Amy Carroll

"Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God." 2 Corinthians 3:4-5 (NIV)

"Are you sure you're ready to have a tiger by the tail?" mom asked with a big grin. That was her first response when my then-boyfriend Barry asked my parents if he could marry me. It still makes me laugh, because I was certainly a strange mix of rule-following, first-child with a wide streak of sassiness and fierce independence. I'm still not sure Barry had any idea what he was getting into when he said, "I do."

That was over twenty years ago, so when Barry asked an unexpected question during our family vacation this year, it opened my eyes to some of God's difficult work in my life. Barry and I sat on the deck overlooking the ocean talking in low voices about the topics that concern many of us--finances, parenting, plans for the future... Suddenly, Barry asked his startling question.

"If you could change one thing about me, what would it be?"

My mind went blank except for the thought, "Whew! This is a really loaded question." At first I didn't want to answer (why ruin a great evening?), but I finally answered, braced myself and re-asked the question, "What would you change about me?"

I had a pretty good list going in my mind of what I thought he'd say--I wish you weren't so critical. I wish you wouldn't talk so much. I wish you would cook dinner more often.

What he actually said surprised me. "I want you to get your confidence back. When I married you, your favorite phrase was, 'I'll do it myself!' I've watched you lose your confidence over the years, and I want you to have it back." He replied.

A move, a couple of friendships with bad endings and struggling to find a place in my new home town had knocked the stuffing right out of me. I had fought and lost against my own tendency toward comparison, perfectionism and an overdeveloped sense of responsibility. Little by little, I became convinced that I couldn't and that I wasn't. My confidence was shaken and then it crumbled.

But sometimes things have to be torn down before they can be rebuilt.

Was it God's plan that I would move, fail in some friendships and beat myself bloody trying to be somebody else? No! He did, however, use this bad place to bring me to a better place. God began rebuilding in me about a year ago, but He capped it off when I got home from our She Speaks conference this year. There He spoke to me over and over again about trusting my life to His control. The scripture in my Sunday school class the following Sunday was our key verse today, 2 Corinthians 3:4-6: "Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." (NIV)

I started with, "I can do it," but God brought me to "He can do it in me." He has brought me out of my own power, which is so limited and flawed, to being dependent on the infilling power of His Spirit. Confidence in myself has very limited power whereas confidence in Him brings limitless possibilities.

I know that I'll still have days of struggle with confidence, but my rebuilt and renewed sense of confidence is now firmly in Christ. It's a beautiful place to be.

Dear Lord, I have depended on myself so many times and fallen short. My confidence has been shaken. Rebuild me by helping me to put my full confidence in You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

It's No Secret: Revealing Divine Truths Every Woman Should Know by Rachel Olsen

Visit Amy’s blog for more encouragement today!

What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst

Read our free encouragement, Healing in Hurting Times
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Application Steps:
Journal a prayer thanking God for His limitless power and capabilities. Ask God to fill you with His power while giving up your own.

Am I truly dependent on God, or do I rely primarily on myself?

Where is my focus when I am struggling with confidence?

Power Verses:
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 3, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build…." (NIV)

Philippians 3:3, "For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh…" (NIV)

© 2010 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous viviene said...

wow, i can totally relate.. i know exactly what you feel. just 2 weeks ago i was crying and crying and crying out to God. i was so frustrated. But God reminded me who He was and what He is in my life.

I'm blessed by what you shared. Thanks =)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perfect timing. EXACTLY what I needed to hear today.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, needed this one. One of my favorite - He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30

Blogger Mimi said...

This spoke so deeply to me this morning my friend. I sat in a parking lot last night weeping with a friend on the phone.I told her I wasn't sure of myself like I used to be and my confidence had not only been shaken over the past year but appeared to be gone all together. My words to her were "Somehow I am not who I used to be anymore but that is a really good thing. I just want Jesus to be Himself in and through me and that means there must be less of me." This story and these words were straight from His heart mine today. My He bless you beyond measure with the goodness of His presence today. Mimi

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too can relate to the loss of confindence feeling through various circumstances. Thank you for helping to direct me through these scriptures versus and remembering it is HE not me that works any good. Blessings.

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you...I began to cry as I read your words. I have lost my confidence as well. But it is time to have God-confidence...A new season has begun...For His glory!

God bless you and each woman that reads your devotional today...May we find He is our portion...everything we need!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I definitely can relate. Some where along the way I lost a lot of confidence and am just now experiencing the rebuilding of it. Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for letting your life be used to bless others. This is the Lord's answer to my hearts prayer.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A wonderful reminder to those of us who have lost our confidence and struggle to get it back. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank-you for the encouragement. My husband want a divorce. I am a mess and need the comfort only God can provide. I need to be reassured and have confidence in the fact that HE does hear my prayers and HE knows what's best for us and will answer in HIS good and perfect way.
Please pray that God will change my husband's heart.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow...amy! this is awesome! thank you so much for sharing this story. i love that, after so many years, you and your husband know you can trust one another enough to hold up that mirror for each other. and what a loving thing he offered. i think that ministered to me as much as the rest of the story. again, thanks. xo

p.s. great job last night on the call! thank you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is totally what I'm going through right now...I am so overwhelmed and my self confidence tops it off...lack of I should say and its affecting everything/everyone around me...I pray...I'm in His word through a Bible study...but I'm not sure how or what the healing feels does it start? HOw do I know? what do i do? how do I change...I don't know when it comes together b/c its been a few weeks and I've seen a few friends come into my life...but I start to doubt those relationships...Ijust don't know how to heal or what God is going to do...I feel like a hot mess! haha I'm beginning to think that he's telling me to let go completely...but what I have said that..I have said it out loud and given him the things that bug what? sorry to babble...I could go on and on

Anonymous Rachel said...

beautiful post- I too, have been learning to put my confidence in what/who does not change when so many things do and will. great thoughts- your testimony of God's confidence in you is inspiring :).

Anonymous MrsMwiti said...

God bless u for sharing. It is the Lord, not me. It is having confidence in what God can do in me...

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