May 28

Hidden Joy~Week 1

Here is where our journey begins.  If you do not have your book yet, do not be discouraged. You can easily catch up. We are taking this study at a doable pace.

The assignments given each week (posted on Sundays) are suggestions. You can, of course, alter them to better suit your schedule and need. That’s the beauty of an online study.

I want to acknowledge that I know for many of you this will be the most difficult thing you’ve done. Participating in this study seems risky. Why go there?  Why revisit the painful events of the past?  Let me assure you that author, Wendy Blight, our team at Proverbs 31 Ministries, our conference call guests, and I all know this won’t be easy. But, hear me on this. You deserve the best. You can have a life filled with hope.  You are not supposed to be a victim forever. You can be free.

I used to think when people said they had found Jesus and now their life was soooo awesome and free, that it was simple. Just ask Christ into your life, spend some time  with God, go to church, maybe even get involved in a Bible study to stay on track and the rewards would come.  I found out it wasn’t so easy. I couldn’t just go down a checklist to assure my security in life. So what was missing and why was it so hard?  How come others had their freedom in Christ, but I couldn’t have mine?  I was trying hard. I was being just as good as they were.

What I discovered is exactly what the Bible tells us. Make note that the Bible never says life will be easy. In fact, Jesus tells us just the opposite.

John 16:33-“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

We are clearly told by Jesus, we will have trouble.  But he doesn’t want us to stay there.  In another passage, He says this:

John 14:1-Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” (believe=trust)

John 14:27- “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Yes, we will have trouble, but our hearts don’t have to stay there. God is the answer. Jesus is the answer.  We have peace through Jesus.  He offers it, but we have to take it. We have to believe it’s true. We have to DECIDE that it’s possible.  It’s a daily choice. We can’t just say, “Oh I decide”  and then skip along our merry way. The hauntings will come back. Nightmares. Triggers of the past. People who remind us. We have to decide that we believe with God it’s possible. Not easy, but possible.

Matthew 19:26- Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Decide to believe that Isaiah 43:18-19 is for you:

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

God is doing a new thing in your life, starting now. Don’t look back with doubt and fear. Look  ahead with hope, believing and deciding this is for you.  You are worth it. You are.

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1b)

God is calling you, summoning you by name. I imagine, this is what He’s saying to you.

“_____________(fill in your name here) do not fear. It’s time to let go of fear. You belong to Me. I will keep you safe. I will be your shelter. I have taken care of it. Trust Me and let Me lead you.  Joy, hope and healing are waiting for you, but I need you to commit to Me. I need you to trust Me. I will meet You where you are, but I need you to meet Me too. Are you ready? Let’s go.”

Let’s Go.

(You may want to print the rest of this post. Many hang it on their fridge, place it in their study book or Bible, or keep it at their workspace. It contains the entire first week of assignments.)


Words of the week:




Many of us are ruled by fear. It paralyzes us. It keeps us from moving forward. We are scared and afraid. And we have good reason!  Take a deep breath my sweet friend.  Let’s all hold hands in cyber space.  Join together.  Eyes up. Lift them up to the Lord. If our eyes are on Jesus, then they aren’t on our fear. Let’s decide to trust.  Let’s decide to believe.  We can do it. We have God. We have each other. Let’s encourage and pray for one another.  Here we go.

Sunday– Read this post of assignments.  Make sure you have a place to read and study. Have your supplies ready. A few suggestions: pen, highlighters, journal or notebook, Bible, and of course your copy of Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner.  Read back over the verses in this post.  Record at the front of your journal/notebook these verses. Read them often to remind yourself of what God’s Word says. Use these verses to combat any negative or defeating thoughts in your head.

Monday– Read the sections of Hidden Joy, titled “With Gratitude…” and “Our Journey BEGINS.” After reading, record in your journal your thoughts about proceeding through this study. What do you hope to gain through this study?  What are your doubts about going through this study?  Fears?  What is your goal?  Record a prayer for yourself. Write honestly to God. Be real, no masks, no hiding.  If you are willing, share your prayer for yourself on Melissa’s blog today, but if you want to keep it between you and God, that’s totally fine too!  It’s good to pray for yourself. Don’t ever feel selfish about doing that.  In John17, Jesus prays for himself, His disciples, then for future believers.  He begins with Himself. If it’s good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for us!

Tuesday– Read chapter 1 which, honestly, is hard to read.  Wendy tells the story of her rape. She doesn’t hold back, she shares this for what it was. And she shares her doubts and fears. She shares the ugliness and loss of  life as she knows it in her experience.  As you read, use your highlighter to highlight things that stick out in your mind or you may want to return to later.  Write a prayer for your sisters who are also in this study with you.  Share the prayer on Melissa’s blog if you wish. It sure will be encouraging to read all those prayers for each other!

Wednesday– After reading chapter 1 yesterday, we are still left with Wendy hopeless.  Can you relate to that?  Still feeling hopeless?  Well, this is where the study gets good!  Turn to “Reflection and Study” section of your book on p. 177.  Today, complete the questions for chapter 1 on p. 178-179.  Record your answers in your journal.  Read Wendy’s prayer for our journey together on p. 179. Read it aloud. Decide to believe this prayer for you…for all of us.

Thursday and Friday– Catch up days.  Check Melissa’s blog for a new post or maybe a Vlog. (Video blog)

Saturday– This is Melissa’s day of rest.  There will be no post on this day.  She is somewhere having a fun day doing something she enjoys :)  She’s not working today.  Make sure you do this at least once a week too!

If you are on Facebook, make sure to check out my Online Bible Studies Facebook Page.  Here’s the link:

There is information, encouragement, Scripture, and discussion about this study going on 24/7!   Please join us!

Check this blog Sunday, June 5th for the next week’s assignments!

Much Love and Loads of Prayers and Blessings to Each of You <3



  1. So excited, been sitting here by the computer for the post to go live. Thanks so much and so ready to get started!!

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Hello Angie!

      Our dear Lord reminds me today is your Birthday! YAY!

      Happy Birthday dear sister! I pray our God can fill your life with happiness, joy, hope, peace, and give you lots of blessings.

      Enjoy your day, AND the beginning of the Bible Study!

      I’m praying for you!

      Michele Caséca

    • It’s your birthday???!!! Michele, you have a great memory!


      • I was just looking back through archives and saw your sweet note about my birthday!! Thank you so much for the birthday wishes!! Much Love, Angie

  2. Angie, I thought I was the only one sitting by my computer just waiting for this to start!!!!

  3. I am going to be honest when I say that I am afraid of facing my past hurts. To know that there are others who might be having the same feelings is comforting to me.

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Hi dear Lisa,

      Please be comforted by the love and presence of God in you. This is the ONLY and TRUE comfort a life of hurt may expect.
      Believe the best, expect the best, focus on the goodness of God. God is love, and perfect love casts out fear.

      I’m praying the hope, joy and comfort you can find in Jesus through this Bible Study may surpass your fear!

      God loves you, lovely one.
      You are in my prayers.

      Michele Caséca

    • Patricia says:

      Hi Lisa

      I can understand your reluctance. It is NOT easy to face past hurts. I have been working through mine and it has NOT been a picnic, however, I doooo believe Michele is correct in saying that God can and will comfort you during those times. There is NOTHING greater than knowing that He is there and will NEVER leave you nor forsake you. Allow Him to guide you into and through the truth with HIS ever loving compassion. God has revealed Himself in ways that I would have never experienced had it NOT been for my willingness to enter into the dark areas of my past. Though it has been very difficult at times, the ways that I have been able to experience HIM has been WELL worth it.
      GOD IS LOVE and perfect love casts out fear!

      May God bless you abundantly through your journey with HIM!

      Sincerely in HIM,


    • Lisa,

      You are not alone! Thank you for being honest, it’s the only way to face what’s ahead. God is ready for all of us. He’s been expecting this day to come. His arms are open and I bet He’s saying, “It’s about time! Let Me show you what I can do!”

      I understand your feelings and I am praying for you and all the others who feel the same way.

      Thank you so much for joining this study :)

      • Thankyou for your prayers. I am holding on to all the bad things instead of giving them to God. I kind of feel like I have earned the right to hold on to those feelings. It’s Earned Anger if you will. I have put up walls around my heart and now I can feel God tearing them down faster then I can re-build them. I put them up for protection, not realizing that those same walls are seperating me from the people who would help me if I let them in. I begged God to take me some place safe and instead he chose to hold my hand through it all that makes me angry. I know in my heart that this is wrong but my head tells a different story.

        • Michele Caséca says:

          Dear Lisa,

          I’ve been there. I’ve been in this place of anger where I would build a wall trying to not see God. I didn’t want to believe He was in the midst of such hurt and pain. I understand your feeling.
          But never think God is TAKING you to these dark and angry places. He is NOT handing you through these places. He is WITH you, HOLDING you despite where you are. That’s a totally different concept.
          When you tell us you feel in your heart that your feeling is wrong, I can tell you God is already working in you.
          It’s a process, one step at a time. One wrong feeling being transformed at a time. Just let Him guide you. Our job is to REST on Him, and He will do the REST!
          For now, let’s put Melissa’s words for the week together, and DECIDE to not FEAR, and His work will be done in our lives!

          Feel God’s love today!
          Michele Caséca

  4. Can I ask a question? I have reached a point in my life where I am unwilling to go on trapped and so in desperation have looked around for things that might help, this bible study being one. Is it wrong to continue to pursue the other things, counselling, therapy etc, should I be expecting God to heal all through this study and by pursuing other things amI shwing a lack of faith?

    I’d appreciate your thoughts.

    • Laura,
      I don’t think it’s wrong to also be seeking out help through counseling, therapy, etc. I struggled with this question too. I started counseling about 6 weeks ago, before I found this study. Talking to a counselor helps me! I decided to go to a Christian counselor, and pay for it out of pocket, so that my beliefs about God will be greatly involved in my healing process. My counselor says a prayer for me at the end of each session. I can’t tell you just how much the last 6 weeks has helped me even though it’s been extremely hard at times too. I believe that God understands our needs perfectly & he wants us to explore all of the options that will bring us to the healing we so desperately desire to have in our lives. He wants us to have that healing too. I would encourage you to seek out that help in counseling as well. If you’ve been thinking about going then that might just be God speaking to you, telling you to go. You’re loved! I’ll be praying for you.

    • Laura,

      I agree with Tricia.
      Sweet friend, I think it’s a lie the enemy would like us to believe. Sure it’s true that God is all we need, He is enough. But He also has provided for us. For me He’s provided a wonderful church. He’s provided a fabulous Christian counselor, who I continue to see to this day. He’s provided a great doctor who accurately diagnosed me and suggested I take Lexapro, which has helped tremendously with my anxiety. He’s provided friends and He’s provided this Bible study.

      I think it’s wise to pursue help when it’s needed. When it’s wrong is when we turn to other things in place of God. Seeking counsel is not replacing God, hopefully it’s pointing you to God.

      Give Him thanks for these things. Praise Him in it all. Just make sure none of it replaces Him.

      Love you and praying for you,

      • Michele Caséca says:

        Hi Laura,

        I think Tricia and Melissa have answered your questions. I think exactly the same. I too had a professional counselor who helped me very much!

        I’m praying God can provide the answers you need in your heart.

        Sweet blessings, dear friend.


  5. Michele Caséca says:

    Dear ladies,

    There are lots of verses in the Bible, tons of passages, where the Lord, our God, clearly tells us DO NOT FEAR. One of them is already on today’s post:
    “FEAR NOT, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1b)

    Lovely women, fear doesn’t come from God. Melissa is right when she wrote that if we look to Jesus, then our eyes won’t be in our fear. The Bible says that our All Powerful God IS actually our HELPER, so why do we fear? (Hebrews 13:6: “So we say with confidence, The Lord is my helper; I will NOT FEAR.”).

    When we fear, we forget whose our lives really are! When we fear, we don’t realize God IS in control of our every circumstances.
    Psalm 27:1-3 says: “The Lord is my light and salvation, whom shall I fear? … when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will NOT FEAR; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.”

    During the past week, I fasted and prayed for each woman who posted comments here in this blog. Every cry, every negative thinking, every hurt and pain was put at God’s altar. As I was reading your comments, my heart broke as I realized how much we fear. How afraid we are.
    Let’s start living the promise in Isaiah 41:10: “DO NOT FEAR, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

    God is love, and where there is love, fear should not take place… 1 John 4:18 says: “There is NO FEAR in love, but perfect love CASTS OUT FEAR. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”

    Thank you, Melissa, for starting this Bible with such appropriate issue. If we let our fear go away in this very first week, we’ll be more prepared and open to learn about other Truths God is about to reveal to us in the upcoming weeks.

    I finish my comment with an encouragement for the week… let’s believe in God’s promises. He promises us to be a present God and go ahead of us in our battles. He promises us to never leave us, and He grants us Victory: “Do NOT FEAR or be afraid… for the Lord your God is the One who goes with you against your enemies to give you victory.” (Deuteronomy 20:3-4).

    You all live in God’s heart.

    Michele Caséca

  6. The past year has been the most difficult of my life. I retired in July and find my self truly facing many of the demons I have locked in the closet all of my life. It seems fear and trust are the daily demons I struggle with 24/7.
    Yesterday was my 73rd birthday and feel the Lord brought me to this study to help in the healing I need and desire. It will be painful, but necessary to move on with my life. Through the years I have told a few people what happened when I was 4 and molested by a neighbor but I never really healed. I remember my mom telling me not to tell anybody what was done to me by a neighbor. When I was 12 I was molested by a brother and never told anyone.
    I pray this study will help all of us support and understand each other to receive the healing we all desire and need from God.
    Love & God Bless

    • Happy Late Birthday Carol, May this study be one of the greatest presents you get this year.

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Hi dear Carol,

      Happy Late Birthday, dear one.
      Well, Carol, I truly believe the Lord’s arms stretch out from heavens to the darkest corners of this earth. And right now, they are reaching you.
      God is even more interested in our healing than us.
      Healing IS possible through Jesus. He will help you with your memories, your pain and hurt. Spend time with Him. Go after Him, and He will come after you.

      I’m praying for you, dear Carol.

      Michele Caséca

    • Happy Belated Birthday Carol. I think it’s time for you. Time for you to live fully. Time for you to face the past, but move on into the future. You are a beautiful child of God and I’m praying you know it, feel it, and live like it!

      I’m so glad you’ve joined this study!

  7. Michelle says:

    It has been a long time since I have felt really close to God. I carry around wounds of hurt, regret and unforgiveness and have built a wall around my heart. I feel the Lord is asking me to lay these things down for the course of the study and see what happens. I guess He knows that is easier than asking me to lay them down forever. So I am laying them down (for a season, and hopefully forever) and believing that something will finally change.

    Another verse He has spoken to me lately is “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26. For me it is confirmation of our study verse, Isaiah 43 18:19. Oh how I pray this for all of us on this journey…

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Hi dear Michelle,

      I totally relate to you. For years I lived with this wall around my heart. And the verse in Ezekiel 36:16 was a sweet running stream of truth and encouragement for my life.

      Dear sister, I believe God is already working in your wounds of hurt, regret and unforgiveness. God is perfecting you, bringing you forth as a shining jewel. Don’t be afraid to lay down your hurt. You will see the beauty that will come out from this.
      Accept the new heart and new spirit God has offered you!
      Spend time with God this week. Do all the assignments Melissa posted here… slowly, reading carefully each verse, each message God will bring to you, and you will see the beautiful thing He has prepared for your life.

      I’m praying daily for you.

      God bless you, dear one.

      Michele Caséca

  8. Hello ladies,
    I am very excited to get started as well! I hope that we are all able to change for the better throughout this study.

    I am so happy to have been led to Proverbs 31 ministries, and the women directly connected with them.

    I am excited to get to know everyone, and as written above, “hold hands in cyber space”.

    God bless,

    p/s, there are no accidents when it comes to God. We are all here for a reason, and God led us here. :) amazing!

  9. Carol Jackovich says:

    I am really looking forward to this studyband I pray the fear that overwhelms me each and every day will be lifted. Honestly, I am weak and doubt it can happen but I want it to. I can wholeheartedly say this past year has been the worst of my life (as the reader above says). I am 44 with two young girls aged 7 and 4. In 2009 my husband got fired from his job after stealing money from his company to pay for online sex chat calls while he traveled. After a year of counseling that seemed to go nowherevand a year of no income for him, he revealed to me in July of 2010 he had continued pornography and it had escalated to a brief affair months before that. We continued to try to work on things (not super successfully but marching forward). Three weeks later my mom was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer. Three weeks after that I was diagnosed with breast cancer out of the blue. We thought it was early stage but during my mastectomy they found it had spread extensively to my lymph nodes. The past 9 months have been full of chemo and radiation. I have developed a lifelong side effect from treatment called lymphedema which is uncomfortable and unattractive (my arm and hand swell and I must wear a full length compression sleeve and glove all the time). I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was twelve but didn’t really make my relationship with Him a priority until I was 26. Through the years I have experienced a lot of fears over various things but never anything like this. My fears are 100% for my precious girls. If they were not in the picture, I wouldn’t fear dying. But I fear them losing their mom. Even in the best of circumstances I would fear that for them. But with a father who I am working through trust for and I don’t trust that he would take the best care of them, I really have fear for them. I only have two parents that won’t be on this earth much longer and a disabled brother for family. They will not be able to help my girls should something happen to me. My husband’s family is very split and dysfunctional from divorces and trauma when the kids were young. Yet he has family in town I would like my kids to stay close to and I have many close friends after living here 17 years. After my husband lost his job he started a business based out of another city (long story). Right now he travels there all week which is very hard on all of us because I am a single mom during the week going through cancer treatments, my kids miss there dad, and we have even less margin to try to repair this marriage. My husband wants us to move to this city. I have a fear of us moving there and my cancer coming back and me having no friends or family there to support me and the kids (this city is basically where all my husband’s friends are from childhood since he grew up there and all of his friends from work because he has been working there the past few years). SO much fear over SO many things. Lord Jesus, please release me from this fear.

    • Praying for you Carol J. !!!!! I’m so sorry for all the hard circunstances you’re facing!! I too am dealing with very difficult health issues, have had aclufetime of it (I’m 50 now) and am embarking on a new healing diet that has made me very sick and down to 98 lbs…I’ve lived avoidable fear over my health and the awful symptoms I have faced. Lately I have felt the FEAR and hopelessness creep back in and OH that spirit if fear just wants to take over my thoughts and mind! But every morning and throughout the day I have DETERMINED to fight the “GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH” and DECIDE to BELIEVE God’s Word that He is with me and in control. I have a journal full of wonderful scripture and powerful positive statements that I say out loud to myself and the devil and it gets me aligned again w my Father God and the peace comes and the fear slips away for a blissful time….KEEP FIGHTING! As Melissa says we have to CHOOSE, sometimes every minute, to BELIEVE and have TRUST that God is working and with us…He will never leave us. Hugs to you and all the hurting women in this study!

      • Michele Caséca says:

        YES and AMEN, Sue! Nice words of encouragement!


        Michele Caséca

      • Thank you, Sue. Great words of encouragement and I am praying for you right now too!


        • Thank you for your prayers as well!! Here’s to a wonderful rest of our Sunday, our day of REST and time with the LORD!!
          God bless you!

      • Pardon the typos – typing on my little iPhone keyboard!

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Dear Carol,

      First of all, I would like to pray for you now:

      Dear heavenly Father, please hear my prayers as I cry out to you on behalf of my dear sister, Carol. I know there is nothing on earth or in heaven or in the entire universe that goes without your seeing. Look down on her and comfort her with your supernatural power. Give her spiritual, emotional, and physical strength to walk through this difficult valley. She is in fear. She is sad. She is in pain. Would you touch her and confirm in her Your presence. Give her confidence in knowing that everything that happens to us first must be sifted through your hands and for some reason unknown, you have allowed this problems in her life. I ask that you send angels to surround her and give her peace. May today be a time of experiencing your extreme love. I pray for her children, please take care of them. I also pray for those who need to see Jesus in her. Most of all I pray, Father, that You would heal her fear. Take away any feeling in her heart that doesn’t come from You. I thank You that You are the Lord of her life and she can know this bad circumstances will be used to sharpen her character and make her more like You. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

      Dear Carol,

      As a health professional, I’ve been working in hospitals for 10 years, and I really understand your fear. It’s normal. Women who suffer from powerful diseases fear for their children, before they even start fearing for themselves.
      In my experience, the difference in watching and treating christian and non-christian patients is the comfort my christians patients have in knowing Who their lives and their children’s lives are, so they shall not fear or be afraid.
      Today I would like you to believe and trust that God promises you CAN live without your fear.
      Dear Carol, you are not the one who takes better care of your children. Be glad to know God is the One who does. He loves you and your precious girls. He already has a plan for you and your girls. And this plan is perfect.

      I know that in the midst of your struggles, it’s hard to read, listen or even believe about this perfect plan. I too have questioned God in the past about His perfection when I Iooked around me and the circumstances seemed too imperfect. But this only happens when we lean on our own understanding, which is very limited, rather than lean on God’s great power. God is the All-Powerfull, our lives could not be in better hands.

      Dear friend, I would like you to know you are not alone in your hurt. God is with you and your family. We are here, being used by Him to help you go through this. Talk to God about your insecurities. Tell Him about your fears. He promised you to not leave or forsake you. He will give the rest and comfort you need, and maybe even some anwers your heart might need right now.

      He has put your name in my heart, and I’ll be praying for you and your girls as hard as I can. Never forget about the everlasting love He has for you and your children.

      Feel loved today!
      Michele Caséca

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you, Michele. I feel so loved by people….just having to take it moment by moment to feel loved by God right now. I just can’t seem to push past the feeling that I can’t trust God when I see what has been put on my kids. I so appreciate your prayers and words of encouragement vi am hopeful that the coming weeks in this study are going to help me trust God again.


  10. Hello Melissa, I keep searching where is it that I can buy the book but I can’t find it… I want to buy it and start with my assignments already!!! 😀

  11. I just want to ask for prayers on my behalf. I am going to trials just as everyone else, but this time without any antidepressants. I feel as though the adversary is really trying to tear my family apart and I am at times alone in my struggle to keep it together. I am in constant prayer with God to guide and comfort me in times of turmoil and confusion. When I feel a hardened heart developing or giving up I pray and listen to inspirational music. I too am a victim of sexual abuse and want peace, but just can’t seem to get it.. Please all keep lift me up and family in your prayers.

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Hello dear Hariri,

      Your name and your family are already in my list! I’m praying for you, lovely one.

      I would like you to know God knows your pain and hurt. He knows the problems you and you family are going through. Keep your eyes up. Keep your eyes on Him. Seek Him! The Bible says in Jeremiah 29:11 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

      Only in Him you will find the comfort and peace you desire. I’m so sure this Bible Study will help you with your struggles. Show up every day, meditate on Melissa’s posts and on God’s Word, and day after day your heart will be filled with the joy and happiness you need, in spite of any circumstance you face.

      God bless you, dear one.

      Michele Caséca


    Wto get the well here we are to get this party started I am looking forward to the study but a little timid like so many others to have the past reminded to me and don’t want to deal with it. So I will give it my best shot and we will see what the Lord will do thru all this study in my life. I struggle with alot of insecurties like saying the wrong thing not smart enough to comment on stuff or not typing right etc. So I am excited and skeered at the same time , I know in the bible it says do not be afraid and that is mention 365 times in the bible one for each day.
    The verse that Melissa posted Isaiah 43:18-19 Forget the former thing do not dwell on the past , that is one of my scripture verses that I memorized with the Beth Moore Blog, so thats exactly what I want to do is forget the former thing s and do not dwell on the past.
    Thanks Melissa enjoy your weekend

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Hi Carol,

      I too have LOTS of insecurities, but the Lord is always working on us, molding us for the better.
      I’m glad you are here, to grow in your faith in Jesus Christ.

      God bless you.

      Michele Caséca


    I am excited , well here we are to get this party started I am looking forward to the study but a little timid like so many others to have the past reminded to me and don’t want to deal with it. So I will give it my best shot and we will see what the Lord will do thru all this study in my life. I struggle with alot of insecurties like saying the wrong thing not smart enough to comment on stuff or not typing right etc. So I am excited and skeered at the same time , I know in the bible it says do not be afraid and that is mention 365 times in the bible one for each day.
    The verse that Melissa posted Isaiah 43:18-19 Forget the former thing do not dwell on the past , that is one of my scripture verses that I memorized with the Beth Moore Blog, so thats exactly what I want to do is forget the former thing s and do not dwell on the past.
    Thanks Melissa enjoy your weekend

  14. Suzanne says:

    Hi there you awesome ladies who have posted so far! Know that you have yet another friend and prayer warrior in me! I have been praying for all of you since I stumbled onto this group, and I will continue to pray for and worship over your lives. (I love that concept of God singing over us that’s presented in Zeph. 3:17!) I’d like to echo the sentiments of those of you who have been talking about not doing life, especially a life that has been full of hurt and hard circumstances, alone. There really are some great Christian counselors and great church bodies out there who would be more than willing to come alongside of you. I know there are also bad ones, but trust that God will take care of you. It’s worth it to put yourself out there for help with your healing. Trust me, I’ve been there, and, like Melissa, I still stay plugged in with a great counselor and whatever help I need to live life to the fullest. God is there. He has a great purpose for each of our lives. He is our protector, no matter what our past says, and He will comfort us, encourage us, and move Heaven and earth for us! All of the resources available are not a substitute for a relationship with Him, but He provides so many avenues of help to us that we really do need to access them. Be blessed, and I’m looking forward to the healing and hope that this massive group of women will experience as a result of this time together!!!

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Absolutely and Amen, Suzanne!

      Thank you for joining us in prayer for this beautiful group of ladies.
      You are SO right when you say that all the resources available here DO NOT substitute our relationship with God.

      Was very nice to read your comment. It will be a blessing to many women here.
      God bless you,

      Michele Caséca

    • What great words of encouragement Suzanne. I too appreciate your prayers.

  15. Kimberly says:

    Hello dear sisters in Christ!

    What the Lord used to draw me to this study was the word “paralyzed,” as it is a word I’ve used to describe my emotional well-being for some time now. I have been paralyzed by fear, insecurites, deep wounds, etc. and have known in my heart that the Lord wants different for His precious ones. The thought that I can be free; that we can be free fills me with hope.

    I’m praying for all of us who are participating in this study. Just think ladies: freedom. Real freedom in Jesus. Can we say “Amen!”

    In His love and mine,

  16. AMEN!!!

  17. As I was reading through all the comments today, the word I see most is FEAR…I want to give you all a resource that has helped me SO MUCH over the last year in the area of fear, in particular the last 6 months. Joyce Meyer has a CD called “Fear vs. Faith” that you can order on her website. I have listened to this almost daily and each day it lifts me up and reminds me that NO MATTER MY DIFFICULT HEALTH CIRCUMSTANCES, that I don’t have to live this day in fear! That I have the CHOICE to focus on what God CAN do and not what my circumstances feel like (what I can’t do!!). She has so many wonderful CD’s and podcasts in this area of our thoughts – our mind IS the battlefield!! Something I realized in my walk this last year is that when we receive Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we receive a new Spirit and heart. We don’t receive a new mind. This is why the bible tells us over and over that we must RE-NEW our minds…to take EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE TO THE OBEDEIENCE OF JESUS CHRIST. We have to align ourselves with God’s Word, His truth, DAILY. Otherwise we continue to live our lives through our “slave mentality” based on what we feel and our past circumstances, rather than God’s truth.
    Love that! I’ve written more on this as an encouragement to my Facebook friends – if you want to read it, go to Facebook and friend me (Sue Fowler) and go to my Notes – it’s there!
    Believing this will be a NEW beginning for us all in our walk with the Lord and freedom at last!!

    • Hi Sue,
      There are several Sue Fowler’s on facebook so I wasn’t 100% sure who to friend. Are you the one that is the admissions director at Perimeter? If so, we are neighbors.


      • Hi carol, no I’m not that sue – look up Sue Fowler-Hedwall (I’ll change it today on FB) so I’ll be easier to find!

  18. Oh my…the Lord is just filling my thoughts with things I want to share with all of you women on this journey together through this study! I am so glad to be a part of it! I don’t want to take up too much space here, but just felt that I needed to add this to help encourage you all – this is something I wrote a while back..

    THINK about what you’re THINKING about!

    Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…”

    We cannot have a positive life and a negative mind. It’s so important to tune into what we are thinking and consciously replace our mindless, random, negative thinking with God-like thinking based on His TRUTH. Just like our physical lives are dependent on good health and nutrition, our minds are dependent on God’s Word and positive thinking! We need to choose our thoughts carefully.

    The love of God is meant to be a powerful force in our lives, but because most of us don’t really believe that God truly loves us (due to dysfunctional family issues, past rejections, traumas, health issues, etc), we don’t experience that victory and freedom that being “born again” offers us. (When we receive Christ into our lives, we receive a new heart and spirit, but not a new mind – we still have the old one with the same thoughts, perceptions and & strongholds – this is why the bible tells us it’s up to us to RE-NEW our minds and choose right thinking in alignment with God’s Truth) We must choose & purpose right thinking every day. The more we say out loud God’s truth from His Word, the more we will drown out the negative voices in our heads and will find true freedom. It doesn’t happen overnight, but keep at it and I believe you will start experiencing success and freedom in the difficult areas of your life.

    Here are a few positive/power statements that I’ve been saying, over and over, that are really starting to sink in…Each time I say these out loud, I feel a surge of strength that is very empowering and it gets stronger each day, praise Jesus!

    – I commit myself to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and I choose to think upon that which is true, honorable, right, pure and lovely.

    – I renounce every unrighteous use of my body, and I commit myself to no longer be conformed to this world but rather to be transformed by the renewing of my mind. I choose to believe the truth and WALK in it, regardless of my feelings or circumstances.

    – I commit myself to God’s great goal for my life to conform to His image. I know that I will face many trials and temptations, but God has given me the victory and I am not a victim but an overcomer in Christ.

    – I can do all things that I need to do today and in my life through Christ who gives me strenth!

    – I can handle whatever life hands me because I am more than a conquerer through Christ!

    – I am set apart for God’s divine purpose!

    – I CHOOSE joy today and put off all complaints!

    – I am a woman of FAITH! I think, talk & walk in FAITH today!

    – I am able. I am FULLY able.

    – I am assured of God’s love & unconditional acceptance of me today & this gives me confidence & boldness!

    – I will put one foot in front of the other and do what God has directed me to do, it’s the only way to defeat fear and move forward into all that God has planned for me!

    – I am God’s child and Christ’s friend. I have been bought with a price, I belong to God.

    If you’re like me, I have been doing this for years, but only 1/2 hearted! I have quoted scriptures out loud but have mixed it in with my own core negative thoughts. And I only just realized that CORE is still there from years ago when I was young (being so sick as a child and being tagged with the nickname at school “sickie Sue”), still directing me and keeping me in my pit! I needed to figure out what that core was, and get rid of it once and for all. To take every thought captive!

    Remember…”It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us FREE. Stand firm then & do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

    This verse clearly states that it’s up to us to change our thinking from a “slave mentality” to the TRUTH of who each one of us truly is through Jesus Christ….fully loved, valuable, whole, precious, talented, gifted, capable, powerful, wise, courageous, brave, strong & redeemed. We are created in God’s image and we are amazing!!!!

    Praying you draw closer to God, seek Him and ask Him to help you find out what you believe about yourself, your “core belief.” Get rid of all the old decayed thinking and begin today, brand new, with His Truths!

    In His love,

  19. Michele Caséca says:

    Go Sue!

    Amen and Amen!

    Michele Caséca

  20. Jennifer Boddie says:

    I’m standing and ready to touch the ‘Hem of His Garment’ during this bible study!

    Mark 5:30 (New Living Translation)

    30 Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”

    • Hi Jennifer. I have had difficulties this last year and a half. In the last few months, this verse was in my go through the bible in a year. It had a huge impact on me. At times, i don’t touch the Hem of His Garment, but I hang on to it for dear life.

  21. Veronica H says:

    I am ready to get started on this but have to admit to being very nervous and uncomfortable. My personality is if something makes me uncomfortable then I run away and ignore it hoping for it to go away, I pray I stick with this and finish it to the end, if so it will be the first thing I have ever accomplished 100 percent. Also I will apologize now for typos, will be posting mostly from my phone and it gas a mind of it’s own!!!

    Praying for everyone that is taking part in this journey!!!

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Thank you Veronica.
      And I’ll be praying for you, as well!

      I really encourage you to stick with the Bible Study until the end. Let’s see the blessings God will bring by the end of the Study!!!!

      Michele Caséca

      • Veronica H says:

        Thank you….I really appreciate it!!! I always start out with good intentions but if I don’t do something perfectly or it makes me uncomfortable I give up!!! I am tired of feeling like a failure in every role of my life.

        I was sexually abused at the age of 5 or 6 years old by a family member (an uncle and cousin). The abuse happened for several years and I repressed the memory until after both of my children were born. It has greatly affected my marriage for all 20 years that i have been married.

        I decided in April that 30+ years of shame, fear, guilt, anger, and an empty place in my soul was enough.

        • Michele Caséca says:

          Hallelujah Veronica! Very wise decision!

          I really pray your life can be filled with the best our sweet Lord can offer you: joy, hope, happiness, salvation, redemption, and much more.
          Please don’t see this study as something you have to do perfectly! It’s not a task!
          Just see it as something fun! A place where we can support each other, grow together, become friends and be set free from our chains. A place where our Lord will teach us so many beautiful things!

          Enjoy the “party”!

          Much love,
          Michele Caséca

    • Veronica H. I can relate to what you said you run away when it gets uncomfortable. I am the same way. That’s when I know there’s something I need to work on. I’m right here with you I will be praying for you, we can do this together. Just remember Because God , Our Father is with you , nothing or no one else has a grip on you keeping you ( and me down).

      • Veronica H says:

        Thank you and I will be praying for you as well, with our hands held tightly and looking at Jesus!!!

    • Veronica,

      I’m so glad you are doing this study! You can do it! Stay with it my sweet friend. Nervous and uncomfortable is ok. It just makes you more dependent on God.

      Love and Blessings,

      • Veronica H. says:

        Thank you…..never thought of it that way! I like that: Nervous and uncomfortable is ok, more dependent on God :) I will remember that once those feelings hit high gear!

    • Hi Veronica,
      Instead of looking at what you don’t get accomplished, completed, finished, look at what you Have learned and done. There is only one perfect human being. Jesus. All God wants from us is to be more like Him. To come to God and share with Him our fears, our hopes, our dreams…What he wants is a deep relationship with us. He doesn’t look for, want or expect perfection.He loves you just as you are. NOT for what you will be. I am so glad you are part of this study.

  22. I started working this today. I read Monday’s assignment. I realized in that reading how unworthy I felt. How unworthy I felt not only for happiness but to feel the pain. It isn’t because I don’t want to feel the pain… I don’t feel I am worthy to feel it. Thats how little value I have placed on what this has done to me. I know God believes I am…but when will I believe it?

    • Veronica H says:

      I get what you are saying bc there are so many days where I dint feel anything; I dont feel joy or sadness….only an emptiness I me, some days I think if only I could at least cry about something maybe I would start feeling some emotions but I can’t even cry–I try to think of the saddest memory I have (the death of my mother) to help me cry and there is nothing there!!!

      I pray that together we all can learn to allow healing but more importantly living to happen to us :). Praying for you

      • Donna C. says:

        Sometimes I don’t understand my saddness, my life on the outside appears good. I am just the opposite, I cry so much especially late at night when I can’t sleep (another one of my addictions, can’t seem to sleep these days without some kind of sleep aid and now even those are not working). But when I stay up late and can’t sleep, it wears on me and I start thinking too much and gets the tears flowing. I hate being so emotional. I want to be a strong, secure Christian woman. Help me, Lord. I need you.

        • Donna, you DO HAVE peace, joy, faith, strength, power within you because when you received Jesus Christ, God’s Holy Spirit came to dwell in you! And with the “dwelling” you have all these “seeds” that are of God planted right in you!! So they are there! You just need to water them so they will grow! And the way to do that is simple, not easy, but simple…you RENEW your mind, your thoughts with positive powerful thoughts and God’s truth every day (and if need be, every minute at times!) At first you don’t feel what you are saying and that’s because the thoughts have been with you so long and they are your “default” mode. So by inputting these truths, if feels a little strange and at times, downright empty! I struggled doing this for a few months, but kept at it and now after about 5 months of being consistent, I am really believing it and am seeing God’s truth really manifest in my life! And it’s empowering! Even though my health situation is very difficult and not any better than before, I FEEL empowered in the strength of my mind! This is satan’t greatest focus…our minds, because he knows that’s where he can defeat us the most and have the greatest victory.
          Praying for you and know that God is with you and He is with us all in our journey’s, right by our sides and teaching us how to cling to Him and let Him be all that we need!

    • Lisa,

      YOU ARE WORTHY! Feeling are so fickle. You have to decide what you believe, not what you feel. What you have been through is difficult, but it’s not who you are or what defines you.

      Go through this study, taking one day at a time. Ask God to bring the belief to you. I will be praying for you.

      Love and blessings,

  23. Michele Caséca says:

    Oh, dear Lisa,

    You say you don’t feel worthy… well dear one, in a certain way, none of us are worthy of God’s love, but He gives us because of His GREAT mercy and grace.
    Do you know what mercy means? Mercy means not getting what we deserve. Grace means getting what we do not deserve.
    The punishment we deserve for our sin, by mercy God will NOT give… instead, by grace, He offers us HIS LOVE!

    I can tell you that I’m not less or more worthy than you, Lisa. If it wasn’t for the love of God, which I receive in daily doses, and the Holy Spirit in me, my thoughts would scare you! I’m not less than a sinner than you are. But I invited the All Mighty to forgive my sin, invade my heart, and participate in my daily life. That’s the difference Jesus makes in me, and He can make it in you!

    DECIDE to let Him do His work in you! God loves you. You can’t imagine how much!

    Think about it, and day after day, let the message of salvation, redemption and freedom invade your heart. If you don’t feel worthy, just learn what grace is all about! Jesus’s love is a gift from God… feeling worthy or not, JUST TAKE THE GIFT!

    We are here together! I’m praying for you!

    Michele Caséca

    • Michele,

      You are awesome. I so thank God for you. You speak such words of wisdom and affirmation. Thank you,

  24. Dionna Rojas says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I am excited to share and learn in Christ with my sisters. I look to find encouragement and be an encouragement as we share revelations and insights with each other.


  25. I’ve sat her for a while decided whether I should post or not.
    I’ll have to admit that I skipped ahead and read chapter 1 last night before the outline of the week was posted. As I was reading it, I started wondering if this was indeed the bible study for me. I wasn’t raped or abused… No one hurt me in any way… Yet the word “fear” describes my situation well.
    I have severe panic disorder and agoraphobia and have struggled with it my entire life. I’m 31 years old and have a beautiful 9 year old daughter. My panic attacks got so bad after giving birth, that I had to quit working and quit college. I’ve lost all my friends and I don’t even dare think about dating. Most days, I won’t even leave my house. The thought of going to the grocery store strikes so much fear in me that I panic just thinking about it.
    I’ve not told many people (except my family) these things. The very few people I chose to share this with over my life ended up turning on me, making fun of me, and I somewhere became “The crazy chic.”
    My walk with the Lord started in January 2010 and things DID start to look up and get better for me! Anddddd then I took a nosedive. Hard. I don’t know what happened, and I am angry. Tired. Desperate.
    I’m sorry if I sounded “whiny” in my post, but I so wanted to share part of my story with someone.
    I am praying alongside each of you ladies as we walk through this together to reclaim our lives in the name of JESUS CHRIST!

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Hi Pamela,

      You were very brave to share your story here, and I’m happy you have started to walk with the Lord!

      YES- I think this study IS for you. Melissa made it clear this is NOT a study for sexual abused women. It’s a study for women who have been in their own dark corners to find freedom in Jesus, and live life to the fullest.
      NO- You didn’t “sound” whiny. You were very honest about how you feel, and NO ONE here will judge you, neither make fun of you! We all have our weaknesses, we all have our problems, and whether if it’s BIG or SMALL, the enemy uses it to keep us away from God, so we really need help to overcome them!

      Remember you are precious to God, and He brought you here to overcome your fear, insecurities, and become whole!

      He loves you, and so do I!

      Michele Caséca

    • Kimberly says:

      Dear Pamela,

      When I read your post, I had to respond to tell you that you are not alone. I, too, was diagnosed years ago with your same conditions. But, I’m here to tell you that it gets better! I haven’t had a panic attack in several years. It’s okay if you’re tired–what you’re dealing with is exhausting. My friends left me, also; thinking that I was crazy. I wasn’t. Neither are you. As I read all these posts, it encourages my heart to know that every one of us needs our Savior. We will never stop needing Him or each other. I’m praying for you right now.

      Look up, dear Pamela, “our” redemption draweth nigh!

      Your sister in Jesus,

      • Veronica H says:

        I like that image, all of us hand in hand and looking up to our Savior as one; one in spirit, one in love and as one completely healed person!!! Just brings great peace and calm to me tonight :)

        Praying for you two!!!

    • Ruth in London UK says:

      Thank you for posting. Like you I have not been through what so many of the other ladies have faced, but like you for many years I was bound by fear because of a childhood and adolescence ruled by fear. I have since had counselling as part of my training as a Christian counsellor and was enabled to see the true source of that fear – and it wasn’t where I thought it was! Praise God that I have come to know Him as my loving heavenly Father rather than a God who stands over me waiting for me to slip up so that he can punish me.

      I am looking forward to learning further lessons and healing from the Lord through this study. That old enemy fear still raises its ugly head at times.

      So I am walking with you all, and will be praying over the coming weeks, that we may all find peace and healing through Christ Jesus and what He has done in giving freedom to captives.

    • Kristi Deitrick says:


      You are indeed not alone. I suffered from severe panic attacks and post partum depression after the birth of my second child. I seriously could not leave the house for a long time. My friends have dwindled as well and it does hurt. But I haven’t had the attacks in a bit of time and things have gotten better in some areas. I’m like some of the others who cry a lot at night. I really believe the enemy wants to us on as we go through this study and whenever we submit to God, read His Word, and humble ourselves before Him. The enemy hates that and look at this loving community which has grown to 3,000 women from all over who don’t even necessary know one another – all for the love of Christ. I will pray for you Pamela throughout this study for recovery of your freedom and power in Christ. He loves you, you are worthy and you are HIS. God Bless you, dear sister in Christ.

  26. Michele Caséca says:

    Hi Pamela,

    You were very brave to share your story here, and I’m happy you have started to walk with the Lord!

    YES- I think this study IS for you. Melissa made it clear this is NOT a study for sexual abused women. It’s a study for women who have been in their own dark corners to find freedom in Jesus, and live life to the fullest.
    NO- You didn’t “sound” whiny. You were very honest about how you feel, and NO ONE here will judge you, neither make fun of you! We all have our weaknesses, we all have our problems, and whether if it’s BIG or SMALL, the enemy uses it to keep us away from God, so we really need help to overcome them!

    Remember you are precious to God, and He brought you here to overcome your fear, insecurities, and become whole!

    He loves you, and so do I!

    Michele Caséca

  27. Hi Pamela, I posted a few comments back that I too suffered from debilitating anxiety/panic/agoraphobia throughout my childhood, teen and early adult years! Couldn’t even walk to the mailbox, let alone get on a bus and ride 30 minutes to school! I would get off at the first bus stop and walk back home, sit outside all day and wait for my sisters to get home from school.
    I still have issues and don’t travel, but I do get out and about now. (I’m 49) Always depends on how my physical symptoms are…if I am feeling sick, then I get very anxious. If I am doing OK, then I can go and not have any anxiousness. But I want to share with you a discovery that I believe the LORD has directed me to. It’s called GAPS, short for “Gut & Psychology Syndrome.” It’s a condition that many of us have where our guts are toxic with overgrowth of yeast and bacterias (parasites also), and the toxins get into the brain via the blood stream from leaky gut (damaged intestinal lining caused by all the bad critters and undigested foods). These toxins cause imbalance in the neuro-transmitters in the brain and this can cause anxiety disorders, autism, depression, OCD, etc. MOST often those who have mental/emotional symptoms such as these, generally also have gut symptoms (constipation, IBS, bloat, etc)
    I won’t go on here, but I highly encourage you to go to the GAPSDIET.COM website to read more about this. I have started the GAPS healing diet myself and am right in the beginning of it. I believe, with everything in me, this is what my issues have been my whole life…my diet! (I lived on white bread, PB, sugars, chocolate, ice cream and cheese as a kid!) You can email me directly if you want more info or even want to talk by phone. I can give you my number via email. My email is:
    God’s blessings,

  28. Donna C. says:

    Hi Everyone, I don’t know any of you, yet I already feel a closeness to you by the words you have written. I sit here with tears falling down my cheek. Sometimes I just don’t understand my emotions. As I read some of the comments, it’s like you are seeing inside my heart and I always feel like I hide my pain, my sins and my insecurites from the world so well. But it makes me feel so unworthy when I know for a fact that God knows me all so well and I can’t imagine Him liking what He sees. It makes me feel ashameful, yet I still don’t turn from these sins. Sometimes I just don’t know who I really am and why I can’t be secure in myself. Im praying this bible study will help me release and turn it all over to God and draw closer to Him and truly trust Him. I am praying for all of you as we go through this study together. Praying also that God will bring some true friends into my life via this study as well. Thank you everyone for opening up your hearts, I feel so encouraged and feeling hopeful.

    I don’t have the book yet, I could not find the book at any of my local christian bookstores so just ordered it yesterday from proverbs31. But doing what I can to still be focus on this study until my book arrives.

    Thanks for caring
    Donna C.

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Hi Donna,

      I’m praying for you!

      Quick comment though: We all sin. But Christ’s sacrifice at the cross brings us forgiveness. Forgiveness to all who not only believe in Him, but accept Him as Savior.
      At the cross, He took your sin. There, He took your pain, hurt and shame. Once we proclaim Christ is our Redeemer, His blood washes our sin, and we are born again… we are born to a life of holiness. The Holy Spirit dwells in us, and a new life starts to develop. Not trouble-free (this will be only in heaven), but a life guided by the Spirit of God, who is our Counselor, in times of trouble.

      We’ve shared a little bit in FB. But I wanted to publish here, so every beautiful woman here can read this.

      God loves you, and so do I.

      Michele Caséca

      • Hi Donna ! I’m excited you’re here too! I feel like God is really doing something POWERFUL here and I’m encouraged for my own struggles and journey and for everyone else who are a part of this study. Praise God!!

        • Donna C. says:

          Thank you, Sue. You don’t know how much it means to have this new group of friends that are lifting me up instead of tearing me down. Thanks for the encouragement. I look forward to knowing you better.

      • Donna C. says:

        Michele, I know God forgives and he has forgiven me more times then I deserved. But why do I keep committing the same sin that I know is wrong, yet I am so weak and don’t have the strength to stop. It just doesn’t seem right. Am I just going throught the motions when I ask for forgiveness?. I know I need to focus on praying about this weakness and pray for God to help me stop. I don’t feel quite comfortable yet sharing what this sin is, it is very shameful to me and afraid to share about it. Hopefully in time, I know that is the only way, I can let God take control of it. I have so much baggage built up inside of me that I need to let go of, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. I so want God to work in me so others can see Him in me. I know life as a Christian is not easy or smooth sailing but I have so many hang ups and emotions that are holding me back from the plans I know God has for me. Thanks, Michele, I so appreciate you. I thank everyone for your love, support and prayers. I am praying for each one of you as well.

    • Veronica H. says:

      I know exactly what you mean when you say you sometimes don’t know who you are. That is exactly where I am. For a long time I could pretend b/c I had small children who took every minute of my day. I have an autistic son who needed me so much I knew exactly who I was ~ I was the mother of an autistic child! And it was my responsibility to get him through school and to graduate. I never thought what it would mean once he did graduate. I was also mother to a daughter who was a miracle baby and who struggled through school b/c of dsylexia. Then on August 14 of last year my baby girl went off to college and although my son at 21 still needed me, he didn’t need me as much so I found myself with A LOT of time on my hands and no way to stop the memories. My husband didn’t understand when I said to him one day “I just don’t know who I AM and it’s scaring me” and he said “you are my wife” and I thought “yes I am your wife but I need to know who I AM outside of M’s mom and M’s mom and your wife” so here I am…….

      I hope to learn to be secure in who I am, but I also hope to learn how to define myself other than wife, mother and abuse victim.

  29. Wow. I love you all. Thank you for commenting and coming together as a group…supporting each other, sharing, praying, choosing to believe. I am humbled, honored, and so appreciative to be in this study with you.

    Love love love you!

    • Veronica H. says:

      I thank you so much for offering this study. Funny, I am nervous and uncomfortable but in so many ways I am happier than I have ever been just knowing I am finally able to do something about something that happened to me 30+ years ago…I can finally take control of it and then turn it over to God so I don’t have to carry it around anymore. Wow, I am so ready!!!!

    • Michele Caséca says:

      We love you too Melissa.

      God brought us together!

      Sweet blessings,
      Michele Caséca

    • Rosa Perez says:

      Thank you Melissa, for being willing to do this study for us. I am very grateful for you. I’ve had the Hidden Joy book for about a year now, but couldn’t seem to bring myself to open it and now it’s prime time to get started. Thank you for your obedience to God through this study. I am excited!


    • Donna C. says:

      Thank you, Melissa. Love you, too.

  30. I have a confession, I have not thought about my abuse for so long, does that mean I did really good at stuffing it down, the only times it does come up is when my hubby and I are intimate sometimes. then I get really bad flashbacks.

    • Debi,
           I have been an expert at hiding all that has happened in my past, all the hurts that have occurred over the years. The flashbacks came, it seemed, at random. I know that one important step in healing is to admit that these things have happened. That being said, I have known my husband two years and I only told him everything last week (I chose to write it all out instead of ‘tell’). He is the only one who now knows the whole story. Only 2-3 others know bits and pieces.  Telling my husband was a HUGE step for me and I hope that you too would confide in yours. Let it be a place to start processing what has happened.


    • Michele Caséca says:

      Hi Debi,

      How are you, lovely one!

      I really think it’s not about “stuffing down” your memories. It’s about letting God work in your life, so that your memories will lose their power, in a way that whenever you have flashbacks, they won’t hurt you anymore.

      I really pray by the end of this study, you will let God do this beautiful work in you. It’s not easy, but it’s possible. We are all here to help each other.
      ‘m praying for you daily!
      God loves you, and He wants to bless you dear.

      Michele Caséca

  31. Jenifer says:

    Hi everyone,

    Like many others have already posted I also am feeling fearful and excited of this bible study. I have felt like I have a heart of stone for a few years now. It has not been a single incident that brought this on but many things over the course of several years. And I have to say that most of these things have not been done to me but are just things that have happened that have affected me. For example, a few years ago, my (then) 19 yr old nephew was arrested for gang-related murder (his trial hasn’t even begun yet). This nephew was staying with me at the time. He was so sweet and respectful towards me and I had absolutely no clue he was even involved in any gang! I could go on and on with small bits of life that have served to harden my heart just a little more each time.

    This past year has served to nearly push me over the edge of reason. My heart of stone used to be able to hold all the tears in. Lately however, the tears have breached the walls and I know something must give. I hate this heart of stone yet, I’m afraid to part with it as well. It has been my protection, it has become who I am. And it is very heavy. I am so ready (and afraid) to receive my heart of flesh.

    My prayers and love to everyone…

    • Dear Jennifer,

      Please allow God to break down this wall of stone arround your heard. Then dare to feel! Crying is so healing and so is talking about things that happened. Feel free to do that here! I think there is no feeling of experience you will share that not one of us recognises. And as you would probably want to help other women on this blog so do we want to help you. We really need eachother in this!

      Your heart of stone is not who you are! It is who satan wants you to think you are. And then beheave to it.

      Decide not to trust the one who brings fear but decide to trust God! Probably to road to the heart of flesh will be difficult but a heart of flesh feels so much more light, joyfull, peacefull then a stone one!

      And really the only way is trough Jesus and His Word, for life is in the Word!

      With blessings,


    • Michele Caséca says:

      Hi Jenifer,

      Wen is right. Decide to NOT fear and trust God. He will change your heart of stone into heart of flesh. And when He does, you will feel better.
      Stay here with us. We want to help you.
      On day at a time, let the Word of God penetrate you heart and you mind, and you will see the miracles He will do in your life.

      Michele Caséca

  32. Melissa,

    Thank you so much for this study. I am really looking forward to it. In reading the posts, it is encouraging as I have felt, thought many of the same things. One word of encouragment I’d like to share is that while we FEAR looking at what hurts…it is such a good thing to do. I think in pictures…here is a picture God has given me. Our hurts, fears, negative thoughts, pain, insecurities are like a wound in our heart. As time goes by, and more hurts, pain, etc get added, our wound grows. Much like a boil, or infected wound. Until we face them they grow and grow. But if we ask God to help us, he will use his gentlest technique and open the wound so all the infection can get out and we start to heal. Is it scary..YES. But God is the perfect healer. Like it has been said before…one step at a time. Sometimes it is one minute at a time. But then we are getting that much closer to who God created us to be. God created each one of us for a special and unique to each of us, purpose. I pray that God will reveal that to each woman in this study. I pray that each woman will know deep in their heart how much God loves them individually. For he created each one of us.

    Thank you again,

  33. Dear Lord,

    I thank you for who You are, for Your Holy name I bow down. Thank you for your great work of salvation. Thank You for your endless and unconditional Love!
    I cannot even grasp the idea of how Great You are and how small I am and yet Lord, yet you see me!
    Not only you see me as one of the total who needed to be saved.
    No You really see me as no one else can, will or does see me.
    You even know me better then I know myself.
    You the Lord of all universum takes interest in what is going on in my little ttyni life.
    You saw my hidden hurt even while I didnt (want to) remember it.
    You saw the way it was shaping me and was standing in my way to real freedom even though I didnt even realize it.
    Even though I thought it was all my own fault, my big sin against You.
    You know how I cried for forgiveness when there was all of the sudden a memory that came to hound me.
    You gently thought me that I was wrong. I needed healing when I didnt even realize it.
    You cared to much about me to leave me in that way even though I thought I was pretty happy.
    You the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings took delight in me….
    A difficult road followed once you gently forced the door to my heart but you where in that road too.
    I found you there walking that road with a cross on your back bleeding all over. Telling me to hand over my burden as well.
    I watched the end of your road at the foot of the cross when you took the burden of every sin ever committed and every sin that still will be done untill you say it is enough!
    And you gave Your healing power to me the power you had when you rose again from the grave!
    Thank you Lord for that with everyting that is in me I now do not cry out for forgiveness anymore but I cry out THANK YOU LORD!

    Lord I want to lift all the woman who are still captive even not knowing it before your throne.
    Please Lord break trough in their lives!
    I know the road to healing mostly goes with hurt, I dont wish them the hurt but I do wish them the healing that comes with it.
    And that is why I will keep praying You to break down lives so You can bring healing into that.

    Lord I cry out for Wendy, Melissa and Angie to be able to minister to these women.
    Please Lord will you protect them in this journey with Your blood.
    Please Lord protect them from evil influences and from people who have nothing good at heart for them.
    They need your protection for there is one who doesnt want this many women find their way to freedom to be able to live life to the fullest as you want us to.
    To become shining lights in their enviroment.

    Please Lord go your way with all of us individually.
    I love you and I thank You.

    In Jesus name I ask you,


    With love,


  34. Amber J says:

    I am so excited about beginning this study!! It’s my first online study and I’m kinda nervous. BUT I am looking forward to meeting many great women and growing in Christ’s love for me in ALL seasons of life. That being said, I am getting married this evening and couldn’t be more blessed at this moment!


    • Michele Caséca says:

      Hi Amber,

      You really sound beautifully happy!

      God bless you, dear.

      Michele Caséca

  35. It’s been an up & down, all around kind of weekend. One that’s left me wondering if I’ll ever be capable of having a healthy intimate relationship with a man. That is a huge area of my life that has been so greatly affected by me having been sexually abused at a young age. Good thing is that I did start the study late last night & got day 1 done, now on to today day 2. One day at a time, right? I alwaysget discouraged when I have such an up & down kind of day. I do better now that I’m going to counseling, but since counseling tends to bring up so much I still have those days when everything gets a little overwhelming again. I hate that but I also know that God is at work in me. That’s why it still has to hurt at times. I, like someone else on here that posted, would like to hide at times & not deal with my feeling & emotions, just run from them. But I know that would do me no good in the long run. I have to face those feelings & emotions or I’ll never be able to get past them & confidently leave them in the past. It’s a hard process for me so far. I have good days & I have bad days. Lately it’s been more bad days than I’d like. I don’t like remembering. I don’t like the little flashes of memories that come up for me at such random times throughout the day. I want those to stop because whenever they happen I feel so guilt stricken again & ashamed of myself. I’m working on fully believing that what was done to me was not my fault in any way, shape or form. But I’m not quite there on that yet. I want to be but I keep getting pulled back to the shame I’ve always felt because of who I was abused by. I want to keep playing the blame game & that does no good. Time to start the day now. Maybe staying busy today will help get me through until I go to counseling tomorrow. I know I need that counseling time this week. I know it will help to talk about what’s been going on, it always does.

    • Michele Caséca says:


      I’m praying for you. I’m praying that God can transform your feelings into the feelings He wants you to have.
      You are beautiful and loved by Him!


      Michele Caséca

    • Rosa Perez says:

      As I read what you wrote, I knew I just had to reply to your post. I just want to encourage you to continue seeking God. I was abused at a young age too and had the same questions you did. I was too scared to allow myself to get close to any man whether it was intimately or not. I am grateful that I had people to surround me and encourage me through those times of discouragement and unbelief. I pray that this study will blow you away and will be life changing for you. Continue to seek healing through his word and I know that you will experience peace and joy in your life. I will be praying for you dear sister, keep your head up! God is in control, allow him to do the work inside of you. Be blessed,


      • Thank You so much Rosa & Michele. This seems to be a vicious cycle that I’m in. One moment I’m great & doing fine then the next I’m down & having trouble. I hate it but I try to keep fighting & going to God whenever this happens. Some days it helps more than others. I am praying for this study to be life changing & of great help in my healing as well as for my continued growth with God. I pray that this study in addition to my weekly counseling sessions will really change my life completely. I want that so much. Holding onto the anger, resentment, sadness, shame & guilt have not done me well for the last 27 years. Thank You for praying for me. I well keep seeking him in all that I do.

        • Michele Caséca says:

          Dear Tricia,

          I’m so happy to “listen” you will keep seeking God. That’s the right attitude. Ask God to reveal Himself to you, to hold you, to help you overcome your insecurities, and you will see the tremendous changes He will do in your heart.

          You are beautiful!!!

          Sweet blessings,
          Michele Caséca

  36. Charlotte says:

    So very excited that the HJ Bible study has begun. I believe this study will heal many of us and deepen our walk with Christ. Praising God for Wendy and Melissa for walking us through to freedom. God is using these ladies in a mighty work for Him.

  37. Michele Caséca says:

    Beautiful ladies,

    Today I woke up at 5 am, so I could pray for all of you by name, and I went through all your requests!
    I have a really busy day today, and I’ll be working until 11pm. Once in a while, I will be sneaking around, through my iPhone.

    I wish you all a wonderful week! Make sure you do all the assignments Melissa posted on the blog.

    Love you!

    Michele Caséca

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Thank You father that you watch over those women and that as I pray for them, you will continue to work in their lives through the power of your Holy Spirit. Help me Lord, to not be tempted to worry over them, but entrust them to your care. Amen

      • Thank you Michele for your dedication to this group! Is there anything we can be praying for you specifically?
        God bless you!

        • Michele Caséca says:

          You are so sweet to ask Sue.

          Well, after so many years of storm and pain, I finally find myself in a really blessed season of my life. Jesus has really given me a new heart, and a new life.
          Please pray I can testify Jesus’ love in everything I do, and glorify God in my every step! He has called me for some real tough tasks, and I’m willing to say YES, I just don’t know HOW, hahhah!
          So, please pray so He can lead me to wherever He wants me to be!

          Sweet blessings,
          Michele Caséca

          • Donna C. says:

            Michele, I am praying for you as well. I have known you not even 24 hours now, yet I feel so blessed by you. Every time I read someone’s story or prayer and then your follow up is like a glimmer of hope or a hand stretched out. Your comments make us feel loved and heard and acknowledged. (sometimes these things are lacking in our lives). Thanks for having such a caring heart and for all the encouragement and guiding us and helping us see that God WAS, IS and ALWAYS WILL BE with us.

          • Michele, you are a testimony of hard work and faith! God promises us that He will give us “a future and a hope” !! And I am believing it with all I have! I am so glad you are feeling a great peace and joy in your life. I will be praying for you to rise up to the tasks that God is calling you. With HIM you can do ALLLLLLLLLL things!

  38. Rosa Perez says:

    I am so excited to be starting this journey with so many other women hungry for the word of God. As I did today’s reading and saw from what Melissa wrote, she would like us to share our prayer, I knew that I would share my prayer because just maybe it would touch someone else.

    Lord, I am so grateful that women have decided to come together in unity to study your word together. Lord, I have to be honest I am petrified of what is going to be brought out through this study. Those deep dark things that I have tucked away and tried to forget, but you know that they are still there and that healing needs to come of them. Father, I am afraid of the wounds that will be reopened and revisited through this study. I am afraid of dealing yet again with that hurt and that pain. I am scared that as I am beginning a family that I would be too overprotective with my future children that would be unhealthy for their growth. Although, I have all of these fears, I know that you are with me each step of the way. I know that you are beginning the work inside of my heart and stripping away those things that have caused so many tears over the years. I am encouraged in knowing that this study will bring hope, healing, peace, and understanding into my life. I am excited to see the change that will take place. I pray that my heart and mind would be open to you, as you breathe life into those dead areas of my heart. I pray for all of the women participating in this study, that their lives would also be changed so that they too may experience freedom in you. I thank you for Wendy Blight who took time to write this book and for Melissa Taylor to embark on the journey of having this online bible study. I pray that you would bless them in a mighty way. Thank you for everything that you are doing in us and everything that you are about to do. I love you so much! In Jesus’ name, Amen!

    I pray that someone is blessed by this prayer. In His love,


  39. I’m on day 2 of the assignment, which talks about being open and praying to God so hear goes
    I want to pray to be released from fear, it has ruined friendships and a marriage as I find it hard to trust, most of all I find it hard to trust God, been through a lot in life and have to be honest did nit feel like God was there with even though he assured me ge was in the pit with me. I feel if I give my all to him he will let me down, so I pray that I am able to remove the guard from around my heart that will not let anyone in, but also stops me from being free.

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Dear Roslyn,

      First, I would like you to know that God has been with you in every single day of your life. We need to see our circumstances with different perspective.
      Questions like: “If God was there, why did He let me go through all this?” doesn’t come from God, but comes from Satan who really wants to keep us apart from our dear Lord.
      The answer is: Yes, He was there. Holding the situation in His hands, and making sure you could find Him in the midst of all your pain. He never told us our lives would be free of trouble. Bad circumstances are consequences of sin. But He assured we could find peace in Him, and He would turn our mourning into dancing, your weeping into joy!

      Consider the fact that after dying on the cross Jesus stripped the enemy of all authority and all power. He no longer has any right or authority to hurt or rob us unless we give it to him by choosing to walk in fear and sin rather than faith, and expecting bad things to happen.

      God created us to freedom. He wants to break every chain that keeps you from feeling free. And in Jesus’ Name, He WILL!

      I’m praying for you, dear sister. We are here to hold hands, and do life together!

      Michele Caséca

  40. Heavenly Father,
         I am both excited and nervous about beginning this study. I’m excited about the change, the healing and he freedom so many of us will experience…myself included. You know my heart and you know the pains from my past. Calm my anxious heart as I work through these past hurts. Like a wound the must first be scoured before it can begin to heal properly, I admit I am fearful of the new pains that will arise during the process. I have already told my husband all that has happened. What else will You ask of me Lord before my healing is complete? Will I be willing to listen to Your voice? Obedient to what You command? I so want to be Father! I want not only to hear what You command, but to act as Your obedient servant. Saying that I trust You means nothing unless I step out in faith. I am ready though. I am so ready to move on, be healed. Move in my heart, move in my life, may this study be the catalyst that draws me even closer to You than I have ever been in my life.  I am Yours, make me a part of this, my rescue. I ask this not out of my own power or strength, because I have none, only through the power of the Holy Spirit and in the Name that is above ALL names! Jesus, my Lord, my Savior, my Brother, AMEN and AMEN 

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Amen and Amen, Heather!

      Our heavenly Father must be SOOOO happy with you right now, for you are willing to let Him work in your dark corners, and set you free from the life of pain, suffering and hurt you told us you have been through.

      It really is true to say that “we have nothing to fear except for fear itself.” We are those who have been redeemed from the curse and our Father’s plans for us are FOR GOOD and not for evil. That’s not to say that life’s challenges don’t happen and we don’t get hurt, but we don’t need to add sorrow to our own lives by believing for and fearing the worst.

      I’m praying hard for you. And I’m so sure by the end of the Study you will see the blessings God will do in your life.
      You are lovely, Heather!

      Sweet Blessings,

      Michele Caséca

  41. Wow! I got on this morning to read all the new posts, and I am so glad to see this group of women coming together, opening up and healing through Christ.
    I’m still learning to navigate my way through the Proverbs 31 site, studies and posts, so I hope to be a lot more interactive when I get it all figured out 😉
    You are all in my prayers!

    Sisters in Christ –

  42. Jesus, please help us. Thank You!

  43. Danielle of NC says:

    There are alot of ladies who have joined this study! :)
    Please exuces my post as my “program director” is making me fo this….I was given the task for today to tell a few things about myself and introduce myself because i “like to read and not comment”…hehe. So ok, here i go:
    My name is Danielle, I am 26, i have a boyfriend and a new puppy, and i have a few “secrets” (character flaws i like to call them..)that i hopefully will be able to share as the studies go on but for right now…I am looking foward to going through this process with yall. And again…please excuse my posts sometimes as i am charting a different corse in some ways than yall but hopefully we will cross the finish line of freedom together. Please pray for me as this will be a REALLY uncomfortable and challenging journey…one i am DETERMINED to complete with sucess.
    And thanks again Melissa for talking me into doing this study …(i think) lol :)

    • Hi Danielle of NC, so glad you are here and took a minute to share. By letting us know what your challenges are that you face, we can all know how to pray for you! I am going to keep a journal of names of those in this study and their needs so I can be lifting you all up in prayer, so please, keep sharing your journey with us ok? God’s blessings!

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Hi dear Danielle of NC,

      I’m on it… praying that our sweet Lord can give you the courage and strength to finish this challenging journey.

      Remember you are beautiful and loved by Him.

      Michele Caséca

  44. The LIGHT of God surrounds me;
    The LOVE of God enfolds me;
    The POWER of God protects me;
    The PRESENCE of God watches over me;
    Wherever I am God IS.
    Brother Lawrence

    • Sue, that’s beautiful! Thanks for that!! : )

      • Donna C. says:

        Thank you, Sue, for sharing that. Am going to write it in my study journal. I am going to try to stay focus on that last line for the rest of the day. “Wherever I am God IS”. That says it all. And gives me such comfort. Thanks. (Hope it’s ok, if I share this on my facebook wall).

        • YES YES YES!! Share the LORD and His peace that He offers us that “passes all understanding.”

  45. I wanted to share my prayer with you all. “Father God, through this study, I would like to come closer to you then ever before and know and realize that back then when I was a child, I wasn’t alone. you were there with me even though I didnt know you then you knew me and longed to be with me. You felt each hit each injustice that was done to me and against me. I felt so alone I wish you could have reached out and held me physically to let me know I wasn’t as alone as I felt or better yet taken me back home to be protected and loved again. I’m glad I didn’t know you back then to hate you. I am glad I know you now and that you are in my life. Please be with me ( and others) as I walk this path again, this time coming out of the other side healed and victorious in your presence and love. As I write this my heart hurts again like it did then when it happened. But I’m afraid to cry because I fear I wont be able to stop again. Please Father comfort me as I learn from this study how much you love me and want to heal me from these wounds that are still apart of me. Amen

    • —this time coming out of the other side healed and victorious in your presence and love.

      Beautiful!!!! I just loved this part :)

      Thank you, Debi, for sharing your prayer with us.

    • Michele Caséca says:

      Oh dear Debi,

      Our dear Lord is already doing a new thing in your wounded heart.
      I agree with Pamela, you sound like a woman in process of healing and walking towards victory!

      Thank you for sharing your prayer and your healing with us.

      We love you!

      Michele Caséca

  46. This is my Prayer…
    Lord God, I’m hurting. I come before you broken. I pray to be wrapped up in your love. The wounds from so long ago have not healed. I feel lost in the sorrow from those wounds. Some days it seems as if the sorrow will never end, that it will go on & last the rest of my days. I try to trust in your goodness & love but I fail at it more often than not. Lord, I pray you will show me the way to having complete faithfullness & trust in you. I know that without you I can’t do this, I wouldn’t even be able to come close. Lead me, Father, as I go on this journey through “Hidden Joy”. Help me to heal those old wounds once & for all. Show me the “me” that you have in store for me to be. I want to be all of that “me”. Lord, I pray you will guide & direct me every step of the way in my journey to find healing. Lord, hold my hand when I need it, push me when I need it & be there when I need to cry out to you, when it all seems like too much to accomplish. I know that through you all things are possible. Thank You Lord for leading me to this book & BIble study. Thank You for leading me to counseling also. I know that I can win out over the fear that holds me back, with you by my side I know I’ll get there. Lord, I pray for your guidance & direction in the lives of all the women involved in taking this study. I pray you will speak to each one of us, help us find healing Lord. Bring each & every one of us closer to you through this journey together. I also pray that we will all be an inspiration & strenth to one another along the way. I love you Lord! To you be the glory!

    • Michele Caséca says:


      Your prayer was also beautiful. I wanna share a verse with you. It’s in James 4:8 and says “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.”

      Seek God with all your heart, and as you come closer to Him, you will feel His Supernatural Power working in you.

      Praying, praying, praying… always!

      Michele Caséca

      • Powerful prayer Tricia and Debi, know our Father God is listening and right with you as you venture out in faith with this study and open yourselves to all He wants to do for and in you.

  47. I’m using my blog as my journal (as you may have noticed from the trackbacks), but I’m going to post my prayer here:
    Dear God, You work in mysterious ways. The connections that brought me to this study are unlikely, but they brought me here. And I know it’s Your doing and I thank You for it. I pray for Your hand to be on this. I know how crafty the enemy is and he’s already been trying to minimalize my life in my own head. I want to submit to You so I can resist him. I pray that you guard my heart and mind as I do this study. I also pray for all the women who are in this study with me. I’m sure there are many who need Your healing desperately and who are probably afraid to face this pain head on. I understand that fear, Lord and I know You can give strength to these women as You have given to me to be able to look this pain and fear in the eye and still stand firm. Lord, thank You for this book and it’s author and for Melissa for heading up this study. Bless them both and all the women involved in this study. Thank You for everything You do here. I thank You for the healing we WILL receive. In the name of your Son Jesus, Amen.

    • Michele Caséca says:


      Your prayer has been heard by God, and read by us!
      It was an amazing encouragement to all of us.


      Michele Caséca

    • Sharon,

      I love that you are blogging this study!!!! I visited your page today :) thanks for joining me in this study and I pray that you and your readers are blessed by it!


  1. […] will first of all post the link to each week’s assignment.  Check out this week’s here.  Then after that I will post my answers or whatever the assignment is.  I guess what I’m […]

  2. […] Week 1 Assignments “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 […]