When doubt whispers, "You're not good enough."
Sometimes I’ll be thinking about something I want to do or something I sense God calling me to, and all of a sudden a feeling of doubt washes over me and whispers to my heart, "You can't do that. You're not good enough."

Out of the blue. I'll just get that awful, insecure sense of not being good enough. Or smart enough. Or _______ enough. Does that ever happen to you?

For the longest time, I thought I was the only one who struggled with doubt. And I didn't want anyone to know because I figured they might start doubting me, too.

Now, I didn't always call it doubt. Maybe you don't either. I sometimes called it fear. Fear that I'd fail. Fear that I wouldn't measure up. Fear that I'd look stupid. Or fear that I'd look prideful thinking I could do something special for God.

Other times I'd call it worry. Worry that I was going to disappoint someone. Worry that I might make a mistake and get criticized for it. Worry that I might get started but not be able to finish.

What I've realized over the past few years is that these may end up as fear or worry, but they stem from a source of doubt: self-doubt.

I think oftentimes we find ourselves standing in the shadow of doubt because we're really good at focusing on all that is wrong with us (real or perceived), instead of anything that is right with us. It’s like someone’s telling us we can't measure up and we believe it. We agree with it. And we live like it's true.

Rarely do we stop to ask, "Who is saying these things?" Who is causing me to doubt myself? Is it me? Is it someone from my past? Or is it the enemy of my soul disguising his voice as my own?

The Bible opens with the story of a woman who had everything she could want but somehow it wasn't enough. I think Satan knew Eve's weakness and tapped into her insecurity of not feeling like she was all that she could be, or should be. His questions and suggestions implied that she lacked what she needed to measure up. He told her she could "be" more and "have" more if she'd just seek after what God told her to stay away from.

Satan convinced Eve that her good enough could come from something other than what God had promised and provided. By believing Satan's lies her heart revealed that she didn't believe God's truth.

Jesus was tempted like Eve, and like you and me. Tempted to find His "good enough" in possessions, position and power - a false promise offered by the devil himself. Yet Jesus' response was different.

He really believed His Father's promises. He knew Who He was and Whose He was. His identity and confidence came from the Words spoken by His father. It was the only thing that could defeat the power of Satan's lies.

You and I have the same power to overcome our enemy of doubt and live confidently in who we are in Christ. But it doesn't just happen because we know it's possible. The first thing I've learned to do is listen to my thoughts and compare them to God's Word to see if they match His thoughts towards me. If they don't, then I start looking for truth to replace the lies that have filled my heart with doubt.

When doubt tells me I'm not good enough, God's Word tells me I'm wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

When doubt whispers that I am going to let others down and they may give up on me. God's Word tells me He will never leave me and He knows the plans He has for me that include purpose and hope. Deuteronomy 31:6, Jeremiah 29:11

When doubt whispers that I have nothing to offer. God's Word tells me that I'm His gift to the world and that I was created in His image. Psalm 127:3, Genesis 1:26

I wish I could share more, and eventually I will...

Because this is the topic of my book (title TBD) that will be released March 2011! I've been in Michigan for two days meeting with the publishing/marketing team at Baker/Revell and it was truly amazing. I am so excited to be working with them. And I want you to be part of the process! It will be such a better book with your thoughts and wisdom (and prayers)!

  • Will you first let God use you to bless and encourage those who read this (and me) by sharing a doubt you have and a promise from God's Word that helps you overcome it?
  • Can I quote you in my book? This is the message God has called pour out from the pages of my heart to the pages of a book. A book I pray will set the captive free and release many prisoners (everyday women like us), from living in doubt, discouragement or defeat so they can become all that God has created them to be!
Please click the word "comments" below, type in the white box and publish. If you don't have a blog, click anonymous. Or if you just want to be anonymous, that is fine, too. And I'll do a drawing for some kind of gift card just to get you all talking. I know you love to win stuff and I love to give it away :-).


Blogger K. Langston said...

Hi, Renee! Great topic. I am finding found that God often chooses the most unlikely individuals for His greatest works. This is comforting because the is hope for me, too!

When God was calling me to write my first book I had many doubts. I had no money to self-publish, an autistic child at home, and by the way, who am I to write a book anyway? You don't have to answer because I know that answer: Alone, no one special at all. But with God...I can do "all things!"

I remember thinking about the impossibility of getting a book published but even more importantly, what would I say to others in it? I had no gift of conversation. And yet, I felt strongly that He was calling me to write it.

The story that got me moving was found in Esther. God wall calling her to approach a most-powerful king (who had not even called for her for quite some time) in order to save an entire race. There are so many reasons why Esther could feel she was no match for such an incredible task. But she went... and you know the rest of the story.

But here is the thing I MOST REMEMBER about that story: Before she walked into the king's presence, she put on her royal robes. She REMEMBERED WHO SHE WAS.

God wants us to put on our own royal robes, spiritually, and REMEMBER WHO WE ARE. We are children of the MOST HIGH. Apart from God, we can do nothing, but with Him....anything. When doubt whispers...we need to remember WHOSE we are, and like Esther, put on that royal robe!

Blogger Monica said...

Hey Renee;

God has laid a women's ministry on my heart that just won't go away. There are days when I am so overcome with fear and doubt, especially that I will fail because I don't know enough or am not certified or officially trained for this ministry even though I am in seminary and have years of experience in certain fields.

Just the other day I was so overcome with gratitude and love for my Lord because in spite of my real and perceived shortcomings, He has called me to this ministry. It is not of my choosing. I am not my own, but solely His. As I basked in His presence, I realized that my fear is not only about failure, but also about success. This ministry is so much bigger than I am and there is no way in the world I can do it on my own. A huge responsibility is attached to this vision and I don't want to disappoint my heavenly Father.

Last summer I won your DVD on doubt. Unfortunately, my schedule has been so hectic that I have not had time to sit with it, but everytime I look at or think of it, I remember that you did it for those of us who doubt as encouragement towards taking the step to believe we are called and can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. When I am overcome with doubt I often think of the fact that you made that DVD for His purpose and if you ever wonder if you are qualified, look over the Proverbs 31 Ministry and see all of those whom you have touched. And if that doesn't convince you, look at Aster.

We serve a mighty God who will bless those who are obedient and faithful in spite of their unbelief, self-doubt and fear. He is there to help carry the load. It is good to have someone to lean on.

Be blessed.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is rather interesting for me to read the article. Thank you for it. I like such topics and anything that is connected to them. I would like to read a bit more on that blog soon.

Blogger silvia.arvelo said...

Hello Renee: Wow, you are on to something really deep here girl. Who doesn't feel like this at some point in their life and journey. Unfortuntely doubt, fear, worry,stops us from progressing in what God has in store for us. The enemy knows it and we know it so why do we continue to give into these feels that can be paralyzing to not only our spiritual walk but also our lives as women. Then the feeling that now that we realize it, it's to late to do anything about it...I'm in my 40s, 50s,60s so I have wasted so much time...more feelings of failure start to creep up and take over our mind and soul.

Renee, thank you so much for sharing your topic with us. I look forward to hearing and reading more about it.


This is such a timely topic!!
I have struggled with all the self-doubt, fears and worries that you mentioned at one time or another. However, it seems the one that has been slapping me around over and over again recently is “the fear of looking prideful.” Almost two years ago God called me to begin speaking and teacher to woman. I have my first event this March and it is at my own church. I have been so reluctant to tell others (outside my circle of prayer partners) about this calling because of the fear of looking prideful. Yet God has so gentle reminded me that I will not be booked for speaking events if no one knows I am speaking. He has confirmed in my heart and to others so many times that I just can’t ignore it. I will be praying for you as you continue to walk in your calling.

Blogger silvia.arvelo said...

Hello Renee: Wow, you are on to something really deep here girl. Who doesn't feel like this at some point in their life and journey. Unfortuntely doubt, fear, worry,stops us from progressing in what God has in store for us. The enemy knows it and we know it so why do we continue to give into these feels that can be paralyzing to not only our spiritual walk but also our lives as women. Then the feeling that now that we realize it, it's to late to do anything about it...I'm in my 40s, 50s,60s so I have wasted so much time...more feelings of failure start to creep up and take over our mind and soul.

Renee, thank you so much for sharing your topic with us. I look forward to hearing and reading more about it.

Blogger Jill said...

Oh Renee, Reading this really has me thinking, in a good way!! I have often heard those whispers, sometimes even screams of doubt! They can be paralyzing and often lead to more doubts and lies. This last year I feel God has helped me combat this more and it is amazing. I have consumed myself with most doubts that are out there, but the last year it seems the focus has been on the "You don't deserve this or You're not worthy" line of thinking. Last year after one of our initial Rise and Shine meetings and a visit on the phone with you, I remember telling my husband "I don't deserve to be doing any of this." There was plenty of reason to doubt - I knew it was all beyond me, but I trusted God could make it happen, but my hang up wasn't centered on my ability but instead my worth - I really didn't think I was good enough. After sharing my thoughts Job says to me, "How do you think Mary felt?" He had me there and her story has been one I continually go back to, neat how she was the focus of one of your talks at Rise and Shine. A few verses that jump out at me - Luke 1:28, "Greetings favored woman! The Lord is with you!" 30 "Don't be frightened Mary (Jill) the Lord has decided to bless you." 35 - "The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you." His power is bigger than me, even my weaknesses and doubts. I could go on but you know the story...

The study of Mary went full circle this year as I played her part in our Christmas program - her story literally came to life for me. I posted more about that here - http://titus24u.blogspot.com/2010/01/me-mary.html But as the year came to end and I reflected on the previous 12 months I was humbled to see how in a way her story was mine.

Doubts and the lies they create can truly keep us, me from truly receiving the blessings He wants to give. Like Mary I must believe, let go of fear and trust it will be as He says. Do I deserve what He offers? No. Am I worthy to be a child of the King? According to my doing, no, but because of His doing, yes!! For me, moving past (or trying to) the doubts I have about my worth has helped in the battle with other doubts as well. I guess it comes down to believing who God says I am, a servant girl like Mary, who is favored and one He wants to bless.

Thanks for stirring my thoughts today Renee! I will continue to pray for you and the writing process!! Blessings, Jill

Blogger But Momma said...

I think this topic will hit home with alot of us, especially women. I find the devil likes to constantly attack my mind with self doubt, worry, fear. I am homeschooling mom with no formal education and he likes to tell me I am not good enough to teach my kids. So thankful God comes and calms that self doubt and tells me He has called me to do this. There are so many more...just not enough space. Look forward to reading your book.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

God also has laid on my heart two years ago to write a book. I kept hearing that small, quiet voice telling me to write it down. I argued with Him that I was not a writer, I had never gone to college, I had never written anything except to journal for my own eyes. I just kept hearing,
"write it down. I finally started and have written now for the last two years. Not only did start that first book, but I have three in the works and have joined a blog with other christian women. I don't know what the future holds for my writing, but I can say it has helped me to grow, I have been encouraged with it, have grown even closer to the Lord through this process, and have made some wonderful friends through my blogging journey. I say when you hear that whisper, "You're not good enough", shout back, "Oh yes I am, I am a daughter of the King and with Him, I can do all things!"
Kris Bridgman

Blogger Angie said...

I have been on a journey for about a year now. I have had a lot to overcome, move past and try to understand.

During this time I have read a lot of things relating to my needs and how others have overcome and moved past their struggles. One common phrase I heard over and over was "have faith." I thought I knew what it meant to have faith.

I recently read someone's explanation of the kind of faith I had..."dead" faith. I wasn't putting to work what I knew He was telling me to do. And all during this time I continued to hear "You can't do that!" from Satan.

I guess I thought everything would eventually change if I gave it enough of time. I even prayed to have more faith but when I realized what was expected of me, I was waiting for that "magical" moment that it would all be just fine.

Well one day He could not have been more clear to me. I read Hebrews 11:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."

Not only was I "dead" in my faith, I was being disobedient and not pleasing Him.

I can't change everything all at once and I realize now that it is a growing process. I am stepping out of each comfort zone one at a time. I am taking one baby step at a time. Some are harder than others but each time I feel Him tell me...."Now that wasn't that hard, was it?" And there have even been times I wanted to shout to Satan..."Yes I did do it!"

Blogger Digging for Pearls said...

Great topic Renee!

I have been struggling with a lot of health issues lately as well as stress. I find myself often anxious. Recently the Lord directed me to Psalm 4:8 "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety." So each day I am claiming His peace in my life.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

God must know exactly what I need to know today. I just read another blog from proverbs31.org, and now yours! And both hit straight to my heart in battles I'm having today. About doubt...I have been feeling that all week. And it is time I find a stop to it. Thank you for the encouragement! :D

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renee, I love reading your blog as it so inspires me!! My biggest doubt would be how God can ever use me as a divorced/single woman/parent. There are times when I thought my life was over but God promises me that I am still valuable to Him. There is always a story before the glory!! Jeremiah 29:11 is the verse that I cling to. Because of the journey I have been on for three years now, I have a desire to help other divorced women. There are many times I have felt alone and left out but have to remind myself that there are others who have gone and are going through this also. God never wastes anything we go through. He only uses it to grow us and mold us!! Thank you for all you do and I pray God will continue to use you mightily. Thanks, Deena Wilson

Blogger Bonita said...

Renee, I often hear that little voice of doubt whispering in my ear concerning getting a book published. I'm not talking curriculum, but a real book with a publisher.

I've seen so many people that I know personally get books published (you and about 20 others!) and in one respect that's awesome because it gives me hope that ordinary people can do great things for God. On the other hand, it also leaves me wondering, "What's wrong with me? I must not be good enough."

The verse I stand on for my lifelong dream of having a book/s published is Psalm 37:4: Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Not if you do everything perfectly. Not because you have stellar qualities. But because you delight in Him. I also know, though, that when we delight in the Lord He will cause our hearts to line up with what He desires for us. We may find that "our" desires change to "his" desires for us.

I absolutely love what the first commenter said about putting on your royal robes and remembering who you are. That's totally awesome!

Anonymous Jennifer Renee said...

I always felt like the only type of job I could do was to answer phones for someone because I'm blind. I got a job in 2001 answering the phones for a small business. After working for a few months my boss gave me more responsibilities like opening the business and getting things started for the day. She even made me supervisor over the other employees because I was always there. I had to come up with ways to do some of the things she gave me to do. She never let me use being blind as an excuse for not doing something that she felt I could do. Sometimes I have doubts about being able to do something because I'm blind but I know if I can find a way to do something I can do it.
The Scripture that was given to me to live by is Philipians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (KJV)
You may quote me if you'd like.

Anonymous Melodie said...

Hi Renee. I have really enjoyed your blog and reading you journey with you new baby!!

Here's my story...
I grew up as an overweight child/teenager. My family treated me great. However, children can be cruel to someone who is "different". So for many years I lived with the name calling, bullying, etc. If you hear those kinds of negative comments enough, you start beliving them and that's what I did.

For such a long time I knew that God loved me and had called me to some sort of music ministry. I was even part of a southern gospel singing group that traveled locally around North/South Carolina. Even though I would get up and sing with them and see God minister through us and our music, I would still wonder if I was good enough! As I would get back on the van to travel home nights the messages would start playing in my head. "You are not good enough to get up and sing like you are doing... look at all those other groups... they are better than you are..." and so on!

Then about two years ago God tapped me on the shoulder to take over as choir director for my local church. I knew that this was God because there were different people who confirmed it. I had always sung in choirs but never directed one. Of course the doubts were there. "You don't know what you are doing... You are going to fall flat on your face... You will make a fool of yourself in front of your church family." When I was praying and seeking God for this decision I ended up in Esther one night. I read the scripture Esther 4:14 "And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" It was just like God was in the room with me saying, "This is your time".

So in spite of the doubts, I took the position. I have never been more pleasantly surprised. I am enjoying this more that I could have imagined and the choir members and church family are being blessed as well! God has been so good to me. I'm the last person who I would have picked to do this. The only answer I have to that is "His ways are higher than mine".

Blogger Kathy S. said...

Renee, I love this message the Lord has given you. My struggle is more with fear than doubt, and it has stemmed from fear of criticism or failure. Especially with those in authority over me. I ran circles around my dad when I was growing up so as not to invoke his criticism. I shriveled at his disapproval.

So this fear has mostly translated into speaking in front of groups, and oddly, I heard the Lord tell me a long time ago that "I would be doing that one day"

So here I am, I have taken every opportunity to speak in front of groups~detirmined never to let a fear keep me from something.

Sunday I gave testimony in church about the value of attending women's confrences, and promoted one coming up. That normal anxiety was haunting me the hour before, I went to be quiet before the Lord, and He graciously reminded me of the two verses that He has used to give me freedom:
Galatians 2:20
Zechariah 4:6~Victory!

Anonymous Andrea said...

The topic of your book sounds great! I, too, struggle with worry, fear, anxiety, etc. My younger daughter has Down syndrome, I'm going through menopause (you've prayed for my sleep before - thanks!), among other things.
One of my favorite Scripture verses is 2 Corinthians 4:7: "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves" (NASB).

Love, Andrea

Blogger Joyful said...

Ah...doubts! You just want one? :)

I never doubt that God can...but I sometimes doubt that He will. I find it so easy to believe He will provide the seemingly impossible for others, but not necessarily for me. I know that draws back to an insecurity issue and realizing who I am in Christ. (Beth Moore has a new book, "So Long Insecurity" coming out in a week and I can't wait to read it!)

I wish your new book was going to be published by next January so we could anticipate purchasing it when you come to my church next year. Oh well, you'll be whetting our apetite for it I'm sure.

It's been said that any belief worth having must survive doubt. Doubt is the beginning and not the end of wisdom. Paul Tillich said that "Doubt is not the opposite of faith; it is one element of faith."

I don't think doubting is necessarily a bad thing. It was a year of questions and doubts that brought me to a fuller understanding of how much God loves me.

So excited for all you are doing my friend.
Love ya,

Blogger Joyful said...

Ooops...forgot a verse: Luke 1:37, "For nothing is impossible with God."

Also, Romans 8:37, "...in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."

Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

These truths SHOULD remove all doubt.

Blogger Mary said...

What a wonderful post Renee! I look forward to reading your book.

This past summer God placed on my heart a desire for Women's Ministry. I had no idea where to begin. I certainly didn't feel I was "good enough" or "knew enough" to lead other women. I shared with a prayer warrior what God placed on my heart. She immediately told me she had been praying for me to be called up to serve as a discussion leader with our Discipler's Bible Study. I was amazed at how God worked in that situation.

Just a few weeks ago God led me to the verse Isaiah 64:8 "Yet, O Lord, you are our Father, We are the clay, you are the potter, we are all the work of your hand." I began to pray and mediate on that verse. I asked God to help me be willing to follow his direction for my life. As I was praying that prayer I was nervous and scared. What was God going to call me to do now? The very next morning I was asked to lead the worship portion of our Bible Study! Immediately the fear & doubt came. "I am no soloist. I have never done anything like this before." God whispered to my heart, "I am the potter you are the clay, let me mold you into the person I know you can be." As much as I have doubted this new calling I remind myself that God is molding me into the person he wants me to be.

I look forward to praying with you on this journey.

Have a blessed day,


Blogger suzi.wollman said...

I was a missionary in Ukraine. My husband and I, along with other missionaries, had planted a church, and Jeff and I were discipling young people, doing ministry to men and women, counseling, meeting needs... all the things that missionaries do. And then suddenly I began to have physical problems; problems that were so bad that I had to return to the US. We felt cheated, jipped out of finishing the task we had begun. But we knew that I couldn't get the help I needed in Ukraine. As I went through many physical health tests and then mental health tests when the physical didn't turn anything up, I came to realize that the cause of all my health problems was pure doubt. Doubt that I could finish what we had begun. Doubt that the people there loved me. Doubt that because another missionary couple's marriage was falling apart, ours would hold together, either. Doubt that God had even called us to minister in Russian speaking lands.

But then I began to look at what God said about me and compare it to what I was thinking about me. Jeremiah 29 says: For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord.

I listened. I believed. And I played and replayed Casting Crowns' amazing song, "The Voice of Truth," until each time I began to doubt, I reminded myself:

The Voice of truth tells me a different story
the Voice of truth says "do not be afraid!"
and the Voice of truth says "this is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i live with doubt all the time every day every hour every second while i haven't found a verse that has cleared out my fear i am working on it and i've found you and proverbs 31 i feel a conection to you and your story. everyday before i start work i log on to see what message you have and then proverbs 31 for their message. i am a work in progress i hope to reach the finish line some day.
until then just keep telling me that jesus loves me and keep with your great messages and love you have for people you've never met.
you are awesome..

Blogger LyonsLady said...

When my husband was being treated for cancer last year. I was so very afraid I was going to lose him.We have no children and I am 51 I was so afraid I was going to be all alone. BUT, God kept telling me when I prayed for my husbands healing "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?"
Jeremiah 32:27 And Praise His Holy Name ...my husband is healed!!!

Blogger Jill Herald said...

Hi Renee~
I have had quite the time with fear, worry and doubt. This recent journey has been about five years to get me where I am today. But honestly the first four years were God allowing me to do it my way until I finally reached the point I couldn't do it anymore "my way!" I needed Him. His teaching that followed, I treasure daily. He armed with five scriptures at just the right moment for me to be prepared for what was coming around the corner. I would gladly share my story if you are interested, but it's too long for a comment post. Just reply to this comment and let me know if you want the information. Otherwise, I can tell from your post today, this book will touch us all!! Thank you for your obedience, I know it will be worth the wait!!! Jill

Anonymous Bonnelle Pagel said...

Wow... what a great blog post and what amazing comments to read through!

I have a long story but I'll try to give you bits here... It started 11 years ago when I came to a conference and God spoke into my heart Jeremiah 29:11-14 too. I knew He had plans and purposes for my life and I knew it involved leaving where we were and moving to a different state. 6 weeks later my son died. God kept reminding me over and over of those verses and that He had a plan. My marriage almost failed but we moved a year later...

A year ago God planted in my heart to leave my job of nine years and go back to school. At least I'm still praying that it was God. He's been opening doors so I'm still trusting Him. This week I failed my 3rd Algebra test so I dropped the class. I was afraid of failing and having it pull down my grades and ruin my chances of getting into the next school. Today... I wonder if I did the right thing or if I should have plugged through it anyway.

My doubts are fueled by fear. As I asked the Lord this morning to speak to my heart through His word to reveal what's going on... my reading this morning was about Moses. God called him... he was afraid and argued with God. Moses' doubts were fueled by fear.

As I'm looking at my heart and issues I have with intimacy and communication I'm seeing... doubt and fear as being behind everything. I'm so afraid of not saying the right words that I don't say anything at all. I doubt my words will matter. I'm so afraid of being hurt or abandoned that I don't go deep in relationships. I doubt people will love me and stick with me.

This has turned into a longer comment than I had planned. Sorry... In short, I loved this post. It's what I needed. I'm in a process of looking at my own doubts and fears. Thank you for your words... and the prayers I know you pray for each of us.

For more... you can check out my blog or email me.

Love you!

Anonymous Alicia said...

Whenever I feel as though I am overlooked, alone, or forgotten, I remember Isaiah 43:4, that I am precious and honored in His sight.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When doubt whispers you need to supply for the needs of your family God tells me that He will supply all my families needs according to His riches in Christ Jesu

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When doubt whispers you need to supply for the needs of your family God tells me that He will supply all my families needs according to His riches in Christ Jesu

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When doubt whispers you need to supply for the needs of your family God tells me that He will supply all my families needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus

Blogger Jolene said...

I have many doubts that can lead me down a path of worry if I am not taking every thought captive in Christ. I am a wife and a mommy to a 7 month old, and I sense God leading me to take classes for my Masters degree. I am very afraid of failure (failure at being a good wife, a good mother, or a 'good student), but I know that God has a plan for my life.

Romans 8:28

"And we know all thins work together for good for those who love God who are the called, according to His purpose."

Blogger Geigers said...

I constantly feel like I'm lacking in the parenting/wife-ing departments. I always feel like I'm the bad guy and that I should be doing SO MUCH more. Like I shouldn't need to sleep or eat, I should just clean, do dishes, etc. Sometimes I think maybe I take the P31 thing too literally - like no matter how hard I try I can never truly be a P31 Woman...

Blogger Pajama Mama said...

Doubt is definitely something I battle. I'm a homeschooling mom of three. Our son has dyslexia and struggles with his work. I'm not just his mom but his teacher, his advocate, his coordinator of the programs he needs. I am believing God for everything I need to teach our son and for Him to open up our son's mind. BUT...just when I least expect it, DOUBT rears it's ugly head and I think that I'm not the one for the job....maybe somebody else can teach him better than me, etc. Recently, I was reading the kids their devotion from Genesis. Gen 22:14 was the focal verse. Father used this kids devotion totouch a deep place in my heart. As a result of this, I made a huge sign that hangs in clear view in our school room..."Jehovah- Jireh - The Lord will provide. Gen 22:14" It's a daily reminder WHO will provide me with all I need to teach our son, will provide our son all he needs to learn.... and even MORE than we can imagine.

Congratulations on your upcoming book! I'd love to get my hands on it!


Blogger Jekka said...

Isn't it funny that when you think you are on an island all alone with your problem(s) that you realize there others on that same island with you feeling the exact same way???

Doubt....Fear. We all have it, we all struggle with it, we all know that God is in control but sometimes it's hard to believe it. Why does doubt take away faith???

When I was in high school, I struggled with the doubt that anyone would want to be friends with me, that I was attractive all those things that teenagers and hormones produce and create. However, doubt is a like a seed that once planted continues to grow unless it is plucked like a weed.

So now I am 35, seperated from husband of 10 years, no children and living in a basement apartment. Did I pluck the weed of doubt? No I let it grow and spread more seeds which grew. Every day I doubt my capability of handling my finances and getting out of debt, I doubt my abilities as a wife, I wonder if people are nice just to be nice or do they really like me for me, I doubt my abilites as a Sunday School teacher. Every day is a struggle with the weed of doubt.
Which brings me back to the beginning of this post. I know that God can pull this weed for me but I struggle with believing He will. My doubt has almost become like a security blanket and what would I do without it?
Thank you for reminding me about Esther....I will be reading that book again tonight. Joyful said "I never doubt that God can but I sometimes doubt if He will". I pray that God gives me the strength to let him pluck the weed and know that I am royalty..a child of the King.

Blogger Renee Swope said...

Friends! You have blessed and encouraged me so much with your stories and your thoughts. I am so thankful you are willing to do life right here with me and each other.

As you read through the comments, will you join me in praying for each other - each doubt - each fear? I can relate to every story and example shared here. I am gleaning so much from each of you. Don't ever doubt God can use you - He already did. Right here. Right now! You have something to say.

Keep talking...I'm listening. And praying.


Blogger Sisterlisa said...

Isn't that ol' devil such a snake!?! He borders his lies on the edge of truth. We aren't good enough. Well that's true, we aren't. BUT because of Christ we ARE good enough because we DO measure up. We measure up because Christ measured us up in His love. The devil told Eve she would be like God, knowing good and evil. That part was true. He bordered his lie on God's promises. He's a snake. A copy cat. But his counterfeit appears to be the real deal, but it's not. This is how he is so sly. If his lies were more obvious no one would fall for them.

We aren't good enough....on our own. But if we die daily, we ARE good enough because when we die daily, Christ resurrects through us. It's Jesus who IS good enough. And since He is IN us, we DO qualify. ((hugs)) to you Renee!

Blogger Amanda said...

My husband has been in the military for 11 years, we have been married for 10 years, and that equals to 6 states. Each time we have to pack up and move or sign those reenlistment papers or say goodbye during a deployment, I have my doubts that we are doing the right thing for our family.
God always shows us that he is right where he wants us. Sometimes he puts us in a place so that others can be invited to church and sometimes we have to sit back, listen and learn. Doubt whispers to me all along the way and I love it when God comes calling above and beyond that whisper.

Blogger Betty Hodge said...

For years I lived married with just getting by in every aspect until the selfdout started coming in heavy. I then started believing that I could never get a hold of my finances, being a good homemaker, wife or mom. The Lord gave me Jermiah 29:11 last March. He told me that I needed to quit my job and let him mold me into the proverbs 31 woman. I didnt bother 2nd guessing I went straight to my husband that was a non Christian and explained to him what the Lord wanted me to do.
The Lord has giving me so many revelations over the last yr that I have been flying high all year in amazement of his miracles in my life.
Since then my husband that hated my Faith now shares it with me. He used to put me down and stay focused on negative things about me. Praise GOD he sees the changes in me! I am now a wonderful homemaker a busybee that I never thought I would desire being!! I have lost 30lbs in a yr with several months of distracttion from eating right when my father passed away and am not back on track and enjoying my health!! My husband praises me in public and at home!! Its just amazing to me!! I have become a money saving Mom, I cut corners, shop for bargains and respect my husbands hard earned money!! My Children are getting the parenting from Godly parents that are obediant to God rather than living in a home of inconsistancy.
I could go on and on with all of the changes that he has made in me this year....I feel like I am newly married again! I feel like I have the marriage that God intended for me to have!
Had I not believed the Word that God gave me a year ago.... I would still be working, getting by and living a dull life.

Blogger Kerry said...

Renee, wow, God sure has a way of revealing Himself to me and shouting what He has been trying to teach me for so many years now. A person of self doubt, that's who I have been for so long, I'm not sure how to not be that person it's so ingrained in me. Doubt over my choices, my thoughts, my desires, my hair, my clothes, on and on I could go. How it has gripped me for so many years and how I have wished and prayed that would not be who I am.

I decided to go back to school after being home for 11 years with my kids. The fear of failure will overcome me, not only failure in school, but as a Mom, a wife, etc... Wondering if I can I do all of this and wondering if God really called me to become a nurse or if I should just stay put in my comfortable little world.

I realize it's Satan who speaks these words of self-doubt to me, but for some reason I can't shake it, it stops me in my tracks and makes me want to give up.. But I keep going, plugging away, even through the self-doubt, knowing God would never put me somewhere He didn't want me to be.

Thank you for sharing this topic, I really look foward to what your book will teach me and How God will reveal yet more of Himself to me.


Blogger RainDown43 said...

Hi Renee. This topic hit home in so many ways.

I've lived with self-doubt for the biggest part of my life.

When I was between 10 and 12 years old, I would study the Word of God and write "sermons." From the studying and spending time with my heavenly Father, I had the opportunity to speak at a youth conference at the age of 12.

I've always known that I'm suppose to minister, mainly to women. I don't know if its in the form of a book or standing behind a podium.

I'm a church secretary at the church where my family and I are members. There are several women ministers and for some reason I've always felt "unworthy" or "not good enough" to be in their company.

There's one scripture that encourages me to hold my head up and it's Luke 4:18 - "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,..."

So I truly believe that the Lord is directing you to write on this subject because so many women need that encouragement to say, "I can do all things through Christ..."

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am 25 and it's my absolute last chance to model. I'm in Paris and the only thing stopping me from going to see agencies is my own self doubt. Reading this blog has inspired me to shake it off and stand tall for God and to envision the bigger picture which is a chance to make money for my family. Thank you for your kind and inspirational words and God Bless you for using your talent to help others. Please pray for me!!

Blogger Shannon said...

I have pondered this topic since I read this the beginning of the week. I am currently doing a study on Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer. We are on week two, but I am done with week three...it is that good. Something that God knew I needed.
A year and a half ago, God called me to start a new Non profit organization. Hope Blooms. It is a multi million dollar project. God helped our tax exempt status go through in less than a month. For those that don't know, that is unheard of. It can take up to a year to get that status. But so far we have not gotten any significant funding. It has made me question what this ministry is suppose to be. We are planning to build a community center, build and buy homes for married couples to live in and provide foster care or adopt waiting children. Our focus is in MN right now, but international adoption is needed also. Our research has shown that the top two reasons why people are not adopting is because of money and house space/adequate housing. So, we will rent out homes on a sliding fee scale. We are basing this on James 1:27, take care of widows and orphans in their distress. Which has then lead us to think about widows. In our broken world, I have a conncection with two women who are divorced due to 1. a husband who was in to porn, turned to an affair, and left his family. 2. an emotional/verbal abusive husband...these women have no where to go. They have children who depend on them, and are struggling to find places to live. How can we ignore that part of James 1:27? We need to help women and children.
So my doubts, we have a neccessary mission, but no funds to carry it out. I feel that God has the plans under control, but coming in March we will have had our tax exempt status for a year, and I feel that everything I have done, has gotten us no where.
God promises that "I can do all things through Christ who give ME strenght...." I just want a little more light on my path....As I discern His true and strong voice.
Renee, I LOVE hearing about your little girl. As I look through pictures of children who are waiting to be adopted, I have a heart for all children. I would love to adopt a child internationally someday...as my age clock is ticking away...we have five children, ages almost 11-almost 19. My husband and I are nearing 40....I just cannot wait to welcome Children and broken widows to Hope Blooms....a place to belong. A safe home...Come Lord Jesus, show me the way!
still in His Grip

Blogger The Martha Complex said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger The Martha Complex said...

I often struggle with doubt. To have doubt within yourself is really a horrible feeling, but one that I am trying release.

I can't wait to read your book. :)

Anonymous Julie Lane said...

Oh where to begin Renee. My heart resonates so much with your words right now; even doubting in this very moment to respond. I’ve learned like you described to be aware of my thoughts and be in tune to where they are coming from and having God’s truth to combat and replace the lies. With each new doubt and fear God has been faithful to replace it in His Word as I seek Him and ask Him to speak to me in His Word. Jer 33:3 is one of my favorite scriptures, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Also, in the beginning of this process of really discerning the call that God wants me to write and speak for Him; He gave me Romans 15:4 “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach you Julie, so that through endurance, the encouragement of the Scriptures you Julie, might have hope.” (I personalized it as if God was talking directly to me and I hear Him whisper often….”keep going!” )
Just to share how awesome our God is at specifically fulfilling a fear/doubt with His truth…I received a gift not that long ago. I was struggling with discouragement and lack of enthusiasm from a close friend and I cried out to God pleading with Him asking Him to answer me. Why do I tend to get distracted by the unenthusiastic people around me, when God has given me His Word (not to mention many other enthusiastic friends). A well known TV Doctor might tell me that I was giving my power away…and I surely was forgetting to remember that God is with me and that He says that I am one Super Girl empowered by Him.
God answered me when I read the story in the gospels of Jesus walking on water afresh! And God spoke directly to my heart and gave me a gift all my own…Beth Moore didn’t help me find this one…no other Bible teacher pointed out this truth…this was all led by the Holy Spirit and I felt like it was my birthday and I got to open an extra special gift. Did you know of the 3 friends who wrote about Jesus walking on water, Matthew was the only one who shared about his friend Peter walking on water too? Oh, my heart was about to explode and I’m typing faster just remembering that moment and the tears of joy that flowed afterwards. God is so faithful. He showed me that Jesus’ friend Mark and even His beloved disciple John also told the story of Jesus walking on water; but they did not mention what Matthew did. Matthew was Peter’s great cheerleader, the only one to write and speak up about Peter’s feat of courage. I don’t know but I am guessing there were a number of reasons both simple and complex as to why the other two did not mention Peter’s part of the story. God spoke to me and validated my heart—not everyone is going to cheer you on and encourage you—you are surrounded by a few Matthews and be content and thankful for that…”Why do you doubt?” (Matt 14:31) Peter’s triumph was not pen worthy to them all and THAT IS OKAY.
I’m so thankful for Matthew’s account of Peter. Peter was told with the rest of the boys in the boat to take courage… and he obviously took it to heart and asked to be on the water with Jesus. When he got discouraged by the winds around him he cried out to the Lord and there He was to save and help Peter. (Matthew 14:22-32) That is just what I want to do; and just what I am doing…taking courage and taking it one step at a time and crying out each time this journey throws me a wind of doubt or fear…He is so faithful to answer in His Word and speak directly to our need at the given time; if only I cry out and ask.
Praising God and asking Him to bless all of your efforts; may He continue to encourage you in His Word. Cannot wait to read your book and pass it along to those I know and love too.

Blogger Lindsey said...

Oh my goodness, Renee. This is the doubt that the enemy whispers...no screams...in my ear.

Most recently, I have fought the lie of not being good enough to mentor a group of 6th grade girls. How could I ever help them when I am struggling with problems of my own.

Thank goodness for a mentor who stepped in and spoke truth over those lies. What a blessing the girls have been.

Can't wait for this book to come out!

Blogger tiggerdaisy said...


Not good enough to write a book. Not good enough to teach. Not good enough to lead a ladies group. Not good enough to wonder mom. Not good enough to be a real photographer. Not good enoughs go on and on and on.

What I do to combat those pesky doubts? Well, I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and that God's plan for me for outweighs the little pesky thoughts in my mind. I have to be diligent to keep moving forward--God will handle the rest.

Also, I've found if I don't combat those doubts with the sword of the Spirit immediately, then those thoughts become words and actions on my part. God didn't create us to be negative beings. He created us in His image. I don't want to walk a defeated life because I let fear and doubt cripple my journey with God. Simply put, I don't want doubts to rob me of the life God has planned out just for me.

Prayers and blessings,

Oh yes Renae, I can share a doubt that plague me from time to time and more often than I like to admit.

I grew up in a broken home, where my father wasn't around much and when he was around he still seemed absent. My mother was diagnosed with a mental illness when I was a toddler and she was emotionally unable to take care of us, so I grew up with some unhealthy feelings about my own worth. I thank the Lord for my grandparents who took me and my 3 siblings to church every Sunday and also ended up raising us later, because through them and God's word at Sunday school, I learned that I had a loving Heavenly Father who created me in His image and loved me unconditionally.

I am still plagued from time to time with self-doubting feelings about my own worth, such as trying to be perfect at everything because I'm afraid of failing. Afraid of not meeting up to others expectations and then them giving up on me and also afraid of not meeting up to my own unrealistic expectations that I put upon myself.
Phillipians 4:13 has been the scripture that I use to keep those lies at bay and to get me back on track. "I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME."
Those scriptures always work and put me back in the arms of Jesus where my self-worth is great. I also read Psalm 139 very often to remind myself that God created me uniquely and for a purpose.

In all of my struggles, I have learned that encouragement from God's word and the encouragement from others, really can give you the wings you need to fly. That is the one main reason I started my blog last August. It was for the purpose of hopefully spreading affirmations and encouragement to others so that they will find the hope they need to believe in themselves and to soar as God purposed for them from the beginning.
Proverbs 15:23 "A word spoken in due season, how good it is."

Thank you Renae for being so real and allowing us to be also.

Lee Ann

Blogger Debbie said...

Hi Renee,
Here is my deep thought that just showed up out of nowhere, no doubt (no pun intended) planted by the Holy Spirit: when we doubt, we are thinking and behaving as though it depends on us. God will work through us for His glory, based on who He is, not on who we are. Only a God like Him could accomplish what He sets out to using a fallen people to bring all things that He desires to pass. Do not doubt...He has it all in hand. His great capable Hands.

I worry that I am not good enough to handle a ministry He has called me to, and it is freeing to know that on my own strength I am not good enough. But when we step out where He asks us to, we stand on Him.
May He continue to bless you and the work He has called you to.
Debbie G

Blogger emily said...

Doubt whispers, "Who do you think you are? You don't have what it takes..." Sometimes I feel like a kid on the inside who is in way over her head: as a mommy, as the wife of a youth pastor, even just as a woman. The thing about our enemy is he always uses the same lies over and over again. He doesn't need to come up with new ones cuz the old ones always work.

But Truth promises this: "Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God."

I can't wait to read your book.

Blogger emily said...

ooops. that reference was 2 Cor. 3:4-6

Blogger Sharon said...

This is a topic so pressing on my soul. I truly believe that Satan has used doubt to keep me self-absorbed and therefore much less effective in serving my Savior. I have felt for years God calling me to write...yet at 42 years old, not a word I have written has left my journals. "I'm not as good as others....What if I get rejected..." John 10:4 says "...he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice." I need to block out the doubts, listen to the Shepherd's voice and His alone.
Only then will I be able to follow Him and leave the doubts behind.
(yes, you may quote me or contact me at spiatt@westriv.com)

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renee, I am in the middle of hearing from God to write a book, my first...I think...I agree with K. Langston on having many doubts.I am waiting on confirmation.
I love your blog, it sure encourages when I need it, thank you for giving your time.Thank you too for being on facebook.

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