Tears dripped down my cheeks as I read each word. I recognized them as my own. Stories of twenty very different from all walks of life are reading my book
before it is released . The work He's doing in each heart, and in each life, is the same work He did in me before and during the process of writing A Confident Heart
. Here are some of the words I read:
A Confident Heart moved me from believing what God says about me, to receiving it and living in it. Renee taught me is how to “fail forward” by learning from my mistakes and leaving them behind for good - along with my guilt, shame and worry! - Lisa S.
Through A Confident Heart Renee helped me see that “salvation is a one-time decision, but finding satisfaction in Christ and living in the security of His promises is a daily process.” I will read A Confident Heart over and over to keep it fresh in my heart and mind. - Margaret S.
Exhausted by the weight of perfectionism, and discouraged by the fact that I was a Christian and still struggled with insecurity, I cried out to God for help. A Confident Heart was part of His answer! It’s given me an arsenal to fight the lies I’ve believed far too long. - Kimberly H.
A Confident Heart is the most vulnerable work God has called me to. I'm comfortable being transparent in my speaking but something about
sharing my most personal stories, tender insecurities and paralyzing self-doubts on paper and knowing they would be printed in permanent ink was unlike anything I've done before.
I felt so unguarded. And did I mention, vulnerable?
Being real about how empty we sometimes feel is especially risky when it comes to our insecurities, isn't it? I think it's because we're afraid if we let people know why we doubt ourselves, they’ll start doubting us, too.
Yet, I needed to take that risk with my book. I didn't write it because I'm an expert. And I don't want anyone thinking I'm a woman who has it all together, because I don't. But I do want each woman who reads my book to know she is not alone in her struggles and something isn't wrong with her because she battles insecurities.
But she also doesn't have to stay stuck in that hard place as long as I did.
The truth is, our insecurities are part of our spiritual formation and completion in Christ. Think about Moses, Jonah, Peter, Gideon, Martha, the Samaritan woman. All of them had self-doubts, but those doubts that led them to depend more on God. And that is a good thing.
God wants US to use our self-doubts to work for us, instead of against us, too.
We just need to recognize insecurity and self-condemnation as an indicator of emptiness that can lead us to His fullness.
But I don't want to just tell you how to do that, I want to show you. And that is why I wrote A Confident Heart
. Through real-life stories from a woman who wrestled with self-doubt for 40 years (that would be me), I want to show you how the transforming truth of Gods' Word has the power to change the way we think, feel and live.
And I want to invite you to step into the pages of scripture with me so you can see and experience GOD's demonstration of His Love in YOUR everyday life. Love that is patient. Love that keeps no record of wrongs, love never fails (even when we do) and Love that is perfect so that we don't have be.
I could go on and on but today we need to know this one thing: It is our emptiness
(inadequacy, weakness, insecurity and doubt) that leads us to His fullness
(sufficiency, strength, security and confidence)!
I want to unpack that this week with you, but this time I want to talk face-to-face. Now I wish we could gather in my living room and have some girl talk. Or plan a weekend away. But that isn't possible right now, so I thought I'd talk with you via video this week.
Going against all online expert advice, I've decided to load a full message on video below. Statistics tell me you won't watch it because it's longer than 3 minutes. But will you consider it? You see, I'm convinced Jesus led me to load it here because He has something to share with you through it sweet friend.
I'm on Spring Break with my family so this will up til next Monday. You can watch it in parts. Or maybe we could have lunch together. Perhaps, you could curl up with your Bible and journal and let Him speak to your heart sometime this week. (The opening is a story you may have seen in my promo clip, but this full message includes the "rest of the story" and so much more.
: I have something special just for you! If you pre-order your copy of A Confident Heart through Proverbs 31 Ministries
this week (before Easter Sunday) you will receive a signed copy of my book
in August, and a free copy of my message "Letting God Fill the Empty Places in My Heart" on CD
next week (it's similar to this video message).
To start the message, click on the arrow and give it a few seconds to load. If there is a delay, just press the arrow again a few times.
Renee Swope - Part 1 from SMCC on Vimeo.
In my message video, I talked about the word "worship" and how it was originally derived from a blend of two words "worth-ship." This reminds me that what I "focus on" is what I derive my "worth from". Where, who, or in what are you most tempted to get your worth from (performance at home, work, church, relationships with kids, friends, husband, etc)?