About the Author

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, heart-encourager, and grace-needer. She's the best-selling author of "A Confident Heart" and her new book, "A Confident Mom" is releasing Fall 2021. Renee is also the familiar voice of a friend to women around the world as former Proverbs 31 Ministries' radio co-host and executive...

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  1. Renee,
    My husband walked out on me once (was having an affair), but then we reconciled. Ten years later he did it again. Add in years of emotional abuse… To say that I know the pain of feeling like damaged goods is an understatement. God, however, was faithful in walking through those valleys with me. Though I may not have felt it at the time, I can look back and see that He was truly bringing beauty from the ashes. Fast forward through a divorce and recovery; I am now married to a wonderful godly man who cherishes me as I now believe I deserve to be treasured. I know all stories don’t always end in happily ever afters, but I know now that God can enable one who felt so unloved and like damaged goods, experience a glimpse of His great love for me. Thank you for a much needed, honest and uplifting post!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Bev, thank you for your reply.

      I have been through much the same recently and am grateful for the hope that you share. It helps me to hope that Jesus will work beauty from these ashes, seeing that is hard some days. Abba Father’s time and way.

      Thank you Renee for the post. It helps a lot when I feel like damaged goods, that this too shall pass. Each of us is beautiful in Jesus’ sight; “God don’t make no junk.”

      I pray that Jesus bless you and all who post here today.

      • Praying for you AT, that your heart will feel God’s unfailing love wrap around you like a bear-hug today. That an deniable strength and comfort will come from knowing you are not alone. You are not damaged goods. You are not disposable. You ARE chosen, pursued, delighted in, wanted and highly valued by the King of Glory. He calls you HIS own!!

        “Do not be afraid; AT, you will not be put to shame.
        Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.
        You will forget the shame of your youth
        and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.
        5 For your Maker is your husband—
        the Lord Almighty is his name—
        the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;
        he is called the God of all the earth.
        6 The Lord will call you back
        as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—
        a wife who married young,
        only to be rejected,” says your God.
        Isaiah 54:4-6

    • Bev, thank {{you}} for sharing your story and your heart. So many need to know they are not alone, they are not “the only ones” who have walked through such deep pain and loss. Your words are like a banner of love and hope. So thankful for the ways you’ve seen Jesus make beauty from the ashes in your brokenness and in your new marriage.

  2. So glad I came here this morning. Your words have touched my heart and turns out to be just what I needed to hear this morning. Thank you for sharing Carol’s story. I can very much relate to her pain.

    • Im so glad you came here too, Jessica. You are loved. Here’s a promise God laid on my heart for you:

      “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
      I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
      2 When you pass through the waters,
      I will be with you;
      and when you pass through the rivers,
      they will not sweep over you.
      When you walk through the fire,
      you will not be burned;
      the flames will not set you ablaze.
      3 For I am the Lord your God,
      the Holy One of Israel, your Savior,
      I give Egypt for your ransom,
      Cush[a] and Seba in your stead.
      Side note: He gave Jesus for your ransom, His One and Only Son in your stead.
      4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
      and because I love you,

      Isaiah 43:1-3a, 4

  3. This: “The deep pain we feel as a result of broken relationships can cause us to doubt we are valuable…” This thought is one many, many women have…and it can overwhelm and shatter and define their lives.

    Thankful for this: “Jesus paid as high a price for those of us who are damaged as He did for those that are proudly displayed on the top shelf.”

    Thank you for sharing today.

    • Thank you for your sweet note Marty. I agree, the lies we believe – that come from the pain and rejections we face – can be just as damaging and maybe even more so as we carry those lies with us and let them become our truths. Oh how I pray that some lies will be broken, some labels will be removed and healing will come today through the power of Jesus’ truth and redeeming love.

      I love this promise in Romans 8:

      37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV)

  4. “Jesus paid as high a price for those of us who are damaged as He did for those that are proudly displayed on the top shelf.” Beautiful!! Wonderful message…

    • I’m so grateful that He loves us, no matter what!! And that He was willing to pay the price of His life to redeem our hearts and give us hope – no matter what shelf we’re on!

      The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jer 31:3

    • And who is really on the top shelf? Many things will be all flipped around in the end…the first being last and the grateful, forgiveness-grasping drug addicts sitting in the front row worshiping their Savior, etc. It will be so enlightening to see things as they really are when we get to enter the Kingdom!

  5. Thank you, Renee, I so needed this today! My husband struggles with depression and consequently I battle not feeling like “I am enough” – thank you for reminding me that I am enough in Christ! Blessings!

    • I understand Kathy. My husband sometimes struggles with anxiety, and I find myself wanting to do more and be more to make JJ’s world peaceful and ok. But then when it’s not enough, I feel like I failed even though he’s told me it’s not about me.

      I think we need to hear that from each other – from our spouses and from our friends. Im glad you shared this part of your struggle. I have a feeling someone else will need to read your words today, and know they aren’t alone.

      And when we grow weary from too much trying to be enough, let’s remember Who to turn to:

      I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint. Jer 31:25

      Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

  6. Beautiful, Renee. I love the scriptures you share here in the comments. This is the best kind of encouragement. Joining you in prayer for the fallout of the broken relationships today, friend.

  7. I really, REALLY needed this encouragement this day. Sometimes the inadequacies add and pile and compound to the point where one wants to throw up our hands in defeat. It’s so much easier and we grow so weary. But I’m coming to see that worn or weary (as we’re the disciples, and Jesus himself, I’m sure), we must press on, as did they. It’s not about us, or for us, but rather about Him, and for others. Just as this word through you today. Thank you.

  8. Thank you, Renee, for this encouraging reminder in this awesome analogy. Beauty can still rise out of the broken. God can still use me. I’ve been struggling, wondering how I ever can be used when my energy is limited because of chronic illness, but I’m reminded God can still use me as an encourager through writing at my blog or commenting in other blogs. If I let Him! Blessings to you!

  9. I read what you wrote after a sad morning, asking God to show me the way, and help me heal. I’ve been married 33 years and recently my husband confessed to me he has been having an affair for the past 8 years, after her husband finally caught and confronted them. I strongly suspected it but had no proof, so these past 9 or 10 years have been miserable-being rejected by him, dealing with his abusive meanness and emotional coldness. I feel thrown away and so disposable, so not worthy of being loved. I moved 1000 miles away to a small town about 6 months ago to escape being around them and try to heal. He is going to divorce me and marry her-is waiting for her to dump her husband and three school age children-states she is “his soulmate” and their bond is so strong he already feels like she is his wife. I’m nowhere, a nothing. I raised 4 kids with him and now an adopted 8 year old granddaughter who moved out here with me. I’m so sad-I just can’t get unstuck, and I am beginning to feel a deep loneliness for companionship. I feel like no one will ever want me. I have a wonderful solid biblical church here at least, and friends. But I’m 57. I’m tired inside. I’ve lived life. I’ve asked God to please give me beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for mourning and help me not to wish I were dead. If He were to ever send me someone to love and cherish and be married to, he would have to be a mature strong Christian and a loving father for my granddaughter and God would have to bring him to me. I will not date or “try people out”.
    I needed the encouragement today that filled what you wrote. I wish I could just stop crying right now and move past this and believe more firmly that God doesn’t view me as a throwaway-that He has a purpose for me and loves me with an everlasting love.

    • Linda,

      HEAR ME: YOU ARE WANTED BY A HOLY AND RIGHTEOUS GOD!! 🙂 I am praying that you will feel God’s warm loving arms around you and know that He is there for you always and forever!!!!

      You deserve the absolute best God can give you!! He can and will restore all this to you. He will make beauty out of ashes!! You are a BELOVED CHILD OF GOD–BEAUTIFUL IN EVERY WAY!

      It may take some time, but you will eventually meet people and have friends out there! Prayers for God to bring people along side you to comfort and encourage you!

      Blessings (((((HUGS)))))

  10. I am on the other end of that…I left my husband, church and moved to marry another man. That was 16 years ago. Although the marriage has lasted, it has had a high price. My children all moved off and hardly speak to me. One child had a son out of wedlock and they lived with us for a while…I grew very close to my grandson…now they have moved and she has married and is so angry…I think all my children wish I were non-existent. I do too for that matter. I have times when I feel like God is near and then it just takes one snide comment from one of the children and I am back in that self-inflicted pit… I hate to read about how others are suffering from people like me…but there doesn’t seem to be a place for me to heal either…Is it true God can forgive me and use me again? How will I know? Will the consequences last forever? I try to make the best of it, but there are times when I feel like giving up. Sin is a horrible thing to choose when you realize how wrecked your life has become because of something you choose. I am so sorry but it won’t ever be enough. Then what?
    I do think I am unusable.

    • Lana,

      Thank you for what you wrote. I can see already that my husband is going to pay a similar price-not from me, but from what my grown kids have told me-their discomfort with this new woman, and sadness over what he did. I don’t know if my husband realizes what is ahead-the true impact of it all.

      That being said, I really do believe God can use your experience to help those considering going in that direction. Human consequences still happen and can last indefinitely, as I too found by making terrible mistakes in order to cope with my loss. I lost my head and got two DUI’s in a year and a half because I did not do things God’s way. I had to go to jail-just served time about a month ago. Total humiliation because my kids and everyone knows. I’ll have a record for a long time. My husband feels even more scorn towards me. But God forgave me and I now choose to stay away from solving grief in that manner. It wasn’t God honoring, that’s for sure.

      I don’t know how God can use me either-I’m not the greatest example. But ever since I have totally committed my life, my future and all the circumstances caused by both his and my behavior and have to let it go and learn to trust God even more than ever. Thank you for your honesty-I know you can’t undo that painful consequence of your choice, but I really pray that you find real inner healing, then a place where God can really use you. God bless you, Lana!

      • Linda…thank you for your testimony. I have never been this honest before in any place, forum or public…I worried after I posted that you would be offended by my words and actions…but unexpectedly you wrote me back…Thank you. I think what Simone wrote below to me is something we could share together and be encouraged by… I am very thankful for other sisters that will be real when it counts and love so freely. I felt hugged by both of you…Thank you.

    • Hi Lana,
      God absolutely forgives you and can absolutely use you. Everyone messes up their lives on some level, major or minor, public or private. Not one of us is “better” than the other or in less need of God’s mercy, grace and forgiveness. I have a feeling you will go through the rest of your life NOT judging others and their bad decisions..and being a voice of mercy when others are condemning. Believe me I see a huge need for more Christians that show mercy and forgiveness…and often the ones who are showing forgiveness are the ones who have had a lot to forgive in their own lives…these humble people have learned a lot and can be a lifeline for those who are suffering and feel there is no healing available to them.

      While some bad decisions have lasting consequences, GOD USES EVERYTHING. When we let Him, he can work miracles in our lives. Ive seen it happen and have a lump in my throat right now thinking of things in my own life that I thought were unsalvagable. Remember, Jesus hung out with, had compassion for, and healed prostitutes, tax collectors, and the demon possessed!

      Pray, pray, pray…pray for your relationships with your children and ask God everyday to redeem your life and He will! There will always be difficulties because we live in a fallen world with a ton of other sinful people. But, God will help us navigate through the messes of our lives…and make beauty from the ashes!!! Even beauty from your mistakes! God Bless 😉

  11. From God’s heart … through your fingertips … by the Holy Spirit … for me. I needed to hear this today. Thank you for following God’s leading and writing this, Renee.

  12. Thank you Renee. You wrote exactly what I need to read, to understand. I have always had feelings of being unloved and unwanted and I struggle with self worth every day. I try to live transparent. To live with forgiveness and non judgement. I tell myself that my feelings will change each day, that He loves me through it all. I know that i am enough. But it is hard to understand that somedays. Lately I have been feeling secluded. Detached in my marriage, my friendships and my parenting. Your words convicted me today. I am not alone. This road is travelled by many. Thank you for that!

  13. I’m really happy for all the strong women out there that have made it through this kind of pain & have been blessed with support from family or friends & have felt Gods comfort.
    Unfortunately, sometimes because of no one caring how they handle the can, box etc… become so broken & damaged, dumpster is only place you belong. While what’s inside the damaged product may still be good, no one will ever take the chance of finding out, just to damaged to want to.

  14. Thank you all!!! I absolutely loved this post! For a long time I felt this way too. I walked away from God and made many bad choices. All resulting in my husband reconciling with me, then changing his mind, then discarding me saying he was confused and denying that we could ever be the family God intended us to be. Feeling damaged because you think you not worth forgiving and loving and trusting again puts a lot of shame on you. O, but my Jesus picked me up a washed all that away!!! So I just love the blessing I get from all these posts of encouragement and reminders of my value to God. God bless each and every one of you and may His love satisfy you all!!!

  15. 2 1/2 years ago I discovered that my husband was involved with another woman. He assured me it was over. I forgave him. Over the next couple of years I caught him, still involved with her and lying to me, over and over. In February we decided we needed a time out. I came to a friends home for a 6 week visit. The first weekend I was gone … he spent with her. I told him that I wasn’t coming home until he was ready to honor our marriage vows and commit to counseling. He refused and I called him on it. Still wondering if I was right. My friends have provided a home for me. There are no young children in our family. It felt “ordained” that I was here. A month ago he told me, in a text message, that he was filing for divorce. I begged him to reconsider because I still want to see our marriage be what God intended it to be. Today, 2 days after our 35th wedding anniversary, I received divorce papers in the mail. I can hardly breathe and I feel less than damaged, worse than worthless. Unloved and broken. I need to believe that joy will come again and that there will be beauty for ashes because right now … I want to curl up in the corner and just … Disappear!

    Thank you for the encouraging words! I don’t read here daily but in another ordained moment … Found myself here today!

    Beth

    • Beth,

      You are not WORTHLESS!! YOU ARE A BELOVED CHILD OF THE ALMIGHTY GOD! He cared enough to send HIS ONLY SON to die for you!! You are beautiful inside and out!!

      Prayers that you will feel His loving arms surround and know that He is with you ALWAYS!! Also know that God has blessed you with some good friends to come along side you to help and encourage you during this time!

      Blessings ((((HUGS))))

  16. Thank you so much for sharing this encouragement. In the past 2 years I’ve had to change to a part-time status at work due to caregiving responsibilities for my elderly disabled parents. Up to a few months ago, I had a manager who took great delight in daily tearing me down and destroying any value I thought I had. It was like a direct attack from the enemy and many nights I spent on my knees praying. It was clearly bullying (always in private) and I was labeled, dented and tossed aside with no access to training or other employee benefits. I truly felt like the can of peaches that you bought.

    Praise the Lord that manager found another position in the company and I have a new manager who recognises my experience and ability and who has a heart. I also cried out to God that, despite all the hurt and malice directed at me, that Jesus would find me a good and faithful servant when I would meet Him face to face one day and He told me that I am already, daily, a good and faithful servant – not only at work, but in serving my parents in their senior years. He told me that I was His answer to my parents’ prayers to not suffer and die alone and that it is my ministry for this season.

    When God replaces our heart of stone with a heart of flesh, it is so easy to be hurt. But He is also a mender of broken hearts and His approval is all we need – and I need to remind myself of this so often 😉

    • Irene,

      I feel your pain of caregiving for your parents. I have had to do that also–not to that extent. In 2007 mom was in hospital and rehab for 1.5 months. I would work part-time and then go relieve my dad and stay with her till 8:30 when she went to bed. On days I didn’t work I would go at noon and stay. When she got home she had sundowner’s and dementia and I would visit once a week and help run errands.

      Fast forward a few years and now it’s my turn again. My dad moved into assisted living -yay!! A little less worry. I visit once a week, take him to just about all doctor’s appointments. He has been in ER twice this year–both times due to medication issues. What a year this has been!! Thankfully he is better now. It has been rough!

      I pray God will surround you with His loving arms and give rest to your weary tired body! May you know that others are praying for you!! God will find you faithful for caring for your parents and not working full time for yourself !! This is a self less act!

      Blessings 🙂

  17. Wow!!! Spoke directly and personally to me! While not divorced, I have been married to my husband for just over 29 years and for almost 29 of those 29 years I have doubted my self worth because I have allowed him to emotionally abuse me. It has been a rough road but biblically I don’t feel like I can leave (no adultery that I am aware of) and I am so afraid the fear of failure will put me over the edge. I feel paralyzed and while my HEART knows I am loved by Christ, my head tells me horrible other things:(

  18. Lana. God loves you. He puts all our sins in the deepest sea and forgets them. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus and God still wants to use you. I can say this and my husband has just had an affair and God is so much more beautiful and forgiving than me. Forgive yourself sweeheart and give yourself permission to feel forgiven. Xx

  19. Needed to hear these loving words, then reading thru all the messages full of pain and loss, but also hope, grace, love, and forgiveness – well, that touched my heart as well. None of us would ever choose the difficult circumstances we find ourselves in, but I believe and cling to the promise in Romans 8:28…that what the devil intended to be our undoing, God will use for our good. Love to you all.

  20. Those were his exact words to me as he walked out the door almost six months ago now, “you’re old and damaged goods.” Yeah, he added the old part – and since today is my birthday I have to mention it too. (Now I’m even older.) So this echoed so much of what God has been teaching me these last months.

    When my husband left, it was not a surprise to God. He had worked to prepare me for the difficult things that were coming. My one word for this year is ‘bride’ and it in capsules all the things that I would struggle with this year….that I am loved, cherished, chosen, desired and belong. I had 3 1/2 months of God reinforcing my identity as part of the bride of Christ before my husband would say those words to crush me. But they didn’t…..they hurt but they didn’t destroy me like they could have.

    I know that I may be damaged goods. But I know I am fearfully and wonderfully made. And that in my weakness He is strong. And I know the Potter who made me and can repair all the damage. He is faithful and will finish the work He started in me.

    And He’s not done with my husband either.

    One of my fears has been how this will affect my ministry. But I am finding that the broken me who is healing, vulnerable and authentic is better able to serve Him. It may not be as I pictured it but it will be as He desires it.

    As hurtful as those words were, the reassurance from God that I’m walking with Him, obeying Him and He’s still working on me have been invaluable. His voice is closer, His love is wider and deeper and the work of His hand is more evident than ever before. May those of you hurting today have that same reassurance of His love.

    I’m celebrating that I am damaged !!! – not sure yet if I’ll celebrate the older part but I think my kids want cake.

  21. Renee,

    Thank you for a wonderfully written and timely post! To often women, especially, feel like damaged goods. It can come from our upbringing, words spoken or actions taken. Nonetheless, the feeling is there and it can be hard to shake the “funk”.

    I was there in May-June of this year. My aging father was having medical issues and falling a bit. Also during that time I was/am working a job I don’t like and don’t feel useful at. It was during that same period that my hubby almost lost his job after 26 years with the same company. I would wake up with stomach tied in knots and unable to eat feeling like I would be sick. I felt like damaged goods in a way.

    Fortunately my dad is doing much better now. Hubby did not lose his job. Although he is working back in a busy level 1 trauma center ER after 10 years away 11AM – 7:30PM. I still don’t like my job, he’s not crazy about his either–but we realize we’re blessed to be employed.

    Now I feel some better. Out of my funk thanks to God & a loving hubby!

  22. Renee and all, Thank you for sharing the story and the testimony and encouraging words…

    I needed to read this, I needed reaffirmation of how valuable we are for The Lord when we have been hurt, if we are in the middle of it, and specially when we are at the other side of the coin and we regret what we have done. Today I feel as if The Lord has sent anointing and healing oil to heal and to use us, using all things in our lives–good and bad–for good.

    I am so glad to read all this love from one another like The Lord taught us to do. I bless you all in Jesus’ Name and thank you all for leaving today in my heart a special stamp of love, hope, beauty, sisterhood in Christ, and joy…

    Blessings and hugs!!!

  23. My heart is breaking and I remember you Renee last night, I saw you in a Ladies retreat in Lake Yale in FL and started looking at my notes from that night you spoke. At the time I didn’t know my husband was getting deeper in his addiction and one week ago after leaving the house and one weekend he decided he was going to start dating and decided to ask me for the divorce. I filled out the paperwork and the Attorney will have the paperwork ready this week. 17 years of my youth gone, 4 kids 17(girl), 15(boy),6(boy) and 5( girl).
    Is such a deep hurt for me, I do feel like damage goods and is hard not to feel that way after he tells me that there is so much damage so he thinks he can start again new with somebody else. He discarded me :(. I am 39 years old back in school to get a degree in Counseling.
    The words in this devotional hit me right in my heart, I know The Lord loves me and I know he is with me always even through this pain, He would heal me and my kids and also he can heal my husband if he calls out to him. I just have to trust HIM not with my eyes but with my heart and who I am in HIM. I am encouraged but at the same time broken. Prayers would be really appreciated. I loved your testimony what an encouragement you were that weekend Renee.

  24. Renee,
    I cannot even express in words how your words have touched my heart this morning. I found out this week that my husband of 17 years has had multiple affairs in the past 5 years. We have been separated a year & a half. It’s so easy to fall into the pit of feeling unloved & unworthy when you are rejected by the one who vowed to love & be faithful to you forever.
    A sweet friend of mine shared this devotion with me. I have been so blessed with friends & family who are holding me up during the darkest days of my life. I am grasping onto hope that there will be beauty come from ashes one day & that Christ will never leave me alone.
    Thank you for these sweet words of hope, Renee. ❤️

  25. My girlfriend of four years and I broke up a little more than a year ago and I miss her very much even though it was a mentally abusive relationship. She brought me closer to God with how devoted her family was and I loved seeing that families like that didn’t only exist in old time fairytales. Her dad became more of a dad to me than my own father. I come from a very dysfunctional family. And I feel like I’m confused about what God wants with me. All I’ve wanted since I was a young man was to have my own family and although I have made poor decisions in my life up till 4 years ago when I wised up and got sober I feel like time is running out because I am 35 years old and nothing to show for. God bless you all thank you for reading what I have to say.