{Week 8} You are God’s Masterpiece

“When God looks at you, He sees someone He loves. In Isaiah 43:4, God says, “You are precious and honored in my sight . . . and I love you.” When God looks at you, He also sees someone He knows. David said in Psalm 139:1, “You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.” You are not just one of millions of others, but are uniquely you. You are God’s prized possession, a valued treasure of great worth.” ~ Chapter 8, A Confident Heart

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Our word for the week: MASTERPIECE

God’s WORD for US this week:
“We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10, NLT

Be sure to print it and post this week’s download everywhere! You can download in a PDF or in MSWord.

According to Distionary.com a masterpiece is:

  1. a person’s greatest piece of work, as in art
  2. anything done with masterly skill
  3. a consummate example of skill or excellence of any kind

Let’s Connect: As you read Chapter 8 this week (some have read it and some are just getting started), what are some sentences or verses you’ve underlined or highlighted so far?

Click “Share Your Thoughts” below and do just that. Can’t wait to hear and pray over what God is showing you!

 

Comments

  1. Amen and amen!

    Being abused I felt dirty – unwanted – just awful. To know I am HIS Masterpiece, Chosen, Loved, just blows my mind! Always overwhelmed by who awesome our God is!!

    Love your tenacity and your faithfulness. Keep raising your voice!

    • Oh Sheri, you are loved, beautiful, redeemed, chosen, and created with an amazing purpose. He’s pursuing you – wants you to know You are His and He’s got your story in His hands!! You friend are engraved on His palm.

  2. Rhonda Palmer says:

    I can do the good he has called me to — I can walk away and not give in to sin, I can let go of the things that hold me back, I can stand tall and not shrink in shame. I am His.

  3. What haven’t I underlined?!! Thank you Renee for a spiritually, coherently, and uplifting description of my life’s struggle. This book reassures me of what God wrote on my heart at an early age. Chapter 8 clarifies things for me where doubt attacked me. In the moments where God called me to “guard” my heart, I let doubt condemn me for “hardening” my heart. I am thankful for the people in my life, but feel guilty that I have to “guard” myself so much being around them and have wasted so much of my life in sacrifice and duty. I am hopeful that as I continue working through “A Confident Heart”, I will be able to find the answers I have been looking for. It is comforting to read/hear “we have God-given emotional needs” and that I am not selfish in needing them met. I too feel like I have a multiple personality [p. 140-141] and through this study can focus on the gift God intends for me [p. 148-149] instead of a little bit of all of them, but not enough of any one to live my life of purpose. God’s blessings on each of you today.

    • Thank you Sue – for taking time to leave a note and share what God is showing you through the book. What an encouragement to me!! So much of what you shared are the same ‘aha’ moments I’ve had. Sounds like this is just what God wanted to show you and His timing is so perfect. Keep taking His hand and trusting His heart with each page and each chapter. He’s got so much in store for you in the days ahead!!

  4. Hi Renee, I absolutely love your book!! everytime i get the feeling like im to worthy. I look to a chapter in your book and somehow i feel renewed. Today is my 34th Birthday. I Love the story that god is writting for me. I have an awesome dedicated, devoted, and faithful husband, and 2 beautiful twin 3 year old girls. We just bought a house in November annd our family is happy. Our financial situation, well, it could be better, but whos couldnt be. we get by and thats all that matters. God provides for us what we need. Sometimes its hard to balance it all but it works. Again, thank you writing the confident heart, it definitely works in my favor along with god of course.

    Lave Candice
    Scranton, PA

    • happy, happy birthday to you, candice! may God continue to bless you & keep you…and your loved ones! <3

    • HAPPY BIRTHDAY Candice!! Sounds like you are surrounded by wonderful gifts of God’s love with your sweet family. Of course, no one’s life is perfect but what you have is what matters most. And Im so thankful God got this message into your hands to show you just how much He loves you and just how valuable you are to Him!! Hope your day was filled with evidence of His delight in you!

  5. i am so challanged to find what I am meant to do. I think this is an intraciate piece of the puzzle for me and one that is missing and not allowing me to heal and feel whole. I am looking forward to digging in deeper on the personality traits and seeing how others biew me and seeing how things develop after sitting at Jesus feet in prayer for guidance on my “gift” and the path he will lead me on. Blessings.

    • Praying for you to see the pieces of the puzzle coming together through this chapter. It’s a journey and a process but even just you taking the time to ask Him and prayerfully read through each section is a huge step in the right direction!! Keep seeking Him with all your heart and loving Him more than anything – even your calling – and you will have a head on collision with what He created you to do with your life as an offering to Him! Blessings and prayers!

  6. Adrienne says:

    Even as I read this.. I read it and blow it off. Knowing it is truth, God’s truth, but it meant nothing to me. I know I am not a mistake, I’ve asked, knocked, and sought and hear nothing, get nothing, I’ve asked for a purpose, I’ve asked for a hope, I’ve asked for a direction. I get nothing. Everyone eles is living and I’m crying out to God – Why I am nothing to Him? why has He answered all my prayers for everyone else in my life and not cared about me. He’s be so faithful to all I love but when it comes to me…. NOTHING for YEARs now. It’s like I read His word and I know it’s true. but He didn’t mean it for me. I feel so foolish right now b/c I am venting out there – but I need prayer & help b/c I have no hope. None.

    • Dearest Adrienne,
      Please do not loose hope. For God does have a plan for you. His ways are not our ways and often we don’t understand why he chooses to make us wait for what we feel we so desperately need, but God is in control in all circumstances working for us and not against us.
      Psalm 31:24 Be of good courage and he shall strengthen your heart all those who hope in the Lord.
      Psalm 71:1 In thee Lord do I put my trust let me never be put to confusion.
      Psalm 71:14 But I will hope continually and will yet praise thee more and more.
      For it is when we praise the Lord that we find our hope and joy in the Lord.
      I am praying for you.

      • Adrienne says:

        Thank you for your prayers, your kindness, and leading me to God’s Word, Lynn. May God bless you back as you so have kindly given. Honestly, it was a blessing to even be acknowledged.

        • Adrienne, I so agree with what Lynn shared and I love the list of verse she gave you. I am praying for you to know Jesus is reaching out to you even through this study and this loving group of Confident Heart sisters in Christ – we really do care about you!!

          • Adrienne says:

            Renee –
            I praise God for pouring out your story, your heart, your love of Christ in this book/study. You are real, and open, that means a lot to people – and myself. The warfare is on – and yesterday well… was a breaking point. And because of your prayers and the prayers of fellow sisters in this study, I’m able to claim – Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. – Moving on with a new mind, and a new heart – but most of all, trying to be content in ALL things. God did use you and the others who were so kind to pray and encourage. Because of them I am able to say this is a new day that the Lord has made – with a new mind – I chose to rejoice and be glad in it! – May God bless you & your family in a personal way today for challenging & caring about my relationship with Him enough to put yourself out there to change & guide me God, & not care so much about the affrimations, acknowledgement of the world, family, or husband. You are changing hearts Renee – And I am one of those hearts – Soli Deo Gloria! – Adrienne

    • hi there, adrienne…i, too, am praying for you. i know it is oh-so-hard when you feel like there is nothing to hope in. it is so good that you continue to pray and to read God’s Word. He truly is a faithful God Who does love and care for you…even though you don’t think that you have experienced that love. one of the foundational verses i cling to is “[what, what would have become of me] had i not believed that i would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living! wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord (psalms 27:13,14). i’m praying that truth can minister to your heart as well. <3

      • What a great verse Colleen – I love what you shared. Thank you for taking time to pray and love on Adrienne!

      • Adrienne says:

        Thank you Coleen, for your kindness, your heart, your understanding, your prayers. I agree with Renee, it is a wonderful verse. Thank you for giving it to me. Yesterday was such a bad day, but Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. This is a new day the Lord has made – with a new mind – I chose to rejoice and be glad in it… Thank you again & may God show you how much it means to me that you cared, for thank you just doesn’t cut it. Blessings to you dear Coleen – Adrienne

        • Dallena Hess says:

          Adrienne,

          I echo the same as the others have shared. Don’t give up. Part of the lyrics for a song that I like goes like this “There’s no else in the world who can take your place-the thought of you brings a smile to his face. God loves you with amazing grace” This is for you and the rest of my ACH sisters. Praying for you sweet sister!

    • Dear Adrienne:

      I just want to tell you today that God is deeply in love with you. You have a purpose and a wonderful future. Yes, sometimes we do go through tough times.

      Sometimes God intentionally allows suffering in our lives to refine us and purify our character.

      “We also have joy with our troubles, because we know that these troubles produce patience. ANd patience produces character, and character produces hope. And this HOPE WILL NEVER DISAPPOINT US, because God has poured out His love to fill our hearts. Romans 5: 3-5, Our sweet Savior Jesus also suffered so much. I think there is a verse in Hebrews which says our Savior was made perfect through suffering.

      But even in our suffering we can always find something in our life to thank God for. It may be small but we can still thank Him for it. If you are living in the USA you can thank God for that because that in itself is a blessing. In may parts of the world women are treated so badly and denied education, health care etc. Also, In the US we can have to freedom to worship God if we choose to.

      We can thank God that we are part of this Bible study. We can thank God that we can read and write. What if we were born in a community that denied education to women.

      We can be thankful that we can use computers and connect in this way coz in many parts of the world women just cannot do that.

      I pray today that God’s goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life.

      No matter how hurt you are we can always hope in Christ coz our hope in Him will not be disappointed.

      Love and prayers,
      Anna

      • Adrienne says:

        Thank you Anna for your redirective thoughts. I’m trying to put things into perspective, the warfare is just overwhelming. I praise God for your encouragement. Your prayers have been felt and may God show you how much they have helped and meant to me, that you cared enough to respond. May He bless you back in a powerful way that only He can because you were just being you and helping a fellow sister to stand, when I wanted to shut down. I’ve chosen – Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. – This is a new day that the Lord has made – with a new mind – may I rejoice and be glad in it.. – Thank you again – Adrienne

        • Renee how come you seem to write back to everyone but, do you have to be a member of the book club here.

    • Praying for hope for you, Anna! Do not grow weary; praise Him for what He has & will do!! May God show you His plan for your life that far surpasses your greatest hopes & dreams!

    • Adrienne,
      I too have been in that spot for 8 years now. I agree with you how frustrating it is, BUT, it is during our dryest wilderness experiences that He is doing His deepest work in us. I always pray, “whatever you do God, don’t let me go….your Word says you will never leave me or forsake me…..don’t let me go!!…Your Word says you will finish the work you have begun in me….so I know you aren’t finished with me yet!….help me hold on!!”
      For me: I believe He has allowed me to become so parched and brought me to this study, to this well, so He can begin to “fill” me again. This chapter had me crying most of the day yesterday, I too don’t know what I was created for; don’t know that I have anything to offer, don’t have any direction right now, except to do this study!! However, I am choosing to follow Renee’s lead and allow God to show me the “nuggets” in me that I can’t see. This Ch is harder for me than Ch 4 was…..strange how God put it after “I feel like a failure”, but He has His reasons.
      Adrienne….hold on, be patient, believe and trust that He is doing a deep work in you and in season, He will cause you to see it and to blossom!!!
      Holding your hand today…..LaDena

      • Adrienne says:

        LaDena,
        Thank you. Thank you for your honesty, thank you for your words of compassion and truth. But most of all thank you for reminding me I’m not the only one. I’m right there with you in regards to the book and study, and yea, I couldn’t even try to read yesterday… I can tell you, I’m holding on a little bit tighter just because of your encouragement, prayers, and affrimation. May it give you complete purpose today that God used you in a powerful way. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Ps 30:5b
        Your fellow companion in the wilderness.. Adrienne

  7. “When God looks at you, He see someone He loves.”
    I wish it was easier to hold on to this truth. I hit a roadblock this past weekend and I’m having a hard time reaching my hand out to Him. I know I need Him, but this place seems so much easier at times. Familiar.
    But, I do need Him.
    I loved the piece of scripture you shared in Chapter 7 (sorry, I’m moving a bit slower with my reading and catching up here).
    Prov. 24:16 – “A confident woman knows that even when she falls, she doesn’t have to stay down. Instead she can reach for God’s hand and rise again.”
    I feel like I fell hard this weekend, but my hand is out reaching for God’s hand ready to rise again.
    Today He is guiding me to where I know I need to be…I will be attending an eating disorder meeting tonight.
    I’m taking a much needed step. I’m trusting God.

    • Oh Beth, you are not defined by your decisions – good or bad. you are wholly and dearly loved!! He is right there wanting to take your hand and pull you up again. He was right there when you gave in, He LOVES you and accepts you and wants you to rest in Him — not your efforts, not your strength but completely in Him. I am proud of you for going to a meeting and I am proud of you for being open and honest with us here. We love you sweet friend and we believe in YOU!!

      And yes – when GOD looks at you HE sees a women HE LOVES!! no matter what!!

  8. Hi, Renee hi, everyone I just read everyone’s comments. Renee this is so encourageing! Every day, I thank God for you! When the negative people in my life make me feel worthless or can’t do anything, I will just remember I am God’s masterpiece and he has a lot of great things for me! Thank you Renee!

  9. oh, ladies, i am so thankful to be reading each of your comments! they have encouraged me, and reminded me of the Truth.
    and, renee, i love this: “When God looks at you, He sees someone He loves. In Isaiah 43:4, God says, “You are precious and honored in my sight . . . and I love you.” When God looks at you, He also sees someone He knows. David said in Psalm 139:1, “You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.” thank you…again. <3

    • So glad you took time to stop by and connect. Reading through the comments makes me feel like we’re in a room talking, sharing and praying for each other. I picture a few of us here and there connecting over coffee and cookies. Or sitting in a circle in a living room.

      I”m praying for major break-throughs this week in each of your lives as you come to realize just how uniquely and wonderfully He has made you – shaped with His plans and purpose in mind!! Just look around and ask Him for someone to love on with the gifts He’s given you!!

      • Dallena Hess says:

        Renee,

        Thanks for your prayers for us. I sense that I’m going to get a breakthough this week. I feel that several pieces of the puzzle are fitting together in my life. I feel that I’m no longer inadequate or that I have to compete with others.

  10. Hi Renee:

    I love this chapter. So many sentences and whole paragraphs stood out to me. Here are a few but I am definitely reading this chapter again.

    “Isn’t it easy to neglect our dreams and desires to meet the needs of everyone around us and call it self-sacrifice. It sounds godly but in doing so we risk shutting down a place in our soul where God’s dreams and gifts are waiting to be revealed. It is not self seeking but God seeking to intentionally get to know and become the woman God created you to be.” Pg 138
    I don’t want to ‘shut down any place in my soul” that God so carefully made.

    “….commit to set aside time each week to walk through the process of finding God’s things for you. A confident woman wants to know who God created her to be She is comfortable saying ‘no to somethings so that she can say yes to living the life God wants her to live. She is intentional and secure about pursuing the spiritual purpose God has for her. ” Pg 138

    I am definitely going to do this. I want to know the “real me” that God created.

    “We all have strengths, and when surrendered to Christ, we become more like Him as become more like our true selves.” pg 141

    I have experienced this a little bit. I want to surrender myself more to Him, every aspect of me, so I can become like Him which is to become like my truest self. I am looking forward to getting to know myself, the way God created me to be. I am looking forward to discovering and using all the gifts, talents and abilities He has blessed me with. This is so, so exciting.

    “…Take a moment now, or plan a time in the near future to stop and write a prayer of commitment to get to know the woman God designed you to be.”
    pg 142

    I also loved the quote at the beginning of this chapter. “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
    It is true. I can be a better servant to Christ, mom, wife and person if I know who God created me to be and allow myself to be used for Him.

    Thanks and blessings to Renee for writing this book, this chapter and explaining everything so beautifully.

    Anna

    • Thank YOU Anna for such a detailed and encouraging note. I love the things you highlighted and the commitment you are making to get to know the women God created you to be. I can sense the joy and excitement you are feeling. it’s SO freeing to really find out who are you are and let go of all that trying to be something we’re just not. Whew I love the difference!! Praying for you and thanking God you are in the study for such a time as this in your life!!

  11. Esther Smith says:

    Am I behind? I am just starting chapter 8. I know you just posted the verse, and beautiful graphic for chapter 8 Renee, so I know it is the chapter of the week. However, should we be reading ahead to answer these questions on Monday? Lol, I always a day late and a dollar short as they say, so I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that I should have been reading ahead! ;)

    • HI Esther – you are right on track. Some read the chapter Sunday or Monday and some are just getting started. Maybe I need to change my Monday question :-)

      I will clarify in the post that this can be answered today or when ever we want. Just pace yourself however your life works. THat is the beauty of the study being online – no deadlines :-)

      • Esther Smith says:

        Thanks Renee. Lol, I am a bit slower in my reading, but it’s good to know we can comeback and answer the question later :) I will definately do that!

        While I am writing to you though, I should definately tell you thank you. Thank you for writing this book. It has changed my relationship with Christ, how I read the Bible, and how I see His promises. God bless you and your ministry!

  12. Jessica H. says:

    “A confident woman asks God to birth ministry through her burdens by meeting her needs, and then she looks for ways to join Him in meeting the needs of others who are going through something similar. She knows God can use her brokenness to do something beautiful, because the cracks allow His light to shine through and His living water to pour out.”

    “Before the creation of the world, God chose you to be in His story – to be adopted as His daughter, grafted into His family, cast in a leading role, and used for His glorious purpose. Being chosen means you have something special to offer that can make a difference. You are no longer isolated and disconnected. You are wanted, and you belong! A woman with a confident heart chooses to believe that God wants to make an impact through her life, and she looks for ways to let Him.”

    I want SO much to be that confident, usable woman that’s described in those two paragraphs. How can I be the “true person God designed [me] to be” if I don’t even know who that is? I’m at a confusing transition. I’m slipping, but I don’t want to let go. I’m here. An offering. I’m no masterpiece, but I’m the clay and You’re the potter – make me what You have me be.

    • Don’t let go Jesssica. Take His hand and read one section of this chapter at a time. Journal your thoughts and listen to His promptings in your heart. Follow His lead and each day ask Him to show you one way to reach out and love on someone with an ability, personality trait or gift you have. It doesn’t have to be big. Small acts of kindness and love are the ones that change the world and reveal our biggest roles in life!!

  13. I underlined:

    I also began to understand we have God-given emotional needs. When those needs are left completely unmet, we become depleted and tend to operate primarily out of our weaknesses. We all have strengths, and when surrendered to Christ, we become more like Him as we become more like our true selves. As I have said before, none of us is perfect, but we are wonderfully made – just as God planned.

  14. Martha ParfaitFelix says:

    “God never intended for us to compete with each other, He wants us to complete one another,…” That statement shook my heart. I’ve been trying to compete with others ALL my life. I lived a false lifestyle that has gotten me into legal troubles which still haunts me today. I had never read Ephesians 2:10 until I read it the very 1st time it was quoted in the book & it really changed my outlook.

    • Wow, I can sense God moving in big ways in your life Martha. Keep reading and soaking in the truths He planned for you to discover here. He’s got an amazing plan for your life that is all about you being more like HIM as you become more like the woman HE created you to be — without competing but simply completing the plan He has for your life!!

  15. Jackie Van Hook says:

    Wow….to really feel special, loved, valued…. read this chapter!!! What stands out to me so far is how we are all UNIQUELY created, with a purpose that ONLY we can fulfill. This really helps me see my own purpose, value, and also helps me be convicted to do what God wants me to do…. knowing that He created me for that very reason, and even if I don’t feel I can do it, He will equip me! A lot of times I feel my personality isn’t what I would want it to be, or I feel “blah” in comparison to everyone else…. yet, “God deliberately gave you the personality He wanted you to have so that He could impact certain people through your life.” Powerful!

    The chapters on comparison really stood out to me, as I really compare myself to everyone else daily…. and it is so hard to do and makes me feel just plain AWFUL. “The only way to break free from the comparison trap is to embrace the reason you are who you are.” Knowing this, I can hold myself up, knowing I am uniquely created with purpose.

    Last week’s chapter was very difficult, yet much needed for me. Going through a very difficult, challenging time with my 5 year old daughter – she has a very strong personality, and testing her limits daily… I take things so personally, and feel so often that I am a horrible mother. I always feel “not good enough.” Again, this chapter, with the focus on comparisons, I always compare myself to other mothers and their children to my own….. However we have to recognize, God created us all – both myself and my daughter, and he gave her her own unique personality too. He entrusted her to me (and my husband) because we are the “perfect” parents for her…. and no matter what we face ahead, He will equip us!!!!!!

    So, so thankful for this book and how it is helping me to grow and stay focused on Christ – and, be confident in Him!

    • I”m so thankful you are here with HIM and us – reading and letting HIM love you into a place of truth and assurance of who you really are – to HIM and in HIM!!

      YOUR relationship with your daughter and her acting out is not a reflection of you. Take it from a mom of two teens and a toddler. BUT I so understand. I confesses it all in chapter 7 and like you comparison and all that self-condemnation was taking me down. Our kids need to see that their behavior is their choice. We lead them, we love them, we discipline them and we set boundaries for them and ourselves. But kids know how to press buttons and what she really longs to know is that you really are in charge and she does’t rule the world – although she says just the opposite with her words and actions.:D

      Hang in their – you are doing great. ANd you are special, loved, valued and being transformed by His love each day!!

  16. Sue Astill says:

    Hello all,
    chapter 8 is the one that speaks to me the loudest of all (it is also the one I read back in 2009 which challenged me to re-discover who I am). At the time I was preparing for my final teaching internship to complete and qualify for a teaching degree……well I failed my teaching degree and felt like a failure! how ever, God had placed a seed in my heart to pursue working in ministry as a school chaplain at this time.
    And I did! Me, a broken not perfect christian woman! I have struggled for years with depression and burn out (from trying to please everyone else instead of pursuing my hearts desire and God’s purpose for me) and through Renee’s book and the shared experiences of you all, I have gone back to God and His word and am standing strong in the knowledge that I can do (face) all things through Christ who strengthens me.
    blessings to you all,
    x Sue from Australia

  17. Machelle says:

    Most days I feel like a crummy reproduction or look-a-like than a masterpiece.having the appearance of authentic, but not very authentic or beautiful if you scratch beneath the surface. Anna made some great observations.maybe I need to go back and re read

    • You ARE not a reproduction. YOU, Machelle, are one of a kind. Someone has lied to you and I’m sad you are letting their lies become your truth. Your Heavenly Daddy would never say those things to you. You are truly His masterpiece. I”m praying you will read this chapter again and again and ask Him to soften your heart to His promise and water the soil of your heart with His love so those seeds can take root. You are completely loved by a Mighty God!!

  18. A sentence that I underlined and highlighted is: “Others have neglected their hearts and lives to please people, or suppressed their heart’s desires because someone wasn’t interested in or criticized their ideas.”
    I thought of the little chorus we learned in sunday school, “This Little Light of Mine.” Our lights were meant to shine, yet the song continues with, “Hide it under a bush? Oh no! I’m gonna let it shine….”
    I felt like my light had been snuffed out many times because I allowed what others thought of me to be more important than what God was saying to me. Now that my light is shining I have purpose, joy and contentment. There is nothing like walking in this freedom!
    It seems that every chapter of this book speaks into a specific area of my life that needed healing. Thanks Renee!

  19. love this book! It came at the perfect time (Gods timing is always perfect). This chapter was big for me! I’m having a hard time with overwhelming feelings of being isolated and disconnected and then on pg 152 you say “you are wanted and you belong”. I don’t know where God wants me (yet) but I’m seeking. Thanks Renee

    • He’s chosen you and you belong to HIM more than anything or anyone else. Praying He’ll also show you a place to give your life away (and His life in you) right where you are with the people around you!

  20. There is not just one sentence that I’ve underlined, but many. The main thing I hear out of this chapter is that I belong to God and he has a plan for my life.

  21. Shannon Steckel says:

    I havent read the chapter since i had an accident on sunday and am recuperating from a dislocated elbow and its my right hand which i’m right handed so it is hard to type. seeing the orthopedic tomorrow to see how its going and hopefully i will get this splint off. I know God created me and He is the conductor & we are His instruments.

  22. Hi Renee! School’s out and I finally have time to do some connecting with the study instead of just the reading and questions. My favorite take away from this chapter is the line about comparing our insides to their outsides. Apples to oranges! :)
    The book has been great and thank you for sharing your life with us. I’m heading into some new territory with school next year as well as taking first steps in my writing ministry. I’m also supporting my husband as he’s intentionally working to overcome his grief/depression that’s held him for over 10 years. So the timing of finally reading to it has been God inspired as it’s keeping me focused on the truth through these endeavors. Thanks again! :D

  23. Hi, Renee.
    Wow. If I were vain, I would have suspicions that you send out spies. To spy out the land I have been living in. Where I have fallen prey to fear and doubt like the 10 unfaithful spies, you must be listening to those faithful, like Caleb and Joshua. You are certainly speaking the truth over my life. Thank you!!

    I underlined so much, that to share all would be just to repost the entire chapter. “Feeling like a third grader living in a grown woman’s body?” I never would have had the courage to speak that out loud. But I sure have know that feeling. “Comparison is one of woman’s worst enemies.” “”We compare how we feel inadequate on the inside with someone who looks like they have it all together on the outside” I have done this so many times. And realize this certainly does not honor my God who specifically put me together just the way I am!

    And thanks for the challenge to really look at my personality. I absolutely am a peace lover, peace maker. I rather enjoyed my list of strengths. But had to laugh at myself when my gut instinct was to deny that one of my Relational Challenges is Denial. I am really forcing myself to look hard at my actions/responses to others. Remembering that God has placed me where I am, with the abilities I have, to love and serve those around me. Remembering that my needs are important, too, so that I don’t “become depleted and tend to operate primarily out of [my] weaknesses.” That statement was very convicting to me.

    I’ve always felt called to be a prayer warrior. But I do struggle with abilities as far as career. In the depths of my heart, I just want to just be a stay-at-home mom and housewife. But financially, it has never been possible. It seems to me that I should have a strong calling for a specific career since I am called to help my husband provide. I worked at a grocery store for 22 years before it closed and now I have gone back to school full time, to try to get a job doing something that doesn’t keep me away from home evenings and weekends. And I compare myself. To women who have careers and seem to LOVE it. I know I have talents. And I should use them to His glory. But I feel so torn. “The desires of your heart indicate your God-given passion to make a difference somewhere….Instead of guarding and listening to our heart, we’ve been told to silence it and listen to the voice of sacrifice and duty.” And I’m at war. Because I know duty says I must be responsible and provide for my family. But my heart just wants to be home. So, I’m asking for God to show me how I can CONFIDENTLY use my talents, and my education, and my personality quirks, to help provide in a way that keeps me close to home as much as possible. I’d appreciate anyone who would lift this prayer up with me!

  24. AMEN! You will never know how much this on-line Bible study has been to me. I’m at a time in my life where I have questioned who I am and what I’m suppose to do. I’m coming out of a very deep hurt in my life and listening to God as to what he has next for me. I have had some extreme struggles the last 4-5 years and have really question life, and my relationship with Christ Jesus. I know now, that God has a plan for me and not only has he walked it out before me but he is walking right beside me. He loves me and wants good things for me. I’m so thankful for the study and each and every comment made because it helps me also to grow. I’m now looking forward to the second half of my life.
    Thank you for horning Jesus with the book and Bible study.

  25. Leslie Randall says:

    Dearest Renee

    I want to thank you and thank God for you and your book “A Confident Heart” from the bottom of my heart.

    I have finished reading the book you so loving wrote for all women. With each page I read I was reminded of this is me you are writing about, all my insecurities, betrayals, feelings of no worth and my desire to walk closer with God. This book was very revealing to me that I am not the only one that has and is experiencing these trials.

    I recently quit my job because of some very hateful people that are without God in their life. I know that God removed me from this invironment and I have placed it all in His hands. I absolutley desire to better serve the Lord through a career but do not know how to do this. I am 50 years old and would love to spend the last of my days serving God.

    Please pray for me.
    With sincere Heart felt thanks
    I wish you Shalom
    Leslie

  26. Jenny Mabe says:

    I realized that I am beautiful in every way even when I can’t see it at times. I also need to spend time with Hod and get to know the real me. Every word spoke to me. I took the personality assessment and I already knew that one of my gifts is serving/helps/ministry. I’m not exactly sure what I am suppose to do or what inwhat ministry I am supposed to be apart of. Please pray for me
    I am struggling spiritually right now

  27. Susan M. says:

    I have underlined sooooooo much this chapter! The part about our natural talents being given at birth was an eye opener, I never thought about our talents being from birth, but then I remembered someone saying go back to your childhood and remember what you did that you liked, so that would make sense now. Also, what you said about focusing on things WE HAVE and not what WE DON”T HAVE~~~~I always do this, I look at what I don’t have and would want and I need to refocus my mind. The “Uniquely You” section was so comforting to me, to know that I am PRECIOUS in HIs sight and He loves me and I am His prized posession, a valued treasure of great worth~~~~~~~that makes me feel soooooo secure knowing that and that God never changes so His feelings will never change toward me. Great chapter, I think it is one I need to re read and take more notes on~~~~~thanks Renee

  28. Shannon Steckel says:

    Comparison leaves us insecure, confused, and discontent. as the friend stated “Every time I compare myself with someone else, I can never measure up because I’m comparing my inside with their outsides” Wow, I (we) do that. We compare how we feel inadequate on the inside with someone who looks like they have it all together on the outside. Than we try to polish our outsides, hoping that will make us feel better on the inside but it never does.

    I’ve been delayed due to an accident and I am recovering from a dislocated elbow and now in a brace but healing quite nicely but I have been struggling with an issue with my Mom. I love her more than anything but she wants to be control all the time of me. I have told I need the space but mom get its for awhile and than comes back. She wants to help me with the control of my finances but it would be entire day because she repeats everything like I’m 6 years old. I’m dreading this time but I don’t have any money to get a financial advisor. Furthermore, I feel my mom doesn’t trust me that I’m job hunting. I’ve told her this trillion times (at least it feels like it) but mom you know I’m kind of delayed and why do you think I have the internet here..I’m looking for jobs since I couldn’t drive due to pain medications. Than she says let’s do some more organizing at your apartment. Than how in the world, can I job hunt. I’ve told her I how I feel but it happens all the time. My Dad tries to help but says don’t waste your breath. I love her so much though but I feel such a displeaser to her. I know in my heart isn’t but the words she tells me like finding a job. Yes, mom I am looking for a job. somedays I just want to put on the billboard on her card on the garage. Hmm, Maybe I should put my resume on the garage door as an advertisement or maybe I could create bumper sticker and put it on her car. Okay, that’s nutty but that’s how I feel to get imprinted in her head. She even tells me that I do not sound educated. So, I get scared talking to my friends because of this lack of confidance but I pray to God to be patient and humble since I’m the only child and my parents are in late 70′s and early 80′s.

    Also, people saying that an only child comparison is that you’re spoiled rotten brat but when your parents get older. You have to take care of them or find someone else to take help them. My Mom already told me not until she is 96 years old…As I said before, I do love her with all my heart but I can’t take anymore negative comments but I don’t even want to come to their house due to this but I do it because I love them and who knows the next day maybe too late. So, as my Dad says just suck it up. All I can do is pray to God and hopefully, the message will get across someday.

  29. The very first highlight sentence for me: Insecurity whispers: That’s because dreams are for confident people who have something special to offer, and you don’t. I do have desires and dreams if that is what you call it, in my earlier days it was stuff but today I find my peace in the desire to share Gods word, and especially to helping my friends and family in times of needs. Whether it be a helping a hand or an uplifting word or by sharing my own life experiences even when they are difficult to share. Even though there are days I have doubt about where I should be or what I should be doing, I know I have special gifts that God wants me to share. For in me, He has created a Master Piece in His eyes according to His purpose for me.
    Renee your bible study is a blessing, not only is it uplifting but it gives the desire to share His word more with others, for I know that this study has been presented to me in the timing of Gods plan for me. God Bless and I pray that you continue to write and share Gods word and love with all.

  30. I spent so much of my time growing up alone, with a depressed mother, and got the message that there is nothing special about me and that I don’t count. This was a very painful, but good chapter for me. I am truly God’s masterpiece, and He loves me just as I am. I do count in His eyes.

  31. Just would like to say thank you for your book, A Confident Heart Renee. I love reading all your encouraging words ladies. It is a beautiful thing to hear i am not alone and how God is on our side. He is ever so personal with us I too believe and still do feel like i have nothing special to offer, even now :( So pray i will know i do have something special. Thank you :)

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