How Can God Use ME?

My sweet friend Kimberly has kindly given me  permission to share a powerful video her church created based on something God showed her. In openly shares her struggles with condemnation and how they were making her see herself so differently than God does. When I watching this months ago, I knew I wanted to make it part of week 7 as we read Chapter 7, When Doubt Whispers “You’re Such a Failure”! Whether you are in my online study or not, this is a message for each of us.

Once you watch the (less than 2 minute) video message, please read what Kim wrote below about the way God spoke to her heart about His thoughts towards us, our failures and flaws. I pray it blesses you as much as it blessed me! {If you are reading this via email, PLEASE double click on the title of this post “How Can God use Me? to go to my website to watch the video and connect in community.)

A few years ago, if you would have asked me if I believed that God loved me, I would have told you, “Yes.” Realizing His great love for me has been one of the sweetest truths I have ever come to know.

BUT, if you had asked me if I believed God could use me or would even WANT to use me… well, I would have hemmed and hawed and never really landed on an exact yes or no. Why? Because I felt unusable. My sins and mistakes disqualified me. I looked at myself and saw all of my flaws. I saw deep insecurities. I saw my too often short temper. I saw a lack of discipline, a lack of Biblical knowledge. I saw lack upon lack, failure upon failure.

“Jesus loves me? Yes. He died for me. But Jesus would like to use me. Ummmm…seriously? I think not.”

I love how He corrects our wrong thinking through His Word.

As I sat reading the Bible one day, heart heavy from discouragement, God led me to read John 3:17. It comes right after John 3:16, one of the earliest verses we ever learn about how God loved the world so much He sent His only Son Jesus to die for us so that, believing in Him, we could have eternal life. John 3:17 goes on to tell us more:

“For God did not send His Son Jesus into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

I felt the Lord urging me to look up the definition the words “condemn.”

Condemn- 1. to pass an adverse judgement on; disapprove of strongly, censure; 2. a) to declare to be guilty of wrongdoing; convict b) to pass judicial sentence on; inflict a penalty upon c) to doom; 3. to declare (property) legally appropriated for public use; 4. to declare unfit for use or service. (Webster’s Dictionary)
The last definition pierced my heart. To declare unfit for use or service. I immediately thought of buildings that had been condemned.  Ones labeled dangerous. Buildings no one wanted to go near. Ones that are no longer usable.
Old condemned building

That was exactly how I felt. Unsafe. Unlovely. Unusable.

Convinced that Jesus wanted to wrap caution tape around my life to keep people back. “Stay away from this one. I love her, but she’s still too messed up to be of any use to me. Better stand clear of her.”

Yellow Caution Tape

The words of John 3:17 coupled with the last definition released a flood of truth and healing over my heart. The Father was whispering tenderly to me. He did not see me as I saw myself. He did not see a condemned building…someone dangerous. Someone unlovely. Someone unusable. He saw someone He loved so much that He would send His only Son to die a shameful and excruciating death for her. He sent His Son to save me. To forgive me. To heal me. To set me free, fill me up, and USE me.

The tears began to flow as He let me know that I am usable. And not only does He find me usable. He wants to use me. I am not the same woman I was 13 years ago.

  • I have been forgiven of all of my sins. (1 John 1:9) (even the “big bad” ones)
  • I am a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • I am complete in Christ. (Colossians 2:10)
  • I have purpose in Him. (Ephesians 2:10)

Let these sweet truths wash over you today. Jesus did not come to label you unusable. He loves you and He has a purpose for your life that is of great use to His kingdom!

***

Thank you so much Kimberly for sharing your heart and being so honest with us today. I got so much encouragement from your video and writing. So many of us can relate to what you shared.

Let’s Connect: So friends…How about you? Do you believe God loves you, yet struggle to believe He could ever use you? Do you struggle to believe He would want to use you as you look at all of your sins,  flaws and failures? . I’m so thankful Kimberly set the stage for some real life transparency today.

(And after you leave a little note here, would you take a minute to hop over to Kimberly‘s blog to read more of her thoughts from A Confident Heart. She’s posting something God shows her in each chapter on her blog each week.)

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. Sweet friend, I cannot thank you enough for allowing me space here to share my heart. How blessed I feel that God would allow me to be usable HERE, on your blog. I have battled all of my life with insecurity, with the crippling weight of perfectionism. I am so thankful for God’s tender truths tucked into your amazing book. I am so thankful for how He is teaching me to daily, hourly, minute by minute process my doubts and fears through the truth of His Word!

    I am praying for every woman who comes by here. Not just for this post, but for this entire series on your book. Praying they will indeed know how LOVED they are by the Lord. Praying they will know He really and truly does WANT to use them. 🙂

    Hugs to you, sweet Renee.
    K

    • Hey Kimberly and Renee,

      Hello to all the ladies in our study group!! I must say that this week I have been fed some good stuff!
      Some information that has really been speaking to the struggles I’m facing right now. I thank you for sharing your heart. It really helps to have a resource to go to where women can come together and share and encourage one another.

      Blessings,

      ~Liz~

      • Wow, I so needed this today, right now. So many times I have felt God prompting me to do or say something. Insecurities and the belief that I was unusable, too much baggage , and recently,” you’re TOO much,” have halted me , freezing me in my tracks, I step back praying God would send another

        This post today has ministered to my spirit; tears are flowing down my face. Thank you Holly and Kimberly for this timely post,
        Betty

        • Elizabeth says:

          Thank you so much! God led me to this blog today. I struggle with insecurities daily. Until reading this blog, I felt so alone! It helps to know that others struggle with the same issues. When God presents me with opportunities like furthering my education, a job opportunity, etc, my insecurities take over and I am filled with self doubt. As a result, I shy away from what could be God’s plan for my life. I know that God has forgiven me for this doubt and I pray that he will continue to send opportunities and fill me with courage to fullfill His will for my life. I need to stop believing that I need to do this alone. He has a plan for my life…. not to harm me, but to give me hope and a future!! He will always be by my side leading the way… I just need to ALLOW him to be in the driver’s seat!

          May God bless you and keep you!

          Elizabeth

          • Wow, elizabeth thank you for sharing your comments, besides reading this wonderful blog, you have pintpoint exactly what I’m going through, Insecurity inregards of my future, at times it seems like God opens doors with oppurtunity for me to posses the Land but my fear, doubts and insecurity of victory paralyze me from moving foward and taking hold of the promise land the Lord has been speaking to meabout!! Then I’m left feeling condemned for not having enough faith and courage to take hold of the promise land like joshua and caleb Deuteronomy 31 as if was all left up to me to accomplish it alone!! Yet. The Lord keep. Reminding me about that verse that says for I know the plans I have for you to give you hope and a future not for calamity!! I break that the Lord will break the yolk of fear and orphanage spirit I deal with so much…

    • thank you so much for sharing as I sat here reading realizing that, is my story as well God is working to show me that Iam good enough that he is all I need.

    • Thank you Renee and Kimberly,

      I so needed this message today! I have battled insecurity my whole life, living with approval addiction. I have to keep reminding myself that God loves me more than anyone else and He loves me as I am and can use me as I am.

      Thank you again!
      Carole

    • Betty Cummings says:

      God Bless you My Sister Kimberly and Sister Renee for sharing this message with all of us on this online study.What a Blessing to know that I was not the only one that saw themselves as a failure. Satan wants us to believe that we will never be all God calls us to be.And if we don’t put our Complete Armor on daily then he knows were not protected from the fiery darts he throws at us.he can only attack our minds if we let him..iIf we are girted up he has no power the Power was given to us to defeat satan We have Power through the Holy Spirit which was left for all of us as a Comforter in times of raging storms we face.We have to see ourselves through God’s on eyes He sees us as Precious Jewels.We as Woman of Confidence need to Trust in His Timing,Rely on His Promises.Wait for His Answers.Believe in His Miracles.Rejoice in His Goodness.Relax in His Presence.We are not Failures Ladies we just get so got up in Trying to Perfect in all we do we have to Remember were not Perfect and we will never be Perfect But we are Forgiven and we are Precious to God and He calls us His Children and He will Lead and Guide us and make us into Who He called us to be.I Pray that all you Precious Woman of God know that God knows you He knows every hair on your head.Every thought he knows your Hearts.Every hurt stored up every hope every dread your past and your future all that you are and all that you could be.I am Praying for each and Everyone of you.I Thank God for you.Your Friend and Sister in Christ Betty.

      • Thank you for that wonderful comment Betty! We do have to believe the truth of God’s words about us and not the lies that Satan, others or even ourselves has told us. God is our Protector and Provider, Comforter, Healer, Rescuer, Deliverer, Rock and Refuge. This book study is teaching that we are chosen by God. And I heard through the Holy Sprit that who God has selected , He has protected.

    • Katrina says:

      Thank you so much for your message Kim. I am consistently reminding myself that God does not make junk and He made you and I. It seems I must be planting more seeds than seeing results but I can learn to be humble instead of condemned. Thanks again.

    • What powerful words! Thank you so much for sharing with us and encouraging us. What a great God we have who wants to make sure we know how loved and cherished we are. Why is it easier to believe the lies that Satan fills us with than to believe the truth of God? Lord, please keep sending women like these to continue to speak truth into my heart!

  2. Abiding in Christ says:

    Thank you Kimbely and Renee, and thank you Lord Jesus for setting us captives free. You want to do immeasureably more in us than we can ever hope or imagine. Thank you Heavenly Father for these words of encouragement. May they continue to go forth and bless and encourage all who read them. There is no one like you, God…. you are the lover of our souls! We bring you all our praise, and we honor and glorify your name!

  3. I’m so glad God revealed His truth to you, Kimberly and has made you a blessing to other women. Thank you for putting this together and sharing your heart. May He be glorified in what he does in you and through you, His precious daughter.

    • Thank you, sweet friend. I am so thankful for the ways He has healed and still is healing my heart. He is so good, and I am so thankful to get to share about what He has done in my life here! Love you!

  4. Christine says:

    What an encouragement! Thank you so much for sharing…….I tend to look at myself with flaws first, as well……..God sees all the good he can use! I would like to change my perception of myself and see myself the way HE does!!!

    • So glad you came by and that you were encouraged, Christine! Praying we will all see ourselves through His eyes of love and mercy and grace! Blessings to you today!

  5. Thank you for sharing… I too feel this way…. yes we don’t doubt that GOD loves us but our insecurities and past failures can seem so big and weigh heavily in our hearts…. Great truths today…. thanks as always for the post….

    • Indeed…our pasts can weigh so very heavy! May we lay them at His feet, trust in His complete forgiveness, ask for His tender healing touch, and present ourselves as willing vessels for Him to pour out of mightily! Blessings, Jules!

  6. I don’t know if you have ever felt paralyzed from
    your past, but even when you think that you have conquered the past it sometimes comes back to haunt you again. I remember reading “Winter Garden” by Karen Kristen, the mother had two daughters, and they were determined to find out their mother’s past. They wanted to know why she always went out in the winter to sit in the cold where the garden was. Soon they discover what was a very painful past that their mother had keep secret all those years. As their mother tells her story, they soon discover how much they really cared and loved each other even more. ( I will let you read the book for the rest of the story.)
    Sometimes, when we run from our past experiences, we run right into them. I thought I had conquered some of my past fears, insecurities, my feelings of not being worthy or good enough. I thought, I had the confidence I needed in God.
    Instead, I ran right into my past again and I have been fighting a battle once again.
    For some odd reason, someone at my workplace got mad at me and it just paralyzed me. I couldn’t say anything and left work early to go to a funeral.
    I haven’t been the same since. I worked part-time and I haven’t been called back in either. So, I did not know where this was leading me.
    I just know a few rejections here and there, then this happen. This just left me paralyzed as what to do next.
    I thought about David. David kept hiding from Saul; he kept fighting battles, he kept praying and looking to God for answers. There were things in his past he would rather keep secret, but it came out anyway. It effected his children and the next generation.
    My mother kept a secret and it effected who I was, but I choose not to let it effect my life or my children, at least I hoped it wouldn’t. Although my mother has passed away, I did love her very much.
    Like the cold, winter garden nothing seems to make sense sometimes. I just know in the garden we can talk to God and pray. We can read His Word and find hope. We can come back to God and plan for the flowers to bloom again. We can trust God to let the sun shine through once more. Sometimes, I have to spend time in the garden and let God revive me. I have to spend time in His Word and in prayer for encouragement. He is my Hope.

    • Yes! I have for SURE felt paralyzed by my past. I think we all have. Praying that we will each one continue to look to the Lord for wisdom, for healing, and for the courage to move forward with HIM. I just recently went through writing out my timeline of past hurts like Renee suggested in her book. It was SO hard to make myself do that. I was afraid to see my past face to face! But the Lord was so tender. I just felt Him right there with me. And He showed me, like you are saying here, places I was letting labels from my past paralyze me. Praying for you as you continue to press into His Word and into Him in prayer! He WILL fill us with the confidence we need to live for Him! Trusting in Him with you!

  7. I am fighting back tears as I watch this. You see I have struggled with insecurity all my life. My husband is a youth pastor and I have lately felt like maybe I am not cut out for the ministry. I feel so threatened if he talks to a pretty young girl – it isn’t even inappropriate – just if he is making small talk and she laughs hysterically or something. I am almost ashamed to type that. I stand in front of teenage girls ever so often and give my testimony and urge them to be strong and have self worth. Then behind closed doors I feel like such a hypocrite. How can I lead them if I haven’t mastered it myself. We have been trying to adopt for two years and the waiting makes me wonder if I am just not good enough to be a mother.

    I am thankful for this study and the painful layers God pulls back as I go through it. I know He is stretching and growing me. Thank you for reminding me that God did not come to declare us useless. I needed to hear that!

    • I think we sometimes forget how difficult it is being the wife of a minister! They have so many people wanting their attention and needing ministering to that it can be hard on their spouses. I pray God gives you encouragement and peace in the role He wants you to play in His work. God bless you!

    • I am so glad you left a comment, Amanda. I am sure, sure, sure you are NOT the only pastor’s wife who struggles with insecurity. And because you are a woman of influence, because you are giving of your life to sow love and truth and hope into the lives of young people, I am not surprised the enemy would whisper lies about you not being good enough.

      Praying that the Lord leads you to a place of freedom from the LIE that you must have it all together before you can minister to others. And trust me…I get the struggle with that lie. I could give you a laundry list of reasons I should not be on Renee’s blog today. 😉 But what we have to offer others is NOT our perfection…it is His. (I am reminding myself as I type this.)

      And I am praying He ministers to you so tenderly during the wait to adopt. My heart broke as I read your words…that maybe you are not good enough to be a mother. I pray you will not give ear to that whisper, to that lie. Praying He will encourage your heart with HIS truth. That He will strengthen your heart as you wait upon Him.

      Love and prayers,
      K

  8. Wow, I know how she feels because I feel the same way. I know God loves me but I dont see why he wants to use me. I dont really know what he wants to use me for because of all the sins I have done. I feel he is telling me something but I dont know what he telling me and what he wants to use me for.
    I am so glad I am doing the study and how it has helped me see the love God has for me.
    How do I know he is talking to me? And How do I know what he wants me to do? I am having trouble hearing him..

    • Jaime, I could have written your last 3 sentences myself! I so struggle with these.

    • Hi, sweet Jaime and Ginna!

      I hope you get to come back by and that you read Renee’s comment…where she talks about how God wants to use each of us. She said, “I just want you to know that He wants you to persevere in believing Him. HE’s crazy in love with you and He wants to use you to love on, encourage, pray for, minister to others- THAT is how He can and wants to use you– today. It does’t have or need to be big and measurable by others. HE simply wants us to be faithful with whatever HE puts right in front of us. Just offer Him what you have and invite Him to use it. ALL in His name and for the purpose of letting HIM use you to reveal His love and His ways to those around you.”

      What encouraging truth!

      And for hearing Him, my encouragement to you is simply spending time with Him…reading His Word, praying, worshiping Him, and just asking Him to help you hear Him. He WANTS you to hear His voice. So keep seeking Him. Keep pressing in. If you missed Renee’s post called Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God, it is worth going back to read. Some great encouragement on recognizing God’s voice. Here is the link: http://reneeswope.com/2012/01/becoming-a-woman-who-listens-to-god/

      Blessings to you both!!!!
      K

  9. Kimberly, thank you so much for sharing your video with us. Like all the others who have responded I have been struggling all my life to feel worthy, to deal with guilt and shame over any number of past sins, great or small, real or imagined. Even at my age, 57, I’m still struggling to figure out what God might want to do with my life. I feel him pulling at me in some new ways and I am trying to deal with how to follow. Thanks for sharing and reminding us that we are usable and have value. Have a blessed day!

  10. Thank you so much for this post today! I have felt unusable for quite a long time. Fear grips me whenever I even think of following through on anything that I know for sure that God wants me to do. There have been times (yesterday being the most recent) that I felt God speaking directly to me through another Christian friend or His word & confirming what I already feel He wants me to do. I know He wants me to take a step of faith, but that first step seems to be a “doozy” in light of my fears. I appreciate your openess and honesty in your post. I pray I can soon feel the confidence & freedom to just say “yes, Lord”.

  11. Thank you Renee and Kimberly. God’s timing is always perfect:)! This is so meaningful to me at this critical time in my life. I too have been haunted by painful traumas and memories and just when you think you are recovering something else will surface and bring those painful memories back and start the cycle over again. Satan is very crafty at using our minds to deceive us out of believing God’s truth of who we are in Christ. I thank you from the bottom of my heart as I am renewed in Christ again. As I read each chapter God is revealing to me actually for the first time (I gave my life to Christ 30 years ago) who I am as h is daughter and of his everlasting love for me. I am facing very serious legal consequences as a result of wrong actions. It has been amazing to really experience for the first time the peace and freedom that the Father so willingly gives to each of us. I know and believe that this trial I am experiencing will ultimately bring Glory to God. God is truly creating a new creature!
    God Bless You All!

  12. Sweet Ladies,
    As much as I HATE for anyone else to struggle with insecurity as much as I have (and honestly still do so many days), it is still so good to see that we are NOT alone in this struggle! The enemy wants us to think we are the only ones, that we are terrible Christians. He. Is. Such. A. Liar.

    How precious to be able to encourage one another with the TRUTH of His love for us! I have to step away from the computer for a while (sadly). I could chat with you all day!!! But know that I am praying for each of you! I wish I had time to comment to each of you right now! But even if I don’t, know that I will be writing your names down, tucking them in my Bible and lifting you each up in prayer!

    I will be back later!
    MUCH LOVE,
    K

  13. Perfect timing for me! I pray I go forth into this world and feed those around me this message….Always remembering His grace and love for us all and what He has ransomed me from – freely. Have a safe trip. Praying for traveling mercies to and from the conference and that His comfort and healing touch be with you and Aster – for a pain free weekend!

  14. I also struggle with feelings of self condemnation. It can come over me and consume me. I think it is a daily battle, which I must fight. I ask God to do a new thing in me, to revive me, to reawaken me, to change me in a new way, because God is all about change and renewal. Today, I am pretty sure that I will struggle with self condemnation at least once. I can accept that. But I will also try to clamour towards the Lord for His help 2 Cor 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God.” Dear Lord, as I continue to perhaps struggle with self condemnation today, I ask that you will continue to take away my old self, ( one nail at a time ) and give my your new self, a renovated self, a person whom I will realize that You love dearly. This prayer and message is also meant for all of you as well. Have a great day in His Love.

  15. Thanks so much for sharing this, Kimberly. It’s like you have spoken my heart for me. So often I struggle with insecurities. This week the negative voices have been especially strong, and I have to purposefully tell them to be quiet and repeat “no condemnation in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8) God is teaching me more lately how much I self-condemn. Always beating myself up and second-guessing my every word and action. I am so hard on myself while Jesus has nothing but thoughts of peace for me. And like you, though I believe Jesus loves me, I can’t wrap my mind around it that God WANTS to use me. Again, thank you!

    And thanks so much, Renee. God has used your book to bless me and send me on a serious journey of self-discovery and discovery of who I REALLY am in Christ Jesus. I took the Bible study already with Melissa, but I’m still gleaning so much from following this one also. God bless you for following your heart to write this book and to encourage women to be more confident in Christ Jesus!

    • Sherri B says:

      all the material that Renee has given us to read and study has really started to make a change in how I see and think about myself as a child of God. I am so excited about what God is doing thru this bible study for me and other women in this study. It is a blessing! I have already read Chapter 8 and find it very enlightening. Praise God for all He is doing thru Renee and the women in this study…

  16. I see in my post that when I wrote Romans 1 and ), it turned into a smiley. 🙂 NO CONDEMNATION IN CHRIST JESUS 🙂 🙂 🙂

  17. Deanna Myers says:

    Praise God,
    Your words spoke volumes to me thank you for sharing your heart. I needed confirmation today of God’s love and how He can still use me. I have often thought that where I am in my life right now I can not be used by Him but I now know differently. THank you and God bless you Kimberly for sharing praise be to Him who loves us so much. Deanna

  18. As I just read what Kimberly wrote, the tears just started falling. I so have felt like that condemned building, someone God loves but can’t use. I know God is healing those places in my heart that are broken, slowly but surely. Today I am working on believing His word and His promises, and not the lies that tend to go round and round in my head..Thank you for posting this wonderful message of God’s acceptance and love!

  19. Thank you for this post too. I struggle with being worthy to be used by God, when I fail so many times and know that I have in the past. I am trusting God to show me what He has for me through this study. I believe He wants me to know how much He loves me for just me. And that is ok. I am finding out that I am not alone and that is why I so appreciate this blog.

    Blessings to you all!

  20. Christina says:

    WOW, thank you so much for sharing that. I struggle with seeing myself as the Lord sees me or even as others see me. I’ve often thought that the Lord couldn’t use a person like me. Little by little I am learning that God can use me as a testimony to others of His Grace and Mercy. I still struggle with my insecurties, but what I’m doing know is holding every negative thought captive and replacing it with the truth of Gods word.

  21. God has a special purpose for each one of us but like Kimberly said about our mind thinking we don’t trust ourselves or feel worthy to be used by God. We forget how God finds us and then takes us and puts us on the potters wheel to mold and shape us so we are usable. In our sight we’re unusable but in God’s sight we don’t look nothing like that.

    • Thank you Sharon for that great reminder of whose we are and who we are in HIM. You are right, the word says that we have been crucified in Christ and are now BRAND NEW creatures created to do good works. Then it goes on to say, old things are passed away and behold, GOD makes all things new. We are new being…and made in HIS image. Thank again for sharing.

    • OUR IMPOSSIBILITIES ARE SIMPLY GOD’S OPPORTUNITIES. I found this from my former pastor that posted it on Facebook and thought it fit so perfect.

  22. This week has been such an eye opener for me. Yes, I’ve failed, yes, I’ve made mistakes and YES, I’ve beaten myself up over them for YEARS! Letting go is one of the hardest things for me to do, and it seems that I just cannot do that. In the readings and discussions this week, I realize, God has let go…it’s me holding onto all of this and making things miserable. Not venturing into a new experience because of the fear of the past that I am holding onto. The great thing is, I see what I need to do, and am taking steps toward letting it all go. I need to forgive myself!

  23. I as well have struggled with all of the above, I feel I have been under attack even more since beginning this study….but am determined to stay the course because I believe that God is working in me through this study and all of you. I will keep my hope in God.

    • I absolutely think the enemy turns up the heat when we start taking steps in the right direction! Praying for you (and all of the precious ladies doing this study) that we will press on and cling to the Lord and His precious promises. Our God is greater than the enemy!

      Blessings to you!!!

  24. Man, I am so glad I tuned in this morning. I read Renee’s new blog and her suggesting that I watch this video echoed God’s love and HIS truth. All week long, I have been struggling with this same perplexed lie of not being good enough. Of not being accepted. I love how Kimberly used a picture of a condemned building to really make this real. This is exactly how I have felt this week. CONDEMNED; unusable, not good enough. But then…she speaks God’s truth that I am complete in Him, created to do good works, that I am a new creation in Him, that I have been given the fullness in Christ. Thank you JESUS.

  25. A while back we started a new church and at the time church was new to our family. After a little while going there we seen our pastor out running errands and my husband told him that if he ever needed anything to let us know to which the pastor says well actually…..said he would like us to sit in on a couple of youth group classes, me with kindergarten class and my husband with preteens. Of course we did it. I thought we were just observing….I was wrong. That night a business meeting was held and before I could bat an eyelash we were voted in as teachers. My heart beating wildly..a sick feeling came over me and my blood pressure went through the roof…I could feel it. I was like wait….but I couldnt form the words to come out. Now here I was stuck with these kids and I had no idea how to teach them. My knowledge was limited. I was like, how do I teach them when I don’t know it the way I should? I was a little angry and scared to death. I felt like I wasnt good enough. Our pastors well actually….changed my life. I was quiet, backwards. I didn’t feel good enough…all I wanted to do was blend into the background. Well, that obviously was not what God wanted. I said to myself that I would give it a year. Tough it out. It was hard. I wanted to quit after every class but I didn’t I kept going and a long the way was learning. I was also forming a bond with the children. Some more than others. A new little girl came to my class this year….due to a speech problem I had a hard time with her she was in her own little world and just wanted to play and not sit and listen. She bagan not wanting to come to church at all and she would just cry when she seen church. But on Wednesday nights she would come…no problem. She only wanted to stay if I was there. To see her smile at me when she walked through that door melted my heart. This week, she said my name for the first time….I thought I was going to cry.
    It came time to decide whether or not I would teach again this year. I put much thought into it and my decision was to walk away. As i was ready to say the words “I quit” I felt that God said “no my child, im not done with you yet” , and my answer changed. One more year….. I said. The pastors “well actually” turned in to 5 going on 6 years. Im learning as they go, learning to let go of my fears, and feel proud of myself for doing it. I’m still not comfortable with it but I can’t quit. Right now I am exactly where God wants me to be.

    • Thank you so much for sharing this, TC. God put you somewhere you did not feel qualified for, and you could have run…but you didn’t! You stayed and let Him stretch you and use you! How awesome. I am sure you have impacted those children’s lives more than you know! And what a blessing it had to be for you when that little girl said your name!

      Thank you, again, for sharing!

      • Peggybythesea says:

        Thank you TC for reminding me of the good I have done that I oh so conveniently forget. It is much easier for me to remember all that bad that I have been through and done. I taught CCD for the Catholic church with my son’s class for 4 years…When I bacame a Christian 24 years ago…I canged out of the Catholic church to teaching the little ones at my new church. I think all of it was so good, but I do remember being in CCD class teaching where my son and his classmates were in the 3rd gradw. One of his little friends said , “You are the one who taught me about God’…hat little boy is 28 now and I see in him so much potential for good, and will always remember his words to me. It is so rewarding, also rocking those many little babies during church over the years so their moms and dads could go to church…Love these good memories!

        Thank you TC for reminding me and know that you will have the same one day. I only wish I had those ggood feelings about me now, but i don’t…I keep pressing on, but I don’t…I won’t say cant I just press on.

  26. OUR IMPOSSIBILITIES ARE SIMPLY GOD’S OPPORTUNITIES.

  27. Crisanne Werner says:

    Thank you Kim, I am encouraged by the way that truth changed how you felt about your life and then how you lived. Insecurity is one of my daily battles, one that is being renewed in the image of the creator. Thank you for the example of hope realized!

  28. Thank for this precious reminder that ALL of our sins, even our “big” ones are washed away and that God uses us despite our failings. Beautiful!

    <3 Heather

  29. Just like Kimberly did – I struggle to see how God could/would possibly use me due to all of my sins…Thank you ladies for sharing…I feel blessed, inspired, hopeful and open to His lead.

  30. I just had a conversation with a close friend yesterday about this topic. I am right now living out a miraculous blessing of a long-awaited trip to Disneyland, with my daughter, a close friend of mine, and four of her daughters. The circumstances leading to this trip have been beyond AMAZING!

    However, I have been struggling with the depression that has had an iron grip on my life for so many years. With depression and exhaustions a temptation to drink. I have never been a heavy drinker, but the mere fact that I turn to alcohol in times of exhaustion or depression or stress, and the fact that I mainly drink alone, churns up feelings of pent up shame.

    “How can I claim to be following Jesus, when I so easily turn away from Him?” Part of this answer is the shame that my desire to drink also churns up in me. Satan tells me to just drown out that shame. A drink or two won’t hurt. You’ll feel better.” However, the most insidious part of Satan’s temptations is that he throws it back in my face when I give in. “See, you think you love God? You believe He loves you? If you truly believed that, then you wouldn’t need to drink. You are unfit for God to use. You are useless. You are defective.” The accusations are relentless.

    I just had a dream the night before last, (after I had had a couple of drinks), that a close friend of mine was dying, and my sin prevented me from praying for her. She died in the dream, and I was devastated, and felt I was to blame. I awoke from the dream, shaken.

    Thank you for confirming my friend’s words about the nature of God. I am made worthy because he loves me. Instead of hiding, I just need to call out to Him, and ask me to lift me out of the muddy pit that I have fallen into. If my child had fallen, and was muddy and bruised, I wouldn’t turn away and say that he/she was shameful, unloveable. I would pick him or her up and help wash off the mud. I would hold that child in my arms…Just like Jesus wants to hold me in His arms.

    Please pray for me, that I will stand strong, or at least ask Jesus to hold me up.

    Thank you.

    R.J.

    • Oh, R.J.! How beautifully you painted the picture in your post. Indeed, if one of my girls fell and was muddy and bruised, I would not turn them away. I would not shame them. And the Lord does not turn you or me away either. He does scoop us up, wash us off, dry our tears, hold us close. Even when the mess is of our own making.

      I am praying for you. Praying He will break the shame off of you. Praying He will help you stand strong. Praying He will help you call out to HIM and turn to HIM when your heart is weary, when you are stressed, when you are overwhelmed.

      I LOVE His love…a love that we cannot earn. A love that we cannot lose. A love that is big enough for our biggest messes. He adores you, R.J. And I know He is more than willing to scoop you up in His arms. THANK YOU for sharing your heart.

      Much love,
      K

      • Peggybythesea says:

        Rj thank yoo so much for sharing your heart and your struggle…And thank you Kim for your sweet spirit…I have read through many days on the blogs and have not yet seen any woman share of their trouble with substance abuse. I shared mine but there was no response and that’s Ok…At least I know now I have at least one other woman who knows my struggle…I have struggled with it all my life. I know that a few drinks seems like nothing, and I know that it also feels huge…I will struggle with it addiction all my life but in Christ I am not condemned…Do i struggle with condemnation??/You bet…and I spend much to much time doing so. If you are young and just feeling the feelings you are, as it seems you are, with young children, having a convicting spirit now and being able to share it is huge. I was younger raising my 3 sons and hid behind the 4 walls of our home, and nobody knew…i would cry and feel horrible and cry out to God in my condemnation but turn around and do it again the next day. I finally stopped and had a good ten years of raising my children and getting to know Jesus. It was good and looking back they were the best years for me. I am 55 now and my boys are married, 2 with children and doing so well. I am so proud of them. I give God all the glory for how well they have turned out. But no, I have to take some credit for it Yes? I have a had a hard time with that…My greatest advice for young moms and women is to find something beyond being somebody’s mom, somebody’s wife for those young years because when they are grown and gone, they have their own lives and mine don’t need me anymore…They love me, but they dont need me, their wives have moved into that role, as it should be….Being 18 when I had my first son, and then full into raising 3 sons, I have never known what i want, still don’t. I pray you search your heart for the reason you want to relax and drink, because to me there is something behind that sweet RJ…I only say this from experience because here I am feeling so alone and without purpose. I love the Lord with all my heart, soul and mind but my heart aches…<3

        I love that you shared your heart and I so admire women like you, Kimberly ,who see it at a younger age…I know it is never to late but this older women has a harder time recognizing that I am human and that God could still possibley see a purpose in me…Through all the many beautiful studies, including this one, I see it and know it in my head but still struggle with so many things…I thank God every day that I am alive and have so much to be grateful for…But addiction is the enemy's biggest weapon as far as I am concerned…You said it earlier…that he turns around and uses it against you…as he does me. I wrote something and quoted from Renee's book in my last post on the last blog about it. on page 123…"Setting traps is exactly what satan does. He lures us into wanting something, and then he turns it around and accuses us of the very thing he enticed us with." Such truth…I love your heart RJ and your honesty…I pray for women who struggle with addiction, it is a very lonely place. thank you for sharing your heart….Love your sister in Christ, Peggy

        • Peggy, a beautiful grama, inside and out. God does use us gramas in a very special way….with our grandchildren who are His beautiful treasures to us. Loving them, hugging them, reading to them, rocking them, singing to them little Christian songs, spending a fun day with them, the myriad of ways to show Jesus’ love to them. Children and grandchildren are our heritage from the Lord and those grandchildren need us gramas. I love being a grama!

  31. Thank you for sharing Kimberly and for being so transparent… I struggle with being transparent at times trying to be perfect, all the while knowing that I am not perfect by no means. I am truly a mess HE is working into HIS masterpiece~
    My identity and confidence was shaken at an early age of 2 1/2 when my mother left me to never return. As I got older I began to deal with the issues that comes from child abandonment syndrome and GOD lead me down the path of true forgiveness. HE told me to truly let the past go I had to forgive my mother for abandoning me. At first I resisted then HE gently whispered to me I forgave you now you need to forgive her. GOD also showed me how much pain my mother must have been in to leave her only child behind, not knowing where I would end up. (I was in an abusive home and the foster care system)

    There are days that I am so confident of who I am in CHRIST and there are days like today when my body aches so much from Fibromyalgia that I wonder how could GOD use me like this. Then HE brings beautiful peple like you and Renee into my life via internet and it realigns my focus once again!

    Thank you to ALL the ladies who courageously share their story here and may each of you be blessed beyond measure. May you feel the warmth of our FATHERS love as you walk this journey.
    Blessings and Peace
    Mariaz

  32. Kathy Sturgis says:

    Thank you for sharing Kimberly. I too have battled with perfectionism and my failures. I have wasted a lot of time but God is beginning to heal and using tThe Confident Heart to teach me how to fight the enemy. I am sooooooo thankful God heals the broken and breaks through our lies to restore us. Praise Him!

  33. Marcia L says:

    WOW…just wow…I just realized how I had prayed a while back for a group of women who would be ‘REAL’…who would share their true hearts…their struggles…their fears…their doubts…well…you know…the list could go on and on!
    Talk about being ‘bonked’ on the head…God sent you guys to be that group of women for me!
    I have struggled for YEARS with feeling inadequate around the women that I go to Church with…they are sooooooooo much better than I am…really…I still really believe this. They do not share their hearts like you guys have…they are more concerned about how women gossip…which…yes…I do understand that…but at what point does one get past the ‘gossiping’ and realize that we really need to be REAL with each other?!? We really need to support and encourage one another…Scripture mentions this often…to lift each other up in prayer…to encourage one another!
    THANKS be to God for you Kimberly and Renee and all the other women out there who are willing to just be ‘REAL’!

    God bless you all!

  34. Whenever I think if the verse: “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” I think of Ketchup. Every time I came back from town, with my groceries I felt condemnation for not making the best choices or buying everything that we needed. Our income is small and we never had enough for 6 people. (But God has blessed us through the years and I have 4 healthy kids making healthy food choices, so I have no complaints.)
    So, one day I forgot Ketchup and my husband unaware of the condemnation he was heaping on me blew up. I rose my head and recited that verse. He was taken aback. He was not aware of the condemnation I was holding.
    I have to regularly remind myself, as this is an area that my heart has many scares. I never could measure up to any standard. Even my “gifts” were odd to people and though I was showcased sometimes, it was with a bit of “freak show” added to my character. I have a daughter who is high functioning autistic and because of all I went through I have spent the last 20 years helping her to have confidence in what she does and guess what? She is the best little diesel mechanic graduating at her college this year. What were dysfunctions in her growing up years have been turned to assets in her field.
    Meanwhile, I went back to college. I worked with a career fair yesterday to tell High School kids about going to college and working in my new chosen field. I knew new confidence that I give to Christ. This study has helped me firm the foundation.

  35. It is so refreshing to me to know I am not alone. I am amongst a large family of “sisters”. Thank you, God, for that opportunity. We all have different journeys yet so often the feeling of God loving us because He has to….not because we have something good to offer, or that He purely chooses to, rings true for so many of us.

    Every time I read comments on this blog or listen to your messages, Renee, my heart swells with love and acceptance!

    God Bless!

  36. Michele says:

    Hey, I’ve been having internet issues, so I’m very thankful to be able to get on today and see this video. It is so great! I’ve felt like that I’ve had caution tape wrapped around me, I think that it part of the reason I find it hard to make true Godly friends. I feel I’m not good enough smart enough, etc. Thanks so much for your insights today. Blessings,
    Michele

  37. Stephanie says:

    Kim & Renee, Thank you very much for your video & post. I struggle daily with the idea God wants to use me. I have no special talents; although I am learning through this amazing bible study & my daily talks with God, His use for me can be in almost anything.

    Thank you both!
    Stephanie

    • Hi, sweet Stephanie! I am sitting here tonight reading back through comments, and I just have to respond to yours. I have to admit, I was a bit bothered to read the words “I have no special talents.” I think it bothers me so much because I have heard my precious and wonderful husband use those same words. Because he does not have talents he considers special (i.e. things the world would label special…playing music, skill at making things, etc, etc,) he has seen no value in how God created him. But I see such value in him! And I know there is great value and incredible gifts in you, as well!

      When my husband had to take a spiritual gifts test at my church, we saw that his gifts were quieter kinds of gifts…serving, giving…ones that others may not be quick to notice but ones that are vital in God’s kingdom. And I KNOW, KNOW, KNOW that God has placed in YOU gifts and talents vital to His kingdom. I cannot wait for you to read Chapter 8 of Renee’s book….When Doubt Whispers “I Don’t Have Anything Special to Offer’. One of the underlined and starred quotes I LOVE from that chapter is “God deliberately gave you the personality He wanted you to have so He could impact certain people through your life.” How awesome!!!

      He wants to use you, Stephanie. He created you because He wanted you and He created you with PURPOSE! Praying He gives you sweet revelation of how much He loves you and wants to use you!
      Hugs to you!
      K 🙂

      • Kimberly, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. It has been a blessing to so many. I am also thankful that you shared there are quieter gifts from the Lord that are so vital in God’s Kingdom. Thank you.

  38. Tootsie says:

    I have always felt “not good enough” Many hurts run through my mind, but I am now conscious of them, I don’t Have to think them. God loves me, and while some thoughts are true, God’s Word is Always true, that I am accepted by Him, secure in His love, and nothing I do will surprize Him. He knew what He was getting when He called me. I am humbled that He wants to use me, that His patience and faithfulness is always present and He Wants me to succeed in HIM.
    Thanks for the video reminder and for this online study. May God continue to bless you both as He uses your insights to encourage others to follow HIM more closely.
    Every good and perfect gift is from the Father….Thank you for Jesus’ love for us.

  39. Chastity Ray says:

    Yes I believe God loves me. He shows it over and over again. However, I don’t feel like I’m very important for God to use. Espically in BIG things. I haven’t had an extremely pleasant past nor was it unbelievably horrible. It just was. I don’t see anything worth sharing in my past nothing ground breaking or Earth shattering. Do I believe God can use me? YES Will He? well IDK

    • Hi, Chastity! Thank you so much for stopping by AND for sharing your heart so openly. I think I often times get tripped up on that word BIG myself. Wanting to do something BIG for God. But not too long ago, He spoke to my heart about actually being small. On instead of focusing on wanting to do something big, to be small…as in to be used by Him right where I am. Loving those around me well. To live my life right where I am with joy, passion, and fervent love. To be small and leave the rest to Him.

      I feel sure He already IS using you. Right where you are. You ARE important. Truly. He created you because He has purpose for you. You are needed in the lives you touch daily. You have a unique design put in place by your Creator. Praying He helps you see just how important you are! Some of the most important people in my life would not be considered anything big by anyone else, and yet God uses them mightily in my life. I know He will use you mightily, too.

      Blessings,
      K 🙂

  40. Wendy G. says:

    I have had several moments in my life where I have allowed Satan’s lies to overtake God’s truth…in Chapter 7 Renee gives a perfect explanation of how to discern condemnation from Satan with conviction from the Holy Spirit. After an unhealthy marriage of spiritual warfare from emotional abuse that later led to physical abuse, coupled with infidelity, I struggled with thinking I was “loved” by God only but I was not worthy enough to be loved on this earth. Being yoked together with an unbeliever (2 Corinthians 6:14) led me into dark moments, moments that I am so grateful that God shed the light on constantly, never giving up on me, never leaving me….but still I struggled. Satan found ways to whisper lies…lies that I wasn’t good enough. When God led me to the opportunity of being a FCA huddle coach, I heard the condemnation, I wasn’t good enough, I was a sinner…how can a divorced, single mother lead teenagers towards Christ. I was ashamed, I was embarassed, how can I be a light? I am so grateful that I could and can come to God and he shows me His promises for me…that He has begun a new work in me and that He has a hope for my future AND I am so grateful that God uses me everyday because through Him ALL things work for good…I am so grateful that I have His truth to combat the lies!

    • I am so thankful you are fighting Satan’s lies with God’s truths! It is so easy to believe the lie that we ourselves have to be perfect or have to have a perfect past to be usable by God. But that just isn’t true. So thankful He uses earthen vessels like us!!! “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.” 2 Cor. 4:7

      Blessings to you as you teach these girls that we serve a God who is loving, forgiving, merciful, and true! Satan wants to tell us our past disqualifies us. But God wants to use our past to help us reach others in His name!

  41. I’m praying for chains to be broken, prisoners to be freed, bonds to be loosed…letting the oppressed go free. God, bring Your complete freedom….loose our chains!!!! Jesus, You died so that we could be free from the effects of sin. Break all curses….set us free, in Jesus name.

  42. Kimberly, thank you so much for sharing this with us. I still don’t know what it is exactly that God wants to use me FOR, but I know now that when he reveals his purpose to me, I am going to be ready to receive it.

  43. Renee B says:

    Thanks for sharing your story Kimberly with all of us sometimes my sister brings up my faults against me It makes me feel unlovable. Thanks for reminding me Christ loves me and can use me. My past is nailed on the cross because I confessed it a long time ago to Jesus and he has forgiven me.I Sometimes I need to be reminded of God’s Grace and forgiveness
    Thank you.

  44. Wow…This puts things in a whole new perspective what Kimberly said “Buildings are condemned; not people.” Our Bible verse “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” spoke so gently to my heart. All I could think of is how deep a mothers love for her children is and wanting to hold her children ever so close to her heart and hug their deepest hurts away. How much more our Heavenly Father loves us wraps His loving arms tightly around us holding us so close that He can feel our heart beat. He loves us so much He gave us His promises we have full access to!
    Praying each lady can actually feel Gods comforting arms wrapped tightly around them!!

  45. Kimberly and Renee,
    Thank you for sharing. I have been feeling much like a failure this week as a step-mother. Thank you for sharing. It’s so good to be reminded that Jesus came not to condemn us but to save us. That helps so much. Thank you for sharing your story of how God spoke to you about this. Also, that God does want to use us. Thank you.

    • Praying for you, V! I have a friend who just recently remarried and is now a stepmother. And I know as happy as she is, it has still come with challenges. So glad He encouraged your heart here today!

  46. I really enjoyed it when Kimberly said that when the Lord helps us to grow and change, or learn something new about the Lord that is when the enemy turns up the heat ! I really agree. When we start to move closer to the Lord, then the enemy will get upset and turn up the heat. I need to brace myself to get challenged. We will all be challenged in our walk with the Lord when we grow and change to love the Lord more. That is when other things in our life will start to change and happen and we know that the enemy is turning up the heat. I guess that is when we have to continue to simply trust in the Lord.

  47. Kimberly and Renee: Thank you for your transparency. I think because of how honest you have been in your writing, I’ve allowed myself to approach those sins from the past…something that I’ve spent years RUNNING from. If only the saying ‘forgive and forget’ applied to our own mind. I cannot forget those painful memories; they always seem to surface when I least expect it and it overwhelms me. But through God’s Word, His truth tells me that I need not worry about any of that because He loves me for who I am…and for the first time in my life, I’m starting to actually believe it. Thank you for being there on this amazing journey of new awareness that I’m on. God has blessed me so very much by guiding me to this book/Bible study. I am forever grateful. May you be clothed in Christ’s peace in this moment.

  48. Cindy Hunt~King's Daughter says:

    Great video and great timing. Sometimes I wonder why God loves me because I feel so broken but in my mind I know He does. Though I have to say that right now in my life I feel so broken and unrepairable that He couldn’t possibly use me – I am so messed up and insecure just like Kimberely shared about her life-I too feel the same when I am so deep in my depression. I do have glimpes of God’s truth and life that helps at times but what really encourages me is when I hear somebody else’s story that is like mine and I get hope. If God can work and use them than there is a chance He can use me and my life for His glory.

    Thank you for sharing your heart and being transparent so that other’s can have hope.

    • Hi, sweet Cindy! I so, so, so understand the struggle with believing God could possibly love me. I have spent so much of my life actually pushing His love AWAY because I just could not believe it was true. I could not wrap my mind around the fact I did not have to earn it or deserve it. It was just mine to have. But I had to believe it and receive it.

      Recently, during worship at my church, I felt the Lord whisper something to my heart…something I did not feel like was just for me. I heard, “Stop trying to talk Me out of loving you.” Wow. How often do we do that? We run through lists in our minds of all the reasons God SHOULDN”T love us, telling Him all of the places we fall short, all of the reasons we are unlovable. And we push His love away.

      Maybe His whisper to me is one for you, too. “Stop trying to talk Me out of loving you.” No matter what you have done, no matter how broken you may feel, you cannot make Him stop loving you. AND you were created with purpose, and that purpose remains. He wants to use you, to impact lives through you.

      Know this insecure heart is sending hugs to YOUR insecure heart. I so get it. I really do.

      “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain…” John 15:16. HE chose YOU…and He does not regret that for one single second. 🙂

      Much love,
      K

  49. Jennifer says:

    This chapter is so important because there is a such a distance so much of the time between knowing in your head that you are forgiven for your mistakes and really feeling confident in that. It is helping to know that others experience the same struggles and to be given the tools to help focus my thoughts on the truth of God’s word and what He says about who I am!

  50. I have been feeling the exact same way my whole life!!! I am such a work in progress

    • Sherri B says:

      We are all a work in progress…and prayerfully a work that moves ahead and not backwards. Blessings to all the ladies here in the study!!!

  51. I know i have to give him all my self doubt in order to be free!
    Beauty for Ashes, i need to release my Ashes( all self doubt, fear, hurt, wounds of the heart, worthlessness)
    for the Beauty of a life God has promised me & you…..

  52. Hi precious friends!! Oh how full my heart is reading your comments late tonight as I get ready for bed. I’ve been traveling all day and the drama of my week didn’t stop when I got to the airport. We got calls saying our flight was delayed by an hour but when we got to the airport it was back on schedule and we missed it. So we waited 3 hours for the next one. Then we flew through crazy storms, got to PA at 3:40 and the baggage compartment of the plane wouldn’t open. So we sat in baggage claims until 5:30 waiting to see if they would get our luggage out. I was asking for a crowbar to help them but they didn’t take me up on it. Have you ever heard of a baggage compartment getting stuck closed? I made the most of the time working on some things for my event and one coming up. All the while the clock was ticking down. We finally got our luggage and headed to Tuscarora. Arrived with less than 2 hours to find our way around the conference center, meet with the production team, grab dinner, change clothes in the bathroom and the event began!!

    And it was SO MUCH FUN!! I could feel God’s Spirit fill that place and sense His encouragement and grace pouring out and into each heart. It is a great group of women and I’m so looking forward to what He’s got planned this weekend. There were a few times this week I was ready to quit. Ready to take up a friends offer to come and speak in my place. Ready to call it quits and see all this craziness as a sign that it must be time for me to stop this speaking and traveling gig because there are way too many obstacles for one person and her worn-out family to endure. BUT GOD!! I didn’t sense that was His plan – although it felt like it should be mine. I’m so glad He made a way where it seemed there would be no way I could get here and be used by HIM this weekend.

    And yet I am. ANd then tonight. To come online and pull up a chair while Im in my jambes to hang out here with you. To see how God is speaking to you so personally and powerfully and specifically through Kim’s video and writing – it just fills in the all the gaps I’ve felt this week.

    A few of you mentioned how we really have something special here. We do.I”m so glad God us together to experience intimacy with HIM and transparency with each other.

    I just want you to know that He wants you to persevere in believing Him. HE’s crazy in love with you and He wants to use you to love on, encourage, pray for, minister to others- THAT is how He can and wants to use you– today. It does’t have or need to be big and measurable by others. HE simply wants us to be faithful with whatever HE puts right in front of us. Just offer Him what you have and invite Him to use it. ALl in His name and for the purpose of letting HIM use you to reveal His love and His ways to those around you.

    And remember, you have a big old group of women who love you, who are praying for you and who are so glad you are here. AND the biggest one is me!! You bless me so!!

    • Renee, i so love when you encourage us: that He can and wants to use us in whatever He puts right in front of us today, (tonight, tomorrow), offering Him what we have and invite Him to use it. He has the big view of how important this is, and can be, to someone in need. Thank you!

  53. I read this post right after coming here from Wendy Blight’s blog! Her post for today was great and discussed how our identities should be based on what God sees in us!

    Remember, we are ALL created with purpose to do great works for God’s Kingdom. (Ephesians 2:10).

    (I need to remind myself of that frequently!)

  54. Danielle says:

    I just have to say to THANK YOU, THANK YOU and THANK YOU.Your words have truly blessed me today reading them brought tears down my eyes because that’s how I was strongly feeling today. I was at work feeling like what is my purpose am I ever going to prosper in life? Why am I here on earth? Can I really do all things through Christ who strengthen me? Do I really believe that Jesus is the strength of my heart and my portion forever? This energy of doubt, discouragement , unworthy and purposeless was so strong within me that when a co worker stated something about hope, I could not believe it. And I went on break just thinking… I say I love Jesus and that He is my living Savior.How can this be what came over me? I couldn’t believe the mental state I was in. However getting in from work and reading your words spoke to my very soul. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THEM! GOD HAS TRULY BLESSED YOU! BE BLESSED! I WILL PRAY FOR YOU AS I HOPE YOU PRAY FOR ME!

  55. Renee, you were right a couple of weeks ago when you said God has you exactly in the book where He wants you. I am in week 7, and He led me to begin reading it early this morning! I have beat myself up over and over this week for failures. Between me and the accuser, I felt completely condemned, unlovely, and everything else negative! God loves me and His sovereignty amazes me. I just finished writing out two pages in my journal. He came to heal me. He came for everything. He came to heal me of all my stuff. I am thankful He sees my potential. He knows exactly what we need when we need it. While I am here, I am reminded of a story I heard last week that I need to share and I hope it encourages! My dear friend lost her husband to cancer about two years ago. Valentines Day was a special day and he always got her roses and spoiled her. She awoke knowing it would be a heavy day so she was determined to stay busy. She started missing him so she put on his coat, and just kept doing things around the house wearing it. She then found herself sitting in his chair snuggled up in the coat. She must have dozed off because the doorbell rang and woke her up. It was the florist with a dozen red roses and a card that said, happy valentines day, i love you – Quil. She knew God was behind it and that her son must have done it so she called him to thank him. He said mom, I am going to be honest with you, at 8:30 this morning I was driving along and heard dad say as clear as a bell, Kevin, order your mama some roses for Valentines Day and tell her I love her. He said he immediately pulled off the highway and thought, how am I going to get flowers wired on VAlentines Day, its no way they will have any but lo and behold, it worked out. God is so good. He knew exactly what she needed when she needed it and He supplied. Isn’t He so good? She said that an author she was reading stated this in a book when asked how she was doing – “My God is good to me”. She said she was going to start using that exact statement when asked. You know, we all should as well. Our God is good to us! He knew what I needed this morning, downtrodden and discouraged and deteated, He reached down and put chapter 7 on my heart and inspired me to read it this very day. My God is good to me! Amen?? Amen!! I praise Him!!

  56. Rebecca Greene says:

    I live daily by “Jesus loves me this I know”. And for me, no matter how good life is or what struggles I face, I live confidently knowing that.

  57. Thankyou for sharing this video, I love the comparison to an empty condemned house, I ask that God will fill my heart with the knowing that I am usable by Him and for Him. He will never condemn me but will lift me up to Him.

  58. Thanks You for this post today. I like many of you struggle with insecurities and sins that make me feel unworthy of service or being used by Him. I feel hopeful that I can believe the truth that I know to be true and that God has written on my heart! I pray that he will lead me and that I will be open and with His strength be strong to follow. As I enter this new chapter of my life I want to live in His light and let it shine so others may come to know him also. You are truely a blessing to me I am so glad God lead me to this study! <3

  59. WOW!! Yes, this is exactly how I have been feeling, unusable. Can God really use me? Why would He want to? Yes, I know that He loves me and died for me, but use me? This will be my heart cry this week. What is it Lord?

    • Peggybythesea says:

      I so know how you feel Yolanda…Thank you for your heart…He does use us…We are clay pots, cracked and broken but He uses us still…I have to believe that this week also my sweet sister…

  60. Moniqua says:

    Thank you Kimberly. I oftentimes I feel insecure about everything, whether I can’t speak well, I don’t dress well. I am often reminded of what I have been through and know that God was with me through them all. Insecurity is one that the devil really knows how to play well. But I am so glad that God does not see in me what I see and what man sees. I now realize that He wants me to be secure in Him and not in the things of this world. He doesn’t condemn me but rather I condemn myself and until I realize that God can use anyone in His time, it will all be fine. Thank you so much Kimberly and Renee!!!

  61. Melissa says:

    This post really spoke to me. It showed me how much I was condemning myself, thinking I was unfit for God’s service, and how much I actually believed it. How wonderful to know that God thinks the exact opposite about me! The things He allowed me to go through will actually make me better equipped to do what He has planned for me – they do not make me unusable. Amazing.

  62. Rebecca Greene says:

    God does not call the equipped, but equips those he calls.

  63. Unusable is one of the lies and fears I have lived with for over 20 years. This is beautiful truth here, Kimberly!! Thank you for sharing. The truth is none of us are fit for service…but He made us for service and we are qualified in Him. Wonderful news for messed up people like me.

  64. Wow, forgive a late arrival, I have just begun on Ch 1, and am answering the reflection questions now. But I had to come say hi and listen to the video. Kimberly thank you for sharing. There have been times i have felt condemned unusable and unsure. But as I look back at my life I can see I wasn’t always this soon to be that way. I love God and know that He loves me, but in the mist of living I forgot that to a degree. I so want that confidence back, and be usable to God. I know I’m late, but I am posting under the chapter I’m doing, Just posted under chapter one, and may add more on my blog – which i will put here if you are interested. Off I go to finish my questions, have a great night / day

    Debi

  65. Hi, precious, precious women of God!

    I just want to take a minute to say a HUGE thank you to you all! You made me feel so very welcome here at Renee’s place! My heart has been so BLESSED by your willingness to be so transparent. I think knowing we are NOT alone is such a huge part of the healing process. So thank you, thank you for boldly sharing your beautiful hearts.

    I am SO excited about moving forward in Renee’s book. It is so encouraging! So equipping! I felt led to share one or two things on this battle with feeling condemned and unusable before we move on to the next chapter. 🙂

    First, I pray that you know that YOU are NOT an embarrassment to God. I don’t care what you have done. I don’t care how far you have fallen. I don’t care how messy your mess is. You. Are. NOT. An. Embarrassment. He knows we are dust. (“As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:13-14) He already knows you are weak and you need Him. So let’s QUIT believing the LIE that we are an embarrassment to Him with our many faults and failures.

    I pray that God helps each of us see that He created us because He WANTED to. He didn’t HAVE to make you, friend. He WANTED to. You. Are. Wanted.

    I pray He helps each of us see that we are loved fiercely, passionately and completely by our God. You. Are. Loved!!!! Stop trying to talk Him out of loving you by listing all of your failures. RECEIVE His unconditional love for you.

    I pray that He helps you grasp the sweet truth of John 15:16…”“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain…” John 15:16
    HE chose YOU. He chose you and He WANTS to use you! His plan for your life is fruitfulness! 🙂

    We are wanted. We are loved. We are chosen. We ARE usable. 🙂 YOU are USABLE!!!

    I have loved this time with you. Love, love, loved it! Thank you, again, for welcoming me here. I am sincere when I say you have a place in my heart! We gals who battle with insecurity, we have to stick together and build one another up!

    Love and prayers,
    K 🙂

    • Sherri B says:

      thank you Kimberly for your words of encouragement. I AM WANTED and USABLE!!! and most of all, LOVED!!!

  66. Today I was sharing with my fiance about how I want to be taken seriously. How I’ve always felt either despised or viewed as amusing, but never taken seriously. Never one having authority. And God is calling me to do something for Him and I’m so insecure because who would ever take me seriously?

    Then God showed me through another blog how He has His people places, how He’s set it all up.

    Then I came to Kimberly’s blog and then here and I can just tell God’s weaving it all together to show me I can be confident in Him. He can and He will use me, if I offer my heart.

  67. Kimberly Stiver says:

    Dear friends,

    I just wanted to let you know what is going on with me, lately. Since being in the ER a week ago with my kidney pain, I found out yesterday that the only option at this time (trying to make an appt. with the urologist to see if there is any other options) is for the Dr. to remove my 2nd kidney. Which will leave me with no kidneys at all and having to stay on dialysis until or if they find me a transplant. This has been really hard on me and my family. I knew they wanted to remove this kidney all along, but they wanted to wait until I got a living donor, the problem is that I do not have a living donor that is healthy at this time. Why I have had such a hard time with hurting all the time and not being able to eat a lot is because my kidney has grown from 17.5 cm by 10 cm wide to 20 cm by 12 cm wide in just two months. If it gets any larger it will shut down the rest of my organs because there will be no more room. Please pray for me and my family. I went to my dad’s and step-mom’s house yesterday, and told them and my dad only stayed for less than 5 minutes and said he was going into town. After he left, my step-mom said you know he is having a hard time dealing with all of this and I know he is. I know God is with me every step of the way and no matter what everything will be good.
    I am going to try really hard to get caught up in this class and my other class I have. This and making the crosses I am doing has really helped me to come to understanding what is going on and that God is showing me to still live life to the fullest and that is what I am going to do.
    I treasure this time we have together in this class. All of you are a blessing to me.

    • Praying for you, Kimberly!!! And thanking the Lord that He is Jehovah Rapha, the Lord your Healer…that He is Jehovah Shalom, the Lord your Peace…that He is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord your Provider. I am so sorry you are having to walk through this, but I am SO glad you know you are not walking through this alone…that God is indeed with you every step of the way!

  68. Peggybythesea says:

    I pray for you my dear sister Kimberly that you will have complete healing, that you will rest your body and find rest for your soul, “Fearnot, for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God, I will help you, I will strengthen you…I will uphold you with me righteous right hand.”…God bless you my sweet sister…
    I am so sorry I forgot the address of that Scripture..I have it in my memory but not where it is…Does anyone know…???

    I am so grateful for this study, it is difficult though…I have been through this type so many times…Renee, your sweet spirit and loving way and knowledgable teaching and friendship make it all worth doing again. Especially because I always seem to find out I have not healed from so much in my life…Just not sure I want to keep revisiting all of it…I press on, In Jesus Name…

    • Kimberly Stiver says:

      Peggybythesea,

      Thank you for praying for me and giving me this Bible verse. I too remember this one but didn’t know where it was at. So, I looked it up online. It’s Isaiah 41:10.
      God is with me and all of us when we go through the different things we go through. We just need to ask Him to help us. I have asked Him many times these past few weeks. I have a peace now that only God can give me.

      In Christ Love,

      Kimberly Stiver

      • Kimberly, i know you will be in the prayers of the ladies in this bible study. We do have something special in this study, a loving, sharing, helping, encouraging heartfelt comaraderie of sisters. You will be in my prayers, Kimberly, for His best for you in this health challenge.

      • Peggybythesea says:

        Oh Kimberly…Thank you for reminding me, I had also printed out some Scriptures that are encouraging when we are worried or afraid…I went to add this one to it and of course this one was on there!! Right there with the address!! This mind of mine!!! I am just grateful I know some by memory to say without having to know where they are in the Bible, but its best I learn the address also for when I want to share it…

        I am happy that you feel peace..You are in the hands of God, physically and otherwise, He guides the Doctors and He tries to guide us, we just need to let Him. I have to remember to, because this sinner saved by grace tries to fix it all, He is the one who fixes and restores…the best thing I can do is pray and I will gladly pray for you. Please let us know how things turn out and your progress to full health…

        God Bless…Peggy

  69. Kimberly thank you so much for your sweet words. They are like a balm to sooth my parched mind of self doubts and insecurities.

  70. Thank you Renee and Kimberly. My heart has been blessed. God has given each of us abilities to discover and use for Him. Sometimes it feels that we are disposable but, it is comforting to know that we are each unique and have not been condemned and claimed disposable. Praise and thanks to JESUS. Here is a poem that recently came to me –

    Walk On

    Walk on when your life is lonely
    Walk on when your hearts full of fear
    Walk on when your soul cries for answers
    Walk on for the Lord is still near

    He clears the path of life’s troubles
    He chooses the pace of each step
    He leads you lovingly forward to….
    His grace and His intercept

    You worry and fear?
    You feel downcast?
    Your only need is Jesus
    You only have to ask.

    P ray and you’ll find His power
    A nd give up your will to Him
    I n Him you’ll find acceptance and
    D ecidedly, you will know – You are home.

    Walk on…………. Walk on

    • Thank you Katy – what an awesome poem. and thanks Kimberley for sharing – I’m not surprised there are so many comments as we all struggle with this very issue. It frustrates me that I can feel like this when I have so much to be thankful for! I too was feeling discouraged today but thought of 2 Cor 5:17 – such an encouragement to have all these other verses too. While reading this, I found another clip from Restoration Church encouraging the women of God… such truth we must hold on to!

    • Kimberly Stiver says:

      Thank you, Katy! I needed to read this. I am putting my trust in Him! I know that I am going to be fine no matter what! Thanks to all for praying for each other. I know I need it and all of us need prayer from our friends.

      Love in Christ,

      Kimberly Stiver

  71. Peggybythesea says:

    Beautiful Katy…Can I share it on My Create Your Own Rainbow FB page???

    I so know that feeling also Angie, I have so much more than so many…In my life I am rich, not by any means financially, but with so many things that God has given me…It causes me to feel guilty and shameful, which are both things God does not want me to feel, nor should a woman with “A Confident Heart” feel…But as we learn and grown on this life journey we will get closer to God’s truth about us, closer to being the women God has called us to be. I know what gifts God has given me, but I almost tie with the personality profile. I have seen that many times beforeand it frustrates me! I am a combination of “Melancholy and Sanguine”…they are almost opposite of each other!! That shows why I feel so out of balance all the time…Anyway, thanks for all of you ladies and all your encouragement and sameness in heart and spirit…Is sameness a word???? LOL!!! love to all of you…

    • Hi all
      A week behind and sorry to say that I have glimpsed at many of the comments over the past couple of months thinking I fell like that, or yep, that’s where I’m at. So I apologize Peggybythesea for not see your posts earlier about substance abuse. For I thought I had closed the door on many of my substance abuses. I have found them creeping back in when I isolate from church or others in recovery. After church today and hearing testimonies of conquering. , one stood out and really touched me. It was the shame of a divorce I wanted for very selfish reasons “to find myself…I said, and I found my self having gone the way of sin..further than I wanted to go and cost me a lot more, financially, emotionally, beaten and tattered. I was finding myself stll beating my self up over this until this afternoon, I was given the word “enough”. I have the victories and promises of the Cross.

      I have had “enough” :
      of being robbed of my light and joy
      of being raped by Satan’s ploy
      I have been given “enough”:
      strength to see a “new”day
      and the sight to see the Way.
      Thank- you Jesus!!

      Thanks to you Sisters, and happy to hear God’s plan work out for you Renee!

    • Dear Sister Peggy please use the poem in every attempt to encourage others. Yet, it will be the holy spirit that does it and I praise and thank Him!

  72. Peggybythesea says:

    Oh so sorry Renee…I just realized I posted from chapter 8…I started reading yesterday and forgot that we are talking about ch 7….:(

  73. Just watched the video this morning as I sit in the quietness before things get busy. God led me to this this morning as it has hit me hard. God knew I needed to be watching and reading this this morning. I pray the truths you have shared will settle over me as these are so much the same struggles I am in the middle of right this moment in my life. Thank you for your transparency.

  74. Rebecca Greene says:

    This week I am focusing on expectations that are life-giving, not life- draining. Realizing that God’s expectations of me are the one’s that matter the most.

  75. I can definitely relate to Kimberly. I know God loves me, but have really struggled with believing He can or would even want to use me. Definitely needed to hear this.

  76. Shannon says:

    Thank you for this post….I AM GOOD ENOUGH!!!!
    This on-line bible study has been such a sweet blessing!!!!! I can see it changing my thoughts, feelings, and ultimately changing not only MY life, but my families lives’!!! Hence the quote, “if Momma aint happy, nobody happy.”

  77. Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this! I AM USABLE! 🙂

  78. Beautiful! What a beautiful message! Thank you so much for this!

    God knew I “needed” to read this … as much as I don’t even want to admit this, I haven’t been participating in this study like I intended to. I have to book laying right here on my desk and I have all of the emails filed in their own special folder.

    I will be completely transparent here … I have been SO BLESSED by the Lord, but I always question, “Why me, Lord? What have I done to deserve this?” I’m really struggling with the “why” — all I can think about is how many times I have failed Him. How many times I have let Him down.

    My life has changed dramatically (all for the good, praise the Lord!!) in the past 3 years and it’s such a blessing from God — but I have a hard time accepting the blessings. On the other hand, my passion is helping others; and, I am actually ABLE to help others now which is such a great feeling!! Maybe I just found the answer? Although I still feel like I am trying to find my “purpose” and my “talents” and I really want to hear what FROM God what He wants me to do … I need to hear His voice!!

    Oh goodness — I rambled on, didn’t I? Thank you again for this message. It was beautiful and so are you!!

  79. F..ake
    E…vidence
    A….ppearing
    R…eal
    Fear has held us captive for way too long. It’s not real and not from God! It only exists in our own heads..Why do we drive ourselves crazy over situations that don’t even exist? (not even exist “yet”) just DON’T EXIST!
    If we really take on 2 Timothy 1:7 we would realize that fear is from the enemy of our soul but it’s US who give that fear it’s fuel. It has us feeling insecure out of FEAR of being rejected, FEAR of being misunderstand, FEAR of being judged. But wait! Those situations don’t exist!!!! Snap out of it! lol..God loves you and has great plans for you, plans to prosper you, NOT to harm you. You’re God’s best! Who cares about the rest? If God doesn’t condemn you, you’re not condemned!! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!!!

  80. 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 FeedBurner as well you have a great blog here! would you like to make some invite posts on my blog?

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  1. […] struggle to believe He can use you? That He WANTS to use you? I hope you’ll join me over at Renee Swope’s blog today. She is sharing one of my posts and a video (made by the awesome media team at my church) on […]

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