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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I think she had access to my heart while she was writing..., October 11, 2011
This review is from: A Confident Heart: How to Stop Doubting Yourself and Live in the Security of Godís Promises (Paperback)
I first met Renee Swope in an elevator at my first She Speaks Conference.

If I remember correctly, I was bolting up to my hotel room to touch up my lipstick before a publisher appointment.

I was struck by her sweet smile and the hint of mischief in her eyes. Later in the weekend, she shared a stirring message about living beyond the shadow of doubt.

I'm not one who remembers message topics years later, but I remember that one because it spoke straight to the desperate need of my heart.

I heard Renee's message just as I was embarking on a terrible, horrible, beautiful, life-changing quest for wholeness.

The last few years have been a bumpy road of milestones and setbacks. I've been so low I wanted to die and as steady as an elephant's back.

Recently, I read Renee's beautiful book, A Confident Heart.

As I absorbed each page, I felt like it was a chronicle of all the lessons I've learned over these years of healing. Chapter-after-chapter, I found myself nodding in agreement with Renee's hard-won wisdom and perspective.

Using her own experiences, Renee takes her readers from the shadow of self-doubt to the sunshine of security in Christ.

Doubts seem true in the shadow.

I can't do this. Things will never change. My life will never get any better. Change is too hard.

Renee wrestled with all those doubts and more until she came to realize that "doubt and hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time."

Renee explains that it's ok not to be perfect because we serve a God who is. His love won't fail even when we do.

We don't have to pretend to have it all together. Guess what? No one else has it together either!

However, it's not easy to be honest about our doubts and insecurities. "We fear that if people know we doubt ourselves, they'll start doubting us too." Those of us who struggle with insecurity tend to be expert pretenders, but eventually, we just can't do it anymore. And that's just where God wants us.

He wants us raw, restless, and real.

Like the Samaritan woman Renee affectionately calls "Sam", the only way God can "satisfy the thirst of [our] soul [is] to help [us] see it."

Only Christ can quench the thirst we have for true love and acceptance. Once we quit trying to fill our well with counterfeit water, God is free to pour into us from His limitless supply.

God guarantees us a hope-filled future no matter how hopeless our past seems.

He finds a way to make every painful experience from the past into something beautiful, useful, and redeemable.

We must let God rewrite our stories.

Renee writes, "The Holy Spirit showed me I needed to remake my memories by seeing how Jesus had been there all along, and then replace the lies my wounds had led me to believe with new truths He was teaching me through Scripture."

Like Sam (and Renee), we can allow God to make our mess into His message.

There's only one way to live beyond the shadow of our doubts. We must change our focus from self to God. "Turning leads to transforming...and transforming leads to believing as God's thoughts [about us] become our Truth."
Turning away from self
Turning away from doubt
Turning away from darkness
Turning toward God
Turning toward Truth
Turning toward Light
When doubt whispers "I'm not good enough," we must remember that we get our "good enough" from God, not our own efforts.

When doubt whispers "I'm such a failure," we can take hope in the truth that our failures don't have the final say; Jesus does.

When doubt whispers "I don't have anything special to offer," we can be assured that we have unique abilities gifted to us from God Himself.

When doubt whispers "I can't stop worrying," we can rest in the strong arms of God's powerful promises.

When doubt whispers "I can't follow God consistently," we can let God's "grace cover our guilt" and turn us from "wimps to warriors."

We can live beyond the shadow of doubt! The more we know our God, the more we will trust Him, believe Him, and obey Him.

Sister, if you are drowning in doubt, fear, and insecurity, you don't have to live like that any more. Jesus wants to make you well. He is able! He did it for "Sam." He did it for Renee Swope. He did it for me.

Renee's beautiful book, A Confident Heart: How to Stop Doubting Yourself and live in the Security of God's Promises, is a tool God can use to lovingly guide you to assurance, peace, and security.

Not only does the book contain strong, biblical teaching, Renee provides a wealth of practical resources to help you along the way.

My favorite is a listing of the names of God. I will be using that list in my prayer life, lots.

She also provides information about the personality types and the spiritual gifts to help readers understand how they are made and how they are gifted by the Holy Spirit.

The entire book is chock-full of life-giving Scripture readers can cling to and share with others.

I encourage you to pick up copies of A Confident Heart for yourself and someone you love. It would make a wonderful small group study.
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Location: Gilbert, AZ USA

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