How Can God Use Me?

I’m so thankful for the gift of my friend Kimberly who is with us today to openly share her struggles with condemnation and how it has made her  see herself so differently than God does. Please take time to watch this less than 2 minute really powerful video message her church created, and then read what she wrote below about the way God spoke to her heart about His perspective of our failures and flaws.

{If you are reading this via email, PLEASE double click here to visit my website and watch the video).

From Kimberly…

A few years ago, if you would have asked me if I believed that God loved me, I would have told you, “Yes.” Realizing His great love for me has been one of the sweetest truths I have ever come to know.

BUT, if you had asked me if I believed God could use me or would even WANT to use me… well, I would have hemmed and hawed and never really landed on an exact yes or no. Why? Because I felt unusable. My sins and mistakes disqualified me. I looked at myself and saw all of my flaws. I saw deep insecurities. I saw my too often short temper. I saw a lack of discipline, a lack of Biblical knowledge. I saw lack upon lack, failure upon failure.

“Jesus loves me? Yes. He died for me. But Jesus would like to use me. Ummmm…seriously? I think not.”

I love how He corrects our wrong thinking through His Word.

As I sat reading the Bible one day, heart heavy from discouragement, God led me to read John 3:17. It comes right after John 3:16, one of the earliest verses we ever learn about how God loved the world so much He sent His only Son Jesus to die for us so that, believing in Him, we could have eternal life. John 3:17 goes on to tell us more:

“For God did not send His Son Jesus into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

I felt the Lord urging me to look up the definition the words “condemn.”

Condemn- 1. to pass an adverse judgement on; disapprove of strongly, censure; 2. a) to declare to be guilty of wrongdoing; convict b) to pass judicial sentence on; inflict a penalty upon c) to doom; 3. to declare (property) legally appropriated for public use; 4. to declare unfit for use or service. (Webster’s Dictionary)
The last definition pierced my heart. To declare unfit for use or service. I immediately thought of buildings that had been condemned.  Ones labeled dangerous. Buildings no one wanted to go near. Ones that are no longer usable.
Old condemned building

That was exactly how I felt. Unsafe. Unlovely. Unusable.

Convinced that Jesus wanted to wrap caution tape around my life to keep people back. “Stay away from this one. I love her, but she’s still too messed up to be of any use to me. Better stand clear of her.”

Yellow Caution Tape

The words of John 3:17 coupled with the last definition released a flood of truth and healing over my heart. The Father was whispering tenderly to me. He did not see me as I saw myself. He did not see a condemned building…someone dangerous. Someone unlovely. Someone unusable. He saw someone He loved so much that He would send His only Son to die a shameful and excruciating death for her. He sent His Son to save me. To forgive me. To heal me. To set me free, fill me up, and USE me.

The tears began to flow as He let me know that I am usable. And not only does He find me usable. He wants to use me. I am not the same woman I was 13 years ago.

  • I have been forgiven of all of my sins. (1 John 1:9) (even the “big bad” ones)
  • I am a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • I am complete in Christ. (Colossians 2:10)
  • I have purpose in Him. (Ephesians 2:10)

Let these sweet truths wash over you today. Jesus did not come to label you unusable. He loves you and He has a purpose for your life that is of great use to His kingdom!


Thank you so much Kimberly for sharing your heart and being so honest with us today. I got so much encouragement from your video and writing. So many of us can relate to what you shared.

Let’s Connect: So friends…How about you? Do you believe God loves you, yet struggle to believe He could ever use you? Do you struggle to believe He would want to use you as you look at all of your sins,  flaws and failures?  I’m so thankful for this message that sets the stage for some real life transparency today.


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.


  1. I truly relate with Kimberly. I have felt those same things for 50 years. Last year after resigning from working at a church for 22 years I felt lost. One day while I was talking with the Lord and sharing how I couldn’t see how He could OR even want to use me I heard him answer. His response was, “Why WOULDN”T I want to use you? You want to share my Word with others when there are so many hurting people out there. Of course I would use you!” For the first time in 52 years I felt significant and validated from the Lord. And little did I know that he had a greater purpose for me than working at that church. My wings had been clipped and he wanted me to fly. So today I am soaring!!!!!

    • I love that, Dana. His question of why WOULDN”T He want to use you! I just love how He encourages our hearts so tenderly. And indeed. He created each of us for a purpose. He created us because He WANTS us! So why wouldn’t He want to use us! 🙂 So thankful truth has set your heart free!

  2. Thanks you for this… The timing is perfect. My struggle has been inconsistent messages to myself. One day I feel totally usable but if everything doesn’t got “right.” I see myself as a failure and want to give up on trying anymore. Heard of yo-yo diets? I’m working to overcome a yo-yo-ing self image. I guess sometimes I just need a different voice to remind me that I don’t have to get it “right” to be used. Allowing myself to be used IS. Getting it right. Thank you!

    • Stephanie says:

      I can totally relate to the yo-yoing self image! Mine seems so circumstancial at times instead of being based on God’s Words of truth.

    • I like how you put it…”allowing myself to be used IS getting it right.” That is so good. It’s not about us being perfect. We never will be. It’s about trusting what HE says about us and surrendering to what He wants to do through us. And I so know what you mean by yo-yo-ing self image! May we continue to speak HIS truth over ourselves, bossing our hearts around with the truth that He loves us and created us to be used by Him.

    • I like that Ashley, you don”t have to get it right for God to use me. I too wow, i can’t believe i sat here and just cried i can’t believe even though kim you shared about God using you, i felt the same way. Well, Pssst, still do. Yep still do i ran out a few days ago to buy ” A Confident Heart”. The only book left on the shelf, i think it had my name on it. God saved this one for me. 🙂 I still think i believe He does havw something for me, but what? I feel i have so much to share, but how? I have a couple proverbs 31 ministries books for a while never realizing now we can inter- act on this site. I am very thankful and hope to join in. Yet even now though i feel inadequate in my sharing, i guess i am realizing i have a long way to go. I just want to be used for God i wish and desire to only walk with Him. I am single not married and have no children. I need to find my ministry i’ve been praying for that for a long time. Well give me a chance pray for me as i will be reading along chapter 8. I see just through today how God can get just so personal and close with us , me. You shared Renee Ps. 37:4 In the Life
      recovery bible States: Be delighted with the Lord. Then He will give you all your heart”s desires. This was pretty hard for me today. I even got a little angry, it seems he is giving Everyone else their “Heart”s” desire. Hey, GOD……you forgot me. 🙁 That is what i went through today. Well you know if i would only spend more time with Him. I have time, i need to make the time. Yet, i’m not going to beat myself up for how i was feeling today. Than tonight i thought let me open my computer and share your thoughts was on. And than Kimberly shared her story. Pretty powerful, i broke down and cried i thought i talked to her because what she shared “Was Exactly what I went through today. I kept thinking God Will Never use me. How can i do or have any of my desires complete i make hardly any money. I live check by check, i can hardly save to by some new underwear, well bought three new pair a month ago. But, that is how it is. My hearts desire is to serve Him I am in health care always have been. Renee you spoke on discovering you abilities, i laughed on that yet sad too, because abilities who knew. We all have them you stated yes i have self-doubt that has shaped my excuses; I am not good enough, i have no money, because i want to become a missionary, i was a long time ago, I have a heart for Israel. You know i feel i could go on and on. I have alot to learn and hope through this book and reading and discussing our hearts to one another, i pray you hear me out and thank you for listening. I do thank all of you who are reading this is matters to me a lot. God bless and Shalom!

      • So glad you shared Noreen and so glad God saved a copy of Renee’s book just for you! Praying for you as you continue to seek His face and press in to Him. He loves you so and hears the cries of your heart. One of my favorite verses is Psalm 116:1,2…

        “I love the Lord because He has heard my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.”

        Don’t you just love how tender that picture is? God leaning in to listen to us. I just love that! Blessings to you, sweet Noreen!

        Love and prayers,

  3. Cherrill says:

    thank you Renee for using Kimberley’s words to inspire others. Unfortunately I cannot get the video to play, not sure why, but I still feel unable to be used of the Lord and have been thinking about it for a few days now. This has come just in time to help me seek out His word and wait for Him to give me an answer….although it may not be the one I want……still I will trust Him with my life after all He gave His for me!

    • Hi, Cherrill! I am sorry the video wouldn’t play for you. The video is very much what I wrote.

      I so understand not feeling usable to the Lord. But I am finding out more and more, as I dig into His Word and spend time in His presence, that me, you, or any of us being unusable is just a lie from the enemy. I don’t know the exact tactics the enemy may be using with you (past sins, feelings of worthlessness, etc.), but know that I am praying for you that the Lord will speak HIS truth to your heart. He is so glad He created you. And He definitely DOES want to use you. Blessings to you, Cherrill!

      • Cherrill says:

        Hi Kimberly, thank you so much for replying to my comment, it is wonderful to know there are women who actually dont know each other but through the Spirit can pray and help out. Thank you for your encouraging words, I live in a very small town in South Africa and we do not have a great selection of churches in town and of course only one English speaking church, (I do not feel right in it, if you know what I mean) so I do feel a bit lonley as far as having a place to worship. But having this Bible Study is wonderful and of course we can air our views after each week and receive encouragement from wonderful women of God!
        I may be feeling a bit sorry for myself ha,ha! but after reading more of God’s Word last night and more in depth I do feel a lot better today and am sure His plan will come to pass. Thank you again for the words of encouragement and it is good to know someone is praying for me, May the Lord bless you in every way this coming week!

  4. karen in Canada says:

    Thank you Renee and Kimberly for sharing these truths.
    As I re-read chapter 7 earlier this morning, that same scripture (John 3:17,18) is the one that I connected with most. For some reason I find it much easier to believe God’s promises and love for other people. I really thirst to know God’s love for me in a much deeper way and to know how He could possibly use my impatient and critical self for His Kingdom. I do know He is doing a good work in me and I am not the women I was 10 or 20 years ago and that is totally because of Him, however I stil do not really like the woman I am today. I really need to believe what Jesus says in John 3;17…

    • Oh, Karen in Canada. I so understand the issue of being able to believe God’s promises and love for other people and not so much for yourself. I actually went through a really rough time a few years ago…battled with depression and a lot of anger…when God spoke VERY clearly to my heart about how I needed to start believing His Word for ME. He convicted me of how I read His Word, knew His Word, and even shared His Word with others, but I needed to cling to it MYSELF. His promises are just as true for you and me as everyone else. I have to remind myself that every person who has breath in their body is struggling with something – some sin issue. You struggle with impatience and being critical. Honestly, I am not so unfamiliar with those myself! 😉 BUT He still loves us and wants to use us. Because it isn’t about us being perfect. It’s all about Him. We have this treasure in earthen vessels so that He gets the glory. 🙂 Praying He will help you to know and believe how great His love is for you! AND that He wants to use you…right now, just as you are.

  5. I am always amazed at what God puts before my eyes to read or near my ears to hear Him speaking just at the time I am ready to accept the Wisdom I have requested. Kimberly, you are so blessed to be held in His arms, to be open to His Love and follow as He leads. It is sometimes difficult for the head and heart to connect in the realization that God does indeed love us – the heart feels His love but the head doubts that He could really love us. I remember the first time, as a small child, being told that “Jesus Loves You” and the pride (and hope) felt that he loved ME – a full sized, unbeautiful, stubborn, unloveable child. I held to the thought that someone who did not know me might really love ME and tucked that thought away – but tucked it so far away that it was buried deep and replaced with the words of others. WOW (walk on water moment) to realize that He can and does not condemn and uses life’s lessons to not only grow us (connect the head and heart) so we can witness and minister, but really does LOVE us. Renee, thank you for honoring Him by presenting this study. It has been an awakening experience for me and I wonder where He is taking me on this journey.

  6. Adrienne says:

    The other day I was reading this article in a dr’s office. I do not have any children but I just thought I would read it and it blessed my heart. I just read your email attached and thought of you..May it encourage you as it did me.

  7. I do struggle with this. Just the other day, after several “failures”, I sat down to reflect and process the events of my day. I laughed a little b/c I knew God had provided me with the opportunity to ‘fail forward’ and i love when life correlates with things I’m readng b/c I know God is working in me. I asked God how I should process all that had happened…had I done something to cause the events of the day, etc. I didn’t get an answer right away. That night it seemed like every memory of every big failure in my past flooded my mind and I fell into the frustratdng and feeling sorry for myself trap. I know it was satan’s way of attacking my attitude and thoughts to divert me from hearing God’s perspective. These words today have touched my heart deeply and were just what I needed to read and hear.
    Thank you!

  8. I am so far behind in this study! (am just starting chapter 5) Wanted you to know I appreciate all you do to point out God’s truths to me. I am slowly grasping this!

    • Sweet friend, this is a a lot to grasp – took me 40 years!! Ha – just like the Israelites. Take your time, soak Him in, read it again and again. I pray it will be in your tote back or on your bed side table for years!!!

  9. You can not believe how I can relate to this. Kimberley’s words really made me stop and think though. I have been put down and told I was not good enough all of my life and if you here it long enough and often enough, what are you going to believe? I am slowly gaining ground now but it is still hard to believe sometimes that God could ever use me to help others. This was really what I needed to hear today because it has been a really rough night last night and moning today. Thank you both so much!!

    • I am so glad you are reading Renee’s book and that you came by today, Jan. I know God wants to replace every single lie of “not good enough” spoken over your life with the truth that you are loved by Him and that He created you with purpose and that He DOES want to use you. This may sound kinda silly, but yesterday was my birthday. And it use to be a day I struggled with. One I just wanted to skim past. Who was I to be celebrated? But this year I sat outside by myself and just thanked Him for creating me. He didn’t have to make me, but He did. He made me on purpose. And so I thanked Him. And as I sat there praising Him, I felt Him whisper in my heart. “I am so glad I created you.” Tears FLOODED out of my eyes. My heart was overwhelmed by the tenderness of His love. I tell you this simply to say, I know He says the same thing to YOU. He is SO glad He created you. Praying His truth crowds out every lie you have ever believed about yourself! Much love, K

      • Kimberly,
        I’ve always felt the same way about my birthday. Who am I to be celebrated? But your post hit home. I am a child of God, created purposefully and wonderfully made. Of course my birthdays have only been celebrated by my mom who recently died so I’ll need to celebrate myself now, but that’s okay. I will celebrate with God.

        • I am so sorry about the loss of your mom, Lynn. Praying the Lord blesses you in extra special ways on your birthday this year. Ways that speak tenderly of His love for you. I know He is so glad He created you, too!!!!

  10. Marilyn J. Icardi says:

    Yes, Renee, this was “the message” I needed to hear and receive into my (un)confident heart today. Condemnation is so natural. Deliverance/salvation is so divine. We choose to be delivered/saved through GOD’s only son. Or we choose to stay condemned without HIM. Our family is being broken into small pieces. At age 65, I are humbled, disappointed, doubtful, easily condemned by past decisions made in our family. We need to be changed, transformed, renewed, shaped and redeemed as we face unknown challenges ahead. GOD knows. We do not; but I know we can trust HIM for HE who has promised is faithful. Chaos, danger, and confusion entered our quiet home this past week when we offered refuge to our rebellious 18-year-old grandson. He has no where to go and no one can offer him a safe place to live. This final bridge seemed to be condemned, damaged beyond repair, falling apart, collapsing. After 7 days, the hassles were too complicated, too difficult, too demanding. Yesterday morning, I offered two questions to my beloved husband of 45+ years: 1) If not us, who? 2) If not now, when? By dinner time, all three of us were of one mind and in agreement. It is us. It is now. Thank you, JESUS CHRIST for the courage and wisdom to be the grandparents you created us to be and the willingness to do what you have called us to do now. May we complete with confidence the race that is set before us. May we share generously from confident hearts. Conquerors… in every spiritual battle, the victory has already been won. Praise HIM. Amen.

  11. I am so with you, I just went through a week like that. I stayed in the WORD-very comforting! Thanks Kimberly for you inspiration. Renee I have you in my prayers.

  12. Do you struggle to believe He would want to use you as you look at all of your sins, flaws and failures? YES

    But this book and study (2nd time around online) has taught me, that is doubting God’s potential to make me a new creature in Christ…BEHOLD all is new.
    I am in a transition period.
    Recent graduate from college…oldest daughter recent graduate from college. She has moved out and I am still here with a broken marriage, broken relationships with my kids and living in a house of broken promises. I only live here because I have no place else to go.
    WHY? I ask and God answers, “I have a purpose and a plan”. “Be still and know that I am God”.
    So, I work very hard some days with my old part time job ~ scrubbing floors on my hands and knees and 14 toilets a week. I look for work and I volunteer with my chosen profession as an intern to get noticed by people who have no money to hire me. One of my daughter’s tells me this a “hopeless plan”. She has no hope in me or my plans. I have broken my promises too many time. I am a failure to her.
    I went through the study devoted to every post, every day reading and writing. Now I catch one post as I can. Today this really spoke to me. I am not a failure. I am a work in process to God’s Glory and my Good.
    Lift me up in your prayers today as I scrub yet another 5 hours, before getting to go up and see daughter #2 who is a Christian Camp Counselor this summer. God is working in me and #3 as we are left together this summer with my husband to work out “our miserable life”. (Her wording not mine). I am content where ever I am, when I am weak HIS is strong. Yes, Jesus Loves Me.

    • Praying for you, precious Deena. And I love your declaration…”I am not a failure. I am a work in process to God’s Glory and my Good.” Amen! Just because we may fail from time to time (or every single day), that does not mean that we ourselves are failures. So glad you are turning to Him, trusting Him, and resting in His love.

      Love and prayers,

  13. Connie J. says:

    In all honesty, I am still having problems just believing that God loves me. I know in my head that He sees me and loves me. It’s getting it to my heart. That’s the problem. There have been so many times lately that I feel alone. My whole world seems to be falling apart around me. The only thing that keeps me remotely sane is that somehow, I have some kind of hope. I believe all this in my head. Maybe I do believe some of it in my heart because I can’t find any other explanation of how I can deal with all this and not just give up. This book has been helpful. It keeps my mind going back to God and what He can do. I just need to get it deeper so that instead of just surviving, I can begin to thrive.

    • I am so glad you are reading Renee’s book, Connie. It blessed me so! I love how Renee is totally honest about her own struggles AND how she always turns to the Word, to the Word, to the Word. Praying for you, that you will indeed be able to comprehend how wide, how long, how high, how deep the love of Christ is for you. Keep asking Him to help you truly know and believe and receive His love. One thing I am just crazy about when it comes to Him? He never, ever tires of showing us how very much He loves us.

  14. I can relate. A relatively “new” believer. I knew that God loved me, but I too felt as if I has no place to be used. I have recently taken a “leap of faith” and started teaching my Sunday school class after our teacher had stepped down after teaching for three years. This is my second week teaching and I am finding out soooo many great things, just by getting deeper into His word. Our first lesson was about a Leadership Dare – which really hit home for me in this new role. This week about bold faith and acting upon it. Thank you for sharing your story – I will be sharing with the ladies in my class.

  15. Casey Smith says:

    Living with a chronic illness and pain, I continually doubt my ability to be used by God. I struggle daily to do simple things. In my heart I know that God has a plan for me. But my head is always doubtful. God shows me my usefulness in little things and I have to hold onto those. As of last night, I just sat on the side of my bed and just felt like giving up. I was frustrated, exhausted from pain, my head was a mess from side effects of my medication, and I just said I quit. But the good Lord got me up this morning and lead me into another day to be useful (somehow) , I just haven’t figured out where that is yet.
    Thank you for your message and ministry. It gives me clarity. It returns me to the Lord. And offers me hope.

  16. Yet again. Words I need to hear. It has been a tough day. God’s words are just what I needed to hear. Thanks

  17. Jessica H. says:

    Thanks for sharing Kimberly – for a minute there, I thought I was reading something that I had written myself!

    I had originally typed out a detailed paragraph, but I deleted it. Instead, I’ll just leave it at this:

    To quote Kimberly, “Jesus loves me? Yes. He died for me. But Jesus would like to use me. Ummmm…seriously? I think not.” Exactly. What in the world could HE use ME for?! And still in the process of seeing myself the way God sees me.

    • We’re going to talk and walk through this very discovery in Chapter. Be sure to block out time next week for a really important and very encouraging chapter!!

    • I am excited for you, Jessica. I am excited because I KNOW God WANTS you to know what in the world He can use you for. And I believe that He is going to reveal some pretty amazing things (because the truth is He made each of us amazing) He has tucked inside of you for Him to use. 🙂 So keep asking Him, keep seeking His face. He loves you AND He wants to use you!

  18. August Rose says:

    I am so glad you asked do we struggle with God using us. Today I realized how much God wants to use me! I have been divorced three times and I thought that disqualified me from being used by God . The enemy kept lieing to me saying if you couldnt keep your marriages together how could God trust you. Today God used me and I KNOW He is not done. I was asked to put together a conference for men by my job. I thought I do not want to work with men Lord. They have so let me down and hurt me I just can’t do it! My spiritual mothers told me God wanted to use me to heal men and I thought that is crazy! Well they were right. I had a pre-conference meeting today and I saw grown men cry. Hurting men, wounded men whose father’s weren’t there for them but they want the curse broken so that they can be there for their sons and daughters. God is doing through me and all of the organizations involved what men haven’t been able to do for themselves.We are helping men who need help on so many levels to get and stay involved in the lives and education of their children. Our target audience is men who need to be involved in their children’s lives but who arent for whatever reason. We have gotten so many sponsors and so many men that want to be involved to help heal men to become involved in their childrens lives that we have had to change venues twice. Sorry ladies this is for men ONLY. They have to plan the classes they they will teach, organize it, and they have to find and bring men who need the help. I give input but it is mandated that I can’t even be in the room with the men when they share their stories to the organizations that will help them. I cry at how God used the pain of my last divorce to help me, help men. My boss came today to the pre-conference. He said something profound, he said I wasn’t a good husband, I am divorced but that doesnt disqualify me from being a good dad. The men were encouraged by that. I sat there thinking God only you could do this. What the men shared today about the help they need will be the help we give men at our conference in September. I felt His presence there today and I know that God wants to use me to help all hurting people. I also know the enemy is the father of lies and what he was saying to me is untrue and it’s not what God is saying to me. God does love me but He is transforming every broken place in my life into beauty for ashes. The best part for me is all I have to do is give Him the ashes and participate in my healing. I did not have the confidence I have now until I went to counseling and found this book online and joined the online classes! That’s participating in my healing. I bless you Renee. August Rose

    • I bless you back friend!! That is just amazing. Thank you for sharing what HE is doing in and through and for you!! He is using you in a mighty way. Changing ashes into beauty – broken into beautiful!!

  19. Kimberli says:

    I’m actually still struggling to realize God loves me, in my heart. I want to feel it not just know it. I’m so glad to be studying this book. God has helped me realize, my lack of confidence really holds me back.

    • What is so great, Kimberli, is that even more than YOU want to know and feel His love…HE wants you to know and feel it! I know He is pursuing you with His love. May His love completely overtake you and leave you never, ever to be the same again. I keep being reminded of the fact that He never tires of telling us He loves us. Blessings to you, sweet sister in Christ.

  20. Domanicka says:

    For some reason I cannot access the video.

  21. Thanks, Kimberly for your message. Your message is such a sweet reminder that God wants to use each one of us. Renee, shall pray for Aster. Blessings to Kimberly and Renee.


    • Thanks so much, Anna! I am so glad He has never tired of encouraging this heart of mine. That He has willingly reminded me countless times of His love for me and His desire to use me. Blessings to you as you allow Him to use you! 🙂

  22. Thank you Renee and thank you too Kimberly for sharing this testimony. It is so strange how the Lord confirms His word to us. I too felt this same way. I know the Lord loves me but could not see Him ever using me with all my faults, flaws, and failures. Yet He gave me these same scriptures and I have been sharing them with other women. Again thank you for reminding us of His love for us.

    • I love, love, love when He gives me the same Scriptures in different places. 🙂 Blessings to you as you trust that He DOES want to use you!

  23. Margaret says:

    I have a genetic skin disorder and have struggled most of life believing the lie from the enemy that I was a mistake. For many years I believed God must have loved me less because he allowed me to born like this. I made many mistakes through the years and when started studying the bible God revealed the truth of His love for me. He did this in a very powerful way in a bible study I attended on praying scripture aloud. The leader was reading Psalm 139 the words pierced my heart. 13″For you created my inmost being you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, you works are wonderful. I know that full well. 15My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.
    I imagined my body being formed in my mother’s womb. I saw my body being formed. God was watching me being formed. I still had the skin disorder. God was looking at me smiling. He reached out His hand and provided the grace to cope with this disorder. I had prayed for many years for God to heal me. He healed me on that day in a way I did not expect. He healed me with Love and acceptance.

    I am sending this because I the Holy Spirit prompted my heart.

    My God Bless You all.
    You are Loved

    • “He healed me with love and acceptance.”

      Beautiful! What a powerful and tender testimony of the power of His Word and the power of His love. Thank you for sharing! Blessings to you, Margaret!

  24. Peggy Kennedy says:

    Thank you Kimberly, I have clinical depression and 10 years ago was told I could no longer work. It was devastating to my self-worth. For me, I thought I was no longer of any value because I couldn’t bring in a pay-check. Then I began getting closer to God and have found I am blessed because I can worship and spend time with Him any time I want and need. I have also had time in developing my passion and work from home. I still struggle with thinking I am a condemned building sometimes because of sins and flaws when I do this I will remember the verse you posted and know He can use me too.:)

    • Reading of your willingness to open your hands humbly to Him and say, “Lord, use me where I am” encourages my heart. Blessings to you, precious Peggy!

  25. I am teacher my first sunday school class tomorrow… A little scared howerver trusting GOD…its a singles Bible study I keep saying GOD has not let me down and I know he will give me what I need to do what he needs me to do…why? I believe his word. I can do all thing through christ whom strenghten me.

    • That is so exciting! I know as you lay your willingness at His feet, He will indeed use you! Praying for you as you get ready to let Him come flowing out of you tomorrow! 🙂

  26. Thank you kimberly …what a beautiful testamony.

  27. Cheryl McDonald says:

    Thank you Renee and Kimberly…..I to struggle DAILY with my “mistakes” and wonder how ‘I” can forgive myself. I carry around guilt that haunts me everyday. I’ve asked God for forgiveness but “I” can’t forgive myself. I let my evil tongue get the best of me and talked about personal issues with friends I shouldn’t have and disrespected my husband. He say he forgives me but he never lets me forget it. He’s a very private person and we actually ended up moving out of state to start over. My kids are unhappy, I’ve left friends ( I grew up where we left) my comfort zone, etc. I feel like God is punishing me and my children. They beg me to go back even after 8 months. I’m haunted by this and feel how can God ever use me. I”ve hurt others and that is SO not like me. I feel like a disappointment, old, a disgrace, not worthy of anyone’s love. And you know what extremely lonely. How can God use a torn up soul? My guilt my therapist says is for criminals not for someone who makes mistakes. Why can’t I believe this?? Why can’t I believe God loves me and forgives me. I have to stay in God’s word daily or I get very depressed. I find hope in all I’ve learned from this book…but an empty soul . One day I hope I can move past this and find peace…

    • I have actually heard before, Cheryl, that it is not that I need to forgive myself when I make mistakes. Instead, it is all about me needing to RECEIVE the Lord’s forgiveness. To believe He has forgiven me and to receive His forgiveness. And, oh. How hard that can feel. It is humbling. So humbling. Praying for you. I do not have any answers for all that has happened. I am so sorry. But know that you are not the first or the last person to make any kind of a mess. AND God is so much bigger than any mess we can make. I am praying for you and clinging with you right now to the truth that He works ALL things together for our good. He isn’t done with you or with this situation. Praying for you as you CLING to Him, to His Word, and to His love for you. Much love, K

  28. Thank you so much Kimberly for sharing this real part of you with us. (me)..and thank you Renee for posting this. I have always struggled since a young girl with much of these feelings, but God has kept his promises and has delivered me from so much insecurity. Those thoughts still pop up now and again, but now I know who to go to for the truth that overcomes those lies. I will admit that I still stumble with this sometimes, especially if a trial comes along. It’s so easy to forget to give yourself grace. So grateful that God’s love and grace is bigger than my own.

    ♥Lee Ann

  29. Loretta Pearson says:

    Thanks…i needed the message today. So appreciate your ministey in this Bible study.

  30. Stephanie Shoulders says:

    Thanks you Kimberly for sharing your story. I truly understand being unusable. I feel like that too. I look at my life and wonder how did it get to this point. Then I think of all the bad decision I had made. For me the struggle I seems to have be having is how can use a single woman like me. I see everyone else and they have a husband and children that they can impart God wisdom and love on and I look at my life and say what about me. I feel like I am left out of the equation somehow. I think I am going off topic here, but this is how I am feeling. Even though this is not what you were speaking on, I look at my friends life and they have move on with husband, wives, and children, and I wonder what did I do wrong to still be single? All I ever wanted was to be married and have children and now at 42 years old, I have none of that. I feel left behind like I am not good enough to have that type of life the way God design it. What is wrong with me?

    • Oh, I wish I could throw my arms around you in a ginormous hug (which may be awkward for you seeing as we have never met…LOL) and tell you that there is NOTHING wrong with you! I know I cannot fully understand how much this longing for a husband and children hurts. And I do not want to say anything to belittle that pain one single bit. And so I will simply say that I am praying, sweet Stephanie. I am praying and lifting you up to the God Who loves you, the God Who created you on purpose and for a purpose, the God Who sees and knows the desires of your heart, the God Who has just the right plans for your life.

      Consider yourself hugged and prayed for. 🙂

  31. I could have written the beginning. Thanks so much for the wonderful ending Kimberly
    I’m still working on it, can’t seem to get the condemnation out of my own head. God’s forgiven me, now I just have to let go & let God, then I someday I can forgive myself too.

  32. Hi Renee and ladies!
    This was a blessing. I’m just now beginning chapter 7. Condemnation…Ugh! This week, I faced such an uphill climb back to feeling worthy after letting my temper, emotions, and frustrations get the better of me. I felt so low. But, God! He coached me back to feeling better, but it took some doing and some reading!!!! I’m really trying to take every thought captive, and do as you suggest in your book, which is realize that ” because God’s love is perfect, I don’t have to be”. This was a hard thing to recall and accept because I was so busy beating myself up and weeping. God showed me that I have to be a little tougher and fight back when I’m attacked this way. All in all, I’m 35, and not where I once was. I thank God for this study…for making me read this book and do the work so I can be who He saved me to be and walk in victory everyday, even when my day is not the greatest. Anyway, I pray you all enjoy the rest of the weekend. God bless!

  33. Angel Parnell says:

    Kimbery thank you so much for sharing this. How often to we focus on the “Important” verses when truth is just one verse later. I had never read John3:17. … John 3:16 yes, John 3:30 yeas, but there right in the middle was a freedom verse that would change my life just as much. I have been struggling with being useless because I have no friends, which has been battling this study against worldly feelings. If I’m not good enough for friends, how can I be good enough for God to use for anything. WOW how God answers when we seek Him. Thanks again for sharing.

    • I remember riding home in the car with my husband after church one Sunday. We had been married for just a little while and we had moved to a new city. I had made no friends, and my heart was crushed. I cried and cried. I ached for friends I could call or just hang out with. And He did bring friends (precious, precious women of God) into my life over time. But I look back now and see that those times when friends were either few and far between or even non-existent, those were times I got to deepen my relationship with Him. When I had no one else to run to instead of Him, I ran to Him very quickly.

      Please don’t believe the lie of the enemy that you are not good enough for friends. Keep praying for friends. Ask the Lord who you should reach out to in friendship. And keep pressing in close to Him. He loves you so, so very much.

      Lifting you up in prayer,

  34. Even as I watched the video and read Kimberly’s words, I find I am still struggling. Today has been a really rough day for that struggle for me. God has called me to ministry. I know this. But I still feel like I am failing my family because I cannot provide for them in the way I want. I know that I need to readjust my thinking. But this Job time God is putting me through is starting to wear me down. I don’t know what it is that I am supposed to be learning from it. Every time I think that I am making steps forward, I fall back again and fight this fight with feeling like I am not good enough. I’m worn out from fighting the same old fight over and over. The good news I always hold onto is that even though the fight crops up over and over, God is always there providing me with hope. Eventually this storm too will pass and He will help me learn what I need to know.

    • Father, I thank You for Nancy. I thank You that You have led her to this book. I thank You that You want to strengthen and encourage her heart. And I thank You that Your plans for her are for good. To give her a hope and a future. I thank You that she is turning to You for hope and direction. Speak to her heart. You are the lifter of her head. You are the lover of her soul. You are all that she needs and so much more. I pray that in years to come, as she looks back on this season, she will see that You were indeed using it for her good. Help her to hold on. And thank You that You are always holding on to her. Amen.

      Hugs to you, sweet Nancy! You are not alone!

  35. I love this post! I, too, used to believe that God loved me, but I was not usable, and that I had meesed up the life he gave me so badly that He no longer had a plan for my life. It has only been in thye last 2 years that I have started to realize that God does still have a plan for my life, and all I have to do is follow His will. It was a very scary thought, thinking that God no longer had a place for me to fill on this earth, and I can’t even say that I was 100% sure that He even loved me anymore. The mistakes I have made, and the person I was, died 2 years ago, and a true believer and follower of Christ was born. I love the Lord with everything I am, and I am finally living my life according to His will. Funny that I could have ever thought He didn’t have a plan for me anymore, because I am feeling so blessed right now, and I know what I am doing in my life and the person I am today, is the person God always intended me to be. Thank you, Lord!

    • I love the NEW life you are finding in HIM!! He will never ever give up on you friend. God wouldn’t ever tell you that you’re unusable – but the enemy will disguise his voice to convince us it’s the Lords and lead us into pit of lies – which sounds like what happened.

      You are redeemed, restored and even all that brokenness can and will be used by Jesus to bring hope and healing to others as you point them to Him and His hand of grace woven into your story of life-transformation. THey will want what you have found!!

  36. Kristi Stirler says:

    I can completely relate! I have always known that God loves me, but to use me for ministry or in any way that matters??? No! I used to feel that all I could be was a mom and wife…both are high callings, but is that a ministry?? I am finding that it is, because one of my jobs is raising children with awesome faith and being a Godly wife that supports and lifts her husband up. So, I’m starting to believe He wants to use me but in a different way than I had thought.

  37. I am really struggling with this exact thing! Go God! I am a working Mom of a busy toddler, and I am also soooooooooo behind in this book! Thanks for the encouraging words, and the soul nourishment. God is never done, although I write myself out of his redemption story everyday. I’m gonna keep on keepin on!

    • Keep on keeping on friend. Keep pressing in and pursuing Him. He is chasing you while you chase your precious toddler. I so understand. I have one too and she can’t be let out of sight. :0) Just read a page a day. Hide it in the bath room and lock yourself away for 5 mins a day :0). He’s got so much for you and that precious little one will benefit from mommy giving Jesus time to love on her!!

  38. Hi, sweet ladies! I am just getting in from a week of vacationing with my family, so I apologize for being late in responding any here. And even though I know He wants to use me, it sure is still humbling to find yourself over at Renee’s awesome place. Thanks for having me, sweet Renee. Heading to read and pray back over the responses. 🙂

    • I didn’t know you’d be back today but I”m so glad you had time to pop over. I know you have lots of unpacking to do but thank you for blessing us with your sweet words of prayers and encouragement!

  39. Donna from Honolulu Hawaii says:

    I sure know this feeling I know He Loves me but don’t feel worthy or good enough to be put into action especially to do good works when I don’t even have a grip on my life?

    • It’s kind of funny that Renee ran this post with my video at the same time that I have a devotion I wrote called “Imperfectly Usable” running at another site. And it is about exactly what you wrote here. How can God use me when I don’t have a grip on my own life. If you have a second, here is the link. Blessings to you, Donna! I know He does want to use you. Right now. 🙂

  40. Renee & Kimberly ~ I am so thankful for all that you have shared through the book and blog! You are helping me to put into words the feelings I’ve always had of unworthiness ~ to own my doubts and insecurities ~ and to give them to the Lord and let Him heal my heart. There always twists and turns in the road, in my days 😉 I have found that when I stay close to Him they are easier to navigate. I’m so hopeful and looking forward to the day He uses me <3

    • Hi, Lorna! What is so awesome is that I feel VERY sure He is ALREADY using you! I so often catch myself thinking that being used by Him has to be something “big”. But I think He uses us daily far more than we even realize. 🙂 So don’t see it as a day somewhere far off in the future kind of thing. Know that daily He cannot help but pour out of you when you allow Him to fill you up. YOU are a vessel making a difference for His kingdom…right now. 🙂

      So excited God is using Renee’s book (which if full of wisdom from THE Book!) to help your heart. He certainly used it in mine!

  41. Kathy Sturgis says:

    Today is one of those days I am struggling to believe that God will ever use me. I am struggling with feeling used by my family and stuck because they feel inferior for God as well as me. Some of the way my husband feels is because I was such a legalist early in our marriage that I discouraged him in his christian growth. He is so talented and yet so blinded that any word of truth about how God uses him is laughed at and dismissed. Satan wants me to think that I will never be used and that I will “sit” until I am called home because of my past actions. I know that is a lie but I see opportunities for service arise that get shot down because he doesn’t see his potential and then I begin to beleive that my servants heart will be passed over again. The battle is raging. I am discouraged because I have sat ofr many years. I know there is nothing else to do but wait upong God’s timing and Believe He knows best so I obey (Psalm 37:7) but my heart throbs to be about his work.

    • If a past that involves being legalistic could keep a person from ever being used, you would NOT be watching a video with me in it OR reading my post here at Renee’s. I made a HUGE mess in my relationship with my brother not long after I gave my heart and life back to the Lord in my twenties. I was SO legalistic and did some major damage in our relationship. And I won’t lie. It took years for healing. But God moved. And He did help my brother and I reconcile. AND He has still chosen to use me. (And do not think for a second that the legalism didn’t slip into my marriage. He is still helping me learn when I need to say something to my husband and when I just need to pray for my husband.)

      And I know He will use you, too. I am sure He already IS using you in so many ways. I shared a verse in a comment up above, but I want to share it with you, too. Simply because I find it so encouraging. Psalm 116:1,2 “I love the Lord because He has heard my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.”

      He hears you. He leans in close to listen to your heart. He has purpose for your life. And He has not forgotten you. Keep pressing in. He has not forgotten you.

      Praying for you,

  42. One of the great things about God’s love is that I don’t have to “feel” it every second for it to be true. “Jesus loves me, this I KNOW, for THE BIBLE tells me so! My stuggle is not whether God wants to use me. I know he does. It is my own feelings of inferiority, self-doubt, that prevent me from attempting or or accepting spiritual task.

  43. Three things stood out to me in Kimberly’s message today. First, when she said, “I am not the same woman I was 13 years ago”, because that is how long I have been walking with the Lord, still struggling with all these issues we are discussing in “A Confident Heart”. Second, was her thoughts of “this one is still too messed up…stay away from her”, and finally the very last comment in her video, ” I am full of Him and totally usable.” In this last week’s study, the Lord brought to me the revelation of how “performanced base” my ability to love myself and to receive love really is. It is rooted so deep within me, I hadn’t recognized it. I had been serving in our church whereever I “felt” called and everytime God would end up pulling me out of that place. One time He told me I wasn’t prepared for that place yet, I had put myself there prematurely, but this last time, serving in the youth group, He asked me to step down without giving me a reason. At first I thought it was about having more time with my husband who as of yet isn’t a “committed” believer, because the atmosphere in our home and between the two of us got so much better right away. But still, I struggled with why I couldn’t stay active in the church. Well, through Ch 7, I have learned that all my serving was in order to earn God’s love. In addition, I have a full page written in my journal of these sort of thoughts…”because I can’t keep up with the housework…I have failed…I am not worthy to be loved”. From every direction of who I am; wife, mother, daughter, employee, friend, Child of God, I have these sort of comments written. Failure….not worthy to be loved.
    I don’t remember right now how I was going to tie that in with Kimberly’s message….but there is a connection! Thank you Kimberly for sharing and thanks Renee for Ch 7!! Biggest breakthrough so far!
    Love and appreciate all you and all He is doing through this study! Have a blessed day and prayers for Aster!!

    • SOOOOOOOOO get the performing to be loved thing. Can I actually recommend another book for you to check out after you read Renee’s FANTASTIC book? Emily P. Freeman’s book Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try Hard Life is an excellent and encouraging read, too. I am reading back through it right now. Because, quite honestly? I haven’t got this performance issue fully kicked myself. Blessings to you, sweet LaDena! So glad you commented. 🙂

  44. Hi

    Just wanted to say that I started my day wtih the scriptures you referenced in your blog above then checked out your website. I think its so cool that God gave you those 3 beautiful daughters and that through your experiecnces and because God has redeemed you, they now have a praying mama who understands and can help them to avoid those same pitfalls. Part of my story is similar and am encouraged by your honesty.

    Lately, I have been trying to focus on how God is working around me, where i cld be of service. I am praying for my neighbors and how I cld be of service there-waiting for an opportunity and focusing more on my family. I believe service to God starts with my husband and sons ( I have 3, grown), then my extended family (have an elderly mother), then beyond. Unfortunately, lately I havn’t had the energy for much of the beyond. How can I, in good conscious, be of service to the church leaving opportunities for random acts of kindness (and opportunities for ministry) to my family, extended family, and neighbors undone? Any thoughts on this??

    • God has very much convicted my heart on my husband and my girls being my first ministry, as well! I am heading to the She Speaks conference Proverbs 31 Ministries offers this year, and I got some business cards printed up. The cards read, “Encouraging Women to Root Deeper in the Love of Christ.” My girls were so excited to see the cards and immediately asked if they could each have one. At first I thought it was just cute that they were the first ones I passed a card out to. But then it hit me. If I do not encourage my 3 beautiful girls to root deeper in the love of Christ, then I have missed my greatest ministry, my greatest calling. So I am so glad they got my card first. It serves as a reminder to my heart that they have to come first.

      As for the beyond, those places of service after husband, family, extended family, and neighbors, I am trusting God to lead me. I am learning to trust Him when He says, “No, not yet.” Or even, “No, not ever.” I think He uses us far more than we realize. So glad we can trust His leading. Blessings to you as you pour Him out into those around you!

  45. This really speaks into my life right now. I accepted Christ at a young age but it wasn’t until about 6 years ago that I believe my faith was tested in a big way. Through struggles in a dating relationship I fell away from the Lord and attending church and make some choices I am not proud of. That left me feeling stained. The way our relationship ended left me feeling unwanted & unloved. Some of those thoughts & feelings creep in every so often and I cannot praise God enough for the way this study is helping me understand and see how my choices are part of my story and I need to embrace them, learn from them and then…move on!!! I’m always a little shy to share my past because of the way so many people view me at my current church. (I was not living there during my ‘rough’ years).
    Often, we are our own worst critics and condemning myself comes pretty easily. I continue to pray for restoration! I love defining words and it was great to think about the word condemn and just how fitting that seems to be in my life right now. I don’t feel fit for service a lot of the time. But I’m so excited for the chance to go with our high school youth on a mission trip later this week.
    Lord, use me!!!

    • Praying He will indeed help you with the “moving on” part. I understand getting stuck there! He casts our sins into a sea of forgetfulness. He removes them from us as far as the east is from the west. And yet…we still try to cling to and find the definition of our worth from those very things He has forgiven us for and forgotten. So thankful He is showing you He did not send His Son to condemn you. And I am so excited you are going on the mission trip. Praying you will receive and rest in His forgiveness and in the knowledge that He definitely wants to use you. 🙂

  46. Deborah Dean says:

    As I was reading and listening, I appreciated what was said, but I guess lately, I have been in weird space in my life, I was thinking you have got to be kidding me, Another polyanna verbage and do I really believe that, and if I do do I see it evident in my life? I have not only been discouraged with myself, church and the the world around me that the only word that comes to mind and sustaining me is, Put your hope in God. This is what is sustaining me right now. I have been reading all the chapters and have been rereading them. I thank you for writing it and never has it been a float for rescuing me in a season of instability, mentally and emotionally. Keep me in your prayers and you are in mine.

    Deborah Dean

  47. Kim Ward says:

    Sorry I’m just now posting to this this week. I’ve been on vacation so I’m trying to get caught back up on the study. I’ve missed it terribly! But it’s so amazing how God works… because I came back and what the chapter and what Kimberly talks about… Condemnation. When I was heading back from my cruise, God spoke to me and said Kim, anyone can condemn… but not everyone can love. And that is so true. We have a devotion at work on Wednesday’s and the lady who normally does it asked me to do it today… so I started studying the Bible and the story that came to me the most about condemnation… was of course the Woman Caught in Adultery… I absolutely love that story, because it shows how we as humans in this flesh are so quick to judge others… But I love how this story has so much to it… it’s a story of God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness, and most of all his Unconditional love. I’m so thankful for a God and for the simple truth that Jesus loves me. He loves me in spite of me. I love how God always lets you go through a test, before he teaches you the lesson. I noticed on the ship a lady from another country, and I’m not going to go into all the detail but when I saw her, as soon as I saw what she was doing, I judged. And a couple days later is when God dropped that into my spirit what I shared with you. Anyone can throw a stone, or point and judge others, but not everyone can Love. I want to LOVE. He that says he loves God, but hates his brother doesn’t know God… and he’s walking in the darkness cause that (hate) has blinded his eyes. God is good! I thank God for this study and for what he’s teaching me so much through it.
    Here’s my prayer for me and others, that when we start to point our fingers towards others and their doings, help us to stop and check ourselves (examine daily) and what it may be that’s in our heart to make us judge someone. Keep our eyes on you Jesus, and help us to LOVE and live loved!!! Thanks for this whole chapter, it really has been right on time for me this week coming back from vacation. He’s so good!

  48. Thank you so much for this testimony Kimberly! I have struggled with this my whole adult life. It only seems to get worse. I never seem to finish anything, have so much going on. I have a daughter that has had a baby out of wedlock and is living with the daddy, he was offended when we tried to talk to him, he is of a very different faith and our daughter seems to have given up her deep faith she once had. Maybe not given up, but doesn’t seem to have the deep convictions she had a few years ago. We are blessed that she has a college degree and a good job, but I feel like such a failure as a mothe. I know that it is not my fault, we raised her in a Christian home, she attended church, youth, choir, mission trips……it was her choice, and I couldn’t love the child more…..she/he is the light of my life. This video really spoke to me and thank you Renee once again for your inspiring book, I am behind, but I will catch up and finish, I am determined and have asked GOd to help me finish this one thing!

  49. Brenda H says:

    Thank you for this reminder that Jesus did not come to condemn us but to save us and to fill us with His love!

  50. Glory be to God for this massage, anytime i thinked about my past mistake i fell rejected and condenm. Although i have passion for God work but anytime i took a step, i always reverse back due to my past errors. I thank God that my eye to see that my sins have been forgiven.

  51. Jonathan Keller says:

    My children were searching for NJ DoT MFA-1 recently and encountered an online platform with an online forms database . If you need NJ DoT MFA-1 too , here’s


  1. […] For more on how God can use you, please check out this post over on Renee Swope’s website called, How Can God Use Me?  […]

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