I started reading the book A Confident Heart by Renee Swope. Her web site is http://reneeswope.com/ for those interested.
I plan to blog about this as I read it because it is so very good and I feel something every woman can use.
Chapter One is titled Discovering the Shadow of My Doubt.
Basically in this chapter Renee tells us everyone has doubt no matter how long you have been a Christ follower. But as Christ followers we can be confident that Christ is there with us and will not leave us. At the end of every chapter are reflection questions and I plan to answer mine here.
1. What is your earliest memory about doubting yourself or feeling insecure?
Wow, talk about getting right to the point. My earliest memory of feeling insecure was when I was 4-5-6ish living on Ella St in Pgh, PA. I still remember a dream I had often then. I would come home from some where and know I was going the right way but nothing was the same all the houses and everything on my street was different. I would go into the house that should be mine but every room was different and nothing was the way it should be. This dream always made me feel insecure because I should know where I live and how to get home because I was a big girl, right? This was years before my parents divorced. I do not remember anything about a home life then. I remember certain incidents but nothing specific.
2. Has insecurity ever kept you from doing something?
Gosh, yes insecurity has kept me from doing many things. I waited to go to nursing school because I did not think I was smart enough to do it. I have never felt the prettiest, I was the fat sister. So I never tried out for stuff like cheer-leading because I was not pretty enough. I was never good at sports so I did not try out for any team because I was not coordinated enough. I still do this to my self every time I take a test because I am not smart enough to do it right. I have been a cancer nurse for 14yrs and know chemo and how to figure it out what all the caculations are I have been doing them for years and years, yet recently I did not pass a chemo test. I did pass it on the second chance but I should not have had to take it twice.
3. Describe how it makes you feel when doubt whispers:
" I can't do this."
"Things never change."
"Its too hard."
"My life is not going to get better."
"I might as well quit."
Crazy as it sounds this is familiar to me and makes me go back home to my place where I am me. I do not have to be anything but me and I can sit in my PJ's and watch TV all day if I want.
4.Describe what happens in your heart when you read God's words:
"Those who hope in me will not be disappointed"(Isa. 49:23)
"See I am doing a new thing" (Isa 43:19)
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose"(Rom 8:28)
"All things are possible to [her] who believes" (Mark 9:23 NASB).
When I read these verses my heart feel hopeful.
5. What do you think hinders you most from living with God-confidence on a constant basis? Is there a promise listed above that speaks to your greatest need right now?
What hinders me most from living God-confident is my self. I have a running theme in my head that tells me I am not good enough, pretty enough or skinny enough. I am the fat one the failure the looser.
All of the verses above speak to me. I need to keep them in my head and heart so I can combat each negative thought with a verse from above.
6. How would you describe a woman with a confident heart?
One woman came to mind when I thought of the woman with a confident heart. Her name is Nancy, I have known her for a long long time. She helped me when I was a new Christian and is everything I presume a God confident woman to be. She is confident in her faith. She is confident in her gifts and knows how to use them. She loves God and you can see it by watching her live her life. She is positive always and sees God in every situation and follows Him.
7. Read Jeremiah 17:7. What does this verse promise and encourage you to do? Think of one situation where you could live in the power of this promise and describe what that would look like this week.
Trust in the Lord which is very poignant for me know when my life is full of so many unknowns right now. trust that the Lord wants me and Kev to have a nice place to live as much as we want it and He will give us what we ask for in His name if we trust him. What would this look like this week? Well we will decide on a house we like make an offer negotiate a good price and take a leap of faith with confidence that God will take care of us and has our best interest at heart.
So those are the questions for the first week of my study. I will read and reread and live in the promise of Jeremiah 17:7.