Running With Courage – Chasing God’s Plans

Today I want you to meet my sweet, funny, amazing cyber-friend, Rachel Wojnarowski. Her story is one of God’s redeeming grace and the choice she’s made to chase after His plans and hold onto His hope — with all that she has in her.

I grew up in a wonderful Christian home with fabulous Christian parents.  We were faithful to church and I graduated from Christian school.  I went on to Christian college and completed the circle by teaching in a Christian school.  My future husband was a “preacher boy” and when we married, the plan was that he would take a youth pastor position wherever God led.  Only after we married, he had serious doubts about his calling and stopped attending church all together.

After two years of marriage, a precious daughter was born to us via emergency c-section.  She experienced oxygen deprivation and required resuscitation, but she lived.   Three years after Taylor’s birth, I discovered that her father had been having an affair essentially four of the five years we were married. In spite of that great protective environment I’d always known, and being faithful to God’s house, sin had erupted my “perfect” life and my marriage to this man didn’t withstand.    Bad choices were made by both parties and we divorced.

In spite of all the pain and loss of the “perfect” life, God brought a solid Christian man into my life and He has given us a wonderful story of grace and redemption.  But in the midst of Matt and I falling in love, my dearest mom fell severely ill, diagnosed with a rare type of anemia.  Two months later the diagnosis was changed to leukemia and she lived just six short months after that.  Mom was the strongest, most faithful Christian I’ve ever personally known; she was my best friend.

During my divorce and my mom’s death, the discovery process for Taylor’s developmental delays became more intense.  Doctors often blamed the delays on her lack of oxygen at birth.  But in my heart, I knew there was more to her issues.  Nine months after my mom’s death, the diagnosis for Taylor came through: MPSIIIB, a rare, genetic metabolic disorder which causes gradual neurological degeneration.  The average life span is 10-15 years and there is no cure, or even a treatment.

Upon receiving Taylor’s diagnosis, my walk with the Lord became intense.  I did just what Renee talked about this week in chapter four.   I asked all the why’s and the how’s.   I wanted God to spill out His plan for my life in one day.

But through His Word, God has taught me that faith is not only a one-time decision; it’s an everyday decision.

Trusting His plan for your everyday life is equally as important as trusting Him for your eternal life.

While God has richly blessed Matt and me with a beautiful family and more blessings than we can count, Taylor’s disease has not changed.  Every day is by faith, that God would have His will for her life and ours.

Each day we claim His promises and make the choice to run towards His plan.

Rachel, your story has changed me. The first time you shared it in an email, I got Holy goosebumps up my spine, down my arms and into my toes!  Your journey of choosing hope through your past and into the present brought tears to my eyes. I’m inspired by your faith and your surrendered life.  To be broken daily, like bread, held up (like loaves and fishes) as an offering of God’s of love and mercy. You my friend are beautiful – inside and out.

And here are some behind-the-scenes “only Jesus knew” details: I didn’t know Rachel’s story. When God prompted me to ask her to be a guest I wasn’t sure what part of my book she’d write about.  But HE did! How precious is our Jesus? He knew we needed to hear her story and be strengthened by the way she has chosen courage and one-day-at-a-time steps of faith. The way she is choosing to walk out hope gives us all a picture of what it looks like to live the message of chapter 4 with Jesus. Thank you, Rachel!!

Connecting in Community & Today’s Giveaway: What is God speaking to your heart through Rachel’s story? Also, is there anything from the questions He’s given us for the end of Chapter 4 you’d want to share? I’d love for us to connect here and talk about it.

Rachel has just released a new Ebook,  The Scent of Prayer and she is giving away 5 copies to 5 of you randomly drawn on Monday from the comments left below today’s post. Just click “share your thoughts” and do just that.

About Rachel: Rachel is originally a small town country girl who converted to a suburban mother of seven by way of life happening. She and her husband, Matt, enjoy caring for their busy family, whose ages span 9 months to 21 years and includes a special needs daughter.  Rachel leads community ladies’ Bible studies in central Ohio and serves as an event planner and speaker for special needs parenting groups.  She is a member of the Ohio Writers’ Guild and the National MPS Society; and loves to inspire others through her blog by sharing faith, family, and fun.  Wife, mom, reader, writer, speaker and dreamer, you can find Rachel on Twitter and Facebook.

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Comments

  1. See Sheri Rose Shepherd’s post for today. Both, go hand in hand. I am always amazed at the unity of God’s messages in my daily news feed. Thank you for this. It encourages my faith, and gives me hope..

    • Roberta D says:

      Rachel,

      You are truly amazing and I am so touched by the story that you have shared with all of us. The words that really rang out in my spirit immediately were “Trusting His plan for your everyday life is equally as important as trusting Him fro your eternal life.” It reminds me that I do not need to be concerned about the past nor obsessed with the future but I just have to live in the present which is a gift from God. He cares about everything that concerns me and He wants me to include Him in every detail of my life. Thanks for being a living example of living and walking by faith!!!

    • Marla Sulcer says:

      Wow! This story is truly inspiring! It reminds me of one of my favorite scripture, Proverb 3:5. “Lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways trust and acknowledge God and he will direct your path.” God is so good! I love him so much!

      • Linda Geretz says:

        Rachel, your story is exactly what I needed today. I was a single Mom of 4 boys for 17 years after my husband had an affair and our marriage ended. I thought in 2005 I had found a man yoaked as me in my faith unfortunately the relationshipment was based on lies and deception. We divorced 3 years later after an agonizing struggle due to not wanting yet another failure. I met a man in late 2010 and we have dated till March. Proverb 3:5 became my life verse during this time before the breakup. He had many good qualities but would “stretch” the truth, could manipulate me to make me think I was wrong, used my past to be so hurtful I couldn’t believe someone could do that to someone they love. He will not leave me alone and is trying to break me down thorough my faith to get another chance. I answered a phone call last night that ranged from unending love and devotion to needing to have a second chance because of my faith to the most painful things being said about me. This morning I was dealing with so much saddness and disappointment in myself that I would open myself up to that situation yet again. I learned today God brought though this situation for my good and He is not going to leave me in this pit. I now need to trust He is still directing my path and not let these evil words deter me. I will listen and stay in the right WORD and not his. Thank you

  2. Wow, Rachel’s words speak volumes: “Trusting His plan for your everyday life is equally as important as trusting Him for your eternal life.” Sometimes I forget to take it just one day at a time! I often ask God to spell out His BIG plan and forget to ask for His direction just for today. Thank you for your message.

    • Laurie Tetzloff says:

      Dawn I like what you said about trusting His plan for your everday life is equally as important as trusting Him for your eternal life. I’m a member of Alcoholics Annoynomous and it is to take things One Day @ a Time, sometimes. Some days are easier than others. Thanks, Rachel for your message today. I would really like to read your book.

  3. 14 months ago my 6 year old finished 28 months of treatment for Leukemia. And today I sit here reading this just before I go have a lump in my breast checked out. Trusting God in the daily… sometimes I think it’s even more important than trusting him for salvation. I sure know it’s harder. This is such an encouragement in this moment! Thank you!

    • Praying for you and your sweet child today. Father, we ask for everyday faith, mercy and grace. Bless you, Girl!

    • jess, including you&yours in my prayers. i appreciate what you wrote, “trusting God in the daily…sometimes i think it’s even more important than trusting Him for salvation. i sure know it’s harder.” oh. my. yes. so thankful, thankful, thankful that we have a Father Who never leaves nor forsakes us. <3

  4. Kristen Barkdull says:

    What an inspiring story! I love reading about people who have been through so much yet have so much faith! It inspires me to continue on my journey of developing my relationship with the Lord! Thank you so much for sharing! God bless!

    • Bless you Kristen! Thank you for your encouraging comment.

      • God bless all you dear young women with His strength and grace for your challenges. I heard Kay Warren talking about choosing joy, this morning. God’s joy, joy given to us through the Holy Spirit, the joy found in Jesus. I see all of you choosing joy with thanksgiving. You are glorifying Him, as you share your stories. His faithfulness is great and His mercies are new every morning.

        • Cindi Sikora says:

          Dear Lois, I sense by your comment about younger women that you are a little older. I too am encouraged to read about these young women and their choice to look to Jesus Christ in the midst of their difficulties. Often we feel alone in our struggles but by sharing with each other, we can encourage each other to go on. As older women, we have a responsibility to the younger women to teach them various things as stated in Titus 2. We can help each other and I believe that is what the Lord would desire. May He give us each the daily strength to meet every trial that comes our way as we spend time alone with Him and in the Bible.

  5. What a sweet story. I am so glad that you stayed faithful Rachel and that you are continuing to seek him. It is an encouragement to so many people.

  6. Jenni Mac says:

    Rachel, the strength of your faith is inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing your testimony.

  7. Leslie Stover says:

    What a God inspired testimony.. Rachel’s story inspires me to continue my faithful journey with God. In the last 3 1/2 years I’ve had to handle so much, but I couldn’t have handle it without God. Thank you and Rachel for sharing.

  8. LaToshia Jordan says:

    Gods strength is displayed best when we are our weakest and leaning on him. Thanks for sharing your testimony. We always wonder why us but God chose us because He knew we would endure and then encourage others.

  9. Shannon Steckel says:

    Wow what faith you have. You have amazing strength thank you for sharing this. Your faith inspired me to keep persevering with God and His reward will be great.

  10. Wow~your strength is amazing! May God continue to bless you & your family.

  11. Joyce P. says:

    Thank you for sharing your difficult journey with us, Rachel. It’s good to know we’re not alone in our struggles, but we serve a God who is bigger and has proven Himself faithful to us over and over.

  12. Thank you for the amazing story.

  13. Stephanie says:

    God truly is faithful and I am so thankful He never gives up on us even when we question Him.Thank you for your testimony :)

  14. Faith Dowd says:

    Wow profound story… TRUST in God is so very hard on a daily, every issue basis. I struggle with it daily and worry and anxiety creeps in regarding earthly issues of family and life. Trust and Obey there is no other way! Needing repeating many times daily in my life. Blessings to you and your family.

  15. I so needed to read Rachel’s story today as I deal with such a heavy heart concerning my own insecurities, fears, and past hurts that I am praying will heal. You have inspired me to press on and trust God for He is the only one who knows the “whys” in my life. Your story is a powerful testimony that paints a perfect picture of how life can far from the perfect one we all dreamed of, yet the Lord is perfect and the rest and peace that we can find in His love is more than we could have ever imagined!

  16. i was taken back by Rachel’s story and her strength to endure. Pray I can get thru the pain I am going through right now in my marriage.
    I also have a daughter with special needs and has been hard for her. She is very sensitive of what I’m feeling. Can’t verbalize it but I see it in her face. Thank you for your prayers.

    • Dear Jesus, I pray for my sister, Ana, right now, and her sweet girl with special needs. I pray your strength for her, that she would know You are holding her up and she can rely on You. I pray for her daughter that You would ease her mind and give her reasons to be full of joy. Thank you, Lord for what You are going to do in and through this dear lady.
      Blessings to Ana! I entered you in my prayer journal and pray you find rest in the Lord.

  17. Amazing & inspiring story of hope in the middle of life as it comes at us. TY for sharing!

  18. Anita Lowe says:

    It is difficult to keep a positive attitude when you feel like the person you love most has betrayed you. Sometimes those feelings make it hard to keep a strong faith. I would love to have a copy of Rachel’s book to gain encouragement to continue to live my life inside God’s will. Blessings.
    Anita

  19. Thank you for sharing your testimony, Rachel! Truly inspiring!

  20. Machelle says:

    Write! Thank you both for sharing your stories. Time and time again it seems I needed reminded that this is a daily walk and life of faith. This is a struggle, but testimonies like these give me hope.

    • lol I’m guessing that “Write!” was the same tone as “preach it!” We all need the daily reminders. That’s where God’s Word and a community of Christians comes in to play. Carry on with hope, Girl!

  21. What a blessing to read Rachel’s story this morning. I am looking forward to reading her new book because it’s right where God is leading me personally in my life.

  22. Belinda says:

    Rachel – Your message inspried me today. Like yourself, I married a Christian man thinking it would be forever. Well I learned though this journey, never say never. I choosed not to have any children when I married him because he had two from a past marriage, he was my first and I was in my forties. I was heart broken; and I pray also that God sends me a partner that will value me. Still not where I want to be, but I do my best by taking one day at a time. You are truly blessed with a beautiful family. I pray that God does heal your daughter or gives you the strength to endure what lies ahead.
    Belinda

  23. Jill Kuiper says:

    Wow! What an amazing story and testimony to what God can do with our junk. Everything works for His good. Blessing for sharing it for all to see.

  24. Today’s message, and the messages since this past Monday, have just resonated with me. I have been going through a major trial in my life for about 2 years now. I received salvation, began attending church, doing bible studies with my wonderful life group, etc. In 2009 I read Jeremiah 29:11 on my niece’s facebook page, and it just grabbed me and started me on my journey. But what I’ve been doing in the last two years is similar to what I read today, ” I asked all the why’s and the how’s. I wanted God to spill out His plan for my life in one day”. Obviously I’m still waiting to understand God’s plan, and trust is a big issue with me. I wake up with anxiety in the middle of the night and say “I know the plans I have for you says the Lord and they are good”. This brings me comfort, but I am very weary. Monday’s message about “Hope”, today’s Message and Renee’s book have all helped me so much. I am very grateful that I have these messages coming to my email daily as they help me stay on track. Thank you very much.

  25. Jill Howard says:

    I’m inspired by the passionate chasing after God! I can only imagine how He is on the sidelines encouraging each and every one of us to do the same. I just need to take each step as He reveals it to me.

  26. Anita Whitmore says:

    “In spite of all the pain and loss of the “perfect” life, God brought a solid Christian man into my life and He has given us a wonderful story of grace and redemption.” This sentence really touched my heart. So many of us who have been married and divorced feel like we’ve lost God’s best for our lives forever. We are often told that in gentle, sad tones. But I choose to believe that just because my “perfect” life didn’t come true, that God isn’t finished with me yet and that I am not junk to be cast aside!! I am so thankful that our Great God redeems us from the pit!!!!! Hallelujah Jesus!!!!! <3

  27. Thank you for sharing your story. I have a situation in my life that continually challenges me to choose to walk close to God or worry and live in misery. In the past, I have given in to despair and fear, but God has been so faithful to keep me seeking after Him and His ways! I would love to have a copy of your book. I am working on praying more consistently.

  28. Wow what an amazing story. I am blessed by this thank you for sharing!

  29. Amazed and in awe of how amazing God is. His ways are definetely not our ways, and his thoughts are not our thoughts. God just like Renee’s book says, he can turn our ashes into beauty. Amazing story and testimony!!!! You sound like a strong woman of faith, and I’m 24 and I hope to be a mother/wife/daughter who is virtuous as you and Renee are. I want to be a Proverbs 31 woman. I’m really right now in this season in my life, trying to walk by faith. It seem like all odds are against me, but I know who is within me. Greater is he that is in me, than he that is in the world. God can take our wrongs and make them right! How great is our God??? :) God bless you all!

  30. Kim Ward says:

    Amazed and in awe of how amazing God is. His ways are definetely not our ways, and his thoughts are not our thoughts. God just like Renee’s book says, he can turn our ashes into beauty. Amazing story and testimony!!!! You sound like a strong woman of faith, and I’m 24 and I hope to be a mother/wife/daughter who is virtuous as you and Renee are. I want to be a Proverbs 31 woman. I’m really right now in this season in my life, trying to walk by faith. It seem like all odds are against me, but I know who is within me. Greater is he that is in me, than he that is in the world. God can take our wrongs and make them right! How great is our God??? God bless you all!

  31. Wow…Rachel….what an inspiration you are to us. Your faith, your sweetness, thank you for being transparent and sharing your sweet testimony. How many lives you have touched….God is sooo good. His mercy endures forever. I am blessed to have read your story, it gives me encouragement.

    Love,
    Adrienne R

  32. What an incredible testimony to a true, abiding faith. Thank you Rachel for being willing to share your story and to be an encouragement to others!! :)

  33. Rachel: My late father was a minister,and we spent alot of time in church,and met lots of wonderful believers of God and all is mercies. I married a member of one the churchs,and after 25 ruff years he thought the grass was greener somewhere else. I like you didnt know for years that he had been seeing other women. He filed for divorce 1 month before our 25 anniversary would have been.
    Praise God, I didnt crawl in a hole although I felt like it Christian friends rallied around me and I have forgiven him and confused him by doing so.
    My prayers go out to you and your daughter, Im sure God is using you both as a blessing to others. It looks like you have a very beautiful happy family,God sure is the mender of broken hearts.
    God Bless You abd your Family!!

  34. trust something i have a very hard time doing from past and present experience and to have faith which i all find hard

  35. Peggy Kennedy says:

    Thank you Rachel.
    One day at a time has been difficult for me to follow but through your story and Renee’s I have been reassured I can. In my local congregation, we have been studying about how God prunes us and I have felt him doing this through chapter 4.

  36. There are times I think of how desperate am I for God…enough to want to touch the hem of his garment, enough to want to come through the roof to get to Him, enough to meet and talk to Him at the well, or enough to run into His arms and cry out to Him for help. We need God so desperately every day. We have to trust Him a day at a time.
    This world is hard and sometimes so unfair. It is full of hurts, pain, sorrow, broken and yet, God comes in the midst of it all to show His love, mercy and compassion toward us.
    Your testimony is so beautiful… It touches my heart.
    Praying God will bless you and your family.

  37. Valarie says:

    Wow what an amazing story of learning to trust God. I have a special needs child as well and have went through all those same emotions. I really needed this story today.

  38. Thank you for sharing your beautiful testimony, Rachel. It is a great encouragement to me.

  39. Rachel, Thank you for sharing your story. What a beautiful family you have. It helps to hear about how others have faced hard times and learned to lean on God. We adopted a little girl a long time ago, she had a child, which we raised, then suddenly both were out of our lives. They no longer wanted to be part of any of our lives. I also miscarried a baby at 4 months. But God is faithful and Jeer 29:11 sure is true. I am older now, mid 60s and just this morning was thinking how God has healed so many heartaches along the rode called “life”. So I can anticipate Him being with me all the days of my life. I thank you again for sharing and pray for Grace to continue to hold your entire family.

  40. Wow. What an amazing testimony Rachel. I am in a season where God is teaching me to trust in Him daily for provision and inspriation. My trials have been nothing compared to Rachel’s. Her faith and trust are a true source of strength. May God continue to richly bless your beautiful family.

  41. Melissa Ens says:

    Thank you so much for this reminder and for sharing your encouraging story. As a relatively new missionary still adjusting to life overseas, I need right now to remember faith is an everyday choice – not one we made once back when we moved. And I can’t give up now! Lord, hold my tired arms as I hold up my shield of faith!

  42. God's grace given to 1 says:

    Today, right now, I just want to cry.
    I’ve tried to remain so strong in God’s purpose but I must not be doing things right. I must not be tapping into my resources OR something.

    My mother has been the glue in our family and when she became ill, my travels took me 12 hours home to care for her and my dad just about every three months. At the start of it all, I was homeschooling and had a newborn. When it was too much, they came here with me and my family.

    Dad died in October, mom has been in and out of the hospital since & today during a doctor’s visit – she was sent directly to the ER.

    I feel no relief and I try – honestly I do – through prayer and real conversations with God to hold up in the midst of it all. I feel there is absolutely NO ONE earthly available to render a supporting leg. So, today – I cry out to Christ to be my strength during such a turbulent time.
    Of all the calls I’ve made to find someone to watch my children, no response, so I am going to have to take both with me back to the ER if she’s not admitted before I can get back to her. I have to trust the hands of those whose care she is in b/c I can NOT be in two places but my heart IS!!!!

    Rachel, your LIFE is an inspiration that although one blow after another comes…GOD remains faithful. And I trust His plan and purpose as I depend moment-by-moment on Him.
    (My posted name has changed…because God is always so GRACIOUS)

    • To our sweet friend “God’s Grace Is Given…” – I am so sorry for all that you are going through. I wish I lived close by. I’d take those babies of yours and watch them for you. I have been in your shoes and felt like I was living in the middle of impossible. We had just adopted a baby, had two older sons, my mom was rushed to the ER and hospitalized for blot clots in her lungs, my father had to have a quadruple bypass and a month later I had my routine mammogram and they found two lumps that had to be biopsied….all while I was writing A Confident Heart. A year later, my father passed away and my mom was hospitalized again. I share a lot my story and what happened to me during all of this in Chapter 9.

      I want to encourage you to read chapter 9 if you can. I am praying for God to surround you with friends and family who can step in and fill in your gaps. You can only do what you can do – and just depend on HIM one breath and moment at a time. HE will get you through. Whisper HIS name – Jesus, Jesus, Jesus – into each minute, rest in knowing HE is El Roi the God who sees. HE is Emmanuel, your God with You. You are not alone. He has not forsaken you. Pull out the chart in chapter 12 and soak in those promises. Just feed your heart bite-sized pieces of His promises and cling to them. They will be your daily bread.

      Let us know how we can keep praying for you – and if you don’t have a copy of my book, please leave a comment so I can get one to you.

      We love you friend – and we will be praying you through this very hard season.
      ~Renee

      • God's grace given to 1 says:

        Renee:

        I’ve been absent due to care of mom. If it’s not too late, I’d love to get a copy of Confident Heart.

        I did leave a response for Chapter 10 and I am so thankful to God for you!

        I ask for prayer regarding the right in home non-medical care for mom (so she can have companionship / independence in order that I can comfortably leave her) the right pre-school / MDO program for our toddler (3yrs) and for our teenage son (Yes, there is a 10 gap b/n them. God has amazing humor!) You can guess there has been little time to oneself or for my AMAZING husband. He and I need to get time for each other through hired hands :). And lastly, please petition to God that I can WALK in CONFIDENCE throughout this season.

        As I walk in God’s time…not my own~
        (One to whom God continues to be so gracious)

  43. Rebekah says:

    I am always hoping God will show me His plan for me – sure it’s the broad scope of things, but I want it now…in MY timing! I really needed to read this today, for it is not our will but His – not our time but His. May I remember every morning to ask God to show me what He wants me to see for the day. God bless you, Rachel and Renee, for sharing with us and opening up a piece of your heart to us. In a world that says it’s all about me, you are making it all about God and others. Thank you…

  44. Christine says:

    Wow! what a testimony Rachel. Your walk is inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

  45. Nancy K M says:

    Thanks to all of the women that shared their thoughts and experiences, and faith. i have also been thru the despairs of infidelity, and betrayal. they were very difficult times and still are. I have stood firm on my faith and HOPE and trust in the Lord. He has been so good to me, and still some days that is not enough for me.. i ask the why me?? questions,, why do i have to work so hard, or not have someone special as a partner in my life.. but i do hope that he is preparing me to be a better woman, for the man he provides in his timing. I know i don’t need a man.. at this point i have been divorced 4 years, raising 15, 18 and 20 year old.. my ex is alcoholic, but in my heart i still love him and care for his healing. he has been thru rehab, and does ok.. but there is still alot of pain in life. My children have been wonderful, strong, and the oldest is now seeking the Lord like i never imagined.. So everyday we live thru the struggles, someone..we don’t know who,,, but someone learns from our faith.. K eep the faith ladies… God is Good All the Time..!! ::):) Keep Running with Courage!!

  46. kim johnston says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your testimony. I can not imagine what it would be like to hear those words about your child ” No cure”, I admire your heart for God and the strength that you have. I am going through and illness right now and am unsure of many things, But I am sure that God has a plan in all of this, I am sure that He sees me and knows what I am going through. Although at times I get overwhelmed, as I am sure you do, and my thoughts consume me, I know that I am not on this journey alone and what a comfort it is to have such a caring God.

    God bless you and your family!

  47. cheramy says:

    thank you for this sweet message, this message of God’s Truth and perfect Hope….regardless of life’s “happenings.” How I needed to hear your story today, and I praise Him for the courage and hope you have given to my heart. May the Lord bless you and keep you ever near.

  48. Chant ell says:

    Very inspiring! God is so good. Thank you for showing us that even if it isn’t easy, everyday we can chose to live in His promises. And that is enough, and all we need. Through Him who strengthens us!

    Would love to read the book!

  49. Angela S. says:

    As a pediatric OT, I’m deeply moved by this story. It helps me personally and professionally. Thanks for sharing.

  50. Renee, really enjoyed reading rachels story!thanks for sharing.

  51. Thank you Renee for introducing us to Rachel and thank you Rachel for sharing your story. I agree, faith is an everyday decision and walk with the Lord. I so appreciate your testimony and i pray for your daughter and the unknown days ahead Praise God we have Him to have faith and hope in for without Him we would have nothing. I watched my mom as she also battled a rare blood disorder/cancer that had no cure and gave her 3 to 5 years. By God’s grace and her strong faith and testimony in him she lasted 8 before the Lord finally said the battle was over, it was time for her to come home to Him. Since 1994 my dad has battled heart disease, prostate cancer, bladder cancer, 4 stage melanoma and recovered (except for his heart) and has been fighting stage 4 lung cancer for the last 4 years without chemo treatments. The Dr’s. gave him 1 to 1½ years and as i said it has been 4 and he is still going strong. FAITH – a good strong FAITH in the Lord got my mom through, is getting my dad through and as an only child with an only child watching them and seeing their example has taught me that FAITH too will get me through. FAITH in my GOD. Praying for you and your family.

  52. Thanks, Rachel for sharing your story. Our God is a faithful God. Your children are so beautiful and so are you. Praise GOD for reminding you that faith is an everyday decision and for your reminder that we are to trust God for not just eternal life but everyday life. Our God cares about every aspect of our lives. Our God is a healer. shall pray for your oldest child’s complete healing. May God bless you richly.

    Thanks,

    Anna

  53. Gaylene Carpenter says:

    Rachel, many thanks for sharing your story. Powerful words “faith is not only a one-time decision; it’s an everyday decision.” Amen!

  54. Domanicka says:

    Trusting His plan for your everyday life is equally as important as trusting Him for your eternal life…Wow, that is exactly what I had to do this week. This is a great reminder to continue to trust Him everyday which seems difficult at times. It was so much easier to trust Him for eternal life than on a daily basis. I do not know why that is the case for me but this week God has really shown me that I can even trust Him with the things I am not to sure about.

  55. I admire Rachel for sticking in there after one thing after another thing kept coming up. God bless her for it. So often these days we quit before rounding the corner and receiving the prize God has for her. Great Going.

  56. Connie J. says:

    Wow! That’s all I can say. I am just now beginning to learn to lean on God and trust in Him. It is not easy for me, but the more I do it, the easier I’m hoping it will get.

  57. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome story.. You are indeed encouraging and inspiring! You said some things I needed to have a remembrance of…. God Bless you!! I definitely have to get your book!
    Blessings upon Blessings to all of you!!

  58. August Rose says:

    Rachel and Renee,
    You both are such blessings to me! I started reading chapter 4 and when I got to the questions and read.about doing the timeline. I cried and I prayed. I contacted My Christian counselor. I went thru a divorce In November 2011. I started counseling in June 2011 when I saw where my marriage was headed. God was with me all the way! I had so many why and how questions. After praying God would show my counselor what I needed to get thru Chapter 4 I went in one woman and came out a more confident woman. My counselor told me in January 2012 our counseling was over it was time for me to live what I had learned. She hadn,t heard of Confidant Heart book yet she explained to me what my false beliefs were and helped me sort out why I had them. I kept saying as Renee did what,s wrong with me? Why or how did my husband treat me the way he did? I realized that my why,s and how,s came from how I viewed my mom from being mistreated by my dad. I thought in my young mind she was stupid for staying and that she had no value. I was so ready to see why I had false beliefs. I felt bad but I felt good. I felt bad that I had viewed things in the wrong manner based on what the enemy whispered to me. I felt good that I realized the lies and the scriptures my counselor gave me were the scriptures in Renee,s book! I am so excited! I also realized that both of your journeys were shared to help me on my journey! Thank you Jesus! Thank you ladies! Freedom from my deepest fears and pain. Truth is the answer. Much love to you both!

  59. Thanks for the reminder that it is just as important to trust God with my day to day life as it is with my eternal life. I’m not there yet, but I’m on my way!

  60. Lynda H. says:

    Rachel, you and your family are truly inspiring. I have been following a little boy and his dog on Facebook who has MPSIII-A. His name is Lucas Hembree. He is amazing! God has such great plans for everyone, no matter their physical, mental or even spiritual state. He takes the broken to show us, as Christians, how to be compassionate, caring and to help us realize that our idea of perfection is far from God’s idea of perfection! Please know that I will be praying for you and your family and also that I am so grateful for the blessing of your and Taylor’s story.

  61. veronica says:

    Wow God works in such an amazing way. As soon I found out about your daughter God touch my heart to lead me to pray for her healing. With God all things are possible may God bless you and your family in such in amazong way. May your faith grow richly in the lor Jesis.

  62. Dallena Hess says:

    Thanks Rachel for your story-so full of hope.

    I had a rough childhood-diagnosed with a hearing loss at 6 and went thru childhood illnesses. My hearing loss now as an adult is severe to profound. Have 2 or 3 other illnesses/conditions.

    My faith and hope has saw me thru so much. I’ve had a alot to happen to me that at times i think it’s a miracle I’m still here. I know God has a special purpose in mind for me otherwise I wouldn’t be here.

    He’s revealed that I’m still not trusting him to fill me up completely and to depend on him for everthing-to ask him for help for everything. That is why i was struck most “faith is not a one time decision but a daily decision. I’m fully aware it’s not about me. I sense his purpose for me is to know him and know that God is more than enough. And, to also live my life so others know our God is more than enough.

    Blessing and Grace to you all

  63. Crystal says:

    “if God loves me, then why…”.I have had a desire to have children for as long as I can remember, but after 17 years of marriage I am childless. Sometimes I wonder why, but I think I have a closer relationship with my Savior because of it since He is my Source and my Comfort.

  64. I am so encouraged after reading these posts. Thanks to everyone for sharing their hearts, their struggles and the way that God is working in their lives. It is not only a daily struggle for me to fully trust and put my faith in God, sometimes it seems like it is minute by minute. I think I’ve been let down by people and it’s hard to truly trust that God will always be there for me. I don’t have to be strong enough. He is strong enough to carry all of my burdens and to replace my hopelessness with hope.

  65. I’m glad I read this, I wish I could hear more of her story and how she is coping.
    My husband and I struggled with iinfertelity for years, with 3 early miscarriages and 1 in my second trimester. We decided to adopt and in December of 2010 we got “The Call” our son Joseph was born, we brought him home 5 days later. 3 months later we found out I was pregnant. Well the pregnancy and delivery (minus an unexpected c-section) went well. The day I got to go home with jacob I got a call that threw our lives into a deep hole. Joseph (13months at the time) was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. We celebrated and mourned once again. Most boys with Duchenne live to their late teens to early 20s. Well our hole became deeper last week. We went to see an awesome doctor, who does a ton of research with Duchenne, in San Francisco. He researched Joseph’s genetic make up, well there is only one other documented case as his in the entire world, a boy in japan. After further discussion the doctor revealed that he is hoping Joseph is going to make it to his 5th birthday.
    We are at a loss and a have a huge feeling of abandonment. How can anybody be allowed to go through such horrible experiences. Our friends have stopped contacting us and our church tells us they pray for us on Mondays with the prayer team, that’s it!. I have reached out, asked for their support, and have received NOTHING.
    I needed to read this. I am glad I’m not the only one that is going through such awful times, but losing hope real quick.

    • My heart goes out to you, Kim. Joseph must be a little angel sent to you and your husband to give you blessings for the time he is here. Enjoy him, treasure him, love him, make memories with him while he is with you. Maybe journal and take pictures of your treasured time together. (we have pictures of my granddaughter’s little angel who was taken back home to Heaven at 4 months old).

      Never give up Hope! We have an awesome God. Keep sending up prayers because our God is the ultimate healer. His Will will be done. We have to trust and believe in Him.

      Thank you for sharing Kim.

    • Oh Kim! I am so sorry to read of your situation. People will fail you; that is for sure. And churches fail to support, simply because they are full of human people. But God will never fail you, dear friend!! Prayed for you just now.

    • Kim, may i share something extraordinary with you: my daughter just told me the following after i told her of your son Joseph. The evening of little Xoey’s death, (she was 4 months old), my granddaughter and her husband, along with the rest of the family, were gathered in the living room. There was a high ceiling fan with its’ shadow. Another granddaughter happened to look up to the ceiling and told the others to look up and asked if they saw what she saw. It was a shadow of an adult angel with wings holding a baby with wings. Two shadows: the ceiling fan shadow and the shadow of the two angels…which they knew was God comforting them that little Xoey was now in Heaven with Him. One of the granddaughters has a picture of this.

      Little Joseph is here to be a blessing and to touch people’s lives in an angelic way. It is my feeling you have been truly blessed as you have been a blessing to little Joseph. One day, we will all understand what we cannot understand down here on earth.

  66. Rachel’s story made me reflect on the mustard seed and how that amount of faith will carry us through our earthly existence. Praise God for all that he has done and continues to do. Praise him through the midst of it all!

  67. Colleen says:

    Rachel you are a strong woman. Thank You for sharing your pain and through it all you found Joy.

  68. Thank you for reminding us to live a surrendered life.

  69. Tracey N says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. Very inspiring and encouraging.

  70. Esther Smith (formerly Kyrie Eléison) says:

    Thank you so much Rachel for sharing your story about your amazing faith, and beautiful family. I will be praying for Taylor, and for the Lord to continue to be with all of you, strengthening you daily.

  71. Treasure says:

    God has made me stronger with each storm!
    Thanks for sharing your storm and the rainbow on the other side!

  72. My husband and I have been married for 35 years and he has been physically unfaithful to me in at least 4 different relationships ( 1 was with a ‘friend’ of mine) that I know of for sure and I have suspected others but did not have the proof. Each time he begged forgiveness and said it would not happen again and I stayed with him. then 2 years ago I found out that he had been making phone calls to another ‘friend’ of mine for over 3 1/2 years. We are still living in the same house and I have forgiven him but I can not seem to put this behind me and wonder if I am just not faithful enough to God in letting Him show me what I should do or what. I have tried giving this to God but I seem to keep taking it back! I feel that I am being made a fool of by my husband because he thinks I should just drop it and get over it. Reading what you went through seems to be helping me understand what i need to do now but I am going to go back and read it about 4 or 5 more times to make sure that it sinks in. Thank you for sharing what you went through with us. I do feel like I am getting closer to God if I could just turn things over to Him and not take them back. I wonder whether I am wasting my time trying to stay in my marriage. He says that he wants it to work, but he wants everything on his terms. I am so confused.

    • Jan, I am not a marriage counselor by any means, but I prayed for you just now. That God would show you the right path and the best decisions for your life. Thank you for sharing with us.

      • Thank you so much for your prayers! I told him that I was tired of trying and the ball is in his court and I think that has scared him into realizing that I have had enough and he will have to put forth the effort to make me want to stay with him and show me that he means it this time. I prayed and prayed yesterday and last night and then today at church. I know that things happen in God’s time and not ours and I know that everything that we go through is for a reason.i have givven it 35 years so I guess a little longer may be what it will take. But i have told him that I will not go through this again!! Thank you so much for the prayers and for sharing what you went through!

  73. Tami Ross says:

    I am learning so much from this bible study! I’m learning how to trust God to lead me every day of my life, in the big details and the small. I don’t think I realized how much I was trying to live my life according to my plans. And not the plans that Jesus has for me. This book and bible study are teaching me to “let go and let God”. The funny thing is, Jeremiah 29:11 has always been one of my favorite verses, but it has never made more sense to me than it does now! Than you Renee, for sharing your gift with all of us! Thank you Rachelfor setting such a good example for us to follow! I have felt such a sense of peace while reading this book, as well as the stories that have been shared with us. God bless you!

  74. Thank you all for being “Real” people and sharing your lives so others may start to have faith, trust , growth and more! So many trust and have faith in this dying world when they need Christ!! I pray thru out everyday to help the lost, comfort the weary , carry the tired and love the sick. And everyday God helps me to see through His eyes to help others get thru whatever binds them. He has given me everything so all I want to do is work for Him more. May the love of Christ touch you all in His realness!!!

  75. Cristina says:

    incredible encouragement and walking by faith.

  76. Tiffany Bell says:

    Such an inspiring story….beautiful family….great testimony of faith in God….may He continue to richly bless your family, Rachel. ;-)

  77. More and more I am learning that God doesn’t care so much about the art of prayer or how we pray but just communicating with Him, getting to know Him, looking to Him for help and recognizing Him as God. Rachel’s story is inspirational. I thought my life was tough and difficult but Rachel had and has a lot of difficult and trying circumstances she went through and she went through them with God.

    I am learning more and more that things don’t turn out the way we want them too but God is with us in the midst of them. We do have a lot of say in how we process and react in the midst of our circumstances. We can lay down and play dead, covering our eyes and head so we don’t deal with the problems or we can put ourselves and our loved ones and circumstances into God’s hands and allow Him to wipe our tears, heal our hurts, give us courage, hold our hand. God is big enough to take our anger and our hurt and turn them into hope, healing and peace. I am finding that being honest with God and ourselves about our emotions, hurts, confusion, anger, – all of these things will bring us to a place of healing and hope in Him.

    Thank you for sharing Rachel’s story.

  78. Margaret says:

    Like Rachel, my ex-husband had affairs for most of our five year marriage. It brought on a time of questions for God but also was a time for me to really see the depth and strength of my own faith and the reach and richness of God’s grace and mercy. God used that time to draw me into a deeper relationship with him. Beauty for ashes.

  79. Thank you for sharing..an awesome God he is to put amazing women in my life to give me hope. With hiccups in my own life thanks for sharing all your hopes and smiles! It would be so awesome one day to sit in a room and visit with such amazing women personally! I have to remember to be patient and trust! :)

  80. Rachel, thank you for your testimony!! What the enemy tried to destroy you with~God turned it around a100% of BLESSINGS to you! I was left at the hospital when I was born, my mother never laid eyes on me… Then five years later my dad found me and hid me in the mountains and then the incest began!!! So much more, but here’s a great time to give God all the glory for His protection over me as a child!! Through all the years the devil was trying to kill me, Had a powerful born again experience with the lover of my soul, Jesus took something so awful and now getting all the glory for all He has done me!! Bigger the pain~bigger the healing!! God Bless and know that God has a beautiful plan for your lives and you will be giving God all the glory!!!!! :)

  81. Kimberly M says:

    Wow. What another wonderful story of a woman who was broken, but still clung to her faith. My husband and I have been married almost 16 years, and during the past 3 years have been separated, through counseling, and reconciled, living like loving roomates instead of husband and wife. There have been so many circumstancial evidences pointing to him being unfaithful, but he insists he is not. I still struggle to try and trust him and my struggle is what keeps us apart in our marriage. I try to forgive him daily, but it is so hard not knowing for sure. Thanks so much for all the encouraging stories.

  82. Wow! What a story! It reminds me that I must trust God daily not just when I need Him!
    Renee, I loved your comment on the video message about not letting the pain, hurt, and disappointments of yesterday creep into my todays which can eventually affect your tomorrows. I am inserting my lack of faith into that statement. If I let my lack of faith yesterday creep into my today, then it can begin to embed itself into my tomorrow.

  83. I have miscarried twice the 1st was as early as 3 weeks 2 months ago I had my 2nd which was 3 days before my second trimester. My husband and I were devastated and had daily argument and fights. My husband a non-christian and I learned about our mistakes and decided to start all over again moving out of state just he and I away from our families it is hard for me because I am very close with my family have never been away from them but it is all Gods plan for our lives I have gotten closer to God and my husband I now know that all I need in my life is God. My husband and I have faith that our God will bless us with a children soon! I want to thank you both for sharing your stories with us and pray that our Lord continues to bless your beautiful families.

  84. KAY PARRISH says:

    PRAISING GOD FOR TEACHING ME WHAT A COMPLAINER I AM !!!!!! YESTERDAY WAS A HORRIBLE DAY. I CHOSE TO MAKE IT THAT WAY. I DIDN’T FEEL GOOD AND I LET HUBBY KNOW THAT. I WANTED TO DO THE GARDEN AND HE WANTED TO CUT GRASS. THINGS LET TO ANGRY WORDS. I KEEP PRAYING FOR GOD TO HELP ME BUT ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THEN WORDS . I STAYED MAD AND MISERABLE GRASS GOT CUT .I STAYED MAD . GOD FORGAVE ME. BUT READING RACHEL ‘S WORDS SURE MADE ME FEEL LIKE A HEEL. I KNOW GOD FORGAVE ME BUT I PLAYED OUT THE SCENE. I PRAY FOR RACHEL AND HER FAMILY. I WAS BLESSED READING HER STORY. GOD BLESS YOUAND YOURS KAY

  85. Rachel~Thank you for writing with such honesty and clarity. Your words, “faith is not only a one-time decision; it’s an everyday decision” really hit home for me. I am using “copy” and “paste” to place them in my “To Read Everyday” file. Thank you so much!
    It is the everyday decisions of recommitment and turning to God that I need to remember.
    Thank you again!
    helen

  86. Rachel,
    You have a beautiful family. Thank you for sharing your story. You have taken a negative experience and turned it into a positive by your reaction to it. God Bless you and your Family.
    Renee,
    You continue to amaze me with the stories you are led by God to share with others. What sets you apart is that you have real experiences to share from your own perspective and you link us to other women who also have real experiences so it feels like you know the desires and challenges of each woman’s heart.
    God Bless You.

  87. Rachel, thank you for sharing your heart. You are living proof of a loving God. “For he knows the plans he has for you, to give you hope and a future.” We just have to rest in Him, be patient, and know that He is God!

  88. What an amazing story. I have always believed that when difficult moments happen we have a “fight or flight” instinct that also pertains to our relationship with God. I had a broken engagement when I was in my early 20s, it was awful. Even though I was the one that ended it, and it was what I wanted, what I didn’t want was the aftermath. Lines were drawn, awful things were said that can never be taken back or forgotten. Members of my family left me, siding with my ex. Painful does not even begin to describe the feeling. I doubted God during all of this. Why would He put me through this pain? Why would He want me to suffer through this? My husband was friends with my ex, and our first three years of our marriage were rocky and I always thought it was some form of punishment for leaving God and ending my past relationship. It was really the opposite, it was God’s way of reminding me that I had to fight, not flee. I could not make this work on my own, no matter how much I thought I could. I needed His help and His strength to guide me.

  89. Rachel
    Thank you so much for sharing. I cannot imagine the level of trust in God you have developed because of Taylor alone, on top of everything else. Until I read your story i haven’t shared the pain of betrayal or the shame i felt of having that betrayal happen not with just one, but two marriages over a 30 yr period. As i lay here recovering from a severe back fracture from a horse accident two weeks ago i too have been going back over everthing asking hard questions God has shown me lots about myself and growth and strength this has caused. And right now your statement that sometimes it takes more faith to trust for my daily walk then for salvation resonates in me. I am in ernest expectation of His miraculous healing, whether instant or as I go. I pray God bless you and your family with every gift of the Father

  90. Your story is so inspiring and encouraging. Realizing that faith is an everyday decision is life changing. It requires action on our part and not just sitting back waiting for God to do His thing. I love the imagery of running towards His plan. I know He has a plan for me, I just haven’t figured out what it is yet. But if I run towards Him everyday instead of waiting for His plan to drop in my lap maybe i’ll find out sooner rather than later.
    Thank you for sharing your story.

  91. nancys1128 says:

    Rachels’s story brought tears to my eyes. Tears of sadness for what she’s had to endure, and tears of joy for her faith and strength exhibited throughout her experiences. I’m so glad God led you to ask her to share – He really does know what’s best at just the right times.

  92. Thanks for sharing Rachel. This has Helped understand many of the things happening in my life right now, although different but Faith is a key, believing and trusting God no matter what.

  93. Wow!! What an amazing testimony!! Thanks for the reminder that faith is an everyday decision. That is so true, just when we think it can’t get any worse, or we can’t handle anything else, through faith He gives us the strength!!

  94. Thank you for sharing this incredible story with us. It is so encouraging!!! I needed the reminder to trust HIS plan for my everyday life.

  95. Kathy Sturgis says:

    Broken. We are always striving to prove ourselves and our plan perfect to God and yet HE already knnows we are Broken and He has a better way than perfect!! I am so thankful that you have learned that and I can walk in the same path–daily trusting His way step by step.

  96. Thanks for having the courage to share. I often have viewed technology as a distraction. But now I view it as a tool to heal,uplift, and deliver. Ladies…keep the faith. We may be miles away but just a prayer away.

    Peace and Every Good.

  97. Michele says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. I’ve been dealing with some things in my life this week that I have really tried to way me down. Reading your story encouraged me to press in and most of all, maintain a heart of gratitude. God bless you and your family

  98. Chapter 4 has been a difficult journey back to a very painful childhood. As an adult I can look back and see some of God’s plans for me and where I am now. There is still a lot of work to be done yo be truly confident and securely in His arms. I look forward to the journey and new chapters they will bring as we turn each page if your book and are lifted up my stories such as Rachel’s. Thank you

    • Donna B says:

      Praying for you Julie. Praying for God to flood you with His peace as you process your past. Praying for Him to also fill you with His courage and boldness as you turn each page and process each memory. And praying that God will reveal Himself to you in new and exciting ways as you make this journey through “A Confident Heart”.

  99. Donna B says:

    Rachel,

    Love your story! Thanks for sharing! Love these two lines:

    But through His Word, God has taught me that faith is not only a one-time decision; it’s an everyday decision.

    Trusting His plan for your everyday life is equally as important as trusting Him for your eternal life.

    Huge turning point in my Jesus journey when I realized that believing in Jesus was a 24/7 choice and not just at my point of conversion.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  100. Thank you for the encouragement your post has brought me today. I needed to regain my hope in that even though we are broken, God has a perfect plan for us in His perfect timing.

  101. Jeannie says:

    Thank you Rachel for sharing your story, it was a blessing. The big picture that God has a plan for each of us is so awesome but equally awesome is knowing that he is present daily and walks beside us. I have to remind myself that he is right beside me when fear and anxiety come. Thanks again for your honesty and your strength.

  102. Sherry Smith says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I follow you on Facebook, but did not know your story or the depth of your faith. God bless you.

  103. Thank you so much for sharing your testimony Rachel. You have shown the marvelous grace that God gives us when we trust in Him. Thank you for being the precious Christian woman that has given so much to others. Great is your reward……

  104. Kristi Stirler says:

    My oldest son was diagnosed with a benign pituitary tumor 3 years ago…almost 3 years to the day my 2nd son had a brain bleed. My 2nd son is fine, my 1st has ongoing medical issues that will last forever. I have asked God why so many times! The last time I had a really bad day, crying out to God His answer was why not you? Trusting that God will be there every day is hard, trusting that He has a plan for our lives is a daily journey that I mess up on a lot. It happened recently when my husband lost his job and now we are without insurance for the kids. Part of me went through panic mode, another part of me went into survival mode, another part of me wants to lean on Him. It’s a daily journey but your words this week have been all about how I need to daily turn my cares to Him. Thank you!!

    • oh Kristi! My heart goes out to you. I have to tell you that not only is leaning on Him a daily necessity; there have been days where I had to ask hour to hour and minute to minute due to the wild ride of circumstances. He wants to be your peace in the midst of the storm. I added you and your boys to my prayer journal. Blessings, dear one.

  105. Thank you for sharing your story with us. What encouragement you have been for each of us you have read this. We all experience struggles and I try to be a “good Christian”, but God does not want us to be good, but to love Him unconditionally and always strive to be confident in Him. Renee you are a very strong encouragement as well. By sharing your story, you have helped me grow in my desire to be closer to God.

  106. Such an inspiration to live and walk faithfully day by day!!!!! Thanks for the reminder that we must make that daily decision, and to be praying for HIS will in our lives. Will keep your daughter and your family in our prayers. Thanks for sharing your story with us!

  107. I am a parent that has been through parental alienation this past year and It has made my faith stronger!! Hope you pick me!

  108. Blessings, this story is powerful for most mothers, it touch me deeply cause i past nine months thinking i was pregnant and learned after all my prengnant friend had their baby that found out they was pregnant after me, and still for me nothing i was constantly checking with the dr.’s here trying to findout whats wrong but all the keep saying is that sonogram shows nothing there. I prayed every day asking God is this Your mirical child i dont understand, i had all the synthoms and growth even the dr’s was surpise each time i went to them, when i could not take it anymore i travel to SDQ and visit two dr.’s that gave me the same results they said appearently you had either a miscaurage and your mind and body refused to accept it or your desire to be prenant and psycologicly because so, the hardest part is til this day with kids, church and work friend i dont have an answer of what happen. today i would have been hold a two month baby girl or boy in my hand but guess what my timing and God’s was not the same. i just have to keep holding on to faith that God has bigger plans for me, mothers day was hard also but God is in control, we can always count on Him to steping at the right time, trust me i was very angree with Him felt shame, imbarest, hearing my pastor speak words towards my situation, not much friend speaks to me and on top of all i have to speak to a shrink that thinks i was not stable because i was speaking to God, that God dont speak with anyone. after awhile i stop going to see him to get back on track, lots has happen end i still walks with faith in God that He leads our way, i will keep you and your family in my prayer may God continues to bless you in Jesus name.

    • Dear Jesus, I pray for my friend, Angie. Could you please send help her way? She’s tired of this journey and we’d love it so much if You would provide someone to assist her in her walk of faith. I also pray that You would give her the sense of Your presence and she would know she can trust You. Help her to stay in Your Word and thank you for her sweet spirit. Amen.

  109. rebecca rodriguez says:

    Rachel,thank you for sharing your story. I will be praying for you and your family. While reading this the Lord showed me that no matter what the He has given us in our life good and bad. We have a choice to either to trust and grow in Him or to just give up and not care. I pray the Lord gives me strength to give him all the glory and trust Him to make me strong.

  110. Loretta Pearson says:

    What a testimony of Gods GRACE! I’ve found God’s healing is to be shared so we give others the hope we have received from God.

  111. Thank you, Rachel and Renee- God speaks to us in the everyday and your calling to share His story in your lives breathes out comfort and encouragement to so many. Thanks for being His voice to those who need to hear today. Blessings!

  112. Susan M. says:

    Thank you Rachel for sharing, I am dealing with a son who has crohns and none of the infusions are working and we go day by day with faith that God is taking care of us day by day and we wait to see what His plans are for the future. We put our trust in God and the doctors He sends us to help us get him off the prndisone which has damaged his body so, I continue to pray and trust Him and wait. It has been 4yrs now and I have seen HIs loving hand help us so much and lead us. Now I pray for God to change my sons heart to see HIs love for him and not to blame Him for having to have an ileostomy performed to bring relief for the disease.

  113. Jenny Mabe says:

    Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing your story. Its amazing how God always works things out to our good. Very encouraging and inspiring. The key is trusting in God during the good times and in the bad times. I’ve has to learn lately to trust God because trusting in man will lead to disappointment and heartache.God bless you and your family.

  114. Michelle Cornthwaite says:

    Hi Rene, I spent last night reading chapter 4 and cried right through, it seems God has a great job to do in my life and your book is exactly where my life is, yes- thanx ONE DAY AT A TIME
    ❤ I am from South Africa so it is still Sunday night here, I guess it is already “tomorrow” by you❤
    Does South Africa apply for the E book
    God Bless You x

  115. I know this has been on several people’s comments… But Oh it is so TRUE!!! “Trusting His plan for your everyday life is equally as important as trusting Him fro your eternal life.” He has a plan for my every minute and I need to continually let go. Rachel thank you for being so transparent and honest. I pray God continues to bless you!

  116. Rachel / Renee, precious sisters in the Lord. Thank you for reminding me today that faith is a decision each and every day. I was recently diagnosed with a brain aneurysm. It’s only through my confidence in the promises of God’s Word and sisters and brothers in Christ who encourage me as you have today with this message that gives me the faith to believe that He knows everything about me and goes before me in the unknown. He’s given me a precious Word to cling to from Psalm 56:3 ~ When I am afraid, I will trust in Him.

    • Lord Jesus, Thank you so very much for Debbie. I pray that You would show her Your awesome power and love through this time of her diagnosis and fear. Give her unfathomable peace in the midst of the storm and help her continue to cling to Your Word. Debbie, added your name to my prayer journal. Bless you for clinging to the Word!!

  117. Thank you Rachel for sharing your story…

    The first thing that came to mind reading it is that no matter how hard things get, God is always with us. Some turn away from God because of trials and tribulations, but others run to Him to see us through the dark places we encounter this side of heaven…

  118. I have enjoyed the Confident Heart this past month, awesome. The fact that we all have hurts, pain, disappointments . But I am surprised how many of us deal with depression. A tool the devil can use to hinder us. But with God all things are possible and we can rise above that with the verse Ps. 138:8 He will perfect that which concerns us. That is a one on one promise for confidence that He is really closer than anyone else and that He care so much and wants our love, respect and fellowship. A blessed time with Him. However some days are easier than others but for every valley there a two mountains so we can keep on climbing till we reach Him on that grand and glorious day.

  119. Rachel, thank you so much for your story and for reminding us: “that through His Word, God (has taught me)is teaching us that faith is not only a one-time decision; it’s an everyday decision.” And that we all must,
    follow this “Trusting His plan for your everyday life is equally as important as trusting Him for your eternal life.” Your story is an inspiration to me, because I am going through a difficult situation similar to your, with not knowing what each day will bring (my husband has been out on work mans comp, since January – are we are continuing to deal with workman’s comp with them trying to decide if they will pay for an amputation that is needed due to his injury in which diabetic ulcers accord due to the injury). So we have been waiting now over 30day w a visit to his regular doctor , 1 workman’s comp doctor and now another workman’s comp doctor tomorrow (Monday). Then it could be another 30 days till they make a decision on his case. I need to remind myself daily, God is in control and I need to continue to have faith each day no matter what obsiticles we have .

    • continuing….. I have decided to write your saying: “that through His word God is teaching me that faith is not only a one-time decision, it is an everyday decision, and that I must continue to trust His plan for my everyday life for it is equally as important as trusting Him for my eternal life. Amen, God Bless sister in Christ with love

      • You go Girl! So many promises to claim to go alongside it. Without meaning to spill the beans, I just can’t wait for this online study of Renee’s to get to chapter 12. You need a promise to claim? FANTASTIC guide in chapter 12. Ok, sorry. Now everyone is going to be peeking ahead. Move back to chapter 5, Girls. We’re getting there! ;)

  120. Rachel, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. It is such an inspiration to hear from someone like you who has been through so much and yet loves God all the more. It is clear you have put your trust in Him and your heart is overflowing with the power of the Holy Spirit.

  121. Hi sweet friends, I’ve been popping in and out this weekend, reading and praying a ton. So thankful that God carved out time for you to come and read Rachel’s powerful story of God’s grace and strength in the storms of life – past, present and future.

    I had hoped to be more interactive with notes, but I ended up getting really sick. Finally went to the Dr yesterday and I have bronchitis. BUT it’s been so neat to see you all sharing and interacting with Rachel. That has meant the world to me – thank you for loving on her and Rachel – thank YOU for being such a sweet ambassador of His love and truth. So thankful to have this chance to minister with you!!

  122. Christina says:

    WOW…thank you so much for sharing your story. It has encouraged me so much and I read your story in just the right time. Today out of all days, I felt so alone, raising my two girls and then thinking back in 2009, I was also confronted with Divorce and then the death of my mother. I thank God for allowing this story to cross my path. Thank you so much and blessings to you and your family!

  123. Thank you for sharing such an inspirational story. It blessed and convicted me…in my pity party moments, I used to think I’d be better off today if only I’d been raised in a Christian home. Or if I’d had thisnthingor that person… hearing your story reminds me that no matter where we are, God is there. Thank you for writing about taking daily steps of faith. Thank you for reminding me that God sees us and will restore us. You have such a beautiful family and I pray you stay encouraged! God Bless You!!!

  124. Suzanne G. says:

    When my husband fell ill in 2007, he was so sick….couldn’t hardly walk on his own. He eventually was diagnosed with double lymphoma (and is now in remission), but I have an entry written in my journal that I wanted The Lord to heal him, but I also didn’t want the ‘closeness’ I felt with The Lord to go away. We went forward with 5 difficult years, looking back it is evident that He carried us through. On theother side it is easy to see how we were carried, but when we are in the middle of the storm, sometimes all we can do is cling on to Him for survival. Rachel, thank you for sharing your story. What a blessing! Through these testimonies of God’s faithfulness we all can be encouraged:)

  125. Vanessa Wynn says:

    Even through the midst of our troubles, He is there. All we have to do is trust Him for today, as you have done. You do have an inspiring message and I’m thankful that you have shared with us! Bless you and your beautiful family!

  126. Such an amazing story of how God can turn things around for those that choose to follow after Him!! This Sunday our Pastor preached on closing/locking one door before opening/unlocking another door. If we have too many doors open at one time that gives the enemy a way to steal from us. We have to lock the door to the enemy so he doesn’t have any open doors to sneak in to attack us. That’s what this story brought to me as I read it. God bless you and your family!!

  127. Wow, what an amazing story. I’d love to win and read your new book. Blessings to you.

  128. Stephanie Hernandez says:

    What a great testimony. I also have a daughter with mental disabilities. We are now in the teen years and facing new challenges, esp. socially. It is so hard sometimes seeing her struggle, but I also know that God is in control. He has made her just the way she is and for a specific purpose and reason. I daily trust God for His will to be done in her life. (not always easy) One thing I know for sure… she loves Jesus. That blesses my heart more than anything! :)

  129. Leigh F says:

    Your story is so encouraging.

  130. Thank you Rachel for sharing your story of faith and hope. It really touched where my need is today. God Bless.

  131. D'ana H. says:

    God’s plans are perfect for those He has called His own. He created each of us – fearfully & wonderfully! I am touched by your story – I cannot fathom your immense pain, discouragement, fear, loss – but I can tell you that you’ve blessed my heart by sharing. You’ve also helped me to remember to be ever so thankful for the health and blessings of my loved ones and myself! God bless you sister!

  132. Jennifer Klemple says:

    Loved reading Rachel’s story. It blessed me so much!

  133. michelle says:

    Amazing story and the book looks like it will be a good read too. I pray the Lord continues to give you strength and years with your daughter. Lord Bless

  134. I would love to read your book. I attended a retreat this weekend and the power of prayer has touched me. I know God hears and has plans for us all. I want to grow in my prayers.

  135. Tenisha says:

    As I read through your blog posts in response to this week’s reading, I am reminded of Jeremiah 33:3

    Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).

    ——————————————————————————–
    I have gone through many storms in my life, and am presently in the middle of one now. I am just now realizing that in these times, I must turn to God. I had grown so accustomed to turning to my friends, family etc for support, that I neglected to turn to God. I compared my walk with God to others’ appearance of relationship with Him and found that I just didn’t measure up. I had doubts about my own ability to be used by God, and to allow Him to love me. I couldn’t conceive of that kind of love, the kind that allows storms to happen to be brought closer to Him until recently. This is a battle I am still fighting, because for me, these realizations come when it seems no one else is there.

    Reading this book for a second time with such a group of women has helped me to realize that I had turned away from God and began to focus on others’ thoughts of me, and how I measured in response to those thoughts and perceptions. When I have those doubts, I must turn TO God, rather than AWAY from His prescence. The enemy would like nothing more than to isolate me and sift me as wheat using thoughts that he himself planted in my mind to trap me. As Renee Swope stated, I have to strive and work daily to turn my focus to God, change my focus. I have to work that much harder to focus my thoughts on Him and His purpose for my life. For me, that means deleting negative thoughts, things and yes, people. This is a journey, but I am more than willing to walk it out.

  136. Trusting in God on a daily basis is the only way to be strengthen and grow our faith in Him.
    Thanks for sharing such a heart warming and thought provoking story.

  137. Thank you to all the Ladies who posted their thoughts, and to Renee and Rachel for your inspiring stories. I became a Christian just 10 months ago and I’m 52. I purchased A Confident Heart when it came out in July, but it wasn’t until yesterday after I was drawn to read these post that I started to actually read the book. I spent 4 1/2 hours reading and answering questions…it was amazing. Then when I woke up this morning, I was back in fear; so now I am going to start on Chapter 4. Fear runs me and ruins me, and what I got from all of your writings is that I must have God in my heart all the time, not just in the morning or at bedtime. Thank you so much for opening my heart and my mind.

  138. Commenting late… (I’m behind in my reading).

    This sentence from Rachel struck me:
    “I wanted God to spill out His plan for my life in one day.”

    That is so what i’ve been doing! Thanks for this realization. One day at a time – surrender!

  139. I am very most impressed with a lady spell caster who brought my husband home after a divorced signed by my husband a week ago. this spell lady got all the details correct from the situation to the physical descriptions and did a spell that made my husband nullify the divorce. Word are not enough to appreciate this spell lady powers I will continue to thank you for reuniting my family forever.
    I would bravely recommend this lady to anyone experiencing family trauma, her email is priestessifaa@yahoo.com. i met her through a friend that she has helped before.

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