{week 1} A Confident Heart Online Study (Spring 2012)


Hi friends! I am so excited to start this “Confident Heart” journey with you!

We have just about 3500, from around the US and the world signed up! I’ve been closing my eyes and picturing us gathering together in small groups (cause I’m a small group kinda girl). Anyhow, it’s so amazing to be here with YOU learning how we can live beyond our doubts by finding our security and confidence in the power of God’s loves and promises for us!

The first thing I want you to remember is: This is YOUR journey.

You’ll be reading the chapters. You will be asking and listening for God  to speak to your heart. You’ll be the one who takes time to highlight sentences, promises and quotes you want to remember. You’ll be looking for ways to apply and live what you are learning. You’ll be answering reflection questions and interacting with the group.

You’ll be doing the faith-work of not only believing in God, but really believing God.

I’ll be shepherding, leading, praying, encouraging, connecting and pacing us. I’ll be sharing more of my story – and inviting others who have to share theirs — so that we can see again and again that we are not alone in this journey and struggle towards a confident heart.

I’ll be praying for you, encouraging you, believing in you and challenging you – but you will make the heart investment and be the one who gets out pretty close to as much as you put in.

So, what’s my best advice??  Each time I do something new like this, I ask the Lord what I need to give up – so I can give more to Him. And this time is no different. I’m cutting back on checking emails all throughout my day (which I love to do) and saying no to some fun projects and other time-consumers so I can give more of me TO HIM and to you (for the next 10 weeks)!

Will you pray and block out at least 5 to 10 to 15 minutes every day to let HIM give you all that He has for you?! You are worth it….but more than anything…. JESUS is worth it, right? Are you ready? Here we go:

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(Day 1) Assignment

Please Read the Acknowledgements. This will just give you a peak into more of my current personal life. I think that’s an important part of building community and I’ll be asking you to share more about you later this week :-)

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

Let’s Connect: What sentences in Chapter 1 connect with you or resonate with your heart? What might you cut back on to make time for Him and yourself these next several weeks? 

Click “Share Your Thoughts” below and do just that. {If you’re reading this via email, click here to return to my website/blog and connect with us in community.

Please Check Your Inbox: Our first Online Study Email was sent and in it I explain how our online study will work. Just want to make sure you know it’s there. If you can’t find it, here’s a link to it online.

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Are you  on Facebook or Twitter? If so, be sure to join our Confident Heart Facebook Page and follow along on Twitter (@reneesswope) – using the hashtag #AConfidentHeart so we can find each others tweets.

Comments

  1. In chp 1 the sentence that ministered to me was…the God of all hope is calling you out of the shadow of your doubts, so you can have a confident heart. This is what He is calling me out of. Love it!!! I will be giving up less media during these next 10 weeks. My sleeping time…go to bed a little earlier wake up a Lil earlier. And whatever spare time I have to digg deeper. Heavenly Father thank you for Renee and this amazing, life changing study. Would you bless her beyond measure, multiply her efforts and lead, guide and direct her Lord. Lord would you give her the words, and teachings every week. Help us to stay diligent in reading your word and doing this study. In Jesus name I pray Amen

    in His grace,
    Adrienne Reina

    God bless you sister!

    • I am so thrilled you signed up, Adrienne! :)

    • Your doing this study too Adrienne that is so awesome me to can’t wait to dig deeper still into His word as we walk alongside of Renee and her amazing book!! :)

    • Katrina Boyland says:

      I’m also going to be giving up media and going to bed early and wake up early. This is definitely what I needed in my life at this point. God is good always! God bless everyone!

    • amy martin says:

      Not listening to the weaseling whispers of doubts, give me ample time to choose to get into this study. The truth has a way of blasting my over-thinking brain with Jesus and how He is with me all the time.
      Jeremiah 17:7 is awesome as it reminded me that the Lord is my trust.

      • Amy… so true! When I force myself not to doubt, I have more time for praising God and do stuff!

      • Christine says:

        That is so true! I have been spending so much time focusing on my circumstances & doubting they’ll ever change. Just shifting my focus away from it will free up so much of my time and energy. I can’t wait to see what new truths God will share with me!

      • Glad to hear of another sister with “over-thinking” brain.

        • I am also an over thinker and believe there are probably more than just us. Praise our Awesome God for this study!

    • margarita says:

      There are times i worry about my husband and also i have habit of worry about thing that i shouldn’t be and also my self worth.

      This week i will cut that worry out of my vocabulary.

    • Kimberly Brooke says:

      Wow! Where do I even begin… I had read this book whenever it first came out, and read it in less than a week. God spoke to my heart through it so much. But this week, I had decided to commit myself to doing this study… that’s one word God has been giving me a lot (Commitment) I am already to do the next week’s assignment. This is so helpful!! I’m just 24 years old, but like a lot of women I’ve struggled a lot with insecurities and doubts. I always think of this… we are either planting seeds of doubt or seeds of faith (confidence) to others by what we say to them on a daily basis.

      These parts in Chapter 1 really stood out to me for this season in my life: “The unknown is too scary.” We as Christians like to be comfortable, in ease… which eventually leads to becoming complacent. But when God tells us to do or say something, it’s not always comfortable or even convenient. Another one was, “my doubt was distorting my thoughts and overpowering my emotions with confusion and questions.” and that is so true. The battle starts in the mind, that may be why God put it at the top of our bodies. What you allow in your mind, and dwell on enough, will eventually fall into your heart, and like my past experience deceive you. Satan is the number one deceiver (liar) and he’ll start with your mind. (He’s the doubt whispering.)

      I wrote a book, I apologize.. it’s just going to be nice to connect to other women about God and what he’s doing. I don’t have a lot of people my age that I can talk to or relate to. Looking forward to this study!!! Already has been a blessing!

      • Lacey Guiou says:

        I absolutely agree with you Kimberly and thank you for your thoughts!
        God Bless!
        Lacey*

        • Lynda Hepburn says:

          Hi everyone, joining in late, I do apologize for that. By the time I get home I sit to rest and wake up the next morning. I haven’t read all of the post as of yet, but Kimberly yours just spoke to me. You are so right, we either plant seeds of doubt or faith; I find that I can plant the seeds of faith to others, and plant seeds of doubt for myself. I was raised by a grandmother who believed that GOD would be angry at a person if we did anything wrong, I’ve lived my whole life believing that. What struck me, page 23: ‘Don’t listen to those thoughts…. See, I am doing a new thing!’ Unlike you, I didn’t read the book first, my daughter introduced me to it and I felt that I was okay and didn’t need it. How wrong was I. For such a long time now, I wanted the seeds of confidence to bloom in my life, I didn’t want to stop encouraging others, but I wanted, needed the same encouragement in my life, there is such a burning inside of me saying that there is more for me. Hope I’m making some sense, I’m a bit tired and I ramble when I get this way.At any rate, thank you for your post Kimberly. GOD Bless! Lynda

    • Roberta D says:

      Hello my sisters,
      I am so thrilled to be starting this great adventure with all of you and so grateful to have such as an awesome woman of God, Renee Swope, as our coach and guide. These are the some of the statements that resonated with my spirit in Chapter 1. “Self- doubt blocks the promise of God’s power and truth to change us from the inside out so that we can live with a confident heart.”(p.22). It caused me to reflect upon the thought that true change does have to take place from the inside out to be authentic. The other statement that I wanted to mention is ” We will take the first steps out of the shadows of doubt as we choose to embrace the reality of His measureless grace, unconditional love, and redeeming hope. (p.24).
      The word choice just confirms for me that I need to be intentional and deliberate as I discover how to be self confident because of who I am in Him. I am looking forward to walking out of the shadows and turning toward the light.
      I am planning to find a special place in my home free of noise and other distractions and I am planning to study and seek Him there and I am also going to get up 30 minutes earlier in the morning. I also am going to really work on just focusing on each day that the Lord gives me instead of concerning myself with the entire week. I am going to trust Him for the daily manna which will be more than enough to sustain me.

    • Renee’s online study came at just the right time!
      What most resonates in this chapter is bringing awareness of my feelings that things will never change in my life. Learning to rely on His Word no matter how I feel, what I am thinking, or how busy I am. In order to do this, I know I need to dig deeper into His word, so much so that I speak His Word more than any other words that come from my mouth. I am very excited about this study because the Lord is faithful in answering our cries for help in EVERY situation. I have also just started reading My One Word by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen and with this book the Lord has given me one word to work on for 2013. It is PERSEVERE. It is not an accident that one of the scriptures I chose to represent perseverance is Hebrews 10:35-36 mentioned in this chapter of Renee’s book! Heb. 10:35-36 Do not throw away confident trust in the Lord. Perseverance is what you need to continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all He has promised. (NLT)
      Thank you, Lord for sending help, through your Holy Spirit. Thank you for these obedient Christian authors and bless them abundantly.

  2. There are not too many obligations per se that I can cut back on in this season of life. But one “habit” I would like to overcome is “worry.” This definitely saps my time through misplaced use of energy.

    • I can relate to this comment. I have been learning through the last few months to let go and let God control this area in my life. This is not easy and at times, I find I revert back in attempt to control my surroundings when I begin to worry but continue to pray for God’s strength.

      • kathleen says:

        I have heard “let go and let God” used as a phrase. I love it. It reminds me a control freak to let go of my control and let God control my life. This is my first book study ever. I’m so excited and couldn’t have picked a better book. I really struggle in this area. I would love to do so much more but my doubt holds me back. I’ve read the first chapter and will be getting out my journal to pray and answer the questions. Thank you so much for thus study!

      • I really can relate to this. Ive been worrying about a lot of issues that seem to keep popping up in my life to make me doubt my strength. I too revert back to the saying” Let go and Let God”. I am my biggest obstacle as I too am a control freak.

        • I thought I was doing “let go and let God” but I realized I was saying the words but not really doing it. Letting go means letting go of the outcome. I said I’d “let God” but insisted on an outcome, which was basically just telling Him what to do. I had to learn to give up the outcome and accept it may not turn out the way I want it. That’s truly letting go.

          • wow! great truths! I hadn’t realized I was doing the same thing until reading your comment. “let go and let God” means letting go of the outcome ! I need to let go of the outcomes. Plus, it will be a better and bigger outcome God’s way than mine anyways since he says he gives us exceedingly and abundantly more! I’m stubborn and guess and still want my small way! Thanks for showing me I need to let go of the outcome!

    • This is where I struggle the most too. I am a perpetual worrier, and overanalyze everything, even when there is nothing wrong, to the point that it is destroying my relationships, both with my boyfriend and friends. It is a daily struggle, but I am giving it my all.

      • I have to agree. There have been some significant changes from what is/was familiar to all kinds of “unknown” in my life and without realizing it I’ve become “beat down” by worry. It slowly, almost unknowingly crept in and somehow, I’ve become convinced to going back to the way things were is the only answer. The truth is trusting HIM for what’s to come is the ONLY way to be free from the worry and anxiety.

      • Joan Martin says:

        Angie,
        I know exactly what you are talking about. I Worry about everything. I have to caught myself sometimes, I clench my teeth when I get anxious about something. Then I pray and ask God to calm my fears and I just give it to Him. But them sometimes I take it back. I know I just have to learn to trust him more and lean on HIs strenght not my on. Bcause He is willing and able to do the impossible.So today I will put my trust totally on God.

      • Delia Robinson says:

        I am in that boat with you ladies. I am the person who always sees the glass half empty. In any situation, good or bad, my focus tends to gravitate toward the negatives…..the worries. I have tried and tried to overcome this type attitude, but it always seems to creep back in. Maybe that is the problem, “I” have tried. Time to let go and let God! I am looking forward to a new me by the end of this study.

        • I am not very good at putting what my heart feels into words. Let me just start by saying that I am so looking forward to this study. I know that I am right in there with the worry I do way to much of it. This study could not have come at a better time for me. I want to spend more time learning what Gods plan is for my life. Love that quote let go and let God!!!! Thats what I need to do! Thanks for the invite sis!

    • I am thrilled to be doing this study with y’all I love you Renee…..I am giving up my normal morning routine which is sad to say sooooo backwards I START with making sure I have my coffee FIRST so selfish right lol then oops I am ashamed to admit I check e-mail and facebook first yikes not good then I go to my time with God not sure where it got all turned around but I am going back to placing Him first even before my coffee coffee can be brewing as I am reading lol and everything else will wait for my time with God. I cant wait to hear from Him and not be so rushed because I have placed Him second or third but instead 1st where He belongs!! :)

      • Kris Ray says:

        Same struggle here Cindy. Email and FB have dominated not only my mornings but other quiet times in my day. I am relying on that immediate feedback from friends and family to “fill me up” and it never does so its a vicious cycle. I am trying to learn to be still in God’s presence and look to Him FIRST.

        • I do the same thing. It used to be escaping from reality by watching TV, now it’s more social media, and using it to distract me and fill myself with people. I am going to fast from media and feast on the Word! Or at least fast from SO MUCH media! Thanks for admitting how much you use it for connection. I’m not alone!

          • OOH i love the word choices! “fast from media and feast on the Word”! Nice!

          • Deborah says:

            Hello ladies, I am a total FB tv addict! I can sit in front of the television for hours when I get home from work & in between those times I’m facebooking. Before I know it It’s time to get myself ready for bed for work the next day & do the same routine all over again. When I saw this book study was starting today & signed up I started trying to work my tv/fb schedule into the reading plan. What’s more is that I’m on vacation so that would give me more than enough time to watch tv, fb & read. Well as God would have it, I turned on the tv & was disinterested in flicking channels I facebooked & it didn’t soothe my need to be noticed. PRAISE GOD! And so I decided to write a journal just as Renee suggested we answer the questions after every chapter. And so here I am writing to you all & blessed to be a part of this great journey with you. Let’s keep up the good work because God has already begun it!

        • Thanks Kris Ray for pointing out that it’s the immediate satisfaction of being acknowledged by friends that gets me addicted to FB! And with the easy access to it through my phone, I’m on it way too much. Next time I’ll realize the selfishness of the action and let it go.

      • I agree with Cindy that I too don’t take time out of my day to day to read the word as I should. I get up at 3:00 to start my day but I don’t drink coffee. I get to work and then get on the computer and check both my email accounts and other accounts that I have before I even start to pray in the morning. I get to work by 5 and am alone for the first hour and from now on will devote my time to A confident heart instead of the computer.

      • I am guilty of this as well. I shamefully admit that my priorities have gotten off-track due to my “obsession” with facebook and other social media. It is so easy sometimes to just immerse myself in mindless things as a way of distracting me from the oftentimes overwhelming worries of daily life. I am so happy that God led me here so that I can begin my journey of reprioritizing my life and experiencing a deeper relationship with HIM. God bless!!

    • Oh yes…to give up worrying…to stop feeling like I’m going through the motions…to feel closer to God….no, for me to feel His closeness to me more fully.

    • This is a definition of worry my pastor has given me. “Paying interested on something you may not owe” I love this definition because we don’t know what is going to happen in our lives in the next minute/hour/day. Just take each moment as a gift from God whether good, bad or other. God is the artist of our lives he sees the big picture even though we can’t. I know that it is hard to be the blank canvas God wants us to be in order for Him to paint the Masterpiece called our life. Not all the brushstrokes are easy to withstand. But someday we will be able to stand back and see the masterpiece and say Wow! He did make something beautiful.

  3. Ana munoz says:

    I will not be watching tv all week and will set 1 hr a day in my schedule since I will be leading this studies with a group of lovely ladies on tues. Nights. Also I will only do 1/2 hr a day on Facebook.

    • Ivana A. says:

      I will be cutting back the time I spend reading secular books as well as playing with apps on my phone to make time for what God wants to teach me through this study. Oh, and definitely cutting back on Pinterest! Pinning only motivational Christian things….only 20 minutes a day. I’m so excited!

  4. Two sentences that resonated with me and caused me to be completely honest with God and myself.
    1.) Pg. 23 — “Perhaps you are good at hiding your doubts and no one but you knows the paralyzing power they have on your life.
    [I read this and realized that I have mastered the art of appearing confident and strong on the outside, but far from it on the inside. In fact, most people might use those adjectives to describe me. It’s almost as though the more other people believe it and the more I hear it…the easier it is to play if off. However, I’ve never been able to mask it with people who am close to or in relationships. It comes out and tends to negatively affect the relationship. I’m now learning to draw strength in Christ and find confidence in the promises of His holy Word.

    2.) Pg. 23-24 — “He’s lead me to beyond believing in Him to REALLY believing Him by relying on the power of His Word and living like they are true no matter what my feelings tell me.”
    [Wow…this is where I need to be! I’ve bewalk believe for some time now and I know God and His Word. I’ll be honest and say that I realized that I was only believing God to a point. I believed Him more for others than for my own life as. This passage has inspired me to go thru the scriptures and eight down His specific promises in a small journal I’ll label “God’s Promise”. I’ll read and proclaim them daily. I will rebuke my feeling when they are not in line w/God’s promises.

    Lastly, I will spend less time watching TV and procrastinating to have more focused time for prayer, reading, and studying God’s Word and this resource inspired by Him!

    Thank you Renee for your love, encouragement, prayers, faithfulness and obedience to God. May He sustain and bless throughout this journey and beyond. May He use you in a grand way that others will be inspired, challenges, built-up and restored in Jesus name.

    • g’morning! kamilah, i love your idea: “This passage has inspired me to go thru the scriptures and write down His specific promises in a small journal I’ll label “God’s Promise”. I’ll read and proclaim them daily. I will rebuke my feeling when they are not in line w/God’s promises.” great idea! <3

      • Great idea Coleen! I have a scripture notebook to encourage me and because I just can’t seem to memorize scripture.

    • “Perhaps you are good at hiding your doubts and no one but you knows the paralyzing power they have on your life

      I know this feeling because I was afraid to open up due to fear of getting hurt. However, I have been opening up to even strangers about Jesus. I even start talking about Jesus in where I work which was a gym. I didn’t realize it until the next day or my what you hear of others people struggles is amazing. They even talked about their concerns.One of the managers called me the Christian girl at first I did care but than I said to myself Yes, I am a Christian girl. Another thing I have to work on if someone doesn’t like me I shouldn’t care because I have Jesus and that’s all I need. So hard to do sometimes.

      • “Perhaps you are good at hiding your doubts and no one but you knows the paralyzing power they have on your life
        This is also something I highlighted when I read the chapter. I am similar to you in that many people view me as a very confident person from what I show them, but on the inside it’s not how I feel and it’s definitely not how I think. I have created a cycle in my life where I push people away when I feel them getting to close to that insecurity or doubt that I have inside. I am praying that this book and this study will be a tool in my journey to defeat the thoughts that are hindering me in my development as a woman of God.

        • Kay Bender says:

          I too like the sentence about not just believing in God but believing God. Many times we let our circumstances speak louder than God’s Word. I am looking forward to this study.

          • “Perhaps you are good at hiding your doubts and no one but you knows the paralyzing power they have on your life’”

            I have become so good at hiding my doubts, that is just one more way of them having the hold. This will be such a good reminder to let them go…Just because no one can see them, it doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

        • @ Tatiyana: Me too, in Jesus name!

      • I so understand the fear of opening up. I am even under an alias here, as I am afraid of opening up and someone I know seeing my heart and using my words to hurt me. I have been hurt by so many people in my life it is almost impossible for me to trust, and when I have opened up it has been used to hurt me in the end :( I don’t try and make friends anymore lately, I’m to afraid of being hurt. The friends I have had, every single one, has used or hurt me. I don’t know why. I am trying to be friends with this one girl of a different faith, and want to minister to her, but am afraid to talk to others about Jesus, and afraid to lose yet another friend :( She promised not to try and convert me, nor I her. It was our understanding. But I know God wants more from me. He wants me to lead her away from this false religion, and to Him. I think like you, that if I just go about it in a natural way, talking about Him in a matter of fact way regarding what He is in my life, I think the Holy Spirit could plant a seed there. I wonder though, could God use a broken Christian like me to do this? What do you think?

        • Hi Kyrie – your message reminded me so much of a topic that came up when I was studying the Book of Jonah at my church. There was a woman in the class with the same dilemma as you having a friend of a different faith and she was not sure how to speak to her about it. To make a long story short, speak to her through how you live and love. Let her see the Jesus in you – more powerful than any words you can say to her.

          I will keep you in my prayers

        • Kyrie! You are so sweet! I can hear the pain & suffering in your words & it makes me sad! First I want to say to you that depression is not a lack of faith! I have dealt many years on & off with depression & suicide attempts. Satan is always whispering into our dark areas because he knows we will hear him there! Listen God can use your depression now, not eventually, but now! Please stop hiding my friend! Claim it & kick satans butt to the curb! You have no reason to hide behind a fake name, God loves you Kyrie & there is absolutely nothing that can change that! Romans 8:38-39. I understand your struggle with trust, doubt, self love, self confidence, faith, etc. I am soo like you alot of the time! Dig into the psalms! Holy cow the confirmation & comfort I have found there! Also Isaiah is great. Remember God’s promises are for all who believe in him! Even me & u! Couple more things: don’t try to put yourself in situations or carry burdens that God never asked u to carry. I know ur heart wants to do so much good but be sure that where you’re doing good is where God Wants u to be! Also, God died to use Broken christians like us! Go back to your Bible & look at the ones he chose to follow him. look at the disciples. Three books other than this one come to mind, God Loves Broken People & those who think they’re not by Shelia Walsh & Boundaries by Henry Cloud & John Townsend The 4:8 Principle(Philipians 4:8) by Tommy Newberry. You would benefit greatly from understanding God’s great, & unfathomable love for you & learning how to set boundaries so others cannot hurt you & also learn how to change your thinking. For me, I have found that alot of my problems stem from the fact that I’m not being totally obedient to God’s word so the struggle makes me doubt. I self inflict! I can tell u that God can & will use u like u are just as he does with me even when I doubt he shows up! I am in brokenness too but its hearts like ours that feel the most compassion when someone else hurts. Don’t give up honey! Here’s some good reading for you: I love 2 Corinthians 4, Psalm 18-ur gona love this, Isaiah 40:28-29, & Psalm 143:8-Use this for a prayer-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! Check out the message version-Love it! If you click on my name it should take you to my blog. Maybe there is something there that can lift you! or go to http://www.thewildflowerswords.blogspot.com. Maybe u should consider blogging or journaling if u aren’t already doing so! All my love! Sorry I wrote you a book but my heart broke for you! We are in this together!

          • Kyrie Eléison says:

            Bless you! Thank you so much for your words of comfort, support, the scriptures, books that might help, and most of all for understanding how I feel as a person who is a bit broken due past hurts, and depression. It’s good to know someone out there knows how I feel. Our depression manifestations may be different, our pain from it is the same. I know we are both going to get amazing understanding about our Lord, His promises to us, and His love for us through this study. It sounds like you already use so many other wonderful tools and know just where to go in the Bible for help. Although I am not a ‘baby Christian’, but an ‘old’ one, I feel I have never quite understood how to use the Bible. I know I need to read and absorb it, but how to put it into my life when the verses, or chapters are not obvious, is something I struggle with. I use the New Century Bible and really enjoy it, but am looking to get The Message Bible as well. I loved it when I heard a girl at a gathering reading a passage in hers! Again, thank you so very much. I love that you wrote a book, so please don’t say you are sorry. You told me what I know God laid on your heart for me to hear, and again thank you! God bless you!

        • Hi Kyrie,
          I can relate with you on the friend front! I give so much of myself for them and feel like I get nothing in return or be used for their purposes. I just want to reach out and give you a hug and just thinking, I will be your friend!
          It is when you feel broken that God is carrying you and may be using you!

        • Kyrie,

          I am touched as I hear your story… I think all of us at times in our lives experience fears of rejection. The best book that you can give to your friend to help her is your life. Show her your love not only by your words, but by your actions. You seem to have such a good heart, and I can tell that through your words you’ve spoke. God loves you so much, and he is always willing to use his children if they are wanting to be used. From the sounds of it, you want to be used… so just ask God and the Holy Spirit to just give you the words to say to your friend. Every morning I pray Lord, give me the wisdom to face whatever situations may come to me today… one thing we all could use more of is Wisdom in Christ. Hold to wisdom, and don’t let it go. God bless you and I’ll be praying that God would use you, and let his light shine bright even more in you!

          • Kyrie Eléison says:

            Thank you so much for your kind compliments, and wonderful advice. You sound like a wonderful person too! I forget sometimes that if I only ask, I will receive, another of God’s promises. Although, as I confessed, I am afraid sometimes that I am not as dedicated as I should be in my Christian walk (or maybe that is just guilt, as I never seem to feel I am doing things right, especially in my walk with God), and that the promise isn’t for me, but for the ‘strong’ Christians. I am slowly opening up to the idea that it is indeed for me. I am determined that by the end of this study that I will have full faith that those promises are for less than perfect Christians like me.

            I have to remember just what you said too, “Hold on to wisdom”. His wisdom is perfect. I can’t remember the chapter (sorry, I am famous for paraphrasing and never knowing chapter and verse), but I was very fascinated by how wisdom was talked about metaphorically, in one part as a woman, in another riches, and it stressed how very important wisdom was. I always thought of it as some other type of wisdom for some reason (silly I know), perhaps just a general, making good decisions, sort of wisdom, or just general Biblical knowledge. But now that you have talked about it this way, I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before. It is the wisdom of the Holy Spirit! The wisdom of God’s promises. The wisdom of seeking out Christ each day in prayer. That wisdom is in His Word, but it isn’t about “knowledge” really per se, it is about following Christ, listening to the Holy Spirit, and believing with your heart, not just the mind, in God’s promises.

            Thank you for helping me to see what should have been obvious. I sadly admit though that sometimes I read the Bible more as a school book, and not the love note to His children it was meant to be. I need to read more, and believe more, with my heart, and less with just my head.

            God bless you, and again, thank you, for taking the time out of your day to impart all of this to me, and to help me, and in turn help me to help my friend. God sent you to give me this message, and it really helped. I hope we will get the chance to talk more in the future. I have already been blessed by two people (you are one of them) and their wisdom. The Bible study has hardly begun, and yet I am learning so much in, and out (here) of the book! God bless you!

        • Right now I need that due to that this past week on Thursday at work when I tripped over a cot, than got kicked in the stomach by a child. In addition, pinched and the boss didn’t do anything didn’t say are you ok. You can’t put children in time out you have to redirect them. It’s hard to keep control of 12 children ages 2-5 by yourself. I think its insane so Friday said this job is not for me for I have to be honest with myself. My boss said I don’t know what to say…… maybe I’m judging here but I think that is a clear answer. However, what I’m trying and not succeeding right now is that I’m afraid to go to zumba because those people prayed so hard for me to get a job and I feel like I have let them down but if they are true friends they will understand. So trying to find another job and pay bills but one thing I know teaching children these day isn’t easy so I’m unemployed again but will persevere for when one door closes another door opens. It’s just going to be tough on Wednesday if anyone asks. Thanks

          • Hi Shannon……so sorry this has happened. Glad you aren’t going to back out of your zumba class! Maybe instead of waiting for someone to ask, you should just go in and share honestly that you have a new request (or put your old request of a job back on the list) and have confidence that they will understand. I know confidence is the subject of this study and it is difficult, but if they are your friends, they will understand. Just reading what you have been through this past week and also the fact that I think that is normally against daycare policy for that ratio of 1 teacher to 12 children, you didn’t need that “abuse” or responsibility. If I was the parent of 1 of those 12 children, I would not want my child in that situation! I think that is not safe and usually in that age group, it should be 1 teacher to only 5 (or maybe 6) so that is wrong. I will pray for you to find another job and that your friends will understand. I think they will if they know you were dealing with 12 children by yourself. Pray and God will answer your prayers and give you peace.

      • Delia Robinson says:

        Believing In him…..Believing Him….what a difference in mind set.

      • Thank you for the encouragement sister. God is TRULY amazing and I thank Him for a forum such as this where we can shame the enemy by sharing our hurts, failures, dreams, etc. and not keep them buried deep inside to be used to keep us isolated from one another. Praise God for the ministry He’s given Renee and the one He’s given to us. I LOVE HIM!

      • Patricia W says:

        Good for you Shannon! Keep up the good work.

    • Kamilah, I can completely feel where you’re coming from when it comes to “mastering the art of appearing confident”. “Oh well” and “never mind” have been my go to words when I’m a mess inside and need to turn on the “outer me”. This week, my prayer for you is to draw strength on HIM daily. And for me … I WILL NOT use those “deceiving” words! My husband won’t know what to do! ;)

    • I feel the same way about that first statement. I have definitely learned to hide my doubts over the years. All too often I feel the pressure to come across as confident and as though I have it all together. This pressure does not necessarily come from others but from within. A few years ago I completely fell apart because of that perceived pressure of perfection. While I feel like I am not in that same place of just losing it, I feel like I always cycle around back to doubting. I hate that! I know who my Savior is. I know His love for me and that He only wants the best for me. Why does my mind slump back to doubting the plans He has for my future? Does anyone else find that happening?

      • “I know who my Savior is. I know His love for me and that He only wants the best for me. Why does my mind slump back to doubting the plans He has for my future?”

        I am right there with you on that one, and the more doubt I have the more guilty I feel, and the less worthy of Him I feel. So I feel like until I get my Christian life together, His promises will never be for me.

        • Right! It’s so hard to get that guilt to go away. Guilt does not come from God but from Satan. I am convinced of that. That feeling does still penetrate my thoughts though.

          • I agree Lindsey. Thanks for reminding me of that too! Hopefully as I grow during this study that guilt will become a thing of the past, or at least something I can more easily brush away when it comes into my thoughts.

      • Lindsey, I love your “perceived pressure of perfection.” that happened to me a few years ago, the realization that perfectionism was keeping me from being real, it only generated fear in my relationships and left me exhausted. I need to continue on that journey of stopping the people pleasing and instead find my identity in Christ.

      • Lindsey! I am so guilty of that same problem. As you read through the book, you’ll have more hints from Renee on coping with this issue, but I cling to Jeremiah 29:11!! For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

        Peace to you!!

      • @ Lindsey….my God YES! What you said is exactly where I am and how I feel.

    • I perceive myself very differently than others. I lack confidence, others see me as confident. This bible study has already impacted me and I want a true and deeper relationship with My Father. I want to “know Him”. I don’t want to live in the shadow of insecurity and doubt. I want to rest in the arms of God and let go of worry.

      Thank you Renee for helping me to see how much I want and need a confident heart

    • I can also relate to what Kamilah stated, I also highlighted being good at hiding my doubts and no one but myself knows the paralyzing power they have on my life. I am the master of hiding my doubts and acting as if I am confident to the point that sometimes I believe it. I have been struggling with having cofidence my whole life, from childhood where I was trying to gain confidence but always having someone tell you that you can’t do it. When you are told that on a daily basis you tend to believe it and let the doubt creep in your thoughts and stay there. I am praying that this study will help me to gain the confidence I know that I have but have always been to afraid to express it. I am going to spend more time in God’s word and less time watching TV. I have been trying to get up earlier each morning to do just that but I have to tell you it has been dififcult. I think I set myself up for failure sometimes and give myself expectations that are hard to keep. I am going to take it one day at a time and do a little more each day. This study has come at the most perfect time, I have had the book for several months but never seemed to get around to reading it and now I am making time. Renee thank you for your encouragement and support, and to all the ladies who are joining me on this journey. God Bless.

  5. Jennifer says:

    I also felt that the following statement spoke to me the most in chapter 1: “He’s led me beyond believing in Him to really believing Him by relying on the power of His words and living like they are true no matter what my feelings tell me.” I am so good at letting my feelings dominate my thoughts. And being a busy working mom, I’m often tired and stressed which means I get pretty emotional, so my thoughts are often negative. I was actually at a church conference this weekend where the difference between believing in God and believing God was discussed. I am determined to grow in this area over the next 10 weeks!

    I will be giving up Facebook. Not only is it a time suck for me, but it can cause my thought life to go out of control. I start to compare my life to others and fill my mind with much useless information. I think getting away from Facebook will make a big difference in my life and of course it will give me much more time for God :)

    • Jennifer,
      Thank you so much for your transparency. I too deal with comparing myself against others especially after reading other people’s face book statuses. Something I have done that has helped me a lot is to hide the post of the people I compare myself against the most. That way I can still connect with others. In addition, I have also tried to use the times that I compare myself against others to thank God for what He is doing in my life, and to show me what He is doing in my life. :)

      • Jennifer says:

        Thanks Jessica for the suggestion to hide people I may compare myself with the most. That is a great idea! For the next 10 weeks I’m going to avoid FB completely, but then I may start doing that. It sounds like a practical way for me to balance the pros and cons of Facebook!

      • Great suggestions Jessica. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who would compare myself to others via facebook. I would leave fb feeling disapointed that my life wasn’t going the way I wanted to in comparison to these other people. I reacted by spending less time on fb but I find that there are people who I like to connect with, life family living out of the country for example. I am going to use ur idea to hide the post of people I compare myself to and remind myself of Jeremiah 29:11, God has a special plan and purpose for MY life that will be diff than those whose posts i’m reading.

    • Jennifer,
      I also highlighted the same statement. I too want to move from believing in God to believing God. One of many reasons I chose to participate in the study.

      You and Jessica both touched on important points we all need to be aware of. I worry to much. Not just comparing myself to others and feeling like I have failed, but worry in general.

      Thanks to both of you for sharing.

    • Jennifer,
      I have also struggled ALOT with Facebook and have found myself in a real “bind” because I see my failures and all of my imperfections–because I am comparing myself to others. I am a SERIOUS perfectionist by nature and by upbringing so anytime anything makes me feel like I am not “measuring up” can really “throw me under the bus.” My husband (and my biggest support!) actually calls it “Fakebook” and has been helpful in helping me avoid the “trap” of Facebook and also has had to help me out of the “pit” of Facebook when I’ve fallen, but more than anything –I’ve completely taken myself off when I needed to, because the negative self-talk and beliefs about who I was were louder than what my heavenly Father was telling me. Getting away from it completely was the ONLY way I found to hear God’s truth about me. I am on now, but am VERY cautious with how I use it…only once or twice a day and only for a few minutes. I am a mom of 3 teenagers and so I have an obligation to be on—to supervise my kiddos, but it is amazing to me how Satan sneaks in and finds where I am weak and uses something like Facebook to convince me I am unloveable, worthless, a failure and hopeless, when my Father believes none of those things about me–He believes just the opposite!

  6. Wow, I want to just stop a moment and say thank you. Thank you for following through with God’s urging and doing this study with us. I had heard about your book and wanted to read it but kept putting it off and then you blessed us with a FREE copies via Amazon! Wow if that wasn’t a sign for me to do this study then I don’t know what is! There were several things that jumped out at me and caught my attention as I was reading last night, but what really jumped out was “The God of all hope is calling you out of the shadow of doubts so you can live with a confident heart! Are you ready to let His Word change the way you think, which will determine the way you feel and eventually transform the way you live?” Yes I am ready to let his word change me.

    I must admit that I don’t watch TV (I don’t subscribe to cable or satellite services), I have already weaned myself from checking facebook every 5 minutes :), so that leaves getting up a tad bit earlier to do Bible Study in the mornings. I feel when I do this it will give me a jump start on my day. I have really been struggling lately with putting God first and foremost and trusting in His will and timing. Again, thank you for this study and allowing us to be a part of this journey!

    • Thank you Renee for the free online book. I started reading it and couldn’t put it down. I can so relate to Kamilah and Karen this morning. They have spoken what I carry in my heart. I am looking forward to growing in God’s promises and not be stuck by the negative tapes that play in my head. With a hectic schedule, I have never been able to do a bible study outside the home, so this such a blessing to me. I have challenged some friends to join me here to see how God will grow us. Thank you ladies for sharing you hearts this morning.

  7. I am also thankful for the free Amazon version – although I am a die hard paperback girl! I am so grateful to join in- I am sharing additionally on my Blog (and Blog Facebook Page) and when I announced this I was blessed that a number of various friends from near and far said they would be joining in with me in joining you! So excited that you shared and allowed me to share in the blessing!

  8. Thank you for this study. I resonated with Kamilah. I give off the image that I am confident but inside I am ever doubting myself and do much of what I do for the approval of others. I will pray for God’s guidance and often He speaks loud and clear as to what I am to do, but the whole time I do it, doubt will be whispering in my ear that I am no good at this. It often takes all the joy out of the journey and rather than be glad at the work I have done for Him when I am finished, I am glad that it is over.

    • Karen,

      I pray that you will be able to block out the doubt wisperer. I hope that you will be better able to enjoy the journey and the work.

      Kept your chin up!

  9. First I want to thank God for giving me the desire to spend time in Him getting to know and believe Him. I want to thank Renee for being obedient and vulnerable as she spent time writing a book about her heart. I have decided to give up time to sit and be at the feet of our Father. I will be going to bed earlier and getting up earlier in order that I have time and energy to focus on what God wants me to glean and apply through His Holy Spirit. I, too, feel an overwhelming sense of relief ts the prospect of going beyond knowing God and believing that His promises are for me too, as well as a sense of trepidation at what that actually might mean because it means giving total control to our Lord and Saviour. Just writing here on this blog is a step of commitment and faith since it means that we, too, are willing to be vulnerable. Thank you precious Jesus for being the first to be vulnerable.

  10. Thank you for doing this study! What a blessing it has been already! Being able to download a free copy from Amazon was the first “open door” and God’s urging in my heart the past several weeks to read and be a part of this online Bible study has prepared my heart, mind and soul for this journey He will walk me through the next several weeks.
    The sentence that I highlighted was “He led me beyond believing in Him to really believing Him by relying on the power of His word and living like they are true no mater what my feelings tell me.”
    My feelings do get in the way of God’s leading. He has been showing me this through my relationships with others. Also, the concept of “know/believing IN Him to believing Him” has been a part of a couple of devotions and my Life Group lesson in the past week. God has a way of making clear what He wants us to hear and learn to grow deeper in Him. I am excited to open my heart to His leading and make changes in my life in order to grow closer and deeper in my walk with God.
    I will be giving up tv time and limit checking Facebook and Twitter :)

    • how did you all get the free download from Amazon? Is there a code I need? I can’t afford the book right now, but feel called to this study. Thanks. mj

      • Renee’s publisher offered the free ebook a several weeks ago. I have a couple of extra paper back books, so if you will email me your address, I can stick one in the mail to to you. My email address is dfbostick@yahoo.com. It’s an amazing study and would love to have join us. And as you wait on the book, you can download Chapter 1 under her free resources tab. Have a great day!

  11. Brandi C says:

    I am so grateful for this book. God brought this to me through a friend who was going to use it to teach. My friend had a death in the family and asked me to step in and teach. My first thought was– confidence– no problem. Then I began reading and realized my confidence was displaced and focused on worldly matters! I love Isaiah 49:23 that says, “Then you will know that I am the Lord. Those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” I had been allowing my failures to dictate my thinking and had been validating myself by worldly standards.

  12. I have decided to give up playing games, and less time on FB for socializing to be able to make time for the study and for Jesus. Also, less time watching TV in the morning and focus on Jesus and in the evening or any other time of day that I feel Jesus is calling me to pray or listen.
    I relate to your being told you are “normal” when you know you are not, I feel the same way. The biggest impact was putting confidence in Jesus. I have put a post it on my work desk that states: I have faith God, God has faith in me, therefore, I have must have faith in myself. I think I will post one that states: Jesus is my confidence!
    Look forward to the next ten weeks!

    • Marcie, I love the “stuff” you are giving up to spend more time with Jesus, that is awesome!!!! I also, LOVE your post it note…..I will pray for you as you go through these next ten weeks!

  13. The free Amazon download of the book got me here & I praise God for all
    the resources He uses to speak to those who seek Him. I started reading the book
    the day I got it & have been so blessed! Thank you Renee for obeying God and
    sharing with others. I really look forward to being part of this study & sharing this with others.

    • It’s an awesome study that has such life changing effects, the biggest and best is a relationship with Jesus like never before :0 )

      Will be praying for you through the next ten weeks.

  14. Like many others, I will be going to bed a little earlier and getting up a little earlier in order to complete this study. Many thanks to you Renee for being obedient to Christ and spending your time with us.

  15. I am just moving into my study, I need this to give me direction. Thanks!

  16. “when I choose to dwell in the assurance of Whose I am and who I am in Him, I have a confident heart.” This is the sentences in Chapter 1 that connect with and spoke to my heart.
    For I know when I have been asked to speak, or to share a devotional program with a small group of women, I need to let God take complete control. For in my weakness, He makes me strong.

    Thank you Renee. Your words have been a blessing to me. I pray that God will continue to keep you as you share of youself with us through this study, for God knows our every need! and He blessed us with you.
    Thanks again
    Sister in Christ, Betty

  17. I almost did not do this bible study or read the book even though God keeps leading me too it. My area of insecurity is in my ability to live a life that reflects Jesus. Notice the wors “my inability”. God knows my deepest thoughts and prayers. He knows I cant change me but only He can. He wants me to know this also. In my deepest self, I am not confident. God and God alone can show me this. I think this book and bible study are meant to teach me many things But the biggest is that God can mold this puddle of clay into simething beautiful to be used for His Kingdom.

    • You are exactly right, only God can change you. He is our potter. the first step though is asking God to come in and begin the process. I think by signing up for the study you have did just that. Good luck through this study, stay strong and don’t give up.

      Will be praying for you throughout the next 10 weeks.

  18. The sentence in Chapter 1 that connects with and resonates with my heart is on page 23 It’s not supposed to be this way. And I so need the verse that follows Isaiah 49:23….Although being aware of the thought I now have this scripture to focus on when those thoughts need to be captured by God instread of my mind where the batle is. .I plan on cutting back on getting to busy with distractions that I can use that time to spend with Him and in this study for the next several weeks. Looking forward to what God is going to reveal to me so that I can overcome doubt and worry in my life.

  19. My verse God has given me states it like this
    “May all those who seek you be happy (confident) and rejoice in you!
    May those who love to experience your deliverance say continually,
    “May God be praised!”
    I am oppressed and needy!
    O God, hurry to me!
    You are my helper and my deliverer!
    O Lord, do not delay! (Psalm 70:4, 5 NET)
    SO looking forward to what God is going to show me!

    • One of my favorites – although I say that about each of the Psalms. It’s hard to pick my favorite b/c they have all been there throughout different parts of my life when I so needed them.

      Praying for you (and all the other lovely ladies) during the next 10 weeks.

    • Thank you for sharing that awesome Psalm! :-)

  20. I also got the free knidle version from Amazon for this study. It was a HUGE BLESSING to me since we have a tight budget.
    I am looking forward to the next ten weeks. I am planning on going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. Once the family starts to get up, there goes my quiet time with God.
    Isaiah 49:23 says “you will know that I am Lord. Those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”

  21. Mary Ann says:

    I have such a problem with worry, trusting and believing that God is in control. I dwell on issues.The thing that hinders me is Faith & Trust/. What I need to do this week is Believe

    • Mary Ann
      I so understand your feelings. I am in the same place. Although I realize I need to move from this place to letting God handle the issues in my life. I long to be completely confident in God. Thanks for sharing.

      • I agree, I am struggling with self image and struggling knowing that God should be all that matters with these types of issues. It’s a tough place to get out of..

    • I am there with you Mary Ann, hopefully we both leave this study trusting and believing He is in control and surrender ourselves to Him.

    • Mary Ann,
      I just wanted to say that I too struggle with the same things. I recently finished a bible study and during that I opened my eyes and God showed me how he is in control and even things we don’t like are proven to be part of his plan. So I suggest keeping your eyes open for improve in situations. And remember prayer for God’s will not your own. The greatest thing I have learned is patience. And with this study I hope to continue trusting in God’s will.

    • Hi Mary Ann,
      I know exactly what you are talking about. Several years ago all I had was anxiety that was making me physically ill. I realized the negative thoughts were from Satan and I could stop them with prayer and imagining armor going up around my mind and those thoughts bouncing off. I wrote Ephesians 6:10-20 on an index card and carried it around with me. I learned that with God’s help I could fend off the negative thoughts. Another great book to read on battling negative thoughts is Joyce Meyers “Battlefield of the Mind.” We can take control and don’t have to be victims of our thoughts. I’m praying for you Mary Ann. You are on the right path.

  22. Beth Lesesne says:

    The parts of chapter 1 that spoke to me were to many to put here. LOL. The part that spoke the most was we have to stay in God’s word. That is what we have to have on our hearts day and night. When I don’t read my Bible I struggle more then when I do. When we dig down deep in his word we learn more about him and his promises. At this time in my life I know i am meant to be here because he has called me to change my job and do a Women’s bible study at my church in the evening. I am scared to death but I do trust him that if he is leading me to it he will lead me through it.

    I will be giving up time on my computer. I am in several groups in my email so I left some good things so I can get the best things that are offered in this study.

    • Dallena Hess says:

      Beth- I’m learning that we do have to stay in the word. A lady at church has shared from the scriptures that we suffer from the lack of knowledge, That resonated with me along with “it doesn’t have to be this way”. I’m also using the scripture in Jer “But let him that glory-glory in this-that he understandeth and knoweth me.

  23. I read the chapter earlier and then again yesterday! Today I was rereading and what popped out for me was on p. 22 at the top. “God whispering to my heart: You can only see the shadow because you have turned away from the light. Turn back toward the light.”.
    That is so powerful. If we are focused on the shadows then how can we do what we need to do ? How can we be who God wants us to be?I need to stay focused in God’s word moving toward the light. I have been lurking in the shadows too long. Thank you for the opportunity to share in this awesome study.

    • I, too, read the chapter yesterday and again today and the same sentence got to me about the shadow. When I visualize this and see the shadow, I realized it doesn’t have a hold on me. I do have a choice to turn around and focus on the light.
      The other was a group of statements. ” I can’t do this. It’s too hard. I might as well quit.” I have lived by these “mottos” for too many years and have missed so much. These printed words make me feel determined to break free (turn around) and seek the freedom God has promised.
      I will make time for this by getting up earlier, when all is quiet, before the day starts.
      Thank you so much, Renee, for the study and for offering the study free.

      • I agree with what Kathy says about not letting the shadow take over but to turn to the light and focus on it. I have had a lot of depression and I realize now that a lot of it is from ME letting others stand between me and the light. My problem is not so much that I think that i can’t do things but having other people put me down and tell me that I can’t do things. i have found that I have put too much trust in other people and their opinions throughout my life and I have gotten to the point that I have no faith in myself or trust in other people. I have had people that I thought were my ‘friends’ But i found out they were the furtherest thing from a friend. Also, have some family members like that too. I have learned that giving my problems to God and believe in Him but sometimes I guess I want things done in my time and not His so I start worry and tryting to fix things and then have to remember that my taking back the problem is getting in God’s way!! I thank God that I was able to get a Kindle and for the free copy of this book and the opportunity to be involved with this study and the other free Christian books that I have been able to get. I am learning that I was looking for the love and approval of man and I already have what I really neded – God’s love!! I am seeing changes in my life eveyday and even though I do backslide, I praise God for the change that He is making in my life!

        • Thak you Renee for providing the book for free online and also for taking your time to provide this study for all of us! I have read through the book once but things do not always stick the first reading so I am so glad to be doing this study!
          These sentences really touched me too. “Self-doubt blocks the promise of God’s power and truth to change us from the inside out so that we can live with a confident heart.” and “Yet, doubt and hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time.”
          I know that God answers prayers and I have believed in God as long as I can remember but Now I am learning to believe God. I have learned that there is a differencce in the two. Stress can really bring on the doubt and destroy my confidence. There are times that a phone call or someone saying something when I am eating will make my throat close up and my food will hang in my throat and I will not be able to swallow it and I throw it up. I have turned this over to God but then I still have this doubt down inside because everytime I go into a new place to eat, I have to find out where the restrooms are in case I get choked instead of believing that God will get me through the meal without me throwing up.
          I will give up other computer time, other reading, TV and just wasted time to put my whole heart and mind into this study and into praying and praising God!
          I have also realized that I have control over what I let people do to me and if I let them hurt me! I have to take that control and not allow them the power over me. God is my strength now. I will be confident in what I can do because of Him! I praise God for each new baby step or giant step that I take toward Him and with Him!!

        • Jan, my heart hurts for you. I too have had far too many ‘friends’, and family let me down too. I too have, “no faith in myself or trust in other people”. I need to give more to God, and trust in His timing too. You are also not alone in your suffering from depression, I do too.

          On a side note, and to no one in particular, may I please ask that those who feel that depression is a lack of faith, or a spiritual condition not comment on that? It really hurts to feel even more poorly about myself due to such comments. I feel God will eventually even use my depression, if I let Him, to do good things. I’m not trying to be negative in anyway in asking this. I have just been hurt by those types of statements in the past, and am already hurting enough :( Thanks in advance for being understanding of this in my case everyone.

          • Kyrie, thank you for your understanding. It seems like a lot of the time people that have not been through some of the same problems do not understand and do make judgements. But they should realize that their judging is not what God wants them to do. I believe that God will take everything that we have been through and let us use it to help other people and ourselves. thanks again for your words of understanding!

          • Kyrie,
            Thank you so much for opening up ad taking the risk of being hurt again. I pray that this would be a safe space for you to share your thoughts and concerns. I pray that it would be an encouragement as well. I am grateful for all the support that has been showwn to you this far.. I wanted to let you know that I also struggle with God’s promises for me. Something I have learned is that you haven’t to keep saying what God says about you over and over again until it becomes truth for you. In addition,ly helped me. Sorry for all the tp I would recommend doing Renee ‘s 7 day doubt diet. It is alit is free on amazon.. Well, the ehook version is. It has greatly. Sorry for all the typos. I am responding using my phone. Please let me know if there is anything else I fcan do to hel. My email is jgsmiley24@gmail.com. PRAYING FOR U.

      • Kathy,

        I too have the same thoughts, “too hard, I can’t” but I have to believe that I can. One of the things that has resonated with me is that I need to change my thoughts, words & actions not just for my benefit but also for my daughter. She is not even two yet but she has already started to say “I can’t” I don’t want her to go throughout life not believing in herself. I see her parrot me in so many ways. I don’t want her to learn to self doubt. I want her to grow up knowing she CAN with God’s help.

        • Jenna,
          I have seen so many of my same self-doubts in my daughter and my granddaughter! I wish that I had changed my way of believing before I passed this on to them! One of the thngs that all three of us do is saying i’m sorry when we did not do anything wrong!!
          It is wonderful that with God you can help change the way your daughter’s thoughts, words and actions before the self-doubt and low self-esteem can be learned!

        • Jenna, What a sobering and truthful reflection- I have a daughter who is just one. Thank you for giving me yet another motivation to stick with this study and not give up if I get a little behind (what happened the first time around).

          • Lydia,

            Lydia is my daughters middle name. :) Even if you get behind God will use what you have learned. I know it is a challenge to even find time to breathe with a little one. Lets make a plan to stick together & learn a lot for our daughters.

            Blessings, Jenna

          • Lydia,

            I found this blog today and I thought it had great ideas on how to teach our little ones more about God.

            http://www.momlifetoday.com/2012/02/five-ways-to-draw-your-little-one-closer-to-god/

          • Thank you Jenna! I occasionally look at MomLife, but I had missed this one. I also have a three year old son, and I just this week started scripture memorization with him (Deut. 6:5). Oh, praying for yourself throughout the day… HUGE. Thank you for the encouragement! I am looking forward to interacting with you more throughout the study.

    • The same phrase struck me and made me realize how something so small looks so big as a shadow. It’s completely distorted and we need to turn back to the light.

    • Cathy and all, this is my second time through the first few chapters of the book, and that sentence about turning towards the light struck me deeply the first time. Looking back it is always so apparent to me that when I am spending time in God’s Word and meditating on things of him, I do not struggle as much with my many insecurities. However, when I am in the middle of them, it is so hard to see/remember the simple answer: “turn back toward the LIGHT.”

    • I liked that imagery as well. I don’t always look at it that way. I have lately felt like there was a shadow over me. While I know that I have not been as faithful in my prayer time or study time, I never really thought about the darkness coming from not turning towards the light.
      Last year I was called into mission work. I’ve quit my full time teaching position and am now struggling month to month. While I don’t doubt this decision, it’s been more challenging than I anticipated. It can be a bit disheartening, and I know I need to turn to God for a bit of a confidence booster. That is why I chose this study. He gives me confidence, and I am lacking that right now. I so desperately need to rely on Him for everything in my life.

  24. Sarah Eaton says:

    My husband and I were talking about my doubts and lack of contentment this weekend. Then this morning I have a facebook update this morning from a friend referencing this book and study. So I down loaded it to my kindle and read the first week. Wow, is all I can say! Will post more after I finish my journal about chapter 1.

  25. I echo the prayers and comments of my sisters in Christ. I am so thankful for God giving Renee the strength, perseverence, and obedience to Him to write this book. One theme that I have noticed in this book and throughout my life is that Satan wants us to think that we are along on this journey and that we are the only ones who are facing certain issues. I praise God that first of all HE is ALWAYS there. He will never leave us or forsake us. I am also thankful for the godly community of women that God has placed in my life and during this study.

    The sentence that really resonated with me was You can only see the shadow because you have turned away from the light. Turn back toward the light. Swope, Renee (2011-08-01). Confident Heart, A (Kindle Locations 228-229). Baker Book Group. Kindle Edition. For me the shadow represents Satan’s lies and my lack of confidence in myself and trust in God. I focus everything that is wrong instead of the truth. The shadow represents fear, lack of trust, disbelief. The light is God and His truth. His light of life and salvation can overpower any darkness. You just have to turn towards it.

    In addition to completing this study, I would recommend Renee’s 7 day – Doubt Diet. It is an amazing book, and truly spoke to my heart. May God continue to bless and grow each of you throughout this study.

    • Jessica, that is SO true- about women struggling because we think we are alone, or think we are ‘crazy’ for having these negative self-talk patterns going on in our minds. We struggle, and then ‘pretend’ as Renee says that everything is fine. We don’t open up to others, and miss out on opportunities to realize we are not alone in our struggles!

  26. I am so thankful for this Bible study and am so excited to see what God has planned! On April 1 I turned my disordered eating over to God and am recovering. Through the process of recovery I am learning that confidence is something I have been lacking for several years. I have tried to be what I thought everyone wanted me to be – rather than who God designed me to be. I haven’t even had confidence in God’s design and plan for my life – I thought I did, but when it comes down to it I didn’t. I “stumbled” upon the free book & the Bible study sign up….I think I can safely say God lead me it! I believe that God is transforming me right now & am so blessed!
    Page 23 really stuck out to me when it says “As God’s girls, we need to know and believe that change is possible. We need to hope that life can be different. Otherwise, doubt will win every time and our hearts will be eroded by attitudes and emotions of defeat – but it is not supposed to be this way.”
    I will be cutting back on facebook during these next 10 weeks. I look so forward to this time with Him and all of you!!!

    • Anna, I am so glad you found your way to this study and pray that through the next ten weeks you will find your confidence in who God made you to be – you are His beloved, His PRINCESS, His treasure!!! At the end of the study I pray that you will believe that!!!!

  27. This is my second time going through this study. I am so thankful you are offering it again. I learned a lot the first time, I want to see how much I have grown so far. I realize that the “shadow of doubt” can come upon me like a lead balloon. I want to be able to look at my notes that I have taken often, to know really know that I can have a “Confident Heart”. Thank you Renee!

    Dear Lord I will persevere so that when I have done Your Will, I can receive what You have promised (Heb:35-36) In Jesus’ name. Amen.

    • It’s my third time around with the study, I enjoy it that much, plus I find some new “nugget” each time that I missed before b/c I was so focused on a different issue at that time. I love to go back and see my notes and how different of a person I am on the inside and out. Enjoy your 2nd go around :)

  28. Tiffany C says:

    I am so looking forward to walking through this book with y’all! I actually had purchased the kindle version and was halfway through it when I saw the study getting ready to start! So I am going to go back and start over and dig deeper! Self Doubt is a HUGE struggle for me and has been for a very long time; but it is a private battle! All my life I’ve been a leader, on fire for God, willing to serve, successful, blessed with various talents and giftings; family, friends and church memembers have looked up to me! And all I could think is “If they only knew!” They don’t know the times that I’ve felt I’ve just not been good enough, and how crushing that can be. I think the very first verse you shared was most powerful…Heb. 10:35-36 Especially the phrase “So do not throw away your confidence…” So many times, I know what God want me to do, I know He’s equipped me, I know His heart on the matter…and then one person’s differing opinion (including my own) comes along and I”throw away my confidence”. Well I am ready for some security, steadiness…for confidence in Him!

  29. I am limiting my time on the computer to focus more on prayer, and Gods Presence. This chapter spoke to me in the sense I feel God calling me to be bold for Him, yet I let my insecurities get to me and keep me from doing the things I know He wants me to do, I need to choose to focus on “whose I am and who I am in Him” so that I can have that confidence!!!!! Thank you Renee for doing this study, and I look forward to growing in my faith and confidence IN HIM …..and all the blessings that will come too! Praying for all who are on this journey with us!

  30. The more I seek God’s word, the more exposed I become.

    The sentences in Chapter 1 that most resonates with me are…”When we pray God’s words out loud, and hear them, the Holy Spirit engraves them on our hearts and writes them in our thoughts. We internalize God’s truth as our faith grows and we are transformed from the inside out!”

    I do not tweet or facebook but I will redirect the time spent on the computer towards this study and become a better steward of my time. I am so thankful to God for providing the avenue in which to participate in this study and Renee for responding to your heart to reach so many with His truths!

    In His richest blessings…

  31. One of my weakeness is comparing myself with others. I know we are created by God with individually gifts designed by Him. I know I shouldn’t care what other people think of me because those who may have everything, may not be happy. Also, one of the verses is Romans 10:17 is that “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Chirst. In addition, from Joyce Meyer Ministries thought of the day is If you truly love the Word of God—if you hear it, receive it, and obey it—you will have freedom and live “at ease.”

    • Shanon I love Joyce Myers! I really sense God speaking to my heart through her words! I struggle with self doubt and worry and Renee thank youso muchy for providing this study! Thank you!

  32. I also downloaded the book on my kindle free from amazon. Then I saw the post from prov31 about the online Bible study last night. I jumped on it quickly. I believe God had his hand in this.

    What jumped out for me today was the verse from Isaiah 49…I am the Lord, those who hope in me won’t be disappointed. Wow…that just makes me excited. Not that there won’t be times of conflict, but that we won’t be disappointed with what God does in our lives.

    • My first time reading this book, I read that verse (Isaiah 49:23) and felt such a peace come over me. What a powerful promise! At the same time I thought “why have I NEVER noticed that verse before?!” A new life verse for me for certain.

  33. I’m so thankful that God has orchestrated this opportunity to study A Confident Heart with all of you! With the free Ebook coming available and the timing of this Bible Study, I believe this is the direction in which God is nudging me. Having had a verbally abusive and manipulative father, I have struggled with self-doubt all my life. God has been merciful and taught me a lot over the years but I still find myself struggling with nagging self-doubts about my worth and usefulness. I’m so thankful for another opportunity to learn something from the Word that could change my life. My favorite quote from Chapter One: “As God’s girls, we need to know and believe that change is possible. We need to hope that life can be different. Otherwise, doubt will win every time and our hearts will be eroded by attitudes and emotions of defeat—but it is not supposed to be this way.” I especially like the sound of the phrase “God’s girls”, having never felt loved like a daddy’s girl.

    • Oh Barbara, I can so relate to your story…I pray that through this study you find your self confidence and realize how much you are loved, valued and loved by your Daddy – you are His precious girl!! I will be praying for you through out the study.

      • Thanks so much, Veronica. I know this study is going to be very good for me. I appreciate your prayers.

  34. I’m soo excited about this study. I’ve been good at hiding my doubts, I’ve been paralyzed by my fears and worries!!! Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. I’m giving up some computer and tv time during this study. God bless you all :)

  35. Peggy Kennedy says:

    “Doubt and hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time. ” p.23 stood out to me because I feel as though I have given myself over to doubt most of the time. Although, God puts little rays of sunshiny hope in my heart, I tend to let doubt rule. Thank you for showing me this does not need to be the case and encouraging me to let God’s light overwhelm the darkness.
    I have just finished my writing course and this has freed up a lot of time for me but I also plan to cut back on my facebook time.

  36. One sentence that resonated with me in chapter one is “I’ve found that when i choose to dwell in the assurance of Whose I am and who I am in Him, I have a confident heart.” I’m going to apply that on my job. I often doubt myself when it comes to the task of my new position……Can I do this? Do I have what it takes? Do I have enough knowledge. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!!

  37. Stephanie says:

    Doubt is one of the things I am finding that I struggle the most with – I want to trust that things will be okay in a certain situation (and they usually are), but I find myself getting caught up in the doubts and what-ifs instead! I am excited to begin this study – recommended by my sister, who loaned me her copy of “A Confident Heart,” complete with underlining and highlight marks, which I love :) – and I’m ready to get started! :)

  38. Renee thank you for your obedience and leading yet another online study. After reading chapter one what stuck with me was the scripture verse Mark 9:23, which states “Everything is possible for him who believes.” Doubt over powers my belief many times but now I have my sword of the spirit to combat doubt everytime. I am looking forward to completing this study and I will be giving up TV to spend more time in the Word.

  39. “take me beyond believing in you to believing You. Help me to rely on the power of your promises and live like they are true…”
    This was confirmation for me this morning! I have always felt confident I knew and believed in Jesus Christ but if honest depending on how serious my problem was I was praying for decided if I beleived God would do what He said He would! I have had many modern day miracles throughout my life and witnessed His promises firsthand. I do not know why when I face adversity I choose to hear the voice in my head say,” your need is not that important, He only answers those types of prayers for other people, or how dare you ask God for help, you haven’t done what He’s asked!!! Today I choose to believe we have a Jesus that is not keeping score, we have a Jesus that through grace and truth asks us to believe Him when he says “Oh my sweet daughter, believe and trust what I say, because I won’t disappoint you!”
    I pray for those of you that read this and will also choose to hear our Heavenly Father’s voice and His promises……Renee, thank you for being His appointed messenger today!

  40. God said, “Trust ME”
    The Lord has brought me through some amazing things. I know that He is trust worth and that He keeps his promises. He took my dreams and turned them into reality. I know He can do anything, that nothing is impossible for him. But that doesn’t mean that I’m confident, fear and doubt mess with my confidence more often than I’d like to admit. I’ve often wondered how to change this; I do trust Him, but sometimes thoughts of s of fear and doubt sneak in, just a little at first and before I know it they are spinning around and around in my head. I want to trust Him so completely that doubt can’t even find a crack to enter my mind. I take him at his word, “Trust Me” and am holding on to his promise that, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ Philippians 4:13

    • Thank you Diane for sharing what God has spoken to you. I too heard God say “Trust Me” when my world came crashing down, when I thought all hope was gone. I’ve had to work on developing a relationship with Him as a loving God and not as a punishing God. I’m so glad that He reached down to me and that He cares to see me grow into the woman He has created me to be. This is an ongoing journey but I know that nothing is impossible for God.

  41. What stood out to me was the phrase: “Self doubt blocks the promise of God’s Power & Truth to change us from the inside out so that we can live with a confident heart.” When we believe Satan’s lies of self doubt who are we believing and trusting? We need to be believing the God of Truth who we are Blessed to put our trust, hope & confidence in. The One who works ALL things to good and the One that all things are possible through!
    I spend my first waking moments in prayer for the day, releasing everything that comes to mind, my future, my schedule and my family etc. to my Lord and I am committing the first 30+ minutes of quiet time after all the kids leave for school each day to time with the Lord through this study and whatever else He has for me in His Word.

  42. Deb Morgan says:

    I have read this book before, but somehow it didn’t stick! I think this on line study is what God will use to make these truths sink deep into my soul. I have been divorced for 10 years and sttuggle with my singleness. I know these truths will help me re define my worth not by what any man thinks, but what my Lord thinks of me. :)

  43. I am so thankful for this free version of this book on Amazon. I am a poor student and up to my eyeballs in debt with more to go. I must say that I have been struggling with trust in God and even belief. The sentence that really stuck out to me in Chapter 1 was “You can only see the shadow because you have turned away from the light. Turn back toward the light.” WOW! Yes I have turned away from the light. It has been almost 6 years of trying to go it alone and the further away I get from God the worse off I have been. I have never had anxiety before and now it has developed into severe anxiety. Self confidence (and self-esteem) have been my biggest problem all of my life. I have limited myself in so many ways because of it. I need to turn back to God again (and slowly I am) because going it alone doesn’t work. I plan to give up TV. I have two weeks left of this semester and will have more time after that, but I definitely need this study for finals week (talk about lack of confidence!). I also have a blog that I will be writing in since I have not done that in a while and it definitely has been healing in the past. It’s been hard to get back. Talk about spiritual warfare!

  44. Jody Mooney says:

    OK I just have to say that this study is perfect right now. I am doubting everything and have gone through some very hard times and things do not seem to be improving. I feel I am running on a hamster wheel with no end is sight. I just read chapter one and I am excited to do this study. Thank you!!

  45. Jody Mooney says:

    What stuck out for me is “blessed is the man who trusts in the lord, whose confidence is in him.” I am not trusting right now.

    • I agree. I think I thought I was trusting God, but after reading the chapter I’m not. I’m focused on the shadows. My biggest issue is that nothing I ever do is good enough – I completely doubt my abilities.

  46. I am so thankful for a friend that invited me to do this study! In the reading one of the first statements that resonated with me most was “My doubt was distorting my thoughts and overpowering my emotions with confusion and questions.” As far back as I can remember(literally) I have always been haunted by this overpowering sense of doubt, especially when I commit to something, when I want to believe in good, when I want to have a positive expectation of things. As a Christian, I have hope, I have help, that is Jesus. He is more powerful than I am on my own, and more powerful than the doubt that has had more power in my mind than it should. In my past, I have created confidence in my own strength, knowledge, etc. Lets change that!

    I want to live in God’s Promises. I am so thankful for the scriptures:
    Isaiah 49:23- “Then you will know that I am the Lord. Those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”
    Isaiah 43:19-”See I am doing a new thing.”
    Roman 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

    • Angie,
      Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”. This has been marked in my Bible. I know in my heart this verse is meant to be read over and over again.
      Joyce

  47. I am looking forward to this study to help me be more confident in my relationships. I know that as my relationship with God grows, this will help me with my friendships!

  48. I, too, and here because of the free Amazon book! Extras are not in the budget right now, so the free book for my kindle is a huge blessing!

    I feel led to do this study, but at first I was confused. Most of the time, I like to think of myself as a pretty confident woman. But in reading through the first chapter and spending some time reflecting, I am realizing that my confidence only lies in myself. My confidence in God is shaky. And self confidence (self dependence?) is nothing to be proud of. I want to be a woman who relies fully on the Lord, knowing His promises and trusting in Him. I love the idea of a promise book. I think I’ll try and find a notebook around the house just for that. :)

    The question that jumped out at me was this: “Are you ready to let His Word change the way you think, which will determine the way you feel and eventually transform the way you live (Rom. 12:2)?” I’m already struggling with confidence that this is even possible, but it is what I want. :)

    I’ll be limiting my Facebook time as well – 30 minutes only for working on my blog page. In the time I normally go waste on Facebook, I’ll work through the prayers and questions in the end of each chapter. I have a little one, so sitting down to do it all at once just isn’t a reality these days!

    Thank you Renee!

  49. He’s led me beyond believing in Him to really believing in Him by relying on the power of His words and living like they are true no matter what my feelings tell me.

    This statement really resonated with me because I have just recently become aware of what is really become aware of my thoughts and how I let them guide my emotions without thinking about whether they are actually true or not.
    A goal that I have throughout this study is to find out more about the character of God and the promises of the bible.
    I am currently living in China 12 to 15 hours ahead of most of the people participating so I have made a commitment to stay up a bit later and prioritizing my reading as the first thing I do when I get home. I have also given myself an interesting challenge to combat my addiction to “wasting my life” on Facebook. I can only spend 20 percent of the time I spend reading the bible, studying and/or praying on FB or Pinterest. For example if I spend 40 minutes praying and reading I earn 8 minutes on Facebook.

  50. Thank you Renee for writing this book and putting together this study. Thank you also to my friend Jennifer who convinced me to read this book. This is definitely something that I need in my life right now. I recently found out that I am losing my job due to downsizing, and I am lacking the confidence that I desperately need to believe that I can find another job and excel at it.

    Here is the quote that jumped out at me: “He’s led me to beyond believing in Him to REALLY believing Him by relying on the power of His Word and living like they are true no matter what my feelings tell me.” I need to believe that God will lead me through this time in my life, despite what my lack of confidence is telling me.

    I am cutting back on TV and online “surfing” to make time for this study. I look forward to reading your comments and interacting with you during this study.

  51. Renee, thank you so much for this study! God knows exactly what is needed and sent it through you dear one. I stand in awe of His power!
    Hard to choose just one sentence as they all hit home for me but this one is so very important:
    “”God doesn’t want us stuck in a cycle of defeat or living in the shadows of doubt. He reminds us in
    Isaiah 49:23 “Then you will know that I am the Lord,. Those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”
    Yet doubt and hope CANNOT live in our hearts at the same time. “”
    Wow, I must learn to fill my heart with hope and get rid of the doubt!
    I will be giving up some computer time and sewing projects as I follow this study…..willingly, as the gain will be tremendous!

  52. My prayer has been that God will teach me what I need at the right time for me to receive it. He is faithful and my hope is in Him. I will be meditating in His word all throughout the day/week. Thank you for making a difference by your obedience! I will be getting up a bit earlier and commit to applying myself to this study that God has brought me to! Blessings!

  53. The sentences that really resonated with me were “Self-doubt blocks the promise of God’s power and truth to change us from the inside out so that we can live with a confident heart.” then “Yet, doubt and hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time.”

    As many have said in previous comments, we must more than believe in the promises but actually BELIEVE Him and His promises. Reminded me of James 1:5-8 , paraphrasing – the one who doubts is like a wave tossed by the sea and will not receive what he asks of God because he is doubleminded.

    Renee, thank you so much for offering this study and for helping us grow towards having Confident Hearts.

    Loving Father, I pray blessings on all the women taking this study and on Renee and her leadership. Thank you for making this available at this time in our lives.

  54. Hi Renee! I cannot even express to you how excited I am about this study! I am so overwhelmed right now with excitement because I am so multifaceted when it comes to issues in my life that to know that someone else has felt the same way I have or has uttered some of the same crazy things that say is encouraging to say the least! I wasn’t exactly sure what this study had in store for me but after reading chapter 1 & your story I’m convinced that this is just what I need. I am very confident outwardly, but the inward struggle not many know about nor can they believe it when I share it. I made a mistake this summer that has totally erased everything I thought I ever knew, ever overcome, & who I thought I was or who I thought God wanted me to be! Satan has had a blast with me for too many months now & I am trying to reclaim, rebuild, & renew all that I am in Christ for myself & my family! There were alot of things that touched me in ch. 1 but these are the words that gave me comfort to know I’m not really that off or crazy for having said or thought this, “The unknown is too scary. Although you’ve been miserable, at least the misery is familiar where you are now.” How many times I have said that to describe how I feel & why I get stuck! To the optimist that is the craziest thing they’ve ever heard! LOL! Anyway, I am so looking forward to getting unstuck from this sea of doubt! Thank you so much for sharing who you are & where you’ve been! God Bless!

    • Hi Stephanie, Your post really touched my heart and the Lord has impressed on me to write a note to you and to pray for you. I love the term ‘multifaceted’ that you used to describe the issues in your life. I think many of us here can relate to that. I know that I can. When I look back at some bad choices that I’ve made and realize that God brought me through it all, it is amazing! I’m excited to be doing this journey with all of you, and hope that we can all be an encouragement to each other. Try not to be too hard on yourself. Know that God loves you right where you are and He’s going to guide you through to reclaim, rebuild and renew!

      I’m looking forward to hearing the stories of others as we journey together to a more confident heart!

      Blessings!

      • Thank you Mary for obeying the Lord’s call to write to me! You have no idea how special that made me feel! Literally squeezed my heart & brought tears to my eyes! It hurt & felt good at the same time. I have often wondered why God impresses others upon my heart but doesn’t seem sometimes that I am impressed upon theirs. So, thank you~I was watching the Hallmark movie Firelight last night & one scene really stuck in my heart & mind. A girl was being bullyed by other girls in prison mostly because they were jealous & trying to prove they were top dog & when the girl decided to defend herself she ended up being put in isolation for 2 days & as they slammed the door she was beating on it, crying “It’s not my fault, it’s not my fault!” This of course was a loaded statement, but my heart broke into because I want to cry that but won’t allow it because I did make choices on my own but I was also deceived & used & left to suffer in my pain with no remorse from the other person. I got so much out of that movie. I realize I have alot of work to do but I believe for the next 10 weeks it starts here! Not sure why I’m sharing this except that I felt led to. Confession empties the soul of darkness & pain. Thank you so much for your prayers & your obedience to God’s call!

  55. Laura Campbell says:

    I hear you Kayse, I also thought that I am a fairly confident woman- the problem for me is that it lies in myself too. When I read. “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” 1 John 5:14. I realized that I am not sure I am acting IN HIS WILL as often as I should.

    Today I pray, Thank you for this Bible study and all the women who are a part of it. Lord go before me, before my thoughts, words, and deads. Open my eyes and change my heart. Please guide me on this incredible journey so that in the end I am the woman you designed me to be and that I learn to rely on you completely. That I would be filled with YOUR confidence. In Jesus’ name I pray Amen

  56. What spoke to me was to “rely on the power of His Words and live like they are true no matter what my feelings tell me.” Along with that was the promise that “those who hope in Me will never be disappointed” (Isa. 49:23).

    • These words spoke to me also. Our feelings can get in the way of what we know is right. So having these words in my head will help to live a more righteous life. I recently completed Beth Moore study and the things learned from Genesis were amazing to me. It is all there in the Bible for us to learn and live by.

  57. Page 23 – “‘See, I am doing a new thing!’ ‘I am worrying all things together for good, because you love me and are called according to my purpose.’ ‘All things are possible to [her] to believes’”

    I was raised in church. I am a Christian. I know (in the sense of being educated about) God. However, I want my knowing God to be more. I don’t want to doubt. To think things can’t get or be better. I don’t want to worry. I have been taught all my life to believe the verses from page 23. I can say I know them and believe them, but I want to truly believe them down deep in my heart. I want to apply them to my life every single day. I want to live like the royalty I know I am as a daughter of the King.

    Page 22 – “You can only see the shadow because you have turned away from the light. Turn back toward the light.”

    A closer, deeper relationship with my savior is what I need. To turn back toward the light.

    I am single and have no children. I am not currently in a relationship. I read a great deal. I basically have promised myself and my Lord I will devote no less than 30 minutes a day to the book study. This will be my reflection time. Time spent posting in the online community and/or writing in my journal. I am re-reading the book for the second time as I go through the online study.

  58. Renee, I too want to thank you for your obedience to God in this labor of love. It is all too easy to justify and rationalize our actions that are based on our feelings, especially as women. The “gems” you shared on your own personal journey certainly “stood out” to me….”He’s led me beyond believing in Him to really believing Him by relying on the power of His words and living like they are true no matter what my feelings tell me.” My prayer during this study is that “we” will MAKE time for the quiet moments, as God whispers and the world is loud.

  59. Melissa Busch says:

    God, thank you for shining Renee and bringing her study into my life. Her truths and self struggles Lord speak to many and allow them to come forward and pursue YOU lord. We all know deep in our hearts that WE have NO control and all the control is in YOU LORD! I pray that we are all able to LET GO and trust fully in YOU and your Word. Lord I pray that you will call to me when I am weak and lead me to your teachings and speak to me in ways that change my heart and mind. I pray these things in your name, Amen.

    Perhaps you are good at hiding your doubts and no one but you knows the paralyzing power they have on your life…… WOW could this not be more true for me. I find myself trying to have that confidence and full belief and in reality it is just weighing on my heart. I would rather people not see that weakness in me and hide in my shadow. But The God of all hope is calling ME out of the shadow of your doubts, so you can have a confident heart….. he truly is and he is calling us ALL. That is why we are here and I hope and pray that at the end of 10 weeks we have all grown in confidence and/or found the tools that will help us to continue and pursue that confidence. The biggest thing for me is knowing I AM NOT ALONE! I always feel that everyone else has it all put together and so much stronger than I. I just want to be that person. I want to make HIM proud. I look forward to doing less of media in the morning while my son is napping and devote time to reading God’s word and fully participating in the study to help me grow and put HIM first.

  60. Bonnie Bilodeau says:

    The phrases “God doesn’t want us struck in a cycle of defeat”. Yet, doubt and hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time. Having conversations about where you are, how you got here, and where you really long to be. These phrases really hit home with me. The next thing that spoke to my heart was the questions at the end. It brought me back to my abusive days as a child didn’t realize that some things where still bothering me. I thought I let all that go through the years. Ouch! The good news God brings promise I look forward to changing my routine in the mornings and spending more time studying this book. Thank you Renee for taking time out of your schedule and spending it with us.

    • Ok….correction. “stuck in a cycle of defeat”. Although sometimes you can feel your struck to be stuck. ;0)

  61. Michelle Holmquist says:

    I am very thankful to doing through this study! I know that I am not the only one that worries too much or compares what I think, do, or look like with others. Those are the big things for myself. I am having a hard time know who I am and what I am going to be for the rest of my life. I have a hard time just giving it all to God and letting Him take care of things and to show me the way on His terms and perfect timing. I want to be able to put Him first before anything else. I would like what I do for a living to glorify Him! So I will praise the Lord knowing that I am not alone in my journey! God Bless everyone!

    • Michelle, I too have had some of the same experiences as you. I desire each day to be pleasing to the Lord, to witness to others with my words and actions. I do fall short on days, but I then I pray to Lord, acknowledge my short comings and ask for help in the days to come. It is very hard not to compare, not worry and not to think about others think about a situation, but it is the Lords desire for us to be confident and to have peace with each day of our lives. I have experience many different difficulties in my life and the hardest thing for me to accomplish was to forgive myself when I made a mistake. Giving everything to God is also hard because we are ladies, mothers, wives, daughters and friends to so many, we feel that we should be able to take care of everything, but we must all remember the without the Lord we have nothing and would be nothing, All the glory and praise is to the Lord. I will pray that is study will touch you deep in your heart and that with sharing with other Christian women of the Lord, you will find what you need to fully give everything to the Lord and that confidence strengthens in all that you do. God Bless

  62. I am so excited to be starting this study. I received the book free on Kindle, and thank you so much for it. It came to me at exactly the time I needed it most, and feel like it is a gift from God. As I was reading the first and second chapters, I cried so much. I felt that Jesus was telling me that he sent this message to me because I was at a place where I was ashamed to seek Him as much because I wasn’t being obedient. This book is reminding me how much He loves us and wants us to be a new creation in Him, ridding us of the self-doubt that we receive by believing what the world tells us. I choose to believe in His promises, which are true.

    The part of Chapter 1 that spoke loudly to me was: “He’s led me beyond believing in Him to really believing Him by relying on the power of His words and living like they are true no matter what my feelings tell me.”

    Also, “When I choose to dwell in the assurance of Whose I am and who I am in Him, I have a confident heart.”

    When I remember that we are His and that He loves us and has a good plan for our lives, it helps me to let go of what the world tells me and really soak in the truth of His Word. It helps me to believe His promises and feel His love for me.

    I love the Scripture Jeremiah 17:7 from the chapter, but read on to 17:8 as well, which really spoke to my heart:
    “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

    God bless!

    • Kim, I also loved Jeremiah 17:7-8. YOU HAVE TO CHECK OUT Proverbs 31 Ministries’ website where it has “freebies.” It has a BEAUTIFUL picture of a stream with the verse Jeremiah 17:7-8 that you can save as on your computer as your desktop background. I read this over and over at work to remind me of His truth. Since you liked that verse I know you’ll like the picture! Thanks Proverbs 31 Ministries for your beautiful desktop background freebies!

  63. The sentence that resonates with me is God whispering to your heart: You can only see the shadow because you have turned away from the light. Turn back towards the light. So many times I feel this is the truth in my life and what is going wrong is I have stepped out of the light and begin to believe the lies again. I thank you so much for writing this book, I feel you know me personally and are telling my story too. Thanks for your faithfulness I am so excited to see what God does in my heart and life! I will spend less time mindlessly sitting at this computer on facebook , or watching TV and dig into what God has for me, I know he has great plans for my life and I am ready to chase after what he wants for me and let him lead me and truly be Lord of my life!!! I want to live with a confident heart I am tired of feeling like I am not enough and always doubting that I don’t have what it takes!!

  64. Wow! I can feel God tugging at me even just as we are starting. I can also feel doubt tugging too. :(

    Some of the sentence that resonate with me are… “Shouldn’t self -assurance be part of God’ equiping?” I know this is satan trying to turn my heart from God. Why should I doubt what God is saying/ asking of me yet I do.

    Also the two situations described in the book ring true for me. I have always wanted to be a mother and now that it has finally happened I doubt my abilities to take care of this child. And now I doubt myself that I can take care of a second child even though I want another baby so bad.

    And the job situation is true as well. I was miserable in my job but I knew the commute, the routine, etc. I was scared of the change. But I am so glad that my husband finally pushed me just to put my resume out there because now 2 jobs & 7 years later, I am happy and I really enjoy my current job.

    I am doing this study because I feel paralyzed in big situations but also every day decisions. My husband tells me over & over, you just can’t make a decision. You are stuck. This goes for everything, what to have for dinner, what to wear, how to organize my house. I can’t even tweak a recipe for fear that it will fail. :)

    I plan to “give up” reading secular books and devote my personal reading time to this book & the study.

    • I cannot make decisions either! Including what to have for dinner, what to wear, how to organize or decorate my house! I doubt every decision I do make and I ask everyone’s opinions which of course when you do that, you will get a different opinion from each person and then I am more confused! I think I need to pray and really listen to God’s answers. Sometimes I pray but don’t take time to listen. I pray we both grow in confidence throught this study!

  65. I read the book when it first came out…before the initial study. It was awesome and helped me alot. I fully intended to do the study with everyone; then, holidays etc. got in the way and I never did that study. Since that time, each study offer has touched my heart and I have intended to take it…but have not done it once. My good intentions have been sideswiped each time.
    Now I have tons of time and for some reason unknown to me, I have lost all interest in taking the study. I can’t seem to get myself up and motivated.
    I see only one reason for this, and we all know who he is.
    I am asking for prayer please. I need prayer so that I can pick myself up and get reading. I initially bought the book on my ereader so I have the ability to read it anywhere I go….and I have appointments this week…many of them. Three for my truck and three for me. Tons of time to read while I sit in waiting areas.
    Please pray for me.
    Thank you.

    • I will pray for you Judi. I always have good intentions as well and then sometimes never get started or make it through a study. And you are right about who steals our joy and takes our minds off the things of Christ. I don’t want to give him any credit….but he will make us feel defeated and that we won’t make it though this study. But I am praying for you and myself that we will do it!!! With Christ all things are possible!

      • Robin, thank you for your prayers. I very much appreciate them. I will pray for you as well.
        I did bring up my book on my ereader last night and I have a pen along with a sheet of paper for comments or questions I might want to jot down while in waiting rooms this week. Your prayers are working! :0)

        • Robin Padgett says:

          Praise the Lord! I will keep praying. Also praying for your truck and for the appointments for yourself & the reasons you are in waiting rooms! Hang in there and be strong! I have your name written in my notebook and I will be praying for you!

    • I will pray for you, Robin, and us all that we are able to stay focused on the Lord and that we are kept from distractions.

  66. This chapter starts out with “Don’t throw away your confidence”. I started the book when I got the free version, and have been wondering how to get back the confidence that I haven’t had in years. Today, rereading this chapter, and then skimming through my highlighted parts, I see this: “THIS is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14) I may have lost confidence in myself, but I have confidence in Christ!

  67. “self doubt blocks the promise of God’s power and truth to change us from the inside out so that we can live with a confident heart.” I’ve known for a long time that I was the reason that I wasn’t making real progress in my spiritual growth. I just didn’t really understand what was blocking me. While I am sure there may be multiple things I need to work on to move forward in my walk, this so resonated with me today. Ironically my best friend brought up something from my past this weekend that I had no desire to ever recall. The self-doubt hit me like a ton of bricks and my weekend was ruined with all of my bad decisions and actions in high school invading my every thought. I signed up for this study not really knowing what it was about but Satan sure did. I realize now he was on full alert and wanted me to crumble and not even start this study. Every word of this chapter spoke to me and was eye opening. I can’t wait to see what God does for all of us over these next weeks. Thank you Renee for following God’s purpose and blessing us with this.

  68. This is just what I needed. I have been struggling with doubt. Not all self-doubt, but doubt in what God can do with my marriage and my family. I want so bad to see a change and I know that God is working in me and I will learn to trust that He will erase the doubt as I trust in His promises. I will be dwelling on the promises of God and holding on to the truths and getting them to influence my day. Thanks

    • Sarah, I also have been struggling with doubt regarding whether my marriage will ever get to where “I” want it to be. Of course, I have been convicted that it needs to be what God wants it to be first and foremost. Yet how amazing it is that God’s promises give hope to those with self-doubt, hope to those with doubts regarding situations changing, or people changing. His promises are not limited by our situation and are all-encompassing. How amazing!

  69. Kim Bradfield says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how God works in my life! I had purchased your book on your website before it was available, (I actually have an autographed copy!!) but had yet to read it or follow along the first time around. I have always struggled with self confidence but it seems that certain times are worse than others. Yesterday was one of those times. For no reason worth noting, I was assaulted by all of these negative feelings. Last night, I dug out your book. I was reading it on my lunch hour today and just as I had finished the first chapter, I received your email! God has perfect timing! I look forward to reading this book along with so many others and hearing their stories. It’s so nice to know I am not alone in these feelings.

  70. I am by no means a speaker, but I truly believe that we all have things to share and sometimes we stay quiet when what God wants us to share is just what someone else may need to hear. If I am asked to share, I pray about it, and if I feel God lays something on my heart to share, then I feel I am saying no to Him if I decline. BUT the closer it gets to the time to share, no matter how much I have prayed and asked God to give me the words, I still doubt and say “I can’t do this” or “who am I to think I have something to say” and then I remember that the thing I want to share is something the Lord gave me strength to get through. One thing that spoke to me from Chapter 1 is “You can only see the shadow because you have turned away from the light. Turn back toward the light.” When I turn to the shadow of doubt and away from the light (Jesus), then Satan is in the darkness feeding more lies. I have to keep my focus on Jesus and stay in the Word. I lack so much confidence in so many areas, but I want to gain confidence throught His promises. I am excited about this study!

  71. As I read I was really struck by how God is really working on this my heart and journey with Him. I am not resting in or relying on God’s loving promises. I think I have doubted in His love because of my self-doubt and self-sabotage. “God declares with confidence that things can change!” praise be to God the author and creator, who isn’t finished with me, but is seeking to make me more and more like Christ;) I plan to cut back on TV and fb-ing, which is an all day event for me. I am so thirsty for others’ approval…and fb really feeds that in me. I need to fill up on God’s promises and loving approval that will ease my drought.
    Looking forward to new growth and a deeper faith…
    Shawna

  72. Heather Holterman says:

    Right away in the beginning of Chapter 1 I loved the simple, yet profound sentence of: “You can only see the shadow because you have turned away from the light.” Reading that whole first part of the book made me realize that I’m not CRAZY!!! I’m a woman who struggles with self-assurance and confidence. Reading your same feelings struggles makes me feel less alone. I’m only only chapter 2 and this book has already helped me immensely!!!!

  73. Cathy S. says:

    I have just been in one of the best seasons of my life – spending quality time with God and really feeling led by Him and finding joy in service and starting to take step out of my comfort zone until 6 weeks ago someone in authority, who does not know me, unjustly criticized my ministry efforts and I have not been the same since. Other peoples opinions of me seem to carry more weight than what I am receiving from God and self-doubt sets in. I feel like I am just going through the motions. I am praying that this study will help me to keep my focus on what God thinks and break the cycle of perfection and approval addiction. Renee said something in chapter one that I believe is true and gives me hope…”When I choose to dwell in the assurance of Whose I am and who I am in Him, I have a confident heart.”. This is what I need to chose, but I hear Satan loudly whispering messages of doubt. I am looking forward to reading more of the book and learning from all of your comments – thank you for sharing your journey.

    • I hear you Cathy. One word of criticism and I lose focus. I like the line a little before the one you chose, “living like His words are true no matter what my feelings tell me.” It’s learning to reject the feelings and negative thoughts. Realizing they are from Satan and I don’t have to own them.

  74. One of the things that stood out for me is the reminder that “doubt and hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time”. That is so true! I confess, I’ve probably become more doubtful in my life than even I can stand, so as I came across this part in the chapter I “chose” to be hopeful and at that very moment noticed a change. It reminds me that some days it’s a choice and through prayer and reading the Word, it will become less of a choice and more of a lifestyle/GIFT from Him! I’m so EXCITED!

    • Yes! So often I think we women feel that the doubt controls us, or takes over us and we are passive victims. Yet there is a choice involved to let the doubt take hold. I missed that the first time through this chapter, but the emphasis on daily choice jumped out at me today!

  75. “Self-doubt blocks the promise of God’s power and truth to change us from the inside out so that we can live with a confident heart.” As a relatively new stay-at-home mom, I can totally related to self-doubt on a daily basis. Every day, I struggle with feeling inadequate and that I haven’t gotten enough done or crossed off enough of my to-do list. I found that my need to get things done was causing me to sacrifice valuable time with my children. I am hoping, through this study, to find some sort of balance to my day so that I can be confident as a wife and mom.

    • Amy, I am right there with you. I am a stay-at-home mom as well, and struggle with that ‘balance.’ If I have a day when I feel accomplished as a house keeper, I inevitably feel like a lousy mother because of the time it took. And vice versa- if I spend a lot of time with my kids, I feel like a bad wife because my house is not a haven for my husband when he gets home. Such a HUGE area of self-doubt for me! I’m encouraged to see I’m not alone, and I hope you are encouraged to know that you are not alone.

      • I want to add- I wrote your name up on my refrigerator so that I see it and can pray for you as I make meals. I also would encourage you to look and see if there is a MOPS group near you (assuming your children are younger) to find encouragement from other Mamas in your area!

  76. I am so excited to do this bible study. I have stopped doing the womwns bible studies at my church becasue I feel so inadequate. I feel like I mightnot be wrighting neat enough. That I might spell a word wrong or just plain not good enough. When I read about this study I knew it was for me. This is my chance to grow in my faith, grow in confidence and just cry out for GOD to help me. I have had a very difficult year so far and really need some direction. I need that Christ focus! Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of your group.
    Blessings,
    Julie

  77. What caught my attention right away was the first seven words of Hebrews 10:35-36: “So do not throw away your confidence.” Seven represents perfection and these words are perfection for me to remember. I like to play tennis with a group of fun and feisty women. If I miss a few weeks of matches, my footwork is the first thing to go and I am off balance. This is the same in my spiritual life. If I miss out on my quiet time with God, then my footwork off the court vanishes and I am off balance in every area of my life.
    What might I cut back on to make time for Him and me during these next several weeks? I am going to cut back on the amount of time I spend rethinking/overthinking/and second guessing what I do and the decisions I make.
    I am really excited about this class, Renee, your book is wonderful!
    Helen :)

  78. Annette Lashley says:

    To the lady who spoke of checking her emails and fb before time with the Lord — I can see this as a positive as this is where I learn of things, person, situations that need prayer. Therefore during my quiet time with the Lord, I can share with Him their needs. The problem would be if you checked them and never spent time with the Lord. My fb friends provide me with such encouragement, scriptures, and testimony that sometimes just reading them is worship time as we see God’s faithfulness, love, mercy and grace.

  79. The sentence from chapter one which most resonates with me is: “He’s led me beyond believing in Him to really believing Him by relying on the power of His words and living like they are true no matter what my feelings tell me” (p. 24). God used this particular lesson in another Bible study about 6 years ago, and it has transformed my relationship with Him. My past tells me I am worthless, damaged, stupid, unwanted, wickedly rebellious, mentally insane, and flat out dangerous to my children (not to mention some slang identifiers that are no longer part of my vocabulary). But God is bigger than my past, and His Word tells me that I am blessed, chosen, adopted, accepted, redeemed, and forgiven in Christ’s love (Ephesians 1:2-7).

    To participate in this study, I will be sacrificing my social networking time. In spite of the above, there are still many days where I spend far too much time online trying to ensure that others have the same opinion of me as God does. But as a student completing my degree in college, I will need to axe much of my social networking time to truly engage in this study.

  80. Judy Manier says:

    Renee, God amazes me with his goodness and timing. Your book and timing is SO on target. You have no idea! I have tried to start a ladies encouragement ministry group for several years now and for whatever reason the doors kept closing and I thought I had failed. Without going into all the details I no longer believe that and believe it’s all about God’s timing. Man or woman may get in the way, but God always has the last word. Your book has helped me to see that.

    A couple ladies leading Women’s Ministry at my church approached me to start up the encouragement group. I kept saying no. I would just say, “I’ll pray about it.” My flesh was saying no. I kept saying, I don’t feel it….I can’t do this. What if the anointing is not there? I can’t do this without the Lord’s anointing. I’m not smart enough! I’ve got this Senior thing called ‘short term memory loss’. Ha…not funny, but funny…ha! What if I start this ministry and I can’t do it? If I start this and quit, I’ll be letting all those ladies down? What if I don’t connect with the ladies? Fear…fear and should I say doubt…doubt. Somewhere around 4-7 weeks ago, I went to my pastor’s wife and told her to pray for me because I just don’t feel it. I know it’s not all about a feeling, but I didn’t feel the passion I once had. We talked about how I may have walls up from past hurts and pain. I told her I don’t want to have to stand before God one day and hear him ask, “why didn’t you do what I called you to do?” I continually kept questioning myself and I kept thinking in my mind, “I can’t do this!”

    As I began reading the 1st Chapter I couldn’t believe what I was reading! The very EXACT fear and doubt whispers you were dealing with in that big shadow was me.. … right down to the very last whisper! Wow…I’ve been living in that BIG shadow!

    Renee, I had so many, what ifs? Then while praying about it and seeking the Lord, I finally told the ladies, yes. But Renee, deep down inside I still had this fear. I was taking a big leap of faith in believing God will equip me. I kept thinking, “oh God, you better be with me or this is going to be a disaster!”

    Then just a few weeks ago, I began researching and I came across your website and this book! God is sooooo good to me! I can do NOTHING without Him! When I began reading it I couldn’t believe it! This is me!!! Same exact fears and whispers! Without a shadow of doubt, I KNOW God placed you and this book before me for such a time as this! His timing is amazing!

    Thank you, thank you! I’m looking forward to the rest of this study. :o)

  81. So many parts of the first chapter struck me, I felt like I was highlighting all over the place. What struck me the most was your comparison of your shadow to confidence and turning back to the light. The visual and the feeling it gave me was so phenomenal and really hit home.

    To participate in this study I am well aware that some of my casual reading and social networking time will have to take a backseat, and I’m completely ok with this. I think this is going to be an amazing journey and I am so glad that I chose this to be my first study.

  82. Kris Ray says:

    I have struggled with self -doubt for as long as I can remember. Always comparing myself to others and trying to please others. Never feeling good enough even when I did my best. I continue to try and rely upon my own resources and my own strength which will always fail me. Just finished Lisa T’s study on Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl and really began to feel the power of His promises. However as soon as the study was over, I started to fall back into my old pattern of self-reliance and defeat again. Just goes to show how much I need to stay in His Word. Just like it says in Chapter 1, I need to “rely on the power of His words and live like they are true no matter how I am feeling”. I don’t have to come up with the “right”words to pray, He already has those for me in His Word. I need to be praying His Word/His Will and do it over and over again so it sinks in and changes me from the inside out. I have realized lately that I spend WAY too much time on Facebook looking to others to validate my feelings and experiences, just as I have always done, but the technology has created an even more addicting habit that I need to break away from. I love the verse at the end Jeremiah 17:7 in context with 17:8. I can experience God fully and receive his many blessings only when I remain in him and rely upon Him. He will not only sustain me but help me to grow and to flourish through even my most difficult days.

  83. At the time I am writing this over 100 of you have left comments and I want to reply to each one of them!! It’s so encouraging to read what God is showing you, to hear what you are praying about and planning on giving up (to give and receive more time w/Jesus), to know more about you and your lives AND to see YOU encouraging one another and connecting through our comments!!

    This is one of the best parts of ministry to me – and definitely makes all that hard work and crazy spiritual attack we endured while I was writing this book – so worth it. You are the women I prayed for as I wrote each page. GOD led me to write these words for you and I”m praying you will hear Him speak to your hearts through each and every one!!

  84. I read this book about a month ago and I am very excited to do the online study! I have encouraged many of my friends to read it. The part in chapter one that spoke to me was ” Doubt and hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time.” I feel Things are changing in my life and I have picked up this book many times since I have finished reading it.

  85. I’m struck by the enormous difference between believing IN Him and then simply (!!) BELIEVING Him. Imagine the world if we all, just in this study, believed Him…that is, knew, without question, that what He said was also our own truth. Sometimes I bounce around the house and claim the truth of Jesus’s words, but if I really truly believed Him….well, wow….I know I would be bounced to a whole new level of living in Christ.

  86. “shadow of doubt” that is the exact phrase I used in praying before I ever saw this book that God would answer me in such a way that it would remove all shadow of doubt. And what I am learning is that I have to do my part to!!
    I too am going to have to refrain from checking my email throughout the day inorder to do this study and really beable to get all out of it that God would have me to, and be able to also focus on the other projects God has layed out for me to work on. I can muti task– but don’t want to miss anything throughout the day that would hinder HIS Work in me and what He would show me.
    – Blessed journey ladies!
    Kassie.

  87. Isaiah 49:23 “Those who hope in me will not be disappointrd.” I feel in a world of disappointment by the people I invest in. This is truth to hold onto. He is the ONLY one who will not disappoint. I also find myself praying Mark 9:24 often “Lord, help me overcome my unbelief!” I am also grateful for the free kindle version on Amazon. Your book has been on my list and I was inspired to see the study starting as well. I’m hopeful I can keep my life from getting to crazy to stay committed to this.

  88. Kristen Barkdull says:

    I am just recently starting my journey and relationship with God and I am so excited to be doing this study! I bought this book months ago but never got around to reading it until now. I am sad to admit that but it is the truth. I think this book and this study will do wonders for me. I look forward to possibly develping some new friendships through this. I do not have but very few friends and none of which have a relationship with God. My sister has a very strong relationship with God and she has been such an inspiration and a huge help. I look forward to this journey with you ladies and may God bless each and everyone of you and help you along your journey.
    God bless!
    Kristen Barkdull

    • Kristen Barkdull says:

      I forgot to mention what I would be giving up for these next several weeks. I do not have a job right now and am taking online classes for an associates degree in Business Management. I have quite a bit of free time so I want to spend as much of that as I can with you ladies and reading what you have to say. I pray that this study will help me become someone with a confident heart. I also pray that I will be able to finally figure out what His path is for me. I have felt so lost for a long time and I am just starting to feel like I am finding my way. One thing I do a lot of is watch tv so i plan to cut back on that to spend more time on this study.
      I too would like to thank Renee for doing this!
      God bless you all!

      • Kristen, I am also completely my Biz Mgt degree online. I know it is “off topic”, but may I inquire which school you are attending?

        I am going through Liberty University, and I graduate in May.

        • Kristen Barkdull says:

          I am attending a college by the name od Harrison College. It is based in Indiana. I was attending the school before I moved to Arizona so I have just continued my classes through them. Congratulations on graduating soon! I will put my e-mail address on here for any one who wants to chat about this study, God, or just life in general. I welcome emails and would love to chat with anyone who wants too. It is kristen_lee_68@yahoo.com.
          And not a problem about it being off topic I welcome any question as that is how we can get to know each other.
          Have a blessed day!

      • Kristen,
        I have completed degree in Business Management and would like to offer my assistance if you need any. My degree has offered me a stable job and I love staying current in the area of business managment. I recently completed some ed2go classes regarding Fundamental of Managment and Supervision. So please let me know if I can be of any help for either Business Management or The Confident Heart. I just recently started doing bible studies and I love new discoveries every day of verses and how they apply to our daily lives.
        Joyce

        • Kristen Barkdull says:

          Joyce,
          Thank you very much! Right now it will just be an associates degree but I am thinking of getting my bachelors degree. I pray that I will be able to find a decent job. I pray that God will lead me in the right direction. I too am just starting my journey towards a relationship with God and studying the bible. I am looking forward to this very much.
          God bless!

  89. Hi!
    I’ve been looking forward to joining this study for weeks and have my book on my nightstand. Unfortunately, I took a nasty fall down a flight of steps late last week and have a slight concussion. It’s affected my sight temporarily so to read I need to close my left eye. I can barely read emails, let alone a chapter in the book! I’m praying my sight improves greatly and I’ll be able to catch up with you all soon. God’s Blessings!

    • praying for you, barb, and asking God to honor your desire to do this study as He heals you and gives you back your ability to read and see well. <3

  90. AS I start reading Chapter one the first thing that stands out to me was the statement that says “I wanted to do something less risky. I am always like that now when something I’m not sure about ( or confident in ) presents itself. But As I look back that wasn’t me as a kid in high school. I was always taking a stand for someone or against the system in a way. Remembering back I and a group of friends met at lunch reading the bible and praying. I wrote speech’s to motivate the under dog or the disabled. But now, the only place those things or thoughts stay is in my mind, I wonder what happened where did it “go wrong” What got in my way enough to stop me? Where did my confidence go????

  91. It was such a blessing to me to be able to download a copy of the book thanks to the free offer a few weeks ago. I really wanted to join the study before, but did not have it in my budget to purchase the book. God truly gave me the desire of my heart.

    I had already started reading the book and was so excited to see that a new on-line study is beginning. I finished it and am now looking forward to starting over and taking the journey with other women.

    The phrase that stuck out for me in chapter 1 was “insecurity paralizes.” I can definitely relate to that as I have had it happen to me in various instances, especially speaking in front of people or in large groups. The statement that encouraged me in this chapter is, “When I choose to dwell in the assurance of Whose I am and who I am in HIm, I have a confident heart.” I have really allowed that revelation to ministry to me and take root in my heart. That alone is a huge step to freedom. I also liked the part about moving from believing in Him to believing Him. That means I am who he says I am and I can do what he said I can do.

    I am enjoying reading all of the comments from all of you. It puts the rest the lies of the enemy that I’m the only one who feels the way I feel!

  92. My first thought when I started reading the first chapter was, “you struggle with self doubt? You who speaks to thousands of women all the time and you were doubting yourself where speaking was concerned?” It is so evident to me that you are a talented speaker that it took me by surprise about your doubt.

    Part of me wondered if it was true and another part of me wondered if you struggle then how in the world can I make it through struggle? Then another part of me said, “yes, that is human nature. We all struggle with doubt and I am glad you are vulnerable to share that bit of information.”

    I am glad you shared your heart and the truth from the word of God. I know I was encouraged from the first chapter and am excited about reading the whole book.

    What struck me personally is how I get stuck in this pattern of self doubt that paralyzes me from obeying the will of God for my life. What impressed me more is that what I really need is to get to know God- to get to know His character and His heart like you said so I may trust Him and depend on Him and His heart toward us.

    I get stuck in the “what ifs” of life that I forget that God is there for me NOW and that He loves me cares for me so much that I can trust Him to lead me and help me step by step and day by day.

    I need this study to help me get out of the self doubt rut of life that holds me captive. Thank you for writing this book!

  93. Renee,

    I have the paperback and have read it…..it is an inspiring book, but I don’t think I was giving my whole self to the study and to God. When you were gracious enough to give it to us, I put it on my Kindle. I have access to it all the time, every where i go. Thank you! I so identified with may of the negative thoughts, but and learning that “when we pray God’s words out loud, and hear them, the Holy Spirit engraves them on our hearts and writes them in our thoughts. We internalize God’s truth as our faith grows and we are transformed from the inside out!” pg. 25 I pray that through this on-line study that I can come out with a fully confident heart and truly trust God! I am going to give up some of my nap time (I keep my grandson and am tired a lot) and some of my browsing time.

    Thank youi again for doing this-
    Have a blessed week!
    Ellen

  94. Jeanie Kelley says:

    I do believe not just one sentence struck a cord with me. Everything I read just hit me again but it was a fresh read. To know that God loves me and wants the best for me is just amazing.

    • I know what you mean! I had 7 lines written down, but could have done a whole lot more! As I read these comments I’m thinking “oh, yea, that was good also and I didn’t write it down!”

  95. Cheryl McDonald says:

    I am thrilled to have a 2nd chance at doing this online Bible study. I did not follow through last time and put time aside. I have made a commitment to myself and God that I will take time for myself and Him. I too like many of the ladies am a perpetual worry wart! I let it consume my life and am not able to make rational , good decisions. I try to make them “myself” and don’t turn to Him . I know to that I should. I get stressed and just get myself down. I am pretty much a single mom as my husband flies 4 days a week, home school mom, and all the things that go along with being a mom. I basically run the house. I can’t be this way and need to turn my worry and stress over to Him and let him lead me. My self esteem suffers and I don’t feel confident which we all know causes worry and stress. I am a people pleaser too. I need to keep my walk with Him daily and let go all these “feeling” I bring upon myself. Thank you Renee for giving your time to us and Him. You are very appreciated. I will make time to do this Bible study. That is my commitment to Him!! I am really excited to start reading tonight INSTEAD of watching tv! This is my journey and I will prevail!

  96. Like so many of you, this book and study couldn’t seem to have come at a better time. It is just one example of how God is good and wonderful and speaks to us hoping we will hear him. A few months ago I would have probably had a half dozen excuses not to do this study. Unlike that “usual” self full of excuses, I immediately signed up and have been anxiously awaiting the start. It’s like something was awakened in me that has been stagnant for so long. I too will be hiding my iPhone so that I don’t wake up in the morning to immediately check email and Facebook. I will also be getting up earlier for some quiet time with God before my kids are up. I know that these two small changes will make the very largest difference in my day-to-day life, including my interaction and love for God, my husband and my children.

  97. Bev Baker says:

    Actually downloaded the book to my Kindle when it was free then today read about the Bible study. I know I need this study and accoutability. In the forward it talks about empty promises that sneek into our thought process and make us think IF ONLY i had—————-, I would be so secure and fulfilled, but what the world offers is temporary and will never fill the cup of a wounded insecure heart. I have used people places and things first for my security unstead of God for a long time (codependency) I am ready for the healing to begin

  98. Malissa Holford says:

    What really pierced my heart was when you mentioned dreaming of something since you were a little girl and on achieving that dream the doubts that creep in. Here, I am faced with the same doubts as I dreamt of being a teacher from 8 years of age and now I have accomplished that I wonder if I am doing a good job of educating the minds of our youth. I also had to change careers in order to do this job I love and I don’t regret it, it’s just the doubts that make me feel insecure in what I am doing. I particularly liked ” You can only see the shadow because you have turned away from the light. Turn back toward the light” mainly because I realized that I have turned away from looking at God and asking Him to guide me towards His will for my life. I realized that I have also done like Peter when he stepped out of the boat towards Christ and as soon as he took his eyes away from Christ started to sink and I hope that this online study helps me to refocus my eyes on Him and never take them away again.

  99. This is my second time starting this study. During the winter study, I got a little behind and my negative self-talk convinced me that I had failed and I couldn’t catch up- so I didn’t try. Ironic, isn’t it? This time around I am going to push through if I get behind…

    I am a stay-at-home mother of two littles ages 1 and 3. Needless to say, I am busy! Afternoon nap time is a haven for me, and I usually spend that time sitting on the couch perusing the Internet or catching up on television shows. This is the time I will dedicate to this study, to reading, working through the questions, and the comments from other women on the journey alongside me. During round one my littles started alternating naps rather than sleeping simultaneously, and that is part of what got me behind. This time, I am prepared for that to happen mentally, and if it does (which it probably will since I know that this message is one my spirit needs to process and plant deeply within my heart) then I will also start going to bed earlier and waking before my babies.

    Many of the quotes that women have been highlighting in the comments struck me in my first time through. It’s amazing how God can pull out a completely different message from the same words on another reading! What struck me today were several things: in the initial verse Hebrews 10:35-36, the words YOU NEED TO PERSEVERE stuck out to me like they were in all caps. Also, on the bottom of p.23 Renee mentions that she found confidence through “living DAILY” in God’s promises. Lastly, although there were so many statements that spoke to my heart, was at the top of 24 when Renee uses the words “when I CHOOSE to dwell…” All these things combined struck me that I tend to do a study like this and expect my life to be changed, and to not struggle again with the same issues. But that is not reality. It’s not a ‘one and done’ answer. My human nature and the accuser will continually bring these doubts before me. I need to be prepared to answer with the promises of God, as Christ did in the desert when He himself was tempted. I need to daily persevere and not allow myself to sit back passively; I need to choose hope and Christ daily. I hope I will be reminded of this in 10 weeks, when the study ends. That I need to continue to persevere… and that I do have a choice as to whether doubt or hope fills my spirit.

    Thank you Renee, as so many others have said, you are blessing me through your words- words that I am confident God gave to you. During my first time through I literally felt a new peace when I read Isaiah 49:23 in the text- I had never noticed that verse before. Thank you for being a vehicle of Christ’s peace in my life.

  100. The sentence that touched me the most, The God of all hope is calling you out of the shadow of dought so you can live with a confident heart. I am ready, Iam so tierd of living in this huge shadow of dought. I will be getting up earlier to start my day in Gods word. I will be praying for you Renee and all those who are on this journy.

  101. GISELLE GRAS says:

    Dear Renee,

    I truly identified with your past self doubts since I have struggled with them too. I am an in a transitioning state in my life where everything is shifting, so this study will be a great help to encourage me and restore my confidence in HIM. I do know all I have been gifted with, but I just need to embrace and receive my security from HIm. My book has not arrived, so thank you for link to chapter one. I ordered at Amazon; if ordered is
    not received before week 2, do you still have chapter 2 for us “late starters” to read? Thank you, Giselle from Miami

  102. I read this book on an e-reader then purchased the hard copy (and read it again) as I knew I wanted to share it. Now in reading it again, I find the sentence that has touched me most is “He’s led me beyond believing in Him to really believing Him by relying on the power of His words and living like they are true no matter what my feelings tell me.” It is that reminder and assurance that I am His that gives me a confident heart.

    I spend much time in preparation for several Bible studies but find that I do not always devote the necessary time to just sitting at His feet to feel His presence and to hear words He may or may not speak; therefore, I will sit with just Him as I have coffee time during devotions – with my mind only with Him.

    Renee, thank you for listening to Him and following His directions for your life as your life is richly encouraging many as you continue to walk with Him.

    You all of my Sisters feel His love deep in your heart and smile at His blessings.

  103. Elizabeth says:

    I’m so excited to get another chance to do this together online. I started at the beginning of the year but it was during the last month before I led a big women’s retreat. I had to put the book down after ch 2 at that time because I found conflict between preparing what God had been leading me in for over a year and what I was reading about love in the book. I didn’t want to allow the enemy to use what God meant for good to be a distraction to the work He would have me do so I set the book down for a month. I started it back up with a couple of ladies from the women’s conf I led and we’ve been enjoying it and challenged by it a ton! I can’t wait to join in here this time around.

    I will be giving up my veg time I surf fb & email & twitter & things to make the time for this study.

    The sentences that stuck out for me in ch 1 are:
    “See, I am doing a new thing!”
    “Over the past few years, I’ve found lasting confidence by living daily in the security of God’s promises. He’s led me beyond believing in Him to really believing Him by relying on the power of His words and living like they are true no matter what my feeling tell me.”
    “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who had been called according to his purpose” Rom 8:28

  104. The Shadow of My Doubts, I have a choice daily, choose to see the shadow or light. “I will turn back toward the light.” Confidence will come when we ask Him for what is already part of His will. God’s will be done! “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” When we pray God’s words out loud, and hear them, the Holy Spirit engraves them on our hearts and writes them in our thoughts. We internalize God’s truth as our faith grows and we are transformed from the inside out! Thanks for all you do.

  105. This is 2nd time I’ve done this study. I wanted to do it again because it was hard for me to keep up with all the posting, reading, highlighting that help so much. (Adult ADD). I always wondered how some Christians can be so confident in Christ…some didn’t care at all….I was stuck somewhere in the middle. I thought it must be something you are born with…or done by Osmosis (God just gave you that quality). Now I know it is something like a learned quality. Being confidence in Christ is a learning process (and practicing) just like how you have grown from first becoming a Christian until now.

  106. I am excited to do this study. I am new to Bible Studies so I am learning as I go. I did read Made to Crave and currently I am in Bible Study Fellowship so I am taking a lot in and learning new things. I was one of the lucky few that was able to get the book Free on Kindle. I am SO HAPPY I did.

    What stuck with me in chapter 1 was:
    “Question that get replayed over and over in my head”….I tend to do that a lot too
    “This was not the first time I’d struggled with self-doubt”
    “Although you’ve been miserable, at least the misery is familiar where you are now”
    “Things will never change”
    “Maybe, like me, you have wondered why you struggle with self-doubt”

  107. I am adding a note here because on my 1st post I didn’t add what i would give up to spend more time with God. I had to step away an think. Since my kindle ( and book) are on my pc, I had or will have to arrange how I spend my time on line. I want to use my pc as a tool that gets me closer to God not kill time til something better comes along. When i wake up like many of you I start up my pc and check email and surf the web as I wake up. I could instead pour my coffee and log on to my kindle and read the chapters and answer the questions. If on line surfing is too tempting I can unplug the internet cord until I am done. I am also going to limit t.v time and fill those times when I turn to you tube to choosing to spend that time with God and seeking his Words instead of a You tube Video. ( 1st installment this evening) I may just make a list of times I watch you tube ( not that its bad) and schedule time with God instead. I see God getting a lot more of my time.

  108. The two verses that stayed with me and made an impact on me were, “But I have found that when I choose to dwell in the assurance of Whose I am and who I am in Him, I have a confident heart”, and “Yet, doubt and hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time.”

    I can honestly say that as much as I’ve always wanted to believe that the positive verses presented were for me, I have always had doubt overcome any feeling that they could be. Somehow I have come to believe that my walk with Him is not good enough, and until it is, none of his promises will be for me. Those promises are for the missionaries, those who never fail to read their Bibles, and have memorized lots of verses, the leaders in women’s group, the list goes on. Not me, who has a hard time disciplining herself to daily read her Bible, who misses church days, doesn’t go to the women’s Bible studies, etc. I am working towards being closer to God, and honestly I feel close to Him, but at the same time not good enough. Does that make sense?

    I want so much for the dizzying “what if” thoughts, “no that’s not for me”, and “I could never do that” thoughts to stop. I am paralyzed by fear, and have lost my self-esteem. I am not looking for pity when I say this, please know that. I am only being honest, so that I can perhaps overcome all of this, and maybe to help someone else who feels the same way. I want to be so confident in God I become that little light that I sung about in Sunday school as a child. I want to feel confident in the Lord, so that I can feel His confidence run through me, taking away the poor self-esteem and fear (although I know there will still be those times from time to time. I just don’t want them to define me.). I want to live the life these promises tell me He wants for me. I am just so tired… Please pray for strength for me to do this, and that through Christ I will be changed into the woman he meant me to be. Thanks! Nice to be here, and meet you all through your posts by the way :)

    • Kyrie, I feel so close and relate to you so much!! I read this book as soon as I downloaded it and I could feel a differenve inside myself but still felt so much lacking and that I was still falling so short. I have to keep telling myself that I do not have to and can not EARN God’s love!! That His love is unconditional!! But it is still so hard to believe a lot of the time, especially when I have just heard negative remarks from someone that is suppose to be close to me. And sometimes it is so easy to look at other people and feel that they do not go through any of the same feelings as I do but you have made me see that I am not alone with some of these problems! Thank you so very much. It helps me feel like the changes are going to be made as I keep putting God first and keep trying to live for Him and believe Him!!
      Thanks again!!

  109. hi, Everyone, Renee, i’m so excited about this study! I thank God for using you to help so many women! I thank you Renee for sharing your heart. I was in the last sesion, but joined very late, so I worked at my own pace at the archives, I even posted some comments, but I did join late, so, I didn’t get any responses. Renee, I too, check my e-mail a lot through the day. I want to see if this study will challenge me to quit the habbit of checking e-mail so much. I said in one of my last posts in the last section, that God is really using this study to challenge me to spend time with him. I do love TV a couple of hours before bed to unwind. I have my prayer time. in the last session, i really worked on getting up early to spend time with God, reading the word, praying, and reading great devotionals. I want to tell you all something amazing about myself. i’m totally blind and have an amazing computer with a speech program, I need to use key stroke commands to read a line at a time and so on and there are short cut key stroke commands. I can do everything almost that a person with a regular computer can do. The speech program reads what’s on the screnn, but I have to know the right key stroke commands. I go on the internet. There are a couple of limitations, the speech program reads word documents and not p.d.f. files, so, I can’t download the book, what helps me is a lot of people that post read some pages in some chapters and I find that helps. I get the e-mails. i’m able to read the block. I’m able to listen to videos no problem. I’m able to post comments and read comments. i would love to be able to download the book so I can read it for myself and participate in the assignments, but I do feel that I’m participating a lot, but I would love to be able to download the book, I pray for it to be in a format that I am able to download, if anyone has any ideas, please let me know. also, I was reading some comments, I didn’t get through all of them, I wanted to post a coment here before the end of the day. Like a lot of people, i am a people pleaser and have started praying for help to not be a people pleaser. I have negative people in my life and it’s hard to be around that. I pray that God will use me to encourage people, and i did notice this afternoon, things were getting better. I had such a peaceful phone conversation with my mother, she is usually not at peace with herself, and it shows in her voice and it’s hard to deal with. i’m very busy. I’m in my church choir. I’m doing a lot of things, and usually my mother is not interested especially when I talk about how I’m doing with the choir, now this afternoon, she was talking about her hobby on renorvating, she is thinking of making it more than a hobby! I’m saying thank you God! He is using me to inspire her! she is always so negative and unpeaceful, and it’s just really hard. I also to, worry a lot and feel guilty about not trusting God and I figure out things on my own and then, stress myself out, instead of trusting God. sorry, to go on so much in my first post. I’m just so excited about this study and sharing with everyone, and hearing everyone share. Thank you Renee!

  110. Jacqueline says:

    I am so excited about the study and I am hoping it will provide me with the confidence I need as I begin my faith-walk. In the last week I have been doubting if I have what it takes to be a follower of Jesus. As a new believer I am so overwhelmed with all there is I need to learn and need to know that I am paralyzed with doubt. I started so hopeful and now I have lost my confidence. So I am hoping this study will be the beginning of a new start for me. I am walking in grace.

    • Oh Jacqueline, please do not doubt that you have what it takes to be a follower of Jesus. All you need is the desire to love Jesus, to believe He died for your sins and that He loves you!!! Being a follower of Jesus is a life long process, I am still learning things and I have been a follower since I was a baby. It’s all about Him leading you to where He wants you to go. don’t be so hard on yourself. So glad you are here and that you have chosen Jesus. Welcome and know that I will be praying for your throughout the study.

    • Jacqueline, that’s the beautiful thing about Christ. NONE of us has what it takes (Romans 3:23, Isaiah 53:6), and that is why Christ came to earth- so that His death and resurrection could cover our shortfalls, our sin, our lacking. Jesus says we need to become like children to enter the kingdom of Heaven, He doesn’t say that we need to understand every concept in the Bible to qualify. He loves you where you are, in this moment, and promises that He will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5). You are covered by His love and grace. Welcome to the FAMILY of God- the angels in heaven rejoice over you!

  111. Tiffany P says:

    “perhaps my self-doubt was a sign I was in the wrong calling. I mean, if God calls you to do something, shouldn’t you feel confident about it?…” … “…here you ar with kids, doubting you have what it takes to be a good mom.”. Pg21. “God doesn’t want us stuck in a cycle of defeat or living in the shadows of doubt” pg 23 these were some comments I underlined.

    I started reading this book from the library and then I decided to purchase it for myself and take the study. It’s really spoken to my heart about some things I’ve struggled with for a long time.

    • Tiffany, Amy A and I also struggle with doubts surrounding our roles as mothers. I will add you to the ‘Mama Prayer List’ on my fridge so I can pray for you as I prepare meals. You are not alone!

  112. Loretta Pearson says:

    “Behold I am doing a new thing!” I have struggled with doubt and trust my whole life. I’ve been a Christian, loved God but not believed deep inside that he’s there for me, that he’ll come through for me. He’s shown himself faithful, but my heart has struggled. Now he’s called me to join a small group of local ladies going out to share God’s love with other ladies. I have little confidence in speaking to other ladies, but God has been there to touch lives. I need the confidence to step out and follow him, and not miss opportunities because I see my self as so inadaquite. (I’m not a speller, sorry). Anyway God is calling and he’s given me a testimony of his healing grace and power to share so that other ladies will be incouraged…I need his confidence to go forward! I’m excited about this study, it’s already impacting my life. I’m excited to be with you all and know I’m not alone in this struggle.

  113. “You can only see the shadow because you have turned away from the light. Turn back toward the light.” This really stood out for me because I am always feeling overshadowed by doubt, or guilt, or just about anything negative. I am always wanting to run towards a light but always seem to lose Him. I want to be blinded by that light for life so I don’t have to back into that darkness of the shadow

    I am going to be learning to shut off my phone and other electronics for atleast an hour a day in order to draw closer to him.

  114. first of all, i thank our God for choosing to work within you in the writing of this book/study “to will and to do of His good pleasure” (as it says in philippians, chapter 2). and i thank you, renee, for being His willing servant. i pray that He will provide all that you and your family & loved ones need daily as you spend your time so freely with us.
    one paragraph that resonated in my heart is, “these are the voices of insecurity that cast shadows of doubt over our perspective and keep us from becoming the women we want to be—the women God created us to be. self-doubt blocks the promise of God’s power and truth to change us from the inside out so that we can live with a confident heart.” it truly is only the truth recorded in the Scriptures that can fully change my heart. and that is all that i want…quite obviously the various other methods and avenues of change that i have tried have not brought about the freedom that our Lord came to make available. so, i pray–knowing that as i desire what God has promised–to become the woman that God has created me to be.
    and, like sooooo many of you sweet ladies, i will also be redeeming time during my day and setting it apart for this study which i believe God will use to purge and change and mold my heart.
    i pray for each of us that our hearts and lives will be oh-so-very different in 10 weeks that no one will be able to deny the change in us; and that we will be able to share with them the love and compassion that our God has reached down and ministered to us with. <3

    • Thank you for your prayer, Colleen. I will join in that prayer with you! God is doing a new thing in all of us! :)

  115. I will be giving up media time and getting up early. I thank you for the post on facebook that says life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful. I was just asking God how can I live and enjoy my life when things are not going well. and he gave me my answer I can live and enjoy my life because his word says that the joy of the LORD is my strength so I don’t have to wait for things to be perfect when I look to him to give me the strength I need to live each day.

    • Amen, thank you for sharing. I too will be writing this down to read several times a day, for it is TRUE, because of His word, the joy of the Lord is to be my strength each day. God Bless

  116. Delia Robinson says:

    I became aware of this study halfway through the first series that you did online and was so excited when I saw that you were beginning it new in April. Then, praise God, I bought the book on sale and downloaded to my kindle. I have been so anxious to read it and rightly so. I of all people need a more confident heart! I so enjoyed the first. This is my favorite paragraph from ch. 1
    ” He’s led me beyond believing in Him to really believing Him by relying on the power of His words and living like they are true no matter what my feelings tell me. Some days I do better than others, and you will too. But I’ve found that when I choose to dwell in the assurance of Whose I am and who I am in Him, I have a confident heart.”
    My goal is to be able to make this statement from my heart and mean it with all of my heart very soon.
    Thanks Renee!

    Swope, Renee (2011-08-01). Confident Heart, A (pp. 23-24). Baker Book Group. Kindle Edition.

  117. Kyrie Eléison says:

    I thought I should say thank you Renee for writing this book. It couldn’t have come at a better, or more needed time in my life! To all of the ladies here, I will be praying for us as a group, and that the Lord will meet all of our needs :) I changed my name up a little here when I remembered its meaning, so sorry about the confusion there :P I was just Kyrie before, but it didn’t seem appropriate. Kyrie Eleison means, Lord have mercy, and it fits what I need right now in my Christian life. As I said, I don’t like to use my actual name, as I would be afraid to open my heart like I am. I have been hurt by others too many times…

  118. Lauren Davis says:

    Wow! I think I have highlighted most of chapter one! If I had to pick one thing I would say God really spoke to me in the way Renee prayed the prayer promise at the end. I love how much confidence it gives me just reading it aloud. My favorite lines are, “take me beyond believing in You to truly believing You”. And ” I will not throw away my confidence, because You say it will be richly rewarded”. I marked that verse in Hebrews in my Bible! I feel the greatness of what God is going to teach me through this study and I am so excited!
    I am giving up eating lunch with my friends. I teach kindergarten and lunchtime is my only time of the day where I get adult conversation. I love my amazing co-workers and cherish their godly friendships. But, I am going to go on lunch dates during this study with my Heavenly Father who thinks I am truly amazing!!!

  119. Heather bireley says:

    Several things in chapter one really spoke to me. The first thing is that doubt keeps us from believing things can get better. Doubt convinces us that it’s not worth the effort. The enemy uses doubt to keep us from trusting that God can do things beyond our imagination and that through him we can do awesome things. I feel sometimes that I am not worth anything because all I am is a mom and housewife and I don’t really do anything amazing. But I don’t have to be an actress or a millionaire to be amazing. I am an amazing woman

    • Being a mom and a wife is amazing! They are the primary roles God has entrusted us with.

      I relate to “Doubt convinces us that it’s not worth the effort” as well. Sometimes it does feel that way! I’m looking forward to gaining some insight to overcome those doubts.

      • heather, as rebekah said…being a momand a wife is amazing! and hard work, too! but oh-so-important as you can lead your children to Jesus and to the Father, and prepare them for lives worthy of the Kingdom! you are an amazing woman! <3

    • Heather, I’ll add you to my list of Mamas on here who have mentioned struggling with doubt in relation to our roles as wife and mother… I keep it on my fridge so I can pray for us all as I make meals. Being a mother is a ministry in itself!

  120. The sentence that most spoke to me was when you said you sensed God’s whisper saying “You can only see the shadow because you have turned away from the light. –Turn back toward the light.” Wow. That speaks so much to what I’m trying to do right now- turn toward the light!

    I’m planning on giving up some social media/TV time to make more time for this study. I’m also committing to going to bed earlier/getting up earlier, so I can still stick to my Bible reading schedule.

  121. When I got home from work I checked a couple links I subscribe to on facebook. I am often amazed by how God uses the different links with verses and inspiration are exactly what I need at that moment or totally line up with my day.

    One of them is called “God wants You to Know” this was my post for today…..

    Diane, we believe God wants you to know … that worry often gives a small thing a big shadow. Worrying, you get stuck going over the same things over and over again without making any progress. Instead, spend some time with nature to calm your mind and feed your soul.

    Doesn’t this go with what we’ve read in chapter 1?

  122. Hi ladies– I just wanted to say I have enjoyed reading all of your post. I would love to reply to so many of them but time has not permitted so I thought I would just put in a new note. It has been really nice to share the day with you. I guess I should have mentioned before that this is my 2nd time to do this study– kinda, I came in on the last study at chapter 7– so had to rush through to get caught up. So it will be nice to do this again but as the way it was intended.

    Renee, this is wonderful of you to take so much time from your already busy schedule to interact and lead this study the way you do.

  123. Today is my birthday and when I saw the study being offered on something I am working on so hard in my life with right NOW, beginning on my birthday, I knew I had to be a part of it. I am excited to work through this study with all of you. I pray God will touch each of our hearts, throughout this study, let his word penetrate deeply and unite all of us through this technology to encourage and guide each other with the purpose of glorifying Him.

    I am reading a chapter a night of the bible and writing down the verses in that chapter I want to memorize on index cards. Then I am working on memorizing them and the reference, something I have always wanted to do. For some reason, I started with Galatians. I have read all 6 chapters and chose 4 verses to memorize that spoke to my heart. I have them memorized and am excited to move to Ephesians.

    I am also getting up earlier and beginning with the Lord.

  124. Loved reading all the posts. I am waiting for book to come but was able to read chapter 1,
    Jeremiah 17:7 God is our refuge has stuck with me. Sunday’s sermon was about Jeremiah “The weeping prophet”. He never gave up and if anyone knews about God being our refuge it is Jeremiah. The Bible is proof and I plan on giving up nap after I get home from work to read and learn more from the Bible

  125. This is my second attempt to do this great and motivating bible study. I pray God will help me limit the daily temptations that prevent me from following through with this study and from devoting my life and the talents he has given me to glorifying him. I plan to give up reading secular books for the duration of this study.

  126. I believe this bible will be life changing for me.

    Thank you so much for your honesty and willingness to share your life with all of us Renee.

  127. Chapter 1 spoke to my heart from the beginning to the end. But what I really see is the “doubt and hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time and “He’s led me beyond believing in Him to really believing Him by relying on the power of His words and living like they are true no matter what my feelings tell me.”Sometimes I see and feel doubt creeping into my shadow when I continue to say, God is in control, and that everything will work out according to His will, for He knows what is best. I now realize that doubt has keep me from experiencing lots in my life along with being afraid of the outcome whether it be with a new adventure or just on a daily aspect. I have dedicated the next 10 weeks to completing this bible study no matter what comes my way. I will read the chapters once, then a second time to highlight important verses or sentences that talk to my heart. I will give up computer time to seek God’s word, to learn more about His love for me while on this journey for I have a desire to have a confident heart and to rely totally on God’s word for comfort, guidance and peace.

  128. The sentences in chapter one that resonated with me were: “Self doubt blocks the promise of God’s power and truth to change us from the the inside out so that can live with a confident heart.” and We will find our heart’s confidence in Christ as we learn how to rely on the power of His promises in our everyday lives.

    I’ve been living with sefl doubt for so many years that the thought of thinking and feeling otherwise is scary. I purchased this book months ago and felt it was the key to changing my preception but I didn’t get far. Self doubt convinced me that I’ll never be able to overcome this as the author has so why continue to read.

    I’m not all the way convinced but I’m being prayerful that the holy spirit will speak to my heart and help me to stay on this journey.

  129. susan misch says:

    The hardest part of doing any study is the discipline of setting the time aside to do it! I have done Precepts
    for about 7 yrs now and it is so hard to give up that time of TV ~ reading ~ or running errands etc~~~
    But the joy you have when you start early morning with the Lord makes it worth the sacrifice and the discipline of setting a time aside to refine yourself. Not to say, that some days it just does not happen or your schedule does not gel with what you had planned, but God knows our hearts, and we do the best we can. Prayers for all of us to give it our all and not be overpowered by that big shadow of doubt.

  130. Thank you for sharing this wonderful book. The following sentence resonates with me most from Chapter 1:

    “He’s led me beyond believing in Him to really believing Him by relying on the power of His words and living like they are true no matter what my feelings tell me.”

    Recently, I’ve been grateful to experience a faith that is moving beyond believing the stories of old and reports from others about what God has done/is capable of doing…to believing Him for who He is and believing that every word He says is true and applicable, including for me! Both to embrace and to practice His word in my everyday life. Therefore time with Him to hear His voice is precious. And although there are many opportunities for encouragement in the Word on Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, etc., all of that can wait. So I’ve decided to shave some time from these activities to read the book, answer the discussion questions/challenges, and to focus on the scriptures.

    The questions at the end of chapter 1 have truly helped me to examine and challenge my hidden thoughts and subtle whispers of insecurities. And after bringing those former thoughts to light and contrasting them with the scriptures provided, the error is loud and clear, and the doubts do not stand a chance against the power and authority of God’s word. It is quite easy to simply react to daily challenges. But thanks to the deliberate mediation of scripture and thoughtful exercises, this week especially, I have experienced comfort, encouragement; feel empowered, and am quicly reminded to practice being a doer of His word…not just a repeat hearer.

    I am more excited to hear what God has to say to me through His Word everyday, knowing that whatever He says is trustworthy, and sure. However it is even more exciting to see the results of trusting and obeying His direction.

    Gratefully,

    JAY

    Swope, Renee (2011-08-01). Confident Heart, A (pp. 23-24). Baker Book Group. Kindle Edition.

    • The entire paragraph is impactful and encouraging…”Over the past few years, I’ve found lasting confidence by living daily in the security of God’s promises. He’s led me beyond believing in Him to really believing Him by relying on the power of His words and living like they are true no matter what my feelings tell me. Some days I do better than others, and you will too. But I’ve found that when I choose to dwell in the assurance of Whose I am and who I am in Him, I have a confident heart.”

      Swope, Renee (2011-08-01). Confident Heart, A (pp. 23-24). Baker Book Group. Kindle Edition.

      Thank you again.

  131. Martha ParfaitFelix says:

    Hi, this is my 1st time participating in an online bible study. Just about 15 minutes ago, I almost gave in to the doubts telling me that this is impossible, I’ll won’t be able to partake in this study in this way. Thank God, His voice said to not give up and try to figure it out. I am excited and look forward to Monday nights. I will allocate 1 hour from 7-8 PM to this study.

    • I”m so glad you are here Martha!! Don’t let the enemy steal this blessing from you. God wants you here and so do we!

  132. Cathy S. says:

    I know that I really need this study. I struggle with perfectionism and approval addiction. I liked when Renee said ..”when I choose to dwell in the assurance of Whose I am and Who I am in Him, I have a confident heart”. This is my prayer that God’s voice would be louder than the voice of doubt. That I would care more about what He says about me than the opinions of others. I am excited to learn more and to read more of these wonderful comments. Thank you for sharing.

  133. Just wanted to start off thanking Renee for a wonderful experience at Faith Lift in MD. I truly feel like God has been trying to get me to connect with him and a friend pushed me to go to that event and here I am doing this amazing book study. What resonated with me the most was the line “doubt and hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time.” This is something I struggle with CONSTANTLY, I worry about everything and it drives me insane. I know I should put my faith in God and not on the world and trust that God will get me through whatever it is I’m going through. I feel like this study has come to me at the right time to help me get through this tough season.

  134. Like many others, this statement jumped out at me as I read it:

    “He’s led me beyond believing in Him to really believing Him by relying on the power of His words and living like they are true no matter what my feelings tell me.”

    I believe in God, but a recent loss has forced me to re-examine that belief. I am really struggling with doubt after experiencing a miscarriage at 15 weeks, plus issues at school where I reach which have me seriously doubting myself. I’m really hoping through this study I can rebuild that sense of self-worth, but more importantly work on building my relationship with Jesus.

  135. I just finished doing this study last month on the first go around, but I need it again! I think I could do it 8 times and still need to hear the godly wisdom that it contains! I am doing it with 2 friends (via email) this time and i am so excited about that! I started reading chapter 1 and was having a hard time focusing and really felt like I needed to stop and pray and write the prayer in my journal- just to get me started on the right foot- here is the prayer!

    Lord, I am feeling out of touch with You and I pray that you will speak clearly to me today and every step of the way through this book. My ears are open and my heart is ready for filling up with You…please, Lord.
    Speak to me through every single page of the book. I just am having a hard time getting excited, but I know that when I pray, You hear me and give me peace and direction and allow me to hear You and feel Your presence. Surely, the presence of the Lord is in this place, right?
    Just sat here thinking about a verse that would speak to this and I was reminded of this one:
    if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
    So, my job is to humble myself and seek Him and I will hear from Him and He will heal me…right? Trusting in His promises tonight!

  136. This is the study I’ve been waiting on my whole life! Insecurities have held me captive for way too long. I’m in constant prayer

  137. “my doubt was distorting my thoughts and overpowering my emotions with confusion and questions.”
    Oh boy…this line just speaks so clearly to me about how these lies we believe can take over our minds. And the confusion and questions…well sounds like the devil to me!! And he can be so darn convincing sometimes. I love the praying the scriptures too. I’m a 20-year Moms In Prayer (formerly Moms In Touch) prayer. Through this prayer group I really learned the power of praying in God’s Words. Just can’t go wrong when we do that. God bless you as you minister to us all again, Renee!

  138. I was so blessed by the friend who invited me to join her on this adventure. There was already a strong stirring in my heart and since I committed I have already been blessed by encouraging change and revelation in my life. I am excited for more! I am encouraged by the other women who are committing to sleep more! I think that sounds heavenly and could definitely produce positive change in me. ;) I am going to strive to sleep and pray more. Let’s do this thing. ;)

  139. It’s not a coincidence that the book and the opportunity to join this book study fell into place. There are many things that have lined up just right and I believe that God is talking to me. This is just one piece of the puzzle of many things I need to work on to get my life to a place where I can enjoy life and live out the path that God has intended me to. I am so excited for this opportunity to grow in my faith and grow as a person.
    I will be putting aside the time to do this study and spend time with God. As a mom of two and full time teacher there is always something to o, someone to take to practice, the house to clean, the laundry to be done, a lesson plan to be created. I like I see we are all busy and tend to put ourselves last. Well I am going to put myself first!

    In reading chapter one “All things are possible to (her) who believes” I have read this many times and heard this preached many times but this time it spoke to me. All these changes in my life are for the better I am working on the path that he wants be to be on I need to trust in the lord my God that he knows what is best! It will happen! A better day is coming! “All things are possible” :-)

  140. To me, the most powerful words I read in Chapter 1 was the final phrase of Renee’s prayer. I can overcome my insecurities and no longer “shrink back”. What a powerful promise God gives us..hope for the future. I am really hoping to gain more personal tools to use during seasons of doubt in my life. This is my second time reading this book and I am excited to be apart of this study.

  141. Thank you Renee for doing this online study with us! I am so excited to be here. I had been involved in this study at my church last year, but I wasn’t able to complete it due to a fire that destroyed mine and 6 other townhomes. Since then, I have been consumed with dealing with all the details of rebuilding our lives. I have been putting everything else in front of my relationship with God. One of the sentences that really resonated with me is on p. 24. “we’ll do the most important thing first: spend time digging deep into the heart and character of God so we can learn to depend on His heart toward us.”
    I will be giving up tv time and just laying down some of the tasks that still need to be done, but will have to get done during the day or at a later time. I am going to be going to bed earlier so I can get up a little earlier and start my day off by meeting with God and not rushing right into showering and getting kids ready for school.
    I am so excited to see what God does here!!

  142. Shawna Salkil says:

    The sentence that really spoke to me was, “He’s led me beyond believing ‘in Him’ to erally ‘believing Him’ by relying on the power of His words and living like they are true no matter what my feelings tell me.” I really struggle with that. I know what I am SUPPOSED to believe… I have been in church my whole life. My Daddy was a Preacher so I know the Sunday School answers. But sometimes I let my feelings rule my beliefs rather than the other way around.

    During this study I am believing for some life changing stuff for me and my family. I need to turn off the TV more and spend less time on Facebook. I do both of those things to unwind after a stressful day at work, but in the end they just stress me out worse! I need to devote the time to prayer, Bible study, reading for this study and fasting to see answers for my family. I look forward to this study and getting to know some of you better.

  143. It’s 10:30pm EST Monday night. I’m back again reading through almost 100 new comments since I was on earlier today. You all bless me so much with your “thank yous” – I am a words of encouragement girl and you are filling me up. I love leading this study and honestly, just seeing you comment to each other makes my heart so happy. We need each other – we need to know we’re not alone – and when you comment and share your journey or your doubts – another woman reads it and nods her head. You remind her of those very truths. She is not alone. Someone is here who is so much like her.

    I wish I could comment on every single one of your comments and some days I might get to but I’m thinking I better get to bed now. My eyes are crossing and I’ve got a big meeting for our P31 devotions all day tomorrow. I’ll be back to catch up with you thought so keep sharing your thoughts from chapter 1 and letting me know what adjustments you are going to give yourself the gift of a little more of God’s love!!

  144. Pam Anderson says:

    There was a lot of information that stood out to me in chapter 1. But the one sentence that keeps speaking to me is “beyond believing in Him to really believing Him by relying on the power of His words and living like they are true no matter what my feelings tell me.” That was powerful to me. Being a woman brings a lot of different emotions to the plate daily, between hormones, stress, and self-doubt I sometimes doubt God’s love for me. I forget that He tells me I am fearfully and wonderfully made. This quote from the book reminded me that God still loves me even on my worst day. How I feel does not alter God’s love for me.

  145. So one thing I want to share is a while back I took a pretty intense online course where in addition to regular assignments, the teacher required us to post one of our own comments and reply to at least 3 others DAILY! (Sounds simple, but wasn’t) While at the time, it felt much different than the “easy” online coursework I was expecting, I learned more from that class than most in the classroom. I encourage any one of us who are struggling to connect at any time during the study, just apply that standard – or something similar – and it will change what you get from this!

  146. I am so excited and scared about doing this study…Isn’t that statement proof that I NEED this study? I participate in Bible study at my church. We have one that begins in Sept and then another begins the end of January. When I am in an organized study, I have accountability to do my homework and to share with others how God is working through the study. I find myself drifting when I am not in an organized study, so when I saw this study was going to begin a few weeks after our last one ended, I thought, this is it! I have wanted this book, so what better way to dig into the book and to STAY in God’s word but to join in this study. But I have never participated in an online study, and I am doing on my own, so how can that keep me accountable??? Maybe I won’t be able to share my heart with others I don’t know, and on & on the excuses go. My confidence level is like a roller coaster, up one minute, down the next. Constantly in worry mode. My husband kids me by saying that I worry about what I am going to worry about.

    I know that may sound a little silly, but I have to admit that is somewhat a true statement. When I read “the unknown is too scary” it echoed inside my head. That is exactly what I deal with daily. Sometimes I allow the “what ifs” in life to keep me from delighting in the good things in my life.

    Not once, but twice on page 24, I am reminded that one thing that I must do is “CHOOSE” to believe God’s promises. As a parent, I tell my children that they need to choose the right thing in every situation. It may not seem to be the best choice, but it must be the right choice to match what they know is true to their convictions. They will have to answer for every choice they make. Good or bad. SOooooooo why do I have such a hard time practicing what I preach??? I just need to make the right choice, to choose God’s promises instead of the enemy’s lies. His promises are SO MUCH BETTER!!!

    Thanks for doing this & pray I can remain committed!!

    Oh…. when I am doing a study… I go to my bedroom an hour early so that I can dig into the study and God’s Word. I am also limiting my facebook and the time I spend blog hopping so that I can be better with my time management.

    • Sarah Eaton says:

      I have been reading all the post from the women. But yours stuck out to me. From the little information in your post; on the surface I can point out how different our stories are. But what really struck me was how similar our struggles with the “whatifs” are. I am not a parent and on May 7th will celebrate our first anniversary. I have let those “whatifs” steal away joy, peace, and forgiveness from my life. Not because God has not tried to place them in my life but because of doubt and fear.

      From your post I gather you need the accountability help Bc you are a wife, mother and …(very busy) . I on the other hand I am unable to work for health reasons. I do not have a problem with having time its that with out having someone to be accountable to I tend to be highly motivated in the beginning and the end. Its the middles I struggle with. I would love to offer up an idea that maybe we could work together on this study. If you are on facebook look me up @ Sarah Gustin Eaton.

  147. There is not room for doubt and hope in yourheart. I am going to choose hope!

  148. I am so excited and thankful for discovering your book…after reading just a few paragraphs, I realized that your book is what I need at this precise moment in my life because having a confident heart is something I never thought about but am severely lacking.

    Over the next few weeks I am going to practice getting up earlier (and dressed because I’m a stay at home mom of 3 kids between the ages of 3 months and 4 yrs old so getting dressed and out of the house is the last thing on my mind!), eating healthier (I’ve been wanting and needing to lose weight for a few years now), and cutting back on my internet time…wow that’s a lot now that I think about it! But I’m learning to take everything one day at a time :-)

    Good night all and I think I’ll reread chapter 1 before going to bed!

  149. To build my confidence remove the doubts I need to pray scriptures out loud (I am a silent prayer most of the time) When I pray God’s words out loud and hear them, the Holy Spirit engraves them on my heart and writes them in my thoughts. I internalize God’s truth as my faith grows and I am transformed from the inside out! My desire today is to have the Holy Spirit begin to engraving upon my heart.

    • “pray scriptures out loud” great idea, willnette! i am definitely going to incorporate that into my devotional time. <3

  150. Shelley ann Alleyne says:

    I am going to make this a priority before I start my morning routine of breakfast and such. I have come to realise that God is in control will look to him for help with my self doubt and worry. For years I have acted like nothing bothers me even when people have hurt me or treated me badly. I could never speak up and voice what I was feeling inside. I am learning to change that. I greatly look forward to participating in this study group as it is a first for me. God’s blessings to all.

  151. I am excited to begin this study. My life in the last two years has been one of constant testing and struggle making me start to doubt about my ability to discern Gods word. My confidence was constantly being eroded. In the last month I have been onvicted about thanking God for what I have and not dwelling on what I don’t have. I will be praying for all of you. I would ask for your prayers as I have just gone through bankruptcy because of an accident I was in 2 yrs ago. I am partially disabled but God has been providing; we were just able today to rent another home as mine was given up in the bankruptcy. Time is going to prove to be a very precious commodity! Cindy

    • Hello Cindy! I am sorry for what you have been through..It must be very hard for you and your family. But as Romans 8:28 says “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Thankfully, God is in control and He loves us!! Enjoy your new home Cindy. Have a joyful week!

    • Oh, Cindy. I feel your pain and struggle. We are in the same situation with my husband being partial disabled and having to file bankruptcy due to job loss. We have been tested over the past two years. But I’ve learned that God’s timing is perfect and He is faithful and we are still standing! I’m so glad you were able to find a home to rent. We were blessed to not lose our home (praise God!) but I still find the day-to-day struggle. I’m glad you found this study. Praying for you!

  152. Hey all! This is B from East Asia! (I came to US about 4 years ago from East Asia).

    So..I caught cold last Monday and I still have a sore and dry throat today. However, I am scheduled to lead worship at a fellowship on Friday night. Over the past a couple days, I was thinking about letting someone else to lead the worship partly because I am concerned about my sore throat, partly because I feel like i have a “busy” week ahead, don’t really have “a lot of” time to prepare for it. When I read the below sentences from the first chaptor, I know i can’t find any more excuses to not to embrace what God has called me to do. Like it was written in the book ” I mean, if God calls you to do something, shouldn’t you feel confident about it? Shouldn’t you want to do it? Shouldn’t self-assurance be part of God’s equipping?”

    Yes. God. I like what you call me to do! I like to serve you! I am so thankful for the gifts you gave to me and I like to serve you with the gifts you gave to me! But…..God…I am so lazy, so selfish, so not confident in Your power to change my lazyness and selfishness…please help me to be the lady you created me to be! Let me the daughter you are “proud of”!

    Oh..if it is your will, please heal me. I don’t like being sick…but I know all things work together for those who love you. No matter waking up tomorrow with a sore throat or not, i know you love me and you will never leave or forsake me!

  153. I lack confidence and have so much doubt that I wasn’t even going to leave this sentence because I don’t think I have anything to offer or add to the conversation.

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi Michelle,

      Please don’t ever think you have nothing to offer to the conversation. You do! You never know when what you are feeling is something someone else is also feeling but cannot put into words. Speaking up may make a difference in someone’s life, so please don’t ever hesitate to share your thoughts with us all!

      God bless,
      Jennifer

    • Laurie Tetzloff says:

      I feel inadequate @ times, too. Everyone in my former Bible studies seem to know so much more about the Bible than I do. I was raised Lutheran and baptized as a baby. Since then I have gone to probably between 15-20 churches. I finally found one that I truly feel welcome at and was baptized in Oct. of 2007. I will cut back on tv and reading all the comments on facebook.
      I’m going to focus each day that the Lord gives me. One day @ a time. I am going to trust Him to give me everything I need not necessarily on everything I want. I have truly been blessed with 3 wonderful teenagers! I have a great husband, who has started going to church for about 3 months now and is volunteering @ the church house, called “Helping Hands” one or two days/week. God answers prayers!!!! I also like the sentence about not just beieving in God but, believing God.
      I am looking forward to this study and can hardly wait for my book to arrive in the mail. God Bless you!!

      Sisters in Christ,
      Laurie :)

  154. Hi Everyone,
    I am so excited to be part of this online Bible study. I having been struggling lately with many little things but none more so than just trying to stay in the Light. The statement in the 1st chapter that really spoke to me was, “You can only see the shadow because you have turned away from the light. Turn back toward the light.” I can relate because it seems that when things are not going well I look for answers or comfort or strength in all the wrong places. Isaiah 2:5 says, “Let us walk in the light of the Lord.” That is my desire for this study that I would walk in the light of the Lord and grow to depend only on Him and see my situations through His eyes. One way I will do that is to spend less time reading Facebook and more time reading HIS word. Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a LIGHT for my path.” Thank you Renee, I look forward to getting to know you through this study. Praying for all involved in this study.

  155. Im ready to not just “believe in God, but believe Him”; the truth of His word. This was a powerful statement this week. I look forward expectantly to see what God does in all our hearts and minds.

  156. So many things stood out to me in Chapter 1 but the sentence that hit me between the eyes was “Doubt and hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time.” I knew this but didn’t know it…..hope that makes sense! I will be giving up a some sleep during this study and changing up my morning routine. I have been looking forward to this since I signed up! Blessings to you!

  157. Amy Thompson says:

    This is my first online study where I have actually interacted, so this makes a major stepping out of the shadows of doubt step!! I tend to be the girl that has faith in everybody else, but not myself. I look forward to the weeks to come! I want to devote time to God every morning which means no more snoozing my alarm!

  158. I am so excited that this study is being offered a second time around….second time around that is what the Lord is so good at doing for us. When I completed the last study I was so alive and ready to face the world but slowly doubt has crept it’s way back into my thoughts and so easily I have found myself just throwing away my confidence,forgetting it is “God-Confidence” that sustains! The Lord has been tugging on my heart to insure that he and I have personal time together, time away from the cares and daily duties of my life. I am so excited that you have challenged us to do this, I pray that each us will receive just the measure that the Lord has for us during this study! Thank you Renee for being faithful!

    • Kris Ray says:

      Stacy

      I struggle with the fact that I seem to have to continually rely upon others and bible studys to sustain my time with God. It makes me feel weak and even hopeless at times. I keep asking myself when will I have enough faith to do this on my own? The fact is, that I know I CANNOT do this on my own. Satan knows that letting go of control and allowing others to help me is an area of vulnerability for me and he is playing that hand over and over again. Rignt now, more than ever, God is working in my life and calling me into areas of ministry where Satan does not want me to go. He is creeping into my self-talk “Kris, you cannot do this, you don’t have enough strength or stamina to pull it off. You can’t even manage what God has already given you. Really, what makes you think you can do that too?” “Kris, you aren’t worthy to minister to others when you have to constantly rely upon others to minister to you”. It is so easy to believe that talk, when God’s Word tells me that is a load of bologna. God wants us to be there to encourage each other, he made us that way. Those who are ministering to me is doing so through God’s Will and His power, not their own.

      This morning I am claiming this verse “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” 2 Corin 12:9.

      • Kris Ray says:

        I just remembered the chorus from this song from Third Day that really ministered to me once, and still does

        ” Please take from me my life
        When I don’t have the strength
        to give it away to You Jesus

        How many times have I turned away
        The number is the same as the stars in the sky
        But every time You’ve taken me back
        And now I pray You do it tonight.”

  159. Kimberly says:

    I have been thinking a lot lately how I need to make more time to read and listen to God’s Word. One of the things I am going to start is reading as soon as I wake in the morning. Before I even leave my bedroom I am going to take the time to sit in my chair next to my bed and read. I actually did tried this when I woke up this morning in preparation for this study. It was great. I really enjoyed the quiet and felt that I was ready to begin my day when I was finished. I have also started listening to scripture studies on my phone during my workouts. This way I continue planting those important seeds for the entire hour I am working out. It has been great! The sentence that really stood out for me in the chapter was as follows “Self-doubt blocks the promise of God’s power and truth to change us from the inside out so we can live with a confident heart”. pg.22. Although many passages in this chapter struck me this one really stood out for me. I often find myself filling my mind with these type of thoughts. I see that my own doubt hinders my hope and belief that things can and will change. Many times I have wanted to branch out and try new things, for example lead a bible study in my home. This is something that I have wanted to do for some time, but have backed away due to self-doubt. I am praying that by the end of this study I will be ready to open my heart to what God is calling me to do and do it!

  160. Kimberly Miramontes says:

    The line that really stood out to me from Chapter 1 is, I believe in God, but do I really believe Him? I never thought about the difference before, but it is powerful. I can’t remember a time I didn’t believe God was there, but there are countless times I doubted Him. I will be giving up my TV time to do this study. I am using my daily devotional time in the mornings, but will need more time in the evenings, too:)

  161. I truly think I have suffered from self-doubt my whole life. Because of that, I have made decisions that were not of the best quality because I was trying to please the whole. The statement that most tugged at my heart strings and soul was “when I choose to dwell in the assurance of Whose I am and who I am in Him, I have a confident heart.”. It’s all about God and my relationship….that’s all that really matters. Pleasing Him.

  162. I have been walking with God for 13 years now and recently began to see that I don’t trust Him with my heart. I have a hard time opening myself to Him. I can let Him show me what He sees that needs worked on, but I struggle to just let Him love me. My hope in this study is that I would learn to have confidence In Him and His love for me.

  163. The line that resonates most with me is to turn back toward the light. Every day I become caught up in the swirl of “busyness” and forget to focus on the One who loves me more than anything!

    • It’s so easy to do isn’t it??? I have that problem too – I have been going more to God though lately asking Him to show me exactly what He wants me to do and what can wait.

  164. Mary K Wallace says:

    During this study I am committing to Scripture memory…the verses that really jump out and speak to my heart. Beginning with Isaiah 49:23c “Then you will know that I am the LORD, and those who hope in Me will not be disappointed.” This study is coming at the perfect time. I know it has been orchestrated by God Himself!

  165. I didn’t put what I’ll be giving up, before, but now I see it will have to be reading all these comments.

  166. The verse in Hebrews is what caught my attention. Especially the part about the need for endurance, to persevere. I have been walking with God for over 40 years. I know His word, I know His promises are true, but I have days of wanting to give up the fight. I often “do the right the things”, but I am empty if I don’t fill myself with Him. So, as I continue walking with God, I want to keep walking, keep pursuing, keep believing, keep pressing on toward the Prize. I want Him to be my focus, not the everyday circumstances I find myself in. And honestly, I know my everyday circumstances are 10 times better than most.:-) God has blessed me with so much!
    I’m going to give up solitary game time. Frivolous games that I play alone on the Kindle.

    • Shelly, I know exactly what you are describing. Some days I just get so exhausted, but I have come to realize those are the days that I am trying to do His job and my job – just b/c I want to LOL. I have learned to let go and to trust in Him, have faith in Him and see the positives instead of circumstances. I pray that you will be completely filled up by Him during this study!!! Will be praying for you.

  167. I just stumbled upon your website and am so glad I did. I’m needing a new devotional book and I think I may be just in time to jump on board with this group study! From the comments, it looks like it’s a great book.

  168. Cristina says:

    I was feeling quite depressed a few weeks ago and came across this book and read it in a week and it really encouraged me and actually helped me pull me out if it (beginning stages of depression). Now I’m really excited about doing a more in depth study and actually digging it and fully dealing with the issues that were getting me down. Thank you for providing this opportunity.

    • Christina, We’re celebrating with you! It’s great to hear that those feelings of depression have lifted and that you’re ready to go deeper in your study of Scripture while you continue to claim God’s promises over your life circumstances. You go girl!

  169. Wow…I am giving up being self-reliant. I am going to trust God to lead me to find His confident heart within me without my fleshy logic. The phrase/verse that spoke to me was Jeremiah 17:7. I now hope in the Lord instead of myself. Peace and every good ladies.

    • Alyssa, I struggle with this too! So much. I am my family’s breadwinner right now and everyone depends on me. As well, I depend on myself to “get the job done” wherever needed. But sometimes, I just need to let God do the work. Some of the situations God has allowed me to be in the past few years have really made me realize that He is trying to teach me to trust in Him and not in myself nor man. I think this study came at the perfect time. God bless.

  170. Heather V says:

    There were several things that resonated with me from chapter 1.
    1. “Self doubt blocks the promise of God’s power and truth to change us from the inside out so that we can live with a confident heart.” I am my own worst enemy!

    2. “Perhaps you are good at hiding your doubts and no one but you knows the paralyzing power they have on your life.” I have gotten very good at hiding my doubts and “appearing” quite confident. However I (& my husband) know the true devastation that doubt has caused to my heart.

    3. “Doubt and hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time. As God’s girls, we need to know and believe that change is possible. We need to hope that life can be different. Otherwise doubt will win every time and our hearts will be eroded by attitudes and emotions of defeat-but it is not supposed to be this way.” I know this to be true and believe it for other people but there are a few areas in my life that doubt is winning every time…year after year after year.

    I love God’s perfect timing! He has me here for a reason!

    • Sarah Eaton says:

      Heather V, your post looks very similar to my very own journal entry! Right down to “being my own worst enemy” to “my husband and I both know…” and believing that it all sounds good for others but trying to work it in to reality in my day to day life has not been so successful.

      The similarity is uncanny!

  171. “He’s lead me to beyond believing in Him to REALLY believing Him by relying on the power of His Word and living like they are true no matter what my feelings tell me.”

    This one sentence spoke volumes to me. I have believed i God my whole life. I submitted to his calling when I was 15 years old, but I have never totally trusted Him.

    After typing this, I have froze. Did I really just admit that? Will I actually hit post for others to read what I just wrote?

    “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 So yes I guess I am!

    I am doing this study as I also do Windy blight’s “Hidden Joy” study. I am amazed daily how God uses both studies to speak to me right where I am. I have been struggling to forgive a particular person for six days now. I could not figure out why I just couldn’t do it. Well, now I know. i haven’t fully trusted God to keep my heart safe from this person after I forgive them. I also have not trusted Him to heal it if or when I get hurt again. No one has ever loved me unconditionally (another concept I have been studying in the Love dare Devotion). It is a concept I have a hard time grasping. I have never been good enough to be loved, but God wants to love me anyway. I just have to receive it.

    I commit to less electronics (TV/Computer) for the next few weeks to spend more time with God and learn how to accept His gift of unconditional love and learn to trust Him completely with my heart. So now in obedience, I will post this so satan no longer has a grip on my lack of trust. I TRUST YOU FATHER!

    • Angel, I so understand your statement that you submitted to God when you were young, but never totally trusted Him. I gave my hear to the Lord when I was a teenager, and it seemed so much easier then. But as I got older, I kept taking little pieces of things back, thinking He needs my help. My prayer is that all of us will be able to let go of the worry and realize that only God can take care of all the issues we faith. That we can’t do anything about them other than turn them over to Him. God bless you and all of the women doing this study.

    • Well, this is no easy task. As soon as I post and promise to spend more time with God, all I do today is email and facebook. I am thankful however that I have a forgiving God who loves me in spite of myself. I will take another step forward and try again.

  172. The sentences that really impact me at the beginning chapter 1 is: “My uncertainty had created a huge shadow of doubt…. my doubt was distorting my thoughts and OVERPOWERING my emotions with CONFUSION and QUESTIONS.” After twenty plus yrs of marriage and serving the Lord with all my heart, a huge shadow of doubt, confusion,relentless misery want to take over my foundation in the Lord. Its been very hard because include my husband and children, one of the most precious posession God has allow me to have. through the Word , prayer, praising and the reading of this book, I know the Good Lord will empowering me again to have more confident in myself and all the strenght I used to have before this storm.

    • Julia, I feel your pain. I don’t know what started this “storm” but I do know God will get you through it. You used the word storm which especially struck me, because I just put a background on my iPad that says, “Though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm.”

  173. I am a stay at home Mommy and lately I have been wondering about what I am going to do or what God wants me to do or be once my kids start school. I am constantly worrying about unnecessary issues and always think the what ifs of every situation so that I am always prepared! So I have been praying to ask God to help with these questions and worries I have and His answer this online book study!! I didn’t realize it was an answer to pray until I was reading and praying about it last night. There were many lines and verses that touched me but one in particular I liked was ‘As God’s girls, we need to know and BELIEVE that change is possible!”

    • Amanda, I am so glad God led you here. I used to be a constant “prepared” worrier too, funny thing is, it never kept me prepared it just made me exhausted. I was so exhausted I couldn’t deal with any of the real problems I needed focus on. One Scripture that helped me each time I worried is “Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.” I would repeat that each time I started to worry. Good luck and I will be praying for you during the study.

  174. There were several lines that spoke to my heart. I am going through a long and difficult divorce. I struggle with anxiety attacks daily. Here are the lines that spoke to me.

    The unknown is too scary. Although you have been miserable, at least the misery is familiar with where you are now.

    Take me beyond believing in You to truly believing You. Those who hope in You will not be disappointed
    becasue You work all things together for those who love You and are called according to Your purpose.

    I will be giving up computer time to immerse myself in this study. I feel a hope in my soul that I have not felt in such a long time

    • Connie-
      I, too, have been dealing with anxiety recently. I will be praying for you. It’s scary.

      And yet I found a new hope last week in the fact that God is using this to tell me I need to trust Him more. Odd, isn’t it?!

    • Kyrie Eléison says:

      Connie I struggle with anxiety and depression. The anxiety came first, and then the depression. I have been suffering anxiety for over 15 years, so I understand how horrible attacks can be. I am so glad this study is giving you hope. I am feeling good about this study too. I will be praying for you, please pray for me too. I could really use prayer right now…

      • Robin Padgett says:

        Kyrie, Connie, & Missi, I also struggle with anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. I am like you Kyrie, my anxiety & panic attacks came first and I have been dealing with them for about 20 years and for depression about 10. I feel good about this study as well. I will be praying for you girls. I have written your names down. Please pray for me as well.

  175. MY biggest take away for me was the sentence…”to go beyond believing IN him to believing HIM!! I know Jesus is my Lord and savior but to rest in his promises and that they actually apply to me! that is huge for me.

    as for what I will give up…I will commit to this every day, I will not do anything before I do my lesson each day is my sacrifice. To not do the housework or watch tv or Facebook etc..

  176. I am so thankful for this study. I purchased the book when it first came out and started reading it, but stopped and went on to another study. I believe this is the time God wants me to get out of the shadows of doubting my self-worth and my worth to Him. I have lived in that big nine foot shadow all my life, never feeling good enough to be worthy of anything, much less God’s love. He is bringing me through a journey that I’ve been on for the last couple of years with family problems, unemployment, battling my life-long weight issues, and now cancer. But I know He is in control and this is the time He wanted me to do this study. I pray that I will be able to have that confident heart that I desire and that I can believe Him, not just believe in Him. So many memories from 50+ years ago came rushing back when I read your fears of being left at the carousel or in the lake skiing. I am so thankful for you Renee and for the work God IS going to do in me and other women in this study. I am going to give up mindless time on the computer in my sewing forums and replace it with something that will give me eternal peace. Time with Lord. I want to be a woman who lives it and truly believes in my heart that I am worth God’s love. Thank you again.

    • Angie, We are praying for you, sweet Sister! Asking Jesus to be your Almighty Healer and to remove the cancer from your body. Oh, that He would be your Comforter when your heart is heavy and your body feels weak. Thank you for doing this study with us. We love that you’re joining us and choosing to walk in the confidence of God’s promises!

    • I will be praying for you. I am so glad you are here and doing this study.

    • thankful for your commitment to see this through, angie! also praying for you and for God to bless you and heal you. <3

  177. Shari Herrington says:

    I enjoyed this chapter a lot. One thing that really stood out to me right away was on p. 22 when Renee wrote, “You can only see the shadow because you have turned away from the light.” That is SO true! When we turn our focus off away from God, that is when we are most susceptibleto attacks and hearing those voices of insecurity.

    I enjoyed the scripture passages for this chapter as well, especially Jeremiah 17:7. I actually read Jeremiah 17:5-10 and that is a very powerful passage! God knows our hearts and the true us. We can put up fronts for other people and pretend like things are just great, but God truly knows all and sees all. Yet, I know that there are times that I try to put up a front with God – silly me! It is time to get real and time to let Him truly take the lead and use me as He wants.

    I also really appreciated the prayer at the end of the chapter. I think I am going to type it up and put it by the door of my bedroom so I can see and pray it daily. Thanks, Renee!

    • Shari,

      I love your idea of posting the prayer on your bedroom door so that you can be reminded of God’s promises every morning before you start your day! Great idea :-)

  178. I’ve been reading your comments this morning and love the way y’all are encouraging one another. It’s so wonderful to see Jesus’ girls supporting each other!!

  179. I am so excited for this study! Due to the very odd schedule I keep at work, I am unable to join in with my Ladies’ Bible Study at church. I was blessed knowing just how many other people are joining this online journey together. It doesn’t matter that I can’t see you…your words are amazing!

    TRUST & HOPE are two words weighing on my heart lately. So this paragraph was impactful. “These are the voices of insecurity that cast shadows of doubt over our perspective and keep up from becoming the women we want to be – the women God created us to be. Self-doubt blocks the promise of God’s power and TRUTH to change us from the inside out so that we can live with a confident heart.”

    I hear God calling me closer to Him but something is holding me back. Satan knows Christ can make a living difference in me and those around me. He’s trying to weave his way into my thoughts. It’s been a consuming thing these past few weeks. Thinking about all the negative and things that could go wrong. I’m tired of it. This study has come at just the right time.

    Granted, my work schedule is gearing up these next few weeks. But I’m wanting to use the odd breaks in my day to work through this study and encounter God in a whole new way!

    Oh…I absolutely love this statement: “…we can be confident we are praying God’s will when we pray God’s Word!”

    • Missi, We are so excited that you’re joining us for this study! God wants to free you from those “negative and what if” thoughts. I believe we can all find hope and joy as we keep our hearts focused on Jesus and turned away from the shadows of doubt.

  180. Stephanie RIchardson says:

    This is a great study. I haven’t received my book I ordered yet so I went on Amazon and got the Kindle edition so I could get started. I like the sentence that says you can only see the shadow when you have turned away from the light. It’s like Peter taking HIs eyes off of Jesus who is the light. Looking forward to becoming a woman with a confident heart.

  181. I am a single mom to 2 and 3/4 adult children. I have a son 29, daughter 24 and another son 17 (he’s the 3/4) :). At this point in my life, I’ve been single again for about 3 years and they have been filled with doubt, fear and a total loss of confidence in myself. I’ve questioned my ability as a wife and a mother. I look at my oldest son who was brought up in a Christian home, a leader in his youth group who is now claiming to be an athiest and is an alcoholic,is into self mutilation and I fear into drugs. My daughter raised the same way is not quite as bad, but is trying to ride the fence between the world and God. My 17 year old is about to graduate from high school and plans on going into the navy and work his way through to be a chaplain. All was going so well with him overall, and two weeks ago he seriously rebelled against me for the first time in his life. I should be thankful that it’s the first time and in a way I am, but it was so devastating. Looking at all of that began to make me question my ability as a Godly mother.

    Now, I am embarking on this new phase in my life and to be completely open, at a risk, I’m scared to death and don’t know how to deal with being all alone. I know that I have God. It’s just that most of my other friends that are about to go through this empty nest thing have spouses and they just don’t get it. I’m afraid of so many things that come along with this. I’m going to have to size down from a four bedroom house in the country to a one bedroom government section 8 housing. I have physically limitations that make me wonder how I’m going to get through when I can’t get out of bed for days. And then what happens when I have to have my upcoming surgery and none of my kids are around to help. I have a church family, but I just can’t ask that much of them.

    At any point, I find myself at the lowest point of my life. I used to be so free and confident in Christ and who I am in Him, but over the years of abuse and so on, I’ve lost that along the way. I’m praying fervently that this study will help me replant my feet upon the solid Rock that is higher than I!

    • hi there, maryjo. i am reminded of what paul wrote in 2 corinthians chapter 12: “three times i pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. but He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” therefore i will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. for the sake of Christ, then, i am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. for when i am weak, then i am strong.” we (moms, wives, christian sisters) so often place upon ourselves the burden of those around us. and so very often…there simply is nothing that we can ‘do’ to make the situation change. but we can always pray and intercede. and prayer is always effective because of Whom we are praying to.
      i pray that, as God hears your cry, He will continue to reach to you with merciful compassion and grace and healing and deliverance. <3

    • Mary Jo, you certainly can ask for help from your church family! I believe that when we feel we are imposing or draining others, Satan is robbing us from an opportunity to experience Christ’s love in a tangible way- and we are keeping others from an opportunity to serve and to be obedient to Christ. Let yourself be vulnerable, and let others love on you in Christ’s name during this difficult time.

    • Sarah Eaton says:

      Mary Jo, Lydia G is so right. I am on disability and for the longest time I thought I couldnt ask for help from my church family. The reality was I was denying them the chance to be the blessing that God was calling them to be. Another lesson I learner was that it is so much easier for the person doing the blessing to know what I needed than to try and guess. I know it wont be easy to ask for help, but trust meit is worth it. And it is only a matter of Gods timing when you will be able to return a blessing back to someone who helped you or pay it forward to someone else.

      • Karen in PA says:

        Not asking for help is just another way we “hide our doubts” The Bible teaches us to Humble ourselves before the Lord. This has been very hard for me to do as well. I am praying that this study will help me grow in this area. I do not want to appear weak to others, when inside I am falling apart, but I can never admit it to anyone.

        • Mary Jo, I want to pass on, remember: God loves your kids even more than you do. He feels your pain – He also has you in His hands, and them in His plans.
          And Karen, that is exactly my problem – totally falling apart inside, but no one knows.

  182. What a great first chapter. Makes me excited to read the rest!
    I know this is an odd sentence to stick out…but I highlighted “We’ll look back so we can move forward, and talk about how we got to his place of being SO HARD ON OURSELVES.” When you asked in question 5 about what hinders us from living with God-confidence, this is what came to mind. I am so hard on myself. I want perfection…right NOW! God is reminding me that I am a work in progress. So thankful He keeps working on me. I’m excited to see what lessons He has in store for me in this study. ;-)

    • Oh yeah! Hi my name is Veronica and I am a recovering perfectionist!!!! I have to say that hindered me soooo much and I never realized it until this study. It’s still something I have to take to the Lord daily otherwise I get off track but I too love that I am a work in progress. Enjoy the study!! Will pray for you.

  183. Kristen Barkdull says:

    Ladies,
    It is so encouraging to know that there are other women out there who are dealing with doubt, depression, anxiety, etc. It feels so good to know that I am not alone. I do not have very many close friends. My best friend is my boyfriend to be honest. And while that is great, sometimes I miss having a girlfriend to talk things out with. I would love to make some new christian friends in this journey. I pray for each of you; that God will speak to you and help heal of you. If anyone would like to chat outside of this blog I will post my e-mail: kristen_lee_68@yahoo.com. I welcome anyone if you are feeling alone and just want to talk about life or would like to talk more about this study. I am so blessed to be involved in this study and I look forward to the next few weeks!
    God Bless!

    • Kristen, so thankful that God has pointed you to this study. There are a lot of “me too’s” out there that struggle with the same doubts and same anxieties that you have. We just need to remember to pray for each other and never forget God’s promise that HE will never leave us nor forsake us. Praying for you and can’t wait to see how God works in your heart as the study continues.

  184. So many sentences stuck out to me in chapter one. I think the concept of BELIEVING God rather than believing IN him is so key for me. Today as I answered the reflection questions of Chapter one…I decided to answer them in a way that was more like writing an entry in a journal…it seems like more “stuff” comes out that way instead of trying to give a flat answer. I ended up writing four pages in my journal…which was really good. Doubt and insecurity has been a way of life for me most of my life…and I have masked it, so well that people don’t see me as insecure. Boy are they wrong!! I know this journey will be word…it’ll be hard work…digging deep into the roots of my doubt and insecurity. However, I am ready!! I want to be the kind of woman I described in my journal who is confident!!

    • Awesome Cherie….so glad you are here in this study. I agree, journaling for me helps me to get so much more out of the chapter. I am glad I am not the only one who writes pages and pages when I get to writing :) It will be worth every minute of hard work, I promise you that! Praying for you.

      • Laurie Tetzloff says:

        Veronica, I write lots in my journal, too. I love to write. I can’t wait to get “A Confident Heart” in my mailbx.

        Sisters in Christ,

        Laurie :)

  185. I think one of the passages that I most identified with was “Doubt keeps us from believing things can get better. Doubt convinces us that it’s not worth the effort. Doubt shouts from the sidelines:
    ‘It’s too hard.’
    ‘You might as well quit.’
    “Go ahead and give up. Just close the book now and walk away.’”

    Wow, that sounds like the voices in my head. I am so thankful for the free download on my Kindle. I had been wanting to get the book for awhile but this past year, we’ve had a lot of financial problems with my husband having two major surgeries and a job loss because of it. I do not make friends easily and two of my best friends have moved to different states in the past several years. I have a 2-year-old son and hardly any close, soul-sister friends in the same season of life as I am. However, I do have one friend (she has a 2-year-old daughter) who used to be in a singles Bible study with me before we were both married and we are wanting to start up a young mom’s Bible study this summer. I am thinking of using this book for the study! I know that most women struggle with doubt. I, personally, know that God can do ANYTHING but I doubt whether He’ll do it for ME. Not sure where I get that, but that’s a struggle.

    I look forward to the coming chapters/weeks.

    • God, I thank you for Leann and pray that you would empower her in mighty ways. Remove her “stinking thnking” about herself that is not of you and replace those thoughts with your truths and promises. Guard her thoughts when the lies of Satan creep in. Cause her to throw away those thoughts that are not yours. Encourage her. Take those doubts that she has about leading a group and increase her confidence in you and in herself as she moves from one chapter to the next. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

  186. Several lines/verses spoke to me but the main one was like several others about moving from believing in Him to really believing in Him. I need to go from “reading” the Word to really studying the Word and meditating on it. I think this will help me to make that transition. I am such a task oriented person that I feel more accomplished if I can read through several chapters of the Bible instead of just focusing on what verse/scripture/story – whatever it may be and staying there until I really receive what God wants me to receive. I am going to try (really hard) lol to get up earlier in the morning to “ponder” one verse from something I have read the previous day.

    Blessings to you all and I pray that each and every one of us gets out of this study what we put in, and more!

    • Kelly, i understand that. I have read the whole Bible cover to cover probably 5 or 6 times but I never really took it in, I didn’t let the Word speak to me. It’s hard for me to stay on a short passage when I really want to keep reading. I haven’t found the best way to go about this yet for me, I have tried different techniques but I still end up reading ahead. Good luck on your goal, I will be praying for you.

  187. I have let doubts push me so low I am on medication. God has been telling me to get that I am love and I need to start loving myself as he loves me. But there again My doubts. Why Bother cleaning up you’ll never get finished. Don’t try for that better job you are not qualified.

    BUT THAT STOPS NOW

    I will start loving myself. Thank you for this study to help me find my footing

    • Father God, I lift Kay up to you ask that you would feel her to overflowing with your promises and your confidence. Take away those thoughts that fill her mind that aren’t of you and fill her with your promises that we know and recognize to be truth. Cause her to focus her thoughts on you. With each turn of the page of A Confident Heart give her a deeper understanding of Whose she is and who you are in her. Let Kay see herself as you see her. Encourage her. Empower her. Fill her. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

    • I too am in that given-up phase. Except obviously I didn’t give up, because God didn’t give up on me. He led me to find first this free kindle book, and then the on-line study to go with it. Thank You, God! (And Renee!)

  188. Whether we call it self doubt, fear or insecurity….God does not intend it for us.
    I have read Renee’s book but have never done the online study. Her book has helped me: God is using her. I am so grateful for her obedience to him.
    I look forward to this study and anticipate further great awakenings and freedom!
    We were made in the image of God. The distorted image (page 7) is just that when we think ourselves to be any less than the miracle God created when he formed us in our mother’s womb.
    We are good enough. Those who say we are not, have their own issues and we should be praying for them instead of allowing their poison to pierce our very souls.
    We need to believe in ourselves….life can and will be different.
    (There you have it….my pep talk to me….shared with you.) :0)

  189. Renee-

    thank you for the opportunity to participate in this study. I have recently taken a step toward really having a relationship with the Lord and getting to know Him. I too, have struggled with insecurity and doubt. Its always a huge shadow over myself…whether I’m getting ready while putting on my makeup (that passage spoke to my heart…I hear ya girl…that is me totally). But, also with the doubt of “I can’t do this…I can’t walk with God…nor can I heal”. See, I’m in recovery to heal from the emotional abuse of my parents I have suffered and continue to suffer. I was never told to trust God…or even have confidence in myself because someone always knew better than I did (that was what I was told). So, this is a huge step for me. I know that some things need to be cut shorter right now so I can delve in this study and get to know some of the women here so we can interact together. Its been hard for me to get out and meet women who are believers given how intensive and exhausting my therapy has gotten. so, I look forward to walking with ya’ll as we move through this together. Some of my TV time at night will be given us, as will going to bed earlier so I can wake up earlier and spend some time learning God’s word and reading how Renee writes to us. I love her style of writing and how its just like she’s sitting down talking to me like girlfriends do. Bless everyone…we are in this together..and we will overcome insecurity and doubt!

    • Brooke, welcome to the study. I am so glad you are here and taking this step. And as for Renee’s style of writing, I can tell you it truly is just like she is sitting down talking to you. She is just like that in person, makes you feel that you are the most important person.

      I will be praying for you throughout the study Brooke. I can’t thank God enough for bringing you here to us and having you participate in this study. We WILL overcome insecurity and live with CONFIDENCE!!!!

  190. Kristen Barkdull says:

    There is a line from chapter one that spoke to me. It is a little random but it explains what I feel like I have been missing. It is: “If you are looking for a friend you can trust with the things of your heart, this book is a great place to start”. As I have mentioned before I have very few friends and not any that are really very close (girl friends at that). This sentence spoke to me and I pray God will bring friends into my life who can be the friend I need; someone to be there for me, someone I can talk to; some one who will not judge me. And in return I will be that friend for them.
    Once again I look forward to learning and growing with you ladies in this study!
    God bless!

  191. The statement that stood out most to me was: “Turn back to The Light”! I had journaled while reading Chapter 1, this scripture – “I have no greater JOY than this: to hear My children are walking IN The TRUTH”!:)
    3 John 1:4 I’ve had far too many ‘shadows’ dictating my past and I could SO relate to your honest ‘confessions’ in Chapter 1. I too am working hard to keep ‘turning back to the light’ and away from those distorted lurking ‘shadows of doubt’!
    As I came to your comment blog, this was the very scripture I saw on your fb post!:) I thank God, and you, for offering this study and this book! Upon first reading the offer, I had committed to take the time to do this study with you and others, even tho as I’m certain with all of us, we are BUSY women! I’m not ‘giving up’ anything to commit my time to these ‘truth treasures’!…..well, maybe just a little housework!:)…that can wait…this can’t!:)
    Blessings to you and your family, as you take the time to lead us on this ‘heart healthy-fit & active’ journey!:)

  192. I am very excited to be joining this study and to be a part of this group. I have always been very anxious about everything and constantly worry and doubt my actions and decisions. I am looking forward to becoming a more confident Christian through this study. I saw a saying today that really stuck with me: Pray hardest when it is hardest to pray!

    • Kristen Barkdull says:

      I feel the same way. I worry about things way to much. I need to learn to give it to Him and let him handle it. I too look forward to becoming a more confident Christian from this study. I pray that God uses this study to help us all grow and learn.
      God bless!

  193. Monica Crane says:

    What sentences in Chapter 1 connect with you or resonate with your heart? What might you cut back on to make time for Him and yourself these next several weeks?

    I highlighted several sentences that caught my heart …

    “Doubt keeps us from believing things can get better. Doubt convinces us that it’s not worth the effort.” – This really struck a cord with me because it made me realize that when I don’t think things are getting better that it is probably because I have doubt that it will … That was very eye opening !!!

    “He’s led me beyond believing in Him to really believing Him by relying on the power of His words and living like they are true no matter what my feelings tell me.” – I have read this somewhere before and it is so powerful. I can believe IN Him all day long but do I really believe Him … Do I really believe what he is telling me or that His word is true? I tend to rely on just my belief in Him and don’t focus on what He is saying to me !!!

    “One way God tells us that confidence will come is when we ask Him for what is already part of His will.” – Pray for His will … Not what you want !!!

  194. “But I’ve found that when I choose to dwell in the assurance of Whose I am and who I am in Him, I have a confident heart.”
    This is so true. When I keep my thoughts on my Lord I can do anything. If I look around and depend on people to make me feel good, I am often disappointed. There are many people in my life and each one can have a different opinion. There is One God and He loves me! :)

    • Oh that is a big one, other people disappointing us – that was a huge thing for me too. It is so freeing to know that you only have to please God and that He does indeed love us :) will be praying for you.

  195. I forgot to add what I will be doing. I am going to do what was suggested in getting before God for 15 minutes each day. I pray often for others, but not enough praying and seeking what God has for me. I started today!

  196. I am going to be working on a morning routine for me, I think if things are better managed then I will be able to be more productive and have more time set aside for God’s Word.

    I connected with the sentence….I avoided some great opportunities beacause they brought the risk of rejection. I have always felt like this…..So reading this, I knew I was meant to be here in this study.

  197. Dallena Hess says:

    I’m loving this bible study and am thankful for the circumstances aligned for me to want to participate. I love how this griup is encouring each other already.

    There’s a song called “The Voice of truth and the 2nd stanza remindes me of what doubts tend to do:

    But the giant’s calling out my name and he laughs at me
    Reminding me of all the times I’ve tried before and failed
    The giant keeps on telling me
    Time and time again, ‘Boy, you’ll never win!’
    ‘You’ll never win!’

    But the voice of truth tells me a different story
    The voice of truth says, ‘Do not be afraid!’
    And the voice of truth says, ‘This is for my glory’
    Out of all the voices calling out to me
    I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

    I’m planning on spending less time on facebook and reading other books. I think God is calling me to do more scripture memorization.

    • Great song- hadn’t thought of it in connection to this, but it definitely fits! Thanks for the reminder!

  198. christine lowe says:

    I am struggling to connect with my church family and often don’t go to church or bible study b/c it feels like it doesn’t matter if I’m there or not. I asked Jesus to be my Savior 10/13/03. The person who encouraged me to come to her bible study, my first ever, was the catalyst for becoming a christian. She became my best friend and we shared more than I have ever shared with anyone and I know it’s b/c of our God connection. She died Dec14 of last year and I feel lost . I’m hoping this bible study will help me find my way back to the arms of Jesus.

    • Karen in PA says:

      Christine It does matter if you are there with your church family. Just go and keep going. God loves you, He has his arms stretched out to you right now. He wants to wrap you up in His love. Go to church, pray cry out to Him, you are His, He will listen.

      I think we are all Sisters in Christ here at the Study and I pray you will find a connection and feel loved by this online communtiy :)

      Lord God I want to lift up Christine to you, let her feel herself blanketed in your love. Help her to find a connection with her home church family, comfort her heart Father for the dear friend who has come home to you Lord. Give her comfort and strength to go forward and live in Your Promises. In Jesus’ name Amen

      • christine lowe says:

        Thanks Karen, I needed to hear that. I guess I forget being in church is about God and me and not anyone else. It’s hard to tell people face to face about my doubts. It just seems like all the women are so busy and have their own friends. Maybe God is wanting me to look to Him to fill that void . WOW that was a new thought I don’t think I would have had without this study and your kind comment. Thank you again Karen

  199. Karen in PA says:

    I cannot live in the hope of God’s promises and hang on to my self doubt. I KNOW God’s promises are all true and are for me. I am excited to grow and learn HOW to find the confident heart God gave me, but is now over-laid with a blanket of doubt and fear.

    Lord God, guide me through this study to reveal what I need to heal from past hurts and help me to uncover the couragous heart You gave me. Father bless me with the confidence I need to do your will, to become all You created me to be. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

    Isa 49:23 – Those who hope in me will not be disapponted

  200. Donna from Honolulu, Hawaii says:

    First I’d like to Thank all of you, just reading all the shared thoughts makes me feel much better about me being me, I am one of those women who feels I’ll never be good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough to fit in so I most of the time struggle with my confidence, Many times I get brave enough to get up and get out BUT only if I know who’s going to be there so I can already set myself up- sometimes to fail sometimes to succeed? Funny how DOUBT plays with your head. I believe that doubt keeps us from believing things can get better, Doubt convinces us that it’s not worth the effort!!! BUT after reading chapter 1 I know It’s not supposed to be this way. I love how Renee says “AS GOD’S GIRLS, WE NEED TO KNOW AND BELIEVE THAT CHANGE IS POSSIBLE.” I pray to continue to draw close to Him- and make time for Him daily!

    Aloha-from beautiful Hawaii

  201. Jennifer says:

    The portion of Chapter 1 that spoke to me most strongly was God’s command to Renee to turn back toward the light, to focus on Him – it reminds me of the times in the Bible and times in my life when I turned my focus away from Him and was completely unable to keep going in a way that honored Him. I’m just not able in my own strength. But I can do all things in His strength — Abba, please change me and guide me to be focused on You and Your perfect will for my life – one baby step at a time. I have a game that I’m easily obsessed by on my ipad, and I commit to minimizing my time on it to make time to spend on this study, working hard to build a confident heart that honors Him. Thanks, Renee! :)

  202. Sarah H. says:

    It has been a long time since I have been in a bible study. I didn’t figure I would get much out of it. Boy Chapter 1 hit me like a brick!!! I will begin by answer the questions that were asked.

    1) Earliest Memory of doubting yourself or feeling insecure? ANSWER: I suppose when I had to (with my brothers help) make all the Thanksgiving meal when I was a young teenager because my mother was drunk. (I had to call long distance to my oldest sister for advice on how to cook the turkey)

    2) Has Insecurity ever kept you from doing something? ANSWER: All the time. I always feel not good enough. I always see myself as have failed before I even try to do what ever it is.

    3) Describe How it makes you feel when doubt whispers:
    “I can’t do this” ANSWER: I won’t do it right. I am not qualified. I must have been crazy to say I could.

    “Things will never change” ANSWER: Aint that the truth!

    “My life isn’t going to get any better” ANSWER: I made my bed, now I got to lay in it.

    “It’s too hard” ANSWER: I don’t want to try

    “I might as well quit” ANSWER: I deserve it anyway. (to not do it to begin with)

    4) Describe what happens in your heart when you read Gods Words:

    “Those who hope in me will not be disappointed” Isa 49:23 ANSWER: Not talking to me

    “See I am doing a new thing” Isa 43:19 ANSWER: For someone else.

    “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” Rom 8:28 ANSWER: I know this is the truth, but somewhere in my mind, this promise is set aside for an elite group of people that I am not a part of.

    “All things are possible to (her) who believes” Mark 9:23NASB ANSWER: I know this to be truth also, but sometimes I feel that my mountains are SO BIG that God just doesn’t have time to help me or that He expects me to do more for myself before He helps.

    5a) What do you think hinders you most from living with God-confidence on a constant basis? ANSWER: Personal trials that are with me on a daily basis.
    5b) Is there a promise listed above that speaks to your greatest need right now? ANSWER: Not really. I’ve had so many needs for so many years, that I feel it is just my lot in life to struggle. Then I went back and re read those verses and the following touched me. Hebrews 10:39

    6)How would you describe a woman with a confident heart? ANSWER: Extremely Blessed and Loved. (small amount of envy on my part, realizing that it is wrong to envy, but all the same, I am trying to be honest with my feelings, even if they are not in line with a Christ like spirit)

    7a) Read Jeremiah 17:7 What does this verse promise and encourage you to do?
    7b) Think of one situation where you could live in the power of this promise and describe what that would look like his week. ANSWER: I don’t know why I wrote this down but this is what I wrote, “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.”

  203. I love the part of turning towards / away from the light. I got such a visual on that. I am seeking God to find places to pull a little more time out each day for Him. He is way more mportant and worth anything else I could be doing.

    • Lynn, I share the same thought about the turning toward/away from the light section. So often we can remain in the familiar darkness and never warm our faces with the light of God’s love. It is sooo beneficial for us to make time to pray and seek God.

  204. I have participated in A Confident Heart online study twice- the first time with Melissa Taylor, and the second time with Renee Swope. I am even starting to read through this book a third time, I love it so much. I was having an insecure week last week for whatever reason, and when I checked my email, my daily devotion from Proverbs 31 Ministries was written by Renee that day… The verse that was in it was Hebrews 10:39: “We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.” This was exactly what I needed to hear and be reminded of… I wrote this verse down and have carried it with me as a reminder that I am a confident woman in and only through Jesus Christ who gives me strength every day. Thank you Renee for teaching me how to live in the security of God’s promises every day!!

  205. I’m glad to begin this Bible Study. The sentence in chapter 1 about the paralyzing power that doubt can have, really resonated with me. It’s funny how I can be confident in many of the other areas of my life, but when it comes to God and His plan for my life, I just get stuck, blank out…almost like I need a script on how to live my life in God, instead of trusting what I is in my heart, what I have learned from God. I’m looking forward to journeying through this and maturing from the process.

  206. Someone in Turmoil and Struggling to Overcome It says:

    The following quotes are the sentences that spoke the most to me in chapter 1:

    These are the voices of insecurity that cast shadows of doubt over our perspective and keep us from becoming the women we want to be— the women God created us to be. Self-doubt blocks the promise of God’s power and truth to change us from the inside out so that we can live with a confident heart.

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

    God declares with confidence that things can change— “See, I am doing a new thing!” “I am working all things together for good, because you love me and are called according to my purpose.” All things are possible to [her] who believes” (Isa. 43:19, Rom. 8:28; Mark 9:23 NASB).

    These verses really spoke to me because:
    I have battled depression and self-esteem issues since childhood, I have one ex-husband (who was verbally, emotionally and sexually abusive…no children with this marriage) and I am going through a divorce (one child with this marriage) currently due to verbal and emotional abuse that was on the verge of turning physical on me and had turned physical on my child.

    I am battling feelings of worthlessness and feeling judged by friends and church members for my decision to get a divorce yet again. My first marriage no one questioned my decision because the signs of abusive when impossible to ignore. This time my husband is willing to give the shirt off his back to help anyone, goes to church and overall acts like a decent person in public. It’s the behind closed doors and in intimate setting with family and close friends so it seems that most people aren’t understanding my decision. The state I live in doesn’t have legal separation or I would have gone that route but I have to do what I am doing to protect me and my son. I keep praying that God will heal me, my son and my husband. I can’t concentrate at work, home or church. I find myself forgetting things and making excuses to not do things that I used to enjoy. I don’t feel like I can worship God or ask him for help because I am going to be divorced yet again. I know that I am not perfect and that somethings that were wrong in our marriage are my fault…but I can’t keep living with being told I’m stupid, ugly, dumb, unimportant, and worse that I will not post hear. I can’t keep living with my son being told the same things and getting slapped around. I feel like a failure though because I don’t feel like I protect my son or my marriage.

    Reading those quotes from the book above and going through the prayer, bible verses and chapter one questions has helped to see that all those things are just Satan trying to keep me from having a confident heart. As I was going through them I finally cried and truly asked God to help me overcome these feelings and to show me His will for my life.

    I thank you for your prayers and support in advance as we go through this study.

  207. Ya’ll are amazing – seriously amazing!! It’s 9:30 Tues night and I’m reading through all your comments and praying. Once again wanting to send a hug and a little note to each of you but then how do I choose. As your shepherd/leader/friend I am writing this to each of you but want you to feel like it’s just to you – that I’m pausing and looking you in the eyes and saying : I am so glad you are here!!

    Do you know how thrilled Jesus is that you are doing this?? That you are identifying what is going on – that you are letting HIM show you the destruction of the enemy’s lies and giving HIM room in your thoughts to speak of HIS Love for you – to banish the doubts and fears and remind you that YOU ARE REDEEMED. And in time as you trust HIM your hope will be RESTORED!!!

    I’ll be back tomorrow (Weds) with our word of the week and a REALLY IMPORTANT video message I don’t want you to miss. See you then. LOVE YOU SO!!!

    • Thank you so much for doing this online. It is great that I can follow along, comment and be a part of it at my conveniece. Praying!!

  208. Kristi R. says:

    I think I was born doubting myself. I too have wondered if I am good enough, have allowed my feelings of doubt to rob me of joy, and I don’t want to pass this legacy on to my children. I am so looking forward to learning how to really believe God instead of just believing in Him!!!

  209. Hey everyone. I’m still trying to figure out what to give up…I’m going through a tough time right now so giving up TV seems too difficult. But, Jeremiah 17:7-9 really spoke to me. Cursed we are if we trust in our fellow men, and , oh yeah, I guess that applies to trusting in myself, or even my husband too. Trust and confidence is in God alone. How humbling when I realize how much trust I still put in myself (with God’s help of course) instead of solely on Him. Confidence is my boys running at me and jumping even when I’m not looking, expecting me to catch them. I want to be that way with God.

  210. The sentences in Chp. 1 that really resonated in my heart were, “God doesn’t want us stuck in a cycle of defeat or living in the shadow of doubt” and “He’s led me beiyond believing in Him to really believing Him by relying on the power of his words and living like they are true no matter what my feelings tell me.”

    It is so easy to get caught up in the cycle of life and forget who can calm our fears and take on our “mess”! As I continue studying God’s word and really realizing His promises for me, I’m finding it easier to cast my fears upon Him in ALL things (big & small). When I release these issues/concerns and lay them @ His feet, I experience such peace! This doesn’t mean that I don’t have ongoing moments of doubt or defeat, but thank God I am learning to believe Him and His promises.

    This leads me to Romans 8:28, sums it up for me! I’m looking forward to growing in this study.

  211. Thanks so much Renee for your book and this study! So excited to go on this journey with so many of God’s Girls! The part that struck me was “you can only see the shadow because you have turned away from the light”. This reminds me that I am most doubtful when I don’t go to God as often and aren’t looking to the light as often as I should. I’m hoping this study will kick start me to having that quiet time with God and his word each day. I had done this years before but have gotten out of the habit. I’ve been doubting myself for years but am excited for the equipping process to begin!
    Walking toward the light!

    • That line about not looking at the light resonated with me too. Like when Peter took his eyes off Jesus and looking at the waves began to sink, that is me when my focus is on things or circumstances rather than on God. I sink into doubt and worry. God’s promises from his word calm my shaken heart.

  212. I am so excited to see God work through this book & bible study for all of us! It’s crazy to see how many of us struggle with the same issues. I never thought of myself as controlling, but oh have I learned over the last few years that I am just that. Even though it hurts, Praise God for opening my eyes! One of the first sentences that got my attention was “doubt was distorting my thoughts & overpowering my emotions…” I have let my emotions run way too much in my life. I’m just learning this as well – your emotions are will change in an instant & they are not to be trusted. The only constant that I can count on is my Abba Father. I’m not sure why it has taken this long for this truth to sink in, probably that control thing again! Another point that hit home was “He’s led me beyond believing in Him to really believing Him…” …wow!!! I have sat back & thought about how much I really believe His promises. I’ve read over many, but how many have settled deep within me that can carry me through…how much have I really believed what I read? Please Lord help me with trusting you in it all!

  213. Hello Everyone!

    I am so happy to be doing this study with you. I look forward to the interaction with you and the knowledge I will gain over the next few weeks.
    This study could not have come at a more opportune time! When I learned about it I was in the process of booking an appointment with a clinical psychologist because my confidence and self-esteem have been at an all time low recently. I decided to put that on hold and do this study instead and already God has been revealing so much to me, not only through Renee’s work, but also through so many other avenues. It is simply amazing. We serve a magnificent God!

    One of the major themes that stood out for me in chapter 1 was doubt. I live my life in defeat thinking that this low feeling might be all there is to life; that this self-doubt will haunt me forever; that nothing will ever fill me up and I absolutely hate the thought of living like this for the rest of my life. My doubt makes me question my faith. I pray hoping that things will change but I say “amen” and still… nothing. That’s one of the reasons I am reading this book: in the hope that as my confidence builds so will my faith. I am leaving myself open to all the possibilities that God has in store for me. One other avenue reminded me yesterday to “Take captive every thought and make it obedient unto Christ” 2 Cor 10:5. In an effort to rid myself of this doubt, instead of downing myself and focusing on the negatives in a situation, I have resolved to acknowledge what I could have done differently and be proud of and focus what I did right.

    I am depending on God to fill mine and your hearts with confidence as we study, dialogue and pray together and as we open up and surrender completely to Him

    Kelita

  214. I’m really enjoying this book. I think one of the best things about this study is knowing I’m not alone in this struggle. Its beautiful to read other women’s posts and know that the Lord is bringing us together and planning on redeeming past hurts and insecurities that have robbed us form knowing Him more fully.

    The line that stuck out to me the most during chapter one was the verse in Hebrews at the very beginning. “So don’t throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.” -Hebrews 10:35-36-

    This past year, I’ve been working at a job that has really shook my confidence to the core. I find myself worrying about what my colleagues think about me and worrying about whether or not I’m doing a good job. The past couple of weeks, I feel like I’ve heard God say “Don’t throw your confidence away.” My worth is from God, not the opinions of others. I just wish I could take that from a head level to a heart level.

  215. Maria Martens says:

    I have seen this book available for some time now, and have been reading your posts on FB, now that it’s available on Kindle, I have purchased your book and am already so enjoying your thoughts and the truths that come from the Word of God:-) my family and I are missionaries in the City of Prague, C.R. books like this are simply not available in any book stores, Thank God for kindle!
    I look forward what God will teach me about the confidence I can have because of his promises!
    I am so thankful to the Lord for obedient servants like yourself Renee, and so thankful for HIS HOLY SPIRIT to minister to us.

    Anticipating much growth.

  216. Terri Snowbarger says:

    My struggle is having confidence and trust in God. Yes I know he cares for me, loves, will never leave nor forsake me. I need to get this head knowledge into a heart knowledge. I have been living in the shadow of doubt long enough. This shadow is not only distorting my image, but also the image of God. My prayer is that I will remain in the God’s light.

    • christine lowe says:

      Hi Terri
      I know what you mean about knowing a thing in your head but not making it to your heart. I always felt like there was something wrong with me b/c I felt that way. My prayer is that we will both come to integrate our heads and our hearts where God is concerned.

  217. To Someone in Turmoil:

    Protecting your son and getting out of an abusive situation is doing the right thing. God does not want you to suffer. You might consider making a fresh start at a new church. This will allow you to surround yourself with a new chosen family who has not been fooled by your husband about his character. I will pray for you right now. Blessings to you. You can do this!

  218. I am trying so hard to give up TV and internet time to draw closer to God. The statement that made me sit up and take notice was God whispering to Renee’s: You can only see the shadow because you have turned away from the light. Turn back toward the light. That is what I need to do…turn back toward the light.

  219. What spoke to me most in this chapter is the power the doubt/insecurity has, how loud the whispering actually is to me, and the “paralyzing” effect it can have on me.

    I’m committing to an earlier bedtime with my final moments of the day spent reading either my Bible or something nurturing and quiet conversation with God.

  220. This is a great study. I really am enjoying your 7-Day Doubt Diet too. This study has gotten me to recognize when I have negative thoughts, and try to replace them with positive, biblical ones. I am still working on the 2nd part. Just yesterday, I was thinking I commented on the confident study blog, and only one person responded. Thoughts started pouring through my mind and heart that no one likes you, what you posted was not good, etc. I am also struggling to let go of a friendship. It has been 2 years since the person decided she doesn’t want to be close anymore, but I still have to interact with her on a daily basis so it is really hard. To go from telling deep secrets to now just saying hello, and that is it. I am also in seminary, and feel God is leading me to get my Master’s in Biblical Studies, but the classes are really hard, and I am not doing as well as I usually do. I am almost failing my greek class, and the final will determine if I fail the class. I have noise in my head and from other’s about why am I doing everything that I am doing, and that it is not what I should be doing. I did not choose to do this degree on my own, but I believe it was the prompting of God, but now I am not sure. I am trying to stay focused on God, but I don’t even know what to pray about anymore. I feel like why even pray for myself, b/c I can’t usually hear God’s response anyway. I can pray for others, and I do see him moving in other’s lives. I just don’t see him moving in mine, but that is probably b/c I am too focused on praying for other’s, comparing myself with others, and listening to others instead of God. Hope you are blessed through this study as well.

    • Hi Jessica ~
      I can so relate to your story. I am/have been in your situation. I sympathize with the friend situation you are in. I had almost the same experience except I do not have to see my friend anymore. I still hurt from our parting, but it makes it so much easier not to have to see her….especially every day.
      I studied for my master’s degree recently and received it in Theological Studies in 2009.
      I believe God called me to study and yes, I found it very difficult as well. Just because it is difficult and challenging, doesn’t mean God doesn’t want you to complete it…usually the opposite. Keep plugging away you are learning the most important material in life.
      As far as what others say to you; stop telling them anything. Tell God instead. He is and wil continue to move in your life. It will not always be evident to you, but try spending more time with him in prayer. Listen; talk and listen….each day. I know it is hard to do with studies, but it is crucial. Studying about God does not replace time with God.
      And definitely stop comparing your self with others. That is very dangerous…as Renee’s study will show you.
      God made you to be you….you are unique…you are wonderfully made and there is no one else like you on this planet.
      Continue to pray for others…also vital. Keep your mind off yourself. Have faith in you and above all, have faith in God.
      I will pray for you. I hope you haven’t minded my “butting in.” I just feel we are so similar.
      Hope I have helped in some small way.
      God bless you as you continue to study His Word. And if you fail Greek, maybe you took on too much at once, maybe Greek is going to be a difficult subject for you. Maybe once you catch on….you will find it easier. Whatever the reason….He is listening to you and He knows what you are going through. Stay close to Him. He is right with you.

      • Judi,
        Thank you so much. Your reply was perfect. Thanks for allowing God to use you to minister to me. You have a lot of great points. Don’t feel bad for “butting in. ” I didn’t see it that way at all. I am grateful for your comment. Hope you are being blessed by the study as well. :)

    • Jessica, I think many women can relate to you with what you are saying. What a trap so many of us fall into on these ‘social networking’ type sites where we equate a lack of response to a lack of caring from others or lack on value in ourselves. But it is a LIE. As far as your difficulties with a friend, I have a good friend who is most definitely one of the most godly, grace-filled women I know. And yet she has gone through that same situation, where her best friend distanced herself and semi-ended the friendship. So PLEASE don’t think it reflects on you that your friend made that choice. This woman I am friends with is a wonderful friend, and I firmly believe that her friend just had issues in her life she didn’t want to be vulnerable about and shut everyone out. I will pray for you and Kyrie E. (I always wanted to name a daughter that!) regarding learning to open yourselves up again and trust. It takes time, and there is nothing wrong with you working through the process.

  221. good morning….this morning I answered the question,”What keeps me from living with a God confidence on a consistent basis?” honestly I can go to bed with God confidence and feel like tomorrow will be a new day. Then I wake up to a sassy teenager, demands that change my plan for the day or the phone ringing with some emergency only I can handle and my God confidence goes right out the door along with my attitude!!! Then I just kick into (what my family calls(cindi-drive) and start leaning on my own understandings. Before I know it it’s the end of the week and I’ve spent most of my days taking care of everything on my own… Can anyone relate?
    Well this morning once again, God revealed His promise, of course after forgiving me for the 1000th + time:
    Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. There is hope for us all!!!! I choose to believe today that those who hope in (Him) will not be disappointed. Praying for a God confidence to be part of your day too!

    • Amen!! I could have written this post! I’m praying that God will stop us in the middle of our chaos & remind us to lean on Him, not ourselves!!

    • I’ll second the Amen!! I always joke that I know He’s at work in my life; if I’d just step out of the way and let Him work!…instead I try to step in and take over! Reading the words by Renee about looking in the mirror and things becoming so distorted. Life can get so busy and hectic. I love those moments when I stop and really listen…because he DOES reveal himself if I would just be still.
      I’m working on taking a step back so that my focus in the mirror is not distorted. I’m trying to get to bed at a decent hour so that I can get up and do my devotion time in the quiet of the early morning. (I’m terrible about staying up too late after everyone has gone to bed, thinking that I’ll get so much done and I never do.)

  222. The sentences that jumped out at me was ” You can only see the shadow because you turned away from the light. Turn back towards the light.” This is extremely powerful and so very true. I am hoping that through reading this book and doing this online study, I will re-train myself to only look towards the light and to overcome the shadow. I am excited to see how God uses this book and online study to draw me closer to Him and show me the confidence I have in Him.

    • Germaine Lee says:

      yes that spoke load for me as well. Oh i cant count the times that i have turned away for God thinking I could do it my self.

  223. Kyrie Eléison says:

    @Jessica April 25, 2012 at 1:32 am, thank you so much for taking the time to reach out to me, on your phone even! All of the support and comments here are so wonderful. I only hope I can be as supportive and helpful to each of you! I think the idea of saying God’s promises over and over is a great one. I want to start praying those promises. Yesterday I took the prayer from chapter one in Renee’s book, and said it, and will probably say it everyday this week, and eventually I hope to remember verses and make up my own prayers as well! I also want to get a book called The Power of Praying Through the Bible by Stormie Omartian. A girl at church was talking about how praying through verses changed how she prays, and how she looked at God’s will for her. I know Renee’s book is already doing this for me too! Thank you for being honest about how you struggle with God’s promises. It helps me feel less alone in that area of my walk. I hope all of you who have responded to me will keep in touch (I know I’ll try :) throughout this study. It would be nice to see how far each of us comes :) Oh, and thanks for the recommendation of Renee’s other book! I got it free too! I haven’t read it yet sadly. I was afraid to, to be honest. I think this study, and people like you, and of course most of all Our Lord Jesus, will give me the courage to make it my next book though! Thanks for your e-mail too! That is so supportive and kind of you! God bless you!

    • Kyrie,,
      You are so welcome. I have come a long way with God’s help. I have been reading a lot of books about finding my confidence in Christ. I have struggled to really believe the truths of God are for me too. The doubt diet book is super short. lol :) It is only 7 days long. I have started doing it over again. Yes, only God’s word and truth can set us free. :)

  224. Kyrie Eléison says:

    “Thoughts started pouring through my mind and heart that no one likes you, what you posted was not good, etc. I am also struggling to let go of a friendship.”

    Oh my goodness Jessica! I thought I was the only one who felt that way on boards like this, or in life in general when people didn’t respond right away, or I didn’t get a post! Seriously, I have become so insecure due to past friendships that I think I will never have any friends who don’t leave or betray me. I have so little trust in people now :( It makes me sad to think that way, and I think it makes God sad too. I am just starting to see through Renee’s book how much more the Bible is in my life, and how much more personal the word of God is than I ever made it though.

    I confess I envy you to be able to study for the ministry. I have always wanted to know more about God, and the languages, etc. To devote myself to study like you. I don’t feel called though, at least not yet, it’s just a desire to learn about Him I think. I think that is why I am here really. To learn about Him and help get to a place where I trust in Him more.

    I can see how hard seminary is on you right now though. I am sure you were right about God calling you to it though. I feel most often when people think they hear the call of God after prayer, they are right. Also, even though you may not feel like you were right about the call sometimes, or have other doubts, just remember this. “God does not call the equipped, He equips the called.” So even if you feel you are not doing well in your studies, or doubting yourself, God will give you all you need! It is just that horrible doubt we are all suffering with that nags at us, and tells us something untrue! It’s ironic though that I can tell you all of this, and be so positive, but in my own life I have the very same doubt problem, and I can’t get myself to do what I am telling you to do :( So just know I am not one of those Christians that has it all together, although I wish I did! Please know I am a broken vessel, but as one person here kindly reminded me, God uses broken vessels .

    I understand your friend situation too. I had a friend for 15 years that I am no longer friends with. It was never a healthy friendship though, and I should have been as thoughtful about it as you are, and seen that much earlier on. However, the way it ended (I tried for a positive ending, but sadly she was angered beyond where I could even say anymore to her as to why it was ended, but I think inside herself, she knew) still makes me sad. I know though that she wasn’t a positive influence on my life in Christ, or my self-esteem. I tried to tell her many times how things hurt me, but it was ignored, and she was fading out of my life as well, just like your friend. I feel your pain, and although I can’t say it will be easy to end your friendship, in the end God will be your comfort, your strength, and the friend you really need. He was there for me during that very sad time in my life, and will be there for you too! I still miss my friend, but I think in all honesty what I really miss is just trusting in a friend. I had trusted in her, and she hurt me, and now I don’t trust :(

    I will be praying for you about school, your friend, and trust. Please pray for me too. Take care. I am here if you need to talk (that goes for the ladies who have already befriended me here, and anyone that needs a shoulder too!). God is with you today, remember that, and let it give you peace.

    • Kyrie, this is a response to one of your comments above, but I couldn’t find it. AMEN on the ‘spiritual’ comments regarding depression. Although I will freely admit that it can be a facet of the issue, depression has so many aspects that it can hardly ever be pinned down to one thing. Know that I, for one, think no less of you as a Christian because you admit to being depressed. I think that Christian women in general have a hard time being open about depression, and as a result I am sure it is far more prevalent within the church than anyone knows. One of the MOST godly women I know has struggled with it. Prayer can help, yes, but sometimes you need counseling and medication to get you over a hump. I struggled in college and I remember my counselor telling me that medication helps to make the mountain a molehill, so you can deal with what’s really there. Sort of like Renee talking about the shadow being bigger than the object. I hope that some of the spiritual truths in this book lift you spiritually, and that you also will not listen to voices discouraging you from pursuing other avenues of healing if you need them (meds or counseling.) Praying for you!

    • Wow, talk about not opening up. You have done a lot of that on here. :) One thing that I have learned is to pray that God will bring godly friends into my life and friendships that will bring him glory. I also pray that He will give me discernment of when to open up to people and when to not. Not everyone is safe to open up to. I have also been learning that it is important not to force friendships because it is very stressful on both parties. Something else I learned from doing all these posts and commenting on here is that it is very hard to comment on everyone’s comments. Another thing is that our worth does not depend on what man says. Our worth depends on what God says. :)

      • Kyrie Eléison says:

        I think you have some very valid, especially in my life, points. I am far too trusting. Right away I think, Oh, we are getting along so well, and she goes to my church, she must be a Christian, surely I can trust her with this. So we talk about our lives and share things, and I think things are going well, the beginning of a new friendship. Then boom! I get hit with gossip, or it is used against me :( I do need to remember not all are safe to open up to. I love being on here because I am using another name (I felt safer that way, well really it is a Latin phrase meaning, “God have mercy”), and can really be myself and open up. I so wish ‘real life’ friendships were that way. They never have been that way for me. I also want to do all things for the glory of Christ, so you had another good perspective on friendship there. I need to allow God to bring people to me, and not seek them out as much. Of course in a bible study setting, or something like that, you are always hopeful, and while not seeking people out, having hope that a good friend will come out of the mix. I confess though that I do move too fast sometimes, and that people may feel like I am “forcing friendships”. So it is good for me to hear all of these things. I don’t mean to do any of these things of course. I am just so excited when I click with someone that perhaps I allow myself to do all of those things which push people away :( I like that you ended your post with reminding me of what God thinks of us as being most important, a wise thing to remember. Thanks for the great post Jessica :)

  225. Renee,
    Everything in the first chapter resonated with me but the story of what God told you when you saw the shadow, “look at the light,” resonated the most with me because with me too doubts lead to distortion. I should remember to look at the light.

    Another thing that resonated with me was the sentence
    “One way God tells us that confidence will come is when we ask Him what is already part of His will.” That tells me that I just have to find promises in the Bible for the things I want God to do in my life and then ask for the fulfillment of those promises.

    I am planning to cut back on sleep so I can connect with God.

    May God bless you.

    Anna

  226. The part that struck me was about how the voices of insecurity stop us from being the women God created us to be.

  227. I am so excited about this online Bible/Book Study! This is just what I need right now! At first I was a little hesitant because just as it is said in the book, I was thinking ” Maybe this isn’t for me, maybe I shouldn’t.” But I am so glad that I went against those thoughts of doubt and have decided to do this.
    After reading the first chapter last night, I knew that God was in this :) of course He is! After reading the key verse for this chapter Hebrews 10:35-36, I watched a preaching and can you believe that the key verse was the exact same one?! Tell me that isn’t God! Both the book and the preaching ministered to me lastnight!

    I have been really struggling with doubts and lack of confidence these past few weeks. I just moved to Texas 3 weeks ago on what I believe is the Will of God and I have been having a battle in m mind as to whether or not this was the right decision for myself and my children. It was bad… But I know that God is speaking and I know that He is doing a new thing for us. I thought about this when I read on page 21″ The unknown is too scary. Although you’ve been miserable, at least the misery is familiar where you are now.” Thats how I was before moving to Texas. I was tired of going in the same cycle for so many years dealing with the same issues, the same drama from the same people and just wanted OUT!! But then here I am and I wanted to return to that. Being out of my comfort zone was not settling in too great for me. But after talking about it with a sister of mine and praying about it, I know that I am to stay in course and allow God to lead me. Because I know the promises and the Word He has given me and so I know that once I have done the Will of the Father, I will receive what He has promised! Wha a REVELATION!!

    I could also relate with what is said on Page 23: “Don’t listen to those thoughts, my friend. God doesn’t want us stuck in a cycle of defeat or living in the shadows of doubt (I was stuck in a cycle! Self doubt, disappointments, broken dreams, broken promises…BUT NO MORE!) He reminds us in Isaiah 49:23 ” Then you will know that I am the Lord. Those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” Also that the scriptures on this page which state that God is working ALL THINGS together for good, because you (we) love Him! and are called according to His purpose.” and “ALL THINGS are possible to (her) who believes.” Hallelujah!! I am super excited! I thank God for this wonderful oppurtunity and CANNOT WAIT to see what He is doing for me….FOR US ALL! God Bless!

    • Germaine Lee says:

      Denisse I can relate. My family had a house fire in last sept. I try to find God hand in everything that happens to me. I heard the Lord tell me once call those things that are not as though they were. Well I started looking arount as I was vaccuming my living room and thought to myself what could he be talking
      about. Well it was the house, but it wasnt that house. We are now in a house that I feel the ways things happened for us to get it was of the Lord. I thnk we are being tested at this moment
      (my husband and I) because we both are out of work with rent that is three times what we were paying.
      although we both are receiving unemloyment God has still provided for us. I tell my husband as encouragement that we really need to just and obey God and He will get us through. He has blessed my family much in our lives.

      • Germaine and Denisse, I am praying for you both tonight! As for God, His plans are perfect! Hold tight to His love and provision for you in the uncertain circumstances you find yourselves in.

  228. Tiffany_Rucker says:

    I’m so excited about Renee’s take on the Samaritan woman in Chapter 1. It’s as if I have fresh eyes to see see new things that I’ve never noticed or thought about in the countless times I’ve read this story before!

    Perhaps Sam did not want just want to be around people for fear of their judgements and condemnation, but more specifically she did not join the women during their travels to the well. God is certainly stirring both conviction about my attitudes and judgements toward others, specifically women while setting me free from worrying about other’s attitudes and judgements about me.

    Also, I loved Renee’s thoughts on the topic of “Surface Level.” I love how Jesus always took the conversation deeper, to the level of Sam’s hurts and where she needed healing, but she wanted to keep it surface level. That is so much like Jesus, getting to the core of who we are.

    Lots and lots of fresh, new thoughts and it is only Chapter One!

  229. Germaine Lee says:

    Hello ladies. what ministered to me the most were the scriptures that were in chapt. 1.
    I love the lord and try to live according to his word, but doubt does stick his ulgy head
    in when situations get rough, or I feel like there is nothing I can do in my own strenght.
    The when you call on the lord not letting waiting on the Lord distract you.

  230. The shadows of doubt haunt me. I love Renee’s example of looking at the shadows instead of looking at Jesus. I have lived in insecurity since early childhood. I am ready to have God restore my confidence in and through Him. My battle verse this week will be – Isaiah 49:23. “Those who hope in Me will not be disappointed.” Come, Lord Jesus into my insecurities and doubt.

  231. The sentence in chapter one that stood out to me was “…let His Word change the way you think, which will determine the way you feel, and eventually transform the way you live”. To change the way you live you have to start with changing the way you think – for me this means hiding Bible verses in my heart to have ready for the thinking otherwise I can’t change the way I live. I am always telling my daughters that it is important to memorize Bible verses so that God can remind us of those verses throughout the day so we know how we are to act and be. I am hoping this Bible study can help me change the way I think so I can be confident in Christ and change the way I live.

    • I highlighted that sentence too. Browsing through several of the comments this week has challenged me to think about how and where I can surround myself with those key verses so I am constantly reminded of them.

  232. Like the others, I am thrilled to be a part of this study right now. A few things that stood out to me as I read in ch. 1:
    1. Uncertainty and self-doubt are feelings, not facts! I need to rely on God’s words which are all true.
    2. God’s calling may not automatically come with a dose of self confidence. Look at Moses. But his calling does come with His assurance, if we will believe Him and trust Him.
    3. Renee wrote that “self-doubt blocks the promise of God’s power and truth to change us.” Jesus loved to heal and help those who asked him in faith.
    4. Renee is teaching us to believe God by relying on the power of His words. This reminds me of conversations I have had with my 11 yr old son. There are times I just want him to take me at my word and trust me completely, even though I don’t explain the whole big picture to him. That is sometimes what God wants from me as his daughter, too.

    I got to start reading this about a month ago, then set it down for a while. Re-reading it a 2nd time and taking time to write my notes and answers as I go is a good thing. I am ready for a new attitude about what God can do in me!

  233. Kimberli says:

    The sentences that stood out to me were: “As God’s girls, we need to know and believe that change is possible. We need to hope that life can be different. Otherwise, doubt will win every time and our hearts will be eroded by attitudes and emotions of defeat–but it is not supposed to be this way.”

    I’m reading my book on my kindle and nearly every page has a highlight on it! I think Renee is saying that we ned to have hope.

    I’m going to use my time wisely. No more wasting time on things that aren’t important like some e-mails and watching tv.

  234. The sentence that stuck out for me the most is “Yet, doubt and hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time.” I want to spend more of my life looking at the “light” instead of being in the shadow of my doubts. Even as I am sitting here I am wondering whether or not I should even post anything, I shouldn’t be doing this, I will never change.. ENOUGH!! Please, dear LORD help my not to throw away my confidence; for I know it will be richly rewarded!! I will be using my quiet time more effectively, studying the word and building my confidence.

  235. Jeremiah 17:7 is what stuck out to me among other things in chapter one. Through this scripture God showed me that I must put Him ahead of everything. I must trust and hope in God. Mercy Lord! I often hear that verse in Proverbs that says, Trust in the Lord with all that heart and lean not unto you own understanding. I fail at this all thet time! I allow my though life to take me places and come to conclusions that are so off from what God is doing. Why doubt, No confidence and who know what else. Lord I need you!

  236. The line from Chaper 1, But I’ve found that when I chose to swell in the assurnace of Whose I am and who I am in Him, I have a confident heart…..All I can say is Amen. Blessings…Diana

  237. The sentences that stick out the most to me are the section in the beginning of Ch 1 where you realize that your shadow is bigger than you and that you need to turn toward the light. It was like a WOW moment for me definitely in more than one area of my life.

  238. I am thrilled to be doing this study with a great group of girls. This is actually my second time doing it, last time as a participant and this time as a facilitator. I am so excited about what God is going to do in the lives of the women in my small group and how this book is going to help transform them into women with confident hearts.

    One passage is chapter 1 that spoke to me said this: “I mean, if God calls you to do something, shouldn’t you feel confident about it? Shouldn’t you want to do it? Shouldn’t self-assurance be part of God’s equipping?” I have definitely asked these questions and experienced this kind of doubt before. I am learning that yes, i should feel confident and that God wants me to be self-assured.

  239. I am so excited for this study and so thankful for it also. I have been receiving the Proverbs 31 Ministries daily devotionals for months now.

    As many of the women have stated, this came at the perfect time in my life. God’s timing is perfect! I have been struggling with self-doubt and insecurity for a long time but most recently it has really, really hard and I have felt alone in this. It’s nice to see that I’m not alone. I am excited to learn and see how God will continue to use Renee and the ladies in the study to bring me out of the shadows of doubt. have shared this bible study with friends, a co-worker and bought my mom a book for her to participate.

    One of the (many) things that stood out from me in this chapter was, “In the shadow of doubt, insecurity paralyzes us with statements like: “I can’t do this;” “Things will never change;” “My life isn’t gong to get better;” “I’ll never have the confidence I need.” Now I know that when these thoughts arise its because i’m in the shadow of doubt and I need to turn back toward the light – Jesus!
    I praise God that Jody you followed God’s leading to do the study!

    I’m giving up sleep to do this study. I know it will pay off! I thank God for Renee and all my sisters participating in this study! May God bless us !

  240. These next few weeks I am going to cut back on watching tv and spending time with God first thing in the morning.

  241. Krista says:

    I will be giving up some extra sleep I’m used to enjoying and getting up a little earlier to spend time with Jesus! Yay!! I’m so excited about this book and to embark on this adventure with you all!

  242. I actually just finished reading this book, but I never took the time to answer all the questions and really APPLY what I read to my life. When I saw the online study, I felt as if it was my second chance. During this study, I will give up some of my time spent on the internet and spend more time reflecting on the Word of God.

    The thing that resonated with me in Chapter 1, was Renee’s description of being afraid of being abandoned in different places. All through life I have always felt as if the people closest to me, tend to always disappear from my life, although sometimes it was not by their choice, but I didn’t realize that I had a fear of being abandoned. More recently, I’ve developed a fear of being forgotten at the airport when I go to visit loved ones, so I call them multiple times to make sure they will pick me up. I’ve also been having dreams of my friends leaving me in public places.

  243. Joining in late. I have read this book twice and realize that I really need to apply it to my life. I am praying for stick-to-itiveness! I will give up some of my on-line time.

    The sentence which struck me was on page 23: “Doubt keeps us from believing things can get better.” Too often I let my negative thoughts, which led to doubt, take control of me. I have written this Bible verse down in large lettering on an index card next to my bed: “All things are possible to her who believes.” Mark 9:23b. (I’ve written it large so I can read it when I first wake up; before I can find my glasses!)

  244. I just starting reading the book that was donated and I thank you very much it has already spoken really deep to my soul that i needed this right know in my crossroads of life. I’m reaching out and felt like drowning in self pity waiting for a life raft when all I had to do is ask, funny how things work when God is apart of it all. When I recieved the book today I started to open it and noticed a scripture written in there and I went to look it up and it’s been the same scripture I have been holding onto for weeks. I’m just starting this and I hope to catch up with the study before it ends. It found its way into my heart a week ago when I saw the video about filling our empty places with things instead of Gods love and I signed up for the online study not realizing you needed a book and in my situation right know i couldn’t do it someone stepped up and donated one for me and as I was reading the first chapter that was God saying no no no your not going to give up and back down again. He has a purpose for me I’ve known this most of my life, but right know at this moment his purpose is to get me back to believing in him and all that he is capable of doing. Again Thanks for beliving in me and when I can I will pay it forward as my kids say.

  245. God has brought me through so much. Struggled wiith a deep sense of rejection growing up that pretty much caused me to create my own fantasy family in my mind where I was always loved. Went to a Bible believing church as a teenage and met Jesus and the guy whom I hoped would lead me out of y make believe world into something better. But from the honeymoon on it was constant rejection. Thirty years later I traded my angry abusive husband for loneliness again. Was hit with a life threatening disease and God met me in the midst of it. I have never felt more loved or closer to God than during that time. Six years later I find myself farther away from him than ever. My kids are grown and gone. I struggle with severe chronic pain from the treatment. I feel so guilty for having a D on my forehead. I feel so alone. I hear God can meet my every need and yet the reality of my financial and physical struggles make it feel as if I am all alone in this world. Praying that God meets me on the pages of this study. I need him more than ever.

  246. Marla Friel says:

    What resonated with me in Chapter One of the book were the passages Renee chose as references. In her statement of thanks to her family for their support of her writing the book she mentions Jer 17:7. Jeremiah was chosen before his birth to be a prophet and God asked him to deliver His messages with confidence no matter what other people said. Renee’s book is asking us to “choose to dwell in the assurance of Whose (we) are and who “we” are in Him and to have a confident heart” WOW that’s a choice I want to make and renew each day!!! And then she reflects on scripture in Hebrews, Isaiah, Mark, Romans and John where so much is learned about the heart of God and what he asks us to do including praying God’s will and being confident to ask anything but asking according to His Will. Thank you Renee for being bold and teaching us about confidence in our precious Father. I have also completely enjoyed reading many many of the other posts from women who are walking through these lessons together.

  247. Lou Laws says:

    I am facing a real challenge this week and I know I need to impress on two teenagers that God is real and that trusting in Him is the only way to true happiness even through our trials. I’m not sure either of them even believe that the Bible is true. I find myself shrinking from encouraging them because I feel overpowered by the world and the work of the devil in the lives of our youths. And yet when He tells me “Those who hope in me will not be disappointed” I feel a surge of renewed strength.

    • Patricia W says:

      I will pray for all of you, Mom. They need to hear the Word as often as possible. You never know when it will sink in or what will make it sink in.

  248. The part that stuck with me the most from Chapter 1 is that the voices of insecurity (lies) keep me from being the woman God created me to be. I have to believe His truth even when I don’t have that feeling of security. I have to be more diligent with reading and learning His Word, not just checking the box each day saying I’ve completed my daily Bible reading.

  249. Angela Silverio says:

    Hu Renee, thank you so much for soing this online study of your book, it is what I just needed. I have struggled with insecurity since I was a little girl. I have a difficult time accepting that people find me lovable and I am good enough for someone. In past relationships I went through trials for not having God at the center of any of my relationships ahd have ended up getting hurt. I am currently in a relationship with a great man of God but we in the beginning had a rocky start which causes me to have feelings of doubt about his faithfulness. I also have fellings of insecurity when I have to speak out lous in class or even in the egroups I go to, so that part in chapter one where you said that you insecure about the faithfulness of your husband really relates to me too. I believe this book will help me get through my insecurities, thank you for offering this!

  250. Patricia W says:

    All of you have already begun to inspire me. There is no doubt that there is strength in numbers. I hope everyone here will be blessed by the time this 10 week study ends.

    On page 21 of Chapter 1, what called to me was “If God calls you to do something, shouldn’t you feel confident about it?” He has requested something very special of me and the first thing I thought was I am not qualified to carry out this request. Shortly after that, I happened upon this book. Within minutes I was signing up to participate in the study. God, himself, has helped me to begin creating time for this special project. After reading this first chapter, I realize that God has placed his confidence in me to fulfill one of his wishes. I am honored that he has called upon me. Thanks to Renee I am already feeling confident about carrying out this special request. Of course any prayers will be accepted.

  251. Deborah says:

    God’s blessings to all! I could relate to you right from the opening sentence of the foreword. Of course while our stories may differ in one way or another I lacked the love & attention from my earthly father. Hence the feeling of doubt & insecurity. That song looking for love in all the wrong places was my national anthem for many years. However in this season of my life I believe God is bringing me to a place of deliverance & restoration. Through all the pain, struggle & tears of disappointment I can profess the hand of God in my life & can say Jehovah is my Banner. All glory & honor be unto Him. I believe that in partaking in this book He will bring me closer to being confident in who I’m called to be. Who He created me to be.

    Thank you Renee I could say I happened into this book study but we know better than that. It’s God’s divine appointment!

    Phil 1;6 Being confident in this very thing that He who has begun a good work in you is faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus!

    Let’s Journey Together!

  252. Melanie says:

    I am so excited to start this study!!! This is only my second bible study I’ve done. Hoping for God’s word to strengthen me in the woman he desires me to be and be confident in who I am and my works.

  253. I’ve always struggled with self-confidence. I think because I’ve never had a strong father figure, or no father in the home at all. I try hard to feel about myself as God feels about me, but I haven’t had a breakthrough yet. I guess it’s partly because my husband almost daily reminds me how inadequate I am. But I stay because I want to obey God & I believe in miracles, and also because we have a child – whom I think God gave me so I wouldn’t leave because he was really a miracle baby.

    I trust & I wait on God. I’m hoping this study will help me break through.

    Thank you, Renee for doing this study online.

    • I will keep you in my prayers! Remember God knows you’re adequate!! That’s why he made you! Blessings!

  254. How my heart needs a boost of confidence! A rather big boost….. My heart has been heavy with doubt and self-condemnation . Lord, by reading this book and applying Your truths, may my life be changed.
    I am a children’s ministry director . Lately, I have been paralyzed by fear and insecurity. Plagued with the “what ifs”. If God calls you to do something, shouldn’t you feel confident about it? That phrase hit home. The unknown is too scary….oh, boy… The familiar is comfortable.
    God, help me to not be paralyzed by fear, to not doubt Your calling on my life, and calm my “what ifs”!

  255. Paulette Goodman says:

    The first thing that stood out for me was how you used a real life illustration about you. The illustration of the mirror and the light, how after all of that nervousness and not thinking that you could do it you continued getting ready. Even though the doubt was there from you continuing to watering it, God was also still there. After all of your own personal tug a war God step in “you only can see the shadow because you turn away from the light. Turn back to the light. For me this just blessed me because despite of the battle within myself God still gives me free will but, by me continuing to stay connected he is, and will always be there for me. I personally have to remember that God designed me. He knows everything about before I can even get started Psalms 139.

    Another point you made was about self-doubt as a child it kept me from so many opportunities as well, what blessed me was after reading your ups and downs concerning this area it helped me understand the this self-doubt began its foundation in my mind a long time ago. Being able to get at the root of your problem is such a blessing.

    Jeremiah 17:7, “But blessed is the man who trust in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1998) This scripture is just letting me know that I cannot rely on any other source but God; He is the only thing in my life that will be and is consistent. Man does not have the ability to help me with my weakness and build my self-worth and remove all of my doubt. Psalm 1 helps to understand those who trust in the Lord flourish like trees planted by water. So no matter when troubles or storms come my way, whether they are physical, spiritual, mental or emotional weaknesses God got me.

  256. PRISCELLA says:

    WHAT CAUGHT MY ATTETION IN CHAPTER ONE WAS “WHOSE I AM AND WHO I AM IN HIM” BECAUSE FROM CHILDHOOD UNTIL NOW I ALWAYS FELT UNWORTHY EVEN AS A BELIEVER. THINKING THAT IF I KEEP BUSY THAT I WILL FILL THE VOID BUT SOMEHOW I WOULD ALLOW DOUBT AND WORRY TO CLOUD MY JUDGMENT BUT I CAN SAY FROM THIS DAY FORWARD I KNOW WILL NO LONGER ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN BECASUE GOD IS SHOWING ME WHOSE I AM AND WHO I AM IN HIM.. WHAT WILL I LET GO TO BE WITH THE LORD IS MEDIA BUT MOST OF ALL THE STUFF THAT IS NOT IMPORTANT. THANK YOU RENEE SWOPE FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE.

  257. I have been looking for my comment from yesterday and only see things from last year. What I wanted to say this morning is, I enjoyed your devotional from proverbs 31 ministries and am slowly getting started, but starting none the less. Thanks again.

  258. Thank you Renee for this study! Confidence has never been my strongest feature and when I saw this study I jumped at it. I am a preachers kid:) and I think I never felt that I was good enough to measure up. I always focused too much on being the preacher kid than being God’s child. I have gone through losing children always thinking that this was a punishment from God for not being the child I should have been. I now have 2 beautiful children and look at them as a blessing everyday! I am married to a wonderful man but he is not a believer and I have always prayed that God would change his heart and recently realized that I need to pray for myself, that God would make me a more patient and confident wife in my walk so he can just see the many blessings God will do. I am excited to learn from this study and see what new plans Christ has for me and my family through this.

  259. Day 1 for me, He brought me through yesterday, I put my trust and confidence He’ll bring me through today! As He will the rest of you! This morning laying in bed I thought to myself how many times I’ve asked Him to give me more confidence, before I even knew this study existed, I guess I’m suppose to be doing this, I have to get out of these insecurities once & for all. I started a thank you journel yesterday, instead of complaining about what I can’t do.

  260. Is there a Day 2? I can’t find it. Am I looking in the wrong place?

  261. Lori anderson says:

    The Foreword by Lysa caught me right away. I, too, longed for a Daddy he knew me and treasured me. I’ve been searching for that from birth, nearly 45 years. While I’ve made peace with Dad, the hole is still there. It’s smaller, because I’ve allowed God to fill a lot of it. But I hold back some still, afraid to completely surrender, afraid of disappointment. I’m hoping A Confident Heart will help me lay it all down, or at least take the next step. I know God loves me ETERNALLY and I know Jesus has my back; I just need to start living like I “heart” believe it. :-) Thank you for this opportunity!

  262. I need to be closer to God. I need to feel his presence. I have been drifting away, unhappy with the fact that my marriage has failed. A friend read this book and suggested it to me. The sentence that spoke to me was “But I’ve found that when I choose to dwell in the assurance of Whose I am and who I am in Him, I have a confident heart.” That is God’s desire for me. That is my desire for myself. So that sentense is going to be my prayer this week.
    1. To pray
    2. To be quiet in God’s presence and just feel loved

  263. I am just now starting to read your confident heart book with my accountability group and I had received some of the emails from the past online study and I also looked under the archive tab. In one the first emails to the online study you said there would be a verse for each chapter or each week. I received some but don’t think I got one each week. I love them cause I printed them and hang them on my bulletin board and in my car, etc. was there a specific word and verse for the first chapter? It would be great if each weeks word/ verse was a printable in your free resource tab. Please help.

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