The Woman I Want to Be

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A guest post from Heather Bleier:

I grew up in the security of knowing my parents loved me and loved each other dearly. I also knew Jesus as my Lord, Savior, and confidant and that He had a plan for my life. I was excited to find out what He had in store for me.

With a flair for drama, I’d break out into song anytime and anywhere…grocery stores were my favorite. When I was five, I boldly told my mom I was going to be the next Celine Dion. But as my faith grew, I decided to become a contemporary Christian artist instead. I joined every choir I could. By middle school I was in our church’s Praise Team and adult choir, plus two of my school choirs. I could picture myself being on stage one day, singing my heart out for God; perhaps sharing a duet with Celine Dion at one of my concerts.

Life, however, rarely goes the way we plan.

As a young girl a man exposed himself to me and tried convincing me to follow him into the woods. Although I didn’t go with him, it left me feeling confused and ashamed. My parents divorced while I was in middle school. If that wasn’t hard enough to process, just before I started high school, my ex-boyfriend sexually assaulted me.

I wanted to be strong for those around me, so I chose not to tell anyone.

Throughout high school I pressed on, pretending nothing bad happened. I became a skilled actress, fooling even myself. Food became the only controllable thing in my life; going without for days at a time. When I graduated, I moved to Austin, TX to go to college. It was supposed to be a fresh start. I was supposed to be able to leave my pain in San Antonio, allowing it to vanish from my memory. It didn’t. Instead, my wounds were torn open when I was assaulted again in the fall of my freshman year. I silently clung to the cross harder than ever.

Still, I felt broken and empty inside, useless for ministry or marriage. How could someone prevail, becoming a woman of purpose and confidence?

One night, I hit rock bottom. God’s Word told me He was with me, but I felt forgotten and alone. As I stood in my room in despair, I thought about taking my own life as I held a knife to my wrist. I begged God to tell me how any of my past would fit into His plans. I needed to know; otherwise I had no reason to remain in existence. It was just too hard.

There are no words to describe what happened next. The devil’s hot breath was in my ear, urging me forward. But then I felt God wrap Himself around me, holding on to all I was worth as I crumbled to the floor. He spoke Jeremiah 29:11 into my heart, and I fully surrendered my life to Him, my plans, and every broken piece of my heart.

Through every trial, every pain, I had to cling to the promises poured out in God’s Word. Instead of being ruled by my ravaged emotions, I learned to stand firm on His unshakeable Truths.

Healing hasn’t been easy. But it’s been possible as I have filtered my thoughts through God’s Word… which is unchanging, true, and from the One who loves His children beyond what we can hope for or imagine.

I have clung to Psalm 46, especially the first two verses. Regardless of how I “felt” the Truth remained, God was WITH me through every trial, every pain, and He caught every tear. This simple Truth stays with me even now when hard times come.

Music has been another way God has spoken His Truths and comfort to my heart in a BIG way. I found music artists that helped me stay focused on who God is and who I wanted to be in Him. Margaret Becker’s album Soul was the first Christian CD I remember owning and every song filled me with hope, comfort, God’s Truth, and some really awesome 90’s dance moves.

Every day I have to make a choice. I can either choose to be swallowed by my painful past or my daily circumstances. Or, I can have faith in God’s plan for my life. I now know faith isn’t about believing everything will turn out well…it’s about trusting God NO MATTER how things turn out.

To be the woman we want to be, we must see ourselves through God’s eyes. We must cling to the cross of Jesus Christ and to His promises. He does not falter when our emotions run circles around our hearts. His view of us does not change…ever. We will always be His children. As His beloved daughters we can become the women HE wants us to be!

As Renee shared in Chapter 11, God tells us we are:Chosen, Redeemed, Loved, Remembered, Secure, Able and Called.

These are Truths worth clinging to. We don’t have to be confident in ourselves rather, we must have confidence in God’s love. Confident that He sees us; He knows our hurts and where is needed. He also knows our whole story and how it fits into the lives of others.

I so agree with Renee: “I pray that you will become a catalyst for other women to learn to live in the power of God’s promises because they have seen it happen to you.”

I didn’t become a professional singer. God moved in my heart to become a Director of Christian Education. He showed me that my calling was to help lead others to His heart, to demonstrate trust in His plans above our own…no matter what may happen.

Thank you so much Heather for sharing your story so vulnerably because you wanted us to see and draw near to the power of Jesus’ healing and hope. You have reminded us that it is in our brokenness and surrender He uses our dreams and gifts – to offer others the same comfort, redemption and encouragement we have found in Him.

Friends, I pray Heather’s story touches your heart and brings you hope as you read chapter 11 and ask God to help you become the women HE created you to be. He has a plan and a purpose for your life!! And He wants you to give away each day – a little bit or maybe a lot – by sharing what He’s given you through Jesus.

In 2010, Heather married her best friend and the love of her life, Daniel. They brought their first bundle of joy, Stacy, into this world last December. God is also using Heather, and the power of His healing in her brokenness, at the church where she works now, leading a middle and high school youth group and teaching middle school religion part-time. Heather also volunteers at Proverbs 31 Ministries serving on  Melissa Taylor‘s Online Bible Studies leadership team. You can connect with Heather on her blog Transformed, or on Facebook.


Your Turn: 
Would love to hear your thoughts about Heather’s story and how it touched your heart today. Share your thoughts” below and {if you are in my online study} feel free to share your answer to one or two of the questions at the end of Chapter 11. {If you are reading this via email, click here to return to my blog.}

Next week we’ll finish our Online Study with a word of the week, a guest video and a message from me as we talk about how we can live in the truths of Chapter 12. And I’ll have a short survey to find out your interest in a summer study and what you’d like for us to talk about based on the topic of listening to God. Be thinking and praying so you can share your thoughts next week! 🙂

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. Opal McCoy says:

    Isn’t it funny that when we choose to “keep silent” our hurts scream the loudest? Jer. 29:11 has helped me through the most difficult times in my life- and have been my anchor to hold to when I swear I was drowning in hurt. Thank you so much for having the courage to share this with our group.

  2. Life rarely goes the way we planned, and I thank God for that! One thing God’s been teaching me, and teaching me, and reteaching me (He’s so patient, right?) is that I need to keep my hands and mouth off of HIS testimony. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, but that testimony is the testimony of Jesus Christ and His marvelous work of redemption and grace in our lives. I’m so grateful HE knows the plans HE has for us. I don’t need to know the plans, I just need to submit.

    • Selah! “….keep my hands and mouth off HIS testimony.” That sort of struck a chord when I read it. Might you be able to explain it more so I am sure I have the right idea? I am very thankful that God is so very patient with us. Yes! “I don’t need to know the plans, I just need to submit.” He has the big picture and we don’t. We have as much as He determines is necessary. Again, we must trust Him completely and obey step by step. God bless you!

    • Kathy Sturgis says:

      Yes, keeping our hands off His testimony AND my mouth. Wow. I can see how This is going to be a new reminder to me daily. I have tried to help God in many ways. It is time to stop. Thank you for saying this.

    • Praying for you, and your family, and your son, Renee. May God’s still small voice become the loudest voice he hears!

  3. Thank you Heather for sharing. Your words jumped on my heart: faith isn’t ‘t about believing everything will turn out well… It’s about trusting God NO MATTER how things turn out. I am copying that down to carry around w/ me in my purse for a daily reminder. God bless.

  4. Diane W says:

    “I now know faith isn’t about believing everything will turn out well…it’s about trusting God NO MATTER how things turn out.” Yes, I was deeply touched by Heather’s testimony. Thank you Heather for sharing your story.
    Thank you Renee for writing this book. I love Chapter 11 I love that I am Chosen, Redeemed, LovedRemembered,Secure,Able and called. “Everytime doubt casts its shadow over us, we will run back to Jesus, turn toward the light and stand in the shadow of the cross WHere Everything Changes”!!!!!

  5. thank you for this post – having confidence in God’s love.

  6. Nancyguam says:

    Heather’s testimony was powerful….reinforcing trust in God even when life seems out of control, not how we planned. It took me a long time to put my trust in God. I still struggle with it. My gut reaction to when things don’t go as planned is to run away (literally or emotionally) …I’m trying to change my reaction to running to Jeaus. I’m facing a long distance move back to a familiar place where life was not easy. Slowly, I have come to realize through prayer that I am meant to go back and deal with the issues head-on….that running away doesn’t solve anything. The past 3 years, I have turned to the Bible, bible study, Christian counseling, and Christian books for guidance. A Confident Heart is my last study before I move and it came at the perfect time. Thank you, Renee, for putting into words and study what I needed (& lots of women needed!)

  7. Thank you Heather for your testimony. It has brought back a past memory that I need to take to the Lord. I love how God can take wrongs done to us and use them for HIS glory. I think for me learning to use HIS words to replace mine will help me to stay focused on HIM.
    Thank you Renee for having this testimony. You are a blessing.

  8. She reminds us to keep going. Sometimes I forget that and wonder what is the use. A good reminder .

  9. R Jones says:

    There is no way that you could ever understand how much I needed to hear this message today. It has blessed me beyond measure and lifted my spirit. My heart has been heavy recently. How wonderful of you to share this story. Thank you so very much.

    • And b/c of how much you needed this… I want you to know the timing was all God. I had written a whole other post for today, and then it disappeared completely when I tried to save it. I was sooooo upset. But, then I found this post – which I had been looking for in my archives, for weeks. Jesus is so full of amazing surprises and it’s b/c HE is crazy about you and knew THIS is what you needed 🙂

    • God is so faithful! He provides what we need at the perfect time.
      <3 Heather

  10. Cassandra says:

    This story really touched me. I’ve always struggled with how men view me and always figured I I was just the right weight they just might love me, want me and accept me. I see myself as a beautiful woman, but that’s just the face, my body, in my eyes has always been the problem, the undesirable part, the part that always kept them away. If I was only the right weight they would call me beautiful and chase after me too. I just always wanted to be desired. You see, this story really touched me because I forget to see how I look in God’s eyes. Last year, the man I am in love with told me I was physically unattractive to him and that’s why he didn’t want a relationship with me, he would rather a skinny girl. He later told me he thought I was beautiful but at least once more after that brought up the first comment. I always feel like I am lacking something, what’s wrong with me? Why aren’t I married? Did I miss something? What do I need to get off the checklist…oh yeah my weight. This has plagued me since I was a little girl and now at 33 I feel so hopeless and defective in this area. I am trying, I have tried, and at this point I just hurt. I just want to be enough, I now know God loves me, accepts me and makes me whole, I just don’t understand what is wrong on the male front. The guy I love keeps me at arms distance, lets just say I came to realize his baggage is quite large, however he calls and tells me he misses and loves me every couple of weeks. I know my worth and value come from God but I have to be honest I don’t know if I see myself like he does, I still feel like if I was just healthy He would give me the desires of my heart. Thanks for sharing your story, I believe it has helped me in a whole new way.

    • I can relate with wanting to change my appearance to please men, and all girls struggle with this, regardless of weight, popularity, single, married, etc. I also never thought I was particularly beautiful and had body image issues. I had to learn to trust God with everything and understand that He accepts me. I learned to accept myself, little by little. I was born with a physical impairement to which there is medication but no cure. I don’t usually discuss it with a guy unless we’ve been dating awhile. But on my first date with my now-husband, he kept pressing until I gave in and told him. Later, he related that when I shared my sickness was when God told him to give me a solid chance. God told my husband that I was very special and precious in His eyes. From then on, our relationship took off and i always felt free to be myself around my husband. I know that it was God who made me beautiful in my husband’s eyes. And yes, I know I’m slowly losing my youth with each passing day, but both God and my husband assure me that they will not leave me.

      So take heart and don’t give up. Spend more time with people who love and accept you just as you are, especially God. And He will bless you richly, dear sister.

    • Stephanie Mitchell says:

      Julie, thank you for your kind words. You have spoken my untold story. At 17, overweight, and unfriended, my mom told me “it’s no wonder you don’t have a boyfriend. You don’t have a very pleasing package.” I have carried that message with me until now, at 48, I will be 49 June 12. I weigh 213 pounds. At one time I was 189 and looked good and felt good. Now I hate myself again. Maybe some of it is medication induced, which as a nurse I understand, but not all of it is. My emotions won’t let me get passed the message my mom spoke to me 31 years ago. What do we do now?

      • The common saying goes, it takes seven compliments to undo one criticism and parental criticism have a half of decades. Let God speak into you. We all have so many voices that we could listen to, so let’s listen to positive affirmation from the one who created us in His image. God’s word is our weapon in the face of destructive criticism. Renee has provided us in this chapter and the next with some choice verses for those difficult times. God is for you and He wants you to find peace and joy in Him. May you turn to Him today and be richly blessed!

  11. Tiffany says:

    Thank you Heather for sharing your story. Very powerful testimony!

  12. It’s so hard to remember that I’m chosen, accepted, and redeemed in The Lord. But Heather is right, our confidence is in God, not ourselves. So the more time we spend in His presence and His word, the more faith (shield) and scripture (weapon) we will have against the judgmental comments of the world. It is daily shift in both attitude and perspective. I hope I can pass on this message to some students I will be speaking tonight…

  13. Stephanie Mitchell says:

    Having survived two sexual assaults myself, tears welled up in my eyes as I read how Heather dealt with the blows and changes to her ‘perfect plan’. Also, while reading this, though painful memories returned to my heart, I also felt freed because there really IS someone out there who knows how I feel and isn’t ‘just saying it; to appease me. Finally, I also want to say that, although I haven’t been able to forgive one of my attackers, because he is a neighbor, and my son is very close friend of his children, I can let my son go to their house knowing that God is watching over him and me, and that, maybe, one day, I will be able to look at my neighbor and say “I forgive you”. Thank you for the love you shared and the support you have given me, even though you don’t know me and don’t know I exist.

    • Stephanie ( and Heather) I am so sorry to hear about your painful experience. No one should go through something like that and my heart ached when I read this story and your comment. Stephanie may you find peace and strength to be a forgiving woman and share God’s grace. You’ll be in my prayer tonight sister.

    • Im praying for your Stephanie, And now I do feel like I know you… in a small way. Thank you for sharing your heart. I know God wants to pour out His healing and bind up the broken places, to make you whole again. You are redeemed and set free my friend. I pray peace and comfort over your heart tonight!!

      • Susan Whitaker says:

        Stephanie, I am praying for you, too. God bless.

      • Stephanie Mitchell says:

        Never have I felt so much like I really belonged. To anything. Women, Godly women from all over the country, and maybe the world, are showering me with compassion and love that I have not experienced in any other setting. Thank you, Renee. Thank you, Heather. Thank you, Corina, for taking the time to touch my heart.

    • Sweet sister, you are never alone. God has been with you through every hurt, every trial.

      Father, thank You for being Stephanie’s refuge and shield. Be now her victory as she learns to forgive by the power of Your Holy Spirit. By forgiving others, we are set free from burdens that keep us from living they full and abundant life Your Son talked about. Strengthen our sweet sister, infuse her with Your Presence and empower her by Your Spirit. Thank You for bringing her here today, showing her she is truly not alone. Amen

      • Stephanie Mitchell says:

        You all have encouraged me so much by simply reading my thoughts and responding to them. through the program ‘Celebrate Recovery’ that I entered about the time this study began, I learned a very important thing. Survivors of sexual abuse feel a tremendous lack of self worth. Tonight I can say, with pride, that I am obviously worth something, or you all wouldn’t have responded so lovingly to my post. Thank you for giving me the encouragement I need to continue my Recovery from these events that stripped my worth and identity.

        • Hi Stephanie, I just wanted to share this song by Matthew West called, “Hello, My Name is”
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJlCj9_Sfj0 I hope it helps you know that YOU are worth more than you can ever imagine!! I will be praying for you♥

          • Stephanie Mitchell says:

            I heard it last night on my shower radio. I cried when I got to the part about being a child of the One True GOD. Was able to truly believe that now. I have been able to come into the light. thank you, Renee.

          • Stephanie Mitchell says:

            Tears flowed so freely just now. It is so much more powerful seeing the lyrics and singing them at the same time. I am SO happy that god brought me through those two terrible events to be able to smile through a song like this.

        • Hi Stephanie! Prayers are coming your direction from me as well. Know that God has a unique and wonderful purpose for your life. There is no one like you who can accomplish what you can accomplish with Him on your side! I’m so glad you’re plugged in with Celebrate Recovery. That’s an amazing program! I will continue to pray for your total healing and for God to use the story of your life as only He can! Jeremiah 29:11, girl. It’s so true! 😉

          Heather- You rock, girl! I can’t wait for the next time I see you (whenever that might be) to squeeze your neck and hold that awesome new little one of yours!

          Renee- Fierce prayers from a sister in Christ in Western PA continue to come your direction (and all the others on the executive team) as you lead and facilitate Proverbs 31 Ministries.

          Blessings and peace in Christ to you ladies! May those reading this know the fullness of the joy and love God showers on us all despite whatever has come your way to steal the Truth of the faithfulness of our Lord and Savior!

  14. I am going through a lot of trials and tribulations in my life right now and feel really good about knowing that I’m not alone. I’m having a lot of anxiety and I’m a little panicky and I can’t pin point as to why or what’s making me feel this way. I want my faith to grow but I’m having a difficult time doing so. Please help.

    • Susan Whitaker says:

      Praying for you Betsy. God promises He will never leave you (alone). When I feel anxious I sit down and deep breath and say memorized scripture that promises peace, love, grace and so on. This really helps me. I even close my eyes and pray for inner peace as I slowly talk to myself and also “hear” God whisper in my ear through scripture or quotes I have learned. I hope this helps you, too.

    • Betsy,
      Im praying for you tonight sweet friend. When we face ongoing trials and constant struggles, that stress can build up and the load can become too much for our emotions to bear. Sometimes I need a good dose of sleep, or a walk in the beauty of His creation to remind me of how good He is and how much He loves me – just seeing the colors He chose to make the sky, the trees, the flowers shows me His tenderness and attention to details that would speak to my heart.

      Sometimes I need to listen to music and let the words of a worship song replace my worries, or read through the Psalms. Also, I share in chapter 9 of my book, there have been times when my chemical balance got knocked way off after a year of unending and multiple unmanageable crisis that led to stress-induced depression. And my Dr {who is a strong Christian} recommended anxiety medicine to help me get back to a place of balance. As much as I didn’t want to take it, I couldn’t keep going the way I was. It wasn’t fair to my family and I knew I was going down fast. So I tried it, and it made a huge difference.

      I believe with all my heart in the power of prayer and God’s word. But sometimes He also uses Drs to lead us to something more we need. I don’t know that for you but I think it’s important I share that part of my journey bc so many Christians feel guiltily for taking medicine for anxiety or depression. I don’t think it’s the first thing we should do, but if we’ve done all that we can and we’re still sinking, it’s time to get wise, Biblical, medical help. Im so glad I did. And so is my husband, my kids and my co-workers!

      I hope you’ll try all of the things I’ve mentioned first to see if your heart just needs some space to breath and some beauty to restore your soul 🙂

    • Stephanie Mitchell says:

      Being a nurse, I can empathize with you. Not having experienced panic attacks or anxiety of that debilitating level, I can only hope you will find relief and release from this binding condition. In prayer, I will be strong for you.

    • Stephanie Mitchell says:

      Betsy, it is ok, even encouraged, to not know what you are anxious about. Please don’t take this as cliche’, it is what I often tell my patients. “Admission is the first step to cure.” You did the hardest part. Admitting that you don’t know what you are anxious about. the easy part will be to out a name to it. Praying for you and being strong for you until you can be strong for yourself.

  15. Heather, so thankful your able give hope to all the girls and men that feel hopeless because of heartaches!!! Only Jesus can set the CAPTIVES free, and thanking God you’ve been set free! I give God praise and glory when I hear testimonies that the devil has been caught in his destructive lies! John 10:10 the thief has come to steal, kill and destroy BUT our God has come to give us life and life more ABUNTANTLY !!! I was left at the hospital when I was born and then kidnapped . Then when I was five years old was kidnapped and hidden for five years! Had a book come out in April ~ Abandoned But Not Forsakened!!! A very sad story BUT tells how Jesus saved me as I was going down the hallway to get a gun!!!!!!!! God is my life and he wants us tell others that he wants them to know him and has a great plan for their life’s! God Bless you sweet friend & pray to hear from you:)!

  16. the years of being “quiet” do not make it any easier to finally share … those years can make it harder, or given the genuine compassion of others it can help you to decide it is time… God knows, He was there… not to direct the painful time but to hold us and keep us with him… it is always in God;s Time… He knows when it will happen…. Every place we go, every day we live will get us right where God wants us… Alittle pain , a little sadness, but so much love is waiting

  17. TJ Ellis says:

    Your story is so encouraging to me, because nothing in my life has gone as I dreamed, yet I see God’s love every where! We don’t have to be confident in ourselves rather, we must have confidence in God’s love.” This statement rocked my world, I have never been the same, since clinging to that truth. Thank you both!

  18. Courtney says:

    Heather, thank you for sharing your story! Praise be to God that you didn’t let your past hinder your future! As my grandmother would say,”You can’t stop the birds from flying around your head, but you can make sure they don’t built a nest!” You didn’t let the enemy fill your head with lies and hold you back. God bless you and your family.

  19. Susan Whitaker says:

    Heather’s life story was inspiring and moving. Thank you for sharing.
    I have also been through alot with my past and I know that staying in the Word and having a relationship with the Lord is so important. Daily I try to stay in faith, praying often for others as well as for myself.
    Reading scripture brings much comfort. The Word has encouragement for every problem. Its guidelines are also important because we can stay in faith and have inner peace with the grace our heavenly Father gives us as His chosen children.

  20. Heather is spot on when she said, “to be the woman we want to be, we must see ourselves through God’s eyes. We must cling to the cross of Jesus Christ and to His promises.” What she said goes hand-in-hand with my answer to question number 2 from the book. Question 2 …. “Describe who you were when you started this book and compare her to the woman you are becoming as a result of learning and living in the power of God’s promises.
    When I started this study, I was a lady who knew about God. I knew the Lord loves me, and wants me to follow Him. Now, I understand that God truly loves me. Having a deeper understanding of His love for me, I have even a deeper passion to do the will of God. I have claimed promises of His that help me to grow confidently in Him. Chapter 8 was a huge chapter for me. I am taking away from this study that I am to complete other people, and compete with them. I have a clearer understanding that the Lord made me unique, tailored just for Him and to be used for His glory. There is no need for me to compare myself to others. Ephesians 2:10 is now a life verse of mine. I understand that doubt will still creep in, but now I have another resource to use to help combat those doubts and to stand on His promises.

  21. Melissa says:

    Thank you Heather. So much of what you shared jumped out at me. I have always been a believer, but recently have recommited my life to Christ; therefore, I consider myself a “baby Christian” earnestly striving to grow. I was in a deep dark pit and my minister told me to read Psalm 46 which I did and held on to the words for dear life. His encouragement to me was vs 8. I found comfort in vs 10. I have struggled with the concept of faith and recently just had an “ahhh” moment when I realized that I had faith, my doubt was the devil telling me otherwise. So your revelation about trusting God no matter what furthers my understanding and belief in faith. I so much desire to be the woman God wants me to be and pray that I will eventually, through His word, will see myself through His eyes. Renee, your book was the first book I bought to help me get through this difficult period I am in. Thank you.

  22. Bonnie T. says:

    I always try to remember…Have the faith of a child…It amazes me how when we are small, we have such strength. I also want to know God more…Love this study….It gave me direction and got my nose in my Bible.

  23. TABITHA JONES says:

    Heathers story touched my heart. I was abused before I married and after I married by a family member and it took me a long time to get past that. I still have times were the devil tries to bring it back to the surface of my heart but the Lord helps me to get passed it. Until I could forgive, I could not move on. With Gods love I have been able to move passed the horrible pain and it touches my heart to hear others had to go through the same things.,

  24. I too suffered as a child . From sexual abuse, physical abuse, and verbal abuse. I can remember being locked in the basement for days without food. Being brought up in a home where my mother took us to church three times a week had me questioning all the time what I did to make God so angry. Why did he allow this to happen, where are YOU ??? I want everyone to know I am not the same woman Today that I was when I started this study !! I was so broken and damaged before i read your book, Renee. The Lord has changed my HEART. God has shown shown me how to shape my heart. God is showing me that he knit me together and made me complex. He KNOWS me and s improving me. He is teaching me through my past and present experiences, how he has and will comfort me. He is teaching me to accept the past hurts and to use them to comfort others. God is drawing me closer to him everyday asking me to see him more clearly preparing me to understand his purpose for my life. He s teaching me everyday. He has been showing me what is and has been going on in my heart.I love The Lord with every piece of me !!!

    • Alice R says:

      Chris, isn’t it terrible the amount of children who have been abused? I, too, was sexually abused over and over for at least a year (time is a little blurry as I was only between the ages of 4 a 6). But, amazingly, with the Lord’s help and healing, guidance and love, mercy and grace, we come out on top!

      It is so nice to hear you tell about the strides God has enabled you to make through reading this book and doing this study! I, too, am changed, although no where near as drastically because I went through that several years ago. Keep working with God – as long as you are willing and seeking Him, He will continue to bring you through to total and complete victory!

    • Hi, Alice! Praise God for you! Praise God for what He has done in your life and enabled you to do. Would you mind expounding on God showing you how to shape your heart? It is so good that God knows us intimately and loves us greatly and deeply. I look forward to hearing from you. God bless you richly!

  25. Cynthia says:

    I appreciate Heather’s candor and transparency in her riveting testimony. It was wonderful to learn she met the love of her life, her husband, and is now a mom. Heather is living the life I have wanted to live since I was 18 years old. My life has not been easy and I keep believing that God will somehow grant this heartfelt desire to meet and marry my soulmate. I’m reticent to say it, but I’m in the mindset now that God doesn’t want me tommarry and that now it’s too late for me to have children. After a broken engagement three years ago, I’m weary of waiting and it’s just the truth. I know all the Scriptures about waiting upon the Lord…but I’m truly broken in this area of my life. I cry out to the Lord to help me, but a deep mistrust towards God (only about this part of my life) is growing in my being and it scares me. I’m also a licensed counselor who, after years of training and working on my Intern hours thinks I may never be able to return to this other calling in my life. I agree and identify with so many of the ladies here and have always had body image issues even at my best weight. I know this can be devastating to deal with and has nothing to do with vanity. I know that a woman needs to be respected, cherished and adored by the right man—a truly Godly man…but where are they? Not a good hour of the morning to be contemplating such thoughts…but just being real and needing Holy Ghost anointed prayer! Love you all! Cynthia Renee

  26. Cynthia says:

    PS: Please lift up my precious Mama up in prayer… I care for her daily needs with all the love of the Lord. She is a joy and great woman of God. She has been dealing with recurring health issues—pray that she will have total healing in her body, mind and spirit. Also, we are coming up on the anniversary of my father’s death…he was killed in an accident several years ago and life has not been easy for us. Pray I may find true forgiveness towards my four older siblings who live nearby, but haven’t called or visited her in over a year. Pray for them…please!

  27. This lesson really touched my heart today. I live in Florida and worry so much about hurricanes. My husband has dementia and it worries me what we will do in case of a storm. I also have a sweet little sun conure who I couldn’t leave behind but shelters don’t take animals much. The verse from Jeremiah and the reference to Psalm 46 make me feel better. Thank you.

  28. Janet F says:

    Heather thank you so much for being so vulnerable to share your story with us. I am always so blessed to see how God takes our lives and uses the ugly things that happen to us and uses them for His glory and to help others who have gone through the same things so that they can see the HOPE that only comes from our Heavenly Father. God bless you and your family, You are a blessing Heather ♥

  29. Heather,

    Thank you so much for your testimony. It really resonated with me as I am currently going through difficult circumstances (10 months now) and am striving to become the woman God created me to be. I cling to His word and His promises trusting that the plan He has for my life, will soon be revealed. Blessings and favor on your life.

  30. Elke Kelly says:

    Thank you Heather for sharing your story, it touched my heard. I never had much plans for me or my life, but I had some dreams. Some of these dreams was shattered though and I had to find an other purpose in my life. Some of his lessons GOD send me, was really hard for me, but he helped me to learn them. It took a while before I really understand, that I have to trust him, where ever his way may lead me. I still pray to GOD to show me his way and to give me the strength to walk it. But now I can feel, more and more that he is on me side. Praise to GOD.

  31. Heather, I could feel the Holy Spirit fill me as I have not been filled in a long time!

    “Every day I have to make a choice. I can either choose to be swallowed by my painful past or my daily circumstances. Or, I can have faith in God’s plan for my life. I now know faith isn’t about believing everything will turn out well…it’s about trusting God NO MATTER how things turn out.”

    My story is different yet the same. As I am going through the healing, the pain I so carefully buried is surfacing and I so desperately need to follow His word and your example. Thanks so much for being vulnerable and sharing!

  32. Veronica says:

    Heather,
    I love when you said ” faith isn’t about believing everything will turn out well… it’s about trusting God NO MATTER how things turn out.”
    It touch the bottom of my heart because it soo truth. Thanks for sharing your story. I really like it and i plan to fordward this email to my family and friends i know it will be of a freat incourage. May God Bless you.
    Thanks Renee

  33. Thank you, Heather, for courage to share your story. I Praise God! you have been obedient to His call. Your ministry to young children and youth is so-o-o-o-o-oooo important, more than you’ll ever understand on this side of Heaven. And thank you, Daniel, for taking the bride in Heather that God meant for you to have and hold. God knows what He’s doing in our lives even though it doesn’t always make sense to us. It reminds me, too, of a comment I heard Lysa Terkeurst share at a COMPEL Conference, Sioux City, Iowa, in 2012. She said that God can take out mess and turn it into our message for Him!! It sounds like your little Stacy is in good hands! And all along our Heavenly Father knew His choice pick in a Mom and Dad for her, too. God sees the beauty in the tapestry of your life, and He allowed us to see a glimpse of it through your message here. I pray that as you continue to serve Him, you will see God’s beauty in and through yourself more and more just like He sees you. I’d like to offer this encouragement for you today: If you wrote what you shared with us today, you better start writing more. Because He’s also blessed you with a fantastic ability and anointing to write. I especially enjoyed your writing style. You express yourself extremely well and your writing is easy to follow and understand. It gets right to my heart! Perhaps you should write your own book/s for Proverbs 31 Ministries. Pray about it. Consider it. See what God shows you. I could be wrong, but I don’t believe I am. I Praise God! for revealing more of His plan to you. I don’t believe you’ve even begun to understand just how He’s going to reach out to the masses of people that need to hear what you’ve learned and can share with them to help them up. To help them get up on their feet and walk in the victory Jesus means for them to walk. When they hear what you have to say, I believe it will encourage them to leave their junk, their fears, their hopelessness about life at the cross. That’s right where it belongs . . . Because as so many of us know, though we’re challenged by the attacks of the enemy, when we keep our eyes on Jesus no matter what, He will set us straight. He will see us through the darkest of nights and the worst struggles we face. Most of all I’m thankful for all that Jesus does for us. And that we all have one another as Brothers and Sisters in Christ to encourage one another in our walk with the Lord!! As you can tell what you and Renee shared has really, sincerely ministered to me today! Thank you, Renee, too!!!!

    • Laurie,
      Thank you for your incredibly generous words. I praise God that He has allowed me this small opportunity to share a sliver of what He has done in my life. I pray I will continue to be obedient to whatever Call He lays on my heart.

      <3 Heather

  34. Minnie Jones says:

    This lady’s story is sooo my story as I’m sure many of us can attest. This verse, the Father has so been driving home over and over again to me over these last 5 years or more (I know the plans I have for you….Jer. 29:11), and again He is encouraging me to place all my cares and concerns in His hands because He is working out His plans and purposes in my life. Again, I attest to the fact that, “I trust Him and His plans for my life.” “Plans to prosper me and not to harm me. To give me a future and I hope!!” Praise His holy name!!!

  35. Patty Lewis says:

    Thank you Heather for being real and honest. I am 35 and still struggle with events from my childhood through to my adulthood of the same nature. I’ve been married for 11 1/2 years and there are still a lot of intimacy blocks. To read that you choose each day like I have to is very encouraging.

  36. Thank you for sharing with us, I really enjoyed hearing the encouraging words and from this I took away: The fact I can have faith in God’s plan for my life. I now know faith isn’t about believing everything will turn out well…it’s about trusting God NO MATTER how things turn out. See I was involved in a shooting accident back in April on the 17th wasn’t my fault, however I am stuck with all the doctor bills which so far has come to almost 50,000.00 so far and all the bills are not in, I am trusting in God to help me see this one out for paying them, I also had to stop working at my job, I am a bus driver and cafeteria worker for middle school, I had to have major surgery to get the bullet out, and take time off work, and now deal with having to be taken care of by my husband and 2 children 10 and 16, and anyone else that has time to stop and care for me, I am strong in my faith and I know God takes care of us, he has taken care of me from the start of this accident, I have learned a lot through all this from his teachings, and experiencing different emotions, I know God has a plan just not clear what it is yet, I have had faith that everything will turn out ,some times wondering what if I can’t walk again right or good enough to do my job again, I have some nerve damage in my foot and ankle from the bullet entering my leg, so I wonder, I try not to dwell on it, but the thought is there, now I can focus on TRUSTING GOD no matter how things turn out, because down deep in my heart I believe God has a plan for my life, maybe a different direction from what I once did for a living, not sure. Just talking life one day at a time, learning to follow God even closer and get use to the slow down life I am dealing with , I am not sure how long it is going to take to heal from all this still laid up, I am a women of always taking care of everyone and everything else, and doing it all, My husband always says how did you do everything, I can not get half of what you did, done in a days time, He has found a new view of how much I take care of, I pray for him everyday, he has not yet given his life to Christ, he struggles with Faith and God, I know God is working in his life, he goes to church even when I can’t go. To me that says a lot, and I trust one day God will get ahold of his heart, but that is not for me to decide when to just keep encouraging him and showing him Gods unconditional LOVE. I have gIven him to the Lord to take care of, Thank you for listening and all your encouraging words I look forward to reading the book The confident heart. Thank you again.

  37. Barbara Prince says:

    When I was young, I thought I was the only girl sexually abused. I also thought it was just another confusing thing in my life to bury. That’s what your did with things that shamed you or involved things that weren’t spoken about. I buried pretty good. I even thought I’d forgiven, kind of. Until in the midst of other hurts that weren’t talked about, all that from my childhood came back with a furry. I spiraled into a deep pit of depression. I cry out to God, but couldn’t have the faith that he was hearing and couldn’t see that He was answering me. He was trying in fact, I can see now that I was the one not listening. Yet he met me where I was and used the means I needed to get out of my depression. It was not easy or quick and it was a messy process. But God was still there and still faithful. I praise him and thank Him for his goodness to the broken.

  38. Thank you, Heather, for sharing your inspiring story. It is so true that life rarely turns out the way WE have planned. I have been struggling with the turns my life has taken lately and I loved when you said “Every day I have to make a choice. I can either choose to be swallowed by my painful past or my daily circumstances. Or, I can have faith in God’s plan for my life.” The Enemy wants us to listen to the negative and not to trust in God’s plan. I pray for the strength to believe and have faith many times a day, because I’m strugglling right now. Your post today was just what I needed. Thank you and God bless you all!

  39. This was beautiful! It brought tears to my eyes just to see God’s goodness in Heather’s life! I’m on a journey right now where it requires me to trust God every step of the way. It is stories like these that keep me looking up and secures my heart that although we cannot see everything in the natural, God does have a plan for our lives, He will bring it to pass in His own timing, and He is just faithful and GOOD through it all!

  40. so i’m almost 45, spent most of my childhood being molested by 2 different men, and have been divorced twice. my autistic son got into trouble with the law last year (i won’t say it’s not his fault, but i do believe they did not take into account that he is on the spectrum when they decided his consequences) and i am really really struggling with where God has me right now. i consider myself to be a Jesus-follower but struggle to trust Him fully. I struggle to know that he loves me. i struggle to know that romans 8:28 is a true thing for my life. but maybe i don’t understand fully what it means for me. I am starting to believe that it doesn’t mean that we will feel happy about where we are, it just means that God is working more towards our spiritual well-being more than our physical well-being. When we are tried we shall shine forth as gold (micki’s paraphrase) i wish i could say that i am doing well with trusting Him, and with knowing i will be ok, but that would be a lie and i am working hard on being honest in all things. i do appreciate this study and i would love a summer study of some sort. thank you for doing all that you have done so that women like me might actually believe that the God of the universe can love us. (still struggling but working on that one)

    • Micki, I am so sorry for the pain that you endured as a child, and for the pain you still have, I understand your pain, as I, too, had a similarly damaging childhood. But I am learning to truly believe in the sovereignty of God, and that nothing has ever happened to me that He did not allow, and that means that He has always been with me, just as He was with Christ as he was scourged, humiliated, and put on the cross. And that is true for you as well. And I have learned that God is using, and will more greatly use, all of my past to glorify Himself as I put my trust in and get my identity from Him. His plan for us is to use our stories to glorify Him, and He knew that all along, even when we were little girls!

      I am so sorry that you did not have the protection that you should have had as a little girl. I would love to give you a hug and tell you how special you are. I pray that God would give you a sense of how very precious you are to Him and that He is working all things for good for you. Lord, help us to take each day as it comes, not to worry about tomorrow. Help us to celebrate the little victories, and to have Your vision for our lives. Help us to trust You more each day. Thank you that a You have our future in Your hands.
      You are loved, Micki!

  41. What a beautiful story. God does provide for us in all ways – even when we may not always realize it.
    Thank you, for your story.

  42. Gloria C says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, Heather. It’s so inspiring to hear stories of people who have overcome heartache in their lives by the mighty power of God! So glad your life has become full of so many blessings!

    My Chapter 11 answer to question 4 is that I’m planning on co- leading a Bible study group using this book as our study guide. There is at least one woman in the group who was abused sexually and physically. I plan to copy Heather’s testimony and give it to her this week so she can read it now and again later in the study. It will be a good reminder for her. She’s also going through some hard times and needs encouragement. I think Heather’s story will help a lot!

    A study on hearing God’s voice is always a good topic! Thank you, Renee for all you do and for sharing your heart!!

  43. Michele says:

    Thank you for this post, I really needed it today. I’ve been feeling depressed lately over wrong choices I’ve made in my life and the person I’ve become. Sometimes it feels like there’s too many issues to overcome. I know I need to cling to God’s truth but as Heather said in the post I too feel ruled by my emotions.

    Thanks again Heather and Renee for sharing this. It helps knowing I’m not alone in my struggles.

    • Shelly Green says:

      Michele, you aren’t alone…we’ve all made bad choices, it’s part of being human 😉 but through Christ we are forgiven and redeemed. No matter what you have done, God forgives you and offers you a way out. Satan is quite happy to make you feel overwhelmed so you won’t try to rise above it, because he is fully aware that God is far more powerful than he is. You are loved and blessed my dear. Perhaps one of my habits would be useful for you: I take small pieces of paper, and I write a praise or a prayer request on each one and date them. Then I put them in a special container (a milk bottle for me, but could be anything you choose) as a physical act of the praises and prayer request that I lift up to God. Writing each thing down by itself seems to lighten my burden with every word. Every now and then, I will dump all these tiny folded pieces of paper out and reread them. It’s a great way to see how far I’ve come, and what prayer requests were answered and how. The ones that were answered, I throw out and replace with a praise. Some don’t get answered, and I’ve found most of them were not important in the big picture, and writing them down and praying allowed me to let go of whatever it was and focus on other things. Other things are a work in progress, but still a praise! This has helped me so much!

  44. Heather thank you for sharing your story, I thank God that He saw your pain and that He came to you when He did. I pray that you will continue to heal, and know that God will never leave you.

    I have read so many stories since I started reading Renee’s book and I can’t believe that so many of us share almost the same painful memories. Chapter four was so hard, yet so freeing, I remembered a painful past from my childhood, which I had hide in my mind…and i have been dealing with other things that happened…..I’m healing, and learning so much about myself, and especially about our Lord. I have so loved this book, I find myself reading more and searching God’s word. I love Psalm 46:1-2, and I also love verse 10 “Be still and know I am God”. He is our enough, and will be our refuge and strength through anything in our lives. It has taken so long for me to feel free, and as I continue to heal I know He will always be there.

    Thank you all for opening your hearts, and for helping me open mine. I had never been so open to share before, and now its is getting easier and easier.

    Answer to Question 4. I was not open to sharing anything about my life, and I always felt like something was not right, since I have read this book, like i mentioned, I feel free. I feel more confident. TOday I was asked to open our ladies meeting with prayer….I have never, ever, ever done that before, stood in front of so many and prayed or talked about anything. Although I was so nervous, and my prayer was short, I felt so good about doing it. I know that one day I will be confident enough to speak more and to share my story. I will continue to “sit at the feet of Jesus” everyday, I have kept my appointment daily. I have journeled and written so many scriptures.

    I am God’s chosen child and although we all have healing to do, we can rest assured….”He will never leave us or forsake us” Hebrews 13:5

  45. Hi. So, I think singers are people who to some degree are to be risen from ashes.

    I am glad that I am not the only one with cool dance moves.

    It sucks that being assaulted once increases the chances of being assualted again. (Maybe we should all just lie if we have to and say our experience only includes going to a baseball game with a guy buddy who is awesome and cool (To avoid repeat offense.) There’s even a song that goes with, if one forgets.

    (I mean, maybe not lie to the love of your life/ life companion, but…)

    It is good that your life turned out ok, it makes me happy

  46. God’s timing is perfect.
    Many of us become skilled as actresses, fooling others and ourselves.
    Fortunately or unfortunately we can’t keep up the act forever.
    This last year God has brought everything and I mean everything I have tried to hide to the surface.
    As painful as it has been I now feel truly blessed to have a wonderful pastor, friends and of course this study and the thoughts and testimonies of all the ladies posting here. Many of which have helped me to truly understand I am not on my own in this journey.
    Now as I begin to see things with a clearer mind and becoming free from those ties that have bound me for so so long I want to thank my loving Father God and all you lovely ladies for your support and encouragement throughout this journey.
    The study may be drawing to an end but our journeys are not.
    I will continue to pray Gods blessing on us all as we live this journey together.

    • Glenda I will pray for God’s continual healing in your life. I am grateful that we all were draw to this study, and I so agree about feeling free from the past, I am healing, but can truly say that Renee’s book has so changed my life, I also thank all these sisters including you that have shared stories and words of comfort, but most of all I praise our King, He will lead us all out of our valleys…and His light will guide our journeys, whatever they may be, and use them for our good, and His glory.

      Psalm 46:10 ” Be still and know I am God”….love this

      Blessings,
      Anna

  47. Good day,

    I can identify with Heather. Being abused is a very painful experience, especially when it happens twice by different people. One would tend to think there is certainly something wrong with self. Maybe there is something that am doing that makes these abusers want to sexually abuse me. But tell you what, the devil is a liar, he will do and say anything to keep you away from believing Christ. When we walk with the Lord in the midst of all that might want to cramble our faith then He is there to show us His plan for our future.

  48. Ruth Godwin says:

    Lord, You know the plans You have for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me a future and a hope. You say that if I come to You and pray, You will listen and will lead me. So, today I surrender my plans for Your plans. Please guide my decisions and thoughts to match Yours so I can experience hope and not harm. Even though things aren’t going so great today, I trust the plans You have for me.”
    The prayer above was part of devotion about praying the scriptures from the Proverbs 31 devotion website. While shopping out of town I noticed a hair salon names Salon Jeremiah 29:11. I stopped in the shop to inquire about the purpose of the name., I hoped that it was a reference to my life verse and it was. The name of the shop was the starting point to a very important conversation with my daughter’s boyfriend last night. I told him the name of the shop and the meaning of the verse. In bad times, God is in control, protecting me with his plans for hope and a future. In good times I am reminded to be humble and grateful because He is in control and it is His plans that are being worked out in my life. He asked about the difference between how God is seen in the Old Testament and how he is seen in the New Testament. This led to a conversation about His love for us and the restoration of our relationship with Him through sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ. I am thankful for this shop and your devotion, for it gave me a beautiful moment to share God’s love. Ruth Godwin, Wilson, NC

  49. Shelly Green says:

    Thank you Heather & Stephanie for being brave enough to share your painful stories. Something similar happened when I was 18, and I was mortified and kept quiet. Thinking maybe in my innocence I had done something to deserve it from people I worked with everyday. Later, I ended up in a very bad relationship, one full abuse of all sorts. After years of fear, and anger at my situation (I would walk away, but be pursued by the man I was trying to get away from; I would end up going back, but not because I wanted to, but because I was afraid of his threats, and also wanted to be able to protect his children). Anyway, I was invited to a Bible study at a local church; my boyfriend at the time hated it and gave me a hard time about it (let me note here: he was/is truly possessed by demons, which scared me immensely. Even to the demonic snarling and he didn’t even know he did it. I would pray for a hedge of protection each time I was in his presence; his thermometer would literally change to 66 at any time I was around, regardless of the actual temperature). The point is, God was there while I was suffering and not fully trusting in HIM. The Bible study brought me back to where I needed to be in my faith. And I figured out that my purpose with that particular season of my life was to share my story with other women who are in similar situations. There is a way out. You aren’t alone, no matter what lies satan tells you. And satan will do everything in his power to make you believe his lies, to steal your joy, but trusting in God will get you through anything. You ladies are truly blessed, and I believe your stories will help many, many people, even though you may never personally hear of it. God bless you!

    • Shelly Green says:

      Please excuse my run-on sentences! My brain is just a whirl with thoughts all trying to come out. I would like to also add that God helped me stay strong and not respond to any communication with this guy. This guy even tried using my name as a reference for him to make purchases, 2 years after I had broken up with him. And he assumed a fake identity to try and become a facebook friend. I told the business that I would not be a reference and would not relay messages to him; I reported him for harassment to facebook. And one and a half years later (while I was dead set against ever having another relationship!), God brought me the most amazing man. Not perfect, but perfect for me. One who has been incredibly good to me. Satan has tried to steal my joy here, by putting doubts in my head based on the previous relationship. However, I am wise enough to know to hand over these doubts to God and not let them take over my life.

    • Stephanie says:

      I am so grateful that others can gain strength from the things I shared. Know that we are all survivors and are recovering form the wrongs done to us. Ladies, don’t put a deadline on feeling ‘normal’. Things will NOT be normal again. Ask God to help you adjust to what I tell my patients is the ‘new normal’.

  50. Wow. what great testimonies. I was encouraged by reading each post. The past year has brought so many changes for my family-many good and yet unsettling. Coming out of years of hardship to now a place where I can adjust to the newness, and re-coop. This bible study has come at a timely way for me. Each turn of the pages brought me to another place I needed to open my eyes and heart. Life does not bring us ‘easy’ or ‘pain-free’, I too had days of abuse and hardships. This time of pressing into God has brought growth and I am grateful. I will share my answer to q2; how I saw how I was before- I was one hopefully waiting there in line for my turn to make it to the front of the line to ‘get in’. Yet I was always overlooked, by-passed, and others were allowed to take cuts. thus pushing me further to the back of the line. Often I felt as if the one guarding the door was chuckling and smirking at me with the ‘as if I would let you in’ look. Now-my focus is not in line waiting to be seen or allowed. Rather I am at the feet of Jesus, there I am granted free access. It has shown me I have turned from’ being in a line’ to running into Gods open arms.

  51. Father, thank You for each of these sweet sisters in Christ. Thank You for allowing what You have done in my life to touch theirs, giving them hope and encouragement. Lord, You truly have a plan and a purpose for each of Your precious children. We are truly Chosen, Redeemed, Loved, Remembered, Secure, Able and Called! None of that changes, no matter what circumstance surrounds our lives, no matter what we have done…or what has been done to us. Our worth is not determined by circumstance, but by Your love for us, shown to us through the cross of Your Son Jesus Christ. Help each of us Lord to cling to You for everything we are worth. Drown out the lies of the Evil One as we replace his words with Your unshakable, unchangable TRUTH. Amen.

    Thank you sweet sisters for sharing your heart and how God has touched you through what He has done in my life.
    <3 Heather

  52. Heather, thank you for sharing your tremendous story of brokenness and redemption. I can relate so well to it, coming from a childhood of abuse; into a young adulthood of seeking comfort, love and affirmation in relationships; then hitting rock-bottom, seeking God, trusting in His Son as my Savior and Lord, and marrying my best friend and the man who led me to the Lord. It has been a journey, and God has brought me through a lot of pain, doubt, depression; through periods of relative peace; and has now led me into a new period of realizing that I have some deeper issues of trust/doubt that He needs and wants to heal. As I get a better understanding of what my identity in Christ means, God is moving that knowledge from my head to my heart. A special message from your story: “Every day I have to make a choice. I can either choose to be swallowed by my painful past or my daily circumstances. Or, I can have faith in God’s plan for my life. I now know faith isn’t about believing everything will turn out well…it’s about trusting God NO MATTER how things turn out.” Amen!

    Rene, this study has been exactly what I have needed at just the right time. God has been taking me down into the valley this year, allowing me to see my desperate need for His healing, and that He alone can do it. While it felt for a while that I would never get out of this valley, your study has helped me to walk with God through the valley, not try to climb out in my own strength, and to see the promise of dawn at its edge. I have been so encouraged by the message of your book, and by all of the guest posts you have shared, and all of the women participating. I will be starting a Beth Moore study on Strongholds this summer with a friend (her choice, but a book that I have been blessed through), and I hope to follow that study with your book. I especially appreciate from Ch 11 your reminder of God’s sovereignty and that “God tells us we are:Chosen, Redeemed, Loved, Remembered, Secure, Able and Called.”

    I would love to be a part of a summer discussion/study!

  53. Susan G says:

    Thank you Heather for sharing your testimony of how God does heal, and does give us hope! He knows the plans He has for each of us. The enemy would like to destroy each one of us who know God, but God is sovereign and in control of our future…no matter how bleak our past may have been. Praise God, He holds us and loves us with an everlasting love…
    May God richly bless your life!
    Thanks Renee for this awesome life-changing book and study!

  54. Leah Kutukwa says:

    The woman I want to be reminds me of Psalms 46 ..oh yes he is our refuge and strength, we will not fear though the earth should change powerful

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