{week 2} To Be Known Is to Be Loved

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From Chapter 2, A Confident Heart

“Jesus knew Sam’s (the Samaritan woman’s) story and He knows yours. The Greek word for “know” is yada. It means a deep emotional experience; a bonding between two people when one truly feels the emotions of the other. Jesus knows your pain, fears, doubts, and disappointments. He understands your dreams and desires.

Although some of us feel uncomfortable that God knows so much about us, it is good to be known, to be listened to and not judged. Jesus is the only One who can meet our deepest needs to be accepted and delighted in simply because of who we are. We can offer nothing but our presence, and He will desire us just the same…

There are many religions but did you know that Christianity is the only faith that offers a relationship with the living God? We don’t just know about our God; our God wants us to know Him. And we were created for that kind of relationship.

Jesus created us to have lasting soul-security in knowing we are valued and pursued by the One who knows and loves us—the One who created our inmost being and wove us together in our mother’s womb (Ps. 139:13). Have you let the gospel of God’s grace move from your head to your heart, so that you know without a doubt you are known intimately and loved completely by God?” (p. 40 printed copy)

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Our word this week is  “Known”

Our verse of the week is Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” (NIV)

This week’s video message is below. Please click the arrow to watch it  – all the way through. You’ll be so glad you did.

(from video script)

I WANT TO BE KNOWN
I want someone to look at my face
And not just see two eyes, a nose,
a mouth and two ears
But to see all that I am, and could be
all my hopes, loves and fears…

And YOU know me
You actually know me
all of me and everything about me
Every thought inside and hair on top of my head
Every hurt stored up, every hope, every dread
My past and my future, all I am and could be
You tell me everything,
You tell me about ME
And that which is spoken by another would bring hate and condemnation
Coming from Youu brings love, grace, mercy, hope and salvation
I’ve heard of One to come
who could save a wretch like me
And here in my presence, You say
I AM HE

(read full script here)

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Today’s Assignment:

  • Read this week’s memory verse (Jeremiah 1:5). Ask God to remind you all week that He knows the way you long to be known, pursued and loved!
  • Start or continue reading chapter 2. Remember, take your time and highlight or underline sentences that resonate in your heart.

Connect in Community:

What about today’s video or sentences in Chapter 2 resonate most with you?

  • Please click “Share Your Thoughts” below this post and do just that.  (Remember to go to my website to do this)
  • Optional: I’d love for you to share one of them on our Confident Heart Community Page and/or share them with me on Twitter (@reneesswope). I’d love to retweet them! Also let’s use #AConfidentHeart so we can encourage one another and find them easily.

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I’ll announce last week’s winners in my Weds. post.

About Renee

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

Comments

  1. “And you know me
    You actually know me
    all of me and everything about me
    Every thought inside and hair on top of my head
    Every hurt stored up, every hope, every dread

    My past and my future, all I am and could be
    You tell me everything,
    you tell me about ME

    And that which is spoken by another would bring hate and condemnation
    Coming from you brings love, grace, mercy, hope and salvation”

    While there were several parts that spoke to me, this just jumped out at me like a flashing neon sign. It was soothing to be reminded that He knows EVERYTHING about me and still loves me. He brings me grace, love, mercy, hope and salvation. How great is that? I have been struggling with a lot of shame and conflicting emotions and this chapter has really hit home for me. I not only need to get back on the right track but I WANT to. I have fallen off the wagon. I am getting back on the correct path again and I feel so much better for it, it is just hard for me to resist certain temptations so please pray for me. Pray that the will of God overcomes the will of my temptations.

    • praying for you, Paula…That you would continue to walk in the knowledge that you are loved so fully, so amazingly…so unconditionally….by Jesus Christ…

    • Shannon says:

      I feel the same way. I know God is walking with me right now as I try to find a new job once again. I feel so scared since I have no income coming thru. I was reading the Bible and crying last night for I want a stable job. In addition, I feel like I’m letting my friends down but I know that’s the enemy talking. On the positive note, I do have an interview for this Thursday. Trusting in God. That’s all I need is Him. However, I like to see things visible which is sometimes is hard but I know that is where “Faith” comes in. In addition, He created me so who would know best.

    • Roberta D says:

      Hello my sisters,
      This week I am a little behind in responding but I was really impacted by this chapter because I remember the days that I was so obsessed with trying to be everything to everyone and making everyone happy and striving to be perfect and then berating myself when I just not reach the mark. so much of the chapter resonate in my spirit but I think the one that I want to mention is located on pages 39-40 ” Have you ever put on a facade that everything was okay when it wasn’t ? Have you ever been afraid to let people know who you really are? Wouldn’t you love to be in such a safe place that you could stop pretending and be real with God and yourself(and eventually other people) about where you are and how you got there?” the answer for me was a resounding” yes.” I am truly grateful to God that He provided a place for me to do that and I am also thankful for the timing of this Bible study with Renee and all of my beautiful sisters on this journey with me. The poem just really speaks to me about the grace of God who sees me as precious in His sight and who loves me unconditionally and only wants me to spend time with Him so that I can know Him intimately too. I am so amazed by His mercy and grace and I am eternally grateful for my salvation and I am learning to place all my hope in Him because God never fails me nor forsakes me. To God be the glory!!!

  2. Delia Robinson says:

    Let me run back to town
    this is way to much for just me
    There are others: brothers, sisters, lovers, haters,
    the good and the bad, sinners and saints
    who should hear what you’ve told me
    who should see what you’ve shown me
    who should taste what you gave me
    who should feel how you forgave me

    Would that every person who meets the Saviour would feel these words deep in their soul and run back to those she knows with the good news.

  3. This entire poem spoke to me….
    I am recently divorced.. my husband left me a little over a year ago. He is a good man but so lost. The feeling of being unloved and abandoned and unworthy is overwhelming sometimes. But to know my Savoir loves me and accepts me NO MATTER WHAT is so soothing and fulfilling.
    This online study came at just the right time. I need to get back on track and know it is not another person or thing that makes me feel worthy…. It is God. He made me and gives me the strength I need to be the mother, daughter, wife, friend, sister, person He wants me to be…
    Blessings to all!

    • Dear Jan,

      I can relate. Daily struggles when our hearts are broken can seem overwhelming, but God knows us and pursues us – sometimes in spite of ourselves – and He never gives up! Don’t be discouraged … He always “meets us where we’re at”. I LOVE THAT! 🙂 (PS – You belong to HIM so your not JUST Jan! You’re Jan, CHILD OF A KING!)

      Sincerely,

      Angie

    • I too have been divorced for just over a year. I also know what it is like to feel unloved and abandoned. I need to know that God is always there for me and loves me for who I am…no matter what.

      • Brenda says:

        Gail, I want to let you know that aim going to pray for you. You are never alone, God is always by your side. He will never ever leave you.

    • Jan, thank you for reminding me that It is not anyone else that makes me……it is God. This really hit home with me! I needed to hear just that !

  4. I asked the Lord to speak into my heart on the word “known”. I am sharing with you. I am enjoying this study and your book.

    Being Known
    Beloved,
    I KNOW you.
    I have always know you.
    I will always know you.
    I have known you every moment of your life,
    Every coming in and every going out.
    Not a secret has been hidden from Me.
    Because I know you inside and out,
    I love you.

    I have been there through each season of your life.
    Loving you during easy times and the hard times.
    Loving you during times when you were unaware of Me,
    As well as times when you drew close to Me.

    I know every sorrow, every joy of your entire life,
    Past, present and future.
    And I say to you,
    You ARE My beloved daughter.
    Nothing will ever cause My love for you to dry up.
    There will never ever be a time when I do not love you.

    The invitation I offer is to COME to Me,
    To lean on Me,
    To rest in Me,
    To allow Me to carry every sorrow, every sin and every burden.

    Will you come afresh to lean on Me this day?
    My invitation is to come as you are,
    In order to become more fully,
    Who I created you to be.

    So Beloved daughter,
    Come known (fully loved and accepted)
    In order to know that you are,
    Known and loved just as you are.

    As you know Me more fully,
    You will become secure in Me.

    • coleen hayden says:

      oh, joan! so beautiful! thank you for trusting the Father enough to share this with us. “The invitation I offer is to COME to Me, to lean on Me, to rest in Me, to allow Me to carry every sorrow, every sin and every burden.” thanks, also to the holy spirit for working this in your <3. it blessed mine so much. <3

      • You are welcome. Love when Abba speaks to us but it is intended for others as well. God bless you as you go to Him, lean on Him, rest on Him and allow him to carry the “stuff”.

    • Thank you, Joan for sharing this with all of us. It really spoke to my heart and I believe it was Spirit-inspired. What a comfort to be reminded, “I have known you every moment of your life.” Even when I was a small girl and before I could offer any service to Him in return, He loved me unconditionally. Thank you!

    • Joan,

      Thanks for sharing what God shared with you. It reminded me to focus solely on Him as He knows everything right now.

    • Karen in PA says:

      Joan – Thank you for blessing us by sharing this. The invitation of our Father – To COME to him is so powerful. I have a friend who I plan to share your words with today.

    • Hannah says:

      This is such a beautiful poem! Thanks for sharing this!

      • Hannah, you are so very welcome. I simply love when Abba God speaks into my heart for me and for others. May your heart be at rest in His this day.
        Joan

    • Patti Macomber says:

      This was beautiful. Thank you for sharing this. It has always been the desire of my heart that I be KNOWN…”yada.” I’ve always looked for a man to fill that part of my life, and even though I’ve been single for the past 11 years, I’ve had a hard time believing Jesus could be that for me. This poem helps me to feel not only it’s possible, but accept it as truth-moving from the know in my head from what the bible says to the faith in my heart. Thank you! 🙂

    • Joan,
      Thank you for sharing thiis. It’s beautiful. The line that resonated with me most was “There will never ever be a time when I do not love you.” There’s such comfort in that statement. Growing up I attended a legalistic church where you were judged on how you looked (no makeup or jewelry and we weren’t allowed to wear pants). We weren’t allowed to go to the movies. There was so much that was wrong and it was oppresive. And even though it’s been yrs since I left that church, a lot of that baggage is still with me. I need to be constantly reminded that God’s love is unconditional. Thanks again. Blessings to you!

    • This is what really jumped out at me: “My invitation is to come as you are, In order to become more fully, Who I created you to be.” I’m having a really hard time lately because some recent minor surgery has changed the look of my face and I don’t recognize myself in the mirror anymore, so I’m feeling especially sad and ugly. But God wants me to come AS I AM in order to become more fully who I was created to be. God is creating me on the inside. I’m trying to remember that what I look like is not who I am, but it’s hard. However, it helps when God speaks to me through people like you – who I’ve never even met! He is so loving and awesome! Thanks for sharing.

    • Lydia G says:

      Beautiful. Thank you.

    • Kristyetta says:

      Joan,
      This is soooo beautiful and really spoke what I needed to hear in my heart! Thank you! Would you mind if I shared on my facebook page (Healthy Success with Kristy)??
      My heart is so heavy and I have always been seeking someone to LOVE me even though the KNOW me. I have always said that once someone gets to really know the real me, they will no longer love me. I am too sensitive, too needy, depressed…too much! With friends and relationships, I have always found this to be true, or at least I perceive it to be. I so need God to fill those holes in my heart instead of searching for others to do it…that is what HE has been trying to tell me…
      Thank you girl!
      Kristy

  5. The poem hit on so many things. I’m still trying to take in it’s full meaning. As I was reading chapter 2 a couple sentences really stood out to me. “If you’ve ever doubted God’s personal pursuit of you,Let this truth sink in, my friend, wherever you are, He wants to meet you there. He is waiting for you to stop, come up close, and turn your heart to listen to His. You don’t have to pretend things are fine when they aren’t. Nothing could keep Him from wanting to be with you.” I have been running for so long and yet He is right behind me all the time waiting for me to stop and turn around. I have put on a mask for so long of being okay when I’m not and I can finally take that off and let God begin healing me. He wants to go below the surface into the deepest parts of my heart that need healing and repair those areas but I have to be willing. What an amazing thought! He knows me and loves me as I am.

  6. I am so thankful to be a part of this study. I struggle with knowing and being known. But I want and pray to know God more intimately. Not survival mode, or based on what is needed at hand. But just to be with Him. Just when I think I am growing in this area, somehing happens in my life that completely throws me off course and causes me to doubt my growth and even who I am sometimes. I truly am seeking the Lord so that at the end of this study, I will have an unshakeable confident heart in Him alone.

    • Jamie…I know so much how you feel! I believe that the enemy works hardest when we are closest. When we feel that we are growing in Christ, the enemy is losing, and he doesn’t take that lying down. Jeremiah 29 is so helpful….when we seek Him with our whole heart, He will let us find Him.

      • I have to agree. It seems as though when I am feeling closest to God and so confident in my faith that the enemy.. the FATHER of LIES… steps up his game and tries his best to knock me off course. He sure is clever and knows where my weak points are but thank God that my heavenly FATHER knows me and loves me and walks with me every step of the way. I really don’t know I how I made it before I turned my life over to HIM but I am so thankful that he loved me enough to rock my world in order to get my attention. Thank you God for rescuing me!!!

  7. What a great way to start the day, to start this new week! Interesting that the sermon yesterday was about Psalm 139 (being a true follower of God, having an intimate relationship with Him, knowing Him, and Him knowing me!) and then this week’s chapter, verse, etc are all about KNOWING Me! I am one that wants everyone one to like me (I am sure that is most of us who are doing this study!! 🙂 ~ we don’t want to be rejected!) so a lot of times I don’t really show the real me, my real struggles, I like to be seen at the distance. Thank you for the video clip this morning! And thank you for this study!

  8. Wow this was awesome! To be reminded that God really KNOWS me and STILL loves me…it’s amazing! He knows my every thought, my present, my past, and my future. He loves me…that’s all that matters to me!

  9. christine lowe says:

    I’ve always thought of the samaritan woman as someone else. Watching today’s video i realized she is me
    Allmy faults and failures…she is me.
    All the sins and ugly words…she is me.
    When i refuse to go to church…she is me.
    When i cry and hurt and feel alone…she is me.
    I hide from the world and wonder why l’m alone…she is me.
    I ask for help and then refuse it…she is me.
    Known intimately by God…she is me.
    Knowing He will always forgive…she is me.
    I am less and more and Jesus loves me anyway.
    May i never forget what is always the truth…she is me and is loved by the Savior.

    • Suzeanne Martinez says:

      Christine, I totally agree with you! She is me as well. Every single thing you said is ME too. I have excuses, reasons and feelings that cause me to think I am unlovable but he is telling ME and YOU he KNOWS us COMPLETELY and loves us anyways!!!

      • christine lowe says:

        Hi Suzeann, I’mnot sure wherethose words came from because i dont usually have that kind of insight. My only explanation is Jesus. It was kind of scarey saying some of those things so i’mglad to hear i’m not the only one who feels that way. Makes me wonder how many women we could connect with if we were just honest about ourselves..May God bless us as we continue to reveal what we think is unloveable

        • To read what you wrote, Christine, sounds very confident but then to find out that you were a little scared to write some of that shows that God is is definitely doing a work in your heart. The enemy has done a good job of stealing some of our voices and I agree with you wholeheartedly…imagine the connection we could make with others if we were more open and honest with ourselves and others. Truly amazing! I have experienced that lately with my Pastor’s wife who decided to “get over herself” and become transparent with me and many others. It is such a sigh of relief to find others that seem to be so super spiritual struggle with alot of the same thing we do. I’ve learned that it is up to us to do something about it…such as going to God instead of waiting for Him to change us. Such a learning experience & it’s just getting started!

          • Like you, Kelly, I used to think that the leaders in the church were so much better. Now as I am grown and work full time in ministry myself I realize that we are all human. We all have our struggles and victories to gain in Christ for we live in a sinful world.

            It’s kind of awesome to think that we have a Heavenly Father who doesn’t miss a single detail in every person’s life. Just like the Samaritan woman, He knows all of my struggles. It’s hard to fathom because we as finite human beings are never able to do that with one person, let alone a whole universe.

          • christine lowe says:

            Hello Ladies
            I am comforted to know that we are all so alike underneath. It makes sense when I consider we were all made in His image. I wonder if our different circumstances are all that separate us? Our sameness is the God part. Does that sound wierd? I am thankful that God is so generous and gives us forums like this to learn about Him and each other. God is the glue that binds us together. I’m looking forward to see what chapter 3 will bring.

    • Wow, Christine. Your words are amazing, and put Sam’s story into more perspective for me. She is ME too … and knowing that He went out of His way to meet her re-affirms for me that He’s ALWAYS willing to meet us where we’re at. Blessings to you!

      • christine lowe says:

        Thanks Angie
        It is comforting to be reminded thatHe loves us as we are, warts and all..This is my first online bible study and it is exceeding all my expectations. I look forward to getting to ” know” my sisters better. May He continue to bless us all.

  10. Today’s video was awesome. Though the words were powerful indeed…it was the delivery of the passionate young spoken word artist that truly resonated with me. There was the desperation that we all feel when we view ourselves as outside of love and then the tentative hope that there is someone out there that might just love us for who we are, the good and the bad…and finally the elation of truly believing that that love is true, is faithful, and yes is for us too. Thank you so much Renee for sharing!

  11. What a wonderful message. And I love this weeks word- known. During the hrs before surgery my body would not give the “sample” they requested but could not give one, So my friend who went with me stood with me and prayed that God knew – my inner body and knew what I needed and to touch those parts for a successful outcome and within minutes they were given what they needed.. When prayers were lifted to God and confidence was placed in the fact that we knew and trusted him, things came together. To have someone know us that intimately can be both a good thing and a scary thing.

    • That is an awesome testimony. Thanks for sharing. God truly does give us what we need but we must be humble enough to ask and to believe.

  12. What an awesome video, poem! This video really moved me this morning. I actually had chills as I was listening. It was a great message that all of really need to take the time to soak in. God does know us, and He loves us. I know there are many times that I shy away from people because I don’t want them to know me. I think that I am to complicated or that no one understands me. This morning I am reminded that someone does understand me and know and despite my shortcomings loves me. God knows all of my struggles, even before I do. Times when I feel alone I need to remember that I am not alone. I have God who knows me better than myself. Times when i feel that I don’t have any one to talk to, I need to talk to God as my father and my friend. Understanding that the Lord does know me and Loves me gives me such a feeling of peace. We all need to put our trust in Him and I know things will work out the way He intended.

    • Tami Ross says:

      I so agree,Kimberly! I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I am guilty of looking to other people for acceptance, when the only One who matters, knows all of my faults,and has always accepted me! I am so blessed!

  13. I read it after listening, what a powerful message. No other words necessary other than, Thank You!

  14. i also want to know God i know there are many ways in knowing God. thank God i am part of this

  15. This chapter was such as great reminder that God REALLY knows me, and despite the shortcomings I have, he loves me as only a Father could. I’m learning to accept the differences I have that sometime isolate me from others, and make me feel that I won’t be accepted because I’m not like someone else. This walk of becoming a confident women is allowing me to accept those AND say to myself, “God made me this way, and I’m okay.” The confidence I have to say that is because of the love God has for me. He understands me better than I understand myself. That takes away the struggle for me of wanting to be understood by others.

  16. This was a great poem. I must say the entire poem spoke to me. I am so grateful that God sees us for who we are and He accepts us. It is so awesome that we have such a great God who understands us when we feel that no one else does. He loves us for us, not for what we do. We have a faithful God even when we aren’t. God I love you!!

  17. Debbie T. says:

    I’ll probably say more later but for now the only word I have for this poem is POWERFUL!

  18. The sentence…”Pretending leads to hiding and isolation” spoke to me. I hide my fears and loneliness which makes me feel more alone. It is hard for me to share my feelings with anyone except Jesus and I am so thankful for Him. I pray everyday for a confident friend.

    • Yep. Powerful words in that sentence and so true. I pray God will bless you with a confident heart and a confident friend.

  19. That was very good!!!! I’m 42, been saved since I was 13 but have been in and out of church for several years now. I’ve had some health issues that have brought me back to God, and I am so thankful that He is right there ready to take me back no matter what I’ve done, or where I’ve been 🙂 So grateful for this study and sooo many wonderful people here 🙂 Have a blessed day everyone!!!

  20. latoshia says:

    I’m glad God knows me and my desires and allows me to get to know Him. I have longings that only He can fulfill

  21. My husband and I were just talking about the Samaritain woman last night and how Christ did not condenm ner and how we are not to condemn others that are in need to Christ love. What a great thought to be truely know by God. Thank you Jesus.

    • August Rose says:

      Sarah thank you for sharing. Your reply spoke to me. I have had three husbands and I know how that Samaritan woman must have felt but to be known by God is truly amazing. So called Christian friends have judged, condemned, criticized, walked out, lied to me and about me, yet God was there telling me He understood me. He knew my motive was pure but that I had been deceived. The one prayer I have is to never be deceived again when it comes to marriage. How painful but how necessary for me because it brought me to the feet of Jesus over and over again. I am so very thankful that I am KNOWN by HIM the all Important One! The only REAL Lover of my soul. Thank you Jesus!

  22. I have had “fire insurance” since I was 13 years old and thought I was doing ok. I’ve worked in church my whole life. Sad to say, at 60 years old I am finally realizing that my relationship with God is all one-sided. I’ve never listened to Him the way I should, never realized that He died because of His eternal love for ME. I’ve always known He died to make a way for me to be saved, but never thought about WHY. God loves me, He knows me, This poem and the others submitted above really make it clear just how much He loves me. This is my third time through this study and each time I learn more. Praise God for all of you. Thanks, Renee, for the opportunity to get to know you and so many other sisters-in-Christ.

  23. Hi everyone. This study has been really great. 🙂 I am not sure if this is acceptable or not but I was wondering if you could please keep me in prayer. I am currently in school, and need to pass my Greek final so that I will pass my Greek class. Right now I have a D in Greek, and it is kinda stressing me out. Also, I have to write a paper on Rev. 18:2, and I do not understand what most of the sources that I am using are saying. lol The paper is due on Wed.

    My final prayer request is that I will be able to let go of a friend. It has been two years and for some reason I can’t let this friend go. I live in the dorms and this friend lives beside me and go to school with me. She is also part of the praise team at my church so every time I go to church I have to see her. I am still hurt that she doesn’t want to be my friend, and seeing her is just a reminder of all the things that I did wrong in our friendship. It is hard to see her interacting with others and having a great time because it makes me feel like there is something wrong with me since she doesn’t want to be my friend. In addition, we used to be really close and now all we say is hi when we see each other. People keep telling me its been two years she has let it go you need to too. I am not sure why I am still holding on to wanting us to be friends or us having an actual conversation. It is really silly, and I just pray that God would help me to see why I am still holding on, and what it is going to take for me to really let it go. Thanks all. 🙂 Hope you have a blessed day. 🙂

    • Jessica,
      I will pray for your ability to accept the circumstances with your friend wishing to distance herself from your relationship. It’s difficult to loose a friendship you have come to value and even more difficult to not feel valued by that person. But this study is exactly what you need. God values you just as you are because that’s the way he created you! When one relationship ends, it’s an opportunity for a new relationship to begin. I will be praying for you to pass your Greek exam as well, such a difficult course!
      Be blessed and be a blessing!

    • Lydia G says:

      I’m a bit late reading this (past the paper due date), but I just wanted you to know that I am praying for you Jessica. I think ‘letting go’ of the friendship is good advice to the point of not letting it be a hinderance to you… but at the same time I don’t think there is anything wrong with hoping for restoration if you do not become overtaken by that idea. God can heal relationships… but sometimes I do believe He removes relationships that get in the way of our relying on Him. My husband broke up with me for a period of time in college, and I firmly believe that that was why- for God to refocus me on Him as my confidant and strength… and after a long time of prayer and healing, God did restore our relationship. There is always hope, but just be sure to not let it overtake your thoughts.

  24. One of my prayers for each of you who are doing this study, is that you let your heart relax and don’t just try to get through “another good book”. That there will be moments in each chapter that you feel was written only for you. That God will get your attention as He did mine through this book and real change will occur.

    No matter what…continue to flip each page of this book, answer the questions, do the hard work and God will cause change in your heart what you didn’t even know needed change. Allow Him to replace the aches and doubts that only His confidence and love is capable of filling. He’s worth the hard work, frustration you may experience and tears that might be shed throughout this book for the end results. Keep pressing forward into His grace and confidence. You are so usable to Him no matter what you have done or experienced in your life. He loves us as is….what a God! 🙂

    • I love your wisdom (as a woman who I know has read the book a few times) and I love your heart for our sweet community of sisters seeking Jesus and His heart for us (a confident heart) as we take this journey together. You are right – some of it can be hard work – letting Him love us and heal us and change us from the inside out.

      Thank you for speaking confidence and praying encouragement over each woman here Lelia – including me!!

      • August Rose says:

        Thank you Renee! You are a real blessing to the women of God who are being changed by your obedience and your love for hurting women of God. Thank you a million times over!

    • Thank you! (As I feel guilty for joining in late.)

  25. Loved the video! Had to watch it twice I was so mesmerized by the words, and the words are so true! That is what makes it so great!

    The lines that really hit home for me were “And you know me, You actually know me, all of me and everything about me, Every thought inside and hair on top of my head,Every hurt stored up, every hope, every dread, My past and my future, all I am and could be,You tell me everything,
    you tell me about ME.

    This is something I’ve always known, but watching this video and reading the words, Wow! Thank you Renee for sharing this with us!

    • Lydia G says:

      Kelly, that was the section that struck me the most as well. So often we think we are hiding something from God, but we are not. He KNOWS us. Actually knows us- what we want known, and what we don’t, and loves us just the same. Amazing love.

    • This is so TRUE, but your right, reading and hearing the words hit home in my heart. It is true, sometimes we all think that what we feel, see, or doing is hide away, BUT it is not, God sees and hears all. So we are only fooling ourselves. Knowing the God is watching and protected me at all times is something that i keep close to me at all times. I am too thank you that the Lord loves us unconditional with all our flaws, mistakes, but that He also does not judge us and give us forgiveness if we ask for His love is amazing. Thank you for sharing,
      God Bless

  26. Christianity is the only faith that offers a relationship with the living God. We don’t just know ABOUT our God; we KNOW God and He KNOWS us; our God wants us to KNOW Him. We were created for that kind of relationship. All other relationships pale by comparision to the relationship we have with Christ. And when we feel alone, lost in the shadows of despair, we are not lost at all, we are loved and hidden and protected in the SHADOW of his love, because he KNOWS us and he LOVES us. Keep me oh Lord as the apple of your eye, hide me in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 17:8

  27. The poem was awesome! In the reading, the sentence that most spoke to me was on p37 – “if you’ve ever doubted God’s personal pursuit of you, let this truth sink in, my friend: wherever you are , He wants to meet you there.” hmmm, IF I’ve ever… LOL. Its a constant doubt. I will read this chapter several times until I really let the truth reside in my heart. There was so much in here that I related to. Thank you again, Renee for doing this study

  28. I am so glad to be a part of this Bible/book study. I grew up in surrounded by judgmental attitudes that I thought were justified by Christ. As I have grown in my knowledge and relationship with Christ, He has shown me how that judgmental attitude seeped into and became a part of my life. It made me doubt who I was in Christ, whether I could do His work or share His love…I wasn’t worthy. In turn I past those attitudes on to my children and turned others away from Christ, I am sure. As God has been healing my heart and attitude, He has graciously been working in and through our children, too. A patient and loving husband is an answer to prayer and has changed the history of our family from now on.
    I relate to how “Sam” felt as she spoke to Jesus. Shame, unworthiness are ways Satan use to convince us we can not be about God’s work.

  29. Alot in Ch 2 spoke to me but especially your comment on Page 42 where, as a kid, you perceived God as distant, unavailable, unapproachable and someone to fear. I also feel that way. As I recall in my childhood, God was used as a disciplinary tool — “Behave or God will punish you” so you grow up fearing him instead of “knowing” him as your truest friend.

  30. Suzeanne Martinez says:

    “And you know me
    You actually know me
    all of me and everything about me
    Every thought inside and hair on top of my head
    Every hurt stored up, every hope, every dread

    My past and my future, all I am and could be
    You tell me everything,
    you tell me about ME

    And that which is spoken by another would bring hate and condemnation
    Coming from you brings love, grace, mercy, hope and salvation

    I’ve heard of one to come
    who could save a wretch like me
    And here in my presence, you say
    I AM HE

    To be known is to be loved
    And to be loved is to be known
    And I just met you

    I don’t know you but I want to get to”

    This whole poem spoke to me on so many levels. I am dealing with a son and his girlfriend that have and keep trying to portray me as a bad person. I know in my heart I am NOT. All I want is happiness and love for my family but some people want to break me down to my very core. I believe God put this bible study in front of me(I was just searching for inspirational quotes when I found this website)so that I may know He LOVES me, ALL of me!!
    I am not a ‘new’ believer but I am a NEW follower. I have believed in God my whole life but I never took time out to really get to know him. I believe he put me in this trial for me to know him and love him!
    I just pray God will soften my sons girlfriend’s heart so that I may be able to spend some time with my new little grandson.

    • Suzeanne , it is so hard when our children do that. For me, it felt like betrayal, but God reminded me that Jesus was also betrayed. God bless you as you walk with Him through this time. Saying a prayer for you.

  31. And you know me
    You actually know me
    all of me and everything about me
    Every thought inside and hair on top of my head
    Every hurt stored up, every hope, every dread

    My past and my future, all I am and could be
    You tell me everything,
    you tell me about ME

    And that which is spoken by another would bring hate and condemnation
    Coming from you brings love, grace, mercy, hope and salvation

    Wow, this part of the poem really spoke to me. Loved being reminded that no matter my past, no matter the choices I have made or will make- HE still loves me! HE has nothing but love, grace, mercy, hope and salvation for ME! What a blessing to be reminded of this!!!

  32. I love what Lelia says not to just read this as ” another good book’ but to relax ……mmmmm relax indeed
    and soak it all in see what it is the Lord has for us each of us individually right where we are in our personal walks and through it may growth take place !!! I love the book Renee thank you for your wisdom and transparency !!!

  33. I can relate to the emptiness felt by not having a father growing up. Going through relationships (friends/boyfriends) hoping for them to fill me up, but never to be satisfied. And not knowing how Jesus fit that role – until now. I have a deep desire to be truly known, and significant and after 30+ years of thinking that being kind, being popular, being social in all the “RIGHT” circles would make me feel known and significant, I am relieved to know that Jesus ALREADY knows me and I am significant to Him. It’s exciting to have that burden lifted! And knowing Jesus meets us wherever we are at in our lives is comforting and gives me “permission” to not be hard on myself for not “doing enough”. I am so thankful, Renee, for you, your book, and your desire to share your feelings about your own struggles and how Jesus changed your life by unveiling the well within you!

  34. powerful video! to know is to be loved! the line I just met you I don’t know you, but I want to and also the lines you really know me and e everything about me! I loved the video. very pwerful! Thank you Renee!

  35. So powerful! Too many of us get to know and then judge, condemn, dislike…even hate. Jesus doesn’t do that, and he doesn’t want us to either. He doesn’t want us to judge and condemn or even dislike. I wish this hold on us was not there, but it is and it needs to be dealt with, because until or unless it is….we will never ever be free.
    I must rely on His power to set me free, to change me, to help me to think differently and to pray that others will learn to think differently.
    Thanks for this video….

  36. Michelle Raue says:

    There are so many things I want to write….but all I can think right now is “WOW”. With tears in my eyes I watched that young girls say…

    “You actually know me
    all of me and everything about me
    Every thought inside and hair on top of my head
    Every hurt stored up, every hope, every dread
    My past and my future, all I am and could be”

    At 45, I look back on a life filled with a desperate child (even once grown) silently crying wishing someone would notice, but trying desperately not to be notice….if that makes any sense. My Father was a raging bi-polar alcoholic….the meanest person you would ever meet when he was drunk and the kindest, most generous man when he wasn’t. My Mother did the best she could for her six children, most of whom rebelled against our Father and our situation, causing my Mother more grief and heatache. I tried very hard to not to rock the boat, to be good so she wouldn’t have to worry about me too. In so doing, I became the one who didn’t need the attention and therefore wasn’t given any. While outwardly I was trying to go unnoticed and not cause any problems for anyone, inwardly I was screaming for someone to please notice me.

    As I grew up, I did everything I was supposed to. I made good grades, got a scholarship to college, was the only one of my siblings to get a college degree. Everyone thought of me as the responsible “together” one…..not needing anyone or anything. But I desperately needed something, anything!

    I went on to a successful career, a marriage most thought was storybook, two beautiful little girls. On the outside, I had everything anyone could want. But nobody really knew me. Had they, they would have seen a little girl desperate for someone to really know her, to really love her.

    In search of that love, I went through two marriages, a career and a whole lot of sin too graphic to get into here, to finally realize Jesus was my answer. At my lowest low, I hit my knees and admitted I didn’t know Him, but begged Him to please give me relief from this life of loneliness. And to my utter surprise, He met me right there, in that moment, and I knew He knew. I didn’t know any scripture. I didn’t know the verse, but I KNEW he KNEW and I KNEW he CARED. The hole in my heart I had been trying to fill had found what it was missing – Jesus.

    As I sit here now, the tears streaming down my face aren’t the tears of a lonely child desperate for attention, they are the tears of a woman redeemed. A woman who knows she will NEVER be alone again, because HE knew me, before I was born…..he was there with me every time I hid in my room trying not to hear my Father hit my Mother…..he was there when I longed to be loved…..He was there when I did the things I did to try to fill that hole…..He was always there and even though He has seen me at my worst, He still chose me to be His child and I am not alone.

    Thank you for sharing the video. I wish I could speak to those girls who are so lost and alone…..let them know before they make all the mistakes I did that HE KNOWS, HE CARES and HE WILL ALWAYS LOVE THEM.

    Blessings!

    • Redemption is HIS specialty, Girl! So thrilled that you understand it. God’s grace always exceeds any sin. Thanks for sharing!

    • August Rose says:

      Michelle I was sitting here reading your message and I can so relate to what you experienced. I too had most of the same desires and had an abusive father. He was so abusive I watched my mother have three nervous breakdowns. As a child I felt so alone. As a teenager that loneliness grew and as a woman that was divorced three times it really grew until… I called out to God during my last divorce. I felt that all my life people left me. But God was there the whole time. I am so thankful that we made it thru and that God held us up when we thought we couldnt go on and look at the new thing He is doing in this setting right here. I am so glad to FINALLY be KNOWN! Thanks for sharing and know that you werent the only one.

    • I read your writing and was blessed can also relate.

    • Lydia G says:

      What a beautiful story of redemption- beauty from ashes. I LOVE hearing/seeing how God can take that which seems beyond hope and make it His- whole and alive.

  37. I remeber seeing this during the last study and how moving it was and is every time I watch it. It has been a “typical” Monday and a meeting ended on a less than positive onte and came homw to viewing the video and all the “drama” faded away. I am looking forward to diging into Chapter 2 tonight. Blessings to all my ACH sisters.

  38. Interesting…I needed to hear this this week in particular. What stuck out in my mind was when she said that
    “To be known is to be loved
    And to be loved is to be known
    And I just met you

    I don’t know you but I want to get to”

    I don’t know Christ all that well yet. In fact, I’m having a hard time trusting Him…me…anything. But, the verse this week gives me hope that He does know me. He knows what I’m going through. I’ve had a hard time…I’m fighting myself in many ways. But, he’s given me the strength to go through this….and face this huge Goliath in my life. And reading this book makes me want to dive deeper in Him. I don’t want religion…I want a relationship. I just visited a church yesterday and I was so discouraged. My partner and I didn’t like it. I felt uncomfortable and out of place. I was thinking about giving up on Christ. But, today’s verse (and beginning to read Chapter 2) and seeing the video today has made me stop and think twice about doing that. I will keep trying….because he does know me. I want to get to know Him. I wonder if its too late….if He’s forgotten about me…..but this verse reminds me He hasn’t forgotten. He won’t forget. He loves me and knows ALL about me.

    • Lydia G says:

      Brooke, I hope that you will find a church where Christ’s love is lived out towards you. The beautiful and yet unfortunate thing about Christianity is that it is for imperfect people. Remember to not look to others as the image of what this faith is about because we all remain imperfect (but now covered by grace and striving to be more like Him) but look to Christ- He is the perfect example. Again though, it’s beautiful that His love is for us imperfect ones… we all need Him. He will never leave you or forsake you once you’ve entered into relationship with him (Hebrews 13:5)- a great promise to hang onto!

  39. Kyrie Eléison says:

    I felt it when “You know me” was said. I have always casually thought, yes, Jesus knows everyone. But like so many of the promises we are learning, I never took that to heart until I studied the names of God. El Roi is the name of God I identify with the most, it means “The God Who Sees Me”. It was the name Haggar called God when he came to her after she was pregnant and ran away from Sarah (or was she Sari at the time, sorry I have forgotten). She felt alone, betrayed, and lost, and God spoke directly to her, just like the woman at the well. I had long since though lost the joy of finding out about El Roi. I let it become another fact in my brain, and not a piece of my heart as it was back when I first heard the name. I also never really thought about Haggar, or the woman at the well, and how they must have felt having someone see, and love them for who they were. I have felt I have to put on a facade at church, and around other women for so long, no one has been able to see the real me. I have worn that facade since I was a child though quite honestly. I didn’t want the pain of being made fun of back then, the bullying, and now put that facade on because I have been betrayed and hurt by my grown up friends so many times I gave up on them all, and on making friends all together. I am starting to realize though that God is the only friend I can really trust, and that I have to be much more cautious than I was in who I give trust to, or let my heart be opened up to. The child in my wanted so much to be loved, and filled, like Lysa said in the forward, that I was looking for a “fill up”. Holding out my cup and waiting for someone to fill me. Now I know I have to fill myself with God first. I have to bring El Roi/Jesus closer, and believe in His promises, believe they are for me. Once that happens, as someone wise here said to be, “God will bring the right people into your life”. I never consulted God about my friendships before, and now I know my every move should be talked through with Him. I am learning so much through these videos, the people here, and Renee’s book. Thank you Renee, all of you here, and for the video Renee, it was amazing, and really touched my heart.

    • Lydia G says:

      What an awesome reminder about the story of Hagar as well- I had never really noticed before about her calling God “El Roi.” Amazing. Powerful. Thank you.

    • Lydia G says:

      Oh, and isn’t it interesting that we were just talking about the Earthly Father/God as Father correlation at the end of the last chapter, and then Renee echoes it this week? What neat confirmation.

  40. I am just in awe. I am finding my heart isn’t as open as I thought.

  41. Sarah H. says:

    I never want to go further in this (or any) bible study. It is going to pull at my heart strings, it is going to dig into the very depths of my soul. that is a place that I don’t even go. Yet here again, with this video, the words touched that deep dark place, and I saw, just how much hurt and pain I try to conceal.

    These are the words that jumped out at me:
    *******************************************************************

    But that’s too much to hope for, to wish for,
    or pray for
    So I don’t, not anymore

    Now I keep to myself
    And by that I mean the pain that keeps me in my own private jail
    The pain that’s brought me here at midday to
    this well

    To ask for a drink is no big request but to ask it of me
    A woman unclean, ashamed, Used and abused
    An outcast a failure a disappointment, a sinner.

    No drink passing from these hands to your lips could ever be refreshing
    Only condemning,
    **************************************************************************************

    I know that feeling. I am that feeling. I don’t ever feel like I will be set free from those feelings. I hide it well on the outside. No one knows the pain that lives inside.

    Do I think that this bible study will help me knock this loose from my soul? I don’t know. All I can do is pray. (Mustard Seed)

    • Lord Jesus, I pray for my sister in Christ today. May she continue to see the light of Your Word revealed in her life. We ask that you set her free in Your Name. Give her eyes that see the confidence You have in her as Your Daughter. Amen.

      Blessings to you. Thank you for sharing.

    • I”m praying for you too Sarah. I know you are afraid and I understand. It is scary. But Jesus wants to set you free from these feelings and love on you. Can you let Him do that – just love on you. Can you sit and let Him speak assurance and love over your hurting heart. I”m praying for you right now. We are here – you are not alone. We will walk with you through this one chapter at a time. You are worth the courage it will take. He has so much more HE wants to give you!!

  42. Sarah H. says:

    Can I share that video?

  43. Lisa Arms says:

    I just sobbed listening to this … God has healed so many wounds and yet here I sit realizing the gift of being able to really see and still scared of being seen and known.

    This was His perfect timing – I am known. I can be safe being known. Praise God!

  44. Jeanie Kelley says:

    I have read the chapter and so much resonated with me. Especially the way you viewed God as you were growing up. I could totally relate with this since this was the way I looked at my dad. I always thought that God was just like my earthly father and he was not a loving person. How wrong I was in this feeling. Now I realize that God is my father and he loves me so much. Just wanted to let you know I am taking a week off from Face book and videos so I will not be able to watch the videos since it will be like watching television. My 12 year old is doing TV free week and we cannot watch videos or be on Face book at all this week. I finally discovered one thing that I will try with this experience. Set my timer for only 30 minutes a day for facebook and that is it. I am finding myself on it alot.

  45. The whole video spoke to me, but specifically:

    To ask for a drink is no big request but to ask it of me
    A woman unclean, ashamed, Used and abused
    An outcast a failure a disappointment, a sinner.

    I feel like I am Sam, I am her. I feel like why would Jesus see anything special in me, when there are so many other people he could call upon. But what I often need to remind myself is that Jesus and God often call upon people who themselves do not feel special, but they have a special purpose for them.

    • Amanda…we are so hard on ourselves and yet God wants us “as is”. I love what Renee wrote in chapter 2: “Jesus in the only One who can meet our deepest needs to be accepted and delighted in simply because of who we are. We can offer nothing but our presence, and He will desire us just the same.”

      Just be available sweet Amanda and He will use you in ways that you realize just how special you are to Him.

  46. This really resonates with me also. 18 years ago I had severe post pardum depression. I was listening to Satans lies. Like you are no good, you are worthless, no one loves you, you are a terrible person etc. During that time, I started writing music. God showed me that he knew my WHOLE life story and everything that has happened to me and he loved me. He heals the broken hearted and binds up all their wounds. Psalm 147:3

    Here is one of the songs I wrote called “He Knows”

    https://fbcdn-video-a.akamaihd.net/cfs-ak-ash4/v/232143/974/2172384425606_36754.mp4?oh=bbd45e26c518884bf48cfd51e1b46aea&oe=4F9F5120&__gda__=1335841056_f3071a12aea50a1bb43ba3b912b177fd

  47. Felicia S. says:

    You whisper and tell me to my face
    what all those glances have been about and
    You take the time to really look at me
    But don’t need to get to know me

    For to be known is to be loved and
    To be loved is to be known

    And you know me
    You actually know me
    all of me and everything about me
    Every thought inside and hair on top of my head
    Every hurt stored up, every hope, every dread

    My past and my future, all I am and could be
    You tell me everything,
    you tell me about ME

    God knows me – He knows me better than I know myself. It’s been a very difficult week, but by God’s grace, I have been who He wants me to be. I give Him the glory and praise. It has been tough, but with prayer and confidence in God, I made it through. Praise the Lord!

    • Lydia G says:

      Isn’t that so amazing and terrifying at the same time- “He knows me better than I know myself.” I often think I am hiding things from Him, when He actually wants to reveal things to me about myself!

  48. Jenny Mabe says:

    Loved the video. Good message. I have struggled with this part of my life. What stood out to me from the chapter was that Jesus is right there waiting in the midst of our imperfect lives, when our pain and failures confirm our self-doubt. Jesus knows our story. I want to be known and be loved. I’m loved by the savior. Right now I am dealing with a broken heart over a situation at the church I attend. But I know that God is right there waiting. He is my healer. Just keep me in prayer through this study.

  49. Joann Osborne says:

    This video was amazing as are all the comments. I too, struggle with my emotions, sometimes quite overwhelmed. Today, I am encouraged and reminded that we are not alone even when we feel like we are. That we are known and loved. You are a beautiful group of ladies, and you all have touched me. Thanks be to God and thank you!

  50. I will post my thoughts about chapter 2 later, but what a powerful promise that HE knows me! My husband is in the military and will be deploying again later this year.. and it is encouraging to know that before I even approach His throne.. He already knows my circumstances and is leading the way step by step.

  51. She had some very interesting things in her poem. I basically got that another individual can’t judge another person by their appearance, color, decreed, race, or gender. However, all this done by God not man also, another individual shouldn’t be to quick to judge some one else cause he or she could be judging God’s chosen one.

    Be Blessed

    Tricia

  52. It was not my dad, but my mom who left me with the baggage of ‘if I don’t behave well enough she’ll leave’. Unfortunately she would leave, for a time when her anger got the better of her. But because I was under two years old, I interpreted it as my bad behavior drove her off and it was only when my older brother, older sister, and I started behaving well again, that she came back. What she did was exactly what she needed to do to stop the cycle of abuse with which she grew up, but in my less than 2 year old mind, I interpreted it much differently. It is something that I have fought for years, ever since God helped me to realize it.

    Reading your words about your dad leaving you and describing what I have felt all these years was like a breath of fresh air for me. I am learning much from your insights and perspective. Even though I am 53 years old, have been a Christian for 43 of those years, hold a Master’s of Divinity degree and am an ordained minister, you are still teaching me much that I need to know and I thank God for allowing me to be a part of this study at this time.

  53. Kristi Stirler says:

    Wow…it was amazing and a great reminder that He wants to know us at a level that is far deeper than I have ever wanted to go with anyone except my husband!

  54. I love how God loves me, in spite of me. I believe in our walk with God, that we will notice that sometimes we are our own worst enemy. But to know that God loves us just for who we are. No front, no pretending, no acting, just being upfront and honest and sincere with the things we struggle with and things we don’t like about ourselves. No love compares.

    I see how everyone from the youngest to oldest just want to be loved… we just want to be wanted. We want to be known, but still loved. It’s hard to let others see and know all the baggage that we carry (ourselves). We don’t want people to get too close to those touchy things or feelings of insecurity. The only one I’ve found that I’m more comfortable with at being myself is Jesus. The things I used to get made fun of in highschool for my appearance (things I can’t change about myself) would leave me walking around the halls with my head to the ground. Afraid if I lifted up my head somebody would see that imperfection that only God knows how uncomfortable and embarrassing it is to me. But when I’m with God, I can truly be myself. I can lift my head up to Him and praise Him for loving me for me. Not based on my apperance, but just for who I am. He loves me. No love have I found that’s any greater. Only God can I open up to and let him see and heal those feelings of hurt and embarassment. I sit and cry as I’m typing this right now, because God is through this study right now revealing to me something about myself. Something about my heart, that he needs to repair is those seeds of embarassment and hurt that others have planted in my heart. He needs to heal this place in my heart, so I can be set free of feeling that way anymore. He came so I could live life, and live it more abundantly. Please pray that God would heal those (deep, hurtful parts) in my heart, and replace those seeds with seeds of love. Love is what heals our hearts. I know God will take care of me.

  55. The video is powerful. I can’t believe that I can relate to the Samaritan woman at the well. After reading chapter 2 this is what really stood out for me. That Jesus is waiting for me at the well ready to offer his perfect love to me while I’m in the midst of my imperfect life that is filled self doubt and insecurities. Hallelujah what a savior. Renee thank you for your book and this study.

  56. Loretta Pearson says:

    Wow! What an impact in my heart! God is so speaking to me through this study!!! To be knonw! To someone with childhood hurts that God has been healing and opening doors for sharing his healing…we do want to be known and yet loved!

    Jeremiah 1:5 !”before you were born I set you apart” God has been asking for more, and I say “yes Lord, yes!”

    Thanks so very much for this study, God is speaking to me through it.

  57. I love the word “Yada”! I read “The Yada Yada Prayer Group” years ago & it was & still is one of my very favorites! In fact I have an email that start letsyada & my women of faith group is “let’s yada gurls”! I love that it means to know or be known. My thoughts were let’s talk gurls & get to know God. So cool! I am realizing everyday that I still have a long way to go in “knowing” who God really is. You cannot even believe how appropriate this is for me right now!Thank you!

  58. casseta says:

    For to be known is to be loved and
    To be loved is to be known

    And you know me
    You actually know me
    all of me and everything about me
    Every thought inside and hair on top of my head
    Every hurt stored up, every hope, every dread

    My past and my future, all I am and could be
    You tell me everything,
    you tell me about
    me.
    I am so happy that Christ looked beyond my fault and saw my need. i have done nothing good to deserve His love,but He love me with an everlasting Love.

  59. Jessica Hughes says:

    “And YOU know me
    You actually know me
    all of me and everything about me
    Every thought inside and hair on top of my head
    Every hurt stored up, every hope, every dread
    My past and my future, all I am and could be
    You tell me everything,
    You tell me about ME”

    Wow. The words above are what resonate the most with me from the video. As someone who is private with “built-up walls,” I find comfort in knowing that God already knows me. The real me…no pretending. I don’t have to say anything and he knows…he gets me even when I feel as though no one else does. You know how when a squirrel darts out in front of your car and dodges from side to side in the road, not knowing which way to go? (or maybe only southerners will know what I’m talking about?) Well, that’s how I feel about my future sometimes….unsure of which “future-making” decision to make because I want to make the right one before getting run over! Bad example? Well, God already has it planned out. He’s got everything under control….”He’s got this” and I’m OK with that!

    As far as chapter 2, well, feels like the whole chapter was written just for me. “The weight of the water-filled jar in the heat must have been almost unbearable, but the weight of her neighbors’ words, reminding her of her failures and imperfections, was more than she could take.” I know how it feels to “take the long way around” to try to avoid the judgement of others. Also, “We can offer nothing but our presence, and He will desire us just the same.” I serve an AMAZING God! I don’t deserve His love, but He gives it anyway. God thinks I’m good enough for Him?! God desires me, a simple sinner?! How’d I get so lucky to be worthy enough for the King of Kings?! I’m always comparing myself to others: I’m not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, I’ve already made too many mistakes in life, or someone else can do it better so I find comfort in these words and will find myself repeating them often: “…because God’s love is perfect, you don’t have to be!”

    • Ms. B. says:

      Jessica! Your post captures my feelings exactly!
      “…unsure of which “future-making” decision to make because I want to make the right one before getting run over! Bad example? Well, God already has it planned out. He’s got everything under control….”He’s got this” and I’m OK with that!”
      I too struggle with making decisions, always afraid of making another mistake, or of getting ahead of God…
      Yet, He orders my steps! I must abandon my quest for perfection…to look perfect, to behave perfectly, to be perfect at work, the perfect daughter, etc. it’s not gobba happen. And, it’s okay, because I have a perfect God covering me.
      Whew! Amen!!!

  60. It is sovery comforting to me to know that Jesus knows us so intimately. I think of all the things and feelings that we hide because we don’t have confidence or we don’t trust others with our vulnerabilities. But to know that at the end of the day, God sees it all, raw and unclothed and we have nothing to fear. What a gracious God we have.

  61. Donna from Honolulu, Hawaii says:

    What an awesome video “Known & Loved” I really enjoyed the way John 4 was put into this video and depicting the Samaritan woman meeting up with Jesus. These are the parts that stood out for me:

    You whisper as I pass by and cast judgmental glances
    Though you don’t really take the time to look at me
    Or even get to know me

    You whisper and tell me to my face
    what all those glances have been about and
    You take the time to really look at me
    But don’t need to get to know me
    For to be known is to be loved and
    To be loved is to be known

    And you know me
    You actually know me
    all of me and everything about me
    Every thought inside and hair on top of my head
    Every hurt stored up, every hope, every dread

    My past and my future, all I am and coulb be
    you tell me everything,
    you tell me about ME

    Chapter 2 was reaching out to me- letting me know no matter what my faults or wrong doings that HE loves me and wants to have a personal relationship with me, and this chapter is teaching me to open up to Jesus. My favorite part of Chapter 2 is this:

    He invites you to come to Him to receive the perfect love He offers–love that casts out fear, love that is patient and kind, love that keeps no record of wrongs.

    You and I are not worthy of His love and we can never do anything to deserve it–but we are worth His love because He chose to give it to us. We are His! Hold on to this promise and live in the power of its truth: because God’s love is perfect, you don’t have to be!

    Thank you Jesus that you are al oving & forgiving God-help me to continue to draw nearer to you Lord. Amen

    Aloha from Hawaii oxoxoxox

  62. Hannah says:

    I was struck by Renee’s story. I too have always felt that I’m not worth staying for. My parents divorced when I was younger, causing my dad to leave our house. While my dad was physically still in my life, emotionally I felt abandoned. In my early twenties, I went around to different guys, trying to get them to fill the emptiness I felt. In every relationship, I would sub-consciously ask if I was worth staying around for. It never worked. I left heartbroken more times than I can count. Renee said, “On the outside everything looked “fine”, yet on the inside I was haunted by thoughts of never being good enough. I felt like I could never do enough to measure up.”

    While I can’t say I’m fully there yet, I feel like God has healed so many parts of my heart. I don’t only that He NEVER leaves us, I feel like I’ve internalized that. He knows us and loves us the same. While I still find myself trying to gain my identity in my work or through my relationships, I just hope that God can continue to help me feel more confident in Him and who he has made me to be.

    ‘To be known is to be loved and to be loved is to be known.”

    I’m not sure about you ladies, but since I’ve started this book, I’ve felt like past insecurities have come to the surface. I find myself doubting big decisions I’ve recently made and worrying more and more what people think of me. Maybe this is God’s way of bringing things to the surface in order to heal them. What do you think?

    • I think two things are going on. God wants to bring complete wholeness and healing – and the enemy wants to intimidate you and convince you it’s not worth it – and bring to mind everything so that you’ll turn back. I pray you won’t do it. You will claim all of the truths over each and every thought and live in the security of HIS promises in each decision and detail. You were made for more than doubt and uncertainty – you were made for lasting confidence and peace. Just seek HIM with all your heart and ask HIM to make your paths straight and to lead you and then keep listening TO HIM and not to the whispers of doubts and fear.

      I had to learn these truths while I wrote the book b/c my own past junk and hurts surfaced but with each one I invited God to enter into that moment with me and bring healing and over time He did. I’m so thankful I persevered and didn’t throw away my confidence the many, many times the enemy tried to convince me I should,

      Praying for you right now Hannah. :0)

      • Hannah says:

        Renee! Thanks so much for this post, it means a lot to me. Last night I put up a few of God’s promises on the wall of my house to remind me where my confidence comes from. Reading those promises over and over again, even when you don’t feel it, makes a big difference. Thanks for praying for me!

  63. I want someone to look at my face
    And not just see two eyes, a nose,
    a mouth and two ears
    But to see all that I am, and could be
    all my hopes, loves and fears

    But that’s too much to hope for, to wish for,
    or pray for
    So I don’t, not anymore

    Now I keep to myself
    And by that I mean the pain that keeps me in my own private jail
    The pain that’s brought me here at midday to
    this well

  64. I am so much more like Sam than I EVER thought. I have been so frustrated in relationships with others (and even now in my marriage) because I feel like it’s all about what I can do for them…not about knowing ME. And like the poem states – to be known is to be loved and to be loved is to be known…I’ve been hurting for so long because I feel like I’ve never been loved because I’ve never been known. I’ve allowed this hurt to turn to anger & anger into bitterness. I don’t want to be bitter or angry or hurt. And I SEE where God knows me & loves me, but sometimes it seems beyond reach. And sometimes wouldn’t it be nice to be known/loved by someone with skin? Maybe I’ve been searching in the wrong place – maybe His love will meet all my needs…that’s what I’m told anyway, but how on Earth do I get there?? It seems like Sam came to it so easily after meeting Jesus…I want that – am I over thinking this??

    • Anna…
      His love will meet all your needs for sure. I love what Renee wrote in chapter 2: “Christianity is the only faith that offers a relationship with God. We don’t just know about God; our God wants us to know Him. We were created for that kind of relationship.”

      You asked how on earth do you get there and it is relationship. Seeking Him with all your heart, mind and soul. Keep reading “A Confident Heart” and ask God to show you what it is He has for you in this book. The book won’t change you, but the God behind the book will…if you let Him.

      Praying for you! 🙂

    • I feel the same as you..I didn’t realize I was so much like Sam. Although I believe God allows us to go through many things to lead us to where He wants us to be, sometimes it’s difficult dealing with the pain that goes with it. I’m so glad God meets us where we are because sometimes it’s hard to find our way to Him.

  65. Courtney says:

    “And you know me
    You actually know me
    all of me and everything about me
    It is absolutely amazing that even though God knows all of my faults and inadequacies (in my doubting mind) that he still loves me, truly loves me. It is through his love that I am finding the confidence to shed my barriers and walls and really work to be great and not paralyzed by fear.

    I truly believe the following statement in the book and it is the reason why I do and will continue to nurture my relationship with God:
    A personal relationship with God sets us free to be all we were created to be.
    With God all things are possible.

    These are very important messages that I hold very close to my heart as I start on my Master’s Degree while continuing my important roles as a Wife, Mother of 3, and work full-time as HR Director.

    I know that God is calling me to further my education and that he will be with me each step of the way!!!

  66. Cecelia Saigeon says:

    I love this verse! Especially today because it is my birthday. To realize He knew me and loved me before He formed me and He set me apart is a miracle. To think about it makes me know I am special and He has a purpose for me. It is hard to express in words but this is the greatest birthday wish I could have recived today! Thank-you Jesus!!!!!!!!
    I love you!

  67. For to be known is to be loved
    And to be loved is to be known

    .. I want to be known and I want others to be known. Thank the Lord for he is good.

  68. truly loved it…..it really got me fired up in the fact that HE loves me for me…always has and always will. HE doesn’t judge me for my wrong doings, but come to me for me to seek him so he can get to know me better….I can’t even put into words how much this video touched me. I will be sharing it with others for sure!! Thank you for this study!
    Blessings to all (love reading the posts from everyone else)

  69. How do I get the first message? I see this is part 2.

  70. Here is a link to archives of my online study blog posts: http://reneeswope.com/category/ach-spring12/

    Im leading an online study of my book and it just started last week. If you have the book, we’d love for you to join us. If not, it’s available in several places. Here is a page where you can find links to purchase it:
    http://reneeswope.com/aconfidentheart/

    Hope that helps!

  71. As I read chapter two where Renee says “we begin to believe we have to be perfect to be loved and accepted.” I had to stop and reflect on what the word Perfect meant to me. To be perfect to me was be what every one wanted of me Before long I was trying to be so many people I lost sight of me. Everyone seemed to want me for what they could make me into to satisfy their need. So the people- pleaser was born. There was no chance to develop into someone I wanted to be or had the chance to be I was so busy being what “others” wanted me to be. So I never developed confidence to try something on my own, that would mean I was alone and I needed someones approval. I’m still that way in a lot of areas.

  72. christine lowe says:

    I finished Ch 2 and watched the video again. Don’t have time to answer questions yet . This stirs up all kinds of feelings in me. Thinking about rejection as a child and a young woman. At 62 I’m starting to get that Jesus will never reject me. I grew up in a religion that portrayed God as distant and angry. Add to that growing up not know my earthly father; my mom divorcing her 2nd husband who I thought was my father; My grandmother telling me at age 7 not to be sad and showing me a picture of a strange man and telling me that was my real father and this should be our “secret”. I grew up afraid of men. My uncle molested me. I looked for validation at every man that showed me any interest.. Lots for me to learn and I’m happy to be in this study. I’m working on telling my secrets so I don’t have to carry that heavy burden anymore. Thanks to Renee for sharing her story and giving us a chance to do the same. God is good.

  73. Wow….just WOW!!!!!!!!!!!

  74. Jackie says:

    “To be known is to be loved, to be loved is to be known”…”you actually know me, all of me and everything about me”.. Wow!!!

    “Now I keep to myself and by that I mean the pain that keeps me in my own private jail…”. This stood out to me in that when we keep things to ourselves, we hold ourselves in that jail, and how freeing it is to share with others, even when it can be so hard to open up……it is so freeing. Satan wants us to stay in jail, not God!!!!

    “Let me run back to town, this is way too much for just me.”. This also stood out to me because I have really felt Jesus calling me to be bold in sharing Him with others, and not letting my fears or doubts stop me from doing that…… Like Sam, she ran back to others to tell them all about Jesus….. What great examples to follow! What an encouragement as I’ve been praying for boldness.

  75. Lora C says:

    I love the video!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing this with us!!

  76. Charlyn says:

    Loved this video and Chapter 2 spoke to me. One thing that got to me was where it says that “pretending leads to hiding and isolation.” That is me big time. I put up walls and don’t let anyone in. I can relate to “Sam.” I have had relationship issues as well as isolating myself from the world. Unfortunately there is so much condemnation in the church as well as the world. I am so glad that Jesus loves me with all of my imperfections.

  77. So glad to know God knows me, and because He knows me this way, I am totally and abundantly loved by Him. No matter what I do, I know He loves me, and will help me up when I fall. He will hear me when I am hurting and not ridicule me. He will forgive me when I am lost… Man, our God is good! This has to stick! I never really just sat and thought about how much God knows about me. He knows everything, but He still sent His son to die.. BEFORE, I was born.. He knew I would slap Him in the face with sin, but He died and rose anyways. Man, our God is good!

  78. Carolyn says:

    I am going to STOP asking Jesus to change the course of my day and START asking Him to change the course of my life.

  79. Melissa says:

    So loved the poem!!! It is awesome!!! Chapter 2 has spoke to me in so many ways and helped me to realize things I didn’t know even existed!! The question that spoke to me in this chapter was #6. We were ask to read John 4 again and see if we can relate. As I did, God showed me that we are so much like “Sam”. When she answers Jesus about wanting the water that will make her thirst no more so she doesnt have come to the well anymore. What God showed me is that for me I am like her sometimes when I want a quick fix instead of dealing with the problem. I just want him to help me and not dig deep to find out the main issue. He spoke to me and said that through the pain I give you wisdom so when you opt for the easy way out you miss out!!! All I could say way”Whoa”!!! Thank you God for your wisdom and knowledge!! Thank you for loving me even when I don’t feel lovable!!! All I can say is my Abba Father is awesome!!!! So glad I join this bible study and a big thanks to Renee for being such an obedient servant and writing it!!!

  80. Kimberly Miramontes says:

    “Sometimes I think we tell people we’re fine even when we’re not, because we want to be fine. Or we hope that by saying we are fine, eventually we will be…Although we tell people we’re fine, what we really mean is that we are Frazzled, Irritated, Neurotic, and Exhausted!…Pretending leads to hiding and isolation…Eventually, though, we find ourselves in the shadows of doubt, convinced that we aren’t worth knowing or pursuing. Slowly we begin to believe we have to be perfect to be loved and accepted…O how I longed for someone to see past the exterior facade and look into the secret places of my heart. I wanted to be known and loved for who I was. Yet if I let my guard down, I was afraid someone would say I was too sensitive or too serious…” These passages together explain me. Who I really am. Unfortunately in our culture, when you are asked “How are you?” many people don’t expect a long response about how you really are, they want to hear “I’m fine” so they can keep going and move on. I’ve tried to respond truthfully, but briefly, just to be true to myself. But how do I explain so much in so little time? Now when I respond “I’m fine,” I know there are 2 meanings 🙂 and whichever one I mean is for me to know whether I want to explain or not…

  81. I am “that woman”. Thank you Jesus for loving me.

  82. LeAnne says:

    God is certainly moving here. “Have you let the gospel of God’s grace move from your head to your heart, so that you know without a doubt you are known intimately and loved completely by God?” At first my head answered, well of course. I’ve always known Jesus in my life. I know His word for me, His promises. To not harm me, but for a hope and a future. I’m raising four daughters and teaching them His promises. His love. But suddenly conviction hit. And whoa!Nelly! Did I ever want to just ignore that initial twinge. I have His joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, right? Really? Suddenly I stopped to look at my heart. Knowing He knows me. Knows all my insecurities. My cowardice. Deep down where I am so scared I’ll do the wrong thing. So scared to act if I don’t know for sure what to do. So sure I cannot possibly be the one He needs here. To do this thing that is staring me in the face. To speak the words that need to be spoken. When everything around me says it’s down to me. What I decide. Deep down where I finally have to admit, am I really trusting Him? To lead me to do the right thing? And he SEES that! He KNOWS that. To face knowing that He knows? A fear, a hesitation creeps in. And yet. And yet. AND YET!!! He knows and He loves me. How incredible. And He meets me right there. At my well.

    I read the poem first. But when I watched the video…wow. I realize, I SO want Him to meet me at the well! At my well. To make me face myself. To fill me down to my heart with His living water. Pure living water. So I can be strengthened to…do. Whatever it is that needs to be done. In His love. In His way. With whatever abilities He’s given me. Confidently. To His glory.

  83. We each are worthy. Funny how you can accept God’s gift of salvation the work of the cross and chatter to Him all day long yet still not truly understand that He gets it. He gets you. Us. We each of us. He knows us. Me. You
    What a gift!
    Funny: how I’m in a bible study called “The Woman at the Well” and I never really thought about what that really was all about just the basic story.
    Thank you Renee

  84. Jackie says:

    What stood out to me most in Chapter 2…”Jesus is the only one who can meet our deepest needs to be accepted and delighted in simply because of who we are, we can offer nothing but our presence and He will desire us just the same.”. Why is it so easy for us to seek to have our needs met by something or someone else, when we know this fact????? I also loved the statement, “our God wants us to know Him.” That really amazes me daily, that my Creator wants to know me!!!! I have not had very many close spiritual friendships other than a very few, very special and dear sisters in Christ, who happened to move so we are separated by distance, I have been frustrated trying to build other special spiritual friendships and the lack of desire from others to “make time” to really get to know one another. The whole time though, so thankful that God wants to know me, spend time with me, and I have real,y sought comfort and encouragement from the time I am spending with Him.

    The last statement from this chapter I loved “The only way we’ll have a confident heart is if we move beyond knowing about God to knowing and relying on Him, depending on His Word with our whole heart, mind, and soul,”. This has been and will continue to be my focus moving forward.

  85. christine lowe says:

    I keep coming back to the video b/c each time i listen i hear something new. Today it was “you tell me about me”. The thought of any one knowing me well enough to tell me about me brings regret for time wasted in foolish pursuits. Then I stop and think this is GOD who knows me this well. It is humbling to think HE still wants me. I am thankful for God’s mercy and grace b/c without them I will never make it to heaven. So I continue with the study to rid myself of secrets and shame. Thank you Abba for being a father to the fatherless and promising to never leave me or forsake me.

  86. Aubrie says:

    What is really coming out for me as I’m reading is that I’ve used the “I’m fine” phrase for way too long. I’ve been hurting deeply for years and I have repressed those feelings. This has led to me being depressed and doubtful of who I am, my calling, and where i want to go (career-wise). God is using this study to help me see how it’s my own facade that has me where I’m at. I look at other people and i see them smiling and having fun and I wonder to myself “will I ever be happy?” I’m not talking about the surface happy that comes and goes, but about the deep-down, joyful happiness. I’m always sad. This leaves my husband bewildered b/c he doesn’t know what to do. He is a new Christian with one foot still left in the world. I have also had one foot in the world these past few years and i feel God telling me to come back in and let HIM heal the wonds that have been keeping me in my “just fine” place. It’s a process and takes one step at a time, but I think i’m learning to trust Him to heal my dark places that have been glossed over. I am looking forward to more of this study and to God healing me and to not having eternal sadness all around me. 🙂 It’s possible…God has shown me. I just need to let Him take me to the place I need to be.

  87. Tatiana says:

    This chapter and verse has spoken volumes to me this week because since the new year I have been dealing with the pain of a severed relationship while simultaneously healing from a traumatic childhood. I have recognize in dealing with both circumstances that a deep desire to be affirmed has been echoing from my heart. I don’t want to want or feel like I need the affirmations of these people so this week I am praying for God to open my mind and my heart to the realization that I have all that I need in Him, that He loves me and that I am good enough just as I am.

  88. Jessica says:

    The video for this week was really good. I enjoyed reading the blog about “being fine” too. Sometimes when I am not fine which seems to be daily now, I complain to people who are closest to me, and everyone else just sees me as fine. In our busy culture when we ask people how they are it is more of a greeting like hi than actually seeing how they really are. Something I try to work on with others is when I ask them how they are doing is to wait for the answer. This is kinda ackward though because they are usually just giving one word answers and keep it moving.

    Something else I struggle is the motivation to change my attitude from one of lack of confidence to having confident in Christ. I made a comment about how the paper I wrote was awful, and a friend of mine said I am always saying that everything I do is terrible. I always have a negative view of myself. It is really hard to want to change this attitude because it is so engrained in me. Growing up and still today, all I hear form my family is what I am doing is not good or good enough. I am so stuck in a rut. In addition, sometimes I get to the point where I don’t know what to say to God so I don’t talk to Him. I have many areas that I need guidance in, but I feel like most of my prayers are focused on emotional things I need to get over or things that are focused on the day to day instead of the future.

  89. Knowing God has been such a thrill in my life journey. This chapter and video just reiterates the awesome bond God has with each one of us. That bond can’t be broken as long as we don’t let it! God is Good! All the Time!

  90. I think the questions at the end of the chapter actually revealed more to me than reading the chapter itself. I have realized this before, but I see God as a rules-based judge on his throne, waiting for me to do something wrong and then punish me for it. I don’t know where this comes from, but I’ve had this view of him since I was a child. I love my dad, but he was always a “Do as I say, because I said” kind of father. I’ve never believed that works will save a person, but I have believed the lie that God will reign down all sorts of problems on us if we don’t follow all the “rules.” It’s hard for me to break this but I believe God is opening my eyes. Re-reading Sam’s story, I realize that I don’t give God credit for pursuing me. I often don’t feel it, but I’m sure it’s because of my distorted view of Him. He is a God of mercy, tenderness, grace. And yes, He is a Judge, but He is the most fair Judge there is. I often feel distant to Him, but I know that’s my fault. I just have to figure out how to listen to God’s truths and not satan’s lies. Starting to pray for discernment and wisdom.

  91. I have heard the story of the “woman at the well” all my life, yet it never dawned on me that Jesus specifically planned His timing and His journey at be at the well at this exact time. It seems pretty simplistic, but to think that the Savior of the world would schedule His day so that He could meet with this woman and change her life just blows me away! Such a personal God we have to do this for us. Wow!

  92. Lydia G says:

    The very title of the chapter is underlined twice in my book. “Because God’s Love is Perfect, I Don’t Have To Be.” What a simple truth, but SO powerful to a woman who has been a perfectionist for as long as I can remember… in order to earn affection and love. Renee’s story was regarding a father who left her physically, mine was present in the home but absent emotionally. I cannot remember him ever telling me he loved me, and he only said he was proud of me when I achieved something exceptional. So that’s what I learned love was- performance based. Thankfully I can say that my relationship with my earthly father and my father as a person have been transformed by Christ in recent years, and that same man now embraces me when I visit and tells me he loves me on the phone. How amazing is the power of God! I still fight against the patterns of thought and behavior that became a part of me, but I am blessed that my relationship with him has been healed.

    I am blessed to have two girl friends with whom I can be extremely vulnerable; I do my hiding in my marriage. The one person who I should be able to bare my soul to, I struggle the most to do so with. Not necessarily because of anything he’s done- but because I am insecure. I don’t want him to regret making the choice to join his life with mine if he sees my darker places. One of my friends has recently encouraged me in this area… but it is hard. I know that perfect love casts out fear… but we are human and imperfect and that scares me. Yet at the same time “I longed for someone to see past the exterior facade and look into the secret places…” Constant inner tension about this in my relationship to a wonderful godly man.

    I have grabbed on to Philippians 1:6 as a promise that speaks to my perfectionism! It’s okay if I’m not ‘there’ yet, because He will get me there- and Christ is much more reliable than I am to do so! It gives me hope on the days that doubt whispers “You’re not good enough” or “You’re doing it all wrong.” I can now shout back- “That’s because I’m not yet complete. I’ll get there.”

  93. Where do I start? Do we really have to let others know how we’re really doing? Are we high maintenance if we do? And no I do not want my family, friends, or co-workers see that the paint is peeling, that I have flaws,bad days and not positive or inspirational at times. Yes over the years I have learned to say: “I’m fine.”
    Although I do tell them I’m fine, underneath I am not and I really want to say: I am FRAZZLED, IRRITATED, and EXHAUSTED! My friend sent me a text yesterday that read: OMG , enough is enough, this has got to be wearing you to a frazzle. And yes, days lately are stressful, yes I do feel at my limits some days, with husbands health issues, dealing with insurance companies, not to mention workman’s comp. But I try to remind myself each day, that God is in control, that he carried us through a major motorcycle accident years ago, that affected us both, not only health wise but made our marriage stronger. I was told by my mom: that this will either break you or make you stronger, thank you mom. I have seen how hiding and isolation has been in control just like it was shared that I have been wearing a mask, because I heard many times, let it go, your to sensitive, or to emotional. So yes I have stepped into the shadow. But the most hurtful is when a love one, will not support you on a decision that you have had a difficult time making, even though they might not understand why I made the decision I made, I would like for them just to support them., to say I understand this was difficult even though I do not agree I do support you.
    So for now I just continue to pray for I know that God Loves Me, just the way I am, because He made me, and that He alone knows me from the inside of my heart to my outside appearance. I find comfort in listening to the Christian Music Station daily and I find meaning with the words and songs. I have learned so much just in 2 Chapters, I almost can not put the book down. Thank you Renee for your love of the Lord, your ministry and your fellowship. God Blesss

  94. Rhonda says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the video clip. It is perfect for our chapter and for our hearts this week.

  95. Elizabeth says:

    Ch2 is so challenging to me. I don’t know if it’s convicting or I just can’t wrap my head around it or what it is, but it’s a tough one for me to swallow. Each time I read it I’m pushed even further. This whole idea of letting people (or even God for that matter) in to be known on a deep and intimate level is so foreign to me I guess. When you’ve spent 30 of the last 37 yrs running away or hiding from letting ANYONE in this ch is a lot to chew on!

  96. Heather V says:

    There are so many things that have resonated with me from chapter 2. “I tried to earn my worth through a performance based value system, convinced that if I did the right things, said the right things, wore the right things, and looked the right way, then I’d be worth staying for.” Reading this was like having an out of focus picture suddenly come in to focus. It resonated deep inside me because this is my story. While my parents never physically left me they did leave me emotionally. “I wanted to be known and loved for who I was. Yet if I let my guard down, I was afraid someone would say I was too sensitive or too serious. It had happened before. So I pretended everything was fine.” I could have written these words.

    • Lydia G says:

      Heather, I also lived with parents who were emotionally distant. I know now that they have loved me all along, but they never expressed it. Like you I tried to earn their attention, affection, and love. Chapter two was as if I had written it myself- I was reading it and thought- I could have written this in present tense… and I look forward to being able to talk about these struggles in past tense some day when God has helped me to walk through it to the other side. Yes, emotional absence is just as painful as physical absence, in my opinion.

  97. “Now I keep to myself and by that I mean the pain that keeps me in my own private jail” speaks volumes to my life. I have known and loved our Heavenly Father, His son and my Savior Jesus, and my helper the Holy Ghost since I was a little girl. I have always lived my life openly for Him, yet consistent ridicule and rejection from those in my life who are supposed to be a blessing to me brings me to this statement. I am so thankful for this book and on-line study to be strengthened by other sisters in Christ. Thank you!

  98. What a powerful chapter and a powerful video. It is such a relief to know that because God’s love is perfect, I don’t have to be. I want to get to know God better and I want Him to know me so that I can have the gift He offers – the gifts of transformation and salvation.

  99. Nancy Welch says:

    Just a question, or request I should say. Would it be possible to put the questions on a printable download as well? I am new at using a Kindle and as much as a like it, I miss being able to write in my book and answer the questions on paper.
    I am truly enjoying everything about the study!

  100. pg. 31—–“Being honest about who we are and how we are doing is especially risky when it comes to our insecurities. We fear that if people know that we doubt ourselves, they’ll start doubting us too.”—–As a woman, this is me!

  101. So many impactful tidbits in this chapter & the video clip! The title says it all for me “Because God’s love is perfect, I don’t have to be. This is something I struggle with. As a child i had this notion that God was looking down & making sure that I was being a Christian example to others. Somehow along the way my good intentions turned into just going through the motions and being good so He wouldn’t be upset with me. My perspective was & still is kind of skewed. But praise God He is leading me on this journey to discovering a peace that pases my human understanding about who I am in Him!

  102. This chapter so overwelming, but refreshing. I have struggled many years of my life from since I was eight when my dad left me and I too thought what if i did this better, or maybe I shouldn’t have fought with my sisters. I have had a hard life ranging from molestation to Domestic abuse to the final breaking point for me was my Husband abandoning us in an email from afganistan and leaving me and three teenagers to live off my disability. Tonight I read this chapter and realized Jesus has been sitting here just waiting for me to say Hello and to accept him. My perception was way off of my Lord that I know now, but maybe those things happened becouse I made bad choices and didn’t run through Jesus first who would have been able to help me make wiser choices. I am choosing today to accept him and know he is real and has my best at heart, becouse I need his love and non judgement right know as I try picking up the pieces of my heart and life off the ground and putting them back together as best I can.

  103. SO THANKFUL FOR YOU ALL BEING SOOOOOOO AUTHENTIC AND I LOVE THIS POEM..IM JUST STARTING THIS STUDY AND WAY BEHIND BUT EVEN JUST READING THESE FIRST TWO POSTS..I KNOW I’M NOT ALONE..I KNOW GOD IS WITH ME AS WELL AS ALL OF YOU..MY SISTERS IN CHRIST…LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING GODS HEALING IN THIS STUDY..TO LOVE MYSELF AND BE CONFIDENT AND NOT TO HOLD THINGS IN AND TO BE ABLE TO TRUST.

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