When You Need to Know That God Picked You (A Book Giveaway!)

March 1, 2013 | 227 comments

This is a story about two women who helped me believe that God could fulfill His purposes for my life.

And this is a story about the same two women helping you believe in God’s purposes for your life. 

My part in the story starts in 2010, when Ann reached an arm across the dinner table and put her hand over top of mine.

We were two farmers’ wives — both of us far from our husbands and their pigs and their green tractors and our children. We were two Jesus-sisters in a Texas canyon, by a jade-tinted river, with our feet under one long wooden rectangle. She leaned a slender hand over to touch mine, a timeless way of saying to someone else, “I believe in you, and I believe in the One who lives IN you.”

“Jennifer,” Ann asked. “When are you writing your book?”

She was a match, lighting a candle, making me know it was OK to imagine the impossible, and to say aloud the unspoken urge that I really ought to move on the God-nudge inside of me.

And, I told her, right there, at Laity Lodge, what it was. I told her about the book that I’d never dared talk about, for fear that I’d fall flat on my face. I brought my fears, and some tears, to the dinner table. Ann listened and encouraged. Because that’s what Jesus-sisters do. They help you know that you’ve got fire in them bones, that you have a purpose, and that you have a life that matters for God and for people. Girlfriends like that help you know that you can go deeper with the Person of Christ than you ever dared to go.

That was months before Ann’s own book, One Thousand Gifts, would hit bookstores, starting a revolution of gratitude that happened because Ann dared to follow Christ into the purposes He had laid out before her.

Fast-forward several months. It was the winter of 2011; a radio-show host’s name appeared in my box. Her name was Susie Larson. She had read a crazy blog post that I’d written, and wondered if I might be interested in writing for the Faith Radio website. She also asked if we might stay in touch. And we did. She prayed with me, sent emails, let me know that my words mattered, and that I had “a beautiful purpose.”

Fast-forward two years. It’s 2013, and you’re right here with us, my friend. You’re right here at my kitchen table.

And look who has joined us?

Your Beautiful Purpose, Ann Voskamp, Susie Larson

This book? This is Susie Larson, cheering you on. And this is Ann Voskamp, reaching a hand across the table.

Friend, they believe in you. I know, because I’ve read their words in this book, Your Beautiful Purpose by Susie Larson. (Ann Voskamp has written the Foreword.)

“God will meet you in these pages.” ~ John Eldredge, author of Wild at Heart, Captivating, and Beautiful Outlaw

“When I read these pages of Susie Larson’s, when I read her stories and her startling wisdom and her fresh insights and of her tender walk with our Savior, I feel like someone has filled up all the pages of my Peace journal–that someone is showing me–practically, page by page, purposefully–how to go deeper with the Person of Christ, the purpose of my life, and the peace of my days.” ~ Ann Voskamp, bestselling author of One Thousand Gifts

 

Your Beautiful Purpose by Susie Larson

Your Beautiful Purpose is for the doubters, and the fearful, and the unsure. It’s for the ones with buried passion, … and for those who have already dared take the next big step. It’s for any woman who wants to believe that what the Bible says is true: God has a plan and purpose for her on this earth. No matter how broken, tangled-up, messed-up, sweaty-palmed, or clumsy you feel, God picks you! 

“God’s will for you is your best-case scenario.” ~ Susie Larson

How I long for you to hold these words in your hands …

THE GIVEAWAY

I’m delighted to give away FIVE copies of this inspiring book, thanks to the fine folks at Bethany House publishing. For a chance to win, simply leave a one-word comment below (or more words if you choose) by answering the question: What is the biggest obstacles you have faced in discovering God’s beautiful purpose for you? (Such, as fear, comparing, waiting, unbelief, flawed, rejection, discernment, other…) 

SHARE this giveaway on Facebook and Twitter for more chances to win. (Tag me, or let me know in the comments that you’ve shared.)

On Tuesday night, I will select FIVE winners to receive Susie’s book. And until then, I personally commit to pray for each one of you in the comments,  for your purposes and for God to help you overcome the specific obstacles you face.

This book has stirred my  soul and inspired me to live each day more fully for Him. It makes me want to go out, grab a few stones and slay the giants that stand between me and my purpose.

You have a divine appointment, friend. This is me, reaching a hand across the table, to let you know:

You. Matter. 

“God so wants to use you. Let Him do a mighty work in you.”~ Susie Larson

 

by | March 1, 2013 | 227 comments

227 Comments

  1. Joyce

    Fear of rejection

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Praying with you and for you, Joyce. Praying that God continues to lead you through, despite anything that has happened in your past that makes you second-guess what’s in your future. God bless!

      Reply
    • Nikki

      Fear is suffocating me. Rejection cripples me. Joy gets sucked out by the smallest, most insignificant things. DEPRESSION runs the life that belongs to God. My mind says I can’t; God says, “Yes you can!”.

      Reply
      • jdukeslee

        Nikki, Praying for you now, and praying against those joy-sucking moments that try to bring you down.

        Reply
    • Franci Henderson

      Lack of trust. I know God can do anything, yet I still try to take care of some things myself, and avoid taking care of others.

      Reply
      • jdukeslee

        Franci, I am praying for discernment for you, for God to bless the work of your hands, your feet and your heart.

        Reply
    • Katrina

      Addiction

      Reply
      • jdukeslee

        Praying against whatever has been/is currently holding you down, Katrina …. Praying that God loosens the chains and sets you free from any addiction that you might still be facing, and praising God from areas where He has already been working. You are not alone, Katrina. You.are.not.alone….

        Reply
    • Kristin

      Indecision and comparison, lack of direction.

      Reply
      • jdukeslee

        Praying now, Kristin, that God opens the doors wide for you, so you know exactly which ones He wants you to step through. I struggle with indecision at times, and pray for God to be firm with me for direction. I pray the same for you tonight.

        Reply
  2. susieklein

    Fear, stopping me from writing my book of love messages from God.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Praying with you, Susie, that God will drive out that fear with His perfect love, igniting a God-confidence in your precious heart as you write for Him!

      Reply
  3. Elizabeth Stewart

    I think I need this book, whether or not I win it in the giveaway!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      It’s been really helpful for me, as I sort out some of my insecurities and my fears. Praying for you, too, Elizabeth, as you do His work in the world. Love your beautiful heart!

      Reply
  4. Becky

    fear of some many things

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Becky, I am praying for God to push out that fear, and for Him to grant you the tenacity to push forward in Him! I’m with you friend … I know the obstacle of fear. It’s been a big one for me.

      Reply
  5. Crystal

    Stubbornness …. just plain and simple stubbornness…

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I sense that God can use that stubbornness, Crystal, transforming it to be stubborn after what He has for you. I love your heart, your grittiness. Go get ’em, Crystal! Praying for you. 🙂

      Reply
      • Crystal

        Thanks JDukes! I think you’re so right that God can use that stubbornness … I just have to let him 😉

        Reply
        • dukeslee

          I seriously love your grit. Wanna meet you in person.

          Reply
  6. Kristin Lee Bridgman

    Fear…but I’m getting over it by moving forward anyway where He leads. You could still pray for me though. Did I forfeit by writing more than one word? 🙂

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Kristin! You can use as many words as you like. 🙂 … As I pray for you know, I pray for God to continually pull you through any fear that tries to stand in your way. And I praise God for where He has brought you already. So happy to hear that, Kristin!

      Reply
  7. Candi Dickerson

    Fear…that whether I fail or succeed, I won’t be enough. Or that I’ll be too much.

    (Jennifer, I still think of you first whenever I see Ys. You & Yahweh in tandem.)

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Candi! So good to see your sweet smile here. I love me some Ys. 🙂 I still photograph them. They remind me of God’s constant presence in our lives. … Candi, My prayer for you today is that God would daily remind you that you are enough because of Him. For me, that can be so hard, at times, to believe about myself in my heart — even though I know that it’s true, up in my little noggin. May you continue to press through those fears, Candi!

      Reply
  8. sharon

    fear of the future due to recent health issues, loss of a job, and attempt to get another

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Praying for you, Sharon, as you struggle with these huge obstacles right now. I pray now that–as big as those barriers seem–that our God may show Himself far, far bigger, doing more than we could ever ask or imagine! Praying …

      Reply
  9. Susan Lantz

    Lonely and afraid.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Praying right now, Susan, that God makes Himself very present to you, and brings special friends alongside you to encourage you. Wishing I could wrap my arms around you and give you a real-life squeeze. But these parentheses will have to do. (((((Susan))))) … Praying.

      Reply
  10. Kristen

    Fear, Why’s, and rejection.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Yes, Kristen. I’ve lived on the dark side of all three of those obstacles. Praying for you, as you continue to press deeper into the life assigned to you by God. Fear can be such a bully! The Holy Spirit in YOU is fighting back!

      Reply
  11. Shelly Miller

    Self doubt. I’m tearful this morning over it.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Reaching a hand across the table right now, Shelly. I know the tears of self-doubt. I see God’s YES all over you, Shelly, in your words and your very life. I love you. And I am praying.

      Reply
    • dukeslee

      I have some things I’d like to say right here in the comment box about that devil, but this is a family website, and I try to keep things G-rated. … I am praying that, in the name of Jesus Christ, the enemy flees from you. He loves to whisper doubtful words in our ears. I pray that the Lord shuts the enemy’s big, fat mouth.

      Reply
  12. Debbie McKinley

    Perseverance. The self-talk, “I must have screwed up”, when things don’t look like I think they should or it’s taking too long.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Debbie? I have so been there, too. I totally get that bad self-talk. Please know that today, I am praying for you, that God would speak truth into the spaces and places that your self-doubts are trying to claim.

      You are God’s masterpiece, Debbie, created in Christ Jesus, and you can do the things that God planned for you long ago! (a paraphrase of Eph. 2:10)

      Reply
  13. Juliann

    Brokenness

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      You know I’m praying, my sister times two. 🙂 … I love these words from Susie’s book, and I’ll pray them for you especially: “God’s will for you is your best-case scenario. I marvel at how He lovingly takes our BROKEN pieces, our tangled-up fears, …. and creates a mosaic of beauty that impacts the world.”

      Love you, Jules.

      Reply
  14. hisfirefly

    Fear here too. The fear of being known, even as I long to be known…

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Karin, I totally get what you’re saying. I had voiced a similar fear to a friend a few days ago. Please know that I am praying for you today, for God to remove all fears and that He will continue to awaken you to the places He has designed especially for you in the Kingdom.

      Reply
  15. Kim

    Seeking God for MY beautiful purpose

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hi Kim! I pray right now that God will fulfill His purposes for you, and in you. It’s going to be spectacular!

      Reply
  16. hisfirefly

    Tweeted and shared on Facebook♥

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Thanks sweet friend!

      Reply
    • dukeslee

      Such a common obstacle, I think. Praying for Cindy, that God will be the great lifter of your head in the moments when you think you’re not enough, not worthy.

      Reply
  17. Kimberly Reiners

    Disbelief that God would trust me enough to fulfill His purpose. Truly ‘Believing God’ not just believing in HIM.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I love that, Kimberly. I want to believe that in my whole heart, too. Praying right now for you, that God gives you the confidence and strength to believe the impossible, to pray and ask for what might seem crazy, and to give you boldness … and then to stand in awe as He works right through you, beautiful one!

      Reply
  18. Amber

    Insecurity. Fear.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Dear Lord, I pray that you would remove insecurity and fear from the path that stands between Amber and Your plans for her beautiful life. In Jesus’ name …

      Reply
  19. Barbara

    Rejection!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Barbara, That’s a biggie, isn’t it? If we tried before, then failed, or if people literally rejected us. Hurtful, painful. It can keep us from ever trying anything again. But I pray that in God’s power, you can dare to dream with God. The enemy would love to hold you in that place, but greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. Praying that you will be able to move forward in that power!

      Reply
  20. Cheryl

    Not sure I have a purpose. Maybe I am just a space holder keeping the space open for someone who has a meaningful calling.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      With all my heart, I believe that God has a purpose for you, Cheryl. May He speak His desires for you, straight into your precious heart. You have a very specific and special purpose in the Kingdom. I truly believe that. And I am praying for you, (((Cheryl.)))

      Reply
  21. Barbara

    I~shared~this~Awesome~giveaway~on~my~Facebook~page~~I~so~NEED~to~win~this~book:)

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Thank you for sharing, Barbara. Right now, I am praying that God uses your beautiful self to impact the world!

      Reply
  22. hugapoohlouise

    What is the biggest obstacles you have faced in discovering God’s beautiful purpose for you?
    I would say mine is fear. I am a fearful person that I tend to let consume me!
    M. Waters

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      M. Water — Fear is such a bully. Praying for you, and for the Holy Spirit to rise up within you and tell that bully, “SCRAM!”

      Reply
  23. Linda

    This book sounds like not just a good read but an inspiring read that I would share with a young woman who I have been mentoring for a while. She doesn’t go through a day without doubting her worth and she also deals a lot with fear and failure. Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of it!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Linda, You will love the book. It’s inspiring. I will pray now for the woman you are mentoring.

      Reply
  24. simplystriving

    The first word that came to mind: Myself.
    The first word when I asked said self to be more specific: Ignorance. The intentional kind. wow, that stings.

    Truth? a part of me doesn’t want to know what He could do through me. It scares me to pieces.
    So maybe the boulder in front of me is my need to control…I’m not sure. But He’s already promised to help me scale it…

    This book looks A.Mazing! Thank you for the chance to win!
    All for Him with hugs to you,
    Nikki

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hi Nikki… Praying for you, and your beautiful self. You shine for him, and I pray that God will remove those obstacles that stand in front of you. … Yes, the book is so very good, and I’m grateful that Bethany House is giving me five copies to give away. They’re good people.

      Reply
  25. ro elliott

    As I move through this major transitional time of life…God is revealing more roots…years of self-hatered takes its toll…fear…pain times of rejection/betrayal…so I still believe lies…lies He is removing and giving truth…and I am so thankful that God has brought so much healing…but I know there are still things that keep my wings from being fully clipped so I can fly free..As I look into the next phase of life (I am 55) I am determined with God…to walk this last part of life with much more freedom than I did in my more youthful years…with God I am finishing strong. well, sorry that was way more than one word…thanks for grace…thanks for the opportunity to read this book…blessings~

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Ro … This comment puts a lump in my throat. You know how you’ve inspired me, and I pray, pray, pray that you can continue to SOAR to the places where God is taking you. You’re a beautiful soul. Sending you love, and sending Him prayers…

      Reply
    • Grace

      I will pray for you Ms. Elliot. I am 58 and can relate with you. afraid to go forward after two failed marriages (second one being 35 yrs.) I know the enemy wants to hold me here, and I know the Lord does not. But I have trouble discerning whose voice I am hearing. Is it God who is disciplining me or the enemy who wants me to think I can move forward and not fail at everything I attempt to do. He has gifted me in many areas. I hesitate to move in any direction for fear of more failure and “DIS-Grace”.
      Pray please! to move from failure to FREEDOM- to be what God has created me to be and finish well.
      Thank you!

      Reply
  26. Margriet

    I’d love to win this book… The subject of God having a purpose for everybody had been on my mind a lot. Sometimes I feel the ‘I have great plans for you’ and ‘I’ve created you in your mother’s womb’ promises are meant for the Isrealites, and God doesn’t especially care for me. I know better, but this book would be helpful by the sound of it!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Margriet, I love what you say here. So often, we forget how those ancient words are meant for us right here, right now, in 2013. I pray right now, Margriet, that those specific truths will burrow deep into your beautiful heart!

      Reply
  27. Margriet

    Left a comment on facebook too!

    Reply
  28. Amanda

    Self Doubt, Fear, Rejection, Confusion

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Dear Lord, I pray now that you would remove all these obstacles that stand between Amanda and your beautiful purposes in her life. In Jesus’ name …

      Reply
  29. Rosanna Swart

    Misguided

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Rosanna … Praying that the God who guides our steps shows you which way to go.

      Reply
  30. S. Etole

    lack of ability and fear …

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Susan … Praying for you as you confront the obstacles that try to hold you back from His best for you. You know how you inspire me, right? I love you, my dear friend.

      Reply
    • Simply Darlene

      ‘Scuse me, please, I’m gonna step in here for a sec – miss Susie, you have no lack of ability, none, nada, zippo, double goose eggs (as my boy says), zilch. And about that fear bit, let us wield our swords together.

      Blessings.

      Reply
  31. Emma

    Fear & doubt

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Dear Lord, Remove the barriers of fear and doubt from Emma’s path, and lead her straight into the beautiful purpose that you have designed especially for your child, Emma! In Jesus’ name …

      Reply
  32. Leanne

    doubt. am I hearing God right or is it my own desires?

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Praying right now, Leanne, that He shows you the path He has for you … and for your beautiful purpose.

      Reply
    • dukeslee

      Oh yeah. You’re speaking my language, Kristin. I will pray this against this one for you, and will you pray for me? This one has often risen up to stand between me and my purposes.

      Reply
  33. Jojo's Corner

    Doubt…did God really say ________. Sound familiar??

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      JoJo … Yes, that definitely sounds familiar. Know that I’ve prayed for you tonight. And may we both know that God is speaking, even if it sometimes gets a little garbled for us. 🙂

      Reply
  34. Sandy

    Fear and doubt.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      May God’s perfect love drive out that fear. He gave you a spirit of courage, not fear, and I pray that the fear flees from your life, Sandy.

      Reply
    • dukeslee

      Praying for release, for a letting go, straight into the path of Purpose.

      Reply
  35. Jennifer Camp

    Jennifer, First, I just appreciate your vulnerability in sharing how much we are loved in community–how our Father uses these sisters of ours to speak His bold, loving truth into our hearts: we are enough, amazing, adored, and made to do something with Him that is beyond what we could ever do on our own. I can’t wait to hold your book in my hands, Jennifer–for all the courage and beauty and faith that it takes to lay those words down. And this book sounds just fantastic, too. The obstacles that I have to give to Him, over and over, are my doubt that I have a voice, that I am enough, that leaning on Him for strength rather than my own is not a weakness . . . it is where my glory, in Him, resides. I will definitely be sharing, on Facebook and on Twitter, your beautiful words and encouragement. Thank you, friend.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Jennifer, I want to thank you for your kind words and encouragement. You’re dear to me. And I am praying for you, Jennifer, that you continue to live out God’s purposes for your life. You truly shine!

      Reply
  36. Caryn Christensen

    Fear of TRUSTING THAT God has in fact given me the gift {and the desire} to write {a book} and that He’s not “just kidding”. Makes sense?

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Caryn … I totally get that fear. Yes, it makes sense to my human ears. I pray that God will continue to lead and encourage you, and that you can trust that the Lord is speaking to you, and not messin’ with ya. Susie writes in her introduction: “Consider the desires of your heart. Pay attention to stories that stir up your passions. Dare to believe that He wants to use the gifts He’s imparted to you.”

      Reply
  37. Amy Corley

    Fear/doubt (who wants to hear my story; I will fall flat on my face, etc.) and comparison (looking at what others are doing and feeling like I am falling short, rather than “keeping my eyes on my own work”). Thank you for this, and for your prayers!!

    Reply
  38. Elizabeth

    Uncertainty

    Reply
  39. Maxine

    Regret… 🙁

    Reply
  40. Matthew Kratz

    The biggest obstacle that I have faced in discovering God’s beautiful purpose for me has been in matching my circumstances to my spiritual passion. The circumstances around me do not always seem to match.

    Reply
  41. Cori D.

    Discernment for the what, when and how.

    Reply
  42. JulieS

    Comparing myself to others and then thinking I don’t have anything new to contribute…

    Reply
  43. Amy Sue

    Fear and indecision

    Reply
  44. Gwen

    fear… And I’m ashamed to say that fear is rooted in pride.

    Reply
  45. Victoria

    Not being sufficient

    Reply
  46. Holly

    invisibility

    Reply
  47. Shawn Bensley

    time is my biggest obstacle

    Reply
  48. Laura Rath

    Comparing myself to other, more accomplished, writers can be paralyzing. Fear gets me too.

    Reply
  49. Janet

    Waiting

    Reply
  50. Abby

    Anxiety over what “might” happen… Thank you so much for your ministry. You are appreciated.

    Reply
  51. lynndmorrissey

    Buried passion and resignation. When you — I — have dreams that have been years in the fulfilling and ones that came briefly to fruition and then died…..one steels oneself. One becomes resigned not to hurt…..resigned simply to accept things, because things don’t change. Ironically, I was writing about dying passion for another author for her upcoming book, and realize that there are embers still faintly glowing in my heart. I am asking Holy Spirit to fan them to flame. Maybe God can use Ms. Larson to help kindle the passion, as she did yours. I know that you are a precious, on-fire Christian, Jennifer, and you always bless me and kindle His love in me. Love, Lynn

    Reply
  52. Melinda VanRy

    The first word that came to mind was “self.” On the days I get caught up in what I want and think I need… and when unpredictable hormone/brain chemical-roller-coaster depression makes me forget who I am. It seems since I entered this (perimenopausal?) season of life… to have PURPOSE too often seems like something reserved for a select few…

    Reply
    • Melinda VanRy

      So appreciate your heart, Jennifer Dukes Lee!

      Reply
  53. Peggy

    Fear of failure

    Reply
  54. Cheryl Hart

    I’m not sure what is holding me back…perhaps uncertainty? Apprehension? Complacency?

    Reply
  55. Kim S.

    Fear. Whenever I draw close, something happens to push me away.
    Judgement by my non-Christian family & spouse.
    🙁

    Reply
  56. Annette

    Was not hungry enough. But oh the hunger I am going thru now! God has put a ravenous hunger in my heart to go deeper and journey toward the purpose He planned for me so long ago!! Thank you Jennifer for your walk and witness!!

    Reply
  57. Amy

    Idolizing the opinions of others out of fear of being wrong (about my faith).

    Reply
  58. Isabel

    Definitely rejection. I’ve been knocked down a few times and it gets more and more difficult to get back up each time. Along with that rejection comes fear and not measuring up to others’ standards.

    Reply
  59. Dwina Willis

    Thank you.

    Reply
  60. Karrilee Aggett

    First excuse/reason that popped into my head was a phrase… one that I thought I had boldly conquered a few years ago. “Lack of Follow-Through” Oh how some days I just wish it was easy(ier)!

    I love Ann… and have not yet fallen for Susan – but this book looks like it wouldn’t take me long!

    ~Karrilee~

    Reply
  61. Chelle Strech

    Insecurity. So, it would have to be myself holding me back.
    Going to share on Facebook right now.

    Reply
  62. Debbie B

    Procrastination and self-doubt.

    Reply
  63. Kelly

    stuck…in fear, procrastination, lies that repeat in my head…

    Reply
  64. Pastor Rich Stevenson

    I think this is so interesting from many of those who respond to you Jennifer and it really makes me think of the sermon on Wednesday night about fear and how paralyzing fear is to us as Christians. Reflecting upon the words of Scripture: 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” 1 Timothy 1:7 “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control;” and finally Romans 8:14-17 “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons/daughters of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption as sons/daughters, by whom we cry Abba! Father! The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.” What a wonderful promise that God has given to each and every one of us. I want each and every person to know that Christ has defeated fear for us and that no matter how much they compare themselves to others they are all unique in God’s eyes and there is nothing none of them cannot do, in any aspect of their lives, through the promises of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Only through facing the cross with the fear that so many times paralyzes us can it be overcome. Each and every one of your readers has gifts that God has given them and these gifts are limitless in the power of Christ. So often we allow fear to dictate and limit the gifts God has given us and therefore we feel that we are not worthy to use these gifts. Not so because God has overcome these fears through the cross and as we look to the cross God will use us and our gifts to “do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

    Reply
  65. Beauty out of dust

    Unbelief – that I am all God says I am in Christ and unbelief that He loves me, is WITH me, and wants to be my strength and carry my burdens FOR me.

    Reply
  66. Pamela M. Steiner

    Everyone already took my excuses…now I have to come up with a new one! God’s Timing is everything…I know when He’s ready to act…He’ll do it. I need to be ready to get back into action when He says “Get up and Get going!”…and stop making excuses. I KNOW He’ll take care of all the obstacles and fear factors…when it’s time to start again. I’m waiting on Him to show me…maybe this is the time…?
    I’d love read this book. Already read Ann Voskamp’s and it made a HUGE impact on my “thanksliving”. Yes, I will share this on my facebook right now!
    Thank you for this opportunity!

    Reply
  67. melissa

    currently lack of energy & sleep deprivation, normally procrastination & an overwhelming need to please people. Struggles will always be part of who we are but should not define us. God has a reason. His plan. His timing. Not mine.

    Reply
  68. Dolores E. Torres-Green

    Rejection, Doubts, Fears, Safety..Sharing on fb 2x, twitter, Pinterstest, Google Plus. Hugs. Dolores ♥

    Reply
  69. Amy Pitman

    Uncertainty—is stepping further into the ministry actually what God wants me to do? Am I good enough to be in the ministry (like my hubby)?

    Reply
  70. Karen

    Add more tallies for fear and insecurity….all parts of a lifelong issue with shyness….

    Reply
  71. brittany jacobson

    wow i need this book
    the title just grabbed my heart i cant wait to read it

    Reply
  72. Melissa

    Fear. Fear that I’ve misunderstood God, that I’ll have to start over again, that they are right, and that I am wasting precious moments by being so darn afraid.

    Reply
  73. Donna

    Fears. Unbelief, claiming God’s truths are for me and that He truly loves me.

    Reply
  74. Dawn St Amand Paoletta

    That my voice doesn’t really matter anyway. That I’m just one more voice in a sea of voices. That’s the thing that limits me most. And sometimes my head is busy with too many things. 😉

    Reply
  75. Robin

    Insecurity…however, I’m learning where my true value lies…. In Whom… 🙂

    Reply
  76. Dea

    I need to be willing to let God determine what is his “good” purpose. How often do I have to figure it out for him?

    Reply
  77. Donna Harmon

    Rejection

    Reply
  78. Rebekah

    I’m afraid the word is insecurity {ah, but see how fear always slips in there too} and don’t these both stem from pride – that form of idolatry– the sin that places self at the center. How is it that sin makes such a mess of God’s purposes –ah, but grace to redeem and restore, this is what I’m holding on to. Thank you for offering your prayers.

    Reply
  79. Karoletha

    Fear & complacency

    Reply
  80. Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

    I think I could say a little of everything you put in your parenthetical “such as…” Sounds like a wonderful book!

    Reply
  81. Joy

    Obstacles, pushing thru it all and not giving up. He says its finished, not no one here. Blessings to everyone in need. I follow @SusieLarson and now you.

    Reply
  82. Megan Willome

    I’m so glad that Ann *literally* reached out to you. And I can’t wait for your book!

    Reply
  83. Rene'

    Fear…which really is the root to unbelief that God CAN use me, where I am.

    Reply
  84. Mar

    Shame.

    Reply
  85. Cindy

    Rejection, shame, and forgiveness

    Reply
  86. Lori

    Looking for acceptance

    Reply
  87. Susan

    Fear of unknown and godly people who get the wrong perspective and cause turmoil.

    Reply
  88. Kris Camealy (@KrisCamealy)

    Insecurity. The nagging fear that I’m just plain ol’ not good enough to do it. Thank you, Jennifer for your beautiful post and sharing this book, win or lose, I know I’ll be adding it to my collection one way or another. THANK YOU, my friend. Praying for YOU!

    Reply
  89. Christy Bahnson

    Uncertainty and overwhelmed… mostly in “am I being the best Mother I can be?” So many obstacles (work, messy house, lack of sleep, etc…) get in the way of just enjoying and embracing the moments with the ones I love most in the world!

    Reply
  90. Susan H

    Fear & lack of motivation

    Reply
  91. Heather

    discernment, unsure of myself
    Anxiety fought too often daily
    Fear – no even wanting to explain… all turning me into a woman we don’t recognize; enjoy; lack of sleep, desiring to please God – taking on too much, to crash again into
    Depression or other illnesses like pneumonia.
    So is the one word –> unbelief?

    Reply
  92. Kris Winter

    Willing. Willing to listen. Willing to take that first step. Willing to keep moving through the obstacles. Willing to rely on Him. “Sustain in me a willing spirit!”

    Reply
  93. Dolly@Soulstops

    Fear…Thanks for sharing this book, and a little bit more of your story, Jennifer…praying God continues to guide and bless you as you write your book 🙂 Thank you for sharing Susie’s book with us.

    Reply
  94. Daughter of the King

    Fear. Eyes stubbornly fixed on temporal things instead of eternity. Childlikeness that slumps into childishness. Mostly fear.

    Reply
  95. Ann Power

    So many great comments!!! I posted this to Facebook and Pinterest 🙂 Now, hmmm…I’m beginning to believe that my Father is not angry with me and that He has a purpose for me, but I feel like I’m always missing it. Like, will I ever get it “right?” Ugh! He’s done some kind of amazing miraculous healing inside of me though! Thank you Father, Son & Holy Spirit.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Thank you for sharing, Ann! Know that you’ve been prayed for too. God is for you!

      Reply
  96. C. Drech

    Fear of not being good enough – and seeing the same pefrectionism tendencies in my girls – we all will read this book –

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Oh girl … I hear you. Praying for the both of us, and for our girls.

      Reply
  97. mgillgrist

    Lack of self-control/discipline. I often start start out and then get side tracked…many times by choosing good things, but not what is best. Not what God has said to focus on.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Praying, Melanie, for you tonight. You inspire! He loves the idea of using you in the Kingdom. And you’ve been doing just that! xo

      Reply
  98. Pam

    Anxiety & depression

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Praying for you tonight, Pam. That God would release you…

      Reply
      • maggieeileen

        Thank you so much!

        Reply
  99. Idong

    Fear

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Praying for you, with you, for the obstacle to be removed by God Himself!

      Reply
  100. Donna Blum

    Actually, two words came to mind…”not enough”. I want my life to count for Christ. And, I believe God has a purpose and a plan for my life. Truth be told, I have a dream of starting a ministry for Christian writers and readers and of becoming a writer and speaker myself. (It is a little scary to admit this in such a public place.) I believe God planted this desire in my heart, but I am still waiting for Him to give me confidence to go with it. So, in short, the biggest obstacle I am facing is my own belief that I am not enough…not spiritually mature enough, not talented enough, not wise enough, not together enough…and the list goes on. However, even when I have tried to let go of my dream, my dream would not let go of me. I would love a copy of Susie’s book, but if I am not a winner…I would gladly buy the book. Thank you Jennifer, Ann and Susie for encouraging others to discover God’s purpose for their life and to live it.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      May you be encouraged tonight, by God’s Spirit, that you ARE enough! You’re such a beautiful soul, Donna. I pray that you continue to dare to believe great things for your life, that you really ARE enough. So glad that your dream hangs tight onto you, even when you want to let go!

      Reply
    • dukeslee

      Fear is such a bugger! Such a BULLY! Praying that God kicks fear right on outta there. In Jesus’ name.

      Reply
  101. Jillie

    FEAR. DOUBT that He could ever use me in a significant way. MY PAST FAILURES. These are the things I seem to constantly be doing battle with.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Beautiful Jillie … Praying for you tonight. God is for you!

      Reply
  102. Becca

    Fear. Fear that I am inadequate. But I am learning that HE is more than adequate and will fill up all my inadequacies!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Praying that God removes those barriers of fear, Becca.

      Reply
    • dukeslee

      Praying, sweet Linda, that God knocks down those obstacles.

      Reply
    • dukeslee

      I love what you have to say, Deb, and I pray that God continues to work through your beautiful words, assuring you that they are important, inspiring words!

      Reply
  103. Janet from FL

    Fear closely linked with doubts — How do I separate the two? How can I leap over them? This book sounds great, and I LOVE reading Christian books!
    –Janet K

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      The book is great, Janet. If you don’t win in the giveaway, trust me: You’ll want to purchase a copy, and 10 for your bestest friends. 🙂 Praying for you.

      Reply
  104. laura

    Feelings of inadequacy…I’ve never felt good enough. You are such a gift, Jennifer. Thanks for this safe place. Love to you.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Laura, You know I’m praying. Have been, and will continue. Often. You inspire me so. I’m so glad God has crossed our real-life paths.

      Reply
  105. AA (@taurusgrl76)

    I just found your website…some would say by accident….I don’t believe there is such a thing when we are searching and seeking with God as the goal. I belive God likes to play dominos. He lines things up in my life, waiting for just the right moment, for my attention to be turning to him, and then he tips the first one…then the adventure begins! What is my biggest obstacle? Me. Plain, simple, and sinful. But I am learning. Step by step….God leading me, waiting on me, loving on me.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I’d say it was a “God-incidence!” I love your analogy to dominoes. Praying for you tonight, as God leads you daily in His purposes for you.

      Reply
  106. Pam Garton

    Shame

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Pam … You are being prayed for tonight, for God to release you from any hint of shame. In Jesus’ name, I pray…

      Reply
  107. Gwen

    Doubting myself. . . can I really do it? If I start can I stick to it and finish. . . . ? ? ?
    What if there is no value in what i write?

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hey sweet Gwen … Know that I am praying for you tonight. God has gifted you so beautifully for His Kingdom. I so admire you, and all that you do. Would love to see you sometime! Missing you!

      Reply
  108. grace

    Not having the self-control that I needed, and then try to control things that I thought I can control (and in the process ruin other things). Also, need to learn to let go and let God takes over my life.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Praying that God gives you all you stand in need of, Grace.

      Reply
  109. Gloria

    I feel so unworthy and am afraid that I will let God down. I feel God may be calling me into a women’s leadership ministry position, but I have so many reasons why I can’t do it. I don’t want to lead people in the wrong way. Will I be true to God? Will I allow him to lead through me? The unknown holds me back.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Dear Gloria, I am praying that God gives you a boost of God-fidence, injected straight into your soul, so that you know exactly what He is calling you to! I pray that you step straight into that scary unknown, as if Jesus is calling you out onto the water. Keep your eyes on Him, and you’ll walk right to Him, sister! I just know it!

      Reply
  110. raincountrywriter

    Not believing that God truly WANTS to use me, or that He has a special plan for me. Or that I have anything unique to offer. I’ve been listening to the lies of the evil one for too long…thanks for the encouragement. 🙂

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      So praying for you. So. So. So praying. I ask God now to duct-tape the mouth of the evil one and give him a big fat holy boot, kicking him out of your life.

      Reply
  111. Janet

    faith

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Praying now for God to grant you faith to move forward, into His beautiful purpose for you, Janet.

      Reply
  112. 1 Peter 3 Girl

    I am a lonely foreigner, a silent missionary, waiting for my husband to fall in love with Jesus.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Your comment breaks my heart, and I am praying for you, and for your husband… In Jesus’ name.

      Reply
  113. Susan J

    Fear…..disobedience…

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Susan, I pray that God walks you past that fear, and leads you into a place where you can sense that you are in the middle of God’s will.

      Reply
  114. grace

    Shared this giveaway on FB, Twitter and Pinterest too 🙂

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Thank you for sharing, Grace!

      Reply
  115. Allison Jones

    self doubt, fear, depression – still looking for my purpose in life (at age 44) . . . .

    Reply
  116. angie

    fears of not measuring up to my expectations, others expectations, and God’s (even though I know the truth)

    Reply
  117. Jeanne

    Broken family, doubt. I can’t quite believe that God could actually love me, let alone use me.

    Reply
    • Leigh Kay (@jl_kay)

      Oh Jeanne…I could not help but stop here as I leave my own obstacle comment.
      I am going to lift you up today. This very day your name will be raised and your heart’s cry offered from more than one voice. A chorus of voices is fuel for His mercy, even as one voice is as well. But I will stand on the watchtower declaring that you ARE…sister you ARE so deeply, wholly, completely, unwaveringly ADORED. CHERISHED. YEARNED FOR. DESIRED. BEAUTIFUL. And loved beyond a finite’s ability to measure. These are not platitudes or patchwork allusions. This is FACT Jeanne. Nothing you could have ever done, endured, thought, conjured could ever mark you unworthy of His absolute love. It is wholly unconditional. Wholly undeserved, for we can do nothing of ourselves to prompt it or allow it. We are His because He created us. You are His because He says so. And beloved, He says so much more about you. He names you glorious. Redeemed. Worth dying for.

      I will be praying today, I pledge, that you can feel this truth today and tomorrow and the next time human lips (including your own) tries to name you anything other than Treasured.

      Reply
  118. Angel

    Pain. Feels like too much to “open my hand and open my heart”

    Reply
  119. Anne Binford Rodgers

    Shared this giveaway on Facebook because I want the women I know to read it, along with me! Through our women’s ministry at my local church here in Texas I have the opportunity to interact with ladies of all ages. In my conversations with them, I’m constantly reminded of how few women grasp their value in God’s eyes and know in their heart of hearts that He spelled out the purpose of their lives before time began. Thank you for addressing this much needed issue. God bless!

    Reply
  120. Tonia

    Fear (which I suppose is really unbelief).

    Reply
  121. Patti Smith

    Rejection. I have been knocked down a lot in trying to serve where I believe God has lead me. No fear though. Jesus has always picked me back up and kept me moving forward with him. I just wondered in my journal the other day is maybe I have missed God’s great purpose for my life. Even if I don’t win a copy of this book, I do believe I will purchase it for myself. God’s perfect timing.

    Reply
  122. Leigh Kay (@jl_kay)

    Matter. Worth.
    So many beautiful souls in this world with such words to say and emotions to convey – they do it so well by the Spirit’s movement, that I can suffocate under the lies that small groans of mine cannot possibly be of stoutness or ability to inspire and encourage as well as they (the proverbial “everyone else). My head knows it’s a lie, but my heart aches against its constraints as I give it more power and fuel by my unbelief and by my binding of God’s power and provision. I make Him smaller by my belief that I am small. I make Him in my image during my insecurities rather than adjust my focus to the reality of how I am made. How I am whole. How my lacked image was shattered with nails and blood and forgiveness and my finished self was fashioned by Potter’s hands and a carpenter’s cross and a Spirit’s descent into the rest of my days.

    But oh my unbelief and shame of bowing over from lies’ onslaught!
    Matter. Worth. Disdain. Lies. These are iceberg tips of the leagues of obstacles beneath shaky watered-surfaces but I will stand firm in the storm knowing one utterance form the lips of my Teacher-King will calm the waters. Stillness will reign. The Light of truth bursts through the clouds each time I speak truth out loud and name blessing and see my name on His arms.

    *Sigh…thank you for asking. For it is another opportunity to name truth, banish lie, and gain the priceless treasure of prayer-warriors intercession. Fighting against the darkness alongside me, sounding the trumpet that Light wins every time. Thank you.

    Reply
  123. Crayl

    Myself
    More specifically: Fear of “getting it wrong” Or worse, fear of greatness.

    Reply
  124. Kimberlee Conway Ireton

    Okay, with all these comments here, I don’t stand a chance of winning one of those books 🙂 That’s okay. I still appreciate your holding the space for us to voice what’s holding us back. In a word: fear. Always.

    Reply
  125. Crystal

    Fear of ‘what if it doesn’t work out’
    Thanks so much for sharing!

    Reply
  126. LeAnn

    impatience

    Reply
  127. Cindy K

    Thanks Jennifer, my sweet sister.. my word would be searching.. I want to be available, I want to be used, I want to be ready, I WANT TO BE STILL ENOUGH to HEAR!! But most of all I want to accept that I am LOVED by HIM!! Yep me and my one word is searching. That is my obstacle. BIGGER than I ever thought.. getting in my own way.. becoming my own obstacle, so much so that I don’t even know what it is I am being called to or what my passion and or dream is. HMMMM I think I just talked myself right into a circle. Love you sister!!

    Reply

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