When I started into A Confident Heart by Renee Swope, I wasn't to sure this was the right Study for me because it is so similar to "I'm Not Good Enough" and Other Lies Women Tell Themselves by Sharon Jaynes. Let me tell you something ... Are they similar? YES! Are they the exact same? NO! The beautiful thing about the Holy Spirit is He inspires each of us differently based on our experiences. Chapter 4 in A Confident Heart, really helped me get down to a real "heart" issue.
Several years ago, I did something very STUPID! The enemy had me right where he wanted me, in the dark. In the dark about how God views me. In the dark about the people in my life who love me how they view me. I had experienced A LOT of rejection in my life. I will give the cliff note version.
I learned as a child that my dad wasn't my biological father. However, when he and mom divorced, it was a bitter, nasty divorce. Of course paternity test were done that showed I wasn't his daughter, my mom in her pain, wouldn't allow him to be in my life (probably a good thing because he had issues that came out later on). I never met my biological father. When I went to college, I wrote a letter ... "Hey, I'm your daughter ..." got a letter back "You are mistaken, I don't have any children" of course I had the DNA test that proved 99.9% he is (was) my biological father. One time I sent him a photo of his grandchildren without my return address because I knew I couldn't handle him rejecting my children. I had one boyfriend after another looking for "love", "acceptance", and "security". Each one just used me up and moved on. My marriage was the same way! When the divorce happened, I was glad to be getting a divorce. However, the years of being rejected by my husband left me pretty scarred up.
A couple of years after the divorce, I did a really STUPID thing! I actually scared myself! Once God got a hold of me and shook me up a little, seriously, I was in a downward spiral ... Once He got me to take a good look at what I was doing, I threw away the webcam! (That's all the detail you are getting! LOL) I know God forgave me!! It is covered under the blood! However, I have lived in fear of my children finding out. What would they think of me? Would they hate me? Call me a hypocrite? Would they never speak to me again? I've been more afraid "What if they go into politics? Those mudslingers dig up every piece of dirt possible on each family member?" I'd die! Not because of what people would think of me but only because of it hurting my kids and embarrass them. God had forgiven me but I hadn't forgiven myself. I was ashamed. I was angry that I had done such a STUPID thing. I was even more angry because I knew I had rebelled on purpose against what is pleasing to God! I was afraid. Afraid of the future. So, Monday morning, I cried all the way to work! I laid it out! Know what? God was like "Just tell your kids. Talk them just like you talk to Me and tell them before they learn it from someone else. It's no big deal. Once it is no longer a secret, the enemy can't hold you captive. I know about it and still love you! Matter of fact, I only remember it because YOU haven't let go of it."
Do you know how free I feel?!?!?! I haven't spoken with the kids yet but I do plan on it when there is a time where it is just me and them. Maybe ... maybe my story will keep them from doing the same STUPID thing! I'm serious when I put that in caps! I've made a lot of bad choices in my life but that one time (not once but "one" meaning that area in my time line) in my dark place has to be the most STUPID thing.
I'm now free to move forward! The funny thing is I'm also reading and working through Loose It For Life by Stephen Arterburn, M. ED. and Dr Linda Mintle. The first chapter or first week goes right along with A Confident Heart! Talks about loosing weight on the spiritual level. Basic summary is before working on the surface (the physical weight) gotta work on the spiritual weight. I don't know if I'll loose physical weight or not BUT I have lost a heavy spiritual load this week!
If you are a man or woman who is struggling with hurt, shame, fear, guilt, anxiety over something done to you OR something done by you; God loves you! You don't have to clean up your act to win His love. You don't have to clean up your act to win His forgiveness. His redeeming love is FREE! All you have to do is take it! He'll do the rest!