Conquering Fear with Confident Faith

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:1-2 (NIV)

As I crawled in bed, paralyzing fear came over me. My husband was out of town for work and I was afraid to go to sleep. Fear had become a constant companion during his nights away.

I knew in my head that I needed to trust God, but my heart wasn’t cooperating. I went through the motions of what I knew I should do: pray, read scriptures, and tape verses to my bedside table and bathroom mirror. But there was also a  phone next to my pillow, and a neighborhood directory and Bible next to me in bed.

One night I took it a step further. I put toys on the stairs to trip possible burglars, brought my children into my room to sleep with me, and moved the dresser in front of the bedroom door.

Still fear kept me awake…

I’m sharing my heart and the rest of my story of how God helped me overcome paralyzing fears in my P31 devotion today. BUT BEFORE YOU GO —> be sure to read about a VERY special offer below!

CHbookpromo.banner

Need a friend to help you overcom your fears? In my book, A Confident Heart,  I will walk you  you through a powerful process of identifying and overcoming fears and insecurities so you can live with confident faith and courage! ALSO –> When you purchase A Confident Heart through Proverbs 31 Ministries through June 10th, you will receive a SIGNED copy with a prayed over, personal Scripture too. AND you can receive OVER $40 in FREE RESOURCES! All you need to do is EMAIL YOUR P31 ministries RECEIPT to PreSummerPromo@gmail.com — 

Order your copy today!

HERE are the $40 in FREE RESOURCES you could receive:

Chapter 12 – “When I Say… God Says…” 31 Promises {Printable}
Countless readers have said the Chapter 12 chart of promises is their favorite take-away of the whole book! This printable PDF includes the chart in Chapter 12 with  31 different “When I say–God says” statements and promises to help you exchange your most common and crippling self-doubts with God’s transforming truths.


Confident Heart Scripture Prayers {Printable}

A beautiful compilation of prayers from the end of each chapter in A Confident Heart  we’ve put together a “Praying God’s Promises” printable PDF so you can print them, post them and carry them with you! “Praying God’s Word is one of the most life-changing ways to live in the security of His promises. “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14 NASB). We can be confident when we pray His Word,
we pray God’s will and through the power of prayer His promises are engraved on our hearts.”


Rest Assured– Message on MP3

Ever feel anxious, scattered or depleted? Jesus invites us to bring our rest-less hearts to Him: “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28) Through powerful Biblical teaching and practical life applications, Renee shows us how we can “rest assured” in Jesus by replacing worries that make us weary with God’s perspective and peace. In this one hour message, Renee will help you rest in His presence and rely on His plans as you learn to:

  • Depend on the certainty of God’s promises despite the uncertainty of your circumstances
  • Improve your relationships by embracing grace-based expectations of yourself and others
  • Turn worry into worship by focusing on “what is” instead of “what if”
  • Live with a confident heart in Christ by exchanging fear-filled thinking with faith-filled believing


Letting God Fill My Empty Places – Message on MP3

Do you ever measure your worth by how well you’re doing at work, at home, or in your relationship with God? Does is sometimes leave you feeling empty and uncertain that you can ever do enough, or be enough? Weaving powerful truths with practical life applications, in this 50-minute message,  Renee shares insights from her personal struggles with performance-based living as she helps you:

  • Identify what makes you feel empty and ways to let Jesus fill you
  • Find lasting contentment and confidence in God’s unfailing love
  • Experience greater joy in the people, positions, and possessions God’s given you
  • Stop striving to please and start believing because God’s promises that you are “enough”

Don’t Throw Away Your Confidence – Message on MP3
Ever feel like you’re not good enough, smart enough, or gifted enough? Do the critical words you say to yourself, or hear from others, make you question your worth? Renee Swope offers the voice of a friend who candidly, and humorously, shares her struggles and victories in overcoming self-doubt. Identifying the most common triggers of insecurity, Renee will  help you:

  • Break free from the comparison trap and embrace the unique woman God created you to be
  • Exchange critical “against me” thoughts with scripture-based God is “for me” thoughts
  • Learn from conflict and grow more confident through it
  • Replace alack of self-confidence with lasting God-confidence

There’s More!

p31devotionalbiblecover.jpg.228x356_q85_crop_upscale

Each person who buys a copy and sends in their receipt will also be put into a drawing for additional GIVEAWAYS!

These giveaways include a copy of our new P31 Real-life Devotional Bible for Women with devotions written by our Proverbs 31 Ministries writers {including me, Lysa TerKeurst, Karen Ehman, Glynnis Whitwer, Micca Campbell and many more!}

Also, thanks to my friend Donna Bostick, I’ll be giving away (3) Panera gift cards and (2) P31 Store certificates to additional winners.

 

Telling Ourselves the Truth

Today I want you to meet my sweet and amazing friend Jennifer Rothschild. Jennifer is a wife, mom, national speaker, founder of WomensMinistry.net and author of several books, including “Self-talk, Soul-talk: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself as well as Me, Myself and Lies Bible Study.

She is also speaking with me on the Girls GetAway Cruise in October {and we’d love for you to join us!! – more details below}. For now, turn up your volume, click on the arrow and join us for some girl-talk:

Jennifer’s points really are worth remembering, and obviously I need to write them down. So, here is what she encouraged us to do with the not-so-encouraging words we sometimes say to ourselves.
  • Recognize – Recognize if your self-talk matches up with God’s thoughts.
  • Refuse – Refuse any self-talk that is not consistent with God’s words.
  • Re-phrase – Re-phrase negative thoughts to align with scripture. Tell yourself the TRUTH, and nothing but God’s truth!

When we take these 3 steps, God begins to erase negative self-talk and lies. Speaking of erasers, Jennifer needed one that morning. Before we met, she bent over to pick something up, and hit her eye on the edge of the desk. {Cringe} She had a video shoot that afternoon, and a lovely black eye. So, I whipped out what I call my “magic eraser” makeup and covered it up. Look. You cannot even see the deep dark purple mark under her eye.

So, what is my “magic eraser”? It’s Maybelline’s Eraser Treatment MakeUp, and it’s only $7.99! Today’s your chance to win some, along with Jennifer’s book:

“A Godly Girls Eraser Gift Set”
$10 Target Gift card for Maybelline’s Eraser Treatment Makeup
Self-talk, Soul-talk by Jennifer Rothschild
 
TO ENTER: Share a link to today’s post with the wonderful encouragement Jennifer shared with us {via email, Facebook, Twitter or your blog}. Then leave a comment letting us know you did -you’ll be entered to win!

DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES
SIGN UP to Receive Email Updates 
{under my PreSummer Promo}, and you won’t miss a post, giveaway or special promotions! Plus you’ll earn an extra chance to win today’s giveaway. {Click “Share Your Thoughts” below this post and let me know if you did one, or both, in the white box.}

GGA-Renee-BannerJoin us on the Girls GetAway Cruise. Book a cabin using the code “Proverbs 31″ you will receive $100 off the entire package! AND each stateroom will also receive a FREE stay at the luxurious Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa that Wednesday night, October 2nd so we can all  be good and rested for our fun cruise adventure the next day!  More details here!

The Woman I Want to Be

Receive Email Updates
Be sure to SIGN UP where it says “Receive Email Updates”
{under my PreSummer Promo},so you don’t miss a post, giveaway or special promotions coming soon for email subscribers only!


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! 🙂

Lord, I Want to Know You

I have a video message today based on Chapter 10 of my book, A Confident Heart. Praying it encourages your heart and leads you closer to HIS today!

{If you are reading this via email click here to return to my blog to watch the video.}

Message Notes
Download video “Message Notes” in a notes in a PDF or in a Word doc here.

Side note: If you noticed something different about me in this video, it’s because I had a migraine the day we filmed it.  Or maybe you didn’t even notice and I just to give myself grace, huh? 🙂

godsnames_heartKnowing God By Name – Printable DOWNLOAD
Download and print a list of the Names of God  I shared in the video and a few more from Chapter 10.

 

 

Let’s Connect: What do you want to apply from in today’s video message? And let’s share areone or two answers to our Chapter 10 Chapter questions? 

{If you are reading this via email click here to return to my blog to share your thoughts.}

AConfidentHeart_FinalCover_smallerRECEIVE $40 in FREE Confident Heart Resources! When You Purchase A Confident Heart this month, you can receive over $40 in FREE RESOURCES and EXCLUSIVE downloads.

CLICK HERE to find out how!

 

{Chapter 10} Amazed by Grace

Art Source

“I used to feel so far from God, like I had to work my way back to Him after periods of inconsistency in my time with Him, seasons of unbelief or self-sufficiency, or other sins. I was also convinced God had lost His patience with me.Then I’d try harder and eventually fail again.

Finally, I’d get defeated and wonder, “What’s the use in trying?”

But now I know it’s not about trying harder. It’s about turning sooner. It’s about confessing sin and turning back to God’s gift of grace.

Grace is God’s “undeserved favor.” We don’t have to earn it, and we cannot lose it when we act undeserving. Grace is God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Yes, grace cost a lot, but Jesus already paid for it. Because you see… it is “by grace [we] have been saved, through faith—and this not from [ourselves], it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8). And God’s grace not only saved us from eternal hell, it saves us from the hell we put ourselves through daily with guilt, shame, self-loathing and condemnation.

Some people ask if grace is a license to sin. A confident woman knows that it’s not. Instead, she realizes grace is the security of knowing God’s love is guaranteed for her because she trusts in Christ. Really understanding His sacrificial gift accomplishes the opposite of granting a license to sin. When we grasp what Jesus did for us, we want to return the gift of His life by offering ours to Him, even if our offering isn’t perfect or even perfectly consistent.” ~ From Chapter 10

Our word for the week is GRACE
Download and print our word for the week in a PDF or in MSWord.

Our verse for us this week: “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourself; it is the gift of God -” (Eph. 2:8)

Our prayer for us this week: Lord, thank You that I can approach Your throne of grace with confidence and receive mercy and find grace to help me in my time of need. Because of Your mercy and forgiveness, my guilt-induced doubt is replaced by grace-induced confidence. Help me trust You with all my heart and not lean on my own understanding, acknowledging You in all my ways so You can make my path straight. Those who know Your name trust You, Lord, because You have never deserted those who seek Your help. In Jesus’ Name, amen. {See Hebrews 4:16; 1 John 1:9; Proverbs 3:5–6; Psalm 9:10.}

Let’s Chat: What is one area of your life where you need to receive more of God’s grace and give yourself more grace too?

Please click “share your thoughts” just below this post and do just that. {If you are reading this via email please click here to return to my website to connect with us!}

When Problems Pile Up {and Threaten to Take You Down}


I wish we could sit in a coffee shop and chat today

I’d love to talk with you about things that may be weighing you down. They always seem to lighten when shared with a friend.

I’d tell you about the year I let my problems pile up… and how all that pressure almost took me down. It’s all in chapter 9 of my book, A Confident Heartincluding the story about  the time I accidentally took my dogs medicine. Yes ma’am. I sure did.

At the end of every chapter, I also share a prayer – weaving my tangled thoughts and sometimes-consuming concerns with His Words and wisdom. Praying in this way helps me to take my cares to Him with confidence, knowing when I pray His Word I am praying His will for me {and others}. Here’s the prayer that was birthed out of my piling up and tumbling down year:

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way. When concerns consume me, remind me that You are with me, holding me by my right hand and guiding me with Your counsel. Though my flesh and my heart may fail, You are the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Help me turn my burdens over to You, knowing that You will take care of me.

Because You are my shepherd, I shall not be in want. You promise that when I dwell in the shelter of the Most High, I can rest in the shadow of the Almighty. You are my refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You preserve my life; You stretch out Your hand against the anger of my foes, and with Your right hand You save me. Thank You for making known to me the path of life and filling me with joy and peace in Your presence. In Jesus’ name, Amen. {See Psalms 139:23–24; 73:23–26; 55:22; 23:1; 91:1–2; 138:7; 16:11.}

From A Confident Heart by Renee Swope, Chapter 9
© 2013 by Baker Revell Publishing. All rights reserved.

Over the past few years God has been changing me and rearranging me. He’s taught me how to use prayer to turn my worry into worship. He’s also given me a practical way to physically hand Him my concerns! Since we can’t chat in a coffee shop today, I’d love to share them with you through this short video message:

Message Notes: You can download my “Video Message Notes” in a PDF here or in a Word doc here.  They include the points of my message, verses and blanks to fill in. {If you’d like to watch more FREE Confident Heart videos based on my book, click here.}

reneeswope_praying4husbandFREE DOWNLOADS:
Download my “Printable Prayers Collection: How to Pray for Those You Love from Head to Toe.” Today, I’m offering “Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe” {click here to download}

YOU CAN also RECEIVE “Praying for Yourself from Head to Toe” and “Praying for Your Children from Head to Toe” when you sign up here to enter your name and email.  Then come back so you can enter to win today’s giveaway below!

 

TODAY’s GIVEAWAY:
Share one thought or something you want to apply after reading today’s devotion, blog post or hearing my video message
. Click “share your thoughts” right below this post and do just that. 🙂

Enter to Win one of 4 copies of A Confident Heart, OR the grand prize which includes A Confident Heart book PLUS a coffee shop gift card and a Godiva chocolate bar. 

A Confident Heart_3D

$40 in Confident Heart Resources {FREE}!! When You Purchase A Confident Heart this month, you can receive over $40 in FREE RESOURCES and EXCLUSIVE downloads.

CLICK HERE to find out how!

 

Update on My Mom:
Thank you for your prayers for my mom. She’s had ups and downs but her kidney pain is less and less each day. Ive been concerned she had gotten pneumonia because she started running a fever, coughing, has had pain in her lower lung and some breathing issues {plus she has a history or pulmonary embolisms and has been off of her blood thinners for surgery.} We’ll be seeing her doctor on Monday to check on her kidney and lungs. I think she’s okay but it will be good to hear the doctor confirm that. 🙂

Chapter 9 {Word & Verse} for the week

Photo Credit

Beloved: greatly loved; dear to the heart.

There is a reason God calls us His be-loved.

Because we don’t have to “do” anything to be loved — by Him.

When we live loved…

We can be still…. stop striving and remember that He is God.

We can choose to find resting place for our restless hearts in HIM

We can stop scurrying and hurrying because “doing more” doesn’t define us

We can rest secure knowing His banner over us is LOVE.

You are loved…not because of what you do but because of who you are.

HIS {greatly loved, dear to HIS heart} beloved!

Our Word for the week: Beloved
Download our word for the week in a PDF or in MSWord. Be sure to print it and post it all over your house or office so you can remember you are God’s be-LOVED!

Let’s live loved in His PROMISE for us this week: “Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him, for He shields [her] all day long, and the one the Lord loves rest between His shoulders.” Deuteronomy 33: 12, NIV

Today’s Assignment: Start or continue reading chapter 9. As you read, highlight or underline things you want to remember, promises your heart needs to hear. Take time to journal what God is showing you.

Connecting in Community:
I would love to know what one or two things you’ve read so far in Chapter 9 that you feel God is speaking to your heart about. Are there verses or sentences you’ve underlined or highlighted? Click “share your thoughts” just below this post and do just that.

{If you are reading this via email please click here to return to my website to connect with us!}

Because GIVING Really IS Better than Receiving

If the message of A Confident Heart has touched your life

there has NEVER been a better time to SHARE IT with someone else!

 

NeverFailsUpdate


I wanted to bless YOU with a gift {worth more than the price of the book}
when you give away what you’re receiving as you learn to live in the security of God’s love and the power of His promises. I felt like chapter 8 was the perfect time to do this so…

 

When you purchase A Confident Heart between May 1- June 10th
You will receive over $40.00 in FREE RESOURCES
to help you live with a Confident Heart! {See resource list below}

To receive your $40 in Resources:

Email a copy of  YOUR RECEIPT to –> PreSummerPromo@gmail.com

Once we receive your receipt, confirming your purchase between May 1-June 10th, we’ll send an email with details on how to access the FREE downloads.

The purpose of this promotion is to bless YOU for blessing someone else!
Our hope is that someone who needs to know just how much God loves them, will receive a copy of A Confident Heart {from you} and discover they are chosen, accepted, pursued, loved {unconditionally} and created for a God-given purpose only they can fulfill!


Here is a list of the $40.00 in FREE RESOURCES you will receive:

  • “When I Say… God Says…” 31 Promises from Chapter 12  {Exclusive Promo Printable}
  • Confident Heart Scripture Prayers {Exclusive Promo Printable}
  • Rest Assured – Message on MP3
  • Letting God Fill My Empty Places – Message on MP3
  • Don’t Throw Away Your Confidence – Message on MP3

{Find detailed descriptions here}

And there’s More!

p31devotionalbiblecover.jpg.228x356_q85_crop_upscale

Each person who buys a copy and sends in their receipt will also be entered to win:

A copy of our new P31 Real-life Devotional Bible for Women , one of (3) Panera gift cards or one of (2) P31 Store certificates.