt and pain from my past. I look forward to reading the chapters, just to see what He will reveal to me. Renee, thank you for being an amazing tool of His love, your desire to help women is such a gift that He has blessed you with.

  28. This is my first post but I have been trying to catch up and still a chapter behind. I haven’t read this one yet but I have thought of doing a timeline this past year to make some sense into the past. Many people say don’t think of the past but there are times when we do without asking to, it just is a trigger. In fact, with PTSD, many people have a hard time not thinking of the past when triggers come and that could be daily depending on the situation. I hear about so many marriages should be saved and clinging on to save them but I do think there are those that are not equally yoked and in making a choice to divorce we are making a choice to be free from things we cannot control. Maybe I”m wrong, but one of the things of churches is that divorce is shunned yet we do have knowledge of what to do when people are hurting us. Sometimes we can follow but we can’t make others see the light. And in fact, in my past marriages (2) it would have been a dangerous thing to stay married.
    I do believe though that the future will be brighter if equally yoked with a Christian man. My own dad did the best he could but as all of us had issues that caused heartbreak. Forgiving him was the best thing I ever did.
    My timeline seems to repeat alot of losses so it is something to be a bit sad but I plan to do it. I don’t want to repeat the past again.

    • Cling to the truths we are learning and the Lord will lead you to a much brighter tomorrow. I know this is true because I started life in a bad situation and then made many bad choices, but I am beginning to see that life can be so much happier. Praying for you Jennifer!

  29. A big “thank you” to everyone who has been sharing here. You are all so transparent and caring towards one another, and it has been a blessing to me. Many thanks!

  30. Renee,

    I am staring the timeline right in the face. What a brilliant idea but it scares the daylights out of me. Even though I feel like I have dealt with the things from my past, I fear what I may have buried just to survive. This will take a lot of prayer and most likely a lot of tears but I am ready and I am willing.

    • Anna- God will be there waiting on you and he will wipe away those tears as they wash you clean and free! I will be praying for you and I ask that you pray for me! We are going to do this through the grace and the wonderful mercies of our Lord!

  31. “I will be found by you….and bring you back from captivity” I love this verse and on page 81 of the book I love your explaination that we can find him again and again…. “The one who can lead us to freedom from the captivity of our doubts and insecurities.” My struggle often comes from myself trying find my own way out of the insecurities and then living with the guilt of being unsuccessful. Praise God he never gives up on us and he is always there waiting to be found so that he can show his love to us. I believe he is leading each of us back to those areas in our lives so that he can reveal himself in a greater way than he ever has to us. Yes the timelines are difficult and I too am afraid to go back and face some things but God is there waiting right along side all those pains and his perfect love can and will erase the pain and he will lead us out of captivity! I would like to share something that I believe the Lord called to my rememberance that I never knew was in my heart. I have a sister who is 5 years younger than me. We are different as night and day. I tend to have angry feelings toward her and I have never really been able to determine why. I love her but there are times that I just do not like her ways. Shortly after my sister was born my parents divorced. This week as I was praying over everything we have read in chapter 4 I felt the Lord take me back to that time and I realized that after 35 years I have harbored resentments toward her and felt as if she was part of the reason my parents divorced…… in reality she was not and I know that but as a child I did not. I have God to forgive me and I praised him for showing me this. I am plannning on going to her and asking for her forgivness. Please pray for God’s perfect timing and more importantly for both of us to be healed. .Oh just typing this has brought such peace to me…Thank you Renee God is definitely doing a marvelous work! I am so thankful for this study and exicted about what the Lord is doing and is going to continue to do. I encourage everyone to ask God to take you by the hand and led you back where he would have you to go….. remember he will lead you out of anything that has held you captive…….. never to face the fear of your past again. I am aksing him….Let’s do this together!

    • Stacy, I pray your sister will receive your forgiveness and the two of you will be fully reconciled and have the relationship you were meant to have. I thank God for the peace He’s given you in revealing to you the source of your hurt that was the divorce and not your sister.

    • Stacy, Your story brings a heartfelt prayer for you and your sister. God has healing you already.

  32. Right now, I’m very frustrated. I’m sad, tired of trying…can’t get anything right…so much in me that’s messed up, i don’t know where to start. Can’t find the joy and happiness in my life I once had…emotions are out of whack…trying to hold on with everything I’ve got…everything.

    • Christina, I don’t know what all you’re going through, but as I read your post I couldn’t help but think of David’s prayer in Psalm 51. Certainly at that time that David wrote that, he may have been feeling many of the things you mentioned. I am praying that God will “create in you a new heart, and renew a steadfast spirit within you….and restore to the joy of your salvation.” Don’t give up! Bring all those frustrations and emotions to God…he wants you to share them with him. In recent years, I have found great comfort in knowing there isn’t any emotion I can experience that Jesus didn’t experience….we can’t shock him or tell him anything that will cause him to turn away. He was God, and without sin, but he was also 100% human and was NOT without emotion. He experienced anger, fear, pain, betrayal, temptation, abandonment, etc. I pray you’ll let him be the one to hold you together. Praying for good rest and good health for you this week, and for God to take care of the rest!

      And Renee – praying for protection and healing for you and your family as well. Ever since this study began you’ve faced one difficulty after another, and we know ol’ Satan hates that TRUTH is being spoken through you. I’m so glad to see you’re standing strong and staying positive….many of us would have crumbled with even one of the setbacks you’ve had recently….I admire your steadfastness! I know your strength is found in the Lord, and that shows. Blessings on you this week!

      • I have to correct my post because it is bugging me! What was I thinking speaking of Jesus in past tense! 🙂 I said Jesus “was” God….but we know Jesus IS God!! Thank you, Jesus, for coming to earth, and walking among us, so you can now identify with everything we will experience in this life.

  33. Thanks for your message Renee. I think the hardest part for me right now is allowing the emotions/memories to come up so God can heal them and set me free. I know they’re there. I can feel that “something” needs to be healed and I want to face it. But it’s just not coming up. Thank you for praying.

  34. Rebecca Greene says:

    At our Sabbath women’s study tonight, we talked about our timelines. Some of us were afraid to share ours because our past did not seem as painful as those persons with addiction, divorce, death, etc. We worked hard as a group to validate each person’s experience and accept each person where they are on this journey.

    • Rebecca: That was great that you made sure to validate everyone’s experience. I know in some groups I have been in the “drama” of some of the stories takes over and others are left out and that is not what God intends to happen.

  35. Hi sweet Renee and beautiful Confident sisters!

    I want you to know that time constraints with my job and family have kept me from commenting as often as I’d like but you are prayed for each and every day. I want to offer encouragement to you as you seek strength to dive into the pain of the past. I am now reading ACH for the third time and am just now confidently feeling healing is just around the corner! For many months, I just chose to believe that I could confidently address my own weaknesses…today I am doing that through counseling and I marvel at how God uses Renee’s own story to give me hope.

    Keep running toward the goal, sisters. Healing is near. God can use all of you, even your pain and shame for His glory.

    Exchanging ashes for beauty,
    Lisa

    • Lakecia Harris says:

      Lisa, thank you for praying for all of us and for sharing your story. Reading the book for the third time shows that you are actively seeking and searching for spiritual answers and God’sdirect healing. I am proud of you 🙂

  36. My pain is in the past as well as on going……24 years of marriage to a man who is not at all what he claimed to be prior to marriage in terms of basic character. Years of broken promises and ongoing emotional abuse and neglect are taking a toll. Functionally I am a single parent, and work to hard to stay strong for my kids, one in high school and one in college. A friend recently pointed out that in trying to be strong I have spend 2 decades “stuffing” my emotions. I don’t even know how to pour my heart out to God…..when I try I feel like I’m complaining, being selfish, or ungrateful that He gave me salvation, the biggest gift. God is sovereign and He chose this path for me. I know He loves me, but most of the time I feel like an empty shell of a woman.

    • Kathy,

      My heart goes out to you. You are not being selfish at all. God cares for you as a Father and will listen to anything you have to say. He will bring you peace and comfort. I don’t think He chose a path of pain, neglect, or abuse. Seek Him always, He is there for you with open arms. I am praying for you.

    • Kathy –
      You and I are walking in similar shoes. I, too, have been married 24 years…and I wish I could say my husband is my best friend, but at this point I wonder if I really even know him anymore. He has chosen in recent years to fill his life with other pursuits, worship other “gods,” and keep his feelings/emotions hidden. I have felt “ditched” and neglected and at the bottom of his priority list. I have functioned as a single parent for most of my years as a mother because of him either being unavailable or because of his own childhood wounds that cause him to avoid difficult decisions, tasks and responsibilities involved with parenting. I know the only person I can change is me, but sometimes it’s a lonely place. I know your struggle of feeling like you have to “be strong” for everyone around you. Our marriage has had ups and downs for several years, and it almost ended 2 years ago, when my husband said he wanted a divorce and walked out on us for 6 weeks, because he didn’t want to deal with our issues and was tired of the conflict (which he wouldn’t work with me to resolve). I was crushed that he would not fight for me, or for our marriage. Thankfully, God preserved us, and we are back together, and I know my husband regrets things he said and did, but it is more difficult for me to trust and believe his words, since doubt now has a foothold. I am so grateful that my God will never lie to me, mislead me, be unavailable for me, withdraw from me, neglect me, or reject me….I realize that is what I’ve wanted from my husband all these years, and it is something he can never provide. I’m learning to be grateful for my imperfect marriage, because if my husband was all I needed and wanted him to be, I would probably never have gone deeper in my relationship with God and desired him to be my closest companion. It has been good for me to rediscover my sense of “self,” rather than just pouring myself into everyone else and ignoring my own needs and issues. God is giving me compassion for my husband, where once there was only anger and resentment. I know that down deep my husband wants what I want, which is unconditional love and respect, and I need to be patient and let my husband work through his own wounds. It is definitely a process for me get to know Jesus well enough where he becomes my everything, and everyone else and everything else is just an extra “gift.” I do believe that as we’re obedient to our God, faithful to our vows, and finding our worth and identity in Christ, rather than in the things we do, or in being Mrs. XX, that God will work all things together for our good. I can’t make my partner stay, or make him do the right things, but I can pray for him and believe in him, even when I’m disillusioned with him. So, I’m praying for you today, Kathy….and praying that our 25th anniversaries will bring reassurance of God’s unfailing love, and bring new beginnings in our marriages. Here is an article I came across recently that gave me some new perspective on marriage. I hope you (and anyone else out there struggling in your marriage), will find it helpful:
      http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/relationship/features/27749-you-never-marry-the-right-person

      I just want to say thanks to all of you sisters out there, for “being there” and reminding me that we’re not alone in our struggles, and for giving me a safe place to share without compromising my family’s privacy.

      • Caroline McGinnis says:

        Thank you for sharing you are not alone aqny of you I too have struggled in my marriage in much the same ways you all do. So thanks for the encouraging words. I can see at times my husband does try. we have been married for 18 years now, and i know that God is not through working with us so there is still hope. God Bless and prayers are with you.

    • Kathy & Lisa:
      I feel your pain and you are not alone. Two years ago I went to a Divorce Care group at my church which helped me crawl out of the place I was hiding and brought me closer to God. After 18 years of marriage and several different counselors I finally asked my husband to leave. I was tired of his put-downs and our relationship was not healthy for the kids. Through the Divorce group I found forgiveness for my spouse, he still tries to find ways to hurt me. We are not divorced(long story) and he does do things with our son so I see him often. He finds ways to try to “control” me and push my buttons, I have learned to block that out and turn it over to God in prayer.
      This study has been great to give us a place to “get it out in the open” and realize we are not alone in our struggles – we have God and each other.

    • Kathy Deckard says:

      Praying for you Kathy. I am in a similiar position. I have been married for 22 years. Our relationship has been rocky. I also have stuffed many emotions throught my husbands drug addiction, pornography and bankruptcy. God used those things to help me see that I was putting my security and confidence in my husband and not in God. It is still rough. Stuffing my emotions has also led me to depression and now panic attacks. My 19 year old daughter is suffering with social anxiety. She does not have her license or a job. There is no money for counseling and we have no insurance. My husband is getting phone calls all the time from bill collectors. He refuses to tell me how much money he owes. He does not communicate about anything that goes on in our life. Most of the time I feel so alone. Many days I just want to leave. Praying for a miracle!

  37. Hi Renee and ladies,

    Wow, this chapter is powerful. The video message brings the message of hope to life by being transparent and honest. Aster is prescious! I have not started my time line. I have so much to process. I am afraid that if I get into my childhood and then move through my series of bad choices I will get behind on the study. I will need an entire day alone with God to work through my past unmet expectations, hurts, and my unforgiveness. I have stuffed all the emotions that go along with hurt and disappointment down and tried to ignore them, but they leak into my life. I will claim God’s promises of hope and work through the timeline a little at a time so I can continue this study.

    • peggybythesea says:

      I so know what you mean Valerie and am praying for you and all of the women who are here. It is difficult to process childhoods, and being that I don’t remember much about mine I tend to focus on the things I did because of the rejection and feelings of being unloved. I also tried to make everything nice which is what I have done most of my adult life. Fix others, God’s job, but try and I don’t have to address myself. That was how I lived. I searched for love in all the wrong places and faces, my regrets are many, but I know now that Jesus was with me through it all, and by His grace I am forgiven and being made whole. He is healing my heart, not always in ways we would like, but He is with me…Thank you ladies for being with me also in Spirit!

  38. Hello Renee,
    God bless you for the great work you are doing. As I listen to the video, I could relate to it although it was outling my husband, he too, was involved in a broken home at an early age. I thank you for sharing. I will take this and process it and seek the face of my Father and lean on Him for the strength as the Holy Spirit moves in my husband to heal all brokeness. I will pray for strength to wait as the Holy Spirit do what I can not. Thank you much. God’s blessing!

  39. What a timely blessing this study has been for me. Before beginning this study, I had already been on a journey of looking at my own timeline with the help of a counselor. I’m still going through the proc ess of dealing with the hurts of the past and seeing where I’ve brought them into my present. Renee, I’m in such a similar place currently with my husband and I’m praying daily that I will stop bringing my past into our marriage and let God heal that past so I can see what He’s doing for my future. For the last few months, I was beginning to wonder if it was all worth it because so many things in our relationship have not been right. I’ve been basically a single mom for the last four years and I’ve been wondering how much longer I can do life like this. With this study and the help of a counselor, I’m working through a huge process of dealing with my past and learning to let go of that, give it to God and allow Him to heal that hurt so that I can move on to the future He has prepared for me. I highlighted many things in this chapter this week. So many things really hit home with me. The last one I have is “God’s love is not only perfect and unfailing, it redeems and restores. His truth cuts to the core of our struggles, bringing purpose to our pain, redemption from our past, and hope for our future!” What an amazing God we serve. I’ve struggled with bringing Him my pain because I felt selfish and ungrateful for all the other things in my life that are such blessings. I didn’t want to be complaining about my problems when I do recognize so much He has blessed me with. But I see that He WANTS me to talk to Him in this way and by doing this, it allows me to be the one to let go of what’s bothering me and give it to Him to handle. What a difficult time I have had facing some of the truths about my past and how I’ve brought it into my present. The process has been so hard and yet so freeing at the same time. I finally had a small glimpse of hope in my marriage relationship that maybe things could actually be better. It will still be a process of changing how we relate to each other because we have been in the same cycle for 21 years. So, the changes are difficult, but I’m trusting God to redefine my future in this marriage, not through the filter of the past and pain, but through the power of His life-changing promises.

    Praying for you and your family Renee, as you face what seems like the devil attacking your family in sickness and injury. Thank you so much for your encouraging video this week. I came across this study on facebook and it signed up for it and I feel it was God leading me to a study for just what I am currently going through. I relate to your story as well as so many others I have read on this blog. I pray for each and everyone doing this study that God will open our hearts to His healing so we can have the future He wants for us. God bless you all as you walk your journey with God and with all of us here.

  40. I am here praying for you all. I hope to get the book soon…just been a tight couple of months. But the tax refund is o other the way! I am so blessed by the devotions and sharing…y’all are amazing. I will hope to be playing catchup soon! God bless you all.

  41. EI am here praying for you all. I hope to get the book soon…just been a tight couple of months. But the tax refund is on the way! I am so blessed by the devotions and sharing…y’all are amazing. I will hope to be playing catcheup soon! God bless you all.

  42. Chapter 4 is a hard chapter for me, but I know that now is the time the Lord has ordained for me to let go of my past hurts, sins and disappointments so that God can set this captive free. I started my timeline this morning in my quiet time and it went back to when I was 9 years old. I cried and cried over hurt, pain and dissilusionment, but somehow I know God was there with me, heard me and will set me free. I know that this morning the Lord “looked with compassion on all my ruins; he will make my deserts like Eden, my wastelands like the garden of the LORD. ” I am taking this slow, one day at a time, and have puposed to see this through..thank you Renee, for allowing God to use you for such a time as this.

    • Wow, what a wonderful study! God Bless all you for sharing your thoughts with me. I just began the program…and I believe there’s a timeline for everything, and God deal with us individually, and in our time. I too suffered abandonment as child, and came from a home where there was alcoholism . It has taken me years to accepted it, and lived denail for quiet some time., I’ve developed mechanism through the years to help cope the pain and hurt of growing up with a parent that’s an alcoholist., I became a perfectionist, and controlling individual. I am still, even thought I had have relationships in the past for fear of commitment and getting hurt, and rejection. I became the care giver for my mom, and it has been bitter-sweet, and also forgave my dad and took care of him till the very end. I’ve been experiencing flashbacks of my past since last year and I believe that’s God trying to heal my heart and giving me hope for the future, I’ve discovered things about myself I didn’t know before. I believe just like Reene said its the Holy Spirit bring in out those areas, those thoughts in me that keep me captive and prevent me from moving forward. I wish someone would share their thoughts on their own process of healing.

  43. Confident Heart Sisters,
    Even though it will be a challenge to write out our “hurtful” timelines full of pain, let’s stay focused on Him. Let’s LET GO, and LET GOD! Let’s truly let His truth cut to the core of our struggles bringing purpose to our pain, redemption from our past, and HOPE for our future! We aren’t alone in this…we are all together! And have God right here with us! Prayers are being lifted up for YOU!!!!!

  44. Renee, I agree with everything you said in the video. It can be so painful to let God take you through the process but it is so worth it! It took me a few years to really walk through it all with God and like your marriage, mine was also affected. I carried into my marriage the baggage of an alcoholic, perfectionistic father, the struggle of losing all our possessions to his addiction when I was in my early teens and then abuse by my step-grandfather. When I met my husband I was a mess and looking for someone to love me and make everything ok. I had many, many unrealistic expectations I put on him. It almost cost me the marriage, but praise the Lord for His healing in my life and in my marriage and we are coming upon our 14th anniversary. The Lord makes all things new and in Him we are new creations and can have hope for our future despite what happened in the past. Psalm 40:1-3 are my life verses.

  45. HI Renee!
    I could relate to what you were saying in the video. I too have become critical and resentful of my husband but unlike you, I am not sure why. We have been married 12 years with two beautiful children. I am so blessed. I am not sure why I have become so controlling and hard on him. I am praying for God to bring me clarity as I am on this journey with you. My hope is that I discover what in my past is holding me back from recieving the promises of my future. I pray for a confident heart as I take hold of GOd’s hope and healing He has for my life. Thanks for all your insight!

  46. Dear Renee,

    Thank you for this wonderful study. I read Chapter 4 on Monday, and I did my timeline the next day, even before I looked at the questions. I didn’t want to put it off, and I wanted the healing you said it would bring. I was surprised on some of the things that made it onto the timeline but more surprised by the things that didn’t. As I was doing it, it was as if the Lord was revealing the “major” hurts and happenings that has made me me. I was also surprised by the things that brought tears that I thought I had dealt with and the things I was able to write down as just a happening that I realized I had moved on from or at least for now.

    What I noticed that I had moved on from was the stuff that I had worked through forgiving the person. One of the things that helps me do that is: Hurting people hurt people. While I was writing one of the things that still bring tears and a lot of them, the song from David Crowder Band came on “How He Loves.” So while I was sitting there crying, I was reminded how much God loves me and how He’s right there walking through life with me.

    Thank you Renee and dear sisters in Christ for being transparent and allowing healing to come in our vulnerable places.

  47. Renee, loved the video. One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11, and it wasn’t until recently that I read further and found verse 14. WOW does that say it all, I will be found by you, says the Lord. Prayers lifted up for all. I’m still struggling with getting head knowledge into my heart but I’m not giving up. Thanks Renee for taking the time to encourage us in the journey.

  48. Lisa Hall says:

    Thank you for your encouraging video, Renee. My husband & I dealt many years with the loss & sadness due to infertility & miscarriages. Twenty years later & now being the mother of 5 beautiful children that God has blessed us with through adoption, I still find myself struggling with this past hurt & loss. This chapter has been a real breakthrough for me & has given me the guidance to begin healing from these painful experiences. Thanks so much again & blessings to you.

  49. Kathy Sturgis says:

    Renee, thank you so much for surrendering your story to all of us. You are helping me look at my past and let God begin to heal it completely. I no longer want to be great for Him, I just want to sit at His feet and drink from His cup and bring others to the source of healing.

  50. I havent had a chance to watch the video yet, but I wanted to let you know what an encouragement and challenge this chapter has been for me! I have slammed my book closed several times not wanting to face the reality of what God is trying to teach me and how He wants to change me for the better…Ugh. I will reread where I left off and pray that I can be courageous to do the hard things.
    Also, I was just able to share some of the chapters verses with a close friend who’s husband is struggling with hidden sin, paranoia, untruth, and so much more- just came to a head this week and they are both praying hard. Please pray for them as they face the devil head on with God’s truth! Thanks!

  51. Judy Schmieder says:

    This is the first book I have ever read through, highlighted, and upon finishing it decided to immediately go through it again and really work with it in my life. I am not a young woman by any means and it is still encouraging to know that God is NOT finished with me yet and I can still overcome a lack of confidence and the feeling of low self worth.
    Thank you so much

  52. Jodi Grubb says:

    My mom died of early onset alzheimers and I’ve been struggling with a lot of fear that I am getting it myself. I’m only 38 and have 3 small kids but find myself doing some of the things I remember in my mom early on. This chapter is showing me that I haven’t dealt with my mom’s death as much as I thought I had. I daily deal with a great deal of fear and am giving Satan a way to control me through that fear. Thanks Renee for letting God use you to help me try to find hope for my future.

  53. Cindy Hunt says:

    Renee, I almost quit this study because it and life has become very painful as the pain has been coming to the surface but I decided to plug along because I know God is saying to me very clearly “IT IS TIME TO DEAL WITH THE PAIN AND MOVE ON TO WHAT I HAVE FOR YOU” This chapter has been really good, painful but also very encouraging and give me hope that I will get through this. IT IS HIS TIMING NOT MINE SO I KNOW IT IS OF GOD. BECAUSE MY NATURAL REACTION WHOULD BE TO RUN BCAUSE IT IS TOO PAINFUL.

    Thank you so much for your prayers and walking with us through the process and taking this journey with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

  54. Cindy Hunt says:

    Please pray for me. I have come to realize that I am so used to being unhealthy spiritualy, mentally, emotionall and physically that I actually fear being healthy. Why that is I’m not really sure and I am asking God to reveal the root of that lie so that I can move on and be God’s ambassador for healing.

    • Cindy, When we study God’s word and begin to develop a “closeness” with our Father, we are targets for Satan’s lies. I’ll be praying for you during this time, that the Lord will heal you wherever you need healing. And that he will reveal to you what is truth and what are lies. I pray that He will give you a peace that only He can give.

  55. Renee thank you so much for this book and the teaching that God has called you to do. I am learning so much and learning to let go of my past, my mistakes, my hurts and letting God have control, to let him and only him fill me. This is the second time reading through the nook and Hid has opened my eyes to so many more things that I kissed in my timeliness this time through and opened my eyes to all the things that I have left me feeling insecure, not good enough, not worthy. Some things I didn’t even know I was still banging onto. Praying for more confidence the unfailing love of Jesus and the the plans and hope I have through Jesus.

  56. I’m not sure if it is okay to say this but I am struggling a great deal. I have been a Christian for years but it never went from my head to my heart. I have had some trials in life and have never shared them. I just ate my way to feeling better. Recently God grabbed a hold of my heart and brought me to a place of brokenness so that all I had left was him. I am angry, sad, and overwhelmed and feel like I can’t make it through sometimes. I ask for prayer please that God continues to show the unfailing love he has for me and for me to believe I am worthy of it. Thank you so much!!
    MH

    • peggybythesea says:

      MH…It is so OK to say how you feel here!! I pray for you that you will feel his unconditional love. I have felt the same way, and still struggle with it at times. This study is His perfect timing! The troubles and trials I have had in my life don’t show as much as when we eat to much. Nobody could see how i was so addicted to prescription pain meds. Just numbing myself to the world and all my pain. I was so sad, so overwhelmed by life. I had somewhat of a mental breakdown in December and had been hurting so much. Tools like this study are what are showing me, Jesus loves me through it all. I have a hard time trusting because I have been hurt by so many most of my life. lots of it, by my own doing. Insecurities and pain caused me to do and say things that people got tired me. Get off the pity pot is what i would hear. It wasn’t that at all, it was my pain, so great that i needed people to help. But god, He is the only one who can bring us through the storms of life. Hang on to Jesus, the hem of His Robe, if nothing else is what i did. At times i was hanging by a thread…praying He would just take me home…I am still here and so are you, I guess He is not finished with us yet. I am so glad you are…I love you my friend…Peggy

      • Thank you Peggy! Sometimes feel all alone and need to remember he is holding through all of this. Praying for you…
        MH

        • peggybythesea says:

          Yes He is my dear sister…yes He is…I just finished doing work in my TImeline which is hard because i remember so little which in turn makes me feel alone and afraid. Only Jesus can heal my hurts and bring me to the place that can heal my broken places. i know that full well…I am alone in my heart and soul also…but through Him, I am starting to know that I am never alone…He is with us…Praise Him!!

  57. Hi Renee,

    I wanted to say doing the time line is not easy at all. My counselor suggested for me to do this two weeks ago, and then it just happened to coincide with Chapter 4 this week. It is very depressing for me to go into my past. Hard to face. I know though it is part of the true healing process and becoming whole.
    I also wanted to comment how you have referred to Jeremiah 29:11. I first heard this promise after my first husband passed away. For some reason now reading it through your book and other ways you have mentioned it, it is really sinking in alot more and has alot more meaning to it.
    As I read through Chapter 4 I realize that in many ways I have run from the pain/depression of my past. It is nice to think God has hope for me, and a plan for me, and wants to rebuild my life. To think He can bring purpose to my pain. That’s quite a thought.
    Reading your story in Chapter 4 made me wish I could share it with my current husband who I am separated from. I think he could relate to your story too. Maybe some day God will give me that opportunity.

  58. The timeline is not something I’m going to be doing right now in my life. I have been having a difficult five years of marriage and a difficult three years of motherhood. I have been searching to find the answers to these difficulties and about two weeks ago I just surrendered it all and told God to take my life and do it for me because I was making a mess out of my marriage and my family. I have suffered through domestic violence and wanting men to find me special because my dad never did… I can recall every life event that hurt me right off the top of my head and I could create a timeline of my life in less than five minutes and then go back and add details for every event. I have been carrying this stuff with me daily for years. Comparing myself to my father and hating myself for it, striving for perfection and getting mad at anyone that doesn’t listen to me or do things my way because they are hindering my perfection (which is unattainable), I’ve been comparing my husband to my father and have just been feeling stuck inside myself, who is sinful and unworthy. I’ve been depressed and I’ve wanted to end it all. I felt sucked into a black whole. I read book after book and tried gimmick after gimmick… christian ones at that, but I couldn’t be free. When I asked God two weeks ago to do it for me I also forgave each person that I felt had hurt me and God told me to live in the moment. Day by day. Today is the only day I have. I have to submit it to him and let him live through me… not think of the past, but just have hope for today. I have had an amazing two weeks, just brimming and bubbling with the holy spirit and oh so much hope. Today when I sat to make my timeline, I was reminded again by all that I have done to fail and all that has failed me and I began to strive for perfection and I lashed out in anger when someone didn’t follow what I had said to do. I thought about it and I realized that yes, maybe I am not completely healed from my past and I need to go through that process, but God has told me to live in the moment and it was working great. So I’m going back to that…. and if and when God says to make a timeline and work through. I will. Right now, I’m not so sure he wants to use my junk to help someone by my reliving and retelling it… maybe he just wants me to live in the moment and serve him day after day. Love to you all.

    • Have re-read CH 4 several times, and something new is revealed each time.
      This is for Denee: I had a period in my life when I had to live day-to-day in His grace too, and not process any more for a while all the stuff my family and I were going through. When He gives you His peace in the midst of that, which it sound like He is for you right now, then you are right, that is His affirmation that you just need to rest in His love. The timeline is an excellent concept, but we each have to use the tool to enhance our understanding in order to grow. If He is loving you to Him right now day-to-day, take that gift and get stronger, keep seeking His will, and when you are ready for it to reveal things in a new light that will be beneficial, He will let you know. Keep the faith sister and hang in there.

  59. Wow!!! RENEE and CHLadies, Ch 4 was really hard…definitely what i needed to read and so encouraged by it…and i am so thankful that there is hope n healing for the broken hearted! Ladies thank you for during all ur stories so far. they all have been a huge encouragement to me and a knowing that God is n control of our lives, our marriages, our children, our hopes n dreams, and our future.

    i did have a rough childhood answer i grew up in the inner city…but praise b to God he has taken care if my family and kept us in the palm of his hands. I was given the gift of going to a Christian Christian and that is where i met my husband. we have been married this august for 13 yrs…and the last 3 HAVE BEEN THE HARDEST. We have 4 beautiful girls. So my heart ache begins 3 yrs ago. My husband is a believer but slowly has begun to live his life in his own strength. I don’t know why o can’t understand this change in him. HHis who personality has changes and for some reason he thinks he is n his 20’s. he lives for the acceptance of others and his ego has gotten so big. His personality has changed to the coolness and his drive to serve the Lord is really not there anymore. He had an emotional affair w a younger women and we moved out of state to try and fix our marriage…which i regret Sooo bad…i miss my family n friends like crazy!!! He got a new job this past year and most of the employees are young n single…most of them are unbelievers and are not the greatest influence on him…and i so desire that he would turn arfound and b the Godly example he knows to b and that God desires of him to b…i know that i cent change him…believe me I’ve tried and it doesn’t work…he has to have that n his heart for God to change him. we have had a last yr of ups n downs…where i found things n his phone that have hurt me. and our trust has been Sooo broken. and i fear that i will find something more. i have prayed n prayed for the Lord to change him and call him back to him. my heart hurts cuz i love this man…i know there he has been and how he use to love the Lord w his whole heart and me. i have tried to encourage him…but sometimes i just want to give up and i believe n Satan lies that were not gonna make it…but i know from reading ch 4. that God gist us healing and freedom. and i want that freedom…i want that hope and believe that promise that he has great plans for us plans to give us hope and a future n not to harm you. Then u will call upon me and pray to me. and i will listen to you. u will seek me n find me she u seek me with all of ur heart. I WILL B FOUND BY YOU. JEREMIAH 29:11-14…I don’t want to b in captivity any more of this marriage that was broken by miss trust but i want to believe and know n my heart that it can b restored and renewed w Christ on my side. i want to leave my husband and my marriage at the foot if the cross and i want God to renew my heart and take away this hurt, doubt, worries, and mistrust…i want to find my wholeness and completeness in Christ and nite in my husband anymore.

    please pray for my husband to draw back and return to Christ and that the Lord will begin speaking to his heart again. and that he will see the need to change and allow the Lord to lead him once again. i ask that u pray for me that the Lord will give me the strength to go on each day and that i will find my joy in Him.

    • Jackie, I am praying for you and your husband. A few years back under different circumstances I lost trust in my husband because of hidden sin. It didn’t get better overnight. But through it all I have relied on my Heavenly Father and found Him to be my true Source. My husband did turn away from the sin and is living his life for the Lord. But when my husband fails me (since he’s human) and is not everything I need, I’m still fine because Jesus is my Refuge and my Rock whom I can stand on.

      • Crystal,
        Thank U so much for ur encouragement. That really helped me to see that there is hope n healing in relationships that can b trying. Im so glad that things are working out in ur marriage and Im so happy that the Lord has turned ur husband around and that he is living fir the Lord again. 😉 I believe the hard part for me is totally relying on God to work in our relationship. every time i give it to the Lord i take it back and i don’t want to do that anymore. o fir that give my husband back to the Lord. I know that God is my source of strength and my Rock n i believe that he will take care of us. but when my feelings of mistrust ninsecurity time in i start doubting myself….how do i let go ntotally rely on my Savior???
        please keep us in ur prayers….i will b doing my timeline sometime today and tomorrow i plan on having a retreat w Jesus lifting up my marriage n husband to the Lord and praising him for the blessings he has given me….I can do all things through him who gives me Strength…Phil 4:13
        Thanks again
        Jackie

  60. peggybythesea says:

    “The conflict with my old friend had led me to bitterness in my heart, and the Holy Spirit helped me see that I had played a role in it. I needed to forgive her and ask her to forgive whatever i had done to upset her so much.Ouch! It was hard to accept but I wanted freedom no matter what it would cost me” Chapter 4 pg 77…

    This is just another part of my past and the pain i caused myself and others. I am a true friend, when I have one i am a complete lifelong friend. Or at least i want to be. I was friends with a woman in my early 30’s that i thought would be life long. We had our babies a month apart. I had known her husband first but when we met, we just clicked. I started to watch her daughter when she worked. They were both 2 at the time. I had 3 sons so she became like the daughter I never had. Kate and I became great friends. We were so very close for the next 15 years. Throughout that time i was (admittedly so) very needy. She was strong, college educated and confident in herself. I guess i saw what i had nothing of in her. I wanted it for myself. We laughed and cried together ver the years…she was a good friend and i was to her. The problems i had caused her after 18 years of friendship to start backing away. Our children were going into High School now and that little girl was a beautiful young lady. She and my son were very close. I lost that friendship with Kate. I will never forget her words that still sting today. …”I just can’t do it anymore Peggy” I was devastated by losing that friendship. She was everything i thought i wasn’t. No, i don’t have an education but in Christ i am confident and strong. I know that now and i also know that I brought much into the friendship. No guilt, no shame…Regrets, i try not to have any, but i wish i had listened to her more. It was not the way it was supposed to end. A few years ago I went back to visit her.. We hugged, she forgave, but she had a block there i could feel it, and I suppose it is for the best. It still hurts sometimes but I know now, that her love for the Lord is shallow and she lives in the world, My light shines brighter with Jesus being my only true friend today. Thanks for letting me share my still tender pain.

  61. Hope you feel better soon. Thanks for the video.

  62. I never realized that my doubt’s in myself were something to bring to God. But by doing this through His power and love I will be able to see His plan for me. thank you Renee. Blessings on this day. Peg

  63. Wow!!! I can’t believe how much this chapter hit home for me. I got emotional several times and I was even prompted to make a phone call right then and there, as I was reading, and make an apology. As a baby Christian (11-3-11), I know I have a lot of work to do but this really made me see how much. I know that there is hope and I have God to hold my hand along the way. Past hurts seem to play a major part of my entire life, but especially with my relationships with men. I am comforted in my troubles by knowing that I am not the only one that has the same problems and I feel that I am slowly changing. I know this will be a process but I pray that I can work through it quickly and get on with my new life. Thank you Renee and thank God for bringing me to your words of healing!

  64. It is the end of the week and I was just now able to create a timeline. Being visual person, I needed to create in a format where it would be there. I have no idea what God is going to teach me but am praying that my heart will be teachable.

    Renee, I hope your bronchitis is better.

  65. Answering the reflection questions at the end of the chpts has really helped with doing this timeline bc the questions made me start processing things from my childhood, understanding why things happened, how those things affected me and then understanding how God was there in the midst of it all. And understanding how it’s true that God heals, redeems our past and guarantees hope for our future. Answering those questions has been so hard and I’m glad that little by little I’ve been answering them so that the writing of this timeline/processing of these hurtful memories has been more gradual and a bit better to handle. Doing this is a HUGE task to tackle. And just like others have said here on this blog, we are all together and we are not alone in this. And God is right here w/ us! Taking it little by little, giving myself time to simmer for a few days what I write in my journal, has been so good. Let us feel God comforting us, being tender with us, healing us.

  66. Hi CH Ladies,
    Wow talk about God’s timing! Chapter 1-4 has been very eye opening to read & it is at a perfect time. I work at a private Christian school and we have been under such spiritual attack because God is about to do some amazing things here. Last week we had Spiritual Emphasis week which we do every year & it’s a week where the students go to chapel every day & a group comes down to minister to the kids.

    Well of course this week the ongoing problems with girls in the 6th grade have come to a head. I met with the girls today & spoke to them on how we need to view each other & treat each other. I told them that they have been listening to the lies the enemy has been telling them and that is that they are ugly, worthless, and so on.

    The meeting ended with the girls asking forgiveness from each other and clearing the air on some issues. It was a precious time of sharing as some girls were amazed where some of their friends were coming from.

    I gave them a homework assignment which was to take time this weekend & write each girls name down on and list 1 good characteristic they see for that particular girl. They are to put their name last & write a positive about themself too. We are to meet on Monday to discuss them.

    I am asking you to please cover these girls in prayer this weekend. Also please pray that the Lord would continue to use me to reach these beautiful girls and speak truth into their lives about their worth and their beauty!

    The girls names are Aria, Nicole, Christine, Lianna, Brooke, Sophia, Ava, Gabrielle, Noelani, Juliana, Brianna, Caitlyn, Christina

    I look forward to sharing the testimony about how the Lord spoke into their life this weekend as they have been lifted up before Him!

    Thank you so much!

    • Denise Goodrich says:

      I will pray for these girls. My 10 year old daughter has issues with other girls in her class. We discuss these same issues. It is sad. Girls can be so mean. So many of her girl “friends” are from divorced families and suffer from neglect, verbal abuse, and exposure to inappropriate behavior and media. I encourage my daughter to invite them to our house where we can be a witness to them or just feed them!

    • What a wonderful ministry you have with girls this age. I am a school teacher in a public school. How I long to be able to share the truth I know with the two girls I mentor. You are in my thoughts and prayers for wisdom, love and guidance with these girls.

  67. this chapter was very interesting,it hit home with me,but kinda struggled with it too. but was a good chapter. the questions i have yet to answer yet,working on that yet. i am so glad for this study because this is exactly what i need right now. glad god is working through to teach us what we need to know out of this study. so glad there is always HOPE in God.
    thankyou so much.

  68. Jeanie Kelley says:

    Thanks so much on the video for today. I really enjoyed it so much. Please be praying for us. We are going through some rough spots with our finances. Pray for God’s wisdom and favor in my husband’s job and that he can find a new job to bring in more money. Thanks again for the video.
    Jeanie Kelley

  69. Thank you so much for this video. I love how you put the verses in Jeremiah 29 in their proper context. I have to admit that the first time I read your book I got as far as Chapter 4 and put the book down. I didn’t want to do the timeline.Then I saw that you were leading a study through the book and decided to give it a second chance.

    The reason I didn’t want to do the timeline is because at various times over the past 30 years of being a believer, I have had to deal with my past. My problem was that I couldn’t seem to keep it in the past as it was always creeping into my today. I see now that even though God has healed my past, I was clinging to the guilt. In Psalm 32:5 it says that God has forgiven the guilt of my sin. In Romans 8:1 it says there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ. I am looking forward to continuing to read the rest of the book. I will now read it with the view that I am a new creation in Christ, behold the old is gone and the new is here.

    Thank you for the hope that you have written between the pages of your book.

  70. This may sound crazy, but I have to admit, facing the whole “write out a timeline” has been super challenging for me! I am afraid of scratching scabs off the old wounds. Yet, I am seeing I am not alone… Not only are some of you having the same fears I am, which is comforting (even though I hate ya’ll are hurting as well), but I was comforted by the truth that God is right here with us as we go through this process. Let’s work through this knowing “God’s truth cuts to the core of our struggles, bringing purpose to our pain, redemption from the past, and HOPE for our future”…how awesome is that!!!!!!!!!!!!! We CAN and WILL do this timeline! I love you, SIsters and are praying for you!!!

  71. Funny you should read from page 81 because I love the line – “Learning to live in the security of God’s promises is a daily journey of dependence.” Not only reminding us that this is not some miracle that happens in a second, but that we need to be aware of this minute by minute and that we need to learn to be dependent (something most of us are not good at doing!) on God every one of those minutes:) Thanks Renee!

  72. I just found your site tonight. Thank you for new inspiration. I am looking forward to following you in the future. Blessings.

  73. Hi again Renee,

    Wanted to say thank you for the e-mail you sent out this evening and sending some “hope” our way. Just what I needed. Also, the picture and verse from Jeremiah 29:11. I started the day feeling hope, but towards the end, I wasn’t “feeling” much hope. I have been thinking back over what my counselor and I discussed today, and it is difficult.Thank you for taking us back to God, our hope always.

  74. Thanks so much for that video! That was very inspirational. I will keep seeking God and believing to see the wonderful plan he has for me! God bless you!

  75. Ack! It takes me a long time to process what I read. I have to write down my thoughts in order to make sure that I have it clearly understood. I just finished reading chapter 3. I don’t like being behind!
    Renee, I wouldn’t mind if you took some time to fully recover and we all could slow down.

  76. Please pray for me as I go through the process of healing of past hurts. Indeed, lots of tears… You gave me hope by saying it takes time to heal. I connected to what you said in the video 100%. Again, please pray for me to give myself to the Lord 100% and let Him pour His will over me.

    • Felicia, As many of us read through others comments and come to yours, many prayers will be lifted up for you. I am commenting specifically on your comment but have lifted prayers to many others as I read their comments so while you may not see many replies to your comments, there are many of us reading it. I pray to God that as your tears become more cleansing than painful and His grace and peace surround you as you grow into that new creation we are all promised to become through our faith in Christ.

  77. Denise Goodrich says:

    In reading the discussion questions for Lesson 4:
    #1 When I was little and a new christian I did not see how God could possible use me for anything as I was shy, scared to death of people and couldn’t trust anyone. But that all changed somehow when I had graduated from high school and lived on my own for a while and then worked full-time and got engaged and married. I felt like I had made it. I had 2 little girls and and was married. I guess I made mistakes and still wondered how God could use me. When my marriage fell apart and I was left all alone, I realized that I love God and no circumstance is going to make me change my mind. I take the Word seriously and hunger for it more than I ever have. We live in a fallen sinful world and bad things happen. He has used broken sinful people all the time throughout the Bible, so I guess he can use me.
    #2 God loves me, but he gave us free will. Unfortunately I have made mistakes in my life that have taken me away from Gods protection and also people have hurt me – we live in a fallen world. I Peter 4:12-13.
    #3 I felt like God has carried me during some real difficult times in the past. When traveling 9 months pregnant to my brother’s funeral with an angry hostile husband. God just gave me this awesome peace!

  78. Caroline McGinnis says:

    Renee thank you for sharing the video and your story. My parents also divorced when I was young so I can relate to alot of your story. My father was an alcoholic and abused my mother alot, so eventually my mother had his visitations taken away from him. So I really never really knew what it was like to have a father. I did believe in God and all, but didn’t really except Him as my heavenly Father untill 8 years ago when I became a Christian and began to have a relationship with Him. then I learned I always had a father in my life that loved me and would always be there for me. The only thing was I couldn’t see Him. God Bless

    • Caroline- I just logged on to this and happened to read your comment first…meant to be…this is exactly what I am going through right now. Your mother was a brave woman to leave and I’m sure she agonized, as I am, over the effect it would have on “the children.” I just keep asking God to lead me day by day. I don’t know what the future holds but I believe there is hope for us all, even if we didn’t have a “fairy tale” childhood (or marriage in my case!).

      • Caroline McGinnis says:

        KathE Just keep in mind that You are not alone your Lord and Savior will be walking right alongside you as He has done for me. Ask Him for direction for your life. As for children love them the way God intended them to be loved. For this is also Jesus’ greatest commandment although it is hard for some it is usually easy to do with children. May the good Lord guide and protect you and your family. And remember time heals all wounds. Time is also haw children spell Love. God be with you my friend and sister.

  79. #5 Now I can see how God can use our sufferings and despair to make us stronger and bestow upon us the spiritual strength and wisdom we need. This gives us hope that we can be released from the pai of our past. #6 Unforgiveness strangles any progress that you can make to mover forward. If left to fester and grow it will become bitterness and stop any forward progress in out spiritual lives. I sitll struggle with this problem with 2 family members, but I am progressing a little bit at a time. #7 Yes I have felt moved to help many people by sharing my story, and now thru this particular chapter I feel like I can. God has spoke to me thru this study and gave me more confidence to move forward despite the pain from the past.

  80. Kimberly Stiver says:

    Please pray for this family in Bastrop, TX. I have never met them, but they had donations jars (just like I did) from National Transplant Assistance Fund (now Help Hope Live). I get email updates on how he is doing. This is what his mom wrote today: Our hearts are broken and we are aching.

    The MRI results from January 30 are in and are final. All of the medical teams, including oncology, neurology and radiology in Austin and Memorial Sloan-Kettering, agree that the cancer is progressing. What they previously called a cyst is now called a tumor mass. The cancer has grown even with this most recent radiation. There are no curative treatments remaining for our baby boy.
    We have asked Mathaus to suffer through so many horrible treatments and procedures in return for a cure. His little body has endured so much. We cannot ask him to suffer anymore treatments if they are of no benefit to him.
    We have done everything possible we could to cure him. We have asked so much of him. It wouldn’t be right to ask him to suffer any more. We know that each day we have had with Mathaus has been a blessing, a gift and a miracle. So we find ourselves in a special place. We have chosen to keep Mathaus’ comfort an d quality of life top priority. We plan to fill each day with love, fun, family, friends, laughter, silliness, snuggles, dancing and more love!

    How is Mathaus now?
    He is doing well. His pain has recently increased, but we have since increased medications and it seems to be back at a good place. He needs lots of meds, but he gets around, walks and plays. He is still dancing! He loves to snuggle and of course keeps McQueen very close. He is vocal and knows what he wants and doesn’t want, just as any 2 ½ year old should. He can still get out and about and he can play and have fun.

    Right now our focus is on maximizing quality family time. We don’t know how long we have together. I once posted that with radiation he may have a year of life, but this tumor is growing fast and truly only God knows. While he is with us we want to celebrate Mathaus and what he means to all of us. We want to do a lot of things we haven’t been able during these years of treatment like getting together with you, our family and friends. So we are welcoming visitors and asking you to please come, our door is open. Bring fun and love, but it is ok if we cry too. We want to fill our home with family, friends, love and laughter. We want to make beautiful memories to always treasure.

    What do we need?
    We need to know you still think of us, pray for us and love us. We know there doesn’t seem like there are the right words to say but hearing from you gives us strength that we are not alone. We know this is scary and painful but imagine if you had to do it alone. We need you. Your love and support has helped us through these years and no doubt we need that now more than ever.

    We need forgiveness and understanding if we seem inconsistent. We are feeling up and down. We have moments of great sadness and moments of knowing we have a choice to be happy and present in these too few precious moments. We need forgiveness if we d on’t reply or respond. Between Mathaus’ needs and emotional turbulence we may loose track, but your messages are read and each greatly appreciated.

    We need to know how Mathaus has touched your life. This feels very important. I know God put Mathaus here for a purpose. I may never know God’s purpose while I’m here but my mother’s heart wants to know that in his short beautiful life he has made a difference and touched lives. So please take some time to send us a note and ask others to do the same. This would mean so very much to us.

    We haven’t looked to far ahead. We are still trying to process and decide how to spend our time while we have it.

    We have spoken with the kids. They are ok, but death is hard to understand at their age. We are ready if you would like to speak with yours. We know that there are so many little hearts that will be touched when Mathaus dies. We are keeping all of your little hearts in mind. They will need to grieve and be given information in their own way and time. We are not afraid of their questions, it’s ok for them to ask. Please don’t feel bad if they do. It really is ok.

    Soon I will post a list of books and resources I have been given from the social workers that you can use for your families as well. I am also able to get a book and video made by Sesame Street called When Families Grieve for any of you that would like it. My favorite book so far is ‘Gentle Willow’ by Joyce c. Mills.

    We know that Mathaus’ time with us has been a gift and we want to celebrate and treasure each moment we have of God’s precious gift.

    So, please pray for this precious family.
    I have reached out to the mom today by email and I am going to make a cross for her family and little Mathias. I am also going to give her one of my songs that I wrote that God gave me to give to another family who lost a child to brain cancer. I feel I need to help this family and I am going to reach out to them more.

  81. I set out to do this study thinking it will help me through the things I’m experiencing with my “adult” children. As i go further in the study and every time I watch your video, I’m beginning to think God has something different in mind or something more. I have repressed so much of my past to protect others and myself,because, I am terrified of what God will ask me to do. I haven’t been able to dig in to the timeline, i use time as an excuse, but God and I both know why I don’t. I have felt like I am in a good place. Why mess it up? The more I read the book and others stories….I know it’s so God can use me for His glory. Please pray i find the courage to really dig in and let God search the darkest place, so that I won’t be held captive to my past.

  82. peggybythesea says:

    Hello sweet sisters…I woke up so early this morning…Started praying our prayers and looking at highlighted areas…It brought me to trying yet again, so many times in my life of counseling and trying to heal, it brought me to so many blanks, so little remembered of 16 years of my life…after that time I remember more and most of it is all my sinful ways as I searched for someone, anyone to love me….I found a man who I know now just wanted what he wanted. He was wild and crazy and that was all I knew as a child in my home. So I slept with him, at 16…I lost my most special place, I lost so much more but through it all I gained a son. At 17 I was pregnant…18 I married him and had my son….21 divorced and abandoned yet again…That son is 38 now and one of two sons who are the joy of my life…Those years are hard to look at, but God! I feel pain and hurt and I am so grateful i can give it to Him, because I don’t want to hurt anymore…”Can anybody hear her, does anyone even know she is here…”…Thank you all my sweet sisters…Peggy

  83. Renee,

    I am enjoying A Confident Heart so much! God is truly using it to help and strengthen me as I walk this journey to a heart that is confident. Although I am participating weekly, I am reading farther ahead and then I’m going back and reading those chapters and reviewing the questions again. I have to tell you the review questions have really been so insightful. I have pages and pages of answers in a notebook. Thank you, again, for being willing to allow God to make your mess HIS message. It’s speaking to me : )

  84. candy Johnson says:

    What you are saying is so true .The enemy will use past hurts to keep you from God .My dad died and blamed me for why he lefted me as a child I tryed to hug him on his death bed he pushed me away .Then I recieved christ About a 1 year later and continually hearing your not saved God rejected you >over and over .I asked for counsle from the Holy spirit and my Dad came to mind And confessed to God I was rejected by him and he showed me how the enemy used my hurt to keep me from his smiling face.I was rejected at birth but my abba is greater .

  85. Thank you Renee for sharing your struggles with us. This chapter has come at such a perfect time for me as I am going through some very challenging times at work right now. I realize that some of my emotions and thoughts of failure, unworthiness, unacceptance is a result of my past. Unfortunately, my situation at work has now created bitterness in my heart towards a colleague and I feel so yucky inside. Yet on he outside I am this calm and positive person. It’s tough pretending that I am not hurt. The Lord has a plan for me and I know He is using this season in my life for a reason. Please pray that I may soften my heart towards my colleague and that my actions and words will be a positive reflection of our savior.

  86. I’ve made a timeline. Starting was easy as I put in the highlights of my life – birth, a move at 11, graduation, the birth of my son, finding a really good job, accepting Christ, joining a really good church, etc. That was earlier this week. Since then I’ve add other events that God is bringing to mind. Recklessly losing my virginity at 18 is pursuit of love and protection. 22 years of poor relationship choices that lead to my becoming a single parent at 22 and never finding that husband, love and protection I was looking for. Since God opened my eyes to my need for Him in 1999 I so wish I could say things are better, I know they are but it’s been a long journey, and some days I simply long for heaven – this world is so hard. I thought I had processed all the emotions, but apparently not, and I’m not eagar to go there but I see the wisdom of doing this again with God and in the way you just described in the video.

    I’m so glad you are going through the book slowly, it’s really helping me to read each chapter once through and then again to highlight and meditate and then a third time as I answer the questions at the end. Today is Sat and with the addition of the timeline I’m behind on the questions but don’t feel pressured and that’s such a plus in this fast paced, pressure driven world. God bless you Rene and all my sisters in Christ on this journey.

  87. This chapter was a confirmation for me, as several months ago, I had felt God prompting me to write down all the childhood hurts that I had been trying to ignore for so many years. It took me over 2 months to get through the process – but it was worth it. It was as if putting those events and feelings onto the page somehow released me from being in bondage to them. Each event, whether little or not, seemed to lose any power over me, as I put a face to them. The truth that I discovered along the way was that although I had taken these issues to God and even forgiven the people involved, I hadn’t handed the hurt over. I think I was ashamed….the fact that I had been so rejected by my own parents was surely a reflection on my failure as a daughter – and now as a woman. If I didn’t talk about it, think about it,or deal with it….then maybe I wasn’t really such a let down to everyone. Facing the pain – voicing how it made me feel – was truely liberating. Through the process I came to see that I had spent so much time trying to make my parents love me more…trying to be equal to my sister….but I just never could measure up. God made me see that I can’t MAKE them love me more than they do. It wasn’t my job to try to change them….that was His job. It was a futile exercise, and it was distracting me from living in the freedom he had planned for me. What He showed me was that I didn’t have to work hard to be loved by HIM – in fact I didn’t have to work at all! He showed me that He doesn’t have “favorites” and that He loved me “before I was formed in my mother’s womb”. I felt total acceptance by the creator of the universe!! I know that total healing is a process, but I encourage you to dig deep and face the things you have pushed down the furtherest. There truely is LIGHT at the end of the tunnel!

  88. This morning started out peaceful but then I got bad news in the mail but I had yet to come to Renee’s page and be filled with everyone’s testimony as to how God is working in their lives and I knew my peace would be revived. I just read the last comment and I am again filled with the sense of God that is received by joining this community and praying for others as their needs are revealed. I am not done with Chapter 4 but that is my next task that I am looking forward to, especially after enjoying your video Renee. Thank-you all for the blessings from this community.

  89. This is an amazing study Renee! Something good will come from all the hurt. This music video was shared with me and it goes along with this study. Listen and enjoy. I am so glad you are better! Blessings and love, Pat

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJ0l58MilTk&feature=related

    • Caroline McGinnis says:

      Thank you Pat for sharing this music video with us it surely does tie in with this chapter. It made my day and was also something I needed to hear today. I t served as a good reminder that god is with us. God Bless

  90. Thank you for your video. I really liked what you said about how the Lord can help us to the following in our lives as we try to deal with or handle past or present struggles:
    – Allow God to begin the process of past memories or failures
    – Ask Jesus to search our hearts of past sins or struggles
    – Allow Him to bring His perspective to the situation
    -Redemption and Restoration will come.
    – God’s love is redeeming

  91. Caroline McGinnis says:

    #4 Past relationships have made me feel that there was no hope for change in the future. This has affected my relationships today by making it difficult to trust, be open and vulnerable with others, esp. with the opposite gender. With the help of my Lord and Savior, my Healer this has gotten much better–the past couple of years.

    #6 Unforgiveness keeps us in bondage and can cause us to become bitter. To forgive is not only to set someone free it has the power to set us free as well. Forgivness puts God on the road/path to our healing from the hurt. Unforgiveness keeps us from growing in our wa;k with God. Unforgiveness gives satan a foothold to use the hurt against us, to lead us away from god and toward destruction in our lives. Forgivness releases Satan’s hold on us, so God’s power and love can step in to begin our healing process. I don’t feel there is someone at this time that I need to forgive. If I am wrong on this matter I am sure god will let me know it. I have had to forgive alot of people, and with God’s power and strength I did it. forgiveness has great power in it to set us free.

    Something I learned from a card I was given:
    HOW TO SPELL FORGIVE
    Forget slights and wrongs.
    Open your heart.
    Reach out to others.
    Grant pardon for all.
    Invite dialogue.
    Value peace.
    Empathize and understand.

    Be kind and commpassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)

    Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13).

    God Bless Each and Every One of My Sisters Doing This Study, Prayers Our With You All.

    • Thankyou Caroline for this, I definitely need some encouragement in the area of forgiveness tonight & this really helped! My husband, myself & our 10 month old have all been really sick for over a week & needless to say it has caused alot of tension in our marriage this week. Your comment really challenged me to look at forgiveness in a new way & to forgive & ask for forgiveness from my husband! .

  92. Moniqua McLean says:

    Thank you Renee. Much of what you have experience aim going through now. My parents divorced when I was young. I looked up to my dad. I always wanted to go with him everywhere he went. Yes, daddy’s little girl. He didn’t seem as if he wanted me or wanted to be around me. I didn’t understand why. Growing up, I never got over that. I’m still struggling Forsyth that. But like you said it is a process. I like to say that I’m a work in progress because I have a lot of growing up to do. I can admit that. But I often have found that I would get into relationships because I was searching for something that I didn’t get as a child with my dad. My uncle would try to fill that void but like I said I was daddy’s girl. I wanted my dad to be a dad. I found my husband and boy I love him. Lately I have found that I have a lot of bitterness and resentment but am unsure where that is coming from. When I read this chapter, it put it all into perspective. I have to be able to forgive my father for the past as well as other instances, and I also have to forgive myself for some wrongs that I have committed against other people because I was messed up. Thank you for this first step for me.

  93. Kimberly Stiver says:

    Answer to question # 7. Yes, I have run from the story God written in my life. At the end of this chapter (I don’t know how to know the page # on my Kindle edition), Renee, you said we find Him over and over again. We find Him who leads us to the freedom that He wants us to have. I too have walked it, wrestled with it, resisted it, and finally surrendered it just this past few weeks. God’s love is not only perfect and unfailing, it redeems and restores. His truth does cut to the core of our struggles, bringing purpose to our pain, redemption from our past and hope for our future!
    I know several people who needs to hear there is hope in what they are dealing with. Actually yesterday I talked, prayed, and sang the song In the Calm to one of them. I was at his house with his wife and grandsons. He is dealing with Parkinson’s and asked me to sit with him on the couch. He told me that I looked really calm with all that I have dealt with and that he wanted to touch my arm so that he could be calm. Then he told me that he felt that the Parkinson’s is taking over his life and he can’t control his shakes. Next thing I know I knew that God was prompting me to not only pray for him but also share my story with him. Then I sang him the song. You know that while I was doing this he became so calm and stopped shaking.
    It’s funny how I offered to tell my story to this friend before I even knew about this question! God works in mysterious ways! Yes, I will continue relying on God to have me share the story He wants me to share with many people. I am no longer going to run from it anymore. I want God to speak through me to help others.

  94. AUTHORINE says
    Feburary11,2012,

    IRenee, I am glad that you’re okay.I am thankful that I am reading and studing this book.My eyes have been open about so much.Reading the comments have been so inspiring and encouraging for me. Praying for .all the ladies for all you are going through.May God bless you.

  95. This chapter was so timely for me this week. My husband lost his job on tuesday. But praise the lord that i was hired a week prior to that at a great job with fabulous benefits. I have used so much of chapter 4 to help both my husband and I handle this storm with God at our side and not let old fears creep in.

  96. This chapter is very deep and heavy for me to read. At first I thought, “heck, this will be easy!”. But WHAM! God brought a lot of unresolved issues and wanted me to deal with them through Him. I think this chapter will not be like other chapters in our lives that we close and move on, this is a chapter that I will keep working through. New challenges each and everyday. But, through Gods forgiveness and grace He will lead us ALL through! Victoriously!

    I have been praying and continue to pray for all of us P31 sisters. God brought us all together for a reason..to glorify Him.

  97. Hi to all,

    I just wanted to put out a request for prayer. My Dad has been ill for quite some time and they don’t think he will make it past today. I especially ask prayer for my Mom, and all the family. Thank you so
    much.

  98. In refernce to Chapter 4 and the questions at the end – I have definately run from the story God had written in my life. It makes me so very sad every day.

  99. It is so amazing how God works in our lives. Everything I have picked up this week has had the verse Jer. 29:11 on it. I know that God loves me and cares for me but I have found a new hope for today and tomorrow, and to keep my focus on Him.

  100. Carrie swearingen says:

    A little late on this but wanted to share my answers from chapter 4.

    Question 1 . I was lied to and betrayed by several boyfriends and friends through high school and college and always struggled with trusting others. With that I also struggled with trusting god that he did unconditionally love me and forgave me. He wants my perspective to say that I can trust him with all my hurts and failures and that he will use everything he has brought to me to bring me through.

    2. Several years ago I really was ready for motherhood and to start a family but my husband was not. I kept asking god if you love me then why am not a mom yet? I was very sad and overwhelmed by this but through it learned that I needed to trust god’s timing and not my own. Last year I became pregnant and gave birth to my beautiful daughter Abby on feb 28th of this year. She will be turning one in just a few weeks.

    3. My sister in law and brother have been trying to have kids for several years now and have dealt with infertility issues. Seeing them struggle with this has been hard on me. My sister in law got pregnant last year but ended up having a miscarriage. Although I have never experienced infertility issues I feel that god has used me to bring comfort to them. I know how it feels to really want kids and to not have it happen in the time I wanted it too. I have comforted them by telling them to pray and trust god that he has a purpose and plan for them through this.

    4. I have had to learn how to trust god and others in my life completely just like I mentioned in number 1. I dated someone in high school who was controlling, jealous, verbally abusive, and a liar. Needless to say it was not a good relationship and caused me to keep my distance and stop trusting others. He was my first love and I was deeply hurt.

    5.he promises a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair, and he will be a great oak that the lord has planted for his glory.

    6. Unforgiveness holds you hostage because you are filled with anger and hurt inside of you and don’t release it.

    7. I have run from the story that god has written in my life. I sense him inviting me to share with someone the broken to beautiful pieces of my life.

  101. Thank you so much! Jeremiah 29:12 and on! Oh my goodness! How that spoke volumes to me. Everytime I start to feel that doubt creep in………..I need to stop and seek God’s purpose and push thru. HE will lead me out of captivity! Thank you so much for this study and for what you do in this ministry.

  102. HELP, please. 🙂 This is driving me bananas. On the very bottom of the first page of Chapter 4’s Message Notes, I can’t find the answer to fill in the blank. I’ve watched the video multiple times…how am I missing this? The statement says:

    “Take time to… respond to what God is showing you. Time to seek God for your security and hope by letting Him be _________ (what do you need Him to be for you?”

    I can think of many things to fill it in…and it’s caused me to think a great deal…but does Renee actually state what goes in this blank, as she does with the rest of the blanks?

    That said….Chapter 4 has left me feeling a little raw. So letting go is a “process”…and maybe I haven’t been doing anything wrong, other than being impatient as I ask Jesus for His perspective on my pain and allow His timing as He pours His truth into the wounds and love into my pain and makes me whole.” Paraphrased…but it makes sense in my head.

    Looking from Jesus’ perspective…at things that have hurt me. So much to think about.

    And here it is, Monday….and Chapter 5 has begun…yet Chapter 4 has me still in deep thought. I’ll move on though! That’s for the best! But PLEASE….tell me what that blank should be filled in with!

    • Hi K,

      So glad you asked and I appreciate you being so honest.

      That is a blank just for you to fill in based on your personal need. That’s why I have the question next to it (what do you need Him to be for you?”

      For instance, this week I need God’s direction and guidance on some decisions, so I’d put, “seek Him for my security and hope by letting Him be my “Shepherd.” (in my blank) Hope that helps!

      As I shared on my blog and in my emails this is a hard chapter. It deals with our hurts and lost hopes, and we could spend weeks in it. But since we’re doing an online study we only have time for one chapter each week. As we go through the rest of the chapters, there will be times for us to consider and process more with each topic we cover.

      I’ve been told by so many that this is a book to be read at least twice, maybe three times. You will get so much more out of it each time you read it 🙂 And I’ll probably offer another online study if you want to read it through in community together again – or just on your own.

      So glad you are with us and asking great questions!
      Renee

  103. It is very hard to look back in the past and make a time line of the wrongs and hurt I have had. There has been so much hurt packed into my past 5 years, I don’t know where to begin, but I think it all begins with my yesterdays…divorced parents, falling for an older boy in high school who took advantage, my Father suddenly passing, my Mom being in a mental hospital..

    it’s just a lot to process, but I feel guilty about feeling bad for myself when there is so much other suffering in the world:?

    • Ginny, that is a lot to process. I”m sorry if the thought of writing a timeline overwhelmed you. If I could, I’d re-write that section over in chapter 4 to clarify that what I meant is that it’s important for us to realize there are emotions and memories that have robbed our hope. And if we don’t know what they are, we need to start with a timeline and take time to talk to Jesus about the hurts we still need Him to heal. Otherwise we’ll live wounded.

      I’m pray you will give yourself permission and grace to be sad. Don’t let the enemy convince you that what you’ve been through is not as bad as others. You have been through a lot of pain and a lot of loss. It’s okay to be sad and hurt so that you can ask Jesus to be your Comfort, to be your Healer, to be your Hope and Peace. To Redeem those broken places. I hope this helps. Praying for you!

  104. I am enjoying the study. I am learning alot right now about TRUSTING a God who is worthy of my trust! Life as a missionary in a M*slim country can be challenging but God is using HIS word to give me strength. I don’t have alot of time on the internet so can’t read all the comments. I am sad that I can’t download the video messages….it keeps giving me an error message. Is there any way to get these messages on a DVD I will be coming state-side this summer. I would love to see the messages. Thanks for the great teaching and for all who share comments.

  105. Abbie Wells says:

    Ok….so I just finished chapter 4 (reading & half way through the questions). God is revealing so much for me to deal with. Things that I thought I had dealt with years ago in counseling, but today, He helped me realize why I do some of the things that I do. It was a huge eye opener for me! God is soooooo GOOD, I right now, I want to shout it from the mountain tops 🙂

    • Chastity Ray says:

      Hi Abbie! I just want to encourage you to keep going! I’m behind as well but I know if we push through something GREAT waits for us on the other side! 🙂

    • Hi Abbie,
      I am behind also and if you read my post below, you will see that mine is from fear if nothing else. I am glad to see that I am not the only one seeing that God is revealing things that we thought we had dealt with. But I know with God, we can get to the foot of the cross and give all these hurts to Him. And LEAVE them there.

  106. Chastity Ray says:

    I ALMOST gave up on this study. I am a few weeks behind. I just finished Chapter 4 tonight. I’m VERY glad that I stayed with it. There’s alot of info in this chapter and I realize I have stuff God still wants me to work on. I’m very excited! 🙂

  107. I am realizing that I am slowly falling behind in this study. I am just now allowing myself to really take a look at my past. I am realizing after watching this video for about the 4th time that I am afraid of dealing with my past. It hurts and everything in me wants to leave it where it is, in the past. The problem with that is that I can see how it affects everything in my today. I am praying to God for the strength to give ALL of my past to Him. That is where it needs to stay for me to ever have a future, much less a present day that is filled with joy rather than depression and loneliness. I am learning that God can be my Everything. I do not have to be defined by the divorce I have had to endure. I do not have to be defined by the abuse in my past. Thank you, Renee for the honesty you have allowed yourself to share. And I really am trying to get caught back up. I have everything saved and printed out, so that I can keep going and hopefully be on the same page as everyone else in a week or so.

  108. About seven years ago, I took a Post Abortion class at Aid to Women. That class helped set me free of that pain that I carried since I was 19 (when it happened). Since then I have helped lead that class and helped some other women. I share my story to those I know who have had an abortion. I share with them that only God could set me FREE. Yes, at times some painful memories do “flare up” but I open up God’s Words that He has forgive me, that is what matters. I can’t change the past but I HAVE HOPE to help others. Thank you for the reminder to keep helping others in this and other past events that caused me much pain but how God got me through them.

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