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If you would have told me forty years ago that I’d one day write a devotional about being a confident woman, I’m not sure I would have believed you. As a child, I endured many years of sexual abuse, which left me emotionally broken and seriously lacking confidence. On the outside, I came across as a tough, bold person who couldn’t care less what other people thought. However, on the inside, I was the exact opposite—I was fearful and terribly insecure.
My lack of confidence showed up everywhere, from my marriage to my husband, Dave… to my ministry work… to every single one of my relationships.
Because I wasn’t rooted and grounded in God’s love, I constantly relied on other people to prop me up—to keep me “fixed” so I would feel good about myself.
The truth was, I didn’t like myself, and I continually focused on everything that was wrong with me. I was also stuck in a cycle of comparing myself to other people, always trying to be more like them.
However, the more I tried to be like others, the more miserable I became! Because God didn’t create me to be exactly like them—He created me to be me. When I finally learned to love and value myself the way God does—when I began to receive my confidence from Him—it changed everything.
I believe the world makes this particularly difficult. Society has created a false, unrealistic image of women, and from the time we’re young we are bombarded with messages about how we should look and act. We’re told that our worth is based on what we do, who we marry, or where we live. However, our self-worth doesn’t come from other people, a title, the way we look, or anything we can do. Our security and confidence come from knowing who we are in Christ. We have tremendous worth and value simply because we are beloved and cherished daughters of the King.
Regardless of your past, I want you to know that you can live with confidence and have a healthy self-image. God loves you, and He desires for you to truly love yourself for who you are—your personality, your gifts and talents, your quirks...everything.
Yet sometimes, this truth takes time to sink in. You have to soak in it. This devotional includes some of the greatest lessons God has taught me over the past forty years on how to overcome my fears and insecurities and live boldly and confidently in Christ. I believe as you focus daily on Him, He will teach you these things, too. And not just a surface knowledge, but a deep-down-in-your-spirit knowing.
In this expanded edition, I have included new insights, inspirational quotes, and practical action items to help you apply God’s Word to your life in a personal way. I’ve also included inspiration from several women from the Bible who, like you and me, are flawed, but God still used them to do amazing things.
I can tell you one thing for certain: God has created you to be confident, bold, and free—free to be yourself, free from the need to compare yourself to others, and free to step into His destiny for your life.
He wants you to see yourself the way He sees you...as a special, loved child of God. Confident to walk boldly into your future—loving your life, and loving the person He created you to be.
Are you growing weary? Are you tempted to give up on something or someone? If so, focus this week on this prayer.
Pray: “Lord, You know exactly how I feel. Please strengthen and encourage me to keep moving forward. When I begin to get weary, help me to stay focused on the good things You have in store for my future.”
As was true of the twelve disciples, you are full of capabilities, gifts, and talent. God’s enablement of His grace and presence is with you. So what are you doing with your life? Are you like the eleven disciples who stayed in the boat, or are you like Peter, who when Jesus was passing by said, “Lord, I want to walk on the water with You!” Do you have a vision for your life and want to do something greater than what you’re doing? Are you going to just sit in the boat and shake and quake and watch the rest of the world go by, or will you be one of those rare individuals who jumps out of the boat and refuses to live afraid?
It’s up to you what you’re going to do with your life. Fear is always going to come against you. But listen to Jesus’ words: “Take courage! I AM! Stop being afraid!” It’s time to step out and do the thing you desire to do.
Lord, I praise You that You come to me and extend Your presence and Your helping hand. Like Peter, I want to be a water walker. Amen.
When I tell you to join Peter and get out of the boat, you may wonder what your boat is. Your boat may be a lot of different things. What is your place of comfort, safety, and ease? It could be a place of misery, but yet, somehow or other, you’ve gotten comfortable in your own misery—so comfortable that you wouldn’t do anything about it even if you could. You may have gotten addicted to dysfunction. The sad thing is that most people yield to the fear of change and remain stuck in life.
Maybe your boat consists of people whose approval you crave, who rule all of your decisions and who bind your life to their lives. If they approve of it, you do it, and if they don’t like it, you don’t. You may be so addicted to getting your approval from other people that you let everyone else run your life, and you’re too afraid to confront them and stand up to them. Are you going to sit in your miserable little boat for the rest of your life and be unhappy? Or are you ready to say, “I’ve had enough of this! I am ready to step out with confidence and follow God fully!”
Lord, I need to see You and hear Your voice over and above the storms in my life. Help me to break free of anything that is holding me back from doing Your will. Amen.
What Is Confidence?
What is confidence? I believe confidence is all about being positive concerning what you can do—and not worrying over what you can’t do. A confident person is open to learning, because she knows that her confidence allows her to walk through life’s doorways, eager to discover what waits on the other side. She knows that every new unknown is a chance to learn more about herself and unleash her abilities.
Confident people do not concentrate on their weaknesses; they develop and maximize their strengths. For example, on a scale of one to ten, I might be a three when it comes to playing the piano. Now, if I were to practice long and hard—and if my husband could put up with the racket—I could, maybe, transform myself into a middle-of-the road, level-five pianist. However, as a public speaker, I might be an eight. So, if I invested my time and effort into this ability, I might just be able to get to a level ten. When you look at it this way, it’s easy to see where you need to invest your efforts.
What are your strengths? If you don’t know, ask God to show you.
Lord, if Hezekiah could learn to lean upon and be confident in You, I know that it’s also possible for me. Enable me to recognize, develop, and maximize my strengths rather than concentrating on my weaknesses. Amen.
Believe in Your Value
Take a minute and look into your heart. How do you feel about yourself? If your answer does not agree with God’s Word, I encourage you to begin today renewing your mind about yourself.
See yourself as God sees you. Study God’s Word and you will find out that you are precious, created in your mother’s womb by God’s own hand. You are not an accident. Even if your parents told you they never really wanted you, I can assure you that God wanted you. You are valuable, you have worth, you are gifted, you are talented, and you have a purpose on this earth.
Not only must we ask God for things He has promised us but we must receive them (John 16:24). If you feel unworthy, you probably won’t ask, and even if you do, you won’t receive them by faith. Don’t let feelings rule you anymore. Take a step of faith and start improving your quality of life today. Believe that you make good decisions, that you are a valuable person with a great future, and something good is going to happen to you today!
Lord, I ask You to imprint Your love into the depths of my heart. I believe that You have a great future for me and that I can walk in Your purpose for my life. Amen.
God works through jars of clay, or what I often call “cracked pots.” This means we are flawed, so when people look at us and see amazing things happening, they know it must be God at work because it certainly could not be us. I believe anyone who really knows me does not have any difficulty realizing the work I am doing on earth today certainly must be God at work in and through me. They give Him the glory, not me, because they see my imperfections and know my limitations. God chooses the weak and foolish things on purpose so no mortal can have pretense for glorying in His presence (1 Corinthians 1:27–29).
Imagine a pot with a lamp in it and a lid on it. Even though it may be filled with light, no one can see the light within it. Yet if the pot is cracked, the light will shine through the cracks. In this same way, God works through our imperfections.
Can you love a cracked pot? God can! It is godly to love yourself in a balanced, healthy way. It is ungodly to reject and despise yourself.
Lord, You and I are both well aware of my imperfections. I ask You to shine Your light through my life, and know that You get every ounce of glory for it. Amen.
With God’s Help
One of the most confident women we find in the Bible is Esther, who rescued her people from certain death at the hands of an evil and hateful man. Though her beauty didn’t hurt, it was her character and quiet confidence that helped her find favor with the king, Xerxes. She took a great risk when she made her way to Xerxes’ inner court uninvited. But God honored her and the prayers that the other Jews were praying, and Xerxes received her warmly. In the end, Esther saved her people from perishing.
Confidence is holding on to a strong faith in God, a faith that is backed up with a complete knowledge and understanding that with God’s help you can do anything. Fear brings a lack of confidence in God and in you. It is a destructive, debilitating belief that “you can’t.” As a woman, you can do amazing things, but you will have to become confident. Replace your fears with confidence and watch what God can do. God always does His part, making seemingly impossible things possible!
Lord, with Your help, Esther saved her people, and with Your help, I can do the impossible. I look forward to the great things You are going to do in my life. Amen.
Take Care of Yourself
Country singer Wynonna Judd knows what can happen when you don’t think about yourself. At seventeen, she had accepted Christ, but the whirlwind years of fame and fortune had created a deep sense of insecurity for her. She felt like she had to take care of everyone. She worked through two pregnancies so she could ensure that the thirty families of her crew would continue to have an income; she ate when she felt empty inside, and she spent enormous amounts of money on her family and friends.
The need to please everyone eventually caught up with her, and in 2004, Wynonna found herself overweight, out of money, guilt-stricken, and close to losing her 525-acre farm. She had to surrender to God and start taking care of herself again. She’s now twenty pounds lighter, she’s cut back her excessive spending, and she’s learned to say no.
Women in particular want to please people, especially their family, but they need to be very aggressive in standing against getting out of balance in this area.
You must take care of yourself in order to take care of anyone else.
Lord, it’s challenging to know when I need to pull back and restore my own self. Help me to serve and give while staying in balance. Amen.
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