Exchanging fear for faith: #priceless

I have spent my entire life in a big “shadow of doubt” created by insecurity that developed at a very early age (Swope, p. 21). Insecurity arising from my perspective of how others’ viewed or valued me, which in turn, determined my self-worth  and has continued to do so. That shadow always looms, as the insecurity manifests itself in many ways and many situations — its symptoms are not pleasant — fear, anxiety, depression, defensive and offensive behavior and caustic speech, to name a few. I have desperately sought to get rid of that shadow and its consequences in a variety of ways — some of which I am not terribly proud of. I have tried, over and over, in many different ways and many different arenas to prove that I am “perfect,” or at least well above average, when in reality I am flawed, and average. I have pretended that everything is fine, and that my life is going well and that I am satisfied, because some of my “successes,” by most standards should have been enough. The pretense has been very costly at times. So, I now take great comfort in the fact that “because His love is perfect, I don’t have to be (Swope, pp. 29-46).”

I have been seeking to prove my worth to and through others, through my jobs, promotions, new cars, new technologies and gadgets — and it hasn’t worked. I love my family and friends, and I know that they love me. But, I still keep seeking, “what a person desires: unfailing love (Proverbs 19:22).” So, I want to believe that, as Renee Swope (2011) states, “[I] was made for love that isn’t measured by my last accomplishment, but marked by God’s measureless grace (p. 62).”

There is indeed an emptiness in my heart. No amount of validation from others, no single accomplishment (or even a compendium of all of them), no possession, no career path, promotion, accolade has or will give me value or a true sense of significance — nor will any of these fill that emptiness. Why? Because I guess I finally realize that material goods wear out or lose value quickly, and performance-based measurement of my worth, is dependent upon the opinion, action, or behavior of others (who are likely seeking their value in the same fashion). I also don’t like who I am very much when I seek my worth in this fashion. The realization that the emptiness can ONLY be filled by God, because reliance on any other validation will never provide the abiding love and acceptance marked by His grace is a big, and welcome “wake-up call,” at a time when it is much needed. It implies that “His love will not fail, even when I do (Swope, pp. 47-64).” That type of love is #priceless (Pure; Redeeming; Inexhaustible; Comforting; Energizing; Liberating; Enduring; Supportive; and Sustaining)!

In my quest for #AConfidentHeart, I want to move from “fear-filled thinking to faith-filled believing (Swope, p. 228).”

The following When I/Then He statements address my “Top Ten” doubts and insecurities — they serve as a basis for replacing my doubts and insecurities with His truths:

  1. When I find myself seeking validation of my  worth through the 4 Ps (people, performance, possessions, or position); Then He will remind me that what I really desire is the unfailing love (Proverbs 19:22) that can be found through the 3 Gs (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).
  2. When I feel as though life has filled with adversity and has become too difficult; Then He will remind me that He is with me in times of trouble, that He will rescue me, and honor me (Psalms 91:15).
  3. When I sense doubt creeping in and worry becoming all-consuming and non-productive; Then He will remind me that he cares about me and I can surrender my cares to Him (1 Peter 5:7).
  4. When I think that I have no strength left to face the latest trial; Then He will remind me that through His strength I can do all things (Philippians 4:13).
  5.  When I perceive that others are against me and feel beaten down, or defeated; Then He will remind me that no one can be against me if He is for me (Romans 8:31), and that I am a conqueror through His love (Romans 8:37).
  6. When I start to worry about finances, and finding a job that will provide the basic necessities; Then He will remind me that He knows what I need, and it will be provided (Matthew 6:32).
  7. When I begin to feel as though I will never find a sense of peace and contentment; Then He will remind me that I can find peace and confidence in Him (John 16:33); and can learn to be content in any situation or circumstance (Philippians 4:12).
  8. When I am tempted to pretend that things are fine, when in reality I am FINE (Frazzled, Irritated, Neurotic, and Exhausted (Swope, p. 31)); Then He will remind me that He can give me rest (Matthew 11:28), peace, and confidence (John 16:33).
  9. When I feel as though I don’t know what to do next; Then He will remind me that I simply have to ask him, and He will give me wisdom (James 1:5).
  10. When I find myself feeling uncertain about my next steps or my purpose: Then He  will remind me to rely on Him to guide me (Proverbs 3:5-6); and that His major goal is that I enjoy the full riches of complete understanding of the divine truth. (Colossians 2:2).


NRSV translation of The Holy Bible

Swope, R. (2011). A Confident Heart, Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishers.


#priceless love: its results must be acknowledged

Today’s Truth(s)

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. (Psalms 28:7)

Because Your love is better than my life, my lips will glorify You. I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands. (Psalms 63:3-4)


I find that the Psalms hold a great deal of wisdom. I have combined these two truths, analyzing the meaning of key words and phrases to form one that serves as a very personal wake-up call for me:

The LORD is the source of my emotional support and my buffer; I trust Him, and I am comforted, and protected. Through His unconditional love and willing intervention I find relief — and I seek to express my gratitude in prayers of thanksgiving , singing his praises, and in encouraging others to do so as well.


One of the things that I tend to have difficulty with is being consistent in expressing my gratitude when I am blessed. I do recognize when my prayers have been answered, and I revel in the feeling of peace and well-being. Then, as quickly as that recognition and euphoria occurs, my focus can shift back to all of the other petitions I have that are as yet unresolved.

When this happens, I am glad that in moments of self-reflection, I am struck by the realization (or perhaps by the hand of the Holy Spirit) that prayer is not merely a transactional exercise — wherein I ask, He gives; but rather it must be part of an ongoing process of building a deep and trusting relationship with God — one where, based on his capacity for love and in light of the desired fulfillment of his promises, I can feel confident that I am moving along the path he intends.

To me, as I seek to build the type of relationship that I desire with Him — while I can feel free to express all of my needs and emotions, I have to remember that my trials and circumstance are intended often to teach me something valuable. I have to be open to accept His help and His grace in dealing with my situation with the understanding that his plan unfolds only as I am able to understand and implement it. When I am blessed, I have to recognize it as a result of His Hand, and give thanks. Then, I have to focus my prayers on building the fortitude to continue to endure any trial or framing the appropriate plea for resolution of any outstanding issues until such time as I have developed the requisite mindset and behavior to accept the intervention and/or carry out the next steps.


The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace. (Psalms 29:11)

This verse serves as a reinforcement of the truth highlighted from Psalms 28, and also reminds me that this is where my sense of peace is coming from when I am blessed. This is all the more reason to follow through on meeting my goal — working to develop a habit of mind that allows me to balance giving praise when it is due with making additional pleas for understanding, fortitude, and relief.


Lord, in giving me strength, you bring me peace; in answering my pleas, you show me your infinite mercy and love.  Through Your intervention I always attain comfort, relief, and protection, and often receive grace in the form of bolstered fortitude and ability to endure.  Let me remember that Your plan unfolds as I am able to understand the lessons inherent in the trials and adversity that I face, and as am capable of applying what I learn as You intend. Let me never forget that Your priceless love deserves my song of praise and thanksgiving. Please help me to always balance my pleas with my praise. In Jesus’ name, I pray, AMEN.