{Week 1} To Be Known Is to Be Loved – chapter 2

Jerem 3.5

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We’re going to read chapter 1 and 2 this week, so today I wanted to lead those of you who are ready to go with me to the next chapter.

From Chapter 2, A Confident Heart
“Jesus knew Sam’s (the Samaritan woman’s) story and He knows yours. The Greek word for “know” is yada. It means a deep emotional experience; a bonding between two people when one truly feels the emotions of the other. Jesus knows your pain, fears, doubts, and disappointments. He understands your dreams and desires.

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

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Our word this week is  “Known”

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

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

(from video script)

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

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

(read full script here)

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Today’s Assignment:

  • Read this week’s memory verse (Jeremiah 1:5). Ask God to remind you all week that He knows the way you long to be known, pursued and loved!
  • Start or continue reading chapter 2. If you already did or you are just starting, read it slowly and highlight or underline sentences that resonate in your heart. Journal your thoughts if you want the lessons to stay with you.

Connect in Community:

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

  • Please click “Share Your Thoughts” below this post and do just that.  (REMEMER: If  you are reading this via email, you will need to click here to go to my blog to watch the video and share in the comments section.)
  • Optional: If you are on Facebook and/or Twitter, I’d love for you to share your favorite quotes on our Confident Heart Community Facebook Page and/or share them with me on Twitter (@reneesswope) I’d love to retweet them! Also let’s use #AConfidentHeart as our hashtag. 🙂

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. martha Z says:

    This chapter made me think about my perception of God I grew up with and the one that has developed as I have gotten older. As a child, I grew up thinking of God as an untouchable/unreachable being that was watching all that I did (right or wrong). Growing up as a Catholic, I was taught that you needed to keep track of your sins so that you could confess them. I never even considered a personal relationship with God. I am so glad that I now view him as a forgiving and loving God that wants to meet us where we are, flaws and all.

    • Deborah says:

      I grew up believing God was afar off somewhere in the heavens just looking down on me. I never realized how I mattered to Him & how He loves me just the way I am.

      • How do I know if I truly belong to God? That is my heart’s true desire, but it seems like I keep getting confused and have doubts about my salvation. I want to know God!

        • Ashley, towards the end of chapter 2 I share how you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.

          If you invite Him into your heart and accept His death on the Cross and payment for your sins and receive His forgiveness and grace – then you will be saved. At that point the Holy Spirit comes and dwells in you. And sweet friend, no matter what, you cannot lose your salvation. Sin, discouragement, doubt, anger, bad days doesn’t mean you are not saved. That is all normal.

          Salvation is not a feeling, it’s a decision. I just want to make sure you know that. Salvation is about turning to Jesus and turning away from sin and our self-focused life. That is the first step of saying “I do.”

          Then sanctification comes over time as we follow jesus, surrendering more and more of our heart and our life to Him each day – that’s when we begin to experience the power of the Holy Spirit in us as we let Him lead our thoughts and our decisions.

          It’s a moment by moment relationship that builds over time – just like any relationship. The key is to get into God’s word like you are through this study 🙂 and to get God’s word into you.

          I hope this helps. After you read all of Chapter 2, let us know if you have more questions. You are loved and treasured. We are so glad you are here!

          • oh thanks renee, i needed to rehear that, i know i’m saved, but you worded it so wonderfully! i might just have to print it off:-))

          • one question tho, how do we know if we’re doing enough for Him, i listen to some of my friends & i always seem to fall short.

          • Nice,

            I know, it can be quite confusing. But it’s not in our doing for Him. It’s in our relationship with Him. It’s in our love for Him. You can’t do anything that is going to make Jesus not love you any more than He already does. And there is nothing that you can do that will make Him love you more. He loves us because we are His. He loves us because it’s His nature to love us. And He created us to love Him back.

            It’s all about Jesus residing in your life/heart and you loving Him back. You are worth His love because He chose to give it to you. It’s with us knowing who He is and us relying on Him instead of us relying on ourselves or others.

            His grace and love are free to us. We just have to ask for them. He wants to know you up close and personal.

            Praying that answers your question, if not, please let me know. Praying for God to flood you with His understanding and His love.

            Blessings,
            Donna

          • I love this conversation…. Words I needed to read today!

          • Thank you Renee for your words. I too even though I was saved and baptized when I was 16, sometimes I have doubts because I don’t seem to feel as close to God as others do. Easter Sunday I went to my Aunts church. When I go to churches where people are jumping up and down, raising their hands to the music and seem so at peace, I feel so out of place like I don’t belong. I don’t know if that makes sense. I’m quiet and reserved so sometimes I wonder if I were truly saved, wouldn’t I want to jump up and down showing my excitement as well. Shouldn’t I be excited to be going to church instead of nervous?

          • I know I’m saved. It’s the best decision I made. My struggle is to get my adult daughter to see that Jesus loves her. She gave her life to Jesus but is struggling with faith. I see her has the Samaritan woman. I also see myself as Sam. My heart breaks for my daughter and Sam. I hope she will read it one day. I pray that I can be an example. She struggles with serve depression. I know it stems from doubt. I personally am reading the book a second time. This chapter changed how I view myself, for the better. I struggle with poor body image. I’m over weight. This is a daily struggle.

          • Renee-thank you for sharing with me earlier in reply to my post….your words spoke to my heart and I truly asked Jesus to save me but am still having doubts creep into my mind…I feel like I will never have assurance and that this is how my life is going to be…please pray for me…I am so discouraged.

          • Katherine says:

            thanks,still learning how to do this every day,even after all these years.

          • I have never heard it explained quite this way. Absolutely phenomenal!!!!! I’ve got a much clearer understanding. Thank you Renee and thank you Ashley !!!!

          • Renee,

            What beautiful words to explain the coming of one’s salvation with our LORD Jesus Christ! I too feel like I would like to copy such a wonderful heartfelt guiding of a soul to Him. Thank you so much for your words to those who have questions, to those of us who hurt and need healing, to those who need to feel confident in the love of our Maker and Sustainer. Thank you for letting us be a part of this wonderful growing community of Christ!

          • Thanks Renee for doing a great favor to so many people by writing this book!
            You are leading many to accept Christ and truly trust Him.
            May God bless your every efforts!

          • Letitia King says:

            Renee – I needed those words today. I know I have been saved but, but all too often, the negative words flood my thoughts and push the truth of God’s word far from my grasp. 55 years of put-downs are often bigger than 3 years of build-ups. It is so hard to remember that I am loved.

        • Hi there all of you. I love that we’re talking about all of this together. I’ve been so eager to get back online after I did some writing today, so I could share these verses with you 🙂 God’s word has to be our final be all, end all in our search for truth – the way, the truth and the Life is in Jesus the living word and in the BIble, God’s written word.

          We can’t rely on our emotions or thoughts b/c we have an enemy who attacks us there and he will do all he can to make you doubt yourself and your salvation.

          BUT God gets the final word and read what He says here in Ephesians 1: 5-14

          In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

          In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

          And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

          I especially want to emphasize that this is God’s doing, and He wanted to save you!! It was God’s pleasure to choose you, He planned to adopt you when you responded to His offer, and when you believed, you were sealed with a deposit of the Holy Spirit guaranteeing your inheritance – salvation, redemption, security and hope– you are God’s treasured possession.

          Now read this again and again, write it down word for word as a letter to yourself. Then write it down and thank God for it, claiming these truths for yourself one by one.

          If you will teach your mind to think truth, your emotions will follow. Through my book I want to show you how important this is and equip you to change the way you think – which will change the way you feel – and then that will transform the way you live BUT it can’t start with your feelings. You have to take the reigns with your thoughts first. You can do this. Im praying for you – it will take time but I promise if I can do this and overcome the plague of doubts I have faced – you can too!!!

          • Julie BS says:

            Ashley, my precious sister in Christ;

            Renee had stated it perfectly. I was going through a rough patch last year and the only thing that kept me were the promises of God; read & believe Psalm 139 along with our verse Jeremiah 1:5 which confirms our place in God through Christ Jesus. The Lord reminded me that my faith MUST take precedence over my feelings. My obedience to Him by the leading of the indwelling Holy Spirit always guides me to that place in His Word that comforts me and reassures me that I’m saved, it’s going to take some purposeful praise, worship and alone time with God our Father to feel you’re saved.

            You can be sure when you study His Word and someone says something to you that only God could’ve told them to. You go to church and the pastor is confirming what the Holy Spirt has already revealed to you as you’ve read the Holy Word. Pray about all things and trust God’s Word. So stay in His Word which is our reassurance that we are truly saved. Like any other relationship we must work on our relationship with God and it starts by getting to know God through consistently reading His word asking the Holy Spirit to open your understanding. He is able and we can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens us.

            All my doubting sisters, please note that it doesn’t matter how mature a Christian we are, we are all work in progress and none of us will be perfected until we go to live with our Lord. Daily we have to die to self & self will and give ourselves away to the Lord. We must stay under the shadow of the Almighty God to be at peace in our relationship with Him. Knowing then that we are being kept in the hollow of His hands where nothing, nor noone can snatch us away.

            I continue to pray for our faith and love for God & each other, which will help us conquor all doubts & fears. May the reassurance of our salvation through this bible study and shared personal experiences laced with the studying of God’s Holy Word, help us to sing praises and hallelujahs to Him, knowing that we are a chosen and peculiar people called by God who first loved us and truly desires to have an intimate relationship with each and every one of us.

          • Thank you Renee. This blesses me so much to hear these words. There is hope in knowing that my relationship with The Lord will begin to deepen first by me gaining control if my thoughts and is not dependent on my feelings. I also struggle with wondering if I am doing enough for The Lord. I love Him with all my heart but I feel my feelings create so many barriers. I am looking forward to learning how to let go, and trust Him with all of the areas of my life and to be set free from my pain and guilt. I am so encouraged to know HE loves me and ready to learn how to truly believe and understand with all that I have that His love is perfect and unconditional.

          • Hi Renee,
            Those are wonderful words to live by. You have a way with words. I grew up Lutheran and became Catholic 10 years ago. I don’t know how to say this exactely, so I will just say it. I am a little put off with some of the negative Catholic comments. I have had a completely different experience in the Catholic church. I understand that everyone’s experience is different. Am I allowed to be here? I would love to be a part of the bible study and hang out with you guys here.
            Thanks

          • Dawn Brooks says:

            Sheryl,
            I am rejoicing that you are here. A relationship with Christ has nothing to do with a church or faith, it is a personal, intimate, up-close encounter with the God of the Universe. This is all about learning God’s word and applying it to our lives. May you be greatly blessed as I have been already. You are my sister and I am excited you are a part of this. Praying for you on this journey.
            Dawn

          • Hi Dawn,

            Thanks for your reply. Well said! That’s the way I feel, too, Sister.
            Bless u.
            Sheryl

          • I love what you said about “teaching our minds to think truth and our emotions will follow.” I just started reading through Proverbs and this reminds me of verses in Chapter 3 about “pondering the path of our feet so that our ways will be sure.” That makes me think of being confident in His truth for us.

          • Renee, I love reading you what you write. I have so many things happening in my life and stuff from my childhood that makes it so hard to to accept or believe that I am worthy of Gods love or healings. I pray that I can learn to believe and trust that I am worthy. Thank you for sharing all of this. My life is a huge struggle right know. your writings help so much. Thank you!

          • At Stacey…I totally understand about what you mean about feeling uncomfortable about jumping up and down at church. I recently accepted Christ into my heart about four or more months ago so I am new at this and I too have found myself looking at the others around me at church who lift their arms up to the sky as they sing, etc, and I have thought to myself…I must not be as Christian as them for I dont, nor want to do that, but you know what, it doesnt matter. Everyone prays to God in their own way. Everyone sings to God on their own way. You dont have to be the loudest in church or the jumpiest, haha. God knows how you feel about Him by whats in your heart. Do not compare yourself to others around you and how they act in or out of church. There are even people who sing their hearts out during worship, who lift their arms up, who shout Amen the loudest, but that doesnt mean they are more Christian than you or than me because I have also seen people who do that but once they step out of church they do not act very Christian. It isnt a popularity contest, and trust me, I used to think the same thing, especially being a new Christian cause I, like you, am more reserved during worship songs, and from what I am learning, God loves us for us, period. Hope this helps. 🙂

            At Ashley, I wanted to tell you that I too have been ‘saved’ yet I wrestle with worry, anxiety, and doubt every day. I have been that way since I can remember. A lot of it has to do with how I was raised, in a negative environment, and raised Catholic, meaning, I was basically brought up with the feat of God rather than learning God loves me for me and that all He wants is a relationship with us. Anyways, growing up my mother, and still to this day, has never been very supportive of me, never compliments me, and basically her and my sister just treat me like dirt. And so .i grew up with low self esteem and surrounded by negativity and always trying to feel them love me. Because of that my relationship with God was kind of like that. I would instead yell at Him instead of actually praying. I would wonder why all this keeps happening to me, why He lets them treat me like this, and dont get me wrong, I still ask .god this everyday and .i am almost forty! They still treat me bad and make me feel bad about myself and unloved. i am the blacksheep of the family. My father is the only one who ever has complimented me or treated me just a bit better then they have. But now my father has ALS and as I watch his body fail him more and more each day I have cried to God and yelled at God wondering why?! Why out of my family would God do this to the one person in my family that actually makes me feel like I am loved, even if just a little bit, why would God do that, not only to my dad, but to me. Sounds selfish I know, and even wrong to think why my dad and not my mom, not that I want my mom to have ALS, no one should, this disease is horrific, but I cant stop having these thoughts of why? I doubt all the time, but then I talk to friends I have met in church who point me in the right direction or show me where to go in the Bible. I now pray to God to not let my father have to hurt or suffer long. i actually ask God now to take him earlier so my father doesnt have to go thru the rougher parts of the disease. As mad as I am that he is dying, I rather im go sooner cause I know this is just so hard for my dad. I also have doubts of Gods love for me. I also thought that this was just another way .god was telling me, haha Holly, I dont love you so now Im taking you dad from you so you can be left with your mom and sister and have no one left in your family to love you. I compare Gods love for me on how I am loved here on earth. I figure is my own mother and sister who are suppose to love me cant do that, they say they do, but actions speak louder than words, I figure if the people that I can feel, see, and hear dont love me than how can I trust that God, a man I can not see, cant hear, how can .i trust he actually loves me when alls I see around me is things telling me He doesnt. Then, because of things I have learned, and am learning, like in this study, that it is evil that is crowded up my brain. My doubts are my worst enemy. They destroy me. They always have. I was raised to see the negative in everything so to try and look on the positive or believe that someone actually loves me is very hard for me. Its like the mouse getting the cheese, it is a habit now for me to think this way, to be this way. Even though I wrestle everyday with doubt and look to the negative, it doesnt mean I am not saved. It just means .i have more work to do. By getting involved at my church and in bible studies I am finding out ways to stop my thoughts or now I know that it is just say, the devil trying to cloud my mind and keep me from seeing God. But because I have learned that I now know to stop and tell myself that. It isnt easy. It is very hard. But dont ever think that you arent saved because you have doubts. We will always have doubts, it is how we are wired. But now we go to Gods word to help us sort out our doubts and feelings.
            I hope this helps. I know I am not the best to hear from since I am so new to all this and I have doubts too, but I just wanted you both to know you are not alone and that your comments was read. 🙂
            Have a great day girls!

            Holly

          • I am going through marriage struggles. I have sinned and repented, but now my husband is sinning. I am standing strong that God still wants us together and I am staying in faith. I have doubting days and my emotions get in the way. I do many daily devotions, I pray continually, I go to church a couple times a week. Everyday is getting better, but my husband is a Minister… and tells me things that justify his choices and make me question my relationship with God. I wonder sometimes if he has a deeper connnection with God and so because I sinned maybe God is punishing me with this hardship of my husband’s actions. I wonder is God going to favor my husband’s desires over mine because of my actions. When I think about it… It sounds stupid and crazy but those feelings do come into my mind. I hope this is not TMI!! Some days I know that I know that I know!! And other days are harder!! Please pray for US!!

        • angela 2 says:

          Hi Alhsey
          I feel like that to just didn’t want to say it. I feela lot of things but keep them to my self. I doubt my salavtion all the time and if he really loves me. Like you I want to know for sure no doubts at all. I’m not no where near their yet but with the group and all these women to help each other I feel we all will make it. My prayers are with you. and please pray for me as well. New sisters in Christ Amen

          • Angie W says:

            Please, please write a short 3-4 week bible study directed at teen girls about the Samaritan woman, Sam. I love her having a name! But what a blessing it would be for girls to hear there value is not in a boy, but with God!!!

          • Angie W says:

            You are welcome!! You love Jesus! And, that is all that matters!! I, personally, love you being part of this group. Our focus on Him is all that matters.

          • Angela2,
            In my own life, doubting comes when I get my eyes off Jesus and start looking at myself, or at others. We can trust God to keep His Word. He is our strength, our hope, our security, our protector, our EVERYTHING. Don’t let Satan continue to whisper in your ear and paralyze you with doubt. God says, “I will NEVER leave you”.

          • At Holly, Thank you so much for the kind words. They helped.

      • Bernadette B says:

        I grew up too thinking that God was far away, but knowing He is right by me walking in front of me and to the left and right of me is so comforting.

    • To be known and to be loved is a great desire of my heart!

      • The video made me realize I do not feel known because of fears I have. Like not feeling good enough to be seen by Him or anyone else. It was a great video.

    • That is a huge life-changer. If we can really understand there heart of God and His heart towards us, it changes everything. praying you will come to know HIM just as HE really is. One of my goals in the book is to show that to each of you – up close and personally!!

      • I struggle with knowing I am saved. There is always the ‘good enough”. I know that I am saved by Grace, that God loves me just as I am -= as I love my kids but it’s hard for this to penetrate my heart and it is that assurance that I am hoping this study will address.

      • Nancy Greene says:

        I am torn between loving God and serving him and forgiving myself and seeing myself through His eyes. As my faith grows stronger everyday there is always that small tug that tells me I am not worthy or good enough. I have 3 daughter and I am a single mother as my husband went to heaven so he could watch over us better. I want my daughters to grow up knowing the are worthy. I loved watching this video!!!!! I made me feel almost powerful in the fact that God knows and he does love me!!

        • Do you forgive your daughters when they do wrong?? Yes you do!! God forgives you!! HE loves you even when you fall short. I was in a deep dark hole hiding from God and guess who was my only friend and companion? The one I was hiding from….My lord and Savior Jesus Christ!! He could have given up on me but he didnt, He love me even when I wasnt loveable!! He loved me all the way out of the dark hole and back to his loving arms!! He loves you too, unconditionally and all day, everyday!! Just like you love your girls, always and forever. He will love you through every rainy day and sunny day. read 1corinthians 13:4-8… that is our God and who we are to strive to be like… but we fall short and he takes our right hand and pulls us back up to take another step toward him!!! He is LOVE and we are to strive to be that as well!!
          In love from my Godly given heart!!

    • martha i can relate to you, i grew up the same way, im so greatful for The Father picking me up out of the Catholic religion.

      • Matha and Lisa,
        My husband is Catholic. I am filled with hope when I read your posts. I want him to know the love of God and what it is to have a personal relationship with him that isn’t based on guilt or works. There is nothing in this world like being known and accepted by God. Blessings to you!

    • I had the same exact experience growing up Catholic myself. It just never occurred to me that I could be personally connected with God and have a close relationship with him. I was too busy thinking of the sins I’d committed so I could recite them in the confessional.

    • Hi,

      I hit reply on your post because I can’t seem to figure out how to share my thoughts any other way.

      In Chapter one in the discussion questions the first question asks when was your first memory of doubting yourself? I was a little stunned to answer grade school. I knew I was bullied to a certain extent, but what I didn’t realize how much the bullying affected me. The other day my 18 year old son was kidding around while I was using my inhaler. He was joking about the way I used it and then I just stopped useing it. He was still kidding and said Mom were you bulliedas a child or something? I was honest and said yes. It seems as though God is reaching out to me and saying it is ok to be take off my mask of being “fine”.

      As I watched the video poem about “Sam” and read through chapter 2 I was crying, too. My Mom had alzheimer’s disease and passed away in 2010. In the last 7 years I have had alot of other people in my life pass away, also. In reading chapter 2 I realized that with friends I put on my “fine” mask. I felt like when someone asked me how I was I only talked about my problems. It really touched me to read that if I don’t take off my “fine” mask then the person I am talking to will not feel comfortable taking off their “fine” mask, either. I want people to be honest with me, so I guess I better be honest with them, too.

      The sentence “He is waiting for you to stop, come up close, and turn your heart to His” really spoke to me, too. I think that sums up how I would like to wake up every morning!

      Sheryl

    • Know one ever taught me that one can have a personal relationship with God. I GREW up in a dead church that judged and falsely accused those who did not conform to there ways. The church I GREW up in was corrupt spiritually in a sense that they put on a particular mask only to find out down the road that elders n leaders of the church were living lies in front of the church.

  2. georgetta wright says:

    Wow

  3. angela 2 says:

    this grabed my heart. I know I want all of this every day. Prise God

  4. angela 2 says:

    Amen

  5. Michelle J says:

    This is an extremly powerful video message. I have begged internally and externally to be known for most of my life and all along the One that has known me, even before I knew myself and that matters most, was always waiting for me to realize it. Never once has He let me down, and I pray that throughout this journey (this study) I can truly listen to Him.

    • Praying for that too for you Michelle. I love your heart’s willingness to be so real and to ask so vulnerably.

    • I completely agree with you, Michelle. That video is very powerfull and has brought tears to my eyes. I have never felt really known by anyone before and yet God knows me inside out. He knows my past, my hurts, what i’ve been through where i am now, He not only knows me but understands me and he still loves me. He knows how to show me in his gentle way.
      And I haven’t even looked at the chapter yet!

      • Michelle in Columbia says:

        I am amazed by the emotion-evoking video. Though I have been a Christian for many years, I am full of insecurity and the feelings of shame and unworthiness. I really feel like a failure evem though I know I have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. I am looking forward to not allowing my emotions and feelings be in control…but lettting Christ lead. I want to grow as a woman of God! I am thankful for each of you…and Renee, thanks for allowing God to use you! God’s timing is perfect!

  6. Oh that we would walk in the Truth that God knows us intimately and loves us deeply – not because of who we are or what we’ve done, but because of Who He IS – the lover of our souls, the only One to meet our every desire!

  7. Reyna Hart says:

    this grabed my heart. I know I want all of this every day. Praise God

  8. i thought of this text a lot as i sat through a few baby blessings this past weekend…this text, along with psalm 139. reminds me of the old song, “He knew me, yet He loved me.”

    • Love these words. So few yet so powerful…If I could take this in and truly believe it in my heart and soul.( My head gets it.) I don’t feel so alone in my feelings after reading all these thoughts. The struggle with thinking I am not doing this God thing right is so strong some days that I have a “why bother” attitude. So today, April 6th I am changing that belief! I am doing the best I can and the more I pray and get into his word and this study (thank you Renee) the stronger I will become!

  9. angela 2 says:

    I will be rereading the chapters and posting between today and to morrow. I;m on the way to see my grandson for the first time in 6 years. scared please pray for me

  10. also reminds me of the c.s. lewis quote: “God, who foresaw your tribulation, has specially armed you to go through it, not without pain but without stain.” i hate that we have to go through trials, but i LOVE that God has known us, all along, and that He has loved us FROM everlasting, TO everlasting. to be known and loved…priceless.

  11. Julie M says:

    ‘And you know me, you actually know me…to be known is to be loved, and to be loved is to be known…’ To know that He knows everything about me and still He loves me – amazes me everyday!

  12. What hit home for me was “If we only live on the surface with God, we’ll never experience the intimacy we long for or the acceptance and security of others”. I don’t think I truly “lay it on the line” with God- I am guilty of how I feel and think something is wrong with me- my problems are minor compared to most. I can’t get it into my head that He knows me and loves me whether I struggle with depression or guilt myself that I’m not perfect. I struggle with believing completely as you stated in Chapter 2.

    • Praying for you TEH. Praying for God to give you the courage to lay it on the line. You might as well, He knows your thoughts anyway! No hiding from God …. just freedom! And there are no minor problems. It’s happening to you so that makes it a big deal in the eyes and heart of God. Trust Him with it all!

      Blessings,
      Donna

    • Stacey M says:

      I know He loves me and KNOWS me, but I cannot understand how He could truly love me with my past mistakes/sins. How could I do some of the things I have done and even at the time, I knew they were not in keeping with what I knew to be Christ’s teachings and yet I did them. My guilt is what holds me back from the relationship I want so badly with God. I try to remind myself that He loves me and forgives me, but how can He forgive me if I can’t forgive myself….? Sometimes living on the surface seems so easy when what I really desire is to live fully in His love….

      • Stacey, thanks for sharing your heart. I used to feel like you do and one day a friend shared with me something that changed my life regarding my past and needing to forgive myself. She asked me, “Are you higher than God? Of course my reply was in astonishment – NO – she said, well then “If God can forgive you, who are you not to forgive yourself?” It was like a physical slap in the face to realize that I was acting like I was higher than Him and it broke me. I’m so thankful to have fellowship with other women that can correct me in love. I pray that this will help you. Here is a key verse that helps me to keep my focus on the here and now and looking to the future instead of my past. Paul writes in Philippians 3:13-14 NLT No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. May the Lord Bless you as you seek him with all your heart.

        • Stacey M says:

          Thank you Gina, that does give me something to think about as I wrestle with my emotions and trying to let the Word guide me instead of those emotions.

      • Reading your post brought tears to my eyes and a tug on my heart strings as I know exactly how you feel here. I too have had these doubts and have had the desire to know Jesus fully. I have always kept a part of me just incase something happened and part of it is because I have never know pure love in my life. I have known a love that was conditional and have somehow thought that God’s love is somehow that way too. I am looking forward to finding out truly all I can about God. I was saved and baptized when I was 11….

  13. Deborah says:

    God bless you ladies, today’s reading of ch2 was pretty heart wrenching for me & yet very refreshing. I’ve known about God but I want to know God. That’s one of the many things in this chapter that stood out for me. Because of my need to be accepted & wanted I’ve forgotten that my relationship with God needed to be the most important relationship I have. Nevertheless, because of God’s mercy & forgiveness I’ve come to that realization. I chose my insecurities to take precedence over God’s desire to be up close & personal with me. But it’s a new day & His mercies are made new. And so I’m taking the first step in getting to know Him & my life goes on with this revelation & heartfelt desire to do just that – get to know HIM. There’s no turning back but moving forward in Him & learning whom He desires to be to me.

    He’s doing a new thing & I can see it!

    • My eyes are filled with tears and my heart is filled with joy Deborah as I read your story. Im praying for you friend. You are getting the most important truth we need as we begin this journey. Keep pressing in to HIM into His LOVE, into HIS acceptance and affirmation – it is what you were made for and will change your life forever!!

    • Deborah & Renee,
      I felt the same way as I was readhing Ch. 2. I was surprised to find my eyes were filling with tears. Anyway, I do the “fine” thing because I don’t want to be high maintenance and there aren’t very many people that I can really talk to. I forget that God knows me, knows all about me. I have been a Christian long enough to know that you can’t hide anything from Jesus, but I still find myself trying to put on a “good face” for my quiet times.

    • Deborah,
      Quoting your words…
      Because of my need to be accepted & wanted I’ve forgotten that my relationship with God needed to be the most important relationship I have. Nevertheless, because of God’s mercy & forgiveness I’ve come to that realization. I chose my insecurities to take precedence over God’s desire to be up close & personal with me.
      You are not alone in this thought process. I’m praying for however many new days it takes to break the spell!

    • Julie BS says:

      Amen! Amen! Amen! Thank You Lord. A new thing indeed. Hallelujah!

    • Amen. Thanks for your response Deborah. It encourages me. Having to go back and read over and over: “Because of my need to be accepted & wanted I’ve forgotten that my relationship with God needed to be the most important relationship I have. Nevertheless, because of God’s mercy & forgiveness I’ve come to that realization. I chose my insecurities to take precedence over God’s desire to be up close & personal with me. But it’s a new day & His mercies are made new.”

      You ladies are a blessing from God at just the right time in my life. Thank you for sharing and caring and loving with HIS love. Renee, thank you for allowing Him to speak through you!

  14. Reneé M says:

    This is really challenging my mind and heart. I’m ready to go on this journey because I know God has big plans for me! God’s ways are definitely better than our own.

  15. Most of my life, my doubt, insecurity and fear was implanted in my mind because of my over-sensitivity to other’s perception of me or my own belief of their perception of me.

    To guard my mind and hold each thought captive is so imperative….I in effect have to RE-TRAIN my BRAIN to go back to the Source and rest in the Truth – The truth of GOD’s KNOWLEDGE of me – the One who CREATED ME IN HIS UNFATHOMABLE LOVE. Any other person’s opinion in this world is equivalent to what a warped mirror in a fun-house reflects back.

    At that point, I don’t have to prove or disprove anything about myself to anyone….Let them have “fun” figuring it out!

  16. Stephanie says:

    To be known AND be loved…amazing! Thanking God today that He sent His son to Sam on that blistering afternoon and that He sent His son for me!

  17. Wow this has spoken to me. I walk around where from afar I look together, nice and neat but up close I am a paint peeling, chipping mess…. This study has been such a blessing. And to top it off the “I want to be known” Poem tugged at my heart and is a wonderful tool for those raising young ladies to help them understand that only Jesus’s love can fill them and truly know them. God Bless

    • I appreciate your response, Kerry. I can, at times, relate to your first few statements. I also appreciate what you said about the poem being a tool for young ladies. 🙂 God bless you richly!

      • My husband is a preacher mainly in prisons and he continues to say “We are in this together” and we are. God Bless you Cindy.

  18. I grew up with the fact that the only ones that pray and fast is the pastor and that God is the God of do’s and don’ts. Wow, were we ever lead down the wrong path. It is so cool to know that I personally can have a relationship with my Lord and Father. To Ginosko (Greek-to know God intimately and personally) and be accepted, approved of, and loved by God is so totally awesome. I praise Him every day for His unconditional love that has brought me from the bondage of abuse into knowing His freedom from the bondage of that abuse. We do serve an awesome God!

  19. Denise Croley says:

    I loved this video. It says it all. It grabs your whole being. Can’t wait to start reading chapter 2. In just this short 1-1/2 days I am learning about myself and what needs to change. Can’t wait to say goodbye forever to all my insecurities and doubts.

  20. Melanie says:

    Hello ….
    I do not have the book and I’m trying to obtain it …. please advise.

    • Melanie, I am using the Kindle version. You can get a free Kindle for pc at Amazon.com and then also download free Christian books, including this one. You just read it on your pc, in the Kindle library, and you can highlight and add notes too. 🙂

    • Melanie, not sure if there is a LifeWay store near you, but they have them on sale for $6.99 which is half off.

  21. “Because God is perfect, I don’t have to be”! So simple, yet so profound! I’m free already! Hallelujah!

  22. Wow! I had read the script before I listened to it. The very last line is ringing in my ears: “Need it for our own.” We have the love Jesus for own. Praise Him. To really believe Jesus for me and live in and out of that love – that is another issue. I so want to do that. I do know of His love for me and am so thankful for it. May I honor Him with my love for Him and like Him, my love for those around me.

    I like your acronym for “fine” on page 31 Frazzled, Irritated, Neurotic and Exhausted. We need to be honest with one another. I had the blessed experience on Resurrection Sunday of spontaneously praying for a sister in Christ who was honest with me when I asked how she was doing? She told she was struggling with some things in her life. She was nearly in tears. I asked if I could hug her. She said, yes, and as I hugged her, and she cried, I whispered a prayer in her ear. Wow! That was God. He is so very good.

  23. I loved in the video how she keeps saying, “For to be known is to be loved and to be loved is to be known.” How many times do we pretend to assume things about others when don’t really know them? How often do people do the very same thing to me?

    I’ve always loved the story of the Samaritan woman, which I believe is the longest recorded dialogue of Jesus. And we don’t even know her name. But perhaps that was the point. That Jesus knew it and that’s all that mattered. I can relate to her feelings of not worth staying for and not worth getting to know. How I’d love to hear Jesus’ tone when he told her that she has had five husbands. I can’t imagine how many times she had been condemned by others and now she is expecting to be condemned by Jesus. But He must have spoken with such love and gentleness that instead of feeling rejected, she felt accepted.

    And I’m amazed at the transformation. She was the village outcast who didn’t dare to draw water with everyone else. But one conversation with Jesus gave her the security and confidence to proclaim the good news to everyone in town. Her own fears of rejection and inadequacy were melted away by His love and wisdom that she wasn’t afraid anymore. And if the other villagers chose to reject her, then they would be the ones missing out! How the tables have turned because of Jesus.

    • Julie you have stated this “right on target”. This is also my favorite Biblical story of Jesus. He went to Samaria especially for her. Thanks for reminding me that once she had been filled with the living water, the opinions, and condemnation of others were of no concern to her. Also, despite how she had been treated, she wanted to share the good news with others. Praise Him Hallelujah!

    • Stephanie says:

      I love what you said about tone, Julie! I think I often filter other’s tones through my insecurity and they sound so condemning. Jesus must have indeed been so loving and gentle that her own fears and rejection just melted away…and to think, He feels the same way about me! It makes me love Him all the more.

    • Julie,

      Well said. Thank you for your insight. God bless.

  24. I’m very thankful for this study. Then enemy is constantly attacking and trying to keep me from doing this, and from me getting anything from it. Please keep me in prayer. My mind gets overwhelmed easily and I can’t remember things I’ve just read. Lack of confidence has kept me a prisoner my entire life. I need this badly!

  25. Mary Lou Olson says:

    I truly believe that God will take me at my weakest spiritual moment…and that I WILL be strong enough….”for I am weak and He is strong”. Hold me, Lord, with a confident heart…..

  26. jennlynn says:

    I’m still reading through Chapter 2, but the video was amazing. The part that stuck with me most was “I want someone to look at my face….” down to, “Now I keep to myself and by that I mean the pain that keeps me in my own private jail…” Love that part because I know that feeling all to well! I have isolated myself and have tendencies to only have one friend at a time because I don’t feel worthy enough to be around a lot of people or I’m worried what they will think of me, do I talk to much , I’m not in the right social class, I don’t dress as nice, etc. That is a jail that is terrible to live in! Because of this I miss out or loose many great friendships. I’m too scared or insecure to try and fight for friendships to hold on to them. Because of this I’ve delt with feeling alone even though I’m surrounded by friends and family! Just a sense that I don’t fit in, so when she gets to the part in the video “For to be known is to be loved and to be loved is to be known…. AND YOU KNOW ME, ALL OF ME AND EVERYTHING ABOUT ME…” scares me to know He knows all of me, but what a comfort and honor that though He knows me, my thoughts, my heart , HE still loves me!! I can’t wait to continue on this journey and see how He changes me! Have a blessed Tuesday everyone!

  27. Tiffany says:

    Chapter 1 was incredible last night. It really helped me realize my self doubts and the reflection at the end of the chapter really helped. I am learning so much and stretching my faith through the help of this book.

  28. Rebecca says:

    Yada..Yada…now I understand. And know that I can start running into the arms of Jesus!

  29. This quote from the chapter just really struck me: “He wants us to go below the surface by asking Him to show us why we want what we want. Then we can ask Him if what we want is really what we need.” I think it takes all kinds of courage to ask this question because I know my motives are not always the purest. And I expect I’m afraid that what I want is not what I really need. Thankfully, I know that if I have the courage to ask the question, Jesus will be with me as I receive the answer, even if it’s not what I really had wanted to hear.

  30. Wow!!! God is awesome and I am so glad to know that He loves me!

  31. Rebecca says:

    Video is fabulous! Heard of one to come who could save a wretch like me! I AM HE….those words keep playing over and over in my mind…Amazing Grace!

  32. I love spending time with you all here – Im really visual so I imagine we’re in my living room talking and each of you are sharing your thoughts. I love that no one has to worry about interrupting or saying too much or talking too long. Isn’t’ that the best?

    And as I read your stories and your thoughts, I’ve prayed for you today. I’ll hop back on tonight. For now I need to get to work – Im under a big deadline to turn in the manuscript for my Confident Heart devotions book – due this week {YIKES!}

    Im going to be thinking about each of you and what you have shared as I write – and ask Jesus to give me content that will speak to hearts like yours in this new book :).

    So honored and blessed to be on this journey with you!
    Renee

    • Barbara says:

      I’m behind in reading the posts but just wanted to thank you Renee for your book and this Bible study. I love that you are really taking this journey with us here. Also, I have been praying for you. I’m excited to see that this book will also be in devotion format. Thank you!

    • I’m catching up on the posts this morning. Renee I am praying for you as you finish writing A Confident Heart devotions. Praying for His Divine Wisdom & His Words as you seek to share His Truths.

  33. Wow— amazing

  34. Lisa Reynolds says:

    Renee, thanks for chapter 2 The Samaritan Woman. That story is my favorite because all of us can see ourselves in her. She lived a life that she was not proud of but Jesus still loved her anyway. We all want to be loved for who we are. 1 Corinthians 13, I had it read at my wedding because it explains the true meaning of love. There is heavenly love and there is earthly love and no comparison between the two. Earthly love is what creates the self doubt if only we are pretty enough, smart enough, have the certain name or have the big house or drive a certain car. But heavenly love, we don’t have to compare ourselves to anyone and feel very confident on who we are when we stay focused on the scriptures tell us. I am in my mid forties and never have I read the bible as much as I do now. One Christmas morning, I received a gift from my husband a new bible. He knew I wanted one that was easy to read so that I could better understand the scriptures. Its amazing how it is helping me to grow closer to God and to his son Jesus and now I am learning how to throw away the self doubts. God created me and therefore I am beautiful.

    • Lisa, I too see myself in the story of the Samaritan Woman, I cry everytime I read it, or hear it. I was so happy when I first learned that Jesus loves me, no matter what I have done in the past. I still walk with a mask at times, with other people. I have been hurt so many times, and I often have the perception that others are judging me, probably because I have already judged myself and found myself guilty. It is incredible that the Lord can love me, even though at times I have been so unlovable. That He knows me and loves me! Now that is something to be excited about! I loved the video, it really touched my heart. I pray that we all see ourselves the way that Jesus sees us, that we can truly feel the excitment that Sam felt, when she realized who Jesus is, and that He loved her enough to talk to her. He loves us so much, that He pursues us, He offers us unconditional love, living water, so that we can be satisfied, that the emptiness inside each of us can be filled, to overflowing….Amen <3

    • Maureen Chiasson says:

      Love that Lisa. Earthly out performance based love and God’s action based love. I would add feelings to that list of earthly love. They are so fickle.

  35. Patty Fitzpatrick says:

    How do I print out Chapter 2? I don’t have a book yet and I can’t find a download for Chapter 2 on this page? Do I have to subscribe every day? I watched the video . . . powerful, but want to read Chapter 2.
    HELP !!!!

    • You have to buy the book, or you can download a kindle version on Amazon, and either use a kindle, kindle app, or kindle for PC to read the book. Good luck!

  36. Im doing this study, and just started learning to spend time with the Lord daily every morning this is something i have struggle with so long to do, its always worked againts me. I ask for prayers please because i find i have had alot of things coming againts me lately, one i had freinds i was close to, drop me and hang out together without me, just throw me aside like yesterdays dirt. I have had a good freind that i have been with for 8 years be discouraging to me, and tell me things that dont even make sense and now we are barely talking, she wants me to except things her way or its the highway. I have also my fiances parents having troubles and it effecting me, i have health problems and depression i have had my meds changed and i need something that is more than what i have to make me feel the way i should, i know how i need to feel, i dont think im using medication as a crutch like i was told by my freind of 8 years, but i believe that it is helping me live a somewhat normal life. I am cranky alot lately and short with people. I just dont know what to do our believe. Please pray for me. Thank you

    • The Lord can heal your hurts. You’re in my prayers.

      • Lisa,

        Go back and read page 23 through page 26 of Chapter 1 again especially the scriptures. Take note cards and write the scriptures on your note cards. Read and reread each scripture and claim God’s promises for you. And add this one to collection:

        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

        God loves you with an everlasting unfailing love! Take it! Claim it! Believe it!!

        Praying for you.
        Donna

        • Donna was just looking for prayers, that would be much appreciated, i have and will try many things, prayer is what is needed now.

    • Father God, in the Name of Jesus, I lift Lisa to You. Thank You for Your deep and great love for her. Please help her to be strong in her inner man and to keep her eyes, heart and mind fixed on You. Please help her to rest your in Your strong, everlasting, arms – Your embrace, and help Lisa to hear Your voice and words of assurance, and yes, perhaps words of correction – but always in love. Thank You that You love us enough to discipline us and not leave us where we are. Thank You we can know You have our best in Your heart. Father, You know Lisa’s heart to have quiet time with You. May nothing get in her way, may voices other than Yours be silenced and she hear clearly your still small voice – as she reads Your Word, sits quietly before You, or is listening to a message from another brother or sister in Christ. I pray that the lies of the enemy, her flesh, and the world would be silenced, in the Name of Jesus, and bound. We pray for the cleansing, purging, preventing, preserving, persevering, blood of Jesus to flood Lisa’s life and refresh her in Your love, mercy and grace. Thank You, Father, for Your unfailing, unrelenting love. Thank You that You are her healer. May she be healed physically, spiritually, socially, emotionally and mentally by the stripes Jesus bore. Please help Lisa to lean on and into Jesus as her very best friend and let Him lead her to friends with whom she can relate and whom she can trust. Please help us all to let go of the past and move forward in our Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank You!

      Love you, sweet sister!

  37. Melissa c says:

    The video was incredible!!!

  38. there were some things that I underlined as I reread chp. 2 today. One of the sentences that caught me was that He is there in those mornings where we can’t stop criticizing ourselves for messing up the day before. I’ve done things and not done things that have caused me to not pray for days or even weeks because I knew God was upset with me and if I didn’t go to him I didn’t have to hear what he would say. Anyone else? I still knew that He knew what I had done or didn’t do that he had asked me to do. But God is merciful and never leaves us even when we leave him. One of the questions at the end asks us when we need his assurance and his presence the most. I guess I need it the most in the midst of chaos and when I’m feeling alone and unloved. When I get time it helps to put worship music on and just get lost in his presence.

    • Love your realness Pam. I think we’ve all been there.

      It’s kind of like how Adam and Eve thought they were hiding from God in the garden. He knows. He knows where we are … He knows what we’ve done … even before we’ve done it …. He just wants our obedience to ask for forgiveness.

      Love how you put your worship music on!

      Blessings and prayers as God continues to transform your heart into a heart like his. I always have to remember … progress not perfection.

      Donna

      • Thank you Donna. I’m really trying to let God work in me and trying to lean on Him and trust His word. I’ve been a christian since I was a teen but I’ve also walked away from him for periods of time. I’m hoping with the help of this book I can finally let God show me where my insecurities started so that I can finally be whole and free. He is the potter and we are the clay and may He mold each of us into a vessel He can pour through.

  39. The video was powerful. Jesus met the woman at the well. He met me when I was very young. But my concept of God was skewd because I am the adult daughter of an alcoholic who walked away from the ministry when I was two. My mom faithfully prayed to God but it would be seventeen years before my dad would walk away from alcoholosm and return to God. How did this affect me? Too many ways to be recounted. I married young. I had many years of self loathing for mistakes I made, I have walked with God for many years but some times I isolate because of things in my life. Now I run to the Jesus who met the woman at the well. I am forgiven and redeemed. Neil Anderson writes in the booklet “The Steps to Freedom in Christ some truths about God. I have put them in the positive for you. My God is intimate and involved not distant and disinterested. My God is kind and compassionate not insensitive and uncaring. My God is accepting and filled with joy and love not stern and demanding. My God is warm and affectionate not passive and cold. My God is always with me and eager to be with me not absent or too busy for me. My God is patient and slow to anger not impatient, angry, and rejecting. My God is loving, gentle and protective not mean, creul, or abusive. My God is trustworthy and wants to give me a full life, His will is good, perfect, ans acceptable not trying to take the fun out of life. My God is full of grace and mercy, and he gives me the freedom to fsil not controlling or manipulative. My God is tenderhearted and forgiving, His heart and arms are always open to me not condemning or unforgiving. Lastly, my God is commited to my growth and proud of me as His beloved child not a nit picking, demanding perftionist. I am the apple of His eye. Today, I am still married, I have a good relationship with my dad and my husband but I still struggle with my own insecurities but in my heart I know I am loved. Blessings…diana

    • What a wonderful way to draw close to God by seeing how He blesses you! Thanks for this encouraging post!

    • Thanks for that. I need to constantly remember Gods goodness and not focus on the negative things in my life. I think i might copy those God is phrases so I can put them up to look at regularly. Or get the book! I strugle with finding turths to replace the rubbish that constantly comes into my head, to take every thought captive. My days are very up and down, one day very positive that I can do it because of Gods strength and believing him for the futre,holding onto the hope and promises given to me and/my husband; then next day struggling with it isn’t going to change and my husband’s choice of seperation and wanting a divorce is the outcome, rather all that God has given us and promised us. I constantly have to trust God that he is in control and to focus my eyes on him- the light and the truth. That only God can change my husband and soften his heart. that I can change and be the women god called me to be despite my circumstances. He is Lord of my life and I love him. He is my healer and my redeamer. I can be an example to my children to keep my eyes on him and to praise and worship him because of his goodness. He has been my help, my strength, my shelter. He has provided for me, by givng friends around me when i need them, for finanaces, for support. I can look back and see how he is drawing me closer to him, how he has put the right people in place at the right time for different problems or moments of need. Yet I still struggle on a day to day basis with my insecurities and self doubt, and then as Job would be I find Gods strength to carry on to pick up my feet and stand tall, because of my God is greater then the things of this world. and as in ephesians through my faith I can see the bigger picture, not looking at things with a tunnel vision( as in driving) but seeing the bigger picture and being more aware from a wider perspective.
      My God is great and he is faithful. it is because of him that that I can do this. I can look after four young children, stay in my faith, and he still uses me to bless others, to share at church and contribute by his leading. He still uses me and speaks thruogh me, he still uses me as his vessel no matter what the circumstances and all glory goes to him.
      It is amazing! His ways are higher than our ways. It might not make sense to us but he knows what he is doing he sees the bigger picture. He is in all and above all.
      I get excited about what he has for for me and that there is so much more. I have to trust he will show me the way and that his timing is perfect.
      Babs.

  40. Renee, I read with interest the statement that you wrote to Ashley…

    “Salvation is not a feeling, it’s a decision. I just want to make sure you know that. Salvation is about turning to Jesus and turning away from sin and our self-focused life. That is the first step of saying “I do.”

    I also struggle with the salvation question…. I know I made the decision but than I also get confused and feel that no one could love me and I’m not good enough….. Thank you for the words of your response.

  41. I have loved the story of the Samaratin women for so many different reasons and in different seasons of my life. It seems God shows me over and over again each time I read that story how He loves me. I am truely blessed for these teachings. I love the opportunity to come together and meet such loving women and share in God’s glory. I look forward to learning more and sharing more with such a great group of women. Thanks Renee for al you do and I am so glad God brought you into my life! The video was awesome!!

  42. Renee,
    I was so blessed by the dramatic interpretation of Sam in the video. I love the arts and it was so cool, so encouraging and powerful to see the Word come alive in this script/drama. Yay!!

  43. Priscilla says:

    I printed out the PDF of the memory verse Jer. 1:5. My husband read it and said that was a good verse against abortion. It is a beautiful verse!

  44. What a beautiful poem, “To Be Known and Loved,” I watched it twice and cried both times. I can certainly relate to “Sam” but, something happened today… I feel a bit further away from believing that God could know and love me… I have had three husbands all 3 ended in nasty divorces. My two children aren’t speaking to me today and accuse me of “shortchanging them” when they were growing up. I was a single parent and both accuse and condemn for the things I couldn’t/didn’t do for them and to this day, complain about my lack as a parent. I finally distanced from both of them because their constant accusations and condemnations hurt so badly. I found myself thinking, “At least Sam had people she could go home to tell about Jesus.” In my life, no one would listen… not feeling very hopeful today that Jesus would still love me if he knew me… but, I’m determined to hang in there.

    • Yes. Keep believing. Draw your strength from the Savior. He is faithful.

    • Janet F says:

      Andrea you are loved, by all of us and by God. The enemy tries to get us distracted and take our minds to where he wants them to go. He wants you to doubt God’s love. You don’t need to doubt it. He went to the cross for you, He loved you that much!! The enemy likes to cause strife and division among families, I know, I am divorced and I have a son divorced and now my other son’s wife is leaving him. The enemy knows we are stronger together so tries to separate us. Remember Eph 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. I will be praying for you and your children for their hearts to soften. GOD DOES LOVE YOU!!!♥

    • Andrea,

      This is my life verse …..

      For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11.

      I have held onto this verse for 20 plus years and pull it out often realizing that He is my hope and my future … even tho for all practical purposes my Dad left me, my sisters and my Mom at the age of 6 and then I was molested by a so-called family friend and even through a battle with cancer.

      I have to keep my eyes on this promise and it makes all of the difference in my heart.

      Praying for you.
      Donna B

    • Andrea, I can totally relate to your story, my own is very much the same. When I think of the Samaritan woman, I don’t think she really had many friends or family to talk to. I believe that is why her story is so significant. After she had spent time with Jesus, she was changed. Her outlook for her own life changed, her attitude changed, she went from walking with her head down, looking depressed and sad, to running, laughing, smiling, and yelling to everyone about what Jesus had done for her. She was awash in His love, filled up so much, that it was spilling out on other people. That is what happens when we really know Him, when we really have a relationship with him. When we really grasp, how much He truly loves us. His love is not one we can contain, it bubbles out of us. I will keep you in prayer, please pray for me as well. If we truly get this…know how He knows us and loves us just the same, our perceptions of ourselves will change, just as “Sam’s” did. God Bless you!

    • oh He loves you, you just have to beieve that & oh when it finally clicks, you will soar!

  45. What I loved about this story was how Jesus HAD to go to Samaria. Not chose to go. The urgency speaks volumes. And to realize He has this same urgency for me too. Amazing. Extending to all areas of my life.

    • Thank you so much for emphasizing that!! It is sooo beautiful! Your thoughts reminded me of a verse that paints that picture too: “There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides across the heavens to help you and on the clouds in His majesty. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Deuteronomy 33:26-27a

      God bless you and make His presence always known to you!

  46. How powerful! I printed off tiny little hearts with Jeremiah 1:5 and have posted them everywhere. This is what I love about God – He knows the troubles of our heart – He knows the burden of being worn down by this self esteem thing – Ladies – lets give God our heart fully – Let’s let Him heal us. He already knows the hurt – give it to Him. Let me tell you this book has already touched me in ways that I so desperately needed. – Thank you Lord for using Renee as a vehicle to help those of us see You!!

  47. When I was first saved, I was overcome by His deep and unconditional love for me; fully submerged in it. I remember Him calling my name and telling me that I was His. I hold onto that like a lifeline now, because for the past few years I have been in this battle and although I know in my head that His love is forever and unconditional, I have such condemning thoughts and emotions that just overwhelm me at times. I know that salvation is forever, but sometimes I don’t really know that…if that makes any sense. I miss that deep peace and security. I miss it so very much. I feel very bipolar in my relationship with Him. When I am good, I am very very good…but when I am bad…I am horrid. lol. You get the picture. Gonna post this before I change my mind 😉

    • Okay..one more small purge and then I’m done for the day. lol. I had a really good perception of who God was as a small child. My dad was an addict, however, and when his addiction took control and he ultimately wound up in prison for the majority of my growing up…I began this cycle of trying to be good enough to make him stay..to make him fight for us. I do this with God as well 🙁 I always think He’s abandoned me and that if I could just “get it right” then He wouldn’t “be so angry” with me and I would feel His presence again. Ew. I don’t want to admit any of this.

    • Laura,

      Love your realness. And you are not alone! I think we all go there every know and then. The key is not to linger there very long.

      Love this promise from Him when I find myself there ….

      So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1, NLT)

      Donna B

  48. This is the first online study I have done it is a great book and I so need this study just not sure how to do the online part do we just post comments and ask for prayer

    • Glenda,

      You are doing great. Follow Renee’s posts here and Just post any questions, comments or prayer requests under the appropriate study day.

      Blessings,
      Donna

  49. I loved the sentence on page 31 that says “Although we tell people we’re fine, what we really mean is that we are Frazzled, Irritated, Neurotic, and Exhausted!”. So many days this sentence applies to me. But the reminder later in the chapter that tells us He is always there with us, even on those really bad days is reassuring.

  50. So many times I read through a story like that of Sam, and it’s just words. But taking the time to feel where she was, to think about why she would accept those words from this unknown man… Oh,how the love must have shown in His face… No condemnation. The worst and most misleading is the self-condemnation… Now, that, I’m familiar with… Mistakes and bad attitudes, usually brought about by the ever-present fear that I’m not really good enough. My head knows the key is in His Word, that He is the Word… Now to get my heart to accept it long enough to see that face for myself…

    • Janet F says:

      I never though of it the way you put it that He was an unknown man and how would she accept His words, yes you are so right He must have shown such love on His face and in His voice!!

      • I agree! That is a very profound detail that I don’t know if I’ve ever caught when reading that scripture, because not only did she not know Him, but she had all of those preconceived judgments of how He must have felt about her rearing up. In His presence though, they didn’t rule her heart. He was bigger than her crazy train brain!!! lol (okay so maybe I projected there a little bit)

        • Wow! Thank you for sharing Neil Anderson’s thoughts, Diana. . Praise God. It brings tears to my eyes.
          God bless you!

        • Laura, your insights are very thought-provoking – “not only did she not know Him, but she had all those preconceived judgments of how He must have felt about her….IN HIS PRESENCE, THOUGH, THEY DIDN’T RULE HER HEART. HE WAS GIBBER THAN HER CRAZY TRAIN BRAIN!!! ”

          He’s bigger than our brains, too, and what great and deep love He has for us. We must rest in the strong, everlasting arms of our Savior. Praise God! May our thoughts not rule our hearts – not the least little bit. Glory!

  51. To be known is to love. To love is to be known. Hits right at the root of most confidence issues- love.

  52. Hi Renee, will you be able to send the link for the chapters? I am not able to buy it.

  53. Renee I liked what you said about the word “fine”…
    F…frazzled
    I…irritated
    N…neurotic
    E…exhausted

    That describes how I feel “inside” quite a bit of the time. All this “pretending” does lead to “isolation”. I have a fear of rejection, and I have absolutely no clue why!? I can’t seem to pin point it, but I do. In your book you mentioned that your daddy left, so you thought that you weren’t good enough and that’s why he didn’t stick around. I can’t remember anything that dramatic happening in my childhood, although I could never handle “rejection” well. It took A LOT out of me, creating my families new website. I’ve had negative and positive responses. The negatives are difficult for me, but the Lord has been with me every step of the way, and given me the strength to push past my fears of rejection and share with others those experiences, both good and bad, that have so certainly changed my life, and that I pray will help encourage someone else who is hurting.

    • Donetta,

      When the fear of rejection floods me and my stinking thinking, I pull out this verse and say it out loud over and over and use it as a filter for those thoughts of rejection. Throw those thoughts of rejection out the window and remember this promise.

      “The Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Duet. 31:6)

      Praying for you.

      • That verse really “spoke” to me. As I was writing it down at the very bottom of my journal (the one I bought for my OBS that has Bible verses on each page), the Bible verse at the bottom of the page jumped out at me. “The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deut. 31:8. God knows me and knows what I need.

  54. Murphygirl says:

    Prior to my personal relationship with the Lord I thought of Him as a judge over my life, and someone who dealt me a “raw deal.” I come from a violent broken home and began to numb myself with drugs and alcohol at a very young age to get away from all the ugliness I was exposed to and experienced. I remained in that place for 22 years, until at the age of 34, I went into treatment and began a journey of clean living and sobriety. This too was when I became saved. Although at first I didn’t feel worthy and could not even imagine that God would or could love me I have continued my walk, spent time in scripture, and now, 8 years later, believe that I am loved by God the Father, warts and all.

    My challenge now is learning to love myself as God loves me and learn who I am in Jesus Christ; believing I deserve all the wonderful things in life He has planned for me. My hope and prayer is that through this study all the shame and poor choices I have made over my time here on earth will melt away once and for all and I will begin to truly walk as a daughter of God. I am ready to overcome Me and ready for God to show me what I need to see. There is pain left, but I am certain He will provide both the comfort and strength I will need for my journey.

  55. Catherine Correll says:

    Wow! I am so happy that I am in this study. I feel blessed to be a part of all these christian sisters.I to was a Catholic and now I am a Christian woman on a journey to know God and His Word. A Confident Heart is truly speaking to me. I have gone through a 1/2 box of kleenex…The video was so powerful.

  56. I have not yet read Chapter 2 (I am waiting for my book to be shipped) but the topic of this video and discussion resonates very strongly with me. I have known “in my head” that God loves me and knows me for a very long time but it hasn’t really ever felt personal to me. As someone who is well past what would be considered the “typical” age for being married and having never had a serious boyfriend it is so easy to feel like I have been forgotten or that I am not destined to be loved and yet “in my head I know God knows me and loves me. I truly desire to rely on God’s love and trust that His love will always be enough and yet it feels like in doing so I have to be willing to set aside the desire I have to be married, which up to this point I haven’t been able to do. I pray that as was discussed yesterday that I will be able to move from believing in God to believing God, and in turn learn to be content with His plan for me no matter what that is.

  57. Renee, Was God there when I was being abused by my stepdad in all ways possible? Starting at the age of 7 and until I was sent away at the age of of 16. Pregnant, I gave my baby up for adoption after only holding him for seconds. Was God there? Was God there when my brother ( my protector ) steered my stepdads anger from me and took a beating many times? My brother passed suddenly 6 months ago and life as hardly been worth living!! I have much to hide and cannot be myself around people because I don’t know who I am. Praying this study will help me and others like me. I do go to God because I know He is the only one I don’t have to pretend with, he knows me!! I still praise Him!!!

    • Debbie,

      Keep praising Him! And yes, he was there your entire life…..He was there when I was abused …. he was there when my Dad left …. He is there as I survive cancer …. He is there with us every step of the way.

      Also keep holding onto these promises …. ” I (God) will never leave nor forsake you.” (Deut 31:6).

      What is impossible with man is possible with God. (Luke 18:27).

      I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver him and honor him. (Psalm 91:15)

      And my favorite …. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jer 29:11). He is our future and hope.

      Praying for you.
      Donna B

    • Janet F says:

      This was in my You Version Bible devotional for today by Darlene Zschech,
      God is not cruel and does not bring temptation and trials into our lives. That is the result of our Enemy and the fallen nature of the world in which we live, a world which God so loved that He sent His best for.

      When God allows trials and tribulations—even persecution—in your life, know that His love and faithfulness is just as real and present. Focus on Jesus and the finished work of the cross, for His grace is sufficient for your every need. In fact, through every trial, I encourage you to lean into His grace. It reaches deep into your soul with the joy of knowing He is everything you need.

      I choose to walk in the happiness you bring to me through the Spirit, O God. My eyes are fixed on you.
      ~Darlene Zschech

    • Oh Debbie,

      How I felt your pain as I read your post. I carry the guilt from my first pregnancy when I was just 15 years old. I was forced by my parents to put my child up for adoption…I held her only a few seconds before I was forced to hand her over to a stranger. Broken hearted I went home and sobbed in my room for HOURS…in the middle of the night I hear my mother asking me if I wanted my child back…the guilt I carry because I then took my child from a loving family that wanted to adopt her. There are times when I wonder what her life would have been like…would she be happier???? God bless you Debbie.

    • Debbie,

      Thank you for your post. I don’t know the ways of God, especially when bad things happen. But I believe he walks every path with us; offering us strength and courage in the midst of chaos and despair. Just as I believe that when the yawning abyss of darkness threatens, he is there, holding us, with us, no matter the demons we face. I am so glad that you were not afraid, and shared your story with us. There are so many healing things in Renee’s book, but one in particular spoke to my soul as I hope it will to yours… “God doesn’t promise us understanding, he promises peace in not understanding.” (I’m sorry if I paraphrased that horribly, Renee!) Blessings, Debbie, you are not alone. P.

    • Prayed for you sister:)

    • Debbie so sad you’ve experienced such pain emotional and physical. My experience hasn’t been as difficult as yours, but what I’ve found is God never promised our lives would be easy. In fact, just the opposite, He does promise we will never go thru it alone. Hebrews 13:5 is comforting. Lean into that truth. Blessings to you. And prayers also.

    • Debbie I know your story because mine is similar. I was abused by my father from 5years old until I left home at 18. I know that God really loves me and I have dealt with some of my feelings and insecurities but I still struggle with loving myself. This is big in my life and I cannot look at photos of myself. I also can’t accept people liking me for myself. So this study is for me. Iam 69 years old

  58. I am thinking about the word “known” and what it means to be truly known by God. He sees me-all of me, just as I am. And yet He loves me. Sometimes I have a hard time loving me, knowing some of the ugly things I have thought and done. It is an amazing, extravagant love. I think this is the concept that for me is key to accept. I don’t have to perform up to standards. I am forgiven and that is final.

  59. Amen and Amen!!!

  60. Wow!!! I was really blessed after I finished reading chapter 2. Thank you Jesus for loving and forgiving me and most of all, for accepting me!! I am filled with awe!!

  61. Oh Jesus, you know me and I want to know you trough your love.

  62. LOVE LOVE LOVE the video! WOW! Just starting in on Chapter 2 so no comments on it just yet. The verse of the week has just become my phone’s screensaver! Now there’s a way to see it over and over again!! Time to get offline and spend some time with my precious husband, then do a little bedtime reading.

  63. I always feel like I am disappointing God. It seems like I mess up a LOT. And because of that I feel as though He is always angry at me. I am not sure where this view of God came from for me, because I was loved very much growing up. I was disciplined by my father, but nothing harsh. I am confused as to where I got this view of God from 🙁 .

    • Murphygirl says:

      None of us are a surprise to God! I believe our actions can and do grieve the Holy Spirit, however, once convicted, we repent and ask forgiveness. At that moment we are forgiven and continue to be loved. None of us are perfect and God isn’t looking for perfection, He’s looking for willingness.That can be tough thing to wrap our heads around, but little by slow I am learning to receive it!

      Psalm 139 says

      O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. (No surprise)!

      Learning to lean on God and receive all that He has for me is a daily process. Receiving His love is also a process, but what I am learning is that the more I recognize the areas in my life that need work He heals me and helps me along as long as I diligently seek Him out. I am pruned daily of behaviors, words, and actions. God’s grace is sufficient and ever present.

    • To Murphygirl, we all miss the mark, daily, remember God loves us no matter what, all we have to do is repent, and stay in touch with Him. Prayer is powerful….

      Prov 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding: In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths….

  64. I really thought I have been a pretty confident person but after reading chapters 1 and 2, I am finding that I am good at pretending and not letting people see who I am or how I really feel. What I am realizing that I do not even let God in or feel He can help. I acknowledge that God is helping everyone around me but I don’t realize all the wonderful things He does for me or can do for me if I would rely on Him. I need to get real with God, myself, and eventually other people about where I am and how I got there. I need to stop pretending everything is alright. I especially liked the the part about looking for places in my heart that need to be repaired. I am looking forward to the repair process and the healing. I am glad I decided to do the study.

  65. I didn’t have a father growing up until my mother remarried when I was in 7th grade. I always longed for a father figure in my life. I always tried to be perfect because I feel that is what was expected of me growing up, nothing I did was ever good enough. Just within the last 4 years I’ve had those feelings that “I’m not worth staying for” especially in my recent relationship. I went to the point with him, telling him that he deserved better & actually picking out women who I thought he would be happier with, now that is absolutely ridiculious, if I would have just realized that even though I may not be enough for others in this world that I am truly enough in God’s eyes and that’s all that should matter. I was made in His likeness & image & I’ve been told that God doesn’t make junk, that is so true. I have been isolating myself lately because of my feelings toward myself because it’s hurting others to hear me say hurtful things about myself. Unfortunately I don’t try to keep it hidden & a lot of times I wish I would. I’ve always felt that if I was just this way, or dressed this way, or acted this way, that whoever it was would love me & stay. But I shouldn’t have to change myself to please others, I only need to change for me & become & realize the beautiful woman that God truly made me to be. I can relate to the sentence “When we come home to an empty house and wonder why we don’t have a family”. My daughter recently moved out in January & now I’m left with the empty nest syndrome. I used to be known as Mom, I’m still Mom but she doesn’t need me as much anymore, which is very hard to accept. She has a wonderful young man in her life now & treats her the way she deserves to be treated & I’m very blessed & proud to have her as my daughter, she is absolutely beautiful, not just in my eyes, but God’s eyes as well.
    Even though God knows my heart & my desires for my life, I still need to take the time to sit down & talk to Him about everything, that’s what developing my relationship with Him is all about, talking with Him daily, reading from His word daily. I want to have the thirst of my soul quenched/satisfied. I feel like “Sam” in Chapter two (2) a lot of times. If Jesus asked me to go call my husband, I would have the same response, “I have no husband” and was with a man who wouldn’t commit. How difficult that is for me to say & accept. I too feel abandoned & rejected & alone many times. I know I will not feel this way anymore when I truly develop the relationship that I need to have with God. He will never leave nor forsake me ever 🙂

    • Jennyp1973 says:

      Julie…I too longed for a father. My father abandoned me at a young age…my parents were 16&17 when I was born. For 38 years I fought feelings of rejection, abandonment, broken trust, unworthy, unloved, need to please. Only last year did I decide to surrender to the Lord to meet my needs…I dug deep to heal past hurts…surrounded myself w/ safe loving authentic friends…used resources suggested by my Christian therapist…surrendered & embraced the love my husband ha always genuinely showed I just didn’t trust it…it wouldn’t last he would leave.

      You made a comment about ‘shouldn’t have to change to please others…and letting your hurt show when you feel you should hide it’. Our society has trouble embracing ‘brokenness’…it’s not that you’re weak…it’s not that you’re imperfect…you are exactly as He designed you to be made in His image. It took me 38 years to find ‘safe authentic genuine friends’ to lift me up, fill my emotional tank, encourage me to remember I am His child and how much He loves me. We text, call, email, chat over running…everything is on the table…if I am feeling anxious over work…I text them for prayers & why…they immediately text back. It relaxes your heart & soul to surround yourself w/ these select loved friends. I have 3 safe friends I regularly confide & plus my husband. 13 years of marriage I am authentic w/ my husband now!

      God is the mighty counselor & healer…I thought I was a mistake & not worthy enough for my father to stay in my life. The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart one time in deep prayer & worship & reminded me ‘He was rejected too…and He has had me in His arms my whole life’.

      Lord I ask You to send the Holy Spirit to Julie to lean in close and whisper in her heart who she belongs to. Help her to have confidence that she is perfect as Your beloved child. Let her have a spiritual heart to recognize the safe friends that will embrace her and all her brokenness…the friends that You have already picked out for her and we are confident You will send. Let her heart recognize that Your love is enough…Your grace is sufficient…that You are the only one who can fill her ‘well’. Let her feel Your loving arms. In His sweet name I pray. Amen!

  66. nancy kimball says:

    The video is amazing and having read both chapters and listening to the video I have been reopened and reborn again by it. I am a nurse of 38 yrs and being the middle child I had to go to church every day. I married a Catholic man who really taught me the significance of the Lord. He went through major issues and one of these was he was sent back by the Lord to take care of me. He had a broken back and had 7 back surgeries for staph- he had a vision and saw the white light and was sent back to take care of me. We had not even gotten married. I took care of him for 17 yrs as a married couple and lost him about 3 yrs ago. He had 3 major open heart surgeries for an aneurysm of the aorta and he had 3 strokes in between the surgeries only to be locked in — a veggie on life support. I knew his wishes and had to make a decision to let him go. I knew he did not want to live like that. I have lost him, my home, my house and my job because of financial issues and have had to have back surgery — the surgery was in Nov 2012– I have been reborn and have had my surgery and have a new life. I used to fall over 40 times and could not feel my feet. Being a nurse and pulling on patients hurt my L4-L5– come to find out they were pinching my sciatic nerve. I have praised the Lord ever since and I am well and walking now with no problems I have faith in the Lord and know he is with me and he comes to me by letting me know with the healing ability he has given to me through my hands. I pray and meditate every day and I am taking 2 on line bible study classes as I speak. I am enjoying the study Renee and have learned to trust in the Lord and know he is always with me and is carrying me as I go down the path to learning. I have been able to help people over the phone as well as person to person.
    I have been reborn and I have asked for forgiveness. I Know I have sinned and I hope he will accept me as I am which is more than my father used to do as I was growing up as a child. I always got blamed for things that I did not do and I was never smart like my sister who was a straight A student and I had to struggle. I became a nurse and I am glad I chose the path I did. I have been able to help people and I believe in giving rather than getting. Praise the Lord and when I lost my home I gave it all to a fund to help others out who had nothing. The video is above and beyond what I thought it would be and I am so glad to be in the class and have learned a great deal by reading the book so far. I am here if anyone wants to contact me or email me. I praise the Lord and if I can help any one let me know. Email nancykimballrn@gmail.com.
    Thanks Renee for letting me be in the class. It is great.

    • He loves us and accepts us right where we are! Praising Him! And he loves us so much that He doesn’t want to leave us! He wants us as close to His heart as we can get!

      Love His unconditional love for us!

    • Thank you, Nancy, for sharing your heart with us! May you continue to grow up into Jesus in every way!

  67. Malinda Barbee says:

    I have really enjoyed reading Chapters 1 and 2. I had actually bought this book a while back with all intentions to do this book study, and I did not do it. So I am very thankful I am getting the oppurtunity to do it again. The words that you have written in the 2 chapters, seem to go hand in hand with the thoughts that I have. I struggle so much with feeling like I am not as good as others, and the feeling of self-worth. I know that Jesus loves me and does not want me to believe the lies that get into my head. It is my prayer that doing this study will help me to have a closer walk with my Lord, and that I can have the confidence that he wants me to have. Thank you for writing this book and taking the time to have this study.

  68. Georgia says:

    When reading that verse it makes me excited to know that I have such a loving God on my side, a God that has had plans for me all along. It excites me but also makes me nervous because I don’t want to disappoint Him!!

  69. He knows my name , hears me when I call ….. Reminds me of that song . I know he loves me .

    It’s all yours. All your life, no one will be able to hold out against you. In the same way I was with Moses, I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you. Strength! Courage! You are going to lead this people to inherit the land that I promised to give their ancestors. Give it everything you have, heart and soul. Make sure you carry out The Revelation that Moses commanded you, every bit of it. Don’t get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you’re going. And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed. Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.” Joshua Ch 1

    He got me !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Wow, Becky! Thank you so much for what you shared here. I laughed at your statement, “He got me!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Praise God! God bless you richly!

  70. The story of the woman at the well has always been one of my favorites — perhaps because I so identified with her. One of my favorite historical fiction novels is “Journey to the Well: A Novel” by Diana Wallis Taylor. GREAT story!

    One of my first memories of God was from a backyard Bible study done at a neighbor’s house. What I got from the one day I attended was that my heart was black and God was austere and foreboding (hence the only one day’s attendance). LOL! Luckily He prevailed … oh where would I be if He didn’t pursue like He did?!

    I think it’s easy for us to think we’re the only ones … we’re prideful even in our shortcomings, aren’t we? I always go back to the Scripture, “there’s nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). If I’m feeling it, someone else has felt it before me.

    I’m so grateful that Jesus is willing to meet us at the most opportune places. And that we’re fully equipped to give Him what He asks for. That really struck me … that not only did He meet “Sam” in a spot where He would have her to Himself, but He only asked of her what she could give. A simple, life-changing request. A drink of water. This is *so* comforting and reassuring to me — the realization that I am *perfectly* equipped to give Him what He asks of me. If that little tidbit doesn’t chase away shadows of doubt, I don’t know what can! 🙂

  71. Tammy B says:

    To be loved …. so grateful to God.

  72. I never knew the word “know” actually had a definition. But when i read what it meant it opened my heart to what God has been doing. I always saught for anyone,someone to just know me,accept me,love me, amd forgive me. I even placed all those requirements on my husband. But to know that God knew me in the womb,before i made first wrong choice he loved me enough to spark a conversation and make all my wrongs right. To say I dont have to be perfect and he will keep an open relationship with me. Im grateful.

    • Maria – Thank you for your post. I to have feelings like yours. I am finally beginning to open my own eyes to the fact that I have been seeking the approval of people for years…the WRONG people. The person that I needed to be focused on was God..and He has always been there for me. God bless you!

  73. Wow!! I listened & watched the video twice … and will be going back to watch it again after I am done. I personally carry so much guilt and doubt with me on a daily basis that sometimes it overcomes me. To have the knowledge that God loves me and KNOWS me almost overwhelms me. I have sought the acceptence of people in all the wrong ways in my life…and this book is teaching me that I no longer need to seek that acceptance..that God loves me. There is no other love like his. I struggle from day to day with family who does not understand my desire to get to know God on a personal level..they do not understand my desire to be in His Word…I am learning that I do not have to seek the approval of others..they cannot give me the unconditional love that God gives me on a daily basis.

  74. This may sound crazy but this made me feel less alone/more alone at the same time. The video and chapter 2 helped me see God’s work in progress (me) isn’t such a bad thing…. lol…. The aloneness comes from me wanting to have a person or core group of people for us to just be real, support, love and just be……

  75. Wow. I went into this expecting that I would ‘grow in Christ’. Typical, right? But I see a little bit of a twist in my expectation. I see that I may become better equipped to deal with my singleness…and that my heart would be better prepared to greet my Boaz…but definitely not in a way I would have expected. I have spent much of the past 3 years feeling that I don’t measure up….that I will never be good enough for a man in the church, the kind of man that I long for. I know that I am a daughter of the King, I know that He pursues my heart. But what I didn’t realize was that my focus had shifted to the members of my church. I didn’t realize that I’ve spent too much time every sunday morning feeling ‘the scorching pain of rejection and judgement’. Oh the woman at the well…how alone she must have felt on her journey. As a single mother and as a woman whose husband walked out on the marriage without a second thought, I have spent countless days and nights feeling alone…and also feeling that I was a second-class christian compared to others in my church. And yet, every sunday I hear myself say “I’m fine…we’re doing great!”. This chapter has been an eye-opener for sure. Excited for the great things He has in store throughout this journey!

  76. “You can’t be worth much if your own dad leaves you!” Says the little voice in my head. And while my brain knows it didn’t have anything to do with me, my heart and soul have always felt inadequate. I am afraid that I have transferred my experience with a leaving father into my relationship with God my father. It is hard for me to truly believe that God could possibly love me knowing me as he does. Chapter 2 has enlightened me to see that “The only way we’ll have a confident heart is if we move beyond knowing about God to knowing and relying on Him—to depending on His Word with our whole heart, mind, and soul.”

    • Cindy,

      What til you get to Chapter 5! God is going to reveal so much more of Himself to you along the way! Love how Renee calls it moving God’s grace from your head to your heart!

      Praying for you.
      Donna

    • Dee Dee says:

      I’m so happy and excited that you signed up for this study!

    • Jennyp1973 says:

      Cindy…I too was abandoned & rejected by my father…same voices! Your comment about ‘fear you transferred the experience of your leaving father to God your father’…I have felt that too!

      I will use your words slightly different…’I will not compare my leaving father to my loving father.’ That is very healing for me to see it like that! Thank you!

  77. “You don’t have to pretend things are fine when they aren’t.” I can honestly admit that at the end of this chapter, tears fell down my face. I realized that I have said the words “I’m fine” more than ever in the past year. After a painful end to a relationship, I questioned why God would bring me such pain; why he would take away a person that provided me with so much love and joy and make me feel as though I was nothing. I would often say I’m fine and then run to a place and cry. I was a complete and utter wreck. And it was because I was not truly understanding that God works all things for the better. God wanted me closer to Him and in a relationship with Him. I would have never got to this point had I gone on with the same frame of mind as I was in during that relationship. I wanted God to be that magic genie; I wanted the marriage and the kids and the house with the white fence. I wanted all of that from Him when I did not really know him. I have come to the point now where I talk to God many times a day and EVERY day. I bring him every worry, fear, dread, hope, etc. I am working on a relationship with Him where I can let my guard down. A relationship where I don’t need to worry that I am constantly a failure…because God’s love is perfect, I don’t have to be!

  78. WOW!!! I hadn’t read chapter 2 until today and know God has put me in the right place at the right time!!! I would have to say the whole video resonates with me and I would have to type the whole chapter out cause it all resonated with me as well. I had not read your story before Renee and a lot of the same feelings you had i too had. My mom and dad separated when i was 4 and i to felt all the same things you mentioned. I have been married twice and Sam truly knows how i feel and her story resonated with me. I had no idea that what i was going to read to night would help me the way it has but God did and for this I am thankful!!! I can feel the confidence building already!!!

  79. Julianya says:

    The video – what a surprise. She listed off every insecurity I felt like a deer in the headlights, then just as quickly I was exalted in the fact the God KNOWS me. Absolutely wonderful!!

  80. Patricia says:

    The woman at the well has got to be my favourite story in the bible, when I read it I think of myself, meeting Jesus, with all my baggage I have, I am accepted, loved, forgiven, and come face to face, with the person who knows everything about me, and still loves. I believe every woman wants to be loved, accepted, be completely real, I can find that with Jesus.

  81. What a great lesson…As many have mentioned, I too was raised in a church where God was big and out of reach. Now as an adult, as well as little by little, God is becoming personable and caring in my eyes. This chapter really spells it out: God knows us through and through. It is a difficult concept to realize and I find myself “thinking” too much. The thing is, no one can explain His love and acceptance more than He can. I have much to learn.

  82. Yvonne Whetzel says:

    The video portrayed so well the fact that God can take all the bad feeling of not being loved and accepted away. As we learn by daily walking in the light of His love, we can learn to love others and share Christ’s love for them.
    I am 73 years old and have walked the walk of doubt and not feeling I could ever measure up. But, I can truly say, as I look back, I can see how God loved me, guided me even when I had little knowledge of His desire to be personally involved in every facet of my life. As time goes on, I just try to talk to Him as I think a child would and know He will be with me. He has known me from the minute I was conceived and I look forward to the day when I can live eternally in His presence. In the meantime, I am still learning how much He loves me and every person on the face of this earth. I’ve stopped worrying so much about what others think of me and just strive to daily walk and talk with Him.

  83. At first I was thinking of other women who I thought would benefit from hearing this, then I started to doubt myself, thinking no, they won’t listen, they’ll reject me call me weird, think I’m stupid or worse. Suddenly, I thought WHO CARES WHAT THEY THINK, THIS IS FROM GOD TO ME, I’m the one who wants to change! I’m the one who God sought out specifically WOW! I am the samaritan woman! It’s my turn to talk with Jesus, not all the other people around me with all of their drama…..tears are falling from eyes right now. Thank-you, Lord, thank-you.

    • Oh Reene, let the tears flow. This is your time sweet friend. He wants to be there for you and speak to you through this study. Sometimes it’s hard to let Him b/c we are more comfortable helping others – but this time, let it be your time with Him. 🙂

  84. Chapter 2 got a little more personal for me that the first chapter. When you asked “If you were sitting with Jesus, what would he want to talk to you about?” You pinned me perfectly when you said “Your heart needs to be set free from pretending and perfectionism. Are you longing for others approval?” That’s me. I measure my life, my marriage, my parenting, on what others perceive me as. I pretend a lot and it’s exhausting to me. I KNOW I need to measure my life on God’s standards, but I struggle with that.

    Also the reminder that a “personal relationship with God sets us free to be all we were created to be” I realized after 30 years of being a Christian I really don’t have a relationship with God. I don’t know HOW to have a relationship. I know I’m saved and pray that this will be the beginning of my relationship.

    • Your last paragraph sums up exactly how I feel!

    • This journey will be the beginning of a very sweet, tender and personal relationship with Jesus if you will do just what you are doing. Read, soak in the truths, answer the questions and let Him show you how much He loves you and what you need to grow closer to Him. Praying for you!

    • Dee Dee says:

      Perfectionism is my ball & chain. It keeps me from trying because I fear failure so badly. This part of chapter 2 struck me so much I had to write down the word ‘perfectionism’ in my journal as a reminder that it creates doubt and limits my opportunity to really live life fully.

  85. I was really blown away by something revealed to me in the questions at the end of the chapter. As I read and prayed through question 6, where you suggest we ask God to speak through Sam’s story, and show us things in our hearts that need repair, nothing happened. I had NO sense of God revealing anything to me, and without a moments hesitation, I felt totally inadequate. Surely most of the women reading this study will receive some revelation. What’s wrong with me that I don’t?
    And then it hit me – that IS my revelation! Without thought, subtlety and insidiously, I knee jerk to the conclusion that I’m inadequate for some reason. How often does it happen and I don’t even realize it? It’s so much a part of who I am that I don’t even notice it. Thanks for being used by God to bring clarity, and hopefully over time, I can renew my mind with truth!

    • I know what you mean. It’s like you get used to being inadequate that it becomes your identity almost. I think we can become addicted to being rescued by God even, and so we will go through a cycle of “falling” so that we can relive the deliverance. I don’t think that this is something that we do knowingly, but I do think that a lot of us do it..and when we don’t receive that “deliverance” then we start to question ourselves and then Him.

    • Wow, I love what you are learning about yourself and how He revealed that default thought process to you. That is HIM showing you the empty place He wants to fill. We are all inadequate in some way or another but He wants to fill in our gaps with His grace and patience and show us how to be nice to ourselves and love ourselves just as we are instead of trying to live up the world’s standards of perfection and performance -even in the church.

      THank you for sharing. Love the honesty of our group!

  86. I have spent most of my life being “fine.” As the oldest sibling, a lot was expected of me, and to this day I fear disappointing those that rely on me. So instead of wanting to be known, I withdraw and hide, myself and my failures. Like Renee says, I have believed in Him for a long time, but I have not completely BELIEVED Him. I feel terrible that my faith constantly fails me, that I cannot take that leap confidently knowing He is there for me. That is what I hope to accomplish, to take full possession of His inheritance for me. He knows everything and loves me anyway, I should not worry about anything else!

  87. Stephanie says:

    One thing I read but cant believe for me is that “He is there waiting for us in the midst of our imperfect lives, when our pain and failures confirm our self doubts.” What is so good about me that He wants to wait for me. There are far more women out here that need Jesus than I do. doesn’t it waste His time?

    • Jennyp1973 says:

      He would be wasting time on Himself because You were made in His image for Him to love.

      His time is infinite so He will wait for you…you’re thinking w/ a human heart not His heart…I do that too.

      You are one of the women who needs Him…I need Him…we all need Him.

      You are so good as Stephanie…that’s enough.

      So, NO, you are not a waste of time to pursue…and, Yes, He will wait for you…until he end of time.

  88. Stephanie,

    He is so waiting for you just as you are! It’s in our weaknesses that He is made strong. He loves you like crazy. So much that He sent His son to take your messes (sins) and carry them to the cross for you. He loves like no other and you were made to be in a relationship with Him. He loves you and loves you and loves you …imperfections, messes, doubts, etc. He loves you just like you are.

    He wants you to come to Him just as you are. And you can do that by praying the prayer at the bottom of page 44 in A Confident Heart accepting Jesus as Lord of your life. If you have any questions or need help with the prayer and understanding, please contact Melissa Taylor at the Proverbs 31 office at 1-877-731-4663 and she will talk you through it and pray with you.

    And I will be praying for you.

    Donna

  89. Jane Hogan says:

    Since I am going through divorce, I am having doubts on how I feel that I have failed my loving Father in heaven. It was a violent marriage filled with verbl & mental abuse and constant negative comments about m children from my past mrriage. I really tried to do everything to keep the marriage together but it failed. I was always praying but also found myseld doubting that God would answer me. Never having a loving earthly father has been a big part of my having difficulty accepting that God love me no matter what.

    • I’ll pray for you – you’ve shown great courage in walking by faith and not by sight. God wants more for you and your babies than pain and fear.

    • Stephanie says:

      Jane,
      I am fighting a similar battle right now. I am not in the process of divorce, but I am living with constant negative comments about my children from my past marriage, 2 of which suffer from mental illness. Your words just tug at my heart as I also experience a lot of self doubt. Know that I will be praying for you this morning, specifically that God will fill your heart with His peace and speak to you in such a way that erases your doubts.

      • Im going also going through a similar situation. My husband has a mental illness and is pursuing a divorce. I have fought tooth and nail for my marriage. Begged, pleaded, cried, yelled to help save it but he still says we now have nothing in common and he never loved me just thought it was the right thing to do at the time. Im broken over this. Because i have associated my worth with this relationship instead of who I am in Christ, Ive been a basketcase. I have a hard time seperating the two things: my divorce and then the self esteem issues. It is all running together.
        This study came at the right time for me. I feel Iike God is calling me to tackle these weaknesses and move me forward. Im praying for restoration. Becaue I hope my husband comes back, but Im praying for his salvation also..which is more important to me. My divorce will be final next week, I hope i make it through this. Please pray.

        • Praying for you Kerri! The Lord knows what you are going through. He sees all, and loves you through it. Jesus will not turn His back on you.

  90. I grew up with always thinking I was not good enough or that to be blessed of God, I had to be perfect. Also,
    if I was to be meet a great man, I had to be perfect otherwise he would not love me and leave.

  91. Renee – in so many ways I can relate to you. I have had tears of recognition numerous times reading Chapter 2 – for the 2nd time.

    I didn’t grow up knowing about God or His Love either. My family was not “church goers”, prayers or teachers of God’s Word OR Love. My “closest encounters” as a child was through friends and neighbors who took me to “Vacation Bible School” and Sunday School. But my understanding was very limited.

    Through some very hard times in my life (three divorces, bankruptcy in which I lost a business, home and everything worth anything including any self esteem I had left – and many heartaches) I came to know of God’s Grace and Love. But, like your words on page 43 I have believed IN Him for many years now, but I STILL struggle to BELIEVE HIM COMPLETELY. I KNOW He loves me and forgives me. I was amazed the first time I read through the Bible and learned of the people He chose – people that had done far worse things than I did! That truly empowered me to believe that He COULD use me to do His Work! But yet….I STILL beat myself up for the mistakes I’ve made and the ways I think I’ve let Him and others down. I often don’t quite feel “good enough”. I feel I disappoint Him, like I do my family (and myself), that I am not “my ideal weight”.

    BUT… yet, I AM confident of this… that He who began a good work in me WILL carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus! (Phil. 1:6 exclamation mine)

    I AM SO READY TO DOUBT NO MORE!!!

  92. I grew up in a family that went to church every Sunday. Honestly, I don’t believe my parents were Christians back then ( they did give their lives to Christ in later years) going to church on Sunday was just what you did. I was in the fourth grade when I asked Jesus into my life. I was so excited! I ran home to tell my family and all they could do was tell me everything I “couldn’t ” do and how if I didn’t behave 100% all the time, He wouldn’t want me… And on and on. It was from that point on in my life that the insecurities set in and began to grow.
    I believe in my heart that God led me to this book and this online study. I believe that through this, He will break these chains and set me free! So, for me, the sentence in chapter 2 that really touched my heart was “He wants us to find lasting soul-security in knowing we are valued and pursued by the One who knows and loves us – the One who created our inmost being and wove us together in our mother’s womb “

  93. The Pastor at my church showed that video awhile back. In one word…”WOW”! The tears freely flowed!

  94. I enjoyed this chapter. The poem reminded me a lot of my first experience with God.
    I knew my life had been changed forever and wanted everyone to experience what
    He had poured out on me that day. It still brings me to tears.

  95. I have been totally amazed while reading all of the previous posts! I feel as if I have something in common with each woman and before starting this study, I honestly thought I was the only person in the world who had these same feelings of self doubt. This study is definitely a gift from God! Thank you Renee for being obedient to Him. I will be in prayer for all the women participating in this study. There are so many hurting hearts out there behind our pretty masks we charade. God Bless

  96. I’ve read chapter 2. First I have to say, you make the story more clear and uinderstandable simply by calling the Samaritan woman “Sam”. Then you spoke life to her story at the well. It was pretty amazing!

    Thank you so much for telling these things about your life. Your obedience to God will lead a lot of hurting people to their healing. (If you talk about the hurt, the enemy doesn’t have as much to hold over of our heads. Expose the secrets.). We’re all fixable with God’s help–and with people like you willing to share their story, struggles and victories.

  97. I try to order the book unfortunately there is an error before i proceed with the payment, it is because I’m not within Canada/US country ? Any other way that i can purchase the book ? I really want to have one copy but I do not know how. Please advise. GOD BLESS 🙂

  98. All of chapter 2 was great. she captured how I was feeling, and I thought I was alone. I pretend to be ok, bc I don’t want ppl to get close and see my cracks and flaws. I have been pretending everything is fine for so long and wearing a mask I don’t know what is real about me sometimes. I don’t feel I’m worth the love. How can I get to know God if I doubt He loves me and he wants to know me?

    • I KNOW THE FEELING ABOUT LETTING PEOPLE GET CLOSE TO ME, TRYING NOT TO WEAR MY MASK AS MUCH, BUT I WONDER TRULY TOO, WHO I AM, IT SEEMS LIKE I’VE LIVED SO LONG AS A FAKE, BUT ONE THING I HAVE GRASPED IS THAT HE DOES LOVE ME, FLAWS AND ALL, KEEP READING YOUR BIBLE, GO TO A BIBLE STUDY IF POSSIBLE, WATCH PASTOR D. JERIMIAH ON TV, HIS SHOW HAS REALLY HELPED ME, HANG IN THERE GOD IS CREATING A new THING IN YOU! PRAYING FOR EVERYONE ON HERE!

  99. Leslie B says:

    Wow this is my first study of this kind! And my insecurities kicked in on the first day, what do I post? will it be as awe inspiring as those who have posted before me? Can I keep up with reading all the posts? All the questions and self doubt. But then I re-read out verse He knew me before I was formed …He knows me!

    • Leslie, I am so excited that you made the decision to join this study. God has brought you here for a reason. I am certain that this journey will take you deeper into your relationship with God. I pray that He will grant you strength as you work through this study. Remember, do not let the enemy get a grip on you with thoughts of self-doubt and insecurity, god has created you for so much more.

  100. For me, I have been abandoned by everyone in my life and have a hard time with the idea that it will change. I never knew the love of a natural father (although he was alive) and when my Mom died all I ever heard was “What will we do with her.” Not a good feeling~ There’s more but basically I find it hard to believe that “family”
    can be like that and yet looking beyond those things and forgiving them all I just need to accept me but this book is already in only 2 chapters showing me a different way of seeing what I need to see so I can believe that God really does love me all the time. Thank you for letting God show you so you could show others.

  101. Wow, what a chapter. The part that stuck with me, among many others, was “We’re convinced if anyone found out who we really are they wouldn’t let us into church.” So true for me – in fact, I’ve nearly stopped going because of all my insecurities as a “Christian woman.” (Only one child, I don’t homeschool, I *love* my work-outside-the-home, etc.) But so much of this chapter rang true! I was brought up that women need to ‘earn it’, that men are the only ones who will, and should, receive unconditional approval, no matter what. It’s something I’ve struggled with a lot – my schedule, and the pressure I put on myself, cause my husband worry and pain – and I hope this study will allow me to let Jesus help me with this.

    • Staci F says:

      Evelyn…try being a Christian woman with no children. Talk about feeling like I don’t belong in church! I never had the desire in my heart for children, so I didn’t have them. It was my choice, but not because I wanted a career or a big house or a nice car or anything like that. I truly did not have the desire in my heart for a child and I didn’t think it was right to have one if I didn’t want one just because I’m a Christian and it’s “expected”. I have struggled with my “worth” in God’s eyes because of this decision for a very long time. I hope He will speak to me throught this study.

  102. Never knew an earthly father’s love, my mom tried but because of the way she was raised, being seen and not heard, I was brought up in the same way. never felt loved or wanted. to this day I’m still longing for love and acceptance. I know Jesus Loves me. it’s firmly fixed in my head. Pray with me that like the woman at the well . God will fill me to over flowing with that living water; his word ,all doubt will be erased. God bless

  103. Chapter two was powerful, and so was the video. The section on Pretending was huge for me. “I put expectations of perfection on myself because I thought if I let others see my weaknesses and insecurities they would think less of me.” (pg 32) When I read that, I thought that was so spot on as to my prior way of thinking. I have been guilty of pretending that things are OK because I don’t want people to see the “real” me or my weaknesses As I continue walk with the Lord, He is teaching me that only He can fulfill me and my weaknesses. He knows EVERYTHING about me, which is awesome and freeing. “Jesus is the only One who can meet our deepest needs to be accepted and delighted in simply because of who we are.” (pg 41) To understand this Truth and to own it, is big! I find great comfort in knowing that it is OK for others to see all of me, including my faults and weaknesses. I do not have to be “prefect”!! I am human and am a sinner, not perfect, but try my hardest to glorify Him in all I do. He knows that! He loves me so much that He fills my every need and knows everything about me. Our God is awesome!

  104. Heb 10:25
    Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

  105. I am committed to continue reading despite my “thoughts” that it will do no good. As i receive notifications of responses I am a bit overwhelmed as i wish I could respond to every lady, I wish I could touch them, look into their eyes and let them know how special they are and that they are not alone. Isn’t funny how I don’t feel or believe it for myself though. I don’t understand why and my hearts desire is to be able to do so, to be able to truly believe that what I read, what I hear is for me too but I am numb. I ask myself when will it go from my head to my heart. I agree that I have to change my thoughts first and i try, I try so hard. When those thoughts come of “not for me” I acknowledge them and refute them as in going through the motions. I can not wait until they are gone and the truth replaces them not so much in my head but in my heart. I guess I will continue trying.

    For now I continue going through the motions. Hoping that love and joy begins to infiltrate the minutes of my day and that doubt is vanished. I too, as I have read from many women, suffer from sever depression and it is a daily struggle but I guess God doesn’t let me give up because I keep moving and hoping. I just want the pain, the hurt, the tears to go away. I believe I am saved because God knows my heart but that is not enough to change the way I feel I guess. Thank you for taking the time to read, to contribute and to be an example of how powerful God is through the work he does.

  106. Patricia W says:

    My husband, kids, and parents do love me very much so I know by reading through your posts that I am very fortunate for that. And I try not to take that for granted. I feel God’s love for me every day so I can relate closely to “A personal relationship with God sets us free to be all we were created to be” on p. 43. With so much happening in life is where my doubts come in. There is so much to do every day that I often fall short of completing everything that needs to be done for God and my family. Then I will likely lie awake at night worrying about what I failed to accomplish each day. Then I’m so tired the next day that it’s difficult to catch up on what I am behind on. It’s when I ask God to release me from my worries that a warm bear hug wraps around me. It is such a calming feeling. If it’s His will, I have another day to work on life’s to-do list. I am naturally a DIY person but when I finally realize I can’t control everything, God gladly steps in to help. All we have to do is ask and He’s there for us.

  107. Michelle says:

    I haven’t read chapter 2 yet. But after reading this weeks verse I wonder what was I like before? Before this world tainted and scarred me? It is the who he created me to be but so weighed down by the hurts and regrets I am not living the way God intended me to.
    My hope and prayer is that we all can stop living under the weights and in the prisons we get trapped in and under and start living in the freedom of Christ. For Him. With Him.

  108. Staci F says:

    Some of my self-doubt comes by way of not believing that what the bible says really has anything to do with me. For example, the verse of the week, Jeremish 1:5. I have trouble believing that applies to me. The Lord is speaking to Jeremiah and it says that He knew Jeremiah before he was born and set him apart as his prophet for the nations. How do I know that applies to me, too? I guess because that is the nature of the Lord and if He did that for Jeremiah, then He must do it with all of us? Does that make any sense? Does anyone else have this issue?

    • I do that with scripture as well…tear it apart and question whether or not it is for me. The first covenant had conditions on it and was subject to specific people at specific times, but when Jesus died on that cross, it was for ALL of us, and when He rose again, it was for ALL of us. We are hidden away with Him and His new and everlasting blood covenant made all of those promises personal for us as well. I am by no means a Bible expert, but that is a simplified version of how I understand it. Anyone feel free to add on to or correct what I have said.

  109. Dear Renee,

    I already love you so very much. Thank you for opening up your life and your heart to reach out to other women. I need work in so many areas of my life that it is not even funny but atleast I care about getting there. Our son died two and a half years ago and I stopped caring about alot of things when he died.
    It is time I get back on track with living for the Lord & being what I am supposed to be to myself & to my family. I am blessed. I have a great husband and a beautiful daughter.
    I’m thrilled to be doing this bible study with you.

    I just had to say thank you so much for all you do!

    We love you~from all the lives that will be changed thanks to your love for women. God bless you sweet friend. You have a precious family. Hugs!

  110. Donna B says:

    Father God,

    I praise you and I thank you for each person that has signed up for this study. I thank you for filling them with the courage and the boldness to enter this journey towards your heart. I thank you for this online community – this safe place where each of us can share the concerns of our hearts.

    Meet each person at their point of need and cause us to be sensitive to those in the group. Cause us to minister to each other in a way that would bring you honor and glory. I pray that You would give each person a confident heart in You – in Your person. Move the gospel of Your grace from our heads to our hearts. Cause us to truly believe that without a doubt You love us like crazy – that you know us inside and out. Meet us where we are and transform us from the inside out. Fill us with Your confidence and cause us not to throw our confidence out.

    Deepen our relationship with you as we turn each page of the book and our Bibles. Cause us to lean into you when we read the difficult messages. Use those messages to transform our hearts into a heart like yours. When we doubt, when we feel insecure, when we feel like giving up, when we feel unloved, when we feel unworthy, when we feel uncard for, when we take our eyes off of you, RE-FOCUS on hearts and eyes on you. Remove the doubts. Remove the insecurities. Remove the fear. Remove the stumbling blocks that we put in the way of our belief. Help us with unbelief. Strengthen our trust in you and cause to be the extenders of your grace to ourselves and to others. Help us to forgive those who have hurt us and help us to forgive ourselves. Flood us with your grace, your love, your mercy, your kindness, your compassion, your wisdom, your discernment.

    Change our lives. Change our hearts. Cause us to lift our eyes upward towards you where our help comes from. Fill us with your confidence. Protect the hearts of those in the study. Protect their time in your Word and as they read A Confident Heart. Cause us to become the confident women that you desire. Be their source of encouragement – their source of energy – their source of courage – their source of boldness – their source of grace.

    I pray for Renee. Encourage Renee as you use the story that you have given her to minster to each of us. Direct her steps. Give her clarity of mind and speech. Protect her time in Your word. Protect her time with her family. Guard her heart and mind. Energize Renee. Cause her to lean into you for guidance and direction. Be with her family as she pours into each person during the study. Protect her family. Put a guard around her, JJ, the boys and Aster and Renee as she travels. As she finishes up her devotion, help her manage her time as you see fit and as you desire. Use her next week as she brings your truth to Kansas and Missouri. Use her message to change lifes at the retreat. Flood her with you so that she can pour herself out into those in attendance. Let your words and message flow through Renee flawlessly and transform hearts through them.

    14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

    20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21)

  111. Hi ladies! I just started this study and I am so glad I did. 🙂 I am self centered. There, I said it. I don’t know if it is a defence mechanism due to childhood issues with my father or what, but it is now affecting my marriage. I pray God will use this study to reach me and give me the confidence to change into a much better wife. I believe anything is possible with the great I Am.

    • Thank you for admitting that! SO AM I! lol. It’s not funny, but maybe nervous laughter? nlol (nervous laughter out loud :P)

      • so am i self centered, have such low self esteem it’s hard some days to do what i know i really should, look to helping others instead of thinking of ourselves & our problems, so easy to say, but do is another thing! when i want to, that’s when the doubts all come raging forward.

  112. Barbara G says:

    I have struggled with who I am for years. I love God. I yearn to be deeper in my relationship with him, but I don’t even know who I am !! If you asked me to describe who I thought I am…I couldn’t. I know God loves me BUT I don’t know what that really even means. I don’t know how to release the hurt and pain from the past. The things I’ve been told that have been done to me……I’m an adult and yet I feel like a child.

    • i know how you feel too, i know God loves me, but I can’t understand why, I want Him to reveal that to me, what He loves about me, so I can love myself too, all I see is so many hurts & flaws.

    • Rebecca says:

      Barbara I too understand how you feel. I question who I am also? In my situation, I have been talked down to and told so many times that I haven’t done this right or that right. There seems to always be a better way to do things than the way I do them. I guess that is why I wonder why God would love me. I know God loves everyone but its so hard to comprehend.
      I do believe that God is going to use Renee and this study to help us!! We must hang on and continue to run toward God but never forget………when we can’t run or even crawl to God, He will meet us where we are!

  113. PLEASE pray for me & my debilitating social anxiety & anxiety in general, it limits me so & i HOPE i would be abe to do more for the Lord if i could get this under control, how can you help any one if you’re afraid to be around people! i take meds, but you can only take so much, thanks in advance for all your prayers, am praying for all the ladies on here, that their lives too would change for the better for them. i miss out on so much of life because of this.

    • up until a couple of years ago, I couldn’t even leave my house some days. When my husband joined the military and I had to move across country, you can imagine the terror that I felt. The moving wasn’t the hardest part though; it was that I was going to have to socialize with people that I had never met before. I was scared to socialize with people that I had known my whole life at this point, so new people was not an option!!!!! I got on medication and it actually made it worse because I had an adverse reaction to it and at one point I was standing in Target and forgot who I was or where I was…shudder. I began taking Klonopin alone after that point and got off of everything else until I could touch base with reality and figure out a new plan. During that year, I THREW myself into prayer and was able to join a small group. The Klonopin did help me do this. I had never been a part of a small group before, and it completely changed my life being a part of a group of women seeking the Lord. When it was time to get off of the medication (I wanted to begin trying to get pregnant), I asked the group of women to pray with me throughout that scary process, and I had such peace during that time…I can honestly look back at that scary time and remember such sweetness from my heavenly Father carrying me with the aid of those ladies. Anyway, it has been a few years and the other day we had SEVERAL people over to our house for a get together and after they left, it just hit me….I told my husband that it has been such a slow process, that I hadn’t even realized that at some point I had stopped being afraid of people! I had just had about 30 people at my house and I actually enjoyed myself! It is an absolute miracle. You need to hear me and believe me when I tell you that God can and WILL do the same thing for you! Even if it takes a season and it feels like it’s never going to happen, TRUST HIM!!!!

      • that is so good to hear, but at this point, it looks like just a dream for me, you keep going girl! i want to thank whoever prayed for me this morning for my anxieties, i really could feel the prayer, thanks! and didn’t even have to take as much meds as i normally do. why is it so easy to pour out our hearts on here & to God, but to others it’s so difficult, sometimes i wonder if i want to get better, or is this more comfortable, but miserable at the same time.

        • That is how I feel about so many different things still, but I am telling you that I was afraid of my own shadow; literally, just a few short years ago. I still struggle with fears of all kinds, but I am realizing that God is not into instantaneous fixes for the most part. I am not saying that He doesn’t sometimes heal or fix things instantly, but typically there is a waiting and trusting period that takes place before the deliverance. It’s like childbirth. The pain gets worse and worse the closer you are to delivering. I promise you that you are not alone with this. I prayed for you this morning and will continue to pray for you. It sounds like you already had some victories today! Praise God! He did not give us that spirit of fear! It is not meant for us!

    • I have the same problem. I don’t know if its as bad as yours. I don’t take any medicine for my social anxiety. I usually just force myself into those situations until I am comfortable with the people. Like when I started the job I am currently at I didn’t even speak to anyone. I was to afraid to do that. I ate by myself. When I was in college I went to weeks without eating because I was afraid to go into the cafeteria to eat. Eventually hunger won out and I had to force myself into the cafeteria. Its very paralyzing to feel that way. Its something I have to work on every day and I will have to do it again hopefully soon. I just lost my job so I will have to look for a new job but I am already fearing the interview process and even having to get to know a whole new group of people. I will continue to pray for you and I know you will eventually overcome this anxiety.

  114. Wow…that truly hit home. I needed the reassurance that God is with me and loves me because He knows me and He knows me therefore He loves me. I am somebody to HIM. Thanks God!

  115. I am so thankful for this group ~ the sharing, replies, uplifting responses and encouragement are awesome!
    I am thankful to be here!

    “Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10 is helping me through my severe anxieties, fears, worries and doubts.

    “Be still and know that I am God” ~ pretty much says it all right there!

  116. I don’t usually journal. I used to when I was in high school but my parents read it and since then I have not trusted that what I write would be for my eyes (and God’s) only. So I bought a journal and have been using it for this study. I have been writing verse, thoughts, and points that have stood out to me from each chapter in black and my own personal thoughts and feelings in pink. After Chapter one, I wrote (in pink) that I had messed up. I wrote that I am trying not to beat myself up for messing up but it’s so hard. Then I read chapter two and it hit home right away. Here are some of the many quotes I wrote down…

    “‘You’re not worth staying for’ was a lie, but it became the truth through which I filtered my worth in all of my relationships.”
    ****This is a big one for me. People have left my life so many times without any explanation at all. Thankfully my parents were not the case. But when I was 15 a big sister figure left. When I was 21 my ex-boyfriend left out of the blue without explanation (until a year later when I found out her had gotten a girl pregnant, while we were dating, with twins). And then again when I was 22, my best friend who had been there through the whole ex-boyfriend situation, did the same thing and disappeared without any explanation. This quote pretty much it the nail on the head.****

    “Maybe you know God loves you and forgives you, but you still beat yourself up for mistakes you’ve made and the ways you think you’ve let Him and others down.”

    “We are worthy of His love because he CHOSE to give it to us.”

    Knowing that He chose me makes all the difference. It’s hard for me to believe that someone would chose to spend time with me and know me but knowing that He does….it means so much.

  117. Renee,
    I can’t tell you how much this chapter touched my heart. My dad also left when I was young and I felt the same way that you did- that there had to be something wrong with me that he could leave me. Not only did his leaving effect my relationships with people, but also my relationship with God. Although I was saved at a young age, I began to think that if my earthy father could leave then so could my heavenly one. Thus began many years of trying to earn love from both people and God. I hid behind a facade of the good girl who secretly felt that she would never measure up, would never really be loved, and that everyone leaves eventually. It was a long journey through that place. It was only when I really began to learn more about God and deepen my relationship with Him, that all of that changed. Don’t get me wrong…I wasn’t cured of it LOL. Every once in awhile that little girl pops her head out, but it is easier to love on her today.

  118. Same story here, and there is a measure in comfort just in knowing that this response is one shared by others with similar stories and not just bad wiring, huh??

  119. I can’t tell you all how heart-warming your thoughts towards this study are. Reading through some of your individual comments, I can see that each of us have our own individual insecurities that we are battling with. And I for one am beginning to feel completely ‘not alone’ in this area of my life. In reviewing Chapter 2, I was quick to remember my 1st impressions of God (a large, towering, fearful, powerful being) compared to my current view (a gentle, loving, graceful God who longs for this personal connection with us.) In answering the final chapter-end question, my response: Hiding ourselves and our true feelings from God = useless. He knows our innermost thoughts and feelings. Be honest with Him. He will always love us, no matter what.

  120. I am confident that He who began a good work in me will see it through the return of Jesus!! (My paraphrasing ) this is hard to grab hold of because I have failed so many times! Today I choose to believe that Gods Word is truth and life to me, meaning that his word IS for me, not just for those around me that never fail, but for me, that God who knew me before I ever acknowledge him, and knew the paths I would take the decision I would make the pain I would cause the ugliness of my lifer, HE found me worthy enough to give his all for me, HE still chose to die for me, I am worthy of saving, of love, of a hope fulfilled life, because He declared me WORTHY, before I ever was……….

  121. Kristina A says:

    I’m doing my chapter 2 questions, and on number 5, I’m really struggling. I am nobody special. I don’t help me community, I don’t volunteer, I just work and take care of my family. I don’t have any special talents that I can use to help people. I’m just me. So why would Jesus care so much about me? I am mostly content to stay invisible. Well, maybe not, since I’m here and doing this study! But if I never do anything good, why does Jesus want to pay attention to me? Why would he waste his time like that? There are billions of other good people, innocent people, children, all over that really deserve his time more than I do! I know I am not saved by anything that I have done or will do. I just don’t get why I’m so important.

    • Kristina A says:

      Oh, and I’m not sure that I want to be known that fully.

    • He knew your worth before you were ever born, you are the only person who can be you. You are the only one who can care for your family. You have talents and abilities that you are not seeing, ask Jesus to reveal them to show them to you to help you not only recognize what the are but to help you build upon them, explore them and to trust him to apply them where he wants. Keep studying Gods word and ask God to show you through his word, why you are so important to him, and why HE DOES LOVE YOU!!
      Be blessed!

  122. In reading chapter 2 I’m reminded of something one of my daughter’s professors at college said, ‘He loves me just the way I am, but too much to leave me that way’. I repeat that to myself often.

  123. Oh, that’s good…it reminds me of a line in “Hinds’ Feet on High Places”:

    “Love is beautiful but it is also terrible- terrible in its determination to allow nothing blemished or unworthy to remain in the beloved” “When she remembered this, Much-Afraid thought with a little shiver in her heart, ‘He will never be content until He makes me what He is determined I ought to be,’ and because she was still Much-Afraid and not yet ready to change her name, she added with a pang of fear, ‘I wonder what He plans to do next, and if it will hurt very much indeed?'”

  124. The sentences that effected me are following:

    An outcast a failure a disappointment, a sinner.

    You whisper and tell me to my face what all those glances have been about

    Coming from you brings love, grace, mercy, hope and salvation

    These are taken from separate parts of the poem, but when combined I feel like they tell my story. I was thinking about the humiliation I felt when I was publicly embarrassed and criticized when I was in junior high by my best friends father. He did not do it himself, he encouraged someone else to do it. I have carried around a feeling of shame for years. I am now 33, but as an adult I realize it was not even a big deal. I felt like I was being told I was not good enough to be his daughter’s friend. I think that was my first rejection. We tried to remain friends, but I did not trust her family anymore. I felt like her father was upset when he saw me in his home. I have been shown that it was not me, but her father’s insecurities and fear that caused him to sabotage our friendship. But he is just a person, he is not God. His opinion of me does not cause it to be true. No person’s opinion of me is as important as what God says of me. For many years I have believed I am not “good enough”, I don’t “deserve” compliments, I even insult and degrade myself. I now listen to Jesus, and what He says about me. Like this poem, even when I did/do sin, the conviction from Him is not condemning, but is full of love, grace, mercy, hope and salvation.

  125. Maria G. says:

    I just jumped into this study this week so my book hasn’t arrived yet. I can’t wait to read chapter 2. The video is wonderful.
    Thank you everyone for being so vulnerable and open because it gives me permission to be the same. And I so need that. I’ve followed Christ for 40 years now and He has never failed me. However, here I am a grandmother and I still struggle daily with doubts and insecurities. I know God’s word can be depended upon, but can I really hope to gain victory over condemnation, insecurity and a general feeling that I can’t be good enough, once and for all??!!
    Thank you Renee (and everyone) for this opportunity to join with you in prayer and growth!

  126. I wish I had time to read through every comment on this thread. I just don’t, In fact, I am finding it difficult right now to find the time to even read the chapters and still haven’t read chapter 2 yet.

    I started reading the comments, though, and was struck by the conversation about salvation assurance. I too struggle SO much with that. I don’t feel close to God and don’t feel as though I have anything to offer him. I struggle with depression and an autoimmune disease and self hatred and a whole list of other things that I hate that are in my life. Last night I watched a dvd of a James macDonald series and it was on sin and repentance and he asked what was in our lives that we just hate the fact that it is there…then he said once we identify it, to ask God to help us rid our lives of that. I was so overwhelmed with my list of things that I feel that I am too far gone for even God. Yet, I love Jesus and want to do what he wants me to do. This is such a difficult place to be in and I was at least reassured that I am not the only one who feels this way.

    • No, you are not the only one who feels this way! I have struggled for decades, knowing I am saved, but doubting I am really valuable. My family has had some struggles this past year that have in a providential way pushed me further into the arms of Jesus. And it has been a work of God, and an act of obedience, but I am learning to allow God to really touch my heart, and to heal some old hurts that still have an invisible hold on me. Thank you for sharing “my thoughts” on your post.

  127. I was reading the story of “Sam” and noticed some things that I hadn’t noticed before. First of all, Jesus sent the disciples away before He addressed her. I immediately thought about all of the noise in my life that attempts to keep me from getting still and quiet before Him. It was necessary that all of that be gone before He could talk to her.
    Sam says essentially to Him, “Please give me this Living Water so that I can stop coming back to this place over and over again! I am tired”- that resonates deeply with my cry out to Him as well. I am so tired of thinking that I have been delivered from myself only to find myself in the same place again and again.
    Then, Jesus immediately pointed out the thing that she probably most wished that He would not; her deepest source of shame and pain. She quickly became legalistic and pointed to specifics having to do with worship and even kind of tried to put blame on the Jews for her situation…almost insinuating that because she couldn’t worship that maybe that’s why her life is in such shambles. I think about how people are so angry with the church and other Christians and so often use that as an excuse for why they aren’t growing in their faith or being a part of the Body of Christ. I think about all of the petty arguments and debates over doctrine…all of this serves to separate rather than unify.
    Jesus then responds by basically telling her that the real issue of worship was inward and spiritual and had nothing to do with outward rituals of any kind and that she wasn’t understanding.
    He didn’t tell her this without providing hope though. He included her in the future description of TRUE worship that was internal and spiritual. He left her with a promise of who HE was and a picture of deliverance!

  128. Erica Davidson says:

    wow! I need to reread chapter 2. That hit way to close to home for me. An amazing chapter filled with words that I needed to hear. It stung, but it needed to. I needed to be reminded of so many things. One of the many lies I, and many others, have grown to believe is “…we find ourselves in the shadows of doubt, convinced that we aren’t worth knowing or pursuing.” In the margin I wrote in big letters “I AM WORTH KNOWING, I JUST HAVE TO LET PEOPLE IN” This is huge for me. Before beginning this study I believed with my whole heart that I was not worth knowing. This is so false! I am worth knowing. We are ALL WORTH KNOWING!

    – “He is there waiting for us in the midst of our imperfect lives, when our pain and failures confirm self doubts”. In the margins I wrote that although our lives may seem on the outside imperfect, they are perfect in God’s eyes because this is HOW HE DESTINED IT. HE is the one that knows our mind, knows our soul, knows our heart, and loves us the same. If HE can love us the same after knowing all that He does, we better believe we are worth knowing!

    The major point I pulled out, which ties to the above is that to be known is to be loved. If I ever want to experience the love from people I deserve, I have to let them in. If I let them in, I have to be willing to share my life with them. If I ever expect others to love me for me, I have to let them in and see me for me. I can’t hide behind the doubts, behind the what ifs and behind my imperfections.

    I honestly wanted to underline everything in this chapter! Great words!!

    • I felt like I should underline the whole chapter too!
      In one of my counseling classes, the teacher gave this metaphor of picturing our lives as an auditorium in which we were standing in the center on a stage. She then proposed the question: “Who is in the audience? Who are you performing for?” The correct answer should ONLY be JESUS, but it rarely is, is it??
      Ever since then, my sister and I always rebuke each other with the phrase, “Audience of One!” when we hear the other one getting worked up over how others are perceiving us 🙂

      • Erica Davidson says:

        I love that metaphor! Thank you for sharing!! 🙂

        • You are so welcome! My sister’s name is Erica so I often say, “Audience of One, Erica!” 😉

          • Erica Davidson says:

            That’s awesome! I told my husband the metaphor and he loves it too. Like another poster said, we are going to be implementing it into our family as well.

      • Tina Ernst says:

        I love this! It’s so hard to explain to your kids that pleasing others is not necessary. Going to implement this in our family!

      • Gosh I needed that metaphor too!!!

        • My husband has been struggling with a difficult decision. The reason it was difficult it because he was worried about what others, our friends, would think. I asked him, “Who are you doing this for Jesus, or others?” He knew right then the answer to his delimma. I like your metaphor too!

  129. Tina Ernst says:

    I love how we are using the arts to reach others with such powerful words. I shared this video on FB for others as well. To be loved and known so deeply is what we all really desire. Unfortunately we look for it in the wrong places and with the wrong people(myself included!). How wonderful would it be to look to God to fill this need and be filled by Him?! That is what I am working on at this point in my life and feel I need most at this time in my life. I was married for 25 yrs, have 4 beautiful children and just ended a battle of a divorce that took 7yrs. I have been questioning so much and looking for acceptance in all the wrong places and ending up hurt every time. I love the fact that God knows me, my faults, my sins, my heart and He still loves me and is so patient with me as I grow and learn. Even if it seems I am growing and learning very slowly! lol It is comforting and freeing that I don’t have to pretend to be perfect or someone I’m not to please Him or for Him to love me, And I love that!!! Thank you for doing this study. I do feel God lead me to this to help me understand Him more!

  130. The video…WOW! To have her to say, ” to be loved is to be known.” hits hard and home.

    One day not too long ago, I was crying to my best friend because of my breakup with my boyfriend and one of the things I said to her was, “I feel like the Samaritian woman at the well”. One thing she pointed out to me was “Sam” left her water pot at the well, she didn’t pick her burdens back up and carry them back with her. Leave that old mess behind, she says! Simple? Well, sometimes.

  131. Sorry…two other thoughts. It is AMAZING how God will speak to you with your own words. Last week in Sunday School I said “As Christians, we are supposed to be different and some people just can’t handle it.”. Hello!

    This week, a co-worker was confiding in me because her long term boyfriend left over something stupid. She is still so heartbroken. One of the things I said to her (thank you God!) was “Boys leave, men stay.”. What an eye opener!

    While I still have periods of doubt, especially when I am alone, God is healing me. I had read”A Confident Heart” a few months ago, but this bible study is needed more because I need healing through HIM. Thank you Renee for not only writing this book, but leading this study to help us HEAL.

  132. I remember growing up and the misconception I had of my Heavenly Father. I was certain I could never keep all of the “rules” that were laid out by my church. I often viewed God as a harsh taskmaster whom I could never please, let alone have a deep personal relationship with. Therefore, I was destined to end up rejected by Him, because of my many failures. UNTIL….He revealed to my heart that I was not a step-daughter, but a daughter. I was not a slave that worked for Him, but I was a joint-heir to all He had. I no longer had to use the rear entrance into His house, but my “daughter-ship” (is that even a word?..LOL) gave me rights to walk in through the front door! I am glad He KNOWS me!!

  133. I just love reading about this but feel like as a new Christian
    ( less than 5 yrs), I need a constant reminder as I go back to my habitual ways of thinking. Self absorbed, pathetic and hopeless at times. Alot of times I am joyful and try to glorify Him as I know He is the reason. But when I am so exhausted and lonely, i get caught up in those emotions and forget Who’s I am. I am hoping this study helps me. Thanks Renee!

  134. Sarah S. says:

    The thought of God knowing everything about me is comforting but it is also shameful for me. To think that He knows EVERYTHING I have ever thought, done, said etc makes me want to crawl under a rock. I try to hide it all away but He knows. I am ashamed and I can’t seem to get past my past. I don’t know why I hold onto it. It only makes me doubt.
    Today, Lord, I am releasing my past to You. I give it to You. I give You all the ugly. I give You all the sin, all my pain, my doubt and my shame. Please fill the voids in my heart. Help me to accept Your perfect love and grace. I know that I am not worthy but You want me anyway. So, I come to You, flaws and all. Fill me with Your love and mercy. Help me to stop doubting Your love and forgiveness. Help me to accept that perfection is unattainabIe. Help me see that nothing I can do will earn or take away Your love. You won’t turn Your back on me. Help me to give up on trying to to win You over. My deeds are nothing. All You want is all of me. Here I am Lord.
    “For to be known is to be loved and to be loved is to be known”. I am relaxing in this thought today.

  135. “…but we are worth His love because He chose to give it to us.” I loved this in Ch. 2.

  136. Rose Wade says:

    After answering the questions in Chapter 1, I realized that I am a confident woman whose greatest fear is making Jesus “LORD of my life. I want to, but ….. I know this will involve “taking up my cross”. This could involve going through trials and tribulations. I know God is always with me and will not “put more on me than I can bear”. My fear is that I will fail God, and not have enough faith to get me through.

    • Rose, do not fear failing God. Because we have nothing of ourselves to offer Him, we therefore have no expectations on His end that we must fulfill. It is all, everything, Christ alone. Christ in me, Christ through me to others. Many times people give cliches that trials or tribulations come only to test us. This is not true. Sometimes He allows things to come against us to show Himself courageous and Mighty on our behalf. Sometimes it has nothing to do with ourselves, and absolutely everything to do with Him. At least in my own personal life, there have been times I went through some really difficult trials. Ones where I felt so alone that even if I had one or two to walk alongside me, truth be told it was my path alone to walk with my own feet, therefore yes of course i “felt” alone doing so… but in those moments during those specific times God showed Himself faithful to me in ways no human ever could. He was “present” in a deeper level of comfort, of guidance, of wisdom, than I’d ever been able to know otherwise. Not because I showed myself faithful to Him, because i can’t. I never could. I always needed Jesus, I still need Jesus! I DO fail Him every day. that’s WHY I need the sacrifice of the cross every day, to cover my humanity. No matter if I try in great faith and fail MY expectations, or if I don’t try at all… either way, I still need the covering of the cross. Trying or not, I am not and will never be enough on my own. What freedom to know that God knows this and loves and accepts me anyway!!
      If you think of the Israelites rescued from Egypt and brought to the wilderness… what was the purpose of the wilderness? I believe God God rescued them to get them out of Egypt, but the wilderness was to get Egypt out of THEM! The Wilderness, though scary and unfamiliar and requiring complete trust in Him wasn’t easy, but it was neccessary for them to come to know this great God again. He showed Himself faithful in providing a pillar of cloud by day (to cover from the heat of the desert) and a pillar of fire by night (to give warmth and light). They were given food everyday, and water that followed THEM, and in those 40 years their clothing never wore out. Not one sandal strap broke! Think of all of that. God so desperately desired to show them His heart, His tender care for them. That He was and is MORE than large showy miracles on their behalf. He is IN the small everyday miracles too. 400 years they had been entrapped in a slavery and didn’t know Him. He wanted them to know His heart again. And could they bring any of this to pass? No, only God could. It’s His doing and our willingness to follow Him there. So don’t fear your crosses. They are meant to show a side of Himself that you would not have the honor of seeing or knowing in any other way. It isn’t always about our failures, many times it’s about His great love. He wants you to see those depths. To know those comforts. To know intimacy.

      • Amen to all of that!!!

      • I wish there was a like button here. Thank you, for your words.

      • Rose Wade says:

        Thank you for reminding me that “we have nothing of ourselves to offer Him. I know IT IS ALL JESUS. In chapter 2 Renee says, “The only way we’ll have a confident heart is if we move beyond knowing about God to KNOWING and relying on Him – to depend on His Word with our whole heart, mind, and soul …….” I do not want to be like the rich young ruler who was not willing to give up everything and have eternal life. (Mark 10:17-22) I am saved, but I have not given up everything Jesus told the rich man to. I believe we do have something to offer God, that is to put God above everyone and everything we love. Just like Job did. The trials he faced were not from God, but Satan. Job endured to the end. My fear is that I won’t be able to “endure” like Job did.

        I believe this is God’s perfect will for all who have been saved. I believe we do have something we can offer Him – ourselves “completely”. Jesus expected this from the rich man and from His disciples. Why shouldn’t he expect it from us, too?

        Rose Ann

  137. Stephanie says:

    This chapter was really a revelation for me. I’ve always felt like my quiet time with God was for me to get to know God better, and for Him to share with me His desire for my life – for the way my day should go.

    I’ve never thought about God knowing me. I mean, I know the verses that say He knows me, but I never thought about it on such a level as my desires, hopes, dreams.

    Maybe I also saw it as God rewarding me. When I was good, I received one of those dreams that I had prayed for, but when I failed I felt God would leave me until I fixed myself.

    Now I know that isn’t true. The next step is getting it from my head to my heart.

    • I hear you! I never thought about that either. Just like the idea of being pursued. I also thought like you that I was rewarded when I was good, but left on my own or even punished when I messed up.

      My head knows the right thing but getting my heart to believe it and accept it is tough.

  138. I really need this book. I have been dealing with this issue my whole life. My entire thought process about myself is constantly negative. I am really dealing with this issue right now. I am a landman.Basically I research mineral interest in property for oil companies. I have a broker who looks for jobs for us. Today we were told the company we are working for is letting us go. I cannot help but wonder what I could have done to have kept my job. I feel as if the loss of this job is because I have done a bad job in some way. One of the landmen for the company we are working for emailed me today. We were already in contact with one another about some issues with a file I have been working on. He complimented me and told me I would make a good landman in the future because I was diligent. But it really doesn’t comfort me to know that he thinks these things. I often pray that God give me his eyes so I can see what he sees. Because I feel my problem might be solved with seeing what he sees in me because obviously my vision is messed up.

    • Kelly,

      I know what you are talking about. I used to be my worst critic, I probably still am but God and I are working on it. My husband and I were just talking about this today. Whenever someone compliments me, or tells me I am doing something well, or even thank you. I follow up their comment with a “yeah, but….” I feel/felt like I don’t deserve their compliment, or they wouldn’t say that if they knew this or that, or don’t thank me yet I might still screw it up. I realized that God was trying to open my eyes to my self rejection. I reject others because I have been rejecting myself. God loves me, and He loves you. I pray that God will show us how He sees us, and will help us believe Him.

      Trying to refuse to follow up compliments and love with a “yeah, but…”.

  139. The phrase “Maybe you are like me; you have believed in Him for years – but you haven’t really believed him completely. At least you don’t always feel like His promises are true for you…….” That paragraph really hit me between the eyes. I lead small groups, work in ministry, yet struggle with perfectionism. I tell others they don’t have to be perfect and about the love of God… BUT, I don’t always apply it to my life. I don’t let down around people, I test their reaction with small things, to see if they are interested, but… then back off if I THINK they don’t really want to know. But to be reminded that God knows and God cares and that it DOES relate to me. It’s something I need to continue to let sink in… in a refreshed and new way. This was a good chapter for me and I look forward to what the next ones will be. Thank you!

  140. kellytg says:

    I think this was a retelling of the woman at the well. It was powerful! I loved these phrases: “You tell me about Me.” “To be known is to be loved and to be loved is to be known.” It is awesome that God knows everything about us. We can go to him, and He already knows what it is we are going to talk about. Noone else in our life has this ability, and noone else in our life cares as much as He does! What a great and loving God we have 🙂

  141. Hello everyone

    When I read a confident heart, I really feel like this book is speaking to my heart. yet once in a while, I would have that doubt that change is not possible but I am holding firm to the Bible verses that were given and the ones I have collected for myself to encourage me. Thank you Renee and everyone involved for this book and the sacrifices that were made to make this happen.

    I also wanted to share something that I heard on TV. This is from another author and i do not remember her name. She said that one of the things that she did to heal her was to picture Jesus, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit around her affirming who she is with scripture of course. She did this a few times a day and for about 5 minutes each time. I have tried it, not as often but it does help to visually imagine the God heads assuring you that He KNOWS you.

    God Bless everyone.

  142. Rosemary says:

    I am that person who when asked how it is going, my reply is always “Fine.” This hit home for me because I have a husband who is an alcoholic and have been through a lot. People and friends tell me they do not know how I do it. I was told once I was like a “Superwoman”. So I felt I had to live up to that image of what everyone had have me. I felt I could not let them down, otherwise; it would destroy my “martyr” image. Then it lead to “hiding and isolation”. I stopped going to church events or other events and then eventually retreated into my own shell, like a turtle. I stopped praying as much and began watching T.V. and/or playing games in order not feel or think.

    When I read Frazzled, Irritated, Neurotic, Exhausted (acronym for Fine), I thought how true this is! That was exactly how I felt and still feel that way at times.

    Then there was, “it’s easy to approach God like a magic genie, hoping He’ll grant our wishes.” Man how true that is!! I would approach God like that. Just let me rub the magic lamp for the genie to come out to fix everything and how I think it should be fixed. I am so thankful God is so forgiving and full of mercy.

    The most amazing part is when I read, “He did leave Himself as a love letter nailed to the cross of Calvary, declaring the depth of His perfect love.” What an amazing way of God showing His unconditional love for me!!! I do not deserve it, yet; He still loves me!!!

    Renee, I am so thankful you were obedient to God’s will and wrote this book. He knew how many women would be effected through your ministry. I am so excited to go “beyond knowing about God to knowing and relying on Him!”

  143. I reaally want to join in on this bible study but do not have any extra funds to buy the book right now. Is there anyone who could help me out to get a book? I would truly appreciate it.
    My email is mabi0102@gmail.com
    Thanks and God Bless, your sister in Christ
    Billie

  144. “yada” a deep emotional experience; a bonding between two people when one truly feels the emotions of the other. I desire that closeness with God.

  145. Rebecca says:

    God’s love is perfect therefore I don’t have to be! I have realized through this chapter that although I am not perfect, this doesn’t mean that I’m a failure. That is how I’ve felt for years. If I wasn’t the best mother or Pastors wife or the perfect anything then I was a failure. Maybe some in the world see me as a failure but I’m so thankful that God doesn’t!
    My life on this earth is filled with struggles of many kinds and some days I go into the pit and can’t see the light. However, God always sends someone with a kind word, or speaks to me through His word and pulls me out to take on another day!
    I love my God and look forward to truly believing Him and His promises!!!
    Thank you Renee for this study and I’m praying that God will continue to bless you spiritually beyond measure.

  146. Jennyp1973 says:

    Many concepts resonated w/ me in this chapter. One I keep going back to is ‘have you let the gospel of God’s grace move from your head to your heart, so that you know without a doubt you are known intimately deeply loved by God?’

    I feel the ‘moving from head to heart’ will be a daily process…maybe minute by minute at times. The closer I become to Jesus, the deeper entrenched I will be in His great love for me…the enemy will try to creep in the weakness…or in the strength attack making me doubt. I have too many resources accessible to me to remind me Who I belong to and the truths I need to engrave on my heart. I use ‘safe friends’, my Bible for Hope…love it…many daily/weekly devotionals, podcasts, church, prayer, sitting at foot of cross, books, setting reminders on my iphone w/ truths or scripture throughout the day, notes on my fridge when I stand at the sink, worship music. Ladies…I am open for more ideas on how to remind myself of His love during day!

    I will not let the enemy win…for 38 years I let the enemy have most of my heart…God had my life in His hands…He was just waiting for me to surrender…and I am so ‘in love’ w/ Him it’s overwhelming at times…crazy for Him.

  147. While reading Sam’s story in chapter two, the ellipses after Jesus’ comments gave me pause. It made me pause to reflect on His words, “Will you give me a drink?” Cold it be that our acceptance of Jesus refreshes Him as well as us?

    Sam’s willingness to open her heart with just enough compassion to provide a drink of water to a stranger was life changing for her, and little to her knowledge, was life changing for thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands after her.

  148. wow powerful stuff the video and ch 2 do I really get it? Do I really understand and comprehend His love and forgiveness and if I do then why not run like Sam did and share what I know… Lord help me to feel love, forgiveness and let me feel known Amen

  149. Michelle Reid says:

    I related to almost every word that was in this chapter. I really struggle with seeking the approval of the wrong person and not seeking God’s approval first. More importantly it helped me so much to read the childhood perception of God because I am 39 years old and I just figured out and understand that God does not punish his children so if you do something that he doesn’t like or doesn’t approve of it doesn’t mean that he is going to do something mean and hateful to you because he is not that kind of God. Here is my story, I am the mother of two boys and I had an urging to get them into churh so a friend invited us to a kids event in November 2011 and I started to attend church with my boys and work in the childcare room and by January of 2012 I got baptized and did a sort of next step program where a very wise woman explained all the ins and outs of daily time with God, praying, serving, and so on. We became very good friends as she had to remind me A LOT that God loves me no matter what. In April 2012 my house was overrun with black mold and we had to go live with my mom the church steeped up and raised money so that I could have a new home for the boys and me this was quite a process it took until Oct 2012 before we moved in and in that time my mom who is not a church goer and believes that anything but the King James Version is a lie and she doesn’t have to go to church to worship God, she called me lots of names and was very hateful and it broke my heart and through it all God was there in every way and even through all that I felt like I didn’t deserve all that he was giving me or that if I didn’t go to church or do everything just right he would be mad and I honestly feel ike one day is gonna say man she just doesn’t get it and I am tired of saying the same thing over and over so I am so happy to do this and learn about God and how i can overcome my doubt and insecurities through his word and get to believe that God loves me and he will say it 1000 times a 1000 ways. Thanks you so much for this, I am so excited.

  150. caren carter says:

    I personally think we all have a little Sam in us. As I was going through chapter 2 page 36 the way she describes how Jesus make her feel, was as if I was there. He spoke she heard gentleness in his voice. There was kindness and humility in his simple request for a drink. My favorite one when she looked into his eyes she saw acceptance, not judgement; love, not hate. Knowing that God loves me, and by judging me is awesome. Knowing that he carries me, why I have doubts, and sin by letting go of his hand while he continues to hold mind’s awesome. I’m m so grateful that God loves me for me. Building confidence one day at a time.

  151. I most related to the portion about pretending. Telling people I am “fine” when deep down I am the opposite. I don’t like to share my thoughts with just anyone and even if I am close to someone, even then sometimes I will bottle it up, again down to feeling like it is not important, insignificant and doubts of why anyone would want to listen. God does care however, he is available anytime, day or night, to listen to what is on our heart – He already knows what is there before we tell him about it! How amazing is that?

  152. I HAVENT RECIEVED MY BOOK YET, WHILE IM WAITING IS THERE A PLACE I CAN READ CHAPTER 2?

  153. Jo Elizalde says:

    I just completed Chapter 2. I am amazed at how much God is speaking to me. I have been crying the last hour reflecting on His Words and His thoughts for me. Chapter 2 DEFINITELY spoke to me in the story about Sam. I have lived a similar life, being rejected and feeling alone, running from my own insecurities. It really hit home as the scripture reads “Jesus had to go through Samaria” Why? Because one of His childs was feeling alone and hopeless, and He wanted to be there for her. This tells me that, He knows our life. He knows out next step. BUT, when we hurt or feel helpless, even though we are not worthy, HE IS THERE ALWAYS!!!! How amazing His Love truly is for us. Jesus goes out of His way to show us light in the midst of darkness. I am so Blessed and beyond words that I am chosen to be a part in this Bible Study. I believe I will be revealed from our Lord a Grace-Filled Word of Hope and Love that will continue my journey and walk with My Heavenly Father. Thank You Renee for writing this Book “A Confident Heart”, and I am so excited to what lies ahead, holding strong to God’s hand and letting Him guide me. God Bless your moment in Him while you continue to lead us in God’s Word. Joanne (Jo)

  154. I have a hard time to connect the love that God has for me….I so fall short of it….you all are a blessing!

    • Patty,

      I have felt that connection… that LOVE… and it’s amazing!!!! I have lost that connection and it’s a constant struggle against myself and the negative thoughts the enemy places in the head to again feel that connection… Like yourself I long and need to fell it!!! I will keep you in my prayers and I pray you have the opportunity to fell this unexplainable connection with Him… I also pray it will NEVER go away. God Bless you!!!!!

      • Rose Wade says:

        It is nice to know that someone is out there praying for me. I have realized the reason why the “connection” with God left. I am that Christian who waits until there is a problem/illness before I get serious about developing a relationship with God thru prayer and Bible study. . When the crisis passes, so does the “connection” God and I had. It was me that left – not God. Jesus said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”

        I know what I must do. I must allow Jesus to be LORD of my life, instead of the things of this World. This will mean spending more time with Jesus than the TV. This is something I have thought about, but never succeeded to do. Just like Renee said in chapter 2, “The only way we’ll have a confident heart is if we move beyond knowing “about” God to KNOWING and RELYING on Him be depending on His Word with our whole heart, mind, and soul.”

        Rose Ann

  155. Brittanygintn says:

    This study has hit me right at home! I had sent a message to a friend that I realized I’ve never really KNOWN Christ and though I call myself a “Christian” there’s really never been any proof of it. I’ve had Jesus trapped on a surface level and refused to let Him REALLY come in and touch the places I guard so well. I’ve run around with my “it’s fine” face on until finally something truly breaks me – I calmly collect myself push the emotion aside proclaim “I’ve got this” and move on….alone. I couldn’t let anyone see the side of me that’s weak. Or the side that doesn’t have it together. What would they think? After all, everyone always says I’m SO STRONG! If they only knew! I’ve walked through the motions, begging for someone to notice I’m a good person, I’m worth being around, worth loving and I have value! But there’s more than what people see… I can be 100% surrounded, and I feel so alone. You can tell me I have worth, but I haven’t believed it. And quite honestly, sometimes I don’t even want to be around myself, so why would people? I do everything “just-so” so that everyone thinks I can do this – I’ve got this….when in reality I DON’T! NOT AT ALL!! People think – “she’s really trying” when in reality I’ve given up and I’m just going through the motions.

    Well, that’s changing. The walls I’ve built are coming down. To the point that I’ve physically felt sick since I started this book on Monday. I’m not going to stop, I can’t. It’s the first time I’ve REALLY felt God speaking to me and saying “it’s ok, I won’t ask you to be anything any thing than what I intended, and while you won’t be perfect, you’re created as I wanted you to be – I knew what you’d do before you did it. I knew everything about you before you were even thought of. If it wasn’t what I intended, then I wouldn’t have allowed it. You wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t planned it and I don’t make mistakes. I love you with a perfect love, so you don’t have to be perfect. I know your flaws – the ones you keep deeply hidden – and I still accept you. I know you, and I want you. Just you, as you. If there’s to be change, I can help you through it – we can do it together. Stop worrying what everyone will think, worry what I think, because remember I REALLY KNOW, and I’m still here!” I won’t leave you….will you make the same promise to me??”

    So, willingly, but still a bit reluctant, I will keep going, but it’s very scary to me – because I’ve allowed myself to believe He was a mean scary person – when in reality He really is love.

  156. To be known is to be loved and to be loved is to be known..

    I know God loves me and I love him! My hurdle has been getting my mind and heart to both get that. I want to see me as God sees me.
    I am a friend, mother, wife, youth leader and I work with kids with autism. I mess up, make mistakes and over think things and negatively self internalize at times. I am the oldest and when I grew up there was emphasise on me being the oldest and “knowing better”. I put alot of pressure on myself in wanting to do the “right” things. This video with the help of God giving me some victories lately have I begun to realize I am not the mistakes I make. I am a child of the King and He loves me and “knows” me. I can hold my head up and go confidently into my day no matter what hat Im wearing. I am starting to see me as He does. His child whom He loves despite my mistakes and those mistakes though huge to me are small to him and not impossible for him to forgive. I have found more joy in my life as I have begun this journey of transformation. I am seeing it in my teaching, relationships with others and my job. Not because of myself but because of HIM! I am known and I am loved! By Him and he is the only one that truly matters when its all said and done and everything else is a bonus!

  157. There are so many times when i question why I dont have a lot of close friendships outside of my marriage and children and this passage reminds me that I don’t need others when I have God who knows all about me and unconditionally accepts me for who I am- no judgement or conditions….

  158. Ladies,

    I have a question for you all… Since I have not been yet baptized, but I have given my heart to Jesus and have accepted Him as my ONE & ONLY savior… AM I SAVED??? When I first started going to church I felt such a strong connect with the Lord it was divine… words cannot express the way I felt… AMAZING… My husband who is a none believer and due to circumstances I have allowed myself to stray away from the church, but still manage to read devotional from the women of Proverbs31, I feel like I have lost that connection. I am starting to feel empty again and as much as I try to fill it on my own I feel lost. I’m afraid to go back to church and others judge me for not attending for a long time. Those feelings are preventing me from going back but I long for HIM!! Does He still love me??? Will that AMAZING connection return?? I don’t know where to start and need friendly advice. Thank you all and God Bless…

    Jerica 🙂

  159. Yes you are saved. Remember the thief on the cross? Jesus told him that he would be with Him in paradise. That thief was not baptized. Baptism is an act of obedience that signifies the dying of our self and being born again in Him. It is a proclamation of what has already been done. It could be compared to a wedding ring. The wedding ring is not the marriage itself, but a beautiful symbol of it. It is and important and wonderful part of your walk, however, and you should absolutely run back to the church and be baptized just as soon as you can, but not because you have to but because you want to! If you are worried about being judged for being gone for a while, then you should be in good company because I guarantee you that lots and lots of others at the church either have been, are, or will be in the same boat in that respect at some point! Ask anyone and chances are you will discover a church hurt of some type that has either kept them or tempted them to forego church altogether.

    • Laura,

      Thank you for your kindness and beautiful words of truth and encouragement. It’s a great feeling to know that we are not alone in the journey and although the word can have cruel people there are still some with a pure heart full of love not just for themselves but for others!! Thank you so much!!
      Jerica 🙂

  160. I just want to take this opportunity to thank you for writing this book and sharing it through this online study. When I received the announcement to join, I immediately sent it to some of my Sisters in Christ. Some responded and some didn’t. There are 5 women in our group. I plan to invite them to meet after chapter 5. We will also be communicating periodically through email.
    Reading this book is encouraging me to face my doubts honestly and stop saying I’m fine. My personality appears to be very confident, but on the contrary I do sometimes have a spirit of doubt and fear about certain things. I know that doubt and fear does not dwell in the same circle with faith and I must continuously rely on God to gain more confident in my heart. I know that reading the Word of God, puttting my trust in Him, sharing with others who have the same situations, and using your book as a resource will help me meet my goal of facing my doubt.

  161. Can somone help explain to me why Jesus goes straight the issue of the 5 husbands and the man she is living with? I’ve always had a hard time with that. The story just seems to all of a sudden “go there”. Maybe, too fast for me? Maybe I feel uncomfortable for her. I just can’t explain to myseld why he “goes there”? I could see it happen maybe at the end of the story buy it’s like “BAM”.

    You ladies are smart people. Share your thoughts with me. I know Renee says that he needed to go “below the surface” and I totally get that, but just need it explained a little more.

    Thanks!

    • Rose Wade says:

      Meghan,

      The Jews needed a miracle or sign before they would believe. You can read in John 3 that the large crowds who gathered around Jesus saw his miracles and then they believed. Nicodemus said that he knew Jesus was from God – because of his miracles. Jesus said, “It is easy to believe in something you have seen with your eyes ……..”

      I hope this helps, Rose Ann

  162. Wow…just reading through so many comments here has helped me! I have felt so alone in my struggles through the years. My husband has never understood, even though he has tried many times to help me.
    I have one question I would like to ask, and that is this: Why is it that we feel most obligated to answer “fine” in the one place we should feel most free to share our needs and ask for prayer? Church should be a place of compassion, healing, prayer support, love, etc. but I know in my case, it actually is the last place I feel free to ask for help. Maybe because if we are “real” it doesn’t seem spiritual enough? I don’t know…I know I think it’s very sad! Our family has been dealing with some pretty tough stuff over the last three years (hubby with incurable cancer) and it really and truly has seemed to me that people don’t know what to do with me if I’m not strong. It is like they can’t handle the questions…so yes, I long to be part of something that allows me to be myself, even on my bad days, and ask the hard questions without condemnation….but instead, my days of feeling totally inadequate for this task to which God has called me have to be worked through mostly alone…has anyone else experienced what I am talking about?
    Thank you, Renee, for this book. It has come at an amazingly perfect time for me. God bless you!

    • I see now that there is some discussion on this topic after Renee’s next post…the one about removing the mask. That’s what I get for being behind, I guess! Lol!

    • Shawna,

      I do understand… and aren’t you glad you’re not alone and you have found a support system of women who will encourage each other to find that healing we’re all seeking??/ I know I am! Although I go to a beautiful church full of loving beautiful people I, too, feel as if I can not be honest with them. The enemy tries to attack us so we don’t look for that help. I have realized that in this study or maybe I always knew but did not have the strength to admit it. He will make us think they will judge us, make us think it isn’t holy or spiritually correct to ask for help and prayers. He will discourage us from being honest so he can plant a seed of hurt in our hearts and use it against us… I think it’s time to admit and be strong enough to look for those to guide us spiritually into our healing. I know that is what I desire to be honest with Him ALWAYS!!! You are not alone I am with you to support you now in your time of need and so are the rest of these beautiful women!! God Bless you!!!

  163. As a child, I really didn’t understand who God was other than the stories of how he made Adam and Eve, and created the earth, and rested on the seventh day. I have been in church off and on my entire life and still didn’t get it. I am in a wonderful church now and I now understand that we do not have to be perfect, He loves us no matter what. It took a while for me to accept that, but I have a lot of outside support to reinforce God’s love and blessings. Every day I want to know Him more and more. I want to get as close to God as I possibly can.

  164. I am behind on this study and have only completed chapter 1. In doing so I have realized just have insecure I truly am. I pray that God will give me the confidence to believe Him and not just in Him. I have always believed in Him but have never truly believed Him. Please pray for me.

  165. Hello everyone,
    I am a bit behind on my reading but am getting back on track. I just started chaper 2 but have to say chapter 1 was very powerful. I did not realize how much my confidence (or lack there of) in myself hindered my reliance on God to take care of me. I always doubt him like I do people and I know in my heart that is not how it should be. I have known God since a child but not like I do now. This Bible study is going to help me grow more as a Christain and get me closer to God. I am very excited and feel blessed to be involved. I am not a slacker or procastinator so I know the enemy is trying very hard to get me off track from this study. Which makes me want to catch up even more.
    My biggest lack of confidence is with my children. They both have Asbergers an ADHD and sometimes I wonder if I am doing things right for them. No matter how many times I hear from other that I am, I still feel like I am not doing a good enough job. I am a single mom and feel like I am doing this alone…but I am no alone. God is always there for me. Whether I am doing it right or not.
    Blessings!

    • Hello Rachel, my grandson has adhd and the word asbergers has come up in diagnosis as well. It is not easy, my daughter, a single mother, is attending nursing school and I have stepped up to fill in where she can not. I, too, wonder if I am doing things right with him. I get so frustrated. I will be starting chapter 2 today and am looking forward to it. This school year has been very difficult and we are not sure what the summer will bring. Financially, I need to work but my daughter will be taking summer classes and will need a sitter. We are not sure about daycare because of Sam’s behavior. I have been praying and will add you to my prays.

      Sisters in Christ

      Kelly

  166. The whole idea of Him pursuing me throws me. The part on p. 38 that talks about us slowing down to talk to Him and go deeper to show why we want what we want really made me think especially then asking if this is what we really NEED! WOW!

    I came away after reading and thinking about this with a picture in my head of me climbing into his lap like a Father and child. Resting with Him, sharing with Him and just being in the quiet. I LONG for that! I need that in my life. I need to make time in my life to do this with Him. I wonder how much better I would be in daily life if I would do this. So many areas would be affected. I do have a quiet time currently but this made me think it is surface. It needs to be deeper. Now to make the change…

    • Amen, Andrea… AMEN!! We get so busy with this fast paced life we forget to Rest with Him and have that quiet time that’s deeper and more meaningful than anything this life can offer. Thank you for your wise words!!! Most definitely I know I needed to hear this!! Thanks

  167. Barbara says:

    I just finished Chapter 2 and WOW the emotions being stirred up! I too am a pretender because 1. I don’t want to ‘burden’ people with my problems, 2. or they may no longer want to be around me or 3. my problems aren’t that bad. I’m learning it’s ok to be open with some friends, especially those I am trying to be a witness to. It shows how He helps me with my issues and how I try to trust and depend on Him. I’m praying for Jesus to reveal those places in my heart that need repairs. That God smiles when He sees me, gives me confidence! Question 5 – Has anything ever happened that caused you to distance yourself from God or other people? Yes, infertility.I lost my love for God and faith in Him for several years after our trying to have a baby. I hated to be around women so I “hid”. I eventually got back to church and serving God. I learned that I was trying to gain my identity in being a mother and finally realized my identity is in Christ alone, not in any role that I play on earth. That was so freeing! The enemy still tries to wreck my confidence with motherhood but I’m learning to really go to the Word and believe His promises.

  168. Patricia says:

    The one thing that reasonate with me from this assignment is that I am known by God. No matter what comes up against me, I can stand on God’s word and be in peace because He knows me. As I read the many comments, I want to encourage those who maybe struggling with knowing you are save. This journey is a Faith walk and everytime a negative thought or doubt comes in your mind you have to cast it down according to the Word. Rejoicing in what God is doing in our lives from this study. We are being transformed daily into the person He called us to be. Be blessed!

  169. Christa says:

    I struggle with feeling insignificant to the point of feeling worthless — I find myself much like Sam did in chapter two that there is a pattern or cycle in my life that I keep falling back into – I can experience something negitive or hurtfull from others and I give so much power to my doubt that it does distort my thoughts and overpowers my emotions – I know better but I can not seem to get beyond repeating all the self doubt and insignificance I feel from a failed marriage, a hard relaionship with my father and the cycle of eating to bring me comfort, or joy or just because that is what I do. There must still be places in my heart that still need His repair. I liked the passage – Jesus is the only One who can meet our deepest needs to be accepted and delighted in simply because of who we are. We can offer nothing but our presence and He will desire us just the same.

  170. I was reading chapter 2 and realized how much I remembered about it. I also realized that I could of just skipped to the end of the chapter and just done the prayer and questions. However, I realized that by doing this I would only be cheating myself of some great reading material. Not only that I would be cheating God out of my time that is not a healthy relationship between my God and I. It is good to be doing this again with the group and to do the rereading the book. It was great reading material when I was away in treatment. It has been almost a year since I have been out of the hospital and knowint that God has got my back and that I have gained more insight to my God has been a blessing. I wanted so much to just push God out of my life when I had to go into treatment thinking he would forget about me. My friends from church stood by my side those 5 months and kept me up to date with Gods’ word and their prayers. I want to say thanks to Renee for offering this bible study again so that this time I can be here to go through the whole thing with a wonderful group of women. I now have to go and read some more of my bible.Then it is on to chapter 3.

  171. What I loved about the video was how powerful the words are:

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

    What I loved from the chapter was how He loves us. How I can relate to being afraid of Him. “Oh how He loves us oh…” a song that is playing in my mind right now. I can feel the Holy Spirit telling me. The Lord speaks to me in so many ways. Through this study, Christian music, and His Word. I can rest tonight well as I finalize this post. I can wait to see the person I become after this study. I am documenting it all in my journal. Until next time all, God bless.

  172. Todays been a hard day. Im 35 and I have struggled with guilt trips and hurt from the same source for a long time. I try to move past it, lay it at the alter, pray for the source, forgive not for them but for me, yet the words and hurt, nothing physical or dangerous (just in case someone reads this) but emotional hurt. And I continue to let myself continue in this same cycle over and over again thinking the next phone call will be different, yet it remains the same. The rejection is so deep and bleeds out into all my relationships including into my marriage to a wonderful Godly man who is patient and kind. I say this time will be different and that I’ll be “stronger” I wont seek the approval or want it anymore, but then I am and I feel rejected, hurt, all over again. I know this is not necessarily on topic of chapter two, but I feel this is a safe place. I told my husband and cried, then I was exhausted, and felt the Lord prompting me to read the rest of chapter 2 that I began last night. I identified in ch. 1 looking for love in the wrong places, in ch. 2 I identified with Sam. I was her, have been her many times I think. Running or avoiding the eyes, the judgements, the belittleing. And the last 2 questions in chapter 2 made me realize something. I prayed asking the Lord to speak to me thorugh His Word as I read through the Scripture of Sam’s story again. I felt through the words Christ spoke to Sam He was tellling me, “If you truly knew who I am, truly realize who I really am, that I can fill you. Fill those hurts, fill those places left empty from rejection. That you continuing to try fill them on your own, through anything, whether from the past of love from places you knew in your heart wouldnt fullfill, or even now, whether through ministry, your son, your husband, but Iwill truly fill, and you will no longer be “thirsty” again.”

    In question 7 in what lesson I would take away from this chapter is Christ really KNOWS me, and even though He know, He LOVES me. He really and truly “WANTS” me, even though He knows all I’ve done in my past, my current failures, what’s been done to me, yet He still WANTS me. And He wants me to open up to Him and be transparrent, no pretending. I dont have to seek His approval or acceptance He gives it to my unjudgementally. HE LOVES ME.

    • Maureen Chiasson says:

      He loves us and knows us all! Amazing the number of mistakes we make that He still loves us. Our Mind comprehends before our hearts can truly accept this. I pray that his truth will traced our reality. I hope you will find the safe and loving relationships your heart needs outside of the emotionally abusive one and listen to the Holy Spirit’s promptings on boundary issues as well as your worth. You are precious in His sight.

  173. Renee, I want to say thank you that you have been obedient in God’s calling for your life and that through that obedience it has led to the writing of this overwhelmingly encouraging book. I have heard and read the story of the Samaritan woman several times, but never thought of how much I related to Sam in my life before coming to faith and repentance in Christ nor did I recognize the depth of Christ’s love that He demonstrated to her or has for myself. It is so encouraging and comforting to think about how unconditionally Christ loves me and how he has purposed in pursuing a personal and intimate relationship with me. He knows my deepest and darkest sins, but still pleads His perfect righteousness and blood for me to the Father to cover all of my transgressions. One lesson has stuck in my mind through reading the first two chapters of your book and that is that I have believed upon Christ as my Lord and trust in his sufficiency as the perfect and sinless Savior, but I still struggle with living like His promises are true for my life. Please pray that the Lord will remove all the shadows of doubts from my mind and heart and grant me a relationship in which I fully depend and trust in all the truths and promises He has revealed to us through His holy word.

    In the richness of His grace,

    Deana

  174. Maureen Chiasson says:

    This chapter helped me to remember all about the fear, shame and even suicidal thoughts that I had less than ten years ago. I based my worth on performance, attention I could get from others and an image I could present to others while hiding the truth. I was fairies and fearful of rejection, loneliness and what others thought of my choices. I chose to ignore God’s voice and listened to others. Fortunately, I got desperate enough to reach out for help. I found similar stories, learned new tools and began connecting and having authentic relationships with others and God. We are made to connect with each other. The only way we can do this is through safe, loving and non judgments relationships with others, ourselves and God. We are more alike than different.

  175. Felicia Hepburn says:

    Man, this chapter had me in tears!! I thought I was the only one who was imperfect! I thought I was supposed to be together an so I held that secret within me. Don’t get me wrong, I said many of my mistakes but not all. Not the insecurities that I struggle with in how I look and how I feel. Not the fact that my house seems to never get clean or that I don’t work and am a single mom. Not the fact that I am 42 with 3 kids, grown and teen yet no car, no job and sometimes no hope. Tonight, or Gould I say this morning, I wrote a letter to my mom, dad, brother and his wife. I ha to be free of the condescending chains of what I did in the past and even though I didn’t want to write it, He led me through it. I still wonder sometimes why did He pick a screw up like me. Someone who constantly judges others, lies to her mom so as not to hear the complaining, procrastinates more than nought and fights him tooth and nail to show the real me when I just want this “Im fine” mask to stay on. I don’t understand it but I am so grateful. The hardest thing I could ever say is I am imperfect and mean it and have others read it. I’m not fine and that’s okay.

  176. Praise God!! I love how you admitted that you constantly judge others, lie, and procrastinate; I think that confessing those kinds of truths about ourselves are the kinds of humble acts that can change a life! God bless you in this new unmasked journey!!!

    • Felicia Hepburn says:

      God bless you and thank you for your encouragement! It is a hard thing to do but this second chapter has revealed much!! Bless you as we take this journey together!!

  177. I thank God for the revelation that He is not my earthly father. My earthly father was not around. He just called to check in and make sure I was obeying Mom and following the rules. And he wanted to chastise if he felt it was needed. I always, until recently, felt God was this bigger than life, a distant figure, who checked in periodically to make sure that you were following the rules, and chastise when necessary if He felt you werent. It is a process realizing our Father is a loving friend, caretaker, and confident. I pray daily that I move this image from my head to my heart. I know that He is more than my earthly father could ever imagine to be, now I must feel it in my heart. My mother raised her six girls to never become dependant on a man- that was weakness. So not having a close relationship with my father or any other man, I see now that I transferred this ideology to God. To depend on God- I was weak. Now I realize He grows stronger in my weakness and what a precious relief it is to not always have to “hold it together- no matter what”. I am scared, although excited, about what God is going to reveal to me during this study. Pray for me as I pray for you.

  178. Debbie Jo says:

    I have struggled, like Sam, with men–thinking men can fill that empty place that belongs only to God….and it has been difficult getting my heart to believe that God really Loves ME and Cares about ME, just the way I am, what a relief and blessing!!! I am Okay….

    The To be Known video is awesome….I know I have felt like that many, many times…and, wow, I always thought it was “THE MAN” in my life and yes, it is, but I was picking the wrong one—IT HAS BEEN GOD ALL ALONG…..Thank you, Father!!!!!!

  179. jill siever says:

    oh those doubts, am I good enough and am I enough….I have always struggled with them, and with failure. I have always been a people pleaser, and a hider of my emotions. I am slowly learning to turn it all to God and go with it. for what I have read int eh book it hasn’t yet talked much about words, but man alive I am seeing things with words and our choices. this is eye opening to me that people like you rene, feel how I feel. I am a housewife, with three kids diagnosed bipolar, and I struggle hourly with things. when the thoughts get me its hard to stop. your book is really helping me change this and work my life for the better thanks so much!!! I am looking forward to the studies where I left off in the book before this started. but going over the beginning again as been great to just slow down and really let it sink in.

    reading all the responses and how this book is touching so many hearts is overwhelming, and I get overwhelmed in a good way reading this book sometimes. your words were put together in an amazing way. im getting new things out of these chapters I didn’t get the first time. this is much better with other people!!

  180. I am a few days behind in the study but I just watched the Known video and it took my breath away. My husband actually stopped what he was doing and watched it, too. I am looking forward to reading the chapter now!

  181. This chapter really touched my heart. For so many years I felt like Sam. Praise God that through His forgiving grace and mercy He chose me to be a child of His. I have been on a journey with Him for the last 6 years. My biggest challenge the last two years has been truly deriving my joy from the Lord. Not from my husband, my job, my dogs, my Pinterest dreams. Circumstances in life toss and turn like waves, I have been striving to stay grounded in Him through every event. Its not easy though and somethimes I feel like I am praying to the ceiling and the prayers fall back to the ground. I KNOW this is not truth, but man those feelings can be deceiving. On Easter my husband and I grew tired of feeling like we have been running on “auto-pilot” and re-dedicated our lives and marriage to God. I am praying for a spiritual renewal, a relational awakening for each of us! I am so thankful to be a part of this journey with each of you.

    Laura S- as I was watching the video, I too was touched, I had chills. My husband was sitting beside me and as he heard it, it drew him in as well. He stopped what he was doing to watch the video. It really is powerful.

  182. Jeremiah 1:5 has spoken so much to me this week. I grieved as a friend welcomed into this world her baby girl & just a few days later said goodbye to her precious baby girl as she was welcomed into Heaven by Jesus. Through this verse I was reminded that God knew Baby Kate while she was being formed in her Mother’s womb. He knew what her few short days on this earth would be like & he knew how He was going to use the pain to touch the lives of everyone who came in contact with her. The strength God gave her parents to make it through the difficult days ministered to more people than they could ever imagine.

    I am reminded that if God used Baby Kate in just a few short days to minister to others, how much more can He use me if I live in His Confidence and follow His plan for my life.

  183. Stephanie says:

    This video was absolutely amazing. I love how she reinforced that even though we are unclean and sinners God still knows everything about us which in turn means that he loves us.

  184. There are several things I took away from this chapter. First the concept of ‘not being fine’. I’ve heard the phrase ‘fake it till you make it’, meaning say your fine even if you aren’t because eventually you’ll believe you are. I’m not good at saying things I don’t believe in. In addition, I’m not so sure everyone that asks how you are really wants to hear anything more than you are fine. However, it is nice to have a few people that you could be honest with and explain your thoughts and they wouldn’t judge you when you are not fine.

    The analogy of being fine from a distance, but not up close (ie. house needs paint) is another interesting concept I took from this chapter. I can understand Renee’s initial reaction of defensiveness. Yet it was interesting to hear how after some thought, she was grateful that someone told her of the need to repair her home even though it seemed fine from a distance.

    The last piece that I relate to the most is Sam’s relationships. I have never been married, never even proposed to. However, I want to be in a relationship, but I must be doing something wrong. I’ve had an 4 year relationship, 8 year relationship and most recently a year long relationship. I hate to admit I do somewhat look to the man to make me happy, when I know I shouldn’t. With wanting to be in a relationship so bad and wanted to make things work, I’ve allowed men to treat me inappropriately, which saddens me. I need confidence in this area of my life.

  185. Michelle says:

    The video made me cry! Both the video, Renee’s personification of “Sam” and the way that this age old story is presented in the book WOKE ME UP. I’m a Christian, so I often skimmed over the story unless teaching Sunday school to the 4th-5th graders. I thought it didn’t apply to me. I wasn’t a harlot, I was SAVED, I was happily married, I GOT IT….nope….it was me. I too, wanted to be seen for ME, the inside me, and still be loved and embraced and accepted. I wanted to admit my imperfections, all 2000+ of them and not be ostracized. My last church focused SO MUCH on being the literal P31 and Titus 2 woman….I KNEW I couldn’t come close to measuring up, so I deemed myself a failure then. But then I got some hope and encouragement, the wrong kind, and was determined to make myself that woman….I only made myself sick. A sick that is chronic, an auto-immune sick. I’m not finished with Ch 2 yet, but I can’t pick a passage so far…it ALL is so relevant!

  186. I love the point that Jesus pursued the woman at the well, that it was His mission. That He wants to be there for me in every part of my day and life is so beautiful.

  187. Charlene says:

    … so we put up walls and hide our struggles, even from God…

    In my mind, I tend to put unpleasant experiences and emotions in a chest, lock it up and shove it into the darkness. Out of sight and out of mind. I hold the key, I have had the control. Yet, now I no longer want to do that anymore. Hiding from God is not what I want. I want to experience His healing, His love. Mentally, emotionally I have chosen a “chest” to open and I want to keep it open. No more locks, no more closing it and not dealing with it’s contents. Someway, somehow He will heal me, bring me peace concerning what is inside… feelings of sorrow, regret, fear, and longing over the death of my daughter. It is one of the heaviest and biggest chests in my heart and mind.

    … if we only live on the surface with God, we’ll never experience the intimacy we long for or the acceptance and security He offers.

    I understand that that I need to go below the surface and bring things to the surface and talk with Him about them. Bringing things out of the dark, giving them to God and shining God’s light on them…praising Him for the His goodness and giving thanks for the blessings that came as a result of the experience is my desire.

    …He invites you to come to Him to receive the perfect love He offers-love that casts out fear, love that is patient and kind, love that keeps no record of wrongs (love that will not condemn or criticize me).

    I believe His words, that He loves me perfectly.

    …He can show us places in our hearts that need His repair…

    I am ready for God’s light and love to shine on the broken pieces of my heart. I am ready to bring them out of the darkness of my heart and mind and to share them with Him.

  188. Heather says:

    I finished reading this chapter having an argument with my husband. I have spent the last few days letting my doubts and insecurities take a hold of me, and in the meanwhile I pushed him and God away. I knew I needed a Bible study…but I did not realize how vitally I needed it until just today. As I was reading this chapter and answering the questions, I just cried and cried because I am letting my doubts keep me from a complete relationship with Christ and a more loving marriage with my husband. A few hours ago, I felt hopeless, sad, and hurt. Now I feel hopeful and forgiving because of God’s love and forgiveness.

    I have been a Christian most of my life, but I think I’ve always felt unworthy of God’s love. I often feel like I’m not a good enough Christian, and I compare myself to other women who seem like they have it all together. I’m realizing now that even they have their doubts, and I shouldn’t compare myself because God loves me and knows me. Thank you so much for this study, Renee. I’m feeling very blessed to be a part of it with so many others right now.

    • Wow Heather!…I could have not said it better myself! I had a similar episode today with my husband. I was feeling positive and more confident up until then,but immediately after that I felt defeated and doubtful.
      I reflected back I what I read in chapter 2, (p. 43) “the only way we’ll have a confident heart is if we move beyond knowing about God to knowing and relying on Him…” I was sad and upset for a period of time today, but once I “opened the door” again, He was still there waiting to listen and to continually accept me and love me no matter what. This book is giving me such an amazing and new way to look at everyday life and life’s experiences.

      • Thanks Beverly! It really is amazing the difference it can make in a day to simply just remember that God loves you!

  189. Your words about attending church for years and not understanding that God wants a relationship with me. I only discovered that truth a few years ago and how freeing it has felt. I have a relationship with Him. Alleluia!

  190. I am amazed. Chapter 2 was very significant to me and I really enjoyed getting new insight into Sam’s story. I have always known this story (the woman at the well) but never considered the significance of her viewpoint. The portion of Chapter 2 “More than Knowing” was the most significant for me. “we are worth His love because He chose to give it to us.” I am so glad I joined this study at this time in my life. I have just this year found a church home that is not just concerned with numbers but also showing believers in Christ how to have a relationship with Christ. I have started reading my bible daily and am beginning to see how the only thing standing between me and a close relationship with my Lord is ME.
    I waited to watch the video until today because I wanted to finish the chapter first and then I didn’t have a chance to go back to it. I watched it twice. I felt the power in her words the first time and decided to share it with my fiance. The second time I found my eyes filling with tears just from the words touching deep places in my heart. Thank you so much for writing this book, having this study and posting the most powerful spoken video I have experienced to date!

  191. when you asked us to go back to our childhood and think about what we thought about God I had a hard time. I know we went to church when i was a kid.. for a time… I remember wanting to be at worship so i walked to church by myself.. that is the last time I remember thinking anything about or desiring anything of God. until I was in my mid 20’s. So until then I guess there is a distance thing. And I still struggle with that at times. Right now more than ever. Jesus is my Lord and Savior I know he is here… and there….

  192. I appreciate the Samaritan woman being called Sam. I could definitely relate to her heart issues being touched and her desire to change the subject! This was Jesus though, not a friend or family member being there for her.

    Everything related to the window seals and columns afar and up close is me. I’ve tried to open up but it only ended in hurt, betrayal, rejection. Now it’s easier not to take the risk, yet it hurts because it’s not that I don’t want to. How can I? That’s why I want to get closer to God. He’s the only one that “truly” seems to love me and care. I have to go closer! I need him!

    Page 25 (3rd paragraph): One way God tells us that confidence will come is when we ask Him for what is already part of His will. 1 John 5:14 – I want to know His will because I must have been wrong before about many things, is my thought right now. A lot of questions/concerns in this juncture of life.

  193. Brittany B. says:

    -My humiliation turned into frustration (that is sooo me!)
    -From a distance, i look like I’m doing just fine.
    -We fear that if people know we doubt ourselves, they’ll start doubting us too. (I was so wrapped up in people pleasing and putting my confidence in what others thought of me that I was always putting on the “I’m fine” front. Since i read chapter one daily i am reminding myself who is my Confidence)
    -He is there waiting for us when we’re going through the motions, aware of what needs to be done but unaware of how we’re going to do it. (This is what i needed to hear, i started this study bc even though i was reading the bible nightly it felt like a motion. I felt empty on the inside. I felt this study could help me, and now i know in my heart that this study will help me.)
    My favorite sentence/promise: Nothing could keep Him from wanting to be with you.

  194. When I accepted Christ, I was about 12 or so, having spent my younger years in church and Sunday school almost every single week. When my heart began to stir, I thought that the moment I accepted Christ into my heart, there would be a BIG SOMETHING: a huge trembling, a vision, internal fireworks…something wonderful. But nothing remotely like that happened. I was crushed, really. I had heard lots about others having such experiences, but I did not. So I gave myself several times, in case He was busy with others at the time! Nothing. You reminded me, Renee, that this act is a decision. At 12, I didn’t have maturity and knowledge to understand. I know now that I was saved the first time! Multiple petitions are unnecessary. We are to go on from there and grow to know and understand the Holy Spirit and recognize His caring and leadership.
    Fifty years later, I am still learning about and loving about our amazing Three in One! God is so GOOD!

  195. Its nice to know that I am not alone in these struggles with my feelings. I love my walk and time with the Lord, more than anything else. Still I sometimes have doubts that I am not doing enough and then I am reminded that it is not by our works but by the grace of god that we are able to do all things.

  196. Dulcinea says:

    The video was very powerful! I’ve watched it twice already and I’m sure I will watch it again.
    There were several parts of Chapter 2 that tugged at my spirit. The part where you talk about Him inviting us to slow down and talk to him about our day, our desires and our doubts. I want this kind of relationship with him, and I am definitely trying, but it doesn’t feel natural yet and I feel like it should. In my childhood, my Nana conjured up fearful images of God, which turned me away from Christianity in my teen years. It was only in my adult years that I turned back toward God and have been slowly building a relationship since. Too often, I look for the approval of others and it is true that I never seem to get enough. I need to stop filling up my heart with doubts and turn it fully to the One who knows my worth.

  197. The video made me want to cry – it was so powerful! It pulled at every heart string in my body and it took everything in me to not cry. I immediately shared it with a few women and men. I have always been moved by the “woman the well” scripture and how Jesus “read her mail” and blessed her life tremendously; radically changed her life. I am currently going through so much in my life right now and I am struggling with peace and the steadiness in my faith that I have had in my life. My world is being rocked and because of that I feel so alone, even though I am surrounded by loving and caring friends. In my world of loneliness, I feel like the woman at the well….so this video spoke so deeply to me. As sad as it made me feel, it also gave me hope. Thank you so much for sharing Renee!!!

  198. Tami Meyer says:

    wow!!! I loved the video it made me cry! I myself am having extreme marriage difficulties and problems with my children. I also have a heart filled with insecurities and struggles… I want to be known! There have only been a handful of people who have taken the time to see that I am not fine. I need prayer for my marriage because I have known God all my life but not until recently become a follower. My husband dedicated his life when younger but has totally fallen away and doesnt see the need for God. Most days I dont feel strong enough to stay because my husband is not nice and not affectionate. I dont feel good enough and never have.

  199. I realize I’m a little late responding to this chapter, but I did want to journal my notes on here. On p. 32, Renee says, “Pretending leads to hiding and isolation. What we need is someone who will pursue us and accept us even though we’re flawed. Yet most of us doubt anyone would ever stick with us if we let them get too close. So we put up walls and hide our struggles, even from God, hoping we’ll convince Him and everyone else that we’re fine. Eventually, though, we find ourselves in the shadows of doubt, convinced that we aren’t worth knowing or pursuing. Slowly we begin to believe we have to be perfect to be loved and accepted. We know we never will be-but we’ll die trying, won’t we?”

    When I read these paragraphs, I felt like this was written especially for me. I do struggle with this. As a 24-year-old woman who is not in a relationship, often I tell myself that no one will ever want to pursue me and give any number of reasons why they wouldn’t or shouldn’t. I know I will never be perfect, but I think sometimes I assume others are perfect–even though I know they aren’t either. I get in a good spot and then doubt and insecurity overwhelms my mind and heart and then I start believing that I will never be able to have a relationship with a good, Christian guy. I’m not one who is in relationships all the time — I think that is part of my building walls up that Renee speaks about. I always feel I’m not good enough and never will be, but I do pretend that I’m fine. Outwardly I think people would think I have it all together, but inwardly I have a desire to be in a committed relationship where the other accepts my flaws. I just doubt that anyone would want that though. Thanks for allowing me to share my struggles with you all 🙂

  200. Alice R says:

    Several things in chapter 2 jumped out at me – not being good enough, unable to win other’s approval, being too serious or sensitive – all things that caused me to shut down a long time ago! I’ve known The Lord for over 20 years and I can sincerely say that He works on us as we are able to deal with the issues we have hidden. I love the statement “the only way we’ll have a confident heart is if we move beyond knowing about God to knowing Him and relying on Him – to depending on His Word with our whole heart, mind and soul”. This is so very true! The study I am attending thru church is called “Knowing God” based on the book by the same title by JL Packer – and it is very good! I would suggest it to anyone who wants to know The Lord better.

  201. I loved that video! I am known, not for who I want to be, but for who I am!! Wonderful!

  202. I WANT TO BE KNOWN was so powerfull I cried. This is so much my life right now and reading A Confident Heart is going to help me. I just KNOW this is coming from GOD.

  203. I was on vacation when this started, and got behind, so I’m posting this now, and then will catch up with the rest. To me, reading this chapter the word “victim” jumped out. All my life I’ve watched as people in my life, mostly my mom, have acted like victims. It’s as if they seek out sympathy from others. They wallow in it. I strive against this, and because of that I don’t share everything. I don’t want to be seen as someone who’s just looking for sympathy. I don’t want to be seen as a victim. I read in Lysa Terkeurst’s book, Made to Crave, a quote she shared that said, “Either you can be victimized and become a victim, or you can be victimized and rise above it.” To me that meant to keep moving forward and just keep it to myself, my thoughts and feelings that show a weaker me.

    But then I read this chapter, and these are the sentences that grabbed me: “We don’t want to be high maintenance, right?” “It’s embarrassing for people to see our flaws and failures, so we work hard to look like we’re doing fine from a distance.” But that’s not I saw it. I just didn’t want to be viewed as a victim. I didn’t want people to hear what I had to say, roll their eyes, and think that I just wanted sympathy.

    Then I read these sentences: “Pretending leads to hiding and isolation. What we need is someone who will pursue us and accept us even though we’re flawed,” and “Eventually, though, we find ourselves in the shadows of doubt, convinced that we aren’t worth knowing or pursuing.” I realized here, with some thought and reevaluation, that I was making myself a victim in my pursuit not to be one.

    This is my next task. I need to rely on God, seeking Him to help me to stop making myself a victim. With His help I will eventually be able to share my feelings with someone else, taking me out of “victim status.”

  204. When I fell away from God ten or so years ago- I was Sam at the well. I had stolen someone else’s husband and I walked away from God knowing I had let him down and he would probably never forgive me and satan kept using Gods word against me. I was without hope once again as I was for twenty years before becoming a Christian. I was in fear of being lost again. I pulled away from the things of God, from the people of God, I felt like the Holy Spirit had left me. But then one day as I was driving, I heard God speak audibly to me, He said, “I know why you did it”. And I said, why? And He said,”you needed to be the other woman.” Then I felt Him continue to speak in my spirit and show me how because of how horribly my father had abused my mother in every way but how he was always so sweet to his girlfriends, bringing them flowers and they only ever saw his happy side, a side he rarely showed at home. And I understood, I was afraid of being anything other than the other woman. As people of the church all around me sat in judgement and pushed me away and just when I thought my sin had pushed God away forever too- it was then that He pursued me even harder, proving His love for me and never once leaving! I realized in time that the Holy Spirit had not left me but that feeling of despair was the dread of my purposeful sin and He was allowing me to feel the weight of it. I am so thankful for His great love! And I love how time and time again He takes people in scripture and real life who are thought as useless by the world and restores them! God has restored the years the locusts have eaten:)

  205. The story of the Samaritan woman and this video spoke to my heart. It too like others spoke to me about the seasons of my life, I have felt downcast, walked on, used, abused and so many other negative feelings that when Jesus spoke to “Sam”, and made her feel like she was worth something and reading in this book all the positive things and just feeling tired of feeling so bad about me, my life, my choices and wanting so much better for myself, I feel like enough is enough already, I want to feel like somebody, and in reading this chapter, I know that I am something to God and Jesus, I know I am known, loved and wanted. All the subtopics I have struggled with, the “i’m fines”, the putting up walls, the not feeling perfects. I just feel like I have been in the prison called myself and I want to experience freedom, and I know that in God and Jesus, I WILL experience that and they will make me see that.

  206. It seems like every chapter so far is written for me – it’s my life instead of Renee’s. The quote on page 33 ” I tried to earn my worth through a performance based value system, convinced that if I did the righ tthings, said the right thigns, wore the right things and looked the right way, then I’d be worth staying for”. That is how I lived/trying not to live my life. I feel that if I act perfect, if I am perfect then why wouldn’t people want to love me and be around me. I usually end up failing miserably because I get so overwhelmed I break down. Someoen called me an overachiever the other day. I just laughed it off but when I really thought about it, in a way I am an overachiever. I have to prove myself. Growing up, I thought I had to do great things in order to be recognized by God. That is what I was taught in school. After a while I knew I would never live up to God’s worth (or so I thought) so I gave up with God but still tried to get other’s to love me. As my view on God’s love for me is changing, I feel like I don’t have to do so much anymore. I am slowly trying to relax and just enjoy life but when you act a certain way for such a long period of time, there are many set backs. Those setbacks are so heartbreaking at times too.

  207. Again, I’ve joined this study late, but am finding it to be so helpful.

    Listening to the video clip brings back the hope that the desire for love and acceptance without judgment and condemnation is still within reach.

    The quote from the book: “Maybe you know God loves you and forgives you, but you still beat yourself up for mistakes you’ve made and the ways you think you’ve let Him and others down.” This so hit home. I live with daily condemning thoughts, and so need to be able to battle these thoughts in a way that I can gain victory.

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