“In the security of our relationship with Christ, God wants us to ask questions and look for answers that usher us into the depths of His redeeming love. He wants to give us the courage to live in the promise that He offers hope for our future despite the pain of our past.”
from Chapter 4, A Confident Heart
Our Word for the week: HOPE
(Download in a PDF or download in MSWord). Please print it and post it everywhere this week.
HIS Word for us this week:
“May the God of hope fill [me] with all joy and peace as [I] trust in him, so that [I] may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 15:13, NIV
Read the prayer at the end of Chapter 4 to begin your day. Then start or continue reading chapter 4. Remember to take your time and highlight or underline sentences that resonate in your heart.
Connecting in Community:
As we read chapter4 this week, let’s share here – answers to the questions, sentences we’re highlighting, thoughts we’re thinking, feelings and fears we’re experiencing. This can be a hard chapter for some because it addresses our past and our pain. Let’s pray for each other each day and commit to memorize this week’s verse together! If you are in, leave a comment by clicking on “share your thoughts” and tell us how you plan to memorize it. I’m writing it on a ceramic plate in my kitchen. I’ll be praying it for you every time I see it.
Wow!! I am one of those ladies who wanted to quit!! So much so that just today, Holy Spirit had me come back to chapter 4 emails before (trying to) move forward. I am so blessed to know it is a common feeling to want to give up here.
I think my biggest struggle is trusting God with the pain. Especially the pain of being disappointed in my walk with Him. I wrote in my journal…”I don’t trust God with my pain. It is mine. I own it. It defines me. It regulates my thoughts and emotions. It is a deep seeded pain, it’s roots are strong.”
I too felt overwhelmed by the timeline…too much to process at one time…and I am very analytical. It just palin hurts my head when I try too hard to figure it all out!! LOL!
At any rate, I decided to move forward and reading Ch 5 was much easier…so back to this week!
A dear Christian sister helped me through some of the issues w/the timeline in chpt 4. Something we did that was helpful-wrote a letter to the people that hurt us(not to send) just to deal with it and forgive. Something real important too I learned is we are responsible for our own (sin) reactions that develop as a result. Our past effects our response to things today and we really don’t even realize it….
Kathy Hakes says
I am so glad that we have a God of HOPE who heals our broken hearts. He has healed my broken heart.
I just had to share this and it is my first time ever sharing here. I read the post today on Proverbs31 Woman about texting your kids a bible verse. Well, it spoke to me so I texted my 2 married children and their spouses one of my fav verses, Rom 15:13. I just hopped on this blog and what is the key verse for the week!! God speaks to me all the time, I need to be more aware of it!!
Thank you, Renee, for doing this study again! This time I am memorizing the scriptures!!! As I take my dog for her 10-minute walk every morning, I say the verse over and over in my head. The first day I may only get through the first line or so, but I also meditate on what it means. And by the third or fourth day, I know it, not just head knowledge but in my spirit : ) Thank you for all your work!
So I’m still stuck on the timeline. I finally was able to watch the prior videos and yesterday’s blog post/video.
Before this study I read Suzie Eller’s book “The Mom I Want to Be” and was/am still working on my past. I loved the book. It was a very difficult read and I had to put it down many times to process.
Now I’m at Chapter 4 in this book and have to write down the timeline and I’m stuck. So obviously I have not completely healed as I thought I was after reading the Suzie Eller book.
I’ll be honest, I know exactly what the events are in my past that have painful memories and/or feelings. My fear is that if I write these events down, I will be affirming the negativity associated with them. Basically, the events all point to the fact that I’ve failed in whatever capacity that was afforded to me.
To be fair, my mind tells me that my thinking is flawed and that my value does not come from work, or education, or even what other people tell me. My mind tells me that my value comes from God. My mind tells me that I of course need to accept responsibility for my part of the various events in my past. But my heart takes it one step further and tells me to accept responsibility for everything, which again, my mind tells me is flawed.
I cannot reconcile what my mind believes to be true with what my heart and what that critical voice is telling me. To write down the events on paper is almost like I’m presenting evidence to my mind to believe the lies.
And so I am having difficulty writing it down. If I write down the pain then I feel like it becomes true. Do I have to write the events down to be able to move forward? What alternatives are available for me to move past so that I can continue this study?
Here is another disclaimer: Getting everything in writing is such a foundation of my career, so that may also be adding to my thinking.
The only reason to look at the past is for it to help us in our future. That is biblical, we are to be reflective and help others from our past diffulties. Believe me, the ways we were sinned against in the past effect us today. I would recommend a book/study called The Journey. If you need the author let me know and i’ll find.
WOW!!!! I wanted to after Chapter 2…….. In fact I set it down for 2 weeks and finally picked it back up determined to do this… THANK YOU!!!!! My pain is so real and I have felt I have noone that wants to hear or cares…. God Bless you!
Dawn Gisclair says
I have not read your book yet, but I have felt God leading me to your book as I read your daily posts. I actually got on amazon one day to purchase it, but had problems logging in to my account and ended up giving up. This seems to be a theme in my life. As much as I have wanted to change, the worse I get. I really enjoyed your video, but what stuck out to me and really grabbed my attention was the part about figuring out where my “doubts” came from. That was like an ah ha moment for me. I am a married, 33 year old mother of 2. I am truly truly blessed by the wonderful gifts God gave to me of being a wife and a mother. Although I have fully embraced and am completely confident in those roles, I have no idea WHO I AM or whammy place is in this world. I was raised in a Christian home, strayed, and have been led back to a Godly path. But, I have struggled for quite some time with just trying to find my place. This has caused me such grief in starting things and giving up. I start out with such fire but fizzle out very quickly. I went to college after becoming a mother. Started out in nursing school and quit with only 3 semesters left because I didn’t like it. Decided to switch my major to General Studies just to graduate so I could get my teaching certification. With only 12 hours left had to put those plans to the side to find some sort of means of income to help support our family when we were thrown into a horrible financial crisis. Now I am struggle each and every day A’s a working mom at some job that has no purpose. This is just one example. I just pray that one day I will not wonder who I am and what my purpose is. And I will find true inner happiness! So thank you from the bottom of my heart for the little bit of inspiration I have received from your video message today! God Bless!!!
I believe rejection has been big in my life…My mom left my dad when I was six years old along with four other siblings..when I ask god to show me the broken places, I was surprised that there needed to be more healing in that area..I thought I,d gotton threw that…I thankfull to God for showing me that….I also have been in a lot of unhealthy relationship…sooo thankful to God that he is helping through this. when you talked about 10 year ago when god spoke to you about Isaih 61 I to remember that scripture he gave me sometime ago….I got fired from my job and went back to school to get my ged…guess where I work today? In a prison as a correctional officer …God is awsome ..guest what I love it….my prayer life has gotten better…lol..I ask god to let me see these inmate the way he see them .. be careful what you ask for…god show me this guy in there one day… his Brokeness . broke my heart…I had to fight the tears back. thanks for your book study its doing some awsome things.talk again later. Brenda
I have a question for the group…what are you currently doing to get past your past so to speak? Oftentimes, we think that our flaws and past are the worst possible thing. While reading Chapter 4 was gut wrenching for me, it also gave me hope that I could move past this point. I know it is easier said than done, but I had a good cry, prayed, and am working out the processes of forgiveness in my life. I uncover new things, and deal with them accordingly.
I just re-read this chapter, and I must admit this was a hard pill to swallow. I have always regarded myself as the strong person, and it wasn’t until now that I realized I used this facade as a defense mechanism for the pain that was in my heart. I read the devotional this morning and broke into a million pieces. I simply didn’t realize how much I carried, or expected others to carry.
This chapter has started the process for me of truly looking at past events in light of how God used them.
thank you Renee. I had so much shame for so many years from all my imorality. I was looking for love in all the wrong places. If I dont have someone to love me I am going to die. It haunted me for many years. Now I am 63 and I no longer live in fear of someone finding out about my past. God brought to my mind of different times long time ago and we walked through it together and I have peace now. I am realizing that I am a child of the King and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. As you were talking about Sam in chapter 4 and her 5 husbands it made me think I had a whole lot more than 5. Love in Christ, mary
Chapter 4 was definitely the hardest chapter, so far, in the book for me to read. I think as often as we try and run from our past, it will always catch up at some point. My past entered my marriage and literally poisoned it at one point. I had such bitterness from my past and formed unrealistic expectations on my husband to help escape the past that it just led to bitterness and resentment in our own marriage. We went to counseling and discovered we both entered our marriage with ghosts from our past. I think once we moved past that it only made our relationship stronger.
Moving past events in the past has always been hard for me, and I think it’s why I struggled so much with this chapter. This chapter helped more than you will ever know, and it is my hope that I can keep moving forward and listening more to what God wants me to do now.
Chapter 4 has been such an eye-opener for me. I have never thought those things in my life that have caused pain and shame could ever be used to “tell my story” and ultimately bring glory to the Lord, but I am realizing this truth as I read through chpt 4! I always assumed holding on to the pain, stuffing it away, was my consequence for the choices I made in the past. I am experiencing such freedom in asking God to bring that shame and pain I have been trying to hide from everyone, to the surface, and FILL THE EMPTY PLACES with His love and peace. I find strength in knowing God desires me to face my pain and shame of the past and move on toward a more productive and beautiful life in Him.
Thank you, Renee, for writing this important chapter, and this book. I, too, experienced a season of anger in my life and was confused as to why it was happening. I sought professional help, prayed, read books, but nothing seemed to help, but time. God has been showing me the unrealalistic expectations I put on my life…the Happily Ever After. I have been, by His grace, slowly letting that skewed ideal of life go, and God is replacing it with real love, grace and His perspective.