In Honor of You {& the Difference You Make}

The doorbell rang soon after I got home from dropping off a thank you note at my neighbor house. Surprised to see Janet standing on my front porch, I listened as she held up an envelope and explained: “Renee, this is the most amazing thank you note I have ever read; you have a writing gift and you need to use it.”

I was puzzled. It was only a thank you note after all. 

Yet Janet’s words of affirmation stayed with me all afternoon. Her confidence made me wonder if God might  use my words to touch the lives of others.

Prayers for direction had filled pages of my journal that month as I struggled to figure out what I was good at.

A few weeks later I attended a women’s dinner series at my church. Taking notes on a napkin, I thought about how nice it would be for the message series to be captured in a booklet so we could remember and apply the lessons in our everyday lives. Then I got the craziest idea: maybe I could write a study guide to give to other women who want to go deeper, too.

Quickly, doubt filtered my idea through reality: Who am I to think I could write something women would want to read?

Unable to get the thought out of my head over the next few days, I finally told Janet. Much to my shock she loved the idea. And she claimed the women’s ministry team had been praying for months about a gift to give the women after the dinners and that this was an answer to their prayers.

A few weeks later, they asked me to write a study guide. I nearly suffocated under the weight of insecurity, but Janet kept encouraging me, praying for me and telling me she believed in me.

With her prayers and prodding I wrote it, and over a thousand copies were given away. Then I wrote another the next year, and then another.

As I think about the impact of Janet’s words on my life and ministry sixteen years ago, I’m reminded of Elizabeth and her words to Mary when she arrived to tell her cousin she was pregnant with God’s child. “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her! Luke 1:45

What a difference it must have made for Mary to have Elizabeth believe in the promise God proclaimed over her. Today as I think about a thank you note that started the legacy of my writing ministry years ago, I’m so grateful I get to encourage YOU because Janet believed in and encouraged me. 

***

Here I sit, sixteen years later, sharing this online study living in a promise I pray almost every day. “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within me.” Eph 3:20

This month, I want to honor the difference you make in my life and in each other’s lives through something we’re doing at Proverbs 31 Ministries to recognize and honor women like you and Janet through Legacy Cards we’re sending to those who have touched lives and impacted legacies:

legacycard1

I’m getting one for Janet and my mom {for Mother’s Day}, and a few others who have impacted my life and my legacy.

And today I bought one in HONOR of YOU my amazing online study friends!!

Each time you leave a comment and share your heart, your prayers, your journey with me and with each other — God uses it to spur me on and to encourage one another in so many ways. Whether it’s a few sentences or a few paragraphs, when I read how Jesus is loving on you, how you’re loving on each other or how He’s speaking to you through His words or something I wrote in my book or my blog, it’s a huge deposit of encouragement!! So thank YOU for sharing that part of yourself with me and with us! You impact my legacy sweet friends, and I am so very grateful!

For more details about our Legacy cards click here.

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. Renee,
    God bless you! You are doing great ! Your online study came at the right moment in my life.I did not have a book and God provided me one thr a very caring lady from this blog.God bless her too.

    • Wow, that is so neat that someone in the study provided a book for you. I love how that will be part of your legacy and hers!

  2. Still plugging away and digging deeper (than I’d like) on this journey! Praising and thanking Him for your faithfulness. Thank you for inspiring me and many others.

    • I was just reading in my journal recently during a time when God was doing some open-heart surgery on my emotions and it was so hard but it ended up being the biggest turning point in my faith and in my freedom from fear, discontentment, doubt and so much more. Im praying for you Dawn and I know you’ll look back and be so glad you were brave enough to do this!! You are so worth the courage it takes – and HE is with you doing immeasurably more than you can ask or imagine!! I love getting to watch from where I sit 🙂

  3. Pamela Moore says:

    The Lord has blessed my heart so much through your online ‘A Confident Heart’ Bible Study. I recently lost my job and was devastated, worrying about how we would make ends meet, in addition to the destruction of my confidence level that losing my job has caused me to experience. I had already ordered and received your book for this study, so i started the online study and it has been a soothing balm to my soul! God has shown me that I belong to HIM and not to my career or anything else of this world. HE has reminded me of HIS faithfulness to HIS children and that HE will never forsake me. HE has also shown me the blessings in the midst of the trials of job loss. I have been praying for HIS guidance and HIS will for my life. Thank YOU! I will keep you in my prayers for GOD to bless you, your Family, and the wonderful MINISTRY that you are providing for us.

    • Thank you Pamela!! And Im praying for you too!! I love that God is using “the online study and it has been a soothing balm to my soul!” and that He’s shown you that you belong to HIM and not to your career or anything else of this world.

      I’m praying that He will keep reminding you of His faithfulness and that HE will never forsake me. Keep looking for those blessings in the midst of the your job loss. They are there and they are the things that give us hope and keep us going and trusting!! Praying for His guidance in your life!!

    • Helen H. says:

      I want to say thank you also Renee for giving us a gift from your heart. I also reach out to Pamela I have been where you are and have felt that devastating blow and know your confidence is shattered but remember this God is ever faithful He gave you your career and your gifts , He will and is still working this out for his glory. He started a good work in you and is ever faithful to complete it . I will offer prayers that comfort will devour you and peace in yourself will be your constant companion. God bless you your sister in Christ Helen

  4. Thank you. Blessings to you for the work of your words. It’s really funny because our pastor is preaching on pursuing joy and today he talked about how how negative thoughts come from lies then become bad behavior which in turn rob of us job so In turn we have to exchange the lies with truth or then do good behavior and return joy to our lives. This sermon went hand in hand with chapter 6 that we read and the promises we should fill our minds with verses lies. Thank you so much for this book and your words. I guess I really needed this lesson seeing as it came in 2 different forms. Love you Renee.

    • I love when God does that!! That is one way you can know for sure that He is talking to you – that He loves you – that HE wants you to hear HIS thoughts and be set free by His love, graces and truth!! So glad you are here in this study for such a time as this!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing, Renee. It is amazing the difference one person’s encouragement can make. And we have to admit that sometimes, one criticism is all it takes to cut down someone’s dream. Our words have so much power, so God wants us to use them for His glory. Having heard so much criticism in my life, I’m quick to doubt myself and just play things safe. But God has been pushing me this year. He is teaching me that I will never see the Red Sea open if I won’t leave Egypt first. It is always amazing to see the Red Sea open, but leaving the comforts of Egypt can be terrifying. God has been teaching me to have courage and confidence, and all the verses in Chapter 6 make great beacons in the road. Praise God!

    • I love that Julie! And I am SOO very thankful to have you in the study – I see you praying for and encouraging others . You have a gift and I am so glad you are letting God use you to bless and believe in others. It is precious and so are you!!

      Just know that you have an enemy who is against you but you have a Savior who is FOR YOU and He wants to silence all that criticism so you can live and give from the security of HIS love for you!!

  6. Shonette says:

    Thank you for allowing God to use you. It gives me hope and confidence to do what He has called me to do. May God continue to bless and strengthen you. May He pour back into you all that you have poured out to others.

  7. Angela 2 says:

    My Dearest Renee, Thank you for the card it made me cry. No one has every told me I I was a blessing to them ok one My mother, and I’m going to send her one of these just to make sure she knows how much I love her for being my mother. Your card has touched my heart like you will never know and so has this study. As for the other lady’s in this study they have also, and I love each and every one of them In Christ love. I have always wanted a sister and now God has given me 1,ooo’s if them. Thank you God for the gift of sisters. Amen

    • Oh Angela, now Im crying! 🙂 Isn’t Jesus the sweetest? He has been lavishing my heart with so much encouragement through what He’s doing here these past few weeks – seriously I just adore each of you!!

      So, this weekend while I traveling to speak I was praying about who to honor with my family’s donation to our Legacy Campaign, and He laid it on my heart for one of the cards to go to all of you!! I was so excited when He gave me that idea. And He knew just how much it would mean to you. I just love Him so much!!

      ANd I love that you’re going to send one to your mom. I can’t wait for my mom to get hers 🙂

    • Angela, I would like to add you are a blessing too. Reading your message makes my heart smile and encourages me to continue my relationship with Christ. Yes, you are a sister to me! Renee, thank you for walking in Christ to bring us all together in this study.

  8. Receiving this note was such a blessing to me, and the study has been helping me so much!!TY for your obedience to our awesome Savior!! 🙂

  9. That is a beautiful story. I am enjoying this book. My grandmother, who passed away 3 years ago had a huge impact on my life. She taught me how to cook, how to be a mom, how to be a better person; and she always believed in me. She was a true angel. I miss her everyday.

    • Oh wow, what a precious legacy she left for you!! I pray you will feel the warmth of her smile over you today and this coming Mother’s day as you think of her!!

  10. Tami Meyer says:

    This has been a huge blessing to me. This study is helping me realize that I am not alone and that God wants me.

    I have to admit I am in a pit right now. Please pray for me. I found out I have two bulging discs in my neck and I have lost all feeling and mobility in my left arm as well as severe headaches. I am on steroids that make my moods everywhere. I feel defeated and helpless. I don’t have insurance so I don’t know what options I have to fix this. I have three children and my hubby works. I don’t have a great support system for helping with my kids. I just feel down and angry. Seems like when things start to go well life hits a tail spin.

    • Oh Tami, Im praying for you right now!! I have had that same things happen to me and it’s awful. Im so sorry friend. I want to encourage you to rest, put ice on it for 20min intervals and let it heal. I was on steroids and that icing it helped so much too. but it took about a week and it took me slowing down and giving myself and others grace to let things wait while I gave myself time to get better.

      Praying hard for your healing!

    • Oh I will pray so hard for you. I as well have three children and can’t imagine keeping up with them and being in so much pain. I will not Only pray for you but will pray that you have a supporting husband and understanding children that will help you through this. Remember The Lord is with you through every step of this and wouldn’t put you in something that you cannot handle with His loving grace on your side

  11. When we speak of leaving a legacy many immediately go to money. I love thinking and knowing that the legacy God wants us to leave is one of teaching others to love and care for each other through our actions, words of encouragement and support. With that we have everything!

  12. Xiomara Tucker says:

    Renee,
    I prayed that God would send a Godly woman in my life to mentor me, because I lacked confidence. I am my biggest critic and I didn’t fill I measured up as a good enough wife, mother, writer and friend. This bible study has opened my eyes in so many ways. I have started a small group bible study in my home with a friend in my home. Who would have thought that I would be leading a bible study! To God be the glory! I am confident that God is going to bless my writing ministry to touch the lives of women around the world, just as he has with you. You are a true Proverbs 31 Woman. Thank you for your transparency and honesty that continues to help me become a confident woman in Christ Jesus. May God continue to bless you. You are truly a blessing to us all.

    • Wow, that is so amazing and encouraging that you have walked right on through those doubt and into the confidence of opening your home and your heart – and GOD is using you!! Thank you so much for sharing that!! You blessed me!

  13. Miss Mary T says:

    Renee, I too have been supported and encouraged to take the leap into my volunteer efforts on behalf of children, especially those children with challenges through coaching a Special Olympic team and as an officer of the board of directors or committees..This all came about because someone believed in me before I could totally believe in myself. May the Lord bless those “someones” today and always! God bless you for sharing your ministry with us as well!
    I have already made a donation in memory of my mom and feel blessed to do so! Thanks for helping us to honor and remember our moms and all the other someones in our lives.

    • Miss Mary T!! I love that!! Oh I bet you feel so blessed to be recognized in that way. What a sweet blessing and encouragement you each and every one of those amazing kids! Yay GOD!!

  14. Jennifer says:

    Thank you, Renee, for your encouragement and inspiration!

  15. I’ve been depressed all weekend & feeling guilty for feeling this way. I’m struggling with confidence at work as a new RN & hating a job I was so sure God wanted me in. Then I receive your note of encouragement & know God is speaking to me once again. Thank you for persevering & believing in yourself so God can use you to encourage others. Please pray that I am able to do the same. God bless you Renee!

  16. Thank you, Renee.

  17. Renee, thank you for listening to that “crazy idea” and following the tugging of your heart. The words you have written and prayed over, in your book and the extra boost of encouragement I am receiving through the online study is making a huge impact in my life. Our ladies sunday school class is going through the Unglued study/video right now as well. I have been amazed at how these two resources are working together to change my life at a critical time in my life and for the first time in a LONG time I am actually beginning to experience a twinge of hope that my life has some value. Feeling blessed…..

  18. Sandy Steinkoenig says:

    Renee you are a blessing to me! I have had this desire to grow deeper into the Word of God and have a desire to work with people who suffer from addictions. I am praying if it is God’s will for me to take classes on counseling or an in-depth study of the bible. I have read ahead to Chapter 8 and it is amazing that everything in this chapter is relating to what I am going through right now. Thank you so much!

  19. I loved what chapter 6 taught me ….think….feel…life you live. I am doing this study for me and have tryed to get my two daughters to do it with me. One was but young life is busy…I hope to share a notebook of this study with them, expecially chapter 6…. there is so much we must know and study on in that chapter. How easy is it for my doubts to arise when I don’t fill my mind and heart with God on a daily basis…I was getting lazy and had to have a talk with myself. Back on track with the study…ready for chapter 7. God Bless all of us that are searching. Thank You and God Bless Renee….thanks for the thank you card : )

  20. nancy kimball says:

    that is a beautiful legacy card and I thank you very much Renee. That is a beautiful card and I thank you ever so much. I am enjoying your study and it has helped me a great deal. Praise the Lord!!!

  21. that’s so true! i can identify with that situation when someone spurred you on and believed in you. It’s like something in you rises up and bring life! ;)) thank u!!

  22. It’s like you wrote this book for me, Renee! It’s such a comfort to know that there are other women who struggle with the same insecurities I do; I used to tear myself down because I thought I was the only one who had some of the deep thoughts you have been sharing with us, and because of that, I must be some kind of terrible person. But you and all of the ladies here are showing that it is okay to not be of perfect mind or body, because we would not need GOD if we were!

    I also loved reading the word “worry” and your explanation of it in Chapter 6. I have long been called a “worry-wort,” and I loved how you explained exactly WHERE it can come from. Just like knowing the root of any disease, knowing the root of worry, (self-doubt), will help us all to cure ourselves of an affliction that robs us of today’s gifts and tomorrow’s hope.

    I look forward to reading every chapter, every blog post, and watching every video message because it really feels like you are talking TO us, not down on us. God bless you for all that you do. I hope you can always find the strength and courage to continue inspiring women!

  23. I just want to say I am so thankful for your book. It has been the encouragement and growth opportunity I need. I’m looking forward to reading it a second time already and making new notes in the margin!

  24. Marcella R says:

    Wow this came today when I was feeling really down. You lifted my spirit. God is trying to tell me something. We’re doing a series at church called weights. Finding our significants in worldly people and things instead of him, and why it’s not working for us. So I’m doing your study online and hearing the sermon, and doing a study at life group called A Significant Life. So three things all pointing at the same problem. Trying to find myself worth is hard. But this study is sure showing me truths. Thanks for doing this study. Thank you for not giving into that doubt and writing this study for us.

  25. My girlfriend and I have met every Friday morning at 6:15 for breakfast & fellowship for the past, too many to count, years. Not knowing until recently we were both reading Confident Heart and will be starting the book over and reading it together. I so appreciate the words you’ve written and the way it encourages the faith of two girlfriends. We have both experienced overwhelming events in our lives and God has been gracious to space them so we can take turns sustaining each other. We choose to put our confidence in The Lord of our lives and appreciate the strategies you provide in the book Renee. God bless you richly as we walk life together.

  26. BrittanyGinTN says:

    Renee,

    This book has been so encouraging to me. It has literally helped me to crawl out of the pit I’ve been in for 19 years. Not to go into my testimony, but I’ve had a lot of crud in my life, and I was OVERLOADED by shadows of doubt!! It was as if I was in a forest completely surrounded by darkness – but His light has come through in your book, and in getting me engaged in His Word, and now, I can proclaim HIS TRUTH!! I’ve even gone a bit wild and began buying the book for people! As I was in service this morning, I was able to actually raise my hands to God and just feel FREE!!! Thank you for your correspondence, interaction and encouragement on Facebook! Thank you for your humble obedience – because of you and Christ, I don’t “own” lies I used to! Blessings!!

    Brittany

  27. Renee- Your words are truly a blessing. God has given you such a gift. I appreciate you sharing your story and giving me the “real” perspective, the heart wrenching reality of life. You words are such an inspiration.

  28. I sit here having taken a quick break form what i was doing to check email and the tears fill my eyes and gratitude my heart. you see For the past few hours I have been working on developing and writing a program for a school that will impact hundreds of children. I was hired for the job yet am not “officially” qualified. My thoughts were “Who do you think you are? What mess have you gotten yourself into? What makes you think you can do this? People are going to question your ability!” But I forged ahead anyway. And on my break I read this!

    “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within me.” Eph 3:20

    I will write this on my white board sitting in front of my desk so that I am reminded every day. Thank you so much.

  29. Andrea Hine says:

    Renee you have made a huge impact on my walk and I feel so blessed to know you. Your words have touched my heart time and time again. When I feel down, depressed, discouraged or just feel plain bad about myself, all I have to do is pick up your book. It is like an extension of God’s Word to me because you have laid out so clearly what God’s truths are. I love you sweet sister and I thank God for bringing you into my life.

  30. Stephaie Mitchell says:

    Renee, this study has hit spot on with some deep thigs, mostly insecurities, I deal with daily. Thank you for providing this honor I can bestow on a woman who has mentored me, followed md, and loved me since my own mom dies four and a hakf years ago. I will be sure that “Captain Mom”, a retired Navy nurse, knws how much I appreciate the role she has taken on in keeping me on the right path and remiding me that I am loved.

  31. WOW!! Thank you Renee!! Thank you for being part of my legacy and for being a difference maker in my life!! Love you like crazy!

  32. Renee, you have helped me so much. The Lord is stretching and encouraging me through this study. Thank you! Thank you, for listening to the Lord and helping me to do the same. Blessings to you and to my fellow sisters in the Lord who are doing this study. You all have been an encouragement to me.

  33. Edith Hysell says:

    I just love all of you Proverbs 31 women. Am so thankful for this Bible Study. It has really touched my heart. This weekend I went back and revisited each of your video messages and they so blessed my heart. I have never really lacked confidence in the Lord, because He has put wonderful people like you in my path time and time again when I need a special word from him. Thank you for allowing each of us to revisit our past and move forward with confidence that only the Lord can provide.

  34. Renee,
    THANK YOU for your amazing words, for letting God work through you for the benefit of the rest of us. I’m a single mom of 3, just hit my two year anniversary surviving breast cancer (Thank You Jesus!) and have been on disability due to lymphedema & RA for going on 6 months. I’ve been feeling lost, alone, and somewhat useless… Until reading your book and doing this study with everyone. Thank you for reminding us that God loves us so much more than we can ever imagine. God has blessed you with an awesome gift of sharing and encouraging so many ladies. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • Hi Sara, I am a mom of four, and just past my third year as a breast cancer survivor. I know how hard recovery is and I want you to know I will pray for you. Even though I can’t do everything I want to, God has taught me to daily, just for today, do what He wants me to do – love Him, thank Him, love my kids. I find it so much easier to live this way and were it not for the cancer, I would not know the sweetness of living daily. God bless you.

  35. Treasure says:

    Thank you!
    I feel that God is asking my husband and i to start a group in our home. We both are involved with children during Sunday school and are really needing some fellowship and bible time.

    • You should definitely do it. The people you get to know in that group will help you and hold you to your faith. Good luck and do it!

    • Hi Treasure
      I wanted to start a bible study for women in my house for years but the enemy kept telling i am uncapable…This year a aldy in a bible study encourged me to take over the bible study over as she is expecting . At first I wasn’t sure but then God gave me peace.. Let me tell you . this was one of the best things i did, The ladies in the group are a blessing and an ebncouragment. and Yes I might not be Renee:) but I know God is blessing this bible study and He is leading it
      So my friend I will pray for you and your husband as you meet a new challange with the Lord
      sending you a hug of prayer and much love
      Kim

  36. Rosemary says:

    Renee,
    I just wanted to thank you for being faithful to God’s will and writing books. Reading and participating in this Bible study has built up my confidence. I have to share with you, as I read chapter 4, I felt God impress on me to buy a book for my friend. So I did. I gave it to her this Sunday and she said she had been praying for God to help her with some issues she is dealing with. I am so glad I listened to God. I hope the book and Bible study helps fill “those empty places” and heal some open wounds.

    Again, thank you.

  37. Renee,
    Thank you so much for the sweet card. It really made me feel special. This is actually the second time I started the online study of your book, but this time I am sticking with it. I am so thankful for the truth of God’s love and His plan for my life. I am also thankful that He is using your book to help me see that I am chosen and loved by Him. I am coming to realize that even if no one else ever chooses me (as a wife) that He is enough and life with Jesus is far better than life with the wrong man.

  38. I’ve never posted on this because it’s easier to sit here and be distant from it. But this study is changing me, or well making me who I really am and not letting me hide anymore. Thank you for all that you do. Thank you for recognizing God speaking to you to lead you to write because it’s helped not only me, but countless others listen to Him as well.

  39. Renee – I have to thank you again for sharing your story and your wisdom through your book and this study! I found encouragement through your story to help my step-daughter with a difficult situation involving her dad and I. And, it gave me the perfect opportunity to witness to her – through your story! She has accepted my offer to mentor her spiritually, and I am going to begin by gifting her with a copy of your book. I pray that she will take the time to read it, and that she is richly blessed, as so many of us have been!
    You are a gentle soul Renee, yet so strong – in the Lord! It is encouraging to see how empowered you are through our Lord, and to know that this same power is offered and available to ALL of us! We just need to seek, and trust. 🙂

  40. I am so thankful that a friend told me about Poverty 31 ministries. She had no way of knowing that this Bible study was written for me. It has been just what I needed forever. Praise God I am beginning to let go of the belief that I am not worthy of the love Ive read about all my life in the Bible.With lots of prayer and being more aware that satanist lying to me I believe I can overcome these feelings! Thank u Renee for being obedient.

  41. Thank You Renee!

    Just as I had read an email that had me about to doubt my worth, your email came to remind me of the lies our enemy throws our way! I smiled and remembered our Word…HIS- Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name; you are Mine!” Isaiah 43:1b (NAS)

    You bring blessings to my Sisters and to me everyday! Thank you for your obedience.

    I Love You Renee!

  42. Thank you Renee for this study and your willingness to share your heart. it has helped me dig into those deep recesses of my heart as well and begin to give me direction in the things I must address. Our God is so faithful…thanks for the reminder and thank you for your faithfulness as well!

  43. Thank you, Renee, and all of my sisters here who have opened their hearts and shared their hurts and risked rejection by being vulnerable and transparent here on this “share” forum. I have been so encouraged by all of you; and God has given me a place of safety and acceptance to share my struggles and successes. My heart breaks for all of the broken hearts we have; but my heart soars to know that we all have the greatest Physician of all, who is working in our lives to heal us. Renee, thank you for encouraging us to submit to His emotional surgery. You are a blessing!

  44. Saturday we took part in Comcast Cares preparing bags of meals. One gal who worked with us kept saying she was worthless and could not do anything. She had her two small boys with her and was trying to let them help fill the bags. If she was a little slow putting her part in she would say she was worthless. And every time she said it I told her she was not worthless. I saw a caring mother, a woman trying to help others, a Child of God. It was so sad that she had such a picture of herself. I wish she could be a part of this study and be reminded how important she is and how much she has to offer.

  45. Thank you for your lovely post Renee! Your words were so encouraging as is your book and this study! I agree there is power in our words and am blessed by the edifying words you speak and pray for us and to us! God bless and have a great week! 🙂

  46. Susan Whitaker says:

    Renee, your book has spoke to my heart. Thank you so very much. I am enjoying and learning so much from your words. I look forward to each chapter. God bless you.

    I am praying for everyone attending this Bible study. May God bless each and everyone.

  47. Barbara R. says:

    Thank you, Renee! You are so sweet and such a blessing to all of us!

  48. Dear Renee, I’m so thankful you share your heart with us all here though your book.
    First online bible study, and I knew I God was calling me to be a part.
    God is overwhelming me with his love and Faithfulness as I study each chapter. I am in aw he thinks so much of me! It is so refreshing to meet with God and fall in love with him again.
    I have suffered from low self esteem for a long time due to circumstances beyond my control.
    It’s very easy for the enemy to tell me I am not worthy, so thank you for daily reminding me that God says I am and that he loves me unconditionally. I must continue to truly believe he thinks so much of me!
    You are a special treasure to all of Renee. Thank you for listening and for writing what we all need to hear.

  49. HI. I was really looking forward to doing this study with a friend of mine who really struggles with the thoughts that she is never good enough. She was very excited about the study and even more so when our books arrived.The fact that the Author’s name was Renee, and the love heart on the cover, was exactly how my friend Renee signed her pots after she made them, and after her name on paper! We did the first week, deciding that we would read the chapter together and work through the questions afterwards as well. My friend was reading and underling and relating to so much of what was written. We had a great time together with the study and God and we were excited about the next week. The next week never came. My dear friend fell into the traps of her old life of heavy drinking and drugs. (She had been off this life for 18 months before that.) After a dreadful week and many incidences where the police had to be called I no longer know where she is. Her children are no longer with her and many people have expressed to me how frightened they were in her presence in these last few weeks. I miss her so much. I am writing to ask if all you ladies could please pray for Renee.

  50. It’s good to hear how you started Renee! I have a friend Janet who sent me a card saying “Someday you will write a book.” It was massively encouraging, yet I have self-rejected my writing for so long. When my daughter started reading blogs with me (our first was Ann Voskamp) after a while she said, “Mom, you should write a blog and you should put my pictures on it.” So I did.
    Even if I never publish a book, I have the joy of writing and connecting and being used of God to bless others.

  51. Julie BS says:

    Thank you very much Renee! God has truly sent persons my way to encourage me. I think of my current situation, desiring to go back to school yet am so scared of the GRE. If I can get over this hurdle, I’ll be accepted. Yet I’m so overwhelmed everytime I pick up the book to prepare for it. My friends encourage me, yet fear seem to reduce me to being frustrated and giving up, everytime.

    Your card of me being a blessing is an awesome thing and because so many persons have blessed my life and says I’ve blessed their’s its hard to pin point one person or even 5 that I can send this card to without feeling I’m skipping someone who’s blessed me greatly. I’ll get a few and prayerfully God will show me whom is most in need of a little reassurance in their walk with Him or even a standardized test like myself.

    May the Lord continue to keep your heart, keep your mind and keep you soul. May His peace, presence and promises resound in your heart and expressed fully in your deeds, continue to bless women like me all around the world. Thank you for being a blessing to me.

  52. Renee, Renee, Renee, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.
    God bless you and your family. When we started I said it was going to be a phenomenal life transforming experience for us all. I wasn’t wrong. The last few weeks have been wonderful, going through the study and reading through your book has so much imparted my life. Thank You so much and God bless you real good.

  53. Thank you Renee for what you do for us women . I n a busy and crazy world like ours, most of us claim that we have no time to pray and study the bible, you a real busy woman, spare quality time with thousanda of us on a daily bases..May God continue to use you.
    I too sruggled with who I am and what God wants from me.He Put a wonderful lady in my life who encouraged me and taught me that I am a princess in God’s eyes. She continueously reminded me that I am the daughter of the King of Kings and there is nothing He will not do for me. (n I grew in an orphanage all my childhood). Now I live like a princess and there is nothing I will not do for my heavenly king and FATTHER. i still have my little moments of low self esteem but in those moments I reakise I am not walking alone.He is right there beside me.
    Thank you again for ministering to all of us
    Kim

  54. Maureen Chiasson says:

    God bless you. God is using you in great ways. God gave me a message for a friend that He had delivered to my heart. This message largely came from your book. She said it was an answer to some things she had been Praying about for 2 months. Wow! Draw close to Him He draws close to you.He has been ignited a fire in my heart during this study and another study. Vision greater than me and prophesies over me about a year ago. This is the time to begin, he softly whispers, a new season, for such a. time as this!! Wow#This is God!!!

  55. Morning Renee

    Thank you for following your heart and finding the confidence to do what your doing…it has and will impact women for eternity….I have copied and cut out each trinket you have placed in this study and placed in my journal of my confident heart that is flourishing and spreading to others as I share what God is doing in me through you…
    Blessings to you !
    Patty

  56. Hello Renee, I just want to thank you for this online Bible Study. When I started on this journey with you, I was also starting a new journey in my whole Church life. This study has gone hand in hand with what I am learning at Church. Yesterday our Pastor talked about hoe words have an impact on our lives, we can either by built up, or broken down. I also read this last night in chapter 6. I must say that reading encouraging words from you, about your journey, has really been building me up. I am very grateful to the Lord for leading me to this Bible study, and to my new Church. I feel like my love for the Lord has been reignited. Much of this is because of the encouraging words here, and the confirmation of thes words at my Church. I love how the Lord makes everything come together so simply. So easy to understand. I am coming out of the shadow, the Lord is shining His light brightly, so that I can follow. I want the fullness of God, and I want to be a light for others. Thank you Renee, for sharing your legacy with us. God Bless YOU!!!

  57. Renee.
    I love this study, I have highly recommended this book and study to so many women and even one man that I know. I think this book allows you to go deep in your heart and discover stuff you didn’t even know was there. Wow I am kind of in the mist of it. Not sure where it is all taking me but I am kind of getting thoughts from all over the place in my heart and bringing it to Jesus who is the center. I haven’t really felt a healing yet, because I feel like the Holy Spirit is still uncovering stuff. I grew up in a religion that did not teach me about Holy Spirit. And I feel like I have a new found friend, I know that sounds weird but this book has opened me up to a new relationship with the Holy Spirit and I feel a stirring of excitement in my spirit I can’t really explain. And I am not really sure where it is going. So I would like to thank you for being obedient to God . Stay tuned right 🙂 . Renee my prayer for you is that you even go deeper with The Lord as you lead many women to be totally free in Jesus…

    • I think uncovering is part of the healing process and it’s amazing to see God do this wonderful thing in your heart. Your are excited because the Spirit now lives within you and is giving you guidance and encouragement at every turn. I’m so excited for you and may He continue to bless you abundantly through this study!

  58. Renee, thank you for turning from any shadow of doubt you have had about writing for women, and using a gift God has truly blessed you with. A few months ago when I read your devotion that had the invitation to your study I knew it was an invitation from God because I need this so much! Thank you for following God’s plan for you so that you may teach us where to find God’s promises in the Bible and how to use use God’s Word on a daily basis (sometimes hourly or even minute) to fight of satan from the control he can gain on our minds. This study is really helping me and allowing me to draw even closer to God. Thank you!

  59. I have truly enjoyed reading your book and going through this…I will be honest and say that I highly doubted (ohhh no there’s that “word”) that you would read all of our blogs thinking you couldn’t possibly read all of these or maybe even truly care about someone you don’t even know. See I have dealt with this for so many years that I am never good enough(I to have issues from my past that still haunt me) or that God couldn’t possible care about my petty little issues when there are so many “BIG” problems out there. I have failed and I have fallen down more times. But I do manage to get back up and keep going because of what God has done for me. But I want to have that confidence, I want to be free from my guilt and shame of my past…Thank you for what you are doing and the blessing you have been. God bless.!!!

  60. Renee, all I can manage to say is thank you! From the bottom of my heart, you have made such a difference! I think you wrote this book just for me 🙂 God always is at work. I was able to get the last book on the shelf, and I think that was no accident. God is using you to do an amazing work in the hearts of his children!

  61. Renee. Thank you for saying YES (against the barriers of fear and doubt) to using your talents to serve the hearts of women. Your study has been a fundamental step in helping me recover from crippling fear and self doubt . I thank the Lord for your lovely and obedient heart and for the many blessings that flow through you to me and the others in the group.

    As an aside…God keeps putting the Luke 1:45 verse in front of me…and, through you, here it is again! So thankful for you and our loving Lord.

  62. Renee,
    Thank you so much for your obedience to God, thru you he has used this bible study to heal my heart and take me to a deeper understanding of his will for me. I have known for quite sometime that God had a plan for my life and little by little he has revealed that to me, a Women’s Ministry ( for Abuse, Drugs, Trafficked and their Children) has been stirring in my spirit, but like you I thought how can God use me ! I am a Hairdresser not a Speaker. The Lord always has a plan we just have to be willing to hear and obey, Proverbs 3:5 Lean not on your own understanding , but acknowledge him in all your ways and he will direct your path. Moving myself out of the way has been my hang up and because of this bible study he has showed me his way, 2 weeks ago our Pastor was preaching on “Everyone has a Calling, you just have to be willing to obey” little did I know that the Lord had spoke to several Women in my church about the same Women’s Ministry, another lady and myself have a meeting with our Pastor and I KNOW that God has given him the vision to!! I want to say Thank You again for this Study and I am Praying that the Women involved in this foundation building of this Ministry will be open to doing this Study as a group. Free Women Free Women!!!

  63. Thank you, Renee!! What a blessing you are! I am thankful for your ministry and for you!
    Thank you, for being faithful and reaching out in this way to other sisters in the Lord. I have been struggling for five years after burning out from being in a prayer ministry that I allowed to take all of my strength and energy. Now, I am struggling to find once again, who I am in Christ. It’s been a roller coaster and I have so much to be thankful for, but I keep sinking into depression, doubting myself and not being confident in whose I am! I had purchased this book last year and never read it, and now I’m so thankful that I can walk through it with you and all my sisters in Christ that are on here!! Blessings to you!!

  64. May God continue to bless you and your ministry. I have been encouraged by your bible study and I look forward each morning to read the daily messages. I ask that you pray for me as I pray for you and that God get’s the glory in all that we say and do in his name.

  65. Renee,
    Thank you for the card. God knows when we need to be uplifted and this was one of those days!
    My struggle seems to continue with attracking disrespect from others. I’m not sure why this is a continuing problem but I am sure God is trying to teach me something from this experience. Yesterday I saw a beautifl angel in the store and I bought it because it looked like me. I am going to put it in my garden and pray for myself, for healing from the dynamics of these type of relationships. I never pray for myself but if God loves me just as I am, then I need to love myself as well. I loved your book Renee and am reading it for the second time! I may need to do a third reading as well!

  66. Thank you Renee and all of those women who listened to God and encouraged you! Amid my thoughts of wanting to give up and leave come your cards of encouragement. My only daughter went away to a college 8 hours away because she fell in love with a boy. Now he has broken up with her and her heart is broken and so is mine. I have been able to share many things from this study with her about how our confidence comes from God not from people.

  67. This study has been a blessing. I have had the pleasure of being able to do it with
    another sister in Christ. This has allowed me to see not only the good parts ,but to really
    look at the worts that have attached themselves along the way. My prayer is that we all
    have the courage and grace as we do the study, To be honest with ones self and to know
    GOD loves us! and would never give up on us …My pray is that we can do the same.

    Go Team Christ!!!
    Love,Jodi

  68. What a wonderful way to honor the women in our lives who have made an impact. I have been receiving the Proverbs 31 devotionals for a few years and I look forward to them and am encouraged by them every day. I love having the opportunity to share them with the precious women in my life. They don’t need anything material and I feel as if I could never express adequately what they mean to me. Thank you for this:)

  69. Thank you Renee for the card, it’s beautiful, I love it. your study has made such a difference in my life, On my journey I know that I still have healing to do from my past, but we have “forever” to look forward too, this is just temporary; God is good and in control. I’m so grateful to our Saviour that your “Thank You note” and Janet’s prayers brought you here to all of us today. God Bless You and Thank you and Bless you Janet….

  70. I am finally posting on last weeks study. I read each chapter twice. I came here and read what others have been sharing. I have been working on my time line (ouch). I have been praying the scripture prayers at the end of the chapters. I have been preaching the Gospel to myself, as encouraged in the book The Gospel Primer. I have gotten a better grasp on some things in my life and heart.

    One is that my total distrust of my dad (justified) and my Pollyanna personality (God-given) have contributed to my keeping my distance from God, without animosity, but without a great deal of trust. What futility! But I realize that, while I have no actively hostile thoughts toward God, and I love my Savior and am thankful for His Father’s sacrifice, and I am aware of the activity and working of the Holy Spirit in my life, I have had a hard time trusting my Father in heaven. It mirrors my relationship to my earthly father: I have forgiven him for many things, and I am the only one of his 5 first children who will maintain a relationship with him, but I do not trust him, and rightfully so. I am so excited to really grasp that I have been superimposing my relationship with my dad on my God and on my husband so that now God and I can sort this thing out!

    Second, what we tell ourselves really, really does form us. I have been “talking trash” to myself for far too long. The first 10 years of being a believer, I knew what a problem I had in this area, and really worked hard to talk to God, and speak His truth to myself. The past 10 years, I have slipped back into the habit of negative thinking, and I am ready to quit that. I really appreciate the message of the last couple chapters that we have a CHOICE to DO and SAY and THINK and LIVE what is good and true and pure and uplifting. Ours is not a passive faith, but an active one.

    So, some truths that are really coming home to me are:

    1) God saved me from a life of slavery to sin in July of 1989.

    2) I have a God-sized void in my heart that is made only for God. If I try to fill it with other things, those things will be like a drop of water in the vast empty basin of the ocean ~ they will not even begin to wet it, much less fill it, and will be totally unsatisfying. But if I allow God to fill that vast ocean with His love, then the other things, like the love of my husband, the pleasure of blessing my family and friends, will simply make my “ocean” overflow. Until God has filled that void with His own love, the other things, as good as they are, will never satisfy, and will in fact disappoint.

    3) While my salvation was secure the day I trusted Christ as my Savior, my living in the victory of God’s gift of salvation is a daily, moment by moment thing. I need to remind myself of God’s truth at all times.

    4) Mine must be an active faith, not a passive one. I must CHOOSE: to think God’s thoughts; to read God’s Word; to walk like I believe it, which I do, until my feelings conform to His truth about me; to pray at all times; to be thankful in all things for the salvation He has given me and the hope I have for my future; to trust Him to replace the ashes of my past with the beauty of Himself.

    Thank you, Renee, for the real encouragement that this study is, and the safe place to share with others who are walking this with me. May God richly bless you and your efforts!

  71. Dear Renee, I am so thankful that you wrote your book. It speaks to me so much. I was debating between doing this online study and another one, but I really felt that God was leading me to do yours. I have been so blessed reading each chapter. I am still meditating on the first few chapters because I don’t want to rush through this study. I really want to be transformed and truly have a confident heart. I have done many online studies, but I have always been a silent participant. I don’t usually make comments, but I just wanted to let you know that God is using you in mighty ways to touch so many hearts and lives. Thank you for sharing your story and experience with all of us.
    I know that God loves everyone, but it’s hard to always believe that He loves ME personally. I think that if I really believed this, my life would look different. Jeremiah 1:5 has been such a comforting verse for me. Ever since I started memorizing it, I have used it in my prayers to help me remember that God truly KNOWS me and loves ME. I have also started to use this verse when I pray with my 7 year old daughter every night. I want her to truly know in her heart that God knew her even before she was born…even before I, her mom, knew her. I want her to know without a doubt that she was set apart by God and that He has a plan to prosper her, to give her hope and a future.
    I did not grow up in a Christian home. I became a Christian during my first year in college, and I am so very thankful that God’s grace was upon me. I did not grow up in a violent or abusive home, but I still carry burdens that have weighed so heavily upon me. Even though I have become a Christian, it’s hard to be joyful as I watch my family struggle so much. They continue to live in darkness and it pains me to watch them go through life without God. Although I have prayed for them ever since I became a Christian, no one has become a believer. My father passed away 15 years ago, my brother has been living in and out of prison for almost 20 years now, and my recently divorced sister has become addicted to gambling and has been in and out of relationships since her divorce. I have not seen my brother for 10 years and my sister and I have not been close. I don’t feel like I ever got to fully grieve over my father’s death, and in many ways, I feel like I am having to grieve over the loss of a brother and sister too. Because they are not in my life, I feel like I have lost them too, even if they have not physically died. My 3 children know that I have a brother, but they have never seen him and they rarely see my sister. My widowed mother has had such heartache losing her husband and watching two of her kids live the way that they are living. I want so much for her to find comfort in God, but she has a hard time believing in God’s goodness because life has been so hard for her. Because I have this kind of family life, it is so hard to share these things with others. On the outside, people would not guess that I have a troubled family. My husband can’t really relate to anything that I have gone through because he grew up in a Christian home and his experience has been so opposite of mine. So, I have been carrying such a heavy burden and I just feel so alone carrying it.
    In Chapter 5, you wrote that “our family of origin does not define our true identity. Once we become daughters of the King, we have a royal inheritance that determines who we are.” I cannot tell you how comforting those words were to read. I know that God has a purpose in all things and although I often ask why He gave me the family that I have, I know that I need to just trust that He has a reason. It’s not that once I become a Christian, I can just live my own life and forget about them, but it is freeing to remember that they don’t define me. I am first and foremost, a daughter of the King. I will continue to pray for my family, but I don’t need to let my family weigh me down. I feel like I have let my family be like a cloud that has always hovered over me. I don’t want to keep living like that.
    Sorry to write so much! I just wanted to share the thoughts that have been on my heart. Please know that your book is bringing healing and comfort to many like me. May God BLESS you, Renee. I am not a big hugger because I did not grow up with affectionate parents, but if I saw you in person, I would want to give you a big hug. Thank you…

    • Lola it sounds to me like you ARE being “truly transformed and have a (more) confident heart” already! Praise God! I agree – I want to take this study even more slowly than I am too … want it to seep down deep in my bones … and not fade away like so many other times.
      Be proud of the time you are spending with your children and the truths you are obviously sharing with them – already helping God infuse them with His nuggets of truth.
      Keep loving your mom, being an example of Gods love before her… she’ll come around as she sees transformation in your heart…. and the woman (& friend) you’re being.
      No need to be ashamed of the state of your family. As has been witnessed to in this blog of ‘sister style’ sharing, we ALL have life issues that could weigh us down (& DO weigh us down often). That part of living seems inevitable. Somehow though we have to continue down the road (short as is it actually is – time goes so fast!) and keep looking toward the Light, the Son for our daily sustenance. (Preaching to the choir here – yesterday wouldn’t have been as encouraging of words coming from me…. a “daily” task indeed!)
      Thanks for bringing to mind Jeremiah 1:5 and other scripture this morning just reading your comments. I love that you’re building up your young daughter already with the word of God on a regular basis. That will be a treasure to her throughout her life…the Word, and the fact that YOU took that time with her. She will tell you so in about 15 years when she seems more like a “friend” than a daughter oftentimes. (My two are grown…. I’m in “that season”!). Keep on keeping on, as its said! You’re being a blessing right where you are and making great strides to positively change the growth of the “family tree.”

      • Dear Tammy,
        Thank you so much for your kind, encouraging message. I pray that your heart and life will be transformed through this study. I am finding that memorizing the verses and remembering the key words have helped me to keep what I am learning fresh in my mind. Otherwise, it is so easy to forget all the great things that I feel like I am learning in each chapter. Thank you for taking the time to reach out to me. I appreciate it so much!

  72. Leslie Chisholm says:

    Thank you for spreading the words that the Lord has gifted to you. Eph. 3:20 is exactly what I needed to read for I am at a place in my life where I have all my Faith and Trust in the Lord for I do not know what to do next.
    With your study I am gaining the Confidence to know that I can do it with Christ who strengthens me and blesses me with his power.
    Thank you will never cover what you have provided me!!!

  73. Ferehiwot aka Tati Michael says:

    It is a great blessing to bless others, in words of encouragement and praise. I thank God someone encouraged and believed in you so that you can encourage and bless me too. God bless you Renee

  74. This study has been such a great blessing to me. I have read some of the chapters to my daughter and she said, “How is she looking into my head and saying just what I think each day?” I have been encouraging her to study the book with me and it has really helped her as well as helped me. Thank you, Renee. God bless you.

  75. Thank You Renee!

    I bought your book last November after going through a rough job that really did a number on my already low self esteem; I quit my job and went home to visit family I hadn’t seen in 6 months; I took the book with me to read on the plane. Not being much of a reader, I didn’t read much while I was visiting my family and read some in the airport on the way back again. After I returned home, I didn’t pick it up much, though had great intentions. When I saw you were doing an online study of course I knew I HAD to pick it back up and read it. I am enjoying it very much and can relate to so many things in there. Thank you for sharing and blessing so many women who feel much the same!

  76. I had wanted to read this book for a while, put it down on the list to grab from the library or the bookstore. When this bible study came up, I thought – I’ll try this format out but I’ve never been able to get into online studies before. I’ve been so encouraged by it though! Your words in the book that you share, God always knows when I need to hear what and I’m walking through my own journey of insecurity and believing God’s plan and purpose for me and He’s showing me He has one and its been quite the journey for me to listen and claim it! But each chapater has come at just. the. right. time. Love that! It makes me know that the Holy Spirit is at work in my life and I’m more and more eager to dive in, to dig deeper and am thankful that you did the same and that it’s been something you could share with many women around the world.

  77. Thank you Renee for your very thoughtful gesture. I am the one who should be sending a card to you! This study feels like it has been very long already, but I know that God is doing great things with my heart and spirit. You truely are blessed with teaching and you are blessing all of us in return. Thank you again, Britney

  78. Iris Ferguson says:

    Hi Renee

    Thank you for your post. Right now I am really searching for God’s will for my life.

    I quit my long term job because I was no longer happy. But, I have no idea as to what I want to do. I don’t want just another job. I want to make a difference in someone’s life through my job. It is important for me to really enjoy what I am doing.

    Your post encourages me to keep praying, seeking, trusting and be patient.

    Thank you

    Iris

  79. I cannot express in physical words the impact of this post on me personally this morning. In the way that only God can, this is confirmation of what is DANCING in my spirit for the Lord. How wonderful to find you and this post. I am Elizabeth and Janet, literally. I have these Elizabeths and Janets in my life also. And my imagination, which I have asked God to sanctify has been so prolific, it is almost a blurr. Bless you, dear sister in Christ for bringing so many into the light along with you. When you speak of Jesus ‘loving on us’, I feel His loving arms around me. Your encouragement sinks deep within my spirit, raising it even higher for the Lord. Amazing Post! Super Loved It!!! Thank You. Thank You. Thank you.

  80. Thank you Renee for giving me a book and book study online it has help me alot in growing confidence as a women in Christ this book related with my life and I got the chance to trust god and be a confident woman in the new life I began thank you for the words God Bless You.

  81. Chelsea Thode says:

    I purchased this book a while back and read it right away. As soon as I discovered that there would be an online study, I jumped at the chance to read it again. What a great ministry, Renee. The online study has been a nice time of worship in my life. Thank you.

  82. Renee
    You are truly a blessing and God is using you in an incredible way! Thank you for putting aside your doubt and fears and falling God’s will and lead. Just know that your leap of courage is helping me and so many others. I am doing the study with a friend and I find the book excruciatingly honest and pushing me to do a deeper dig. I have a lot going on right now and life seems to be spiraling out of control, this study is helping to keep me grounded in Christ and maintain my focus and faith. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING OBEDIENT!!!!!
    Kerryann

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