typewriter4

Storyteller. Grace Dweller.

I’m Jennifer — wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, new book author. I believe in you, because I believe in Jesus. You matter to Him, and you matter to me. more »

Don't Miss a Post!

Subscribe to Blog Posts

 

free updates sent directly to your inbox.

12

Tuesday 14th October 2014

#PreApproved Writer of the Week: Jennifer Camp

#PreApproved Sisterhood Series

LoveIdolPrintable_pink

Welcome to a new series, hosted here on the blog. Every Tuesday night, one of our PreApproved sisters will share her story on letting go of a love idol.

Together, we’re giving up our love idols, and we’re not taking them back.

We are already approved; we have nothing to prove. In Christ, we are #preapproved.

Broken Cisterns and a Not-So-Silent God
Jennifer Camp

It’s an ache that seems to never leave. The whispers, you’re only worth what you do,
what you say, what you produce.

I don’t know the moment I first believed these kinds of lies, but I live with the
ramifications of believing them, even still.

God’s I love you, I died for you, you are my beloved and my adored have a hard time
entering a heart that’s believing . . . other things. He doesn’t force us to believe Him.
He doesn’t push His way in. He let’s us choose.

photo credit: picjumbo

photo credit: picjumbo

He let’s us choose. Me, or the lies? Me, or that sad, hollow place that only looks sad and hollow in hindsight, that place where you try to prove yourself, that you are enough? Jesus stands there, love wrapped ‘round, asking us if we’d like to die to those old selves, the ones that actually kill us, until we decide to give Him everything—and gain life and freedom instead.

It is the lie that I am not pre-approved, that I am not worth more than what I do, that propelled me, as a teenager, to search for validation in strange places—having sex with boys in the backs of cars, on the ground in fields of almonds, the same orchards where my dad would ride a red tractor and push steel round blades into hard ground.

It is the lie that I am not pre-approved, that I am not worth more than what I do, that made my decision to have an abortion, at age 16, an easy one. What the world thought of me mattered. What my peers and my family thought of me mattered.

Their approval was the idol I worshipped, and I sacrificed the life of the baby inside of me because I cared more about my false “good girl” image than about anything else.

We learn, in Jeremiah about what God thinks about us worshipping false gods, “For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water (2:13). When we look anywhere other than to God for our approval, for our worth, we are forsaking Him and we choose death. Anytime we seek approval outside of God’s love, we choose death. Anytime we are convinced that we need more that what God offers, we choose death.

I’m 42 now. And the lie can still surface, the insidious whisper: you are not enough. I am better at recognizing it for what it is now. So I am not the person I was. I know, now, that I am the girl, the woman, the daughter He’s always loved. Even (and this feels too good, I know, to believe, but it is true) the night I said yes to the lie and no to the life of my child. And that it is more than I’ll ever need.

It took me decades to be open to hearing God’s voice―to be open to recognizing and rejecting the lie that my worth was something I needed to achieve rather than accept. It is difficult to accept God’s love when you’ve spent so long practicing one thing— worshiping an idol.

Are you also tired of building broken cisterns? Are you tired of looking to the world for validation? I know the messages from the world―you’re not good enough, smart enough, successful enough, pretty enough—can make it hard to hear the whispers.

But it’s through those precious whispers, if we try to hear them, if we want to hear them, that we receive His living water, from the fountain that never runs dry.

Jennifer blue background square Jennifer Camp, co-founder of Gather Ministries and author of Loop, grew up in the middle of an almond orchard in Northern California. A former high school English teacher, she loves to write, but she especially loves to encourage people to seek and live out the truth of their story, their identity in Christ. You can find her writing at her blog, You Are My Girls, and also with her husband about the redemptive mess of marriage at their blog, Holy Entanglement.

THE LOVE IDOL MOVEMENT

book 133a

Click here to find out more about the Love Idol movement.

Click here to purchase the book that inspired the movement.

Click here to join us on Facebook as we lay down our Love Idols and declare our #preapproved status in Christ.

THE PRINTABLES

LoveIdolCutOutsLoveIdolPrintable_pink

Click here to print the black and white preapproved cutouts.
Place these where ever your Love Idols have lurked!

A pink PreApproved printable: to frame, to put on your refrigerator, to give to a friend.
Click here to print. My gift to you, brave soul!

  • Jennifer, you are an inspiration. So many girls have lived through this and you know the answer to help them change.

    You are a beautiful and amazing woman and an example of a woman redeemed.

    I hope to see you at Allume for an in life hug. Until then

    • Diane, you are so precious and wise. I so wish I were going to Allume this year so yes, I could get that hug! Much love to you, sister.

  • KristinHillTaylor

    Brave, bold post. Your words always seep right into my heart, even when I didn’t realize I needed a new view of truth. Thanks for sharing your heart here.

    • Kristin, you are so sweet and loving. Thank you so much for how you encourage me on. xo

  • “…the lie that my worth was something I needed to achieve rather than accept” –yes, Jennifer, this sums up the love idol battle for me, too. Thank you for sharing these brave and bare pieces of your story. It’s a beautiful thing when a child of God recognizes her belovedness for who she is not for what she has (or hasn’t) done. Blessings to you, dear one.

    • It’s a bitter battle for sure, Becky. And it’s one that can only be fought by laying it down. Thank you so much for your kindness here.

  • AMcHugh

    Appreciate you pointing us to our worth and acceptance in Christ.

  • soulstops

    Jennifer,
    This: “When we look anywhere other than to God for our approval, for our worth, we are forsaking Him and we choose death.”….so much good truth in your words, my friend 🙂

    • Thank you, Dolly. Oh, how I need to remember this, even now. xo

  • Melanie

    I always look somewhere to get approval. From my husband & even my kids. I try to do all I can for them & feel like I’m never doing enough. Not enough for The Lord either. Always needing to have perfection, look prettier, & skinner. I know deep down inside that I should be happy & content, that I over think accomplishments not done. I truly love this movement & the video is beautiful. I love listening to it. Thank you for the inspiration!

  • Pingback: Welcome to the Weekend #4()

“I never anticipated this.” . Some of you have felt the weight of those words in 2017. You've been thrown a curveball that you didn't see coming. . Divorce. Job loss. Infertility. Unmet expectations. Watching your husband fade under the grip of cancer. Y… ift.tt/2zhsLPd pic.twitter.com/2pRBjZNp96