May 7, 2012

Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: Week Five

Welcome to Week Five of our Hidden Joy on-line study. This week we study Chapter Seven, “Surrendering Your Strongholds.”  This is my most FAVORITE chapter.  Through this part of my journey, God showed me how FAITHFUL, BIG and POWERFUL He really is!!

***** Before we jump into this week’s message, the Prayer of Forgiveness is now available under the ”Free Resources” link located in the top bar of this web site.  Click here if you would like a copy of the Prayer. This takes you directly to my free resources.  Click on the link that says “Prayer of Forgiveness.”   If you have any trouble, just let me know. *****

This week I have a special treat for you.  A dear Proverbs 31 friend and sister in Christ, Donna Bostick, shares a guest post today.  So many times we at Proverbs 31 are blessed by “virtual relationships,” women we meet on our websites or who serve P31 in some capacity from afar.  And every once in a while we have the pleasure of “live” face to face” meetings with these women.  That is what happened with Donna and me  a few months ago.  She came to Charlotte with a few other women who faithfully serve with Melissa Taylor in our on-line Bible Study ministry.  We all met at Chick-fil-A for lunch.  Donna shared with me how God did an amazing work in her life as it related to fear.  I invited her to share some of her journey with you today.  Below please find Donna’s words of wisdom on fear.  I am praying that her story encourages you and gives you great hope.  If her words bless you today, please leave her a comment in the comment section of my web site.

At the end of Donna’s message you will find the video for the week as well as this week’s memory verse and homework assignment.  The prayer for the week is Donna’s prayer.  As you journey through Chapter Seven, I am praying you will take your eyes of your stronghold, whatever it is, and FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS.  I pray you will TRUST in Him to take you to a new place in your battle – even just one baby step forward will be a victory.  And that is what I am praying for you!!!

Faith or Fear …. Your Choice
Donna Bostick

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV),

FEAR. We’ve all experienced, felt, and seen it. Some even live with it every day. 

How do we define fear?

What is fear to the five-year-old whose daddy flings a plate of hot spaghetti through the air, followed by a chair aimed at the TV? Will her mom be the next thing he hits; or will it be the girl?

What is fear to the little one in the police cruiser with her younger sister, not sure what she’s done wrong, only to find out her daddy broke the law by not following the custody ruling.

Or to the eight-year-old who hears the heavy footsteps of the neighbor getting closer to the bedroom door. She lies silently, hoping the evil man will pass the door. Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn’t.

Or to the forty-year-old, alone in the doctor’s office. The doctor gently says, “I believe it’s cancer. We’ll take it one day, and one test, at a time; we’ll pray you through this.”Surgery removes the lump near her vocal cords; it’s not cancerous. But the roller coaster dips two days later: it is cancer—the fastest growing kind. Another surgery is needed ASAP. Three days after this, the diagnosis changes again. After a second surgery six weeks later, she’s told they got it all. Does she believe them this time?

What is fear to the fifty-year-old driving with Melissa Taylor when she hears, “Donna, you should be speaking and writing. You have lots to offer. I want to see you doing these things.”

Those were, and some still are, my fears.

For years my fears ruled my life and my emotions. I allowed fear to become anger; the kind of anger that I would bottle up and unleash on the most unlikely candidate at the most inopportune times. At times I would let my fear hold me captive to living in the shadows, hiding and sulking from my family and friends. Sometimes I would even profess hate at either the circumstances or at the people involved and yes, even at God. And other times I questioned why God would allow all of this to happen.

I don’t have all the answers. But I realized one day that I had a choice. I can let my fears rule over my heart, mind and soul, or I can allow God to heal me with His grace and truth, and give me hope to share with others. Some days I make the right choices and some days I don’t.

Over time I’ve discovered I don’t have to let my fears define me. 2 Timothy 1:7 states, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” God keeps the promises His Word is filled with. He’s given us a spirit of power and a sound mind. Although some will probably debate if I have a sound mind {and I would probably lose!}.
Despite my fears, God has shown me He has plans to prosper and not harm me, plans to give me hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). He’s revealed Himself to be my Healer (Exodus 15:26); my Prince of Peace (Judges 6:24); my Protector, Defender and Abba Father who loves me no matter what (Psalm 68:5-6). God is my Daddy whose lap I can crawl into any time I become fearful.

Let’s begin to let go of our fears and take hold of these promises in His Word. We’re His daughters, protected and defended by His peace. Fears may have shaped our past, but they don’t have to define our future.

Thank you, Donna!! Your honesty and your words of wisdom have been such an encouragement.  And thank you also for generously giving of your time and talents  each week to serve Proverbs 31 through our on-line Bible study ministry.

Below is this week’s video lesson, assignment, and prayer.

Assignment: Read Chapter Seven in Hidden Joy, “Surrendering Your Strongholds.” Complete the Guide for Reflection and Study questions for Chapter 7 located in the back of the book.

Memory Verse: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)

Prayer:

God, I praise You that You are my Future and Hope, and that You love me no matter what. Thank You that I can run to You and crawl in Your lap when fear overtakes me. Thanks for being a Promise Keeper, and the Author and Perfecter of my faith. Help me seek You with my entire being and remember Your faithfulness. I love and thank You for the life You’ve given me in You. Cause me to honor and glorify You with my life, actions, speech and heart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

ENJOY some precious time with the Lord this week.  Sit at His feet and allow Him to minister to you and speak healing, renewing words into your heart and mind.

Blessings,

Comments

  1. Noelle says:

    Donna and Wendy…
    How I praise God that He walked you both through unimaginable fear… tenderly, boldly, PERFECTLY. But as Donna shares, it was your CHOICE to be freed.

    Thank You Father for Your perfect provision. Thank You for all the ways you whispered in some instances and shouted in others to excitedly share with Donna and Wendy that they can choose to be free. Now they are living examples of 2 Cor. 1:4 which says, “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” Abba, in Jesus’ Name, let all of us in this “small” group find that same freedom by releasing our strongholds. Help each of us to identify ours- whether big or seemingly small- to be the women You have created us to be… to do the good works You’ve prepared for us. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen!

    Thank you Donna and Wendy! I’m excited to tackle my strongholds :)

    • Angel P says:

      Thank you , Thank you, Thank you! for sharing this verse. As soon as I read it I said “That’s what I want”. After reading the chapter and working through the questions. I am free. 2 Cor 1:4 is what I want. it’s what I’ve always wanted, for God to use my life to bring others to Him. I am learning to use God’s word daily to work through other struggles, but today I broke free from not being worth God’s love. Your obedience to God’s leading you to post has blessed me greatly and I pray a million fold return of blessing to you. Again THANK YOU!

      • Angel… I can feel it in my bones… you ARE 2 Cor. 1:4 !! I’m celebrating your victory with you… all of heaven is singing over you!!!! xoxo

    • Donna B says:

      Noelle,

      Thank you so much for that amazing prayer and scripture. And I too am so thankful that He gives us a choice to let go of our strongholds and tp let Him work in your hearts. So blessed that He wants us to have a faith bigger than our fears. Thanks for sharing and praying for you as you choose to let go of those strongholds that entangle you as well.

      “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him.” (II Peter 1:3).

      Praying that you will draw upon His diivine power as you let go and let Him fill you with His knowledge.

      Blessings,

      Donna

  2. Wendy last week was so hard and I had thoughts of quitting and continuing another time, but thats what Satan wants me to do and I am not going to do that! Greater is He that is in me then he that is in the world. I will not let satan win. I may be behind but not out. Thank you for your encouragement and words. I will get to read the post later after I get back from class – which is on Faith. But I will say I love 2 Tim 1:7 And recite it myself out loud often so I can hear it when I’m afraid. ” I was NOT GIVEN a spirit of fear. So why am I afraid. I WAS given a spirit of power, ..Power to conquer everything and anything. When I think of the armor of God I envision wonder woman with all her armor. Throwing up my arms to deflect the attacks. We may not be wonder women but we are wonderful women thanks to God our Father.

    • Donna B says:

      Debra,

      So thankful that you have decided to continue on with Wendy’s study. So thankful that you have taken the stance not to let Satan win. God never told us that it would be easy. He just told us that He would always be there for us.

      “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

      Hide these words in your heart. He will always go before you and will ALWAYS be there for you!

      Praying for God to fill you with His promises and that you will cling to them and Him!

      Donna

      • I go back to Ch 4 and 1 Peter 4:12. and 13 Do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering Instead be really glad- because these trials will make me partners with Christ. ” AS I think about what I am going thru it waas nothing compared to what Jesus went thru …. So Jesus KNOWS what I am going thru or at the least knows what suffering is,

    • Love that visual of Wonder Woman!! I will keep that in mind next time I pray on the armor of God.

  3. Hi Wendy, I came over from Facebook, I am not familiar with your book or story, but wanted to tell you that at the “close” of my battle/stronghold-overcome, the Lord enabled me to have my Bible {which looked much worse than yours, actually the cover was separated from the body!} rebound. A woman had had her husband’s father’s Bible re-done, and put the number of the man who did it inside of my Bible study book without even knowing that I needed it! I happened to have the $100. he charged for a birthday present. So sweet! You should have yours redone!!

    What a wonderful gift to lead women through deliverance of strongholds online! God bless you and them!!!

    I often find myself asking, “Where was this message when I needed it?” but I know that God had me meander through the dry places for His purposes…as I am facing down a similar ‘fear’ now that Donna faces. A new and clear call and all the good-byes to other things in order to step into the unknown :)

    God bless you!
    Kathy

    • Donna B says:

      Kathy,

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by share. Loved hearing your story about your Bible. I just love my “old” Bible. I have a New Living Bible that was a gift from Mom while I was in Junior High and I would not trade! And my most favorite Bible is the Fruit of the Spirit Bible with commentary and devotions by Calvin Miller. I got it 11 years ago, just a few months before I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer! Used it and love it so much that I’ve lost part of the book of Genesis. It was through that Bible and the words of Calvin Miller that God revealed Himself to me as my Jehovah Shalom – my God of PEACE – in His perfect timing!!

      I love these verses found in Isaiah 55 about God and His perfect timing:

      8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
      neither are your ways my ways,”
      declares the Lord.
      9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
      so are my ways higher than your ways
      and my thoughts than your thoughts.
      10 As the rain and the snow
      come down from heaven,
      and do not return to it
      without watering the earth
      and making it bud and flourish,
      so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
      11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
      It will not return to me empty,
      but will accomplish what I desire
      and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
      12 You will go out in joy
      and be led forth in peace;
      the mountains and hills
      will burst into song before you,
      and all the trees of the field
      will clap their hands.

      So thankful that He knows best and always has my best interests at heart with His timing! And I love the promise that His words will accomplish what He desires them to accomplish in and through us!

      Praying for you as you face your fear! Praying your faith will be BIGGER than your fear! Praying that God will reveal Himself to you in new and exciting ways along the journey!

      Donna B

    • Thanks for the great idea about getting my Bible rebound. Had not thought of that. I have another one that needs it too.

      I have asked myself that before…why did you not put someone across my path, Lord, who had a story to share that would have “shown” me the way. But you are so right….because we had to walk our journey alone with Him, we have a different testimony…the one He planned for us to have to use us in His Kingdom. We each have our own story to tell and that is what makes Christian fellowship so beautiful!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  4. Virgie Watson says:

    Wendy I just want to say that this is a awesome Bible study and through this study God is revealing my strong holds to me and healing me! I have journal since 1986 and it has helped me in so many ways, I go back and I read what I used to be and see how God has changed my heart and blessed me and my family!! Praise be to God!
    Thank you In His Love Virgie

    • Donna B says:

      Virgie,

      Praising God with you!!!

      Psalm 100 – A Thanksgiving Psalm (The Message)

      1-2 On your feet now—applaud God! Bring a gift of laughter,
      sing yourselves into his presence.

      3 Know this: God is God, and God, God.
      He made us; we didn’t make him.
      We’re his people, his well-tended sheep.

      4 Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
      Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
      Thank him. Worship him.

      5 For God is sheer beauty,
      all-generous in love,
      loyal always and ever.

    • Virgie, thank you for sharing how our Hidden Joy study is reaching deep into your heart. I continually pray for God’s living and active Word to penetrate each of our hearts and take us to the next step on our journey with Him!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  5. Angel P says:

    Wow! That sums it up in just 3 letters. For anyone is struggling with their self worth, as I was as I got out of bed this morning, but am now set free. I would like to explain how God revealed to me how much I am worth, and you too. We are bought with a price (1 Corn 6:20). If we have a price, God’s word says we do, the we are worth something. We are worth the precious blood of God’s ONLY son, not the oldest, not the middle child, not the baby, not the adopted child, the Only Son of God. I have one surviving son who will turn 4 next Monday. God has blessed me by not calling me to sacrifice hum as he did Abraham because that might be too much for my little faith. But God freely gave His Son so we could life eternally with Him.

    What a slap in the face it must have been each time I told God, I’m not worth your love. I’m not worth the sacrifice You gave for me. My heart breaks at how selfish I have been toward God. I am a blood bought daughter of God and I will no longer live in defeat. Because I have accepted His sacrifice I am priceless. No one can steal me away from my Father. I am marked as His and will be forever, no matter how bad i mess up or what emotions I allow to fill my day. I am ready to start living like I am worth what God paid on the cross.

    I pray anyone else who thinks they are worthless will take the time to really think of how much you are worth.

    • Donna B says:

      Angel P,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. And you are so right – we are worthy!! I love Romans 8:1, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” Love the fact that God sees me through His eyes!!

      And I also love His words in Isaiah 43:4. “Upi are precious and honored in my sight …. and I love you!

      And then there is Psalm 139, where He tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made!

      And in Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”

      I love the fact that He will rejoice and sing over me!! I am worthy of His singing!! What an amazing thought!!!

      Thanks again for sharing and don’t forget …. to extend some grace to yourself!! HE loves you NO MATTER WHAT!!!!

      Blessings,

      Donna

    • Thank you for reminding us that we are “blood bought baby girls!!” That alone should make us realize how valuable we are to our Father in heaven.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  6. I love stories of freedom in Christ. They are so encouraging! God revealed to me a couple weeks ago that doubt is my stronghold. Somewhere tangled up in all that mess is rejection, but I will work on one at a time. I am on a mission to find verses that I can personalize and pray so that God will help me overcome this. Thank you Wendy and Donna for walking us through this! :)

    • Donna B says:

      Katie,

      Here’s a few for you:

      Proverbs 3:5-6 “I, Katie will trust in the LORD with all my heart. I will lean on His understanding and not mine. I will submit all of my ways to Him. He will make my pathy straight.”

      2 Corin 12:9 “His grace is sufficient for me.{Katie} His power is made perfect in my {Katie’s} weakness.”

      And one of my favorites: Jeremiah 29:11 For God knows the plans that He has for me {Katie}, declares the LORD, my plans for Katie involve and include plans to give {Katie} a hope and a future. I will be Katie’s hope and future. My plans for {Katie} also include plans to prosper her and fill {Katie} with hope.

      God, replace those doubts in Katie’s heart with your promises found in Your Word. Fill her completely up with yourself. Cause Katie to lean into you and fill her with your understanding. I pray these scriptures over Katie:

      “For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

      20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-20)

    • I am so thankful Donna shared these verses, personalized them, and prayed them for you. I stand with her in those prayers and pray in agreement with them over you!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  7. Wendy and Donna
    Thank you both for walking where you both have and being able to prove to us all out here struggling with fear, doubt and anger. I am ashame of the way I feel…and yet hanging on to the faith I have always loved. I am in the midst of a “satan struggle” in the midst of a husband wanting to divorce me and leaving things for me to find where he has spoken to his lawyer and also is looking forward to “being set up” with a girl….this after many affairs. So painful and there seems to be no end in sight, and I am hoping in my heart that it doesn’t???
    I have tried everything and prayed for God to lead me and guide me…I have bound, release, claimed, fasted, prayed for my husband, given him up and laid him down and cryed till my eyes are swollen day and night…I have ask the Lord to show me, to reveal what it is that I need to do and yet nothing. It all has come down to me and whatever I have done to cause such a thing as this?? I covet your prayers as I walk this path and most times complete darkness. God Bless you both…I am praying for us all as we seek the lord and all he has for us.
    Dona

    • Donna B says:

      God,

      I thank you for Dona and the fact that she has shared her fear with us. I would ask you to give her the strength to hold onto You, the strength to look to you no matter what, the strength to love you no matter what, the strength to focus on you and not on her husband, the strength to focus on you and not on her circumstances. Fill her up to overflowing with you. Allow Dona to find her worth in you and you alone. Draw her close. Protect and guard her heart. Direct her steps. Don’t let Dona get ahead or behind your plans. Shine your light into her heart. Let Dona reflect your love and your glory to her husband. Lead her from the darkness into your LIGHT. I pray for their marriage. I pray that you would become the centerpiece of their marriage. Let your light shine so brightly in Dona that her husband notices the Light and desires the Light. Go before her. Make her paths straight. Draw Dona to your word. Focus her thoughts on you and you alone. Hold her hand and lead into your everlasting and unfailing love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

      • Oh wow. A huge AMEN to Donna’s prayer. Sweet Dona, hold tight to every word that was just prayed over you! Hugs to you friend… xoxo

      • Thank you Donna and Noelle…
        For being there, for praying and for extending your love. I have not felt any love for so long its overwhelming to even explain what your words mean to me. Donna I have been living in my bedroom locked day and night for the last eight years I have given myself over and my hope was that he would see the Lord in me and extending my forgiveness and love to no avail. So my need for “protection” from my husband boldness and rejection is to hide and wait. I am living a life of a prisoner. I am in constant prayer and thrist for the Lords leading. To be rejected and then watch as he dresses to go out and be about his business if more than I can do right now. It has been over eight years of this and on the 31st of this month it will be 32 years of being married to this man.
        I love this study and pray each and every day (several times a day) for you all and whateve brought us all here. I wait and pray over each post and thank the Lord for those who whispers up a prayer for me……Again Bless you all…thank you Noelle and Donna for being there reading my post and replying ……Wendy only in heaven will you truly know what you have done by being open about your walk…
        Love to you all in the midst of your struggles and victories
        Dona

      • Angel P says:

        Abba Father, I come in agreement with these ladies and ask you blind Donna and her husband with your love and you will. Let your light be so bright they have no choice but to focus on you. Most of all Your will be done. Break the changes of satan and release her into Your freedom that only you can give. Thank you for the love and compassion i can have for someone I have never met. You are the one true God and this deep desire to see You work in her life can only come from You. Thank you in advance for being who You are. You are truth, You are love, You are merciful. In You alone will we find strength. I ask you give me part of her suffering so she does not have to suffer alone. Even if it is just for a moment let me share her burden and lighten her load to give her rest. I as this in the Blood of Your precious Son who You gave for us. I love You deeper and deeper with each breath I take Lord. Amen.

    • Dona, first I want to speak Truth to you that what your husband is doing is NOT caused by you! What he is doing is sin. It is a violation of God’s commands. It is dishonoring to the covenant of marriage, to you, and to God. And it is HIS choice. It is not something you have done or caused. Do not allow Satan to speak these lies into your heart and mind.

      Sweet friend, you need to claim the mind of Christ that is yours as a SAVED child of God. Next you need to take every one of those thoughts about your worth, your value captive and bring them into alignment with the TRUTH of God. You are a valued, chosen, forgiven, saved, loved, holy, blameless child of God. And that is how the Lord sees you. So never ever let anything or anyone change that.

      Also, if there were things that you have done in the past, it sounds as if you have asked forgiveness and as if you have done many things to draw your husband back to you. But in the end, it is his choice. You should continue to pray in faith for a miracle because our God is fully ABLE to bring that about. He can turn your husband’s heart away from his life of sin and back to you, and we all agree and pray that with you in full faith.

      But until that time, you need to not allow your husband’s choices to keep you from living the life God has for you. Come out of the darkness into the Light and begin to live again. Don’t allow your husband to steal away your joy, your hope, and your peace. Find one baby step you can take out of the darkness, out of the locked room. Let us know what that step is, and we will pray for you!!!

      We are all here to pray for you and cheer you on as you STAND up for yourself and STAND up for God!!! And remember you can do ALL things through Christ Who strengthens you and He will do exceedingly, abundantly above ALL you could ever ask or imagine through the power of His Holy Spirit!!!! His mercies are new every morning, so every morning you wake up with your Bible open and look for Him to be at work. He will be faithful.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

      • Wendy
        I come to work around 5:45 each and every day…(its some place to be other then home) and that is after reading and my prayer time in my closet. So this morning in tears I called out for the Lord to take my hand and just even hold it…in the midst of my fear and longing to be freed from it or to overcome it. Then I log on and read your post…..well as I had to stop and dry my tears throughout reading it I simply became overwhelmed. I thank God for this study, for the women, for the words of faith, hope and love. And that all spoken in their past or current pain. I have printed off the posts just to read and re-read them and breathe in what has been spoken. I have journal after journal and now I have begun one just for this study. I can only hope that someday I will be able to read through it and see how I came out? I will let you know how and what my step is…what stand I take. Each day when I go home I cry, I wait for whatever is in the mail…addressed to me from a lawyer and pray that I can remain upright and strong?? But my faith and strength is weak. I own that totaly and am ashamed. So for you words, your wisdom, your strenght and most of all your prayers and love….I AM FOREVER GRATEFUL…..
        Must love to you all
        Dona

        • Donna B says:

          Dona,

          Please take Wendy’s words and the promises that she shared with you and claim them for your very own!!! God wrote His Word for you! Take your eyes off of your husband and put them on GOD! He is where we find our worth and our love!! I am single and 50 years old, never been married, not that I wouldn’t want to be, but to know that GOD loves me much more than a husband ever could is where I find my confidence, my worth, my love, my joy. He is my ALL in ALL and I make the choice to let Him be my ALL in ALL!! HE LOVES ME and HE LOVES YOU like no other can or ever will!!

          Praying for you!!!

          Donna

          • Julie S. says:

            Hugs Dona <3!! God has a plan and it is good! Praying that you will find strength, hope and healing!! Put on the armor of God each and every day <3.

            Julie

          • Beautiful Dona,
            When I read Angel’s prayer… the wisdom and compassion from Donna and Wendy… the encouragement from Julie… I was already getting teary. Then when Donna mentioned that God loves her more than a husband ever could… I got this picture in my mind and heart… of you in a wedding gown… with Jesus reaching to you, bringing you out of your closet, and you gazing at him with tears of JOY. I think that will be my new prayer for you… that you will be filled with joy knowing you are His bride. What I wouldn’t do to reach through this computer and give you a hug and not let go…
            Holding you tight (I’ll be a bridesmaid with all these other ladies!)
            xoxo

          • Thank You Julie and Noelle….(and all of you)
            Amazing how the ones we live with, know for so many years, are NOT who they really are and who will be there for us when needed??
            In the midst of this storm I am BLESSED to know that there are those out there who care, who take the time to speak words of love into my life.
            I love you all….I pray for you all….I have no words to express what is in my heart..you get me through each and every moment of my days..

            So grateful so very grateful
            Dona

  8. Deborah Agnone says:

    Good morning Donna and Wendy,

    Wow. What confirmation this is for me. thank you so much for sharing about fear. I have been dealing with tremendous anxiety that seems to have taken over my 8 year old son, due to unusual circumstances at school this year. The last week I’ve been teaching him the very scripture “I have not given you a spirit of fear,…” (couldn’t remember the reference though – now I have it .. thanks!) I’ve told him that the mind is a battle ground and that we have an enemy that prowls around like a lion, looking for someone to destroy and that we have to stand firm in the faith with all of the armor of God to resist the arrows that fly at us .. as an 8 year old boy, he certainlly hears those words. So, on the way to school we practiced telling ‘lies’ (Mommy is going to forget to pick me up from school) and responding with ‘truth’ (Mommy always remembers me and even if something happens and she is not there, I am still safe).

    I pray constantly for wisdom with how to deal with this very sensitive child and this is such confirmation that God equips us with wisdom when we ask. He uses all of our circumstances to further his kingdom and uses our hurts and pains to comfort the afflicted .. and you are!!! Funny thing is that God used all of these verses throughout my own life to comfort me and now I have them as jewels to hand over to my boy.. wow. Thank you so much for sharing and God bless you on your continued journey .. we never “arrive” do we?? .. until we reach our eternal home!!

  9. As you know I am a wee bit behind with my notes , but I did have a question or comment from page 58 – it says when we choose to fight god it gaurantees greater and longer pain- at that I had to stop, because when I fought the abuser it also lasted longer, Help me seek the understanding because the Abuser is not God but the actions of both are the same. I know God does it to show us where we need to change, my question or thought here , does the abuser use this as a way to make us fear God.

    • Debra, I am not sure if I am answering what you asked, but I do not think that an abuser uses anything of God in his thoughts or actions. I do believe that God can work in and through an abuser, just as he used and worked through Pharoah and other ungodly people in Scripture, to accomplish His kingdom purposes. I know God used what my rapist did to me to draw me closer to Him and to His Word. But I had to CHOOSE to allow God to work in and through my fear and pain. It is always our choice to join God or run away.

      Hope that answers your questiion.

      W

  10. I have a PRAISE GOD moment I wanted to shares. As I was reading and found this scripture: Psalms 108:10 Who but God can give me strength to conquer…” This reminded me or my abuse I suffered as a baby when I was beaten into a coma, This verse spoke to me saying it was God’s strength that allowed me to conquer death. It was only Gods strength that kept me going thru all of it,

  11. Julie S. says:

    I don’t know what to say or where to start. This chapter is perfect timing for my life right now….always is when it is in God’s time :) ! I know he has been working on me for some time. To show me who I really am in Him and to allow the strongholds of my past to simply disappear. I am strong and I am a child of God. I see the light and am claiming it! Each day is a new day, a chance to make the right choices. God has a plan for all of us and I pray that he opens all of our eyes to his love and mercy as we allow our stronghold-chains to fall off. The joy of the Lord is our strength! I can do all things through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13.

    Julie

    • Donna B says:

      Praising Him with Julie!!!

      Here’s another verse for you: ” When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12.

      Take it, claim it, and live it!

    • Julie, I jsut love how you are filled with God’s Word and you are speaking His truth over your life!! That is what we all need to do. That is how we take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Thank you for sharing such a great example of this for us.

      W

  12. Thank you so much Wendy and Donna!

    This study is so wonderful and the way the participants interact and you… I’m just so thankful to God that you break through the darkness with your great book of “Hidden Joy”.

    The Memory Verse has been my main “saving grace” verse since the early 90s after I had been raped in my home when my two children were there being homeschooled for the second time in my life (20 yrs. after the first as a young girl).
    I am so thankful that God revealed the grace in forgiveness that I dealt with back then. I’ve been reading along with this only in case there might have been something I missed in my healing and restoration. I know I have struggled throughout my life with strongholds. However, I cannot pinpoint a specific stronghold other than CONTROL. That’s what came to me. I’ve had a hard time with control issues, being controlled (by my non-christian husband we have been apart for more than 16 yrs. but we are still married and had been married 20 yrs. when we parted ways) and controlling others or wanting to be in control. Although many times I have surrendered my control to the Holy Spirit, it isn’t long before I’m taking it back… I guess I also fear and find myself insecure (though I don’t show it on the outside and because of this, I have a need to control, because I never want to have someone take away that control from me again… I don’t want to be anyone’s victim… Because I became a crisis phone counselor back in the 90s, I had some wonderful training and opportunities as a speaker later to deal with many of my issues, and deliverance from strongholds. For years, I have walked in the freedom that Christ gives us, yet somehow I struggle with some of my same issues…and find myself back at the Cross, claiming His Promises and healing to walk in victory and freedom. “For who the Son sets free is free indeed.” Hallelujah!
    So, why do I find myself back stepping in the past or regrets that I can no longer change and are out of my hands? I think I’ve moved forward and then find myself
    back in those moments… I’ve broken through rebellion, resentment, rejection, bitterness… you’d think I’d be completely renewed by now. I rejoice in every way God has protected me, loved me, restored me, filled me with grace,mercy and compassion and forgiveness as I minister to other women or whomever God places in my life here in Mexico or when I was back home in USA. Somehow, I came to terms with “i’m a work in progress” and God is not finished but will use me and the difficult circumstances I’ve gone through to help someone else in whatever is their circumstance. I am so blessed by you all and I pray that God will continue to use each of us to bear one another’s burdens and encourage each other to keep on keeping it on and run a good race… I love you all! I have read many of the comments and prayed for you as His Spirit leads. I’m so grateful for the times I can sit or lay my head at the feet of Our precious Lord and soak in His love, in His Word, in beautiful worship music… I give thanks and praise for you and that you shared your story of “Hidden Joy”… and also “Faith or Fear”… I pray to strengthen our faith in the Truth of God’s beautiful promises. Demolishing strongholds in Jesus’ name for each of us… watching the layers fall away to true freedom in Christ…

    Blessings in the love of Jesus Christ,
    Peggy

    • Julie S. says:

      Peggy,

      I think we struggle and move backwards sometimes bc the emeny is always after us. When we are pressing into Him, the enemy is trying to place doubt into our minds and hearts. We KNOW the truth. God is the way, the truth and the life! The battle has already been won! He has already overcome! I also struggle with control and regress at times. It can be very hard, I know! I find myself praying Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” I pray that often bc when I don’t have control sometimes I get anxious or feel uncomfortable. You can’t worry about what you can’t control! I give it to Him daily. I think we all need to confirm our faith and love for Him each and every day! Because each day is a new day and he wants to fill our hearts with His love everyday! You are made new in Him Peggy! Let the past go, like Donna said our past doesn’t control our future! God has a plan for you and it is good! I’ll be praying for you! Hugs!

      Side note…how long did you homeschool? I am homeschooling my son right now and have not gotten a lot of support. Would love to hear about your experience if you have time! My email is pw71998@aol.com

      Julie

      • Bless you Julie… thank you for your wise words and that wonderful verse from Philippians! The Truth does set us free. I so appreciate your response.

        I’m a homeschool advocate but I was a primary education teacher. I homeschooled both my son and daughter(adopted at 3) only one year because I was teaching in a small Christian school and decided I needed to focus on them. My son returned and completed public education. My daughter had health issues so although she went back to public ed., many years she was homeschooled by me. I’m saddened to hear that you are not getting much support. I’ll write you so you can fill me in on the details (grade, etc.) and know that there is someone you can come to for support and hopefully I can hook you up with some resources or other homeschoolers.

        God bless you and I can always use extra prayers. Thanks!
        Peggy

        • Julie S. says:

          Thanks Peggy! Means more than you know! I look forward to chatting with you more!

          Blessing and love!
          Julie

          • Donna B says:

            You girls are rocking it!!! And yep, I had to simplify it for me …think I missed my calling as a Marine!! (Just kidding)….I just have to simplify things so I can get my head and heart wrapped around it all.

            I had to simplify my fears to choices. Choices I have to make 24/7. I choose to move forward. I choose to BELIEVE that I was worth dying for. I choose to believe that GOD is BIGGER than any of my circumstances…molestation, doubts, cancer, loss of a loved one, an angry dad, any of my fears. When I choose FAITH over fear, God reveals himself to me that He is BIGGER than anything. He proves Himself and His faithfulness to me over and over and over again.

            And I am no where near perfect with my choices. But I can tell you this, when I goof up and make a step backwards, I experience a shorter rebound time as I focus on Him and not the past and not the step backward. It’s all about His GRACE! And yes, one of the hardest things we do, is extend GRACE to ourselves. It’s free for the taking. He’s already given it to us. WE just have to grab it and extend it to ourselves and to others.

            So when we fail with our choices, just remember it’s ok to fail forward. Learn from our backwards journey and get back up and move one foot in front of the other and extend yourself some grace – HIS GRACE! And I think it was Lysa TerKuerst that called it “moving north”.

            He loves us like crazy!! Take His GRACE and HIS LOVE and keep moving forward to HIS heart!

            Love your hearts!!
            Donna B

    • Peggy, we are a work in progress, and we need to always remember that. God has a name for this process and it is “sanctification.” We are being sanctified so that through each experience, each trial, each ministry opportunity, we are made more and more like Him. When we see our live with this perspective, we are much more willing to CHOOSE to see God as for us and not against us in our difficult trials ans struggles.

      We will take steps forward and steps backward, but in every step, He is with us!!

      I just love all of this conversation going on!!! Your girls ROCK!! I am learning so much.

      Love,

      Wendy

      • Bless you Wendy… for this sweet reminder! Both your words and Donna’s above
        have encouraged me to make CHOICES. Healthy choices and better ones. I’m so thankful that HE is with us in every step. He is so loving and faithful! Thanks so much!

        Love,
        Peggy

  13. I have an observation, When Wendy stated what the amplified bible states in 2 Tin 1:7 That we were given a spirit of calm and well balanced mind I thought of Matt 6 :24 We can not serve two masters we will hate one and love the other. This for me has the same meaning as fear and calm, we cant be both fearful and calm. Both cant exist in the same time. I will cling to one and ignore the other, Just thought I’d share.

  14. I now am feeling a sense of freedom and enlightenment, because for the first time I see what Wendy means by ” We are not fighting against people , or even emotions and memories but against the evil rulers satanic beings. ” Satan is keeping me in a state of fear. And until I read this (page 102) It didn’t click until now. Thank you Wendy for your study.

    Father God thank you for opening my eyes finally to what I am really dealing with, I am not to let my emotions lead me and I have done that so long that’s all I know how to do. Show me how to continue to trust you and not let satan continue to have any place in my life. For I am YOURS because you chose me as your very own.

    Amen

    • Yes, Lord, thank You for Debra and this victory. Thank You for opening her eyes and each of us to what strongholds You are freeing us from… in Jesus Name. Let our faith increase and that we not allow those feelings and emotions to lead us, but the facts and our faith to move mountains in Your power. I stand with Debra against the enemy trying to have any place in her life. We cast him back to the pit where he belongs and in the authority of Jesus, we speak trust and life and strength into Debra to defeat the enemy in any area… Debra declares trust in You and I thank You for her prayer, her sense of freedom with each step and the enlightenment she is receiving from Wendy and her book and the support of her sisters in Christ. Debra is free from fear because she has the power, love and the self discipline of Jesus Christ living in her… AMEN and AMEN!

  15. I’m not sure why I felt compelled to come back and share this from my Daily Reading in YouVersion from a devotional one called “Soul Detox” but the Spirit told me to share so I am:

    Today’s Reading is from Psalm 56:1-13

    “In order to face the “what ifs” of fear, you must acknowledge your fear and choose to trust God.”

    “What things are holding you back from acknowledging your fears and putting your full trust in God?

    Here are the others from this week:

    (W) Psalm 91:1-16 (just happens to be my favorite Psalm along with 51 and 23) What you fear reveals what you value the most. What you fear reveals where you trust God the least.

    What things are you not trusting God with that you need to?

    (T) ÉXODUS 4:1-17
    “Fear is having faith, but it’s placing your faith in the wrong things. Fear is placing your faith in the “what ifs”. So much of our fears are focused on things that may or may not happen. There is no reason to fear things that might not even happen. Even people in the Bible struggled in fearing their own “what ifs”. You will read today about Moses’ “what if” fear and how God gave him strength to overcome his fear.”

    What are some of the “what ifs” that fuel your fears?”

    (M) 2 Tim. 1:1-18 reading
    “There are four types of fears: fear of loss, fear of failure, fear of rejection, and fear of the unknown. It is very likely that you are struggling with one or more of these fears. These fears can paralyze you and keep you from God’s best. Remember what 2 Timothy 1 says in that God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.”

    Which fears do you currently struggle with the most?”

    (S) Ps. 27:1-14
    “We are often paralyzed with irrational fear that something may happen. Rather than living by faith, we live by fear. These toxic fears can cripple our lives and rob us of our joy. This week you will read what God’s Word says about toxic fears and how we should face them.”

    How have you seen your toxic fears influence your actions and thoughts?”
    ****
    I’m sure because Donna wrote so well about our “Faith and Fear” this just seem to line up with what she wrote and asked some good personal questions. I hope this was meant for someone and helps you as we all face our fears and find our strength in the LORD and in each other’s support and prayers.

    Hope you did not mind me sharing this … it’s based out of LifeChurch Online TV series on the book “Soul Detox” by Pastor Craig Groeschel and clearly this week was dealing with fear also… entitled “The Tortured Soul”.

    Praying that all strongholds are being shaken and demolished for each of us in Jesus precious name so that we will live in God’s Freedom and God’s way. Praying that HE WHO BEGAN A GOOD WORK IN YOU, is faithful to complete it and you will know this and the precious freedom like Wendy has found…thanks Wendy! Thank You Father, for Wendy, Donna and each women represented here breaking free and tearing down strongholds… We love You, Lord and thank You for the victory!

    • Donna B says:

      LOVE this!! So thankful that you were obedient and shared!! Love the verses. And the personal questions….you see as Wendy posted my story on Monday, fear crept in …. I have never told my family about being molested. I am one of the statistics where 9 out of 10 children don’t share their stories. At the age of 8 or so, I had no idea how to. And as I got older, I was encased with the fear of no one believing me….and then he passed away while I was in college and I just thought that if I told then, I still wouldn’t be believed. I also knew that I didn’t want to hurt his famiy – his wife and kids…so I have still not told my family. But I do have several family members on my FB page …so it’s out there now. Not sure if they’ve read it or not. All I do know is that GOD is in control either way and I have made the choice not to live in fear of the circumstances any longer.

      So thanks for blessing me with the verses and the questions.

      So thankful and blessed by each of you this week! Thanks for sharing your life stories, your hearts, and your time with me.

      Donna B

      • Thank You Father for Donna sharing her story and now it’s “out there” but that it’s always been in Your more than capable hands to help Donna through all these years of silent suffering, guarding the secret yet setting her feet solidly in Your Word to cast out all fear and anxiety. We do cast all of our burdens that we carry unnecessarily at the foot of Your Cross and in Your strength and grace, we leave them there. Do what You will with Donna’s story being out there. Guard her heart. Continue to give her the courage to speak out and speak life to others. Father, family members sometimes do not know how to deal with situations like this but we ask that You be in control of that too. I give You praise and ask You to encourage our dear sister Donna to not live in fear any longer ever… and bless her choices… Your Word tells us that You have a plan for us, a plan for good and not harm so we ask that this would be used to Your glory and we bind the enemy from bringing this back at Donna in any way.
        Donna is free in You and we bless You and Your blessed Name for her freedom to choose FAITH above fear. “Fear is having faith” but praise God, that Donna has chosen to place her faith not in the wrong things, or the “what ifs” but in You and Your Word, Your sweet Promises to each of us. Oh Lord, surround her and her FB page with the protection of Psalm 91. We thank You that Donna (and each one of us) do not have a spirit of fear, but of love and power and a sound mind… a discipline… a desire, a longing for Your Spirit to fill us and strengthen us when we are weak or vulnerable. More of You…more of Your grace upon Donna and Wendy and each woman who has shared her heart. May forgiveness flow freely from Your Throne over each soul and heart here. Bless each one and guard their hearts from the evil one. Greater is He who is in us, than he that is of this world. we are more than conquerors. It is by Your amazing grace and the testimony of our lips, that we rise up and give You all the honor, glory, praise and thanks. Thank You for Wendy! Thank You for Donna! Thank You for Your Spirit that lives and binds us together.

        This is my prayer day, Father ,specifically time set aside for us and I cannot think of a better place to be each Friday and every day than in Your presence.
        So today as I come before Your Throne, I lift up each spoken and unspoken prayer need of every woman that reads here, that You would touch them right where they are at…* “when they open their eyes this day that You, God Most High…already have seen their day unfold before You. I ask that You cover each corner of their day with Grace and tuck Your love into every moment and tenderly wrap them with the quiet strength their hearts may need…there is nothing more important to You than each of us, broken and being sanctified by You and Your Grace…I pray You will show each one how special they are through the blessings You give them ” throughout this upcoming weekend…
        bless the mothers and the mother’s hearts (those like I who have no biological children but love other’s children and others with the heart of compassion that You have given us. I ask this for Wendy, Donna and every person You have united here…in Jesus’ beloved name…

        * the “quote” is a paraphrase from a Mother’s Day card I received and my heart prayer for you, beautiful daughters/sons(?) of the Almighty Lord … Jesus, we love You and thank You for the victory and setting us free. hallelujah!

    • I appreciate when you share messages and excerpts from other pastors and teachers. It always adds to our understanding. Thank you for sharing.

      W

      • Thanks Wendy! (I’m so glad that you were OK with this) of course, you certainly have the right to delete it, after all it’s your blog… You are the best teacher and the warmest sister in Christ. I appreciate you so much. I even had to add you on my WOW (Weds.) on my blog as not only a Woman Of Worth…but some Weds. I made Wendy On Weds. like I had Moore on Monday (for Beth Moore teaching).

        Your video teachings and clearly your book have blessed and will continue to bless so many. I’m so thankful for YOU. HUGS…and a special blessed weekend!

        Thank you for investing your life and time to ministering to us. You inspire me to be and do more for others in Jesus…and through His love that you share and give to others. I have been in other studies as able and this is the BEST and it’s such a difference and blessing that you take the time to respond. Some of us are needy that way. :0) Thanks for always making me feel welcome here.

        • You are so welcome!! I remember being so hesitant to do on-line studies because I felt they would be so impersonal. But I could not have been more wrong. The community the Lord has built through our on-line study community is truly amazing. I am so grateful the Lord led me to do this, and I treasure each study. It fills me with great joy to watch women grow deeper in the Word together in this “big” small group.

          And thank you for adding me to Wednesdays on your blog. I am honored that you value and share what you learn here with your audience.

          Blessings to you,

          Wendy

    • Here’s some links. The message repeats until Sat. noon then the new one will be “The Seduced Soul”
      http://live.lifechurch.tv/

      YouVersion
      http://www.youversion.com/

      Resources on “Soul Detox” (pdfs etc….book is available also)
      http://resources.lifechurch.tv/categories/1-featured
      http://resources.lifechurch.tv/items/517-soul-detox-video-series

  16. Donna, thank you for investing in the lives of our women this week. We are so grateful you opened up your heart and honestly shared the tough parts of your life so we can see how BIG and FAITHFUL our God is!! You have been such a blessing. May God bless you richly for your selfless service to His Kingdom.

    Love you SO much,

    Wendy

  17. Thanks Wendy & Donna B sharing on our Strongholds. I have been once again reminded of the evil one prying lik the lion. What a good illustration of how it capture it’s prey. I think my stronghold is negative thinking. Is that all I have to do – pray that these thoughts be kept captive to Jesus, it comes back again & again. When we serve, we have to work with others and sometimes our coworkers can hurt us rather than encourage us with their comments. I get very disturbed and my heart beat fast even just reading the emails from this coworker. I feel that she misunderstand me a lot. I have tried to do my best within my abilities, and use my discretion in my service for the Lord, but it’s not enough in this person’s eyes. I believe the evil one has a part in my thoughts as Wendy says. He is waiting for those moments to strike and he knows my vulnerabilities. I don’t like confrontation yet, it makes me miserable and lose sleep thinking about it.

    • Laura… I think you’re in the process of breaking that stronghold! The mere fact you recognize it is a BIG step! Frustrating coworkers are really tough to deal with. You are so right to take your thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ. Philippians 4:8 reminds us of what we should keep in our minds, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” And we should pray for them. If they are so hurtful to us, they must really have their own hurts/strongholds. Easier said than done, I know. I have some tough people in my life as well and I struggle to pray for them and to ask God to bless and heal their wounds. But when we refuse to repay evil for evil, it breaks the vicious cycle. Romans 12:20 says, “On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Proverbs 25:22 says the same thing- but also adds if we do this, God will reward us! I’m praying for you. I want your misery to end and I want you to have sweet dreams when you sleep :)

      Similar to you, this chapter helped me identify a stronghold I have: the desire to control. I find myself wasting energy trying to control the uncontrollables in my life. Instead of doing what I can do and trusting God for the outcome, I keep spinning my wheels! I used to consider this a personality trait, but through this chapter, I can call a spade a spade. It’s a stronghold and God is taking me through steps and I’m claiming victory because I know I’ll get there. You too Laura! And then we’ll do a touchdown dance together, okay? xoxo

      Last thing- Wendy- THANK YOU for the forgiveness prayer!!! It is SO POWERFUL! Thank you for giving us such an amazing gift!!!!!

    • Laura, I forgot to add… I do believe in standing up to bullies. I pray before I have to confront and I typically seek wise counsel as well. xoxo

      • Noelle, I thank God and thank you so much.for your wise counsel using His Word that is always so powerful in speaking to us, and also praying for me.. I so appreciate your honesty about the struggles you have. Perhaps, I did not pray hard enough or do enough to show that I care for this co-worker. God want us to overcome evil with good, and if i could, I would have the victory.

        Thanks Wendy, I also print out the Forgiveness Prayer and what a beautiful prayer.

  18. Incredible, simply incredible. I’ve been swamped this week, so haven’t had an opportunity to stop by until today. I read through all of the comments and I am just blown away by everyone. The genuine Christian love poured out for one another here is truly awe-inspiring, along with so much wisdom shared from the Word of God!

    As I re-read the chapter this morning I kept wondering and asking God what my stronghold is right now: Busyness. There are so many days when I feel just overwhelmed by everything that is vying for my attention that my brain will just shut down. Then I am left with no desire to do anything at all. I’m tapped out, worn out. I keep telling myself, “Just do the next thing,” but then something else “more important” comes along to interrupt and my already long to-do list gets pushed another day. Even as I write this all I can think about is the stack of two week old papers that need grading, the food supplies that have to be picked up at Sam’s for our Mother’s Day breakfast, the fact that I have class in 20min, then I told the drama club we’ll be having an extra practice during lunch today {per their request}, my blog I haven’t updated in over a month, my book proposal that hasn’t been touched in probably two months {not to mention the actual book!}, and all I want to do is crawl into bed with my Bible and read, to rest in Him, maybe even just sleep. I’d love to just zero out my calendar and my to-do list, clear it all out and start over. I’ve delegated what I can, but there are still so many things only I can get done.

    Lord, help me to get control over my schedule by handing the control over to You. Lead my heart to the next thing that needs to be done and trust You with everything else. If there is anything in the world that I need to cross off my list, please show me what that is! I want to honor you with every aspect of my life and live out Proverbs 3:6. Help me to carve things out so that I can be an effective servant. Amen.

    • Donna B says:

      Heather,

      How I love your realness and you! Love your heart for others! Praying Proverbs 16:9 over you…

      “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps”. God, please establish Heather’s steps and her thoughts as she moves forward in serving and loving others to Jesus. Carve out the path for Heather that you so desire for her to follow. Don’t allow Heather to get one step or activity ahead or one step or activity behind, but place her steps in total sync with Yours. Fill Heather with your understanding of what matters most. Guide her thoughts. Draw her close to You. Fill her up with YOU! Protect her calendar. Help Heather to set boundaries that are healthy for her and for You. Protect her time with you. Feed her with your word. Continue to mold and make her into the woman that you desire Heather to be.

      I thank you for Heather. I thank you for the heart that you have given Heather to write and to share her heart with so many women. Fill her with your words so that those words may flow from her to her computer screen so that more lives will be touched and moved for your kingdom purposes. Be Heather’s source of strength. Encourage Heather. And as Heather loves and serves on her kids at school and church, her husband, her family, her friends and strangers that you place in her life, do not let her grow weary in serving them. Pour out your love and strength into Heather. All of these things I ask in your Son’s name. Amen.

      Love God’s Heather Bleier!!! See ya at She Speaks in July. Can’t wait to finally meet you after all of these months!!!

  19. Donna B says:

    Happy Friday Night,

    Just wanted to drop by and say thank to everyone for letting me hang out with all of ya’ll this week. So thankful and blessed to have a front row seat to watch God work in each of your lives. Blessed beyond measure and comprehension. And as I said earlier, there is a purpose in all of our pain! God will use our pain to help others deal with their’s face to face just as Wendy has and is, Heather has and is and each of you are. I love how God turns our messed up lives into His message for His glory and for His honor.

    Going to also pray the verses that Paul prayed over the church in Ephesus:

    For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

    Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-20)

    Keep turning those pages one by one from right to left, even when it gets tough, knowing that God did not give you a spirit of fear and timidity but a spirit of power, love and self-discipline. Praying that your faith grows larger and larger with each turn of a page and that your fears get smaller and smaller.

    Wendy, thank you sweet Jesus sister! Thanks for allowing God to use you to bless my heart in such BIG ways! Love ya and see ya in July! Let me know if I can help you out with anything else.

    Love to you all!!!

    Donna B

  20. Thank you, Donna, for leaving us with such a beautiful prayer. Your words lead us perfectly into the next few chapters as we talk about quiet time and praying the Word of God. Your message, your comments, and your prayers have been such a blessing to each one of us.

    I can’t wait to be with you at She Speaks as well!!!

    Blessings,

    Wendy

  21. I thank God for this community, for many of you who spend time to post despite your busyness. It’s a testimony of your love for God and His people.. Pray God continue to use each one of you to be a blessing to the broken hearted, and in return give you His joy, fulfillment that passed all understanding, knowing that you have touch lives

  22. Wendy, thank you for this chapter. It’s given me a lot to think about this week. I wanted to just make a brief comment, because I am awed by God’s amazing timing and I love to share it! Last summer, months before I remembered being sexually abused as a child, I memorized the entire Armor of God passage. I had no idea then how much I would need those verses through this entire process. Many nights as I struggled to fall asleep I would recite those verses in my mind and they would help calm me enough to be able to sleep. I am planning now to memorize many of the verses you referenced in this chapter to use as I continue to battle my stronghold of fear.

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