(Week 4) Hope

“When our questions make us doubt God’s heart, our pain can lead to bitterness and bondage. Yet in the security of our relationship with Christ, God wants us to ask the hard questions and look for answers that usher us into the depths of His redeeming love. He wants us to live in the promise that He offers hope for our future despite the pain of our past. He knows our past and our pain can actually lead us to His plans and hope for our future.”
from Chapter 4, A Confident Heart

___________________________

Our Word for the week: HOPE
(Download in a PDF or download in MSWord). Please print it and post it everywhere so you can remember that God’s love can satisfy the thirst of your soul!

HIS Word for us this week:
“May the God of hope fill [me] with all joy and peace as [I] trust in him, so that [I] may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 15:13, NIV

Today’s Assignment:
Start or continue reading chapter 4. Remember, take your time and highlight or underline sentences that resonate in your heart.

Connecting in Community:
Let’s commit to memorize this week’s verse together! If you are in, leave a comment by clicking on “share your thoughts” and tell us how you plan to memorize it. I’m writing mine on my mirror and on a ceramic plate in my kitchen for the week.

I’m still sick today but getting better slowly. Would treasure prayers for total healing. Meeting with video editor today to finalize this week’s message so I can share it with you. I’ll be back with a question or something else to we can talk about soon. I’ll just add it to this post (but I’ll email to let you know when I do. Praying for you today!

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. I just love when we include the (I) in Bible verses. It makes it more personal, so we can apply it to our life. I’m sick as well. Nasty cold. Praying for your body to heal fast.

    • Mary, praying for your healing as well…

    • Rebecca Greene says:

      My sr hi youth met for prayer breakfast this morning. I used the jar illustration with them, which they loved. Then I asked them to join me in praying psalm 143:8 every morning this week. God is so good. His word is being multiplied.

      • Rebecca, I just read that scripture and at the end i had noticed that i had written “my prayer” on it when i had read it before thank you so much for sharing it with us i really needed it today and am going to type it out and set it before me so i read it everyday. Thanks again

    • Kimberly Stiver says:

      Praying for you, too. My cold came back last night. This time with a fever. I thought I got over this last week! It keeps coming back. I am just resting today. Hope you are feeling better.

    • I have a prayer request for my mother who was told today that the breast cancer that was in remission has returned to her liver and spine.

      Lord I pray for the miracle of healing that only you are capable of, that you remover her cancer so that others will be a witness to your Power and Glory, in Jesus name Amen

  2. first of all praying you all get better, i am on chapter 4 now. will be reading that soon. this book i want to tell you again is so good. it has been helping me. its a blessing. thankyou.
    judy.

  3. Chapter 4 has touched me deep in my soul. and have finished reading it, and will read it again. Hope for my pain and my past. This will help me work forward to the plan that He has for my life. I pray for Healing in Renee’s body today Oh Lord…..In His mighty and precious name…AMEN.

    • Chapter 4 is making me do some deep thinking. I am making a timeline and remembering some painful experiences. I know I need to do this to move forward. Thank you Renee for sharing the pain of your past. Bless you and all these wonderful women for this journey we are on.
      thank you. michelle

  4. Praying for your complete healing Renee. I have had a very busy week already but tonight I will for sure be stopping to have some intentional prayer time and study time! I will be writing down this scripture on a post it note on my desk and reading it throughout the week. I will also be writing/emailing this scripture to some friends and family throughout the week. Thanks again for all you have done!
    In Him, Tasha

  5. I am so Thankful for the Hope I have in God.I Know that He has plans for me to Prosper in everything I do and say.I Am So thankful that He Open doors No man can shut.Shut doors no man can open.I Pray that I continue running my race well and keep my eyes on the Prize.I am Praying for you for a quick and Speedy recovery.And For Added Strength.Thank You for being A Blessing My Friend and Sister in Christ.Keep on Shinning for Jesus.

  6. as i am finally getting around to starting chapter 4 and reading your blog notes and what it is about God also sent me this word of encouragement and it so fit!! but then that is MY GOD when I study something or endure something he doesn’t stop at just one resource for me to get it!!! he plants tons of seeds around me and they take root and eventually there will be me standing with him in a garden of love and hope and strength and forgiveness….. I pray ya’ll are getting better, we have had that winter stuff here all weekend and not been fun, but..this too shall pass…..love ya’ll and pray for our huge group learning on loving themselves enough to let God love them….

    Recovery is Like an Onion
    by Steve Arterburn

    “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” – Galatians 5:25

    Someone smarter than me said it: “Recovery is like an onion. All the layers that exist have to be peeled away.” Well, if you’re a connoisseur of onions, you know that there are different varieties. Some are really powerful and when you barely touch them they produce tears. Others are pretty sweet and they barely affect you when you chop them up.

    And so it is with your peeling the layers in your healing process. Some layers will affect you more than others. But, if you realize that it’s a process, and that God is with you every step of the way, you can face the pain of your past so that you can move beyond it and heal. Also, consider this: You are in the present. You lived through the reality, whatever and whenever it was, so you can certainly live through the feelings and memories of the reality today.

    Make your one desire to be made whole and to be as much like Christ as you can be. When you do, you’ll find God putting on your heart the desire and the courage to carry the message of hope and healing to those who are stuck in their pain.

    Embrace the pain of the recovery and healing process. It will remind you that God is in control and you’re being held in his arms, tight and secure as He walks you through it. It’s means you’ll take some steps of faith, and that will be pleasing to God and healing to you.

    “We are all broken and wounded in this world. Some choose to grow strong at the broken places.” – Harold J. Duarte-Bernhardt (1950- )

  7. Well, I am into chapter 4 some and am allready starting to feel the need to go back or to try and jump forward (like that you were warning us about, Renee), but I know that we all must keep pressing on no matter what. One thing that stuck out at me so far was: “My husband would provide security and shelter for the little-girl-heart that was still crushed inside my adult body. Then I would have hope for my future and become the confident woman and wife that I wanted to be”…..I am so stuck in a rut on how to really release those expectations (not only in my marriage but with everything right now in my life it seems) AND how to live the way God wants me to, trusting and relying on HIM and only HIM…..

    (from Pg 76) “We can trust God’s plans as we realize that His story is being written in ours. His power is perfected in the broken places we consider to be our greatest weeknesses – our most vulnerable emotions we don’t want anyone to know about.”

    • the word that jumped out at me was uncovering, recovering to be restored. I was told along time ago that we have to feel, deal with our feelings in order to be Healed by the Healer. I also heard that you can’t heal a thing unless you admit its there. someone said it was Jer 6: 14 in the Living Bible. this book and blog is going to help us all heal on many different levels, so we can move and face forward.. i am learning that I cant hold onto my history and reach for my destiny.

    • Amy – I’m with you in sharing those very same feelngs that you have expressed so well. Also stuck in a rut and all my dreams are crushed and irretrievable. Worse, I largely caused it myself through insecurity, fear and resistance. Renee’s book is a healing balm – so much rings true. It’s so hard to put into practice and I very much feel stuck in a rut as well. Lisa – yes, I like “you can’t heal a thing unless you admit it’s there”…so we can “move on and face forward” So, so , so hard to let go and turn away . Can’t yet but know I must!

    • The voice of rayttnaliio! Good to hear from you.

    • adderall…There are some interesting points in time in this article but I don�t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurn…

  8. Enjoying the book and have gone back to do some journaling.
    To memorize this weeks verse I am going to carry it with me and when I have a chance I will place a tune to it and sing. I find through music at times my memory is better. Also right now I am reading the bible and each time before I read it I ask God to help me remember what I have read as well as see it as he wishes me too. I will do that with this verse because he is with me as I am reading the bible and my memory has been sharper.

    Praying that you heal completely and your immune system strengthens as the days pass.
    Thank you for all you do thru Christ.

  9. I am needing His Hope…thankful for His faithfulness….

  10. Praying for you Renee for a speedy recovery. Thank you so much for this study. I am learning to look to Jesus instead of other people. I have been looking to my husband for a long time to fulfill my expectations, but I can’t do that any longer. He can’t fill the void in my life that only Jesus can fill. I am thankful for this study because it is helping me to refocus on Jesus and to believe and to trust that He will help me through this process. It’s taken a long time to get where I am at and only Jesus is the answer.

  11. I will most definitely memorize this verse. We all need HOPE. It is so important for us to maintain in this world while we are waiting to travel home to our Lord Jesus. God bless all of you ladies this week.

  12. It is amazing how God works…not only am I hearing and learning from this bible study, but our pastor has been preaching a series on Our New Life. Guess God is really wanting me to let go of all the junk and believe I am a new creature. Would greatly appreciate some prayers, my depression has been really bad the last couple of weeks, struggling to get things done during the day. A lot going on in my personal life that needs to get resolved. Thanks and may God richly bless each of you!

    • Praying for you today Kim! 🙂

    • Praying for you Kim. One thing I encourage you to do is to be tender with yourself, just like you would w/ a hurting child. I’m learning to do that w/ myself and I just heard the other day that that IS how tender God is w/ us. It’s helping me w/ constantly being so hard on myself for things I do (whether I do it on purpose or not). So don’t beat yourself up for not dealing w/ the things in your life you feel/think you should be dealing w/ better. Hope that you are getting help w/ your depression. In God’s love, May

      • Thanks ladies….I really do appreciate it! I do like the idea of being tender with myself…definately will work on that. I have fought the depression for years, on 2 different meds, usually do pretty good with those, but I guess it is the winter blues and all the stuff going on. Thanks for your prayers.

        • Heavenly Father I know that Kim is fighting depression and I pray that You would lift this from her. Show her what she needs to let go of in her past or where she can reach out to others to “get out of herself”. Lord, there are areas that we may need to forgive when we don’t think it should be us, but Your word says that we are forgiven as we forgive others. Please help us to forgive. Remind us that unforgiveness is us taking the poison hoping someone else would suffer the consequenses. Father heal Kims heart of old wounds, fill it with Your love and tenderness for her. Let her overflow with love for others. I lift Kim up to You Father and trust that You will heal her as she lets go of the things that are creating such heaveness in her. Thank You for the work you are doing.

          Kim I have suffered a very mild depression, mostly from my own pity party and I know some of the things that work for me are forgiveness and living in today. If I try to live in yesterday or tomorrow I miss what God has for me today. Remember God is always with you. Bake some cookies and give them away.

        • Kim: Have you looked into light therapy for winter blues? I use my light box a half hour every morning from Sept 1st through April 15th. It helps me so much. I struggled every winter for years!

          Google Philips GoLite Blu.

    • Caroline McGinnis says:

      Prayers are with you Kim you can even try what I do when I am down a nice hot bubble bath, green tea and of course ol’ faithful , at least for me, chocolate. I have also heard that chocolate is also a natural remedy for helping with depression. I know it works for me. LOL and God Bless. another one you can try is put one hand on each shoulder and squeeze tightly–this is a big hug for you from Jesus and myself–remember Jesus is walking right beside us.

    • Fiona Coleman says:

      Hi Kim,

      Can I suggest rather than trying to get things done today that you give yourself permission to not try and get things done (what ever is not necessary anyway) and take care of yourself.

      Leave those dishes in the sink and take a long bath or go for a walk, even better get a facial or massage if finances permit. but what ever you do, do it for you. The the other stuff that needs to be done will be there tomorrow.

      As woman we spend all of our time looking after others and forget to take time out to look after and spoil ourselves. The most freeing thing I learned from depression is its ok not to be ok and the need to take some time out for you.

      The other important thing is it’s ok to ask for help, if you have anyone who can come and help you get on top of things then it may really bless them to be able to help you right now.

      I have been praying for you xox

  13. I have been meaning to write out all the words & verses for this study since we started, but haven’t been able to find any index cards. Today I came across some flower shaped sticky notes I had so I wrote the words & verses on them and stuck them on my bathroom mirror. It is like a little word bouquet of encouragement from God! 🙂
    My little guy & I have also been sick this week…praying that God’s healing hand would be on all of us who are sick right now & that He would use this time to restore us not only physically, but spiritually as well. 🙂

  14. Im praying for all to feel better soon….. Total healing… I will be writing it on post cards…. keeping one in my purse and planting others around the house and one at my desk at work….

  15. I am so thankful that God knows exactly what we need, when we need it. This study is helping me to keep my eyes focused on God for my confidence during a time when things could quickly get out of control. My husband is going to be transfered for 4 months out of state beginning in May. We have also just gotten started breeding miniature horses so just as this is beginning I find myself in the position of being completely responsible for our farm, 3 young children and all that includes. Please don’t think I am looking for sympathy because that is not the point of this post. I am actually looking forward to what God has for us during this time. My point is that I might not have had this outlook had God not placed this study at this time in my life. God’s timing is perfect!

  16. I am planning on using the index cards this week to help me memorize the verse. Also, I save any PDF pics to my ipod and look at them regularly.
    I am praying for healing for you Renee and your family. God bless.

  17. I Pray that you feel better soon. I Write the bible verse in my notebook.

  18. Reading Chapter four I feel as though I am reading my own life story, yet I have not made it to that point of healing that I so long for. Renee thank you for sharing the pain of your past, praying that it will help to be a guide for the healing my heart needs.

  19. Hope is a good word for me this week because that is what I have been living on. I know I’ve written my story on your blog before but you’ve probably got so many that I’ll repeat a quick version. Eleven years ago I had a surgery that went bad. I wound up in a coma on lifesupport. Almost dying several times but God has a purpose for me and didn’t let it happen. I’ve had 16 surgeries since that first one. I just had a surgery on Oct. 7th. It didn’t heal so two weeks later I had another surgery. It didn’t heal either so I went home and had home nurses coming to the house to take care of me and I was put on a wound vac. Praise the Lord I got the wound vac taken off yesterday. It’s so nice to be off of any attached machines. My hope is after the last 4 months I can finally start living again and get away from being home bound. I’ve written the scripture on a 3 X 5″ card to carry with me to learn. I have to get my Confidence back.

  20. Kim, I am praying a lifting of the fog and gray of depression, that it would be replaced by the goodness and love and grace of Jesus, like a beam of sunshine breaking through the clouds. When you get down, think of all the women connected here, and at some time, at least one of us is thinking of you.
    Renee, I pray the healing balm of Jesus would wash over your body and restore you quickly to strength and vitality. In the meantime, while He is working, know that we look forward to you being back as our leader, but we want you to do it in His time, when you are well and strong, and not fret about us.
    Ch. 4 has brought me a lot of clarity, as it has forced me to examine the past, and to dig deep in some things in the present that I really didn’t want to disturb. Pg. 81 had several statements that hit me:THe premise of Jer.29, that we find His plans when we surrender ours and seek Him each day, and that doing this is a “daily journey of dependence”. You don’t know how much it helped, just seeing that in print, realizing that I am not the only one who struggles with this.
    Healing to all the ill sisters out there, or those caring for ill children.

  21. Renee,

    I first want to say that I do hope you get to feeling better soon. Also, I just have to let you know that I absolutely LOVE chapter 3!! This is my 2nd time to read it (went through it with Melissa Taylor)… But it really resonates to my heart. Just wanted to let you know that I love how you broke everything down.. it really helped to open my eyes to see and my ears to hear God’s Word. Thank you.

  22. I’ll be putting mine on my bathroom mirror as well. This week is tough so far but I will perservere.

  23. I am praying for all of you who mentioned you have been sick. Especially when you have children and many responsibilities it can be challenging to care for yourself the way you need to! I have underlined so much in this chapter~for doubt is like a chain around my neck at times. Here are a couple of passages that spoke to my heart.
    “The pain of our past makes it hard to believe God’s promise of hope for the future….
    Hope comes when we allow Jesus to search our hearts and bring truth into our wounded places like Sam did…
    stop allowing the past to determine our future.”
    I want to truly know God and fully rely on His love for me. Facing my past pain is stretching me and I find myself growing once again.

  24. Renee,
    In your e-mail Sunday you posted Psalm 143:8 “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” “Show me the way to go” really jumped out at me when I read it. Then Mon. I started reading chapter 4 and on pg. 67 I highlighted “ask God to give me a verse to claim as a promise for my life, one that jumped off the page into my heart when I read it.” So I immediately thought of Psalm 143:8 because for 2 1/2 years I have been asking God where I should “Go” in regards to staying with my boyfriend or going home. Right after I wrote the verse down I got a clear message from God. I was astounded. He was saying “Go to Me!” All along until this Bible Study I have been obcessing for an answer of where God wants me to be in regards to living with my boyfriend vs. going back home. I have not been close to Him since this bible study. I have not put Him first in my life. After spending much time so far in this study I am finally getting it. He wants me to Go to Him first and then I will find the answers!
    Wow….AMAZING how He works in our lives for the good. This study has been extremely insightful for me. I am learning so much and getting a closer relationship with God through it. I can’t wait to read and study on. I am praying continually for wisdom and a heart filled with God.
    Thank you Lord for the gift of Renee and her book and bible study!
    Praise to God my Lord and Savior

    • Yeah Tammi!! I have been in those times of denial and when I finally see what God has in store or the answer to prayers as you I have those great AHA moments. Delightful!!

      • Lou O,
        Thanks…..it’s so obvious to me now…it just took me really searching through this study for God’s wisdom instead of my own or someone elses. This is my first experiance of hearing God say “Run to Me” and you will find the answer. So powerful what God does if we just go to Him. I was so consumed by finding an answer instead of just finding God. He will give me an answer….. I just need to wait on Him.
        It was an AHA moment alright!! LOL. As much as I knew this “I couldn’t see the forest for the trees” I guess that was all in His plan, for me to search for Him through this Bible Study. I know now why I didn’t hear from God. I wasn’t listening.

  25. Renee, Sending prayers for healing for you and your family. Also, thank you so much for all that you are doing to bring each of us God’s blessing through your writings.
    I found by accident that if I use the reference of a scripture for a password it helps me to remember it and the verse also because when I see it, I quote the verse in my head. Romans 15:13 has been a favorite. God Bless You.

    • That is a great idea!!! I always have trouble remember the “address” of verses. So I may quote a scripture and someone will ask where is that? And I have to say I don’t know!!!! Thanks for the idea!!

  26. All the chapters including chapter 4 has been so amazing to read and help heal from past.
    So thankful for this book and i pray for you to be healed from head to toe in total restoration.
    Amen.

  27. I’m away from home for another week so I just posted it on FaceBook, trying to “memorize” it while I typed it. When I get home, I look forward to working on the timeline that you shared in Chap. 4. Many thanks!!!!

    I pray that you would know the healing power of our Lord and Savior, and that you would know the gift of good health!!! Amen!!!!!!!

  28. I’ve only begun to start reading this chapter. I must admit when I first saw the title of the chapter I was thinking that it wasn’t really going to mean much to me. I had a wonderful, christian upbringing. Not a lot of hurt or anger to deal with, but before I had even got through the first few pages God began speaking to my heart. See, I have lived in fear with panic attacks for 25 years now. I can’t drive, can’t travel, sometimes I can’t even leave my home. Going to church and to the grocery store with my husband is basically my whole life. I used to be in children’s ministry and I used to work full time, but all of that has been taken away from me. I also suffer from the darkness of depression. I was afraid to really do some soul searching and admit that sometimes I feel like God has failed me…and I DESPERATELY want HIS approval by doing more, and by NOT FAILING when I get out and have a panic attack. I feel like “if” I could only trust HIM more, I wouldn’t have panic attacks, so when I get one, I feel guilty like I have failed HIM…I SO need to understand HIS unconditional love. I am believing for a confident heart, and I would appreciate people praying for me to come out on the other side of this a conqueror!! Thanks….

    • Praying for you Robin. Thats a very difficult existence to live in. I pray that God can give us a confident heart and that we won’t feel like we have failed God when things, such as panic attacks happen that are beyond our control. I pray that we can really comprehend this gift of love and grace he has given us…for free. All the best to you.

    • Fiona Coleman says:

      Oh Robin, I am praying my heart out for you. I have experienced years of the crippling nature of anxiety/panic attacks. I was unable to go places, even grocery shopping like you, could not go to see friends, cancelled everything last minute and the depression is blinding (it started post-natal/post partum). I have been healed so i want you to know you can be too. trust God to keep His promises, He is now using my experience as a public speaker for depression and anxiety – the promise that He will use all things for Good for those who love Him have been fulfilled. I made it through – the promise that He will never give us more than we can handle, has been fulfilled. I will continue to pray for the same healing for you as He gave me Robin, it has been complete and restoring. I now go everywhere and do everything without thinking about it at all. I will pray for God to replace your fear with its opposite, Faith.
      PS you can see a little more of my story below in reply to Cindy. He has healed so much in me and will do for you too.
      Fiona xx

      • Thank you Fiona! I’m thrilled to know that you have been delivered completely from this…that there IS hope. When self doubt keeps creeping in and tells me that things will never change, I keep repeating that HE is doing a NEW thing in me! I’m trying to have the faith it takes to completely believe that, but it’s so hard! Mine started post partum as well, making me wonder if it has something to do with hormones?
        I don’t really care why it started. I just want OUT of it!! Thank you for praying for me!

    • Chapter 4 really spoke to my heart. I allowed me to disclose some hidden secrets I never wanted to address. People see me as the calm, nice and caring person. They don’t know the hurt, shame or disappointments I have gone through or still living because I have masked them. Lord I thank you for allowing this reding to open my heart to healing by finally understanding that the holy spirit is my counselor. A counselor is someone you can talk to to get sound advice. Father thank you for leaving me one that dwells in me and speaks the word of life.

      • Well put Phyllis! I am finally understanding that the holy spirit is my counselor too and I am praying that everyone in this study is being blessed as much as I am from it.

      • Not only is Christ my counselor He is also my comforter. To remind me of this I have a picture in my office of Christ sitting with a young woman comforting her (His arm around her shoulder, her head on His shoulder). I have been asked “is this Martha or Mary”. I say that is Katrina, because He is my Comforter and my Rock. { I got the print from Jesusartforyou.com}, I need deep reminders of all Christ is to me always, I can quickly get into self pity if I forget.

        • Brenda Curry says:

          To go along with what Katrina said. I have found this beautiful picture of Jesus that depicts how I think he looks, drawn by a child prodigy name Akiana. If you google Akiana’s drawing of Jesus you will see his beautiful face and his eyes full of love that look deep in your soul and fill you with love. It’s my special visual aid to see his face filled with love for me and for us all. He is our comfort and our strength! Praise the Lord for this study and for Renee Swope bringing us together!

    • Robin Than you for opening up your heart and sharing with us. As far as I know i had never experienced a “panic attack” before in my life and before the other day i would not have understood what those were. The other day my son (22Yrs old) had visited his Big brother that he had not seen in a very long time (about 14 yrs) anyway after the visit the big brother left to go home and left his brother in a park cuz we were trying to get him a place to stay (oh by the way he is in Fla and we are in TN). When I found out what park he was at all of a sudden i could not breath or utter a word. I kept trying to gasp for air and tell my husband what was wrong but i could not! After my husband prayed for me i told him that the park my son was in was where 2 of my friends had been horribly murdered years before. I had not thought about that situation for a long time and then it hit me like a lead brick! This story has a happy ending, we were able to get a hold of a friend in Fla and he went and got my son and took him to his place then took him back to where he was staying the following day. God is ever mindful of our difficulties, He gives us hope like our verse said this week (Jer. 29:11) I have been reading that everyday as well as vs 12-14. i have found that i can trust him for my future and not only that but that of my children. Robin as we travel this journey together we can have hope that God will bring us through those things that are difficult for us. In Isaiah 43:1-3 it says “But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob and He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you alk through the fire, you shall not be burned. Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God. The Holy One of Israel, Your Savior…..”

  29. in the mist of chapter 4 … with many others in a study group … I hope to create some artwork with this verse to help … lock it in. Sending healing prayers in for those of you in need. love is a verb …

  30. Renee,
    Praying for your complete healing, in Jesus’ name.
    After reading chapter 4, I now know I have a kindred-hearted sister. Spending 37 years embittered by my parents’ divorce, I understand the bondage that creates. Only when I allowed God to touch my heart wounds did I find healing and freedom. God’s restorative power in my life gave me the courage forgive my father face-to-face about four years ago and I cannot tell you the freedom, the joy, and the peace that’s followed. I’ve discovered that when we forgive as God forgives us, we open our hearts and lives to the fullness of His purpose in our lives. Thank you for your courage and honesty.

  31. Margaret Kidd says:

    Praying for you as well. And, thanks for connecting with us in spite of not feeling well. I look forward to this.

  32. Hi Renee, Sorry to read that you are still not feeling well. I will keep you in my prayers

  33. I have begun re-reading Chapter 4 and have found i am writng “me too” in areas where you had experienced things in which are either in my past or i am going thru them now.

  34. I pray that by his stripes you are healed.i thank God for your life,because you made me discovered the hidden treasure in the word of God.That whenever i feel like throwing in the towel i should go back to the word of God.

  35. Just reading through all your notes – to me and to each other. I don’t feel better physically but hanging out here with you sure does make my heart happy. God is so good to us!! I’m so thankful HE planned this online study for us to do together before the foundations of the earth. He knew just what we would need and where we would be in February 2012 and He chose to gather us here in His name!!

    I love to see you encourage one another, believing and praying His promises for each other and for yourselves. I just had to tell you how much it makes my heart smile– even when I’m sick. By the way, I broke down and took Benadryl and Extra Strength Mucinex. One tends to upseet my stomach and the other makes me want to sleep for days but I just had to get out the big guns ’cause I’m sick of being sick. I have asthma that gets bad when I get bronchitis and it makes it harder to overcome. Now I”m just trying to stay awake since taking a nap with a 3-yr old is not an option :-).

    Anyway, just wanted to say hi and tell you that God has given me such a love for each of you. I”m praying for each of you — those who are sick, those who are hurting, those who are hopeful and all the in between!!

  36. Kimberly Stiver says:

    I finished questions 1-3 today. It took me over 2 hours to answer these questions because I asked God to seek my heart. What I have learned this week so far is that I still have times I felt how can God use me for His purpose, because I am a nobody and God needs powerful people. I know that is Satan giving me these thoughts. God doesn’t want me to believe in the lies of Satan. I felt like I was hearing over and over again I am wonderfully made. That is when I looked it up in my Bible (Kindle edition). Psalm 139:14 says “I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.” Every works of God is wonderful! That includes me.

    • Kimberly, i totally agree with u!!! i am so thankful that we were created fearfully and wonderfully made…i love knowing that Gods love is unconditional. I too start believing Satan lies when i let my thoughts wonder…i need to keep them captive and obedient to Christ. I WILL KEEP U N MY PRAYERS AS WE ALL TEND TO STRUGGLE WITH OUR THOUGHTS N SATAN LIES.

  37. Cindy Hunt says:

    God is totally awesome. Renee I can’t say enough on how this book and the timeing of the study is so where I am at. Renee, I know and feel God speaking right through you to me. I find it no accident that God gave me this scripture for this year “2012.” in Isaiah Is. 43:16, 18-19 claiming and knowing that God was telling me that it is time to deal with the past hurts from my childhood in regards to my mom and my sister. A whole new can of worms got opened up when my mom passed Dec. 2010 and my sister caused a lot of drama during this time and opened up another can of worms of my pain. God was telling me it is time to heal and ‘LET GO’ see I am doing a new thing.

    As I read further on in the book I couldn’t believe what I was reading not just because I can relate so much and your telling my story but “BAM” again you share the very exact scripture that God gave me when I was in Bolivia speaking at a “YWAM” (Youth with a Mission) base. Again, Isaiah 61:1-3 he gave me this scripture to teach from it but also told me that this is what He is calling me to do. I remember the exact words that He spoke to me, “Cindy This is only the beginning”. I was sharing a part of my story to the Bolivian’s speaking healing into their lives so that God could set them free. I was dumb founded.. The funny thing about this was one of the people from the La Paz, Bolivia YWAM base came to the small remote village that our (YWAM team from Tacoma, Wa.) team was planting a church and asked if any of us would be willing to go to there base and teach. I said “no way” because I am not one that likes to be in front of people-I am terrified of that and plus I didn’t have anything to share. I am not a teacher or speaker. The only way I would go is if God spoke to me directly and tell me what He wanted to share. That night or the next God spoke to me very clearly that I was to share from my experience and he gave me Isaiah 61:1-3 to be a part of my story and so I was obedient with my knees shaking. God honored that time and it was very powerful to see God move and it was then that God said to me that “This is only the beginning”. That was back in 1986 and I felt that I had lost that calling because I have so messed up my life for a period of time since then and now i feel paralyzed because of my woundedness from my past that is flying in my face. All my insecurities and doubts are oozing out my seams and my vessel is totally dry because I really don’t know that it means to truelly know God’s love for me. I know He loves others but for me it is really hard for me to truelly believe. This is a part of my depression.

    I don’t know how to thank you enough for writting this book and being open, honest and vulnerable with us which gives me a lot of HOPE knowing that somebody else like me has gone through it (crossing the Red Sea) and the dry, hot wilderness.

    • Fiona Coleman says:

      Hi Cindy, Don’t forget that your ‘mess ups’ are Gods perfect opportunity to show us His brilliance. Without them he isn’t needed so I have learnt to praise Him for my mess ups and I can’t wait to see what He does with them. Please don’t ever think that because you messed up He doesn’t love you or can’t use you, in fact those of us that mess up the most end up being incredibly valuable for Him to show the world His amazing redeeming and restoring power. Cindy I grew up in church, taught Sunday school, sang in church but drifted in and out, to and fro, and after I had my kids I have severe post natal depression that dragged up a lot of pain from my childhood which I had buried and created a new and better childhood in my mind. This saw me spiral into self-destruction for years. Just 3 years ago my life consisted of partying (at 38 years of age) addicted to alcohol, drugs, gambling, smoking and sex, I was in many unhealthy relationships and with the depression and anxiety I had had enough and asked God to kill me because I was no use to Him or anyone else and didn’t want to commit suicide. He had other plans, plans to prosper me, to give me a hope and a future and within the first few months after that request on my knees crying to him, He healed me of all addictions, I didn’t give them up; He took them from me, no withdrawal, nothing. It all made me physically sick and I couldn’t do it anymore. He healed the depression and anxiety – it just went all the fears and sadness. He drew me closer to Him and I started to have an overwhelming urge to study Him and His word so I went to Theology College. Now I am ministering to friends in need, I am a public speaker for a Post and Anti Natal Depression association and I am writing a book to share Gods amazing healing power and love for us through my story of how He bought me out of my darkness and into his perfect light. He is still healing me bit by bit to this day but I have to wake up every morning and give my day, to him and chose to say I don’t see problems in my life, I see opportunities for God to show me His love if I let Him. Cindy God can and will heal depression and every other hurting places you have. Just hand it over He loves you and He will use you and your story for His Glory.
      I will be praying for you.
      Fiona xx

      • Fiona,
        What a beautiful story….thanks for sharing…….you are a true example of what God can do…..God is the perfect light in all our darkness. So happy you went towards the light. Your story is a great one of hope and what God can do and now He is using you to bring others out of their darkness.

      • Kimberly Stiver says:

        Fiona,

        Thank you for being open and honest to where God has brought you out of darkness to light. You are a blessing.
        What Theology school did you go to?

        Cindy,

        I agree with Fiona. even when we feel we can’t be used by God, He shows us differently. With man it isn’t possible, but with God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! God wants us to trust in Him that when we share our stories, it gives Him the Glory. That is when we heal and who knows someone else may heal also from their pain by just hearing our story.
        May God bless you and you are in my prayers.

        • Fiona Coleman says:

          Hi Kimberly –
          thankyou for your feedback it is a blessing to me. I went to college here in Australia its called Stirling Theology College. They are all very Spirit filled teachers and it was amazing.

          Tammi –
          Thankyou for the lovely words also. I love that God has used the pain of my past to bless others. Now I undersand the scripture I was given 3 years ago – which I didnt get at the time but do now well and truely. Isiah 54:2-8 the assurance of not being put to shame allows me to share the dark places I have been to show how fully amazing Gods healing and redeming power is.

      • Wow, Fiona, what a story! I also am addicted to cigarettes. I cry out to the Lord every day to deliver me from the desire to smoke, but He never does. I can’t lay them down myself; I’ve tried and I know that I just can’t do it. I pray that some day He will take this from me along with the fears and the depression that go along with that. Some people think that I am going to hell because I smoke. What do you guys think?

        • Fiona Coleman says:

          First of all – thankyou ladies for the feedback it is such a blessing to know God is getting so much glory for the massive tranformation He has made in my life. What a job it must have been but for Him all things are possible.

          Robin, someone once said to me that “smoking wont send you to hell, it just makes you smell like you’ve been there” I was both relieved and had a laugh. We did nothing to deserve Gods perfect love, He gave it to us freely and His Son Jesus and We can do nothing to forfeit/lose it so please dont think that. God loves you regardless and He says Nothing can seperate you from His love. Nothing.
          Try not to focus so much on the problems you are facing and spend your time focusing on the solution. God. Hand it over and just keep thanking Him for what He can do with it. Nothing is impossible for him but He does have a tendancy to do things in His own time not ours. I will continue to pray for your healing and deliverance from smoking and depression my friend. I know what God can do so I will have faith for you in the meantime.
          God bless you.
          Fiona

          • Fiona Coleman says:

            just a PS for Robin. Often God requires us to take the first step towards Him and healing so I encourage you to have a go at quiting and rely on Him for strength, believing that you are worth the health and extra money that goes with not smoking.

            Every time you quit it is success even if it is only temporary (for me it has been 3 years now). I believe you CAN do it with God’s help and our prayers, just keep trying and believing He is with you and imagine Him and all of Heaven cheering you on. Dont give up on yourself becuase He will never give up on you. Look where I was and He didnt give up on me. just keep trying. xx

  38. Praying for complete healing for you Renee! I’m in for memorizing the new verse. I hang up the one you make in my bedroom and I write in out on an index card and put on the bathroom mirror. I also have a card that I carry with me in my purse that I can read when I get a chance. Any time I can write it out that helps me.
    Blessings

  39. SHONTAVIA says:

    I am praying for complete healing for you Renee. I just started reading chapter 4 and already it’s speaking to me. I have opted to also write this week bible verse on my bathroom mirror, refridgerator, on my dash in my car, and on my clip board a work to help me remember it. This week I was told that my seven year old son will be taking the ec test at school because he is not meeting second grade reading goals which may be associated with a learning disability. Like Renees friend in chapter 4, I have been having thoughts that I must have done something wrong as a mother. Ive constantly worked with my son and he tries so hard. I broke down and told a long time friend of the family about it and her reply to me was well it will help you financially and help your son educationally. What kind of statement is that? I refuse to make money off of my sons disability of one exist. Sorry gals for the long message but I needed to vent and what better way to? All in all this chapter was made for me. Please keep me and my family in your prayer and I will continue to pray for you girls. xoxo.

  40. Fiona Coleman says:

    Hi everyone -I had already read this book before I joined this study but have been following the weekly messages. I was feeling very flat and lost 2 days ago and I could not work out why so I sat down and prayed and asked God to show me what was wrong and he led me back to your book to re-read chapter 4. Well I cried so hard my neighbours would have hear me for sure as He peeled back the layers of hurt from my past heart break from men hurting me. My timeline follows… my father left when I was 2. As a child I was always told I was annoying as a because I talked too much, my first boyfriend/love broke my heart betraying me with my best friend, my grandfather stopped talking to me when I got married (I will never know why) my first husband found all the wrong in everything I tried to do right, the next boyfriend beat me up and told me I was worthless and no one would ever love me, then a string of other boyfriends (holding my heart shaped cup out). I didn’t realise all of this left me feeling unlovable and worthless and not worth staying with. Now I am about to marry a wonderful man and I was afraid he will find out I am not really worth it also. Yesterday God revealed that to me and I gave all of it to Jesus whilst reading chapter 4 and affirmed my worth in God! I feel awesome today. I am praying for you Renee and all of you ladies. PS I have bought 15 copies of this book and am giving them to my friends and family and even mentoring them through it. LOVE IT! LOVE YOU for writing it! BLESS YOU BLESS YOU! PPS I am in Australia and I believe God is calling me to work with woman here using the pain of my past, which is way more extensive than the above examples, but He bought me out of my darkness and into His light with divine healing at a time I was ready to check out of this world. Oh and how I praise him for it every day! I love that He is still working in me and healing more every day even when I think I’m fixed, He fixes more. XOX

    • Lucy Strouse says:

      Thanks for sharing! Your story gives me hope! I had been doing good the first three weeks, really feeling like I’m going to break free and really know how much God loves me. I broke up with my boyfriend before the start of the series and I’m trying to have Jesus fill me and fullfill me but I slipped into a funk over the weekend and I don’t know what’s going on. I quit reading, quit praying, quit reciting the verses. I quit eating, but I’m drinking coffee instead, left work early and went home and slept. I don’t know if Satan is attacking my thoughts or why I feel this unbearable pain inside. All I can do is cry and I don’t even know why. I so desperately want to be held and loved. I know I need to turn to Christ to fill me but I”m all of a sudden so weak and tired. I hate being emotional and the tears just won’t stop. It’s so painful to go through these breakups. I wish I would stop trying so I wasn’t always dealing with grief. My first husband died when my girls were just babies and since then I was married and divorced. I don’t know if that’s why I feel like I’m dying when I grieve or not. I can’t say what my thoughts or feelings are about. My heart just aches. I had been trying to lay my pain at the cross and allow Christ to heal me but I can feel myself starting to withdraw. I know I need to praise God in the storm and hang on tight. I’m thinking Satan may be attacking me so I don’t breakfree. I have felt so hopeful since reading this book and being a part of the bible study.

      • Fiona Coleman says:

        Hi Lucy, Please dont be discouraged becuase of where you are and how you are feeling right now. This is the time to draw closer to God not withdraw from Him becuase He is right there with you. you say you deperately want to be held and loved, well my friend right now the God that created the universe and you and sent His son to die for you is the one holding you and loving you so much. He says He catches and keeps all your tears and knows what you are feeling, He is also feeling with you and my favourite thing to remember when I have felt like you are now is this. God says His power is made perfect in your weakness, so imagine His amazing loving power flowing through you, He will give you strength and He promises you will NEVER have more than you can handle which is encouraging. He WILL bring you though this and use it for His good becuase you love Him. I now praise him for all of the pain and heartbreak I went through becuase I can see Has kept ALL his promises. I did make it through, He didnt give me more than I could handle and He IS using it for so much good. Hang in there beautiful lady. His promises are faithful, I have seen them all.
        Renee has a list of powerful promises on page 221, I encourage you to find the ones that relate to you now and memorise them and believe in them. I also encourage you to read the following scripture that has been the most comfort to me in similar situations and my friend remember when you hand your burdens over to Jesus, dont take them back or He cant carry them while you are still holding them yourself. Trust Him Completely. I have been praying for you and will continue to pray for you to find your comfort in Him.
        Check out Some of my favourites – Matthew 11:28, Psalm 23 (i read this over and over and said it out loud every time i felt discouraged) Isiah 43:1-4, 2 Corinthians 12:9, Romans 8:28
        He is faithful Lucy and he wont give up on you so dont give up on Him ok. Blessings to you in abundance.
        Fiona XOX

    • Fiona
      Your story just touched my heart! God has so much for you friend! You are so loved. So valued. So cherished!!

  41. Renee, praying that u get better this wk and that God continues to give u the strength to prepare and study for our Bible study. i loved the verses that u sent us this wk. i need to b reminded of Gods UNFAILING love for me each day…and that there is always HOPE for the future. I write out the verses on an index card and hung them above the sink so that i can read them daily. I have started reading Ch.4 and von relate to it already to the Why ??? that we have when hurtful things happen in our life and we don’t understand why. I love the verse in 2Cor1:3-4…as God answers us in “so that we can comfort those in trouble w the comfort we ourselves receive from God” I haven’t finished reading the Ch and answering questions 1-3…i hope to by tonite and look forward to the rest of the wk and meeting back on the blog.

  42. Praying for you!! Thank you soo much for the beauitful picture of the clouds that said Hope loved it !! Thank you for being willing do this Bible study for us women i’am being sooo blessed by this study no words can describe how it does!!! Joyce

  43. I put the verse en my desk so I can see it during the day even at work.
    Renne I´m Praying for you and thaks a lot for the nice picture of our word, I love it.

  44. Renee, I will be praying that you feel better soon. For the verse in Jeremiah about HIm knowing us, I printed it out and posted it on the mirror in my bedroom so I see it every morning. For this week’s verse, I am going to print it out or write it on paper, and put it in my planner, so I can see it every time I open my planner and look at my schedule. Thank you so much for the book, and all the time you have put into the study! I have been getting a lot out of it. I was wondering, does anyone else struggle with this?- sometimes when I read, I feel like I’m getting behind-I haven’t started chapter 4 yet- and sometimes don’t feel peace about it when I read, like the devil is trying to discourage me from reading. So I pray about it, but sometimes the feelings of unrest don’t go away.

    • Be persistent. God is faithful! You have a lot of sisters who will pray for you too.

      • Thank you, DanWel.ihen I am so frustrated by the drivel posted at so many sites I know that I can come here and find hope in your remarkable analyses of our human condition.

  45. Renee- Praying for God to touch you and heal you.
    I am also doing an online study with Melissa Taylor using Lisa’s Book “Made to Crave”. One thing we do is fill in the blank. Part of the verse is written out and we fill in the blanks. I am going to do the same with our verses. I plan on leaving a few different fill in the blank sentences around the house and fill them as I come to them. I also am going to hand write the verse out and post on my Mirror and in my car. I love how we are praying scripiture prayers. Each week they have been the perfect timed prayer for my life. I am also praying them over my family and close friends. Especially for my 16 and 15 year old daughters. I want their hearts to be Confident and I am proud to say they both are so in love with Jesus ,he is creating within them a yearning for more of him. However, I believe praying these scriptures over them can only strengthen and protect their Confidence. Thank you Renee, the honest words you have shared in the book have brought such peace and insight ! I can hardly wait each evening to have my quite time and read the blogs and do the online lessons. Many blessings to everyone!

  46. I’m on vacation….. and I’ve written the word, “Hope” and the Bible verse for the week on the stationary on the desk in my room. I intend to keep it in front of me and meditate on it throughout the day/week. I have prayed for your healing Renee and feel certain you will be well soon. Our God is an awesome one and I give Him the praise and glory. Thank you Renee for your faithfulness and service. May I be so willing.

  47. Just when I think I finished reading one of the chapters in this book that I thought was incredibly life changing and that it can’t get much better, along comes another chapter that kicks my butt (in a good way!) I’ve been wanting to write this since yesterday but didn’t feel it should be up as a lone post on facebook and didn’t want to comment on the last blog entry cause I didn’t want to reveal things to people who weren’t on chapter 4…Page 73 lists several scenarios of woman who have gone through so many painful things and daily live with the lies that satan fills their heart with. I wrote my own like me statement. Saying it out loud and admitting it is half the battle…

    Like me, who wanted her whole life to be seen as attractive, desirable, beautiful and wanted. Me who was led down a painful road with a borderline eating disorder and an ongoing obsession with food and exercise that I constantly have to keep in check because I believed that my value and worth were in how thin I was, and how outwardly attractive I was.

    I’ve come so far yet still have so far to go. The sad thing is, is that my whole life I waited to be called beautiful. To be the girlfriend and not just the friend. The point in my life where boys started expressing that I was desirable and wanted, happened to be the same point in my life when I started to dress more fashionably and had lost weight…so what else was I to think but that I was attractive, when I looked cute, and when I was thinner. Thinner….oh what defines thinner? That number on the scale could never be low enough. It was an obsession. I always wanted it to be be a little lower. The number on the scale would either give me permission that day to eat a little, or a lot depending on whether or not that number made me feel happy about where my weight was. I didn’t think weighing yourself 8-10 times a day was abnormal. Until one day I told my husband, and even as I heard myself say it I knew how wrong it was. He looked at me in shock and told me how unhealthy it was to weigh myself that often. To me it’s also sad, that this happened to me, as a grown, happily married woman….I love my husband. He is amazing, and still satan managed to ensnare me in a lie. A lie that grew so big, I had to dig way down deep to heal the hurt. It’s getting better. It’s getting easier. In many ways having a baby has been really hard for me to accept my postpartum body, but it’s also been healing. I prayed during my pregnancy that God would heal me of this fear I have of being unattractive to the world’s standards…standards? Our photoshopped standards? He has brought me so far. For as hard as a post partum body can be to accept I am confident that God has brought way more healing to me in this area because of pregnancy, than he ever could of without pregnancy.

    Other things that have touched me so far in this chapter have been Renee writing about running from what she felt God say about her sharing her story with woman. For so long I’ve wondered what God has for me. As a mom I feel more alive and called to something than I ever have before. I love being a mom. I love managing our home. One thing that tugs at me a lot is actually women….I love encouraging them. Teaching newly married woman how to cook, etc or sharing tips with new moms or just providing a hug for those hard first few months as a new parent. I’ve often thought about writing. I enjoy speaking to woman or leading bible studies…..I hear satan speak lies to me about how I am not “fit” to do that type of work. I haven’t “gone through” enough. I have no training in writing or speaking etc. I don’t know what God has for me….no matter how ordinary I may see it, it’s not ordinary to God. Leading a simple bible study could be life changing to some if I allow God to speak through me in it. Anyway, I am praying about that. Trying to really seek out God’s heart and really trying to let go of my people pleasing tendencies. I already feel so much better about it and more confident in it.

    My last thing that I have been working on today is the timeline of life’s painful memories. I have done this before but I don’t think I ever prayed through each one and just allowed time. I know this could take months, but it was encouraging to see it. Painful to write it. Healing to speak it out loud and let God wipe my tears away.

    Enjoying going through this study with each of you friends!! I pray God brings so much healing and hope to each of your hearts!

    • Bridget I agree each chapter reveals something we have been holding onto and just thought it to be normal. I thank God for Renee’s obedience to answer his calling and write such an awesome book. It is truly mind and heart changing for me.

    • Bridget, I agree that each chapter has been amazing in it’s own way. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing with everyone. Your writing is encouraging. Blessings to you.

    • Fiona Coleman says:

      HI Bridget, thankyou for yoru encouraging words to me. that really blessed me to know God is using my story to bless others. You sound like an amazing and loving, encouraging woman and I bet that inner beauty shines right through you to the outside. Start looking at youself through Gods eyes and see what a beautiful, perfect creation He has made and encourage yourself the way you encourage others. God says you deserve it. Look at yourself in the miror and tell yourself what you would say if you were your bestest best friend trying to encourage her.
      Blessings to you. xox

  48. Dear Bridget, I hope you have gone to sleep since your post showed that you wrote this an hour later than I am writing, but I want to tell you that I love your and so does our God who knew us before the foundation of the earth. When I was younger I did the same thing as you with my weight and like you when I had my first pregnancy God healed me of the need to be perfect. That is where our stories change, because I was not married to a wonderful man and I released my baby for adoption…that was 25 year ago Feb.25th.
    I did marry later that year (not to the father) and we have 4 wonderful children. I still find trouble seeing my worth in God’s eyes. I have a 17 year old daughter who thinks I am “stupid” for the adult decisions I make. She is taking Child Psychology classes at the college,which has not helped her opinion of me. Daily I have to see my worth in God’s eyes. Not as man see, but as God see, He looks at the heart. My heart in covered in the blood of Jesus who saved me.
    I would like the next person who reads this to pray for me. Along with the day to day struggles of 4 teenagers, being the sole support of my family (my husband doesn’t work and isn’t looking anymore)… I have a cold too. I am really tired, but have had trouble sleeping. I am taking college classes and need my brain fog to lift. Thanks you.\
    I will turn off my computer and try to sleep. B)

    • Deena, i will pray with you and for you to our awesome Father God. Before bedtime and any time, cast all your worries and anxieties on Him. “Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you, He will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalm 55:22 and “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV) My daughter says to me: ‘Mom, blow out those worries and let yourself be held in His arms and stay there until you are calm and peaceful. Don’t keep them inside, it will affect your health.” It is calming to give the Lord what we cannot handle. As i have heard said: we do what we can in the natural and God will do the rest in the supernatural. With ‘our sister family’ in this Bible study, you will have prayers by women who will comment and by women who will silently lift up prayers for you. You are not alone, and you are loved by us and by the Lord with His unconditional love. This Bible study is ‘just what we all needed.’ Thank you Renee!

    • Oh Deena you are so loved, so wanted, so needed! Your story touched me. Even just having us all be open and honest on here is so healing in and of itself….it makes me realize that although each of our stories are so different, we aren’t alone….we aren’t apart from God and we aren’t apart from a community of believers. We all have been “there,” in someway shape or form….whether big or small….it’s a blessing to know I am not alone. Praying for you right now!

    • Deena,

      I just read your comment…just wanted to let you know that I said a prayer for your strength. Hope your days get better and your load a little bit lighter.

      Blessings,

      Liz 🙂

    • Brenda Curry says:

      Just wanted you to know I prayed for you too. Praise the Lord that when we are weak and weary we have the prayers of fellow Christians to lift us up. I prayed for the Lord to give you strength and wisdom to deal with your teenagers. You are truly loved by our Heavenly Father and remember He can make a way where there seems to be no way. May you feel uplifted and loved with God’s arms around you and His armor surrounding you and protecting you from everything satan tries to throw your way.

  49. Dear Robin who is in an inpatient program right now. The Holy Spirit nudged me just a little bit ago to let you know that i am praying for you. Thoughts are with you day and night. Week 4 of our study is about HOPE. Hang on to hope: “But I will hope continually, and will yet praise Thee more and more. Psalm 71:14 KJV Robin, please pray the ‘praying God’s promises’ prayer at the end of chapter 4 often. It is healing and comforting. God’s peace and hope to you!

  50. I think sometimes we get so caught up in our situation we forget that there is HOPE. I am so grateful for my heavenly father who loves me and keeps me in His arms when times seem dark and lonely.I pray for healing for the wonderful women on these pages who are going through some trials with their health right now. God brings us together for a reason. Trust in Him. Our hope is in you Lord all day long. Help us to keep our hearts and minds turned towards you.

  51. Thank you! Will pray for you right now and I love the plate in the kitchen idea.

  52. Thank you Renee. Praying for healing for you! Enjoying this journey and seeing God speak to me in so many different ways about choosing to not throw away my confidence…even when life and people in this world mistreat us. I’m reminded of my own ability to mistreat and harm others and my heart is humbled to stay within the loving, merciful hands of God. I’m realizing the choice I have to obey and cling to truth during difficult emotions and trust Him!
    I’m focusing on obeying Him and living in victory today–even though some circumstances are not as I would like them in my life…I know there is hope for my future and I am trusting that God is working it all out for my good…for I am loved!
    I’m also thinking alot this weekend about forgiveness and have found great insight in another book http://www.mendingthesoul.org and how we move on even when reconciliation is not possible…when the other party doesn’t meet us at the feet of Jesus…there is still hope–God is here to strenghten me and help me and uphold me on this path that He has for me! I’m learning not to trust in my circumstance but trust in my loving God. Guarding my heart from the people in the world who will never be able to love me like my God does–by allowing God to fill me first, His love covers and protects my wounded heart! The God of hope is filling me with joy and peace as I trust in Him…so that I can overflow with hope! Also, no coincidence that this week’s Girflriendit Radio has a special guest sharing about her journey with forgiveness http://girlfriendit.com/?p=3893
    It’s gonna be good!–God’s good timing for my heart too:)

  53. I so am having a dfficult time today, i woke with a horrible headache and my throat is hurting apparently so is my heart. As i was reading chapter 4 the Lord is showing me some areas that i had not known were in need of repair. I have for a long time have been pushing some difficult memories down so that they would not hurt anymore and in doing so i pushed other memories down too. Now they are beginning to surface and like you Renee i am not wanting to sink into a hole of depression. However, like our memory verse reminds me: that God will fill me with all joy and peace as i trust in him, so that i may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

  54. Dear Tera, I have been in your place so many times. I am praying that our Lord will grant you the healing and rest that you need today. This cold/flu bug is nationwide it seems, but know that he is the great physician and He alone can heal your heart, mind and body in Christ Jesus. Rest in the promises that Renee has in Chapter 12 that Renee keeps hinting about.
    Shalom ~

  55. I recently read an inspiring thought from Joel Osteen that is neat to pass on. He in effect compared God to A GPS system. The GPS will tell you which direction to go, how far left to go, whats ahead. If you miss a direction, it will recalculate the directions for you. God has set our destination. With a heart to please him, we still may go in the wrong direction, not go far enough as His instructions say, nor head warnings as to what is ahead. He has already recalculated a different route , sometimes many times(without hollering, berating, or putting us down) He is still leading us there. He is soooo patient and loving. I am so glad that He is leading me. He is stronger, wiser, more loving and so filled with wisdom. To know that He is guiding is so comforting!

  56. Seeing so many people with so many needs, but nothing is too hard for God! Please pray for my husband, Mike, and I as we go through a financial crisis. We need the wisdom and help from above and for the Lord to keep us in the center of His will. Many decisions to be made. Thanks for your prayers! Renee, we will continue to pray for complete healing for you!

  57. My life verse! On Hope101.net, I interview recognized guests on how to process emotional pain. Renee was one of my first interviews. You can find her sharing on the archived pages of Hope101.net. As believers we never lose hope, it just gets buried under the pain. Thank you Renee for being a voice of hope on Hope101.net and through this amazing study…A Confident Heart!

  58. Hoping you and your family are feling better and praying for your speedy return to full health for you all. God bless you Renee

  59. “There it is again”, I said as I saw Jeremiah 29:11. I have claimed this scripture for two of my precious grandson’s who were placed for adoption in 2007 and 2008. As hard as it was, my husband and I had to support our daughter in her decisions for placement. I knew God had wonderful plans for these two little boys as they were placed in loving Christian families. But where do I go from here? How do I totally heal from this and glorify God through my pain? God gave me Jeremiah 29:11 for myself, also. He uses our pain for His glory if we allow Him to. Through these untimely pregnancies and adoption placements God is bringing me up out of the ashes. But I wonder if I will always struggle with “grandparents just don’t do that to their grandchildren.” I am trusting my God for strength to choose to pray His promises when these moments come. God’s timing is perfect. He knew I needed this Bible Study and what a blessing it is. Thank you Renee for allowing God to use you. What an inspiration you are.

  60. I’ve had to deal with forgiveness as well and I can honestly say it is something that has to be done in order to move forward in life.

  61. First of all, I pray for God’s continued healing for you, Renee. Being sick is not fun and it just takes time to heal. I love Matt 11:28 whenever I’m feeling sick or overworked and it just calms me down. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”. I sure hope God has given you some rest this week 🙂 In my college years, it was very hard for me to trust in God’s promises for my future. I had gone down a road that led to nowhere. It started with excessive drinking to try to fit and look cool, that lead to being vulnerable to guys, still wanting to fit in. Thank God, it did not effect my grades or career choice that I had chosen. My junior year of college, I found out I had contracted a sexually transmitted disease, which totally disgusted me and I felt so ashames. That same year, my parents separated and later divorced. I didn’t know where God was in all this and why He allowed it to happen. My saving grace was my senior year when a good friend cared enough for me to show me the bible verses in Romans and pray with me for my salvation. I praise God for putting her in my life at that moment to show me that He had hope for me!! Over 8 years, God has been working in me and changing my perspective to deal with the issues of my past. He has restored me and now I’m praying that He will give me the confidence to share with other and connect with others. I am so thankful for the idea of the timeline you have given us and think it will help out alot. Please pray that I have the boldness to forgive those who have hurt me in the past so I can move on and comfort others.

  62. Online Sisters, I am praying for ya’ll! How awesome is it that we have embarked on this journey together!!! I love how we are in all different parts of the world, most of us not knowing one another, yet we are open-minded to share what’s on our hearts. How neat it is to know we are all growing through the challenges and excitements of this study together! I feel like I could type forever… Super excited about all that God is doing in our hearts and lives right this very minute!

    Skipping to another thought: if anybody has other ideas on memorizing scripture, send it my way. This has always been a challenging part of my walk with the Lord. I am determined to conquer this! (I still haven’t given up on our other verses…) I enjoyed reading the ideas posted a while back. Still haven’t found the one that “clicks” with me best yet. I KNOW I CAN. I KNOW I CAN. I KNOW I CAN DO THIS!!!!!!!!

    • Try praying the scripture for your family, friends etc. Pray it over and over through the week or weeks- not only will you evenually learn it- it will be rooted in your heart and spirit. I not only insert my name but the the names of those I am praying for. Let God speak to your heart about those who needs the particular prayer. You can also write it on sticky pads or paper and stick it in your bible, journal, book you are reading- I move it around so when I open either If I see it I will stop and read it.

  63. Kristin, i so agree with all your thoughts about praying for our online sisters. As we read each comment, we can lift that sister up to our Father God in prayer. How awesome it must be to our Lord for all these prayers to come floating up to Heaven for each other.

  64. Life is short, and this article saved vaalblue time on this Earth.

  65. “God is not responsible for sins in the sense of causation.”In what sense then is He responsible for sins?(I am not sure I should interact with you given the yesterday’s treatment; but hey, it’s a new day)

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