{Chapter 5} Turning Toward the Light

john-8-12

We are going to read chapter 5 and 6 this week.
We’ll start with chapter 5 today, and Wednesday lets transition to chapter 6.
Our word for Today:
LIGHT
(You can download it in a PDF or download in MSWord). Please print it and post it everywhere and you allow His promises to lead you out of the shadows of doubt and into the LIGHT of LOVE  this week.

Our verse for Today:
“I am the light of the world. If you follow Me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12, NLT

Today’s Assignment:
Read chapter 5. This is a shorter chapter but oh so important!! Be sure to highlight or underline anything that resonates in your heart and journal what you sense God is showing you.

Connecting:
What are one or two things you’ve read so far in Chapter 5 that you sense God’s bringing to “light” for you? Are there verses or sentences you’ve underlined or highlighted? Click “share your thoughts” just below this post and do just that.

REMEMBER: If you are reading this via email, click here to return to my website to connect in community. That is the best part of an online study, so I hope to see you there!

About Renee

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

Comments

  1. Last evening my boyfriend and I decided to take a month apart. A month for him to face the hurts of his past and then leave them in the past. Hopefully this month will also be one of God speaking clearly to him what He wants for our future! Saying that to say…Chapter 5 & 6…speaking of doubt…fear…worry…check, check, & check!! I know this month is God still writing our love story, but I still worry…I’m scared God’s going to take, yet another good thing, away from me. I doubt. I ask WHY?!! Why me?…the one who would love to be a wife and mother, but all I can manage is one failed relationship after another. Why am I never good enough?!
    Then.
    I read the Bible Study chapter 5 (and couldn’t stop myself and read 1/2 of Chap 6)…”I am a chosen woman”… “Take me beyond the shadows of my doubts and teach me how to rely on the power of Your promises.” “…the mind fixed on the Spirit is life and peace.” “…You go with me, to fight for me against my enemies of insecurity and inadequacy and give me victory.”
    And, btw. I am VERY grateful to have a bf, who wants to do the right thing, even tho it’s hard! I’m beyond blessed to have a man who wants to deal w/ his past b4 getting into a marriage! And once he does…look out world, God is going to use him in His kingdom however big or small, he’s going to be influential in lives and it’s only because of the grace of God in his/our lives!!

    • I don’t think there is a more powerful thing in a man’s life than a praying woman. God loves you so much, and has such plans for you! I am praying for you that you will stay focused on the fact that you are God’s masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10). Hang in there!

    • I am praying for you dear Rhonda.

    • Katherine says:

      Rhonda, I can understand exactly what you are going through. My boyfriend decided to do that exact same thing a couple of months ago. It was so hard, but in the end it was the best thing that happened. He needed to deal with some things from his past ,and although he is still working on them, he has begun a major healing process. The two of us have actually grown closer through all this. Keep praying for him. And most importantly, remember God loves you and He has a plan just for you. You are his princess!

      • I love it! Thanks for sharing & encouraging! I hope & pray ya’lls story continues to unfold to a beautiful ending!

    • There is a great pastor, Bobby Conway who has taught on leaving his past behind before marrying his wife. Amazing speaker, you might look up some of his resources. I know he is on itunes. Also, Family Life does a Weekend to Remember, all over the country, all year. I am a huge proponent. Married, divorced, separated, engaged couples all were in attendence at our conference, and all benefitted. They even have special teaching sessions for those not yet married. They are very reasonable as far as cost too, but such a blessing.I will be praying for you both during this time apart:)

    • Bernadette Burgess says:

      I am praying for you Rhonda

    • My boyfriend and I just did the same thing except it was a week and God told us both that a relationship isn’t what he wants for us. Will we end up together in the future? That’s up to God. We both have some maturing to do spiritually, healing from our pasts, doubts we have been struggling with…i am a single mother and I have to deal with some problems with my sons father. God has me going through this process for a reason. It hurts and its hard but God is in control. In my weakness He is my strength and I am clinging to His promises throughout all if this. I will be praying for you.

    • patricia swindle says:

      chapter 5 page 90 spoke to me . . . “We’ll also need to realize our family of origin does not define our true identity. Once we become daughter of the King, we have a royal inheritance that determines who we are. Gideon had to stop thinking of himself as the runt of his family and start seeing himself as a child of God, a mighty warrior in His’s Father’s eyes. . . . ”
      While I certainly did not have the worst childhood and family, I did not have the best. However, I believe i allow my past and childhood, my upbringing to dictate who I am and how my life should be because of it. I think that I am not good enough for this or that but yet I see the hand of God on my life. He has provided more than I could have ever thought or imagined. I quite often think that my life should be this way or that way but yet it is the way it is today. I must accept it as a wonderful and beautiful gift from God. I am focusing on Him and His word, His ways. I will do my best to take me out of the equation. Will be a challenged since I have focused on me for so long. Lord, give me the strength to be all I can be through You who gives me strength.
      Patricia

    • My prayers are with both you and your boyfriend Rhonda

    • elizabeth lopez says:

      i will be praying for you because it better to hear him now and not wait after 37 years morgt , IRS , CPA, debt, and 3 children and 3 grandchildren and all the pain , later that i was never what he wanted
      i am still love him and standing in hope that one day we will have joy together serving the Lord but he doesnt what more so i go in peace and joy.

      asking the Lord to help me walk alone after 37 years at 54 no education no job ,very broken rejected and fear of not being able to care for myself and this home but i go peace . my joy are the children and grand children and the 37 years of hope i did my part i just can not do any more as I wait in prayer until the day come i just do not know the time or day that he will leave , peace hope and love HOLDING ON

  2. I am ready your story, however, i am feeling very sad and depressed after a recent breakup.
    Please pray for me, to help rid the spirit of depression, anxiety, worry and fear.

    I have been praying so hard, but find myself alone now.

    Thanks,
    Wendy

    • Praying for you Wendy! You are not alone. I am so sorry for your hurts. I pray that you can feel God wrap his arms around you, because you are His!

    • God is jealous for your love. Enjoy loving Him and He meanwhile will be orchestrating to bring you the BEST!!! He knows exactly what you need and the deepest desires of your heart. You will not be disappointed!! Praying for you! May God bless you tremendously!!

    • Bernadette Burgess says:

      Wendy my heart goes out to you in your situation, as I am also going through a similar situation. I am strugling with moving forward away from the constant nagging pain, depression and anxiety that comes from a broken heart. Even though I know all the promises God has put in place for such a time as this, I find it very frustrating dealing with moving on. I keep praying and pressing in that one day I will not have to go through this anymore.

    • Wendy, my prayer for you is that The Lord will over flow your cup with His amazing love so that the spirit of depression has no other choice but to leave. I pray that God would send someone in your life right now that will help you over this hump. All we really need is God the rest should just be a want.

  3. This chapter was just what I needed at this moment in my life. I’ve been really struggling with making sure I’m being the person others in leadership want me to be. While living with Bipolar disorder is hard, I often try to hide or mask what I’m going through because I don’t want to disappoint people. I’ve also been struggling with losing weight for the past year. So when I read “You see, God created us for so much more than self-preservation or self-promotion. When we follow our natural inclination to preserve and promote ourselves or perform for others, we eventually end up in a place of darkness and doubt” there was a giant light bulb going off, Gods light!! Thank you Renee for your obedience in writing this book, I can see God changing me more and more each day..

    • Maureen Chiasson says:

      Liberate, isolation is one of the ways the devil uses to defeat us. Stay connected with God and others. Also shame is used. If we were all vulnerable enough to share our imperfections we would realize that we are all in the same boat. No one has it together.

    • Wow, Linnette. Reading your thoughts now took me exactly where I have been with my diagnosis of Bipolar disorder just 2 years ago in 2011. It has been extremely difficult as I too have been in leadership roles in the past and just this year started taking leadership roles again both in church and at my work. It’s scary as I enter in these roles after some failures and fear of falling under pressure with my disorder. It has been a particular battle understanding it myself as well as those who love me / surround me understanding it and overcoming its barriers in order to function a ‘normal’ life (with medication and regular monitoring of my meds). I feel like myself again with goals, motivation, and stability to the best I am able to. I also feel a need to please others and not disappoint. Like you, I battle with losing weight and just spoke with my psychologist about it today. I have battled self-esteem issues since childhood but more recently in some bad supervisor experiences in my time out of state. Thanks for the hope in God that I see in you through your words here. I thank Renee for reading this book and for this online book study. 🙂

  4. There are several things about chapter 5 that spoke to me. It is all coming together with my pastor’s sermons and other books I’m reading and studying. When I don’t feel strong enough, God will still use me if I’m willing.

    I’ll be honest that I haven’t been willing. I’ve been in a place of wanting protection.

    Today, the Lord said, “Brenda, I ask you to bring a SACRIFICE of praise and Thanksgiving. That means, you have to give it from your heart and not necessarily because you FEEL like it. SACRIFICE your feelings of wanting to hide and protect yourself and experience the grace and peace that only I can give you when you surrender and let go.”

    • Wow, Brenda! Thank you so much for sharing what God said to you today. I can surely apply that to my life. God bless you richly as you step out in obedience. Remember – “…underneath are the everlasting arms.” God loves us so much and is always right with us. We must lean on and in to Jesus, trust Him and rely on Him. It’s all about Him. Glory! I’m still working on grasping all that by the way. 🙂

    • I “Amen” that. Very empowering. Thank you Holy Spirit for enabling Brenda.

  5. Chapter 5 made me cry. It is so true how past can be powerful today! I have huge problems with confidence today because of the way I was treated by my relatives during my childhood. Actually, they still try to treat me that way and then I feel all over again: stupid, incapable, worthless, inadequate… I feel like I have to apologize for the way breathe. I sence their bigotry all my life.
    But…. I’m shifting my focus!

    • Father God, I pray with Marina that You will help her to continue to shift her focus and be steadfast in Your truth about her. Please help her to be strengthened in her inner man to remain focused on You and Your great and deep love for her. Thank You for being her peace, her hope, her joy, her life and light! Grace her to move forward in this part of her journey with You. Please remind Marina of Your promise to her in Deuteronomy 33:26-27 “There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, Who rides the heavens to help you, And in His excellency on the clouds. 27 The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, And will say, ‘Destroy!’ In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

  6. Hi Renee I am glad you are feeling much better. I am playing catch up with my reading. Great Word. What can uou advise me on talking in tongues? I m visiting this church since I m living in a different State and yesterdaysomeone spoke in tongues? Is that okay? Thank you

    • Yes it is ok. Get an accordance and read up on speaking in tongues. It’s a spiritual gift. However the person should not speak in tongues unless there is someone who can interpret -yet another spiritual gift. Hope this helps you. Be a berean and study study study the scriptures so you are not led astray. Look up online to study the bible inductively. Don’t just take pastors and teachers word for it.

  7. I thoroughly enjoyed Chapter 5, especially the points Renee made about not focusing on myself, especially in ministry. I’m trying to minister to some foreign students right now and I knew going in that I wasn’t really going to fit in with them. But sometimes, I am insecure about my own social awkwardness and feel afraid to even approach the students. God is not limited by my limitations. I need to stop focusing on what I can or cannot do, and what I want or don’t want, and just let obey. My job is simple obedience, His job is results. This is a daily battle and struggle for me, but I know God wants me to change for Him. Praise God!

    • That is something I learned this year. I was limiting what God could do in my life, or with my life, because I couldn’t get past what I couldn’t do. Then one day I finally got it, nothing limits God, I just needed to believe Him!

  8. There are many factors that contribute to my doubt, and all of them seem to be because I have lost something in the process of God’s time of His refining fire and I’m afraid of more pruning. I remember at the one of the lowest points I actually was afraid of His power to take away. Then I started to blame myself for doing something wrong to deserve it. The sad thing is I didn’t realize that He did it because He LOVED ME TOO MUCH. I instead doubted His love, and all the promises that came with that love.

    Renee said it so well, “I realized the shadow of doubt had been cast over my thoughts and emotions because I had stopped living in the security of God’s promises.” His promises are my foundation, and I was destroying the very thing I was standing on…no wonder I felt so afraid!

    God had also been whispering for the past few weeks the verse…”Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

    If God is for me, than why am I so afraid? The future is unknown, but He knows the whole story and I need to trust Him and enjoy the journey knowing that:

    “He has made all things beautiful in its time” Ecclesiastes 3:11 and
    “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God.”
    Romans 8:28

    These are His precious promises, all I have to do is “tune in” to His promise station rather than the “static” of my own mind. He will not leave us nor forsake us….No matter WHAT it looks like with our limited vision and understanding! He knows how to give GOOD gifts to His children!!

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
    in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight! Proverbs 3:5-6

    • kathy rodriguez says:

      All of these comments have resonated with me so much. This is the first time I have reached out and some of it has been that I feel SO unworthy when I am in the presence of such Christian women. Pillar’s comments just knocked me to the ground. I have been unemployed for 8 months — have always been able to provide for my family and just don’t want to end on a small note. Doors have opened and then shut SO abruptly that I have been afraid that God is not for me. I have been terrified of being pruned or polished anymore because I feel so fragile!!!!! I signed up for this course because I knew I was losing my way. Thank you all for being so grace filled with your insights and your very own challenges. I have a job interview in 58 minutes and am praying this one is my assignment. Bless all of you.

      • When you are weak He is STRONG Kathy!! I am praying for you in time for your interview and KNOW God will direct every word, every step and every move that you make!! REST in Him, HE will carry you and lead you EXACTLY WHERE you need to be at EXACTLY the right time.

        He has only the BEST in store for you!! He knows how to give GOOD gifts to His children, just as you do. He’ll be right next to you every step of the way! TRUST and LET GO!! May God bless you beyond your sweetest dreams and desires!!

      • I remember feeling like I wanted to “grow” in my walk with God, but then I was very afraid because I had this sense that I had just opened up the floodgates of what the devil could do to me. Like I had taunted him and he would attack. Sometimes that does happen, but God promises that I will never be tempted beyond what I can bear, and when I am tempted He will provide a way out so that I can stand up under it. My thoughts are with you Kathy. God has great plans for you, keep trusting on Him even when it is hard. He will not let you down, He is never late.

    • Linda Frye says:

      Proverbs 3:5-6 helped me in my time of need when I was going through my divorce. I never dreamed that I would be in that situation. But with God’s word I made it through that difficult time in my life.

      • His word truly is a lamp unto our feet and a light on our path. I pray that all your sorrows turn to joys, multi-fold. May God continue to bless you as you rely on Him!!

  9. I found Gideon’s story the most valuable part of Chapter 5. It is encouraging to me that God used Gideon and stood by him, even in his doubts about his past and his abilities. I read Judges 6 and on into chapter 7. There are two things that God says to Gideon-First, “Am I not sending you?” and secondly, “I will be with you.” These stood out to me this morning.

  10. Chapter 5 was another excellent chapter. It helped me with my fears of failure, doubt. I am growing so much with this book.

  11. I could so relate to what Renee said on page 86 about “if she had stayed close to God in her thoughts, she would have been thinking about what the women at the conference were going to think about God, not about her. We find ourselves in the shadow of doubt many times because our thoughts are mostly about ourselves: how we’re performing and what others are thinking about us.” This was shown to me in a similar way in a church I was attending 15 years ago. I was overweight all my life until I was a senior and made fun of and called fat names while growing up, had a father and mother who were perfectionists and critical so have lacked self confidence all my life. I sang in the choir at this church and always doubted that I was good enough and nervous to be in front of everyone to sing every Sunday morning, until one of my friends in the choir said, do you think they are all looking just at YOU when we are singing or listening just to YOU? My mind had been on the flesh, not the Spirit. WOW what an eye opener that was for me. I was turned toward the light!! I was always doubting because I was thinking what others thought about me and not about the message we were singing and until she asked me that question, I realized that; NO, they were not all looking at me, they were listening to our message we were singing. Once my mind was off the flesh and on the Spirit I finally had peace! satan wants to make us doubt so we are paralyzed to do the work God wants for us to do for Him. I am still a work in progress. Thank you Renee for sharing your life’s journey so we don’t feel like we are the only ones who feel and think these thoughts. Only in God’s strength as we focus on His truths do we realize who we are in Christ and what He paid for so we would be made whole!! Thank You Jesus!!

  12. In chapter 5 it says that God challenges us to step out of our comfort zone so that we will learn to depend on him; I’m getting there but as the saying goes “God isn’t finished with me yet” and honestly I am looking forward to being stretched and used for and by God. Scared? If I’m honest, yes; why? Because the closer I get to The Lord, the farther I get from those I love the most, but I am tired of walking that particular tightrope so I am ready, Lord! Take me as I am, use me, my hands, my feet, my voice, whatever, Lord, I just want to bring honor and glory to YOU!

  13. Courtney says:

    Chapter 5 stung me like a swarm of bees! It really touched on some issues that I have. I have self-esteem and confidence issues because of things that have happen in my past. My mother died when I was 11 years old, and my grandmother died when I was 15. Both from cancer. My dad really wasn’t there the way I needed him to be. He thought taking care of me was being able to pay the bills and buy me whatever I wanted so I would be happy. Yeah, those things help, but I needed guidance from a father. In addition to my significant losses, my dad’s sister and niece was (and still is) so mean! They would always tell me things like I will never be anything and no one wants me. Ouch!

    I know that my mother and grandmother did not intentionally die, but this has left me with some serious abandonment issues. And, whenever I want to try something new, I can still hear the negative and hurtful words of my aunt and cousin. Although I am married, I still have a hard time that believing my husband loves and wants me. He tells me all the time that he loves me for me and he did not marry me to have a maid, cook, etc. I often feel that I’m not good enough and try to over compensate by doing everything for him. He’s appreciative, but it drives him nuts!

    Chapter 5 really made me think about some issues I have and how I must let the pain of the past go in order to truly move forward. And this OBS is a great place to start and has been most helpful.

    • Thanks for sharing. I can relate to how tough it is to believe that you are good enough. God bless your husband for being appreciative and vocal with his love for you! More than that, you can ask God the same questions and He will not tire of telling you that He loves you. People’s actions and behaviors affect our confidence, but God is ultimately in control. I pray that you will find tremendous peace and confidence in His love today!

      • Courtney says:

        Julie,
        Thank you for praying for me and with me! May God bless you, and I will be praying that He will strengthen you in the areas where you’re weak. And, pray that He will continue to show you his unconditional love!

  14. Michele Crisp says:

    I too have always just believed that my doubts were personal weaknesses and failures of mine. Not realizing they were the result of not walking in the light of truth. We really do need to trust in the Lord in ALL our ways and pray continually. I am constantly comparing myself to others and wondering if everyone is happy with how I am doing everything. I don’t even realize I am doing this. I never stopped to think about how many times I have thoughts like on page 92 of chapter 5. I’m not good enough, I’m such a failure, I always disappointing someone, God can’t use me, etc. I’m going to pray the prayer at the end of the chapter every day as I learn to turn toward the light of God and depend on him. I want and need to be transformed by the renewing of my mind. I’m so glad to read about others learning to walk in the light of Christ also and together to stop trying to be enough on our own. I want to begin teaching this important truth to my daughter who is 17 and doesn’t know what she wants to do after graduation this summer.
    Bless you all as we learn together. Praying grace upon grace for all who walk with us and for Renee.

  15. Mrs. Sandra Dority says:

    Renee;
    I can sort of relate to you about your earthly father and his relationship with you and your siblings.
    I feel at least you were blessed to know and see your father physically. I didn’t have that privilege just a first name. Growing up I always felt like the odd looking one out of 9 siblings, because of my appearance (lighter skin ).
    Until I started serving and seeking my Heavenly Father in 1980 I tried to remember He loves me unconditionally doesn’t matter what differences I have from others.
    On occasions especially Father’s Day that old enemy of doubt and rejection
    creeps up until I start to remember Who my Father is and knowing He will always be there for me, to never forsake me or leave me, than the pain subsides.
    I really appreciate you and this treasure (book) you are sharing. I read it once and going over again with the lessons! God Bless you for being such a blessing!!!

  16. Chapter 5 really hit the spot for me! I felt God calling me to return to school to complete my degree 3 1/2 years ago and now I just have 1 semester left. (I’m 42, married, 3 kids at home.) I think I know how God wants me to use my education, but the “what if’s” keep dragging me down. “What if….I’m not as prepared as I think I am?”, “What if…I let someone down?”. My Father has brought me this far, so I should know He won’t let me go. I love the picture of turning away from the shadow (of doubt) and facing the light (of HIs truth). Thank you, Renee, for reminding me to focus on the Light! : )

    • God showed me awhile ago that even if fall, I fall into His arms. He already knows our limitations, and He has made provisions. May you find peace and joy in obeying Him today and may be richly rewarded. god bless!

  17. As a young girl, I was pretty chunky, and made fun of. My mom limited me on treats and I believe I was put on every diet there was back then. However I still snuck goodies and remained “chunky” up until 7th grade when a friend introduced me to purging.(Some friend,huh?) It was all about losing weight and the attention I got because of it. I hid it from everyone and it really got out of control. Yet I felt so in control. Fortunately I was able to get help and conquer that horrible disorder, years later.(I was not brought up as a Christian) Although I have no intentions of ever doing that again, I still battle with the enemy about my weight and my self image. This Chapter 5, I cried and really felt some relief with the truth that “the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.Romans 8:6. And I’m hanging on to Renee’s word that “our hearts will only find lasting confidence when we find our identity as children of God.”pg.90 And also… “I CHOOSE TO TURN!!” What a huge blessing this study is, and I truly appreciate all of you and your comments!

    • Thank you Marni for sharing. I have struggled with weight problems all of my life and it as wrecked my self esteem. BUT NOW I ALSO CHOOSE TO TURN!!!!

  18. So much in this chapter resonated with me that it’s hard to limit my comments. But one thing that really hit home was Renee’s observation that Gideon was honest with God about his insecurities (p. 90). I try to hide mine from everyone–even God. Like He doesn’t know! I’m a Southern girl and a former actress, so when I’m feeling insecure, I just put on my biggest smile, pretend I’m okay, and hope no one notices. I’m 44, so I’ve been doing this for a long time now–too long. It is time to turn (p.92-93).

    Thanks, Renee, for this wonderful book and study.

  19. One of the many things that stood out for me and I personalized it for myself is when you said
    My family of origin does not define MY true identity and that Once I became a daughter of the King, I have a royal inheritance that determines who I am.
    Thank you Renee for letting God use YOU to open up these doors for all of us so that we may walk into our true identify with God!

    I think it’s my week to be home sick with allergy/cold, please pray for healing for me.
    Thanks

    • Praying for you! I’m sick too. I thought it had skipped me, but now I’ve got a cold coming on too.
      I loved the part that spoke of our true identity. I hadn’t thought of it like that.

  20. TABITHA JONES says:

    Wow is all I can say for chapter 5. I could see myself all through this chapter. I loved how Renee puts its on page 86. “We were not designed to block the light or to be the light. We were created to live in the light in such a way that our life stories tell about the light and our confidence in Christ draws other to the light.” I always want to follow the light of Jesus. I doubt myself often and I know it is just Satan trying to win the battle. I have always had a desire to do public speaking to ladies about the Lord but I have always doubted myself and told myself that I am not good enough so I have never done it. I know this comes from my childhood. I was always made fun of and told I would never amount to anything and it has always haunted me. It really touched me on page 89 when the statement was made that “It’s important for us to realize that damaged emotions and insecurities from our past have a powerful influence over how we see ourselves today.” This is so true because those insecurities haunt my life still today.

    • God’s strength can eclipse your insecurities. I pray that you will lean upon Him today and let Him tell you of how His strengths can transform your life and others’. May you find peace, love, and hope in Him, I pray that come the day the Lord leads you to speak publicly to other women, He will speak mightily through you!

  21. Stephanie Rudash says:

    The first thing that really jumped out at me was on pg. 63

    “When doubt washes over me, often it is because something has happened to trigger my old emotions and create thoughts in my mind that are similar to those I had as a child.”
    I cannot begin to explain how “right on” this is in my life. I had a rough teenage years with some rough emotional issues I had to battle through. I am over them, but every once in a while something happens and I feel like I’m right there sitting on the floor in my bedroom crying on my phone to my best friend about how I feel trapped and worthless.

    The second thing is the doubt “I can’t balance my life” (pg. 65) I am a perfectionist, and I often expect too much of myself. At the end of the days when I really tried to work it all out and failed, I can’t get over the feeling of lack of balance and lack of control.

    • I can definitely relate to being perfectionist. Until God showed me that there is no such thing as the perfect Christian. Not Abraham, Moses, David, or Eijah. Jesus was perfect but even He struggled in the green of Gethsemane. God doesn’t require perfection, just obedience. May you find some rest in Him today.

  22. One of the things that really stood out to me was the story about Gideon and how he let the insecurities of the past make him fearful in the present and of the future. I too, am like this. I tend to go over and over past mistakes and beat myself up over them. It makes me feel like I cannot do anything right.

  23. I too have been like Gideon. I desire to live Christ-Centered and not Kourt-Centered. Through the deception from the Enemy I have fallen prey to comparison, conflict, and criticism; resulting in focusing my attention onto myself and not that of God (top of page 91).

    To combat this, I have faith based accountability partners. I also choose to surround myself with Truth. I keep index cards with verses on them and have chosen to won that I am a child of God (middle of page 90). I absolutely love Matthew West’s song called “Hello My Name Is” (Child of the One True King). These action steps have allowed me to recognize self doubt faster and am able do battle with it using Truth from Scripture and support from my godly friends.

  24. I knew when I saw the words getting past the past this chapter was for me. This week is one of many that tend to trigger thinking of the past. My younger sister died a few years ago from a traffic accident. Friday would be her birthday. It is difficult to lose a loved one but even more so when you watch you dad and stepmother shut every one out. Chris was their life. I tend to say I was the first born but I always come in last where they are concerned. They even moved back to indiana to be closer to family. I was so hopeful that maybe there would be room for me and family. Don’t get me wrong I miss my sister. I have so many regrets where she is concerned. We finally had been able to start building our relationship then she was gone. I just wanted them to want to be part of my life. I wanted to be able to have the relationship with my dad that she had. It only took a year before we were right back to not talking.

    I never thought about abandonment issues until this weekend. I was sitting in church. My former step father goes to same church. He hasn’t spoken to me in years either. I can’t help but ask why have all the dads in my life found it so easy to leave me. Its no wonder I always dwell on what others think about me.

    So how do I finally get over the past and stop dwelling on what everyone thinks about me? I love the part of Gideons’s story where Renee says “God wanted Gideon to depend on His strength. God was going to conquer the Midianites, but he invited Gideon to join Him” (p62 on Nook version). God puts us in situations to teach us to depend on Him. No matter how many times my dad disappoints me God is always there for me. I don’t know when I will be able to get through certain times of the year that triggers the past insecurities but I hope through this study I will get better at not letting them drag me down as I have previously.

    • People often act out of their own feelings and are not considering the feelings of others. But God will never leave you. May you find rest and contentment in His love and promises today.

  25. I love the visual from this quote: “shadows are created all around us when something blocks light. so it is with the shadows of doubt. in the same way, when we focus on our insecurities we cast a shadow of doubt in our minds by blocking the light of God’s truth in our hearts”.

  26. Tammy Haymon says:

    Chapter 5’s first question was a real eye-opener for me. I rarely focus on God’s thoughts. I get so distracted by the everyday things and end up having my thoughts controlled by those things. It is so hard to get and stay focused on God’s thoughts. I need help/prayer daily to stay focused on God’s promises. I SO relate to Gideon!

    In answering chapter 5’s second question, I realize that in my job, I am constantly wondering if I measure up to others’ expectations. It is very tiring.

    God is not limited by our limitations: It’s not so much about what He wants you to do as what he wants to do in you, as you depend on Him. I find myself balking against God doing things “in” me; I just want Him to leave me alone because I am fearful! But I know that I need to surrender and let Him work. I have SO many weaknesses and it is hard to believe God can use me. One example is that I do not have a huge capacity to tolerate others’ weaknesses, so I end up getting really upset when people act stupid. It is hard to believe God can use me when I am so impatient with others’ weaknesses. Shouldn’t I be patient with others like God is?

    I could go on, but I’m out of time!!!

  27. You wrote chapter 5 just for me didn’t you?! I have evey other sentence underlined. Stars by several others. I will be reading one more time before I move on to chapter 6. I don’t think God is finished with me yet…

  28. I am in desperate need for prayer! I am under a spiritual attack like never before and have been for about a month now…..just when I didn’t think things could get any worse….it has. Please pray for me! I can no longer fight this on my own…..I’m reaching out to everyone and every resource I know of.. Thank you!

    • Abba Father,
      Thank You for Mary. I pray for Your Mighty Hand upon her now. Lord Jesus, protect her, encourage her and strengthen her in her spirit right now Lord. Surround her with Your Heavenly Hosts and fight on her behalf the enemy that seeks to discourage her my Blessed, Beloved, Sister.
      In Jesus’ Name,
      Amen

  29. The image of shadows appearing when light is blocked and relating that to how doubt appears when we turn from God’s light really spoke to me. It is so simple, but just what I needed to hear at this point in my life. I loved this chapter and am feeling God really working in my heart to draw me into His light. Thank you, Lord!

  30. After reading chapter 5, I felt drained and worned out and slept through the night. I would of never thought that my insecurities are my doubts converted into shadows.(a dark cloud luming above me). I had to re-read each paragraph more than once. I saw myself in Gideon that due to my past I did not deserve God. The battle that I was dealing was with myself and letting satan win by making me doubt every decision, or event that has been happening in my life. For the first time in a long time, I actually was seeing God’s light instead of darkness (maybe that was why I felt drained/worned out) No matter what my past was it will not oversee my present or future cause God took care of my past to give me my present and future. God resides in my heart and he is helping me conquer my shadows and will guide me to know when it is satan using my own words/thoughts. Slow and steady wins the race, and for the first time in a long time I am actually sleeping through the night with God’s luminating presence over me. (:

  31. You know, when you spend your entire childhood hearing, how ugly you are, how fat you are, you do not do anything right, why can’t you be more like your sister and we never wanted you, IT’S HARD TO CHANGE YOUR FOCUS ! I was 10 when I experienced sexual abuse by my father, II can’t remember a day that I was not stripped naked and beat with a belt for the most trivial infractions . I was locked in the basement as a child …cold dark, mildew,moss growing up the sides of the walls, spiders all over the place kind of basement. I can’t tell you how many meals I missed but, i can recall the pain I experienced from the hunger ! What is the funniest event of all, is my mother took us to church and Sunday school every Sunday. All I ever asked God was “where are you, if you are so big then protect me” ……Why am I NOT GOOD ENOUGH for your help ? I was only 9. I still suffer quite a bit with insecurity Today….from when I was young. So the statement, “Sometimes that hurt little girl still has too much to say in my heart,” is what I live TODAY!!
    I am so Very Thankful for this book ! It is because of this chapter that I am truly blessed to have picked this book up again, after I swore I would NEVER pick it up again. “……I want to start seeing MYSELF as a child of God, a mighty warrior in MY Father’s eyes. “. “I want to stop taking my eyes off God’s strength and stop focusing on my weaknesses . ” I truly want to understand WHY God left me in that hell as long as he did. My insecurities in my own life, my lack of self worth, my control issues, my obsession with food are all struggles everyday!!!!!
    Lord, thank you that in Christ I am a chosen woman, a royal priest, a holy daughter, a woman belonging to GOD !

    • Hi, Chris your story touched my heart in so many levels, especially when you said “Why am I Not Good Enough” and “I Truly want to understand WHY God left me….” I am very thankful that you picked up this book again…I believe that it spoke to you the first time, and will keep on speaking to you again, an again. No matter how many times…I guarantee you there is always something new to see and read (like a movie when you see the same movie over/over one always see so many different things missed on he first watch.) Also, I believe in my heart God never left your side as a child he was protecting you in so many different levels (they will come slowly and in different perspective) it was satan that placed you in that horrible situation and made you blame God so you wouldn’t see all his beauty/love. God made a beautiful, courages, strong amazing lady in you where he will need you in so manydifferent levels like Ms. Swope said “for us to realize that damaged emotions an insecurites from our past have a powerful influence over how we see ourseolves today.”(pg.89) Never ever doubt God it is easy when we have satan whispering in our ears like he did with Eve. Always hold onto his Love, Peace, and Joy. It is easier said than done, I myself have been struggling in many different levels(trials/tribulations) one thing I say to my Father is thank you for loving this undeserve child the way you do. Be at peace Chris and if you have a chance to hear K-love or you tube to hear Matt Maher “Lord I Need You” or Kutless “Even If”.

      • So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.

        John 16:22 NLT

    • Maureen Chiasson says:

      Chris, I would highly recomend watching and reading Joyce Meyer. Beauty for Ashes is a good book to read. I am sorry you had to go through that. We live in a fallen world. God can use everything for His good. Maybe you are called to help others who have been hurt in the same way. When we ate vulnerable and connect healing can occur.

  32. Hi Tina H I really appreciate your advise. Thank you so much. God bless you.

  33. Miss Mary T says:

    Just finished reading and journaling chapter 5. I am also participating in Melissa Taylor’s SLL OBS. These two Bible studies and books are just meshing together!
    Renee, although my past included my own self doubts and issues and I can see how it all seemed to go haywire for me, I also have been so blessed to have always had people in my life, family and friends, that I now know were gifts from God placed to share his thoughts of my worth even when I wasn’t listening to Him…until the moment of my deepest despair when I turned back to Jesus and began my journey with Him that brought me great peace and confidence and continues each day. In times of doubt and uncertainty, He is my Way, my Truth and my Life! He is the Light of the world!

  34. This chapter was an answer to prayer. I have stopped focusing on my Father and have focused on me, what other think and say and whether I measure up for them. This chapter made me cry and take note of what I’ve forgotten…focus on my Father and His thoughts of me.
    Blessings,

  35. Hi Renee!!

    I’m jumping in late with conversations, but I just wanted to reiterate what so many women have said. Thank you for this book. And thank you for reminding all of us that it is only by finding our confidence in Christ that we can actually become all that God wants us to be. I live everyday trying to remember that it is in the shadow of the cross that I find my strength, hope, and purpose. That story helps me so much every time I feel overwhelmed or discouraged.

    God has worked on my insecure heart for over 20 years through the grief of losing my daughter to SIDS and then my son to cancer, and He has brought me out of my heartache with a deep sense of purpose and passion. Only God can do this. He has taken a once fearful-of-almost-everything little girl and transformed her into a woman who fears very little. If death cannot separate me from the love of God, WHAT CAN!?!?!

    Oh, Renee, I love you so much! Glad you are feeling better!! I hope to see you this summer!

    Much love!!

    Tammy (Nischan)

  36. The words, “God is not limited by our limitations,” were so wonderful to read. Thank you for letting the Lord glorify Himself through you, Renee, by having you write those words. How often in the middle of our doubts we forget that. Isn’t He an awesome God? He is not limited by our limitations.

  37. My past is full of being let down, giving to others only to be rejected, being a people pleaser only to be used and then tossed aside so as an adult it is very hard for me to ask for help, I would rather just do it myself or by myself. In chapter 5 Renee talks about being dependent on God and I am slowly but surely learning to ask Him for help but these bad habits are hard to break.

    The other day our Pastor preached about “Sam” and the woman she was when she left the well as opposed to the woman that came that day and how Jesus changes lives! Pastor then led us in prayer and encouraged us to hold open our hands and to let go of whatever we were holding on to and not surrendering to God. And that was the first time I realized how much my hands just naturally want to close shut and I just really had to force my hands to stay open the entire time. It showed me how often I surrender things to God but take them back so fast, so I am not fully surrendering them.

  38. Turning…..something that I can do, must do. I can pray for God’s help and even think that He isn’t listening because nothing changes, but He is waiting for me to turn. I must do my part to receive His. Thank you, Renee, for this insight.

  39. Jamie
    I know just how you feel. In revival last week one of the Pastors also preached about Sam. Chapter 5 in my book is underlined, highlighted and I’ve written in the margins. I woke up this morning practicing the a.m. thoughts and it was hard in the beginning. I felt so much better once I got started though. I am having a difficult time distinguishing between forgiveness and leaving well enough alone. I was lied on by my sister-in-law, whom everybody thinks is almost perfect. It was just the two of us when she verbally attacked me at church. Of course my husband and his family has taken her side because they “know how she is”. It has made me so angry and feeling even more isolated that I already feel. I am quite by nature and am more so now. I don’t know how to move forward…..

    • Penny, i am sorry. I have had issues similar in the past. I married into a family where my SIL had been around for 10+ years so it was hard to feel like anyone would see anything but her views. “They know how she is” is not an excuse to choose her side. When you marry we are supposed to “leave and cleave” so your husband should be more supportive to you and I am sorry for that. Again, it took awhile for my husband to see that. Sweetie, you have to pray for God’s guidance. Have you considered writing her a letter telling her how you feel? You don’t necessarily have to give it to her. Don’t allow the incident with her to control you. Praying for you!

  40. I came by this Bible Study somewhat by accident – but I know to God it wasn’t by accident. It is so much what I have needed right now. I am looking forward to the conference Saturday in Tallahassee, FL. I can’t wait.
    Thank you for this book. I have dealt with an insecure heart most of my life. I am trying to learn to let the past be the past, and move forward. I was adopted at 4 years old and I still deal with abandonment issues, rejection, feeling unloved, etc. I have met my biological family – and I know God’s hand was in everything. I just keep getting this feeling that there are missing pieces. I’m getting there. I have always been very insecure and thought of myself unworthy of anything good – but I know that God is showing me day after day that He can fill that empty spot in my heart and will if I will just let Him. Sometimes, that is the tough part. Thanks again for having this online Bible Study. May God Bless you always as you work with women and share with them what God can do in their lives.

  41. Ferehiwot aka Tati Michael says:

    Renee and all my sisters in this study. Please pray for my girlfriend T.S who was just diagnosed with MS yesterday. Her health start failing in Oct…as she was getting ready to get married. My friend is newly married now, and ONLY 37. She loves the Lord and her faith is amazing. And, like most of us woman—she wanted to have a child lead an ordinary life –yet serving the Lord but can’t right now because of MS. My heart is heavy w/sadness and all I can think about is praying and encouraging her. How can one turn to the light w/heaviness in heart and feeling hopeless. She is accepting it and is peaceful but I am sure it is not as simple as it seems for none of us know she she feels inside and what comes to her mind as the end of the day when she put her head on her pillow to rest. Pls pray along w/me for God to give her strength, and for continued peace as well as direction and wisdom as the disease progress. THANK YOU ALL!!!

    • Hi Ferehiwot aka tati michael
      I will be praying for your friend In Gods Love

    • I will pray for your friend as I have worked with alot of people who have m.S. and see what it does to ones life. Putting her on the prayers I will be saying tonight.

    • Hi! Ferehiwot aka tati michael, your friend and you will be in my prayers. I know first hand that you feel helpless and do not know how to help. Coming into the New Year my niece had lost vision on one of her eyes, she was hospitalized over the holidays and through various extranious/painful test,my family and I were notified with the news that my niece has MS(she will be 20yrs old this May) I did not know how to grasp the news and help not only my niece but my sister that looked like she was swallowed into a big black hole. In my heart and faith I know God does miracles and that he is cleansing and purging my beautiful niece to be this amazing young woman in God. Please let your friend know that God does not give us nothing we can’t handle, it is a journey she will be walking with God and believe in miracles and beautiful cleansing from inside/out. This is what I tell my beautiful niece and no matter what God never lets go. As for you Ferehiwot aka tati michael, fear not you are your friend best medicine, you are walking with her on her journey with God…and both of you will see beautiful miracles in God. Be blessed and never let go of your faith.

    • Praying, praying,praying!!! Sending love and hugs to you both!!

  42. Hi Renee and everyone
    Im just now finishing chapter 4 it was really hard for me. I have started a timeline last night and plan on working on it nightly with God. I have looked over chapter 5 but not really read it yet i will to night be from what I have seen I can relate. I also relate to Ms. Donna’s story. will tell more later. Praying for all In Christ Love. I;m also asking for prayers for a personal problem in my life I thank you for all prayers IN Christ Love

  43. Hi everyone well I just finished reading chapt 5 and 6 but won’t spoil chapt 6 for everyone will comment on that chapter tomorrow. I related to chapt 5 in so many ways of self-doubt. I tell myself that i am not good enought because I don’t feel like I have enough knowledge of our LORD GOD. This self-doubt chapter hit me hard in the face when I read it. I found myself questioning everything that I was doing in my life today. I liveby self-doubt week in and week out lately and with fear that I will never be able to overcome it. I doubt today that God would want a woman like me leading a sunday school class in prayer yet my friend said to me that I am ready and should just risk it. Well , if anyone knows me taking risk is not me I would rather turn around and run for the hills in short of being embarased in front of my friends. However, she doesn’t see it that way she tells me that I have grown in many ways espicially in Gods family and has no DOUBT that I could lead the Sunday school class in prayer. Taking risks is like saying here it is come and get it but if you fail than you are a failure to yourself again. What is up with that ? Okay I will stop rambling here.

  44. One of the things I read that got my attention was the list of doubts that can lure you in to the shadows. I stopped at “I don’t have anything special to offer.” I was talking with a friend about his first mission trip he was taking a couple of weeks ago, and I mentioned that I’m not comfortable enough in my own walk yet to feel like I have anything to offer anyone. And to see almost the exact same words spelled out when reading chapter 5 this week, I think that may be something that God wants me to see and understand. That by getting rid of that doubt , I will be better able to step out of that shadow and focus on what He wants for me, and maybe help others in the process that have felt the same way.

  45. This study has truly been opening my eyes to the way my doubts and insecurities have taken away my joy in recent years…but in doing that, I’ve been exhausted! I really had no idea how much of my energy had gone into feeling not good enough. I keep seeing how doubt has crept into so many areas of my life…at work I feel that I’m not accomplishing what I would like to because I am so tired and weary from being a single parent with extremely limited resources and support where I live, at church I feel looked down upon because I am divorced, and in terms of a relationship…feeling that a ‘godly man’ could or would never have me…and that since I wasn’t ‘good enough’ and my husband walked out on me, and our tiny baby at the time, why would anyone want me anyhow. This chapter gave me a huge wake-up call. I am a holy daughter, a woman belonging to God (1 Peter 2:9). Though I am tired and weary, I just need to cling to this. I am His.

  46. last night the employment agency I am working with to find a job asked me to come in to take the bookkeeping test as they had a position open.

    I was all excited and then the thoughts “you loser you know you will fail” “stupid old lady you got laid off what does that tell you.” “useless”

    But oh thank goodness for chapter 5 which I had read earlier in the day. Turn to Jesus don’t run to that dark abyss of despair! So I prayed more than once mind you 🙂 as those thougths kept trying to come back.

    I prayed on the way to the agency and I was confident in Jesus I knew this stuff I’ve done almost all my adult life. I went to the test with no fear! And I received a 90 on my test Praise Jesus!

    So tomorrow is the job interview I ask for prayer that those thoughts stay away and that I trust the Lord
    in the interview and to be content if this is or is not the job he has for me.

    Thank you for Chapter 5 🙂

  47. Lisa Rettig says:

    “God is not limited by our limitations.” This is what I need to remember, believe, and pray over without fail.

  48. Jennyp1973 says:

    Ch 5…oh how I so needed you…the timing of your message is perfect! I highlighted ‘I took my eyes off God’s strength and focused on my weakness’ and ‘shadow of doubt had been cast over my thoughts and emotions because I had stopped living in the light of God’s promises. That is how I end up paralyzed by the darkness.’

    ohhhhh…the pit in my stomach comes alive…stirs stronger…I have been having challenges with my supervisor since early March that sent me in a frenzy back to therapist & my xanax! I have gotten myself refocused on my God in my work, however the issues with her keep creeping up. Many many factors coming in to play here, and all have me doubting my skills, performance, wanting to give up. I have her supervisor telling me to not let her stress me out…uggghhh God…seriously? why me? right now?

    My sweet husband is wonderful, and knowledgeable in business which helps, calming me and helping me from getting caught in her frenzies or rash decisions that cause me to panic. He actually labeled her ‘my boogie man’ …LOL…which is so true! Why am I letting her control me so much? I lost my focus on God and His promise! Exactly…get my heart into His light and let His truths rush over my anxiety…I’m not going to lose my job, but I fear because of doubt.

    Vicious cycle that enemy plays on us! But I am a child of God, and I will live in His love…I will fight for that light! Oh Lord…help me to have a confident heart…I need You. I know You are here…help my heart believe.

  49. I loved the story of Gideon. God saw beyond what Gideon thought of himself, as lowly and the least of them. God saw a mighty warrior! I love the heading Renee had “God is Not Limited by Our Limitations”. God sees in each of us who we are in Him! That thought gives me boldness to go, and do and be what He wants me to be. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! 🙂
    God bless you all my ‘sisters’!

  50. We find ourselves in the shadow of doubt many times because our thoughts are mostly about ourselves: how we’re performing and what others are thinking about us…When we focus our attention on ourselves, we turn our attention away from God…we leave no room in our thoughts to listen to what He is thinking(that’s a big one that causes me to ponder)…ask God to show me how to change my focus …I have to turn my thoughts completely toward Him by thinking about “His Strengths” instead of my weaknesses. These are some of the many lines that jumped out at me!!!! Loving this chapter! Just writing these words gives me a surge of hope and excitement inside!!!!

  51. Hey everybody! I underlined two things while reading (and as I am going through a trial – these must be relevant to it): 1) “I had created the shadow by blocking the light” and 2) “We were not designed to block the light or to be the light”
    When I reflect on these two lines and having the talks with my church campus coordinator, I have learned that maybe I am getting in God’s way. That I need to trust in God completely. A few weekends ago, as I was praying to God and asking Him, “Are Your sure?”, He answered (clearer then ever before), “Trust in Me”. I could not believe I was hearing His voice but quickly said “Okay, God”. Along the lines of not blocking the light (my trial involves a true reconciliation with my ex-husband who has lost his way with God), I realized that my confidence had been shattered by the words and actions of my beloved. I had placed my confidence in him instead of Him. God is using this trial to remind me of His ultimate goal for me which is He, Himself. And I am living my life to share the light that is within me.
    I am not to block the light from myself or others and I am not the light but rather a vessile to share the light.
    I ask all you prayer warriors to pray for my love to turn his heart to God again. This man once told me that he needed Jesus everyday but now questions the foundations of Christianity. I love him. Although he does not understand, I know one day he will. Our marriage will not be restored wholly until he turns to God and places Jesus in the middle of his heart. Thank you friends! Praise to God for showing me how to depend on Him and showing me the way!!!

    • Praying, Juanita! Father God, we lift Juanita and her love to You. Thank You that Your love for both of them is great and deep. Please strengthen Juanita in her inner man to maintain her stand for her and her husband and their relationship. Please silence the lying voices around her love and let TRUTH abound in his heart. We pray for a restoration of his relationship with You and then with his wife. Please continue to grace Juanita in this part of her journey. May Juanita’s love be a great example to her love and his heart be turned to God once again. We bind the enemy over this couple in the Name of Jesus. Amen!

      Thank you for what you shared here, Juanita. Thank you for reminding us that we, all too often, block the light and get in God’s way. We, indeed, must lean into and on Him. God bless you richly!

  52. Probably weird to say but it is so reassuring to read through the comments and see the struggles everyone is having. I have been on this journey to really deal with my insecurity over the last year. Through counselling when my marriage was struggling and my husband told me he was leaving last year, I realized my own behaviours when I feel threatened emotionally and how that impacts others. I always doubt that God can really use me and my experiences for Him and it makes me feel so much better to know that there are others who are sucked into insecurity as well. Sometimes we walk through life thinking we are the only ones who don’t have it together!

    God Bless!

  53. Maureen Chiasson says:

    OFTEN God will callous beyond your limitations to do something that requires faith.It is not so much what he wants you to does what He wants to do in you, as you depend on Him. God has been giving me vision that is beyond my capabilities and courage. He Reminds me that if I empty myself of me and let God use me as his writing utensil, so to speak, He will do great things through me. I have to get my eyes off of myself and on Himor I will fall.He knew that by conquering the mminiatures he would conquerors personal enemies of fear and doubt. I find it interesting that God would put us through trials urging us to take steps of faith to rid us of our fear and doubt. When we did things that we can not do in our OWN strength we know that God can through us. If God is for us……. courage is taking a step out in faith and relinquishing our perceived control. He will bless our efforts beyond our wildest dreams if we take a step of faith. This is difficult. I Heard on K LOVE a saying that fear does not suit me as a Christian. The opposite of fear is faith. I an human and I fall. However, the milestone I spend with Him, the clearer his guidance. Becomes and if I follow Him he has got myback. If I go my oOWN way he allows me to fall, like the proticle son and takes me back when I am willing to listen and follow.

  54. Thanks for sharing Maureen. You are absolutely right taking that step of Courage and walking into Faith.
    Thank you for sharing Juanita.

    As I read over this chapter I could relate. People tell me God’s light shines through me. If only I would step into Faith and be in his light every day everything would be okay for me. My husband has stepped away from his Faith. At one time He used to have the strongest Faith in our family.Going to church every Sunday, Attending Bible Study, Praying at dinner time. As time goes on I have had to step up into that role I continue to pray he would find his way back into the light.
    When others post the same struggles I then realize we all can benefit from one another’s stories.
    I ask for prayers that one day my husband would find his way back to what he once had.. Stong Faith that did not waver.. God Bless

  55. The Lord is working on my faith walk. I still struggle with my daughter and her depression and negative mind set. I adopted the verse that I am a royal preisthood years ago. I know I was set apart to serve the Lord. I refuse to live by my circumstances. Even when i’m weary I will claim the promises of my Lord. He will bring my faith to completion. I will run the race of faith just like the apostle Paul did. If I should fall I will get up again and again and again until it is completed.

  56. Christina says:

    Like most of you, I felt like Chapter 5 was written just about my life! Most of the chapter has been highlighted. I loved that Gideon told God his insecuties! I loved the reminder that “once we become daughters of the King, we have a royal inheritance that determines who we are.” The list of doubts – I have every one of them! But I loved the turning! “Turning away from self”, Turning toward God”, “Turning away from doubt”, “Turning toward truth”, “Turning away from darkness”, “Turning tward light”. I am ready to turn! I pray that we all turn toward God in all areas of our lives!

  57. One thing that I kept going back to was
    Changing my focus. When I focus on me I turn my focus from God and then I lose his guidance

  58. Gloria C says:

    I agree with Judie. Focus is my hardest issue. It’s so hard, sometimes, not to focus on myself and the pain I’ve experienced. One day a friend of mine “apologized” on behalf of everyone who had ever caused me pain! It was so wonderful to hear the words, “I’m sorry,” when they had never actually been said. So, to all of you, on behalf of everyone who has ever caused you pain, “I’M SORRY I HURT YOU AND CAUSED YOU PAIN!!! PLEASE FORGIVE ME!!!!” May God continue to heal us all! Love you, dear sisters!

  59. In Chapter 5, Renee’s words, “Instead of waiting for God to zap us with confidence and remove our doubts, let’s ask God to use our doubts to draw us into a deeper place of dependence on Him and His promises.”

    I remember so many times in my past asking God to give me confidence especially when I knew I’d be in a public speaking situation. I wish I would have prayed to be drawn deeper into acknowledging my need to be more dependent on Him instead of using Him as a “vending machine.” But now I know how to pray and move my focus toward Him.

    Thank you Renee!

  60. Debbie Jo says:

    Turning….Always turning back to Him and His Light!!! and knowing that He is using my doubts and insecurities to bring me closer to Him–more dependent on Him!!!!

    What an awesome God…

  61. This part spoke to me … “… our family of origin does not define our true identity.” Thank you for pointing that out. God made us and wants to define us. We are his.

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