#PreApproved Writer of the Week – Amy Breitmann

May 27, 2014 | 17 comments

#PreApproved Sisterhood Series


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.

One Math Equation We All Need to Know
By Amy Breitmann

Not everyone practices Lent annually, but I do. My Catholic roots come back each year and I yearn to find a way to go out into the desert like Jesus did for 40 days. I search for new spaces to get close to Him. This year Jennifer Lee’s Love Idol book release coincided with Lent. As I read through her words they ministered to me, calling me to lay down a few things that I had clung to: things that had defined me. I reexamined things that kept Jesus at a distance because I was focused too keenly on them.

I entered spring determined to take a good, long look at some strongholds. Being intentional is hard for a girl who is a perfectionist and has a touch of ADD, so distractions were plentiful. Jennifer gave up mirrors. I gave up my blog except for as a tool for supporting others. I unplugged a little. I got quiet. I tried to find a lens to look through that was held by God and not one I had constructed or controlled. I got all up inside myself, just me and my Maker. I curled up on His lap and I whispered into His ear like the time I sat on my grandpa’s knee when I was two. A whole party was going on around us, but we didn’t much care, He and I.

Deep down I knew I wasn’t missing anything. Not really.

Early one spring morning, I read a Lenten devotion and then picked up Jennifer’s book. I stared at this sentence on page 131. It was a quote from Pastor Tullian Tchividjian, grandson of Billy Graham:

Jesus + Nothing = Everything.

I read how this simple math problem made the gospel real for my friend Jennifer, and I let the weight of it sink in deep. I wrote the equation down and carried it in my pocket. I doodled it on a page in my journal and scribbled it on a post-it-note attached to my work calendar.

I’ve never been very good at equations. My grades in high school and college math were always decent, but I never enjoyed decimals or crunching numbers. I barely survived graduate school statistics. I had more fun twisting words into stories and reading classical literature. Writing and speaking was my gig. Calculators scared me. But the truth wrapped up in this one equation captivated me, and I needed to memorize it.

I began to look around me and to really see the everythings and the nothings and the in-betweens: all the things I tried to pile into the equation to make my life complete.

I’ll be honest, it wasn’t an easy math problem. Because if I really believed in it, this meant that when I looked around me:

Jesus plus
the best day ever
job loss
the dream job
family tension
STILL equals everything.

The constant in the equation that works is Jesus.

It just doesn’t matter what I add, the outcome is exactly the same.

And now I stand on the other side of spring. Summer is blooming. I know that I will still believe that OTHER things can alter the answer. I know I will try to add my own strength, achievements, losses and control. I’ll think that those things hold power for happiness and being complete.

So I’ll cling tight to this math problem.

Because if I have Jesus?

I have everything.

I’m going to keep staring at that equation.

My name is Amy. I’m Beloved in Blue Jeans and I’m #preapproved.

Amy is a writer and blue jean girl from Augusta, GA. God calls her wandering, inspired soul be•lov•ed, two beautiful souls call her mom, and a grace-filled man calls her wife. She is the Co-Founder of The Lydia Project, a non-profit organization that supports women with cancer. Her work has been featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul and Guidepost Magazine. Amy blogs at BelovedinBlueJeans.com and is a Co-Visionary and contributing writer at OutsidetheCityGate.com.


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.



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!

by | May 27, 2014 | 17 comments


    • Amy

      Thank you, Melanie. Blessings to you!

  1. DanaJRobertson

    My Catholic roots come back each year and I yearn to find a way to go out into the desert like Jesus did for 40 days. http://goo.gl/ai61Qh

  2. rhondaquaney

    Oh Amy. I love how you unwrap this truth for us. Jesus plus… cancer, stress, and all the rest….

    Jesus + Nothing = Everything.

    Yes. Yes.

    I enjoyed hearing your sweet voice comes through your writing Amy.

    • Amy

      Thanks Rhonda. So many things that try to alter the equation, huh? Appreciate you being here.

  3. Beth

    It’s so good to see you here, Amy, and I just loved your message. I think I need to write these words down and keep in my pocket for awhile too. Jesus + Nothing = EVERYTHING! Much love to you friend.

    • Amy

      Beth~ love back at you. You are an example of this equation to me in so many ways…the way you cling to Jesus through all of life’s challenges.

  4. Jolene Underwood

    Loved this! I have found Tullian this year with his book “Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets us Free”. I have come to greatly enjoy his books and his sermons. They have been instrumental in further distancing me from legalism and falling deeper into the arms of Abba Father where I receive His unconditional grace. In so doing, my own heart is enlarged to show love & grace through Him.

    • Amy

      Jolene~ Oh, I’m writing that down. Everything I can focus on that offers grace from my Father is much-needed. Thanks for being here.

  5. Alisa Rhinehart

    Thank you Amy!!!!
    Jesus + Nothing = Everything!

    • Amy

      Alisa thanks for being here, friend.

  6. Kelly Blackwell

    Wonderful post Amy! Thank you. I have a friend who is studying “Love Idol” and if I was not already in a study, I would be so in this! My heart has been touched just from these dear posts. I’m kind of in a holding pattern, but looking forward to take off. Jesus + Nothing = Everything is now my current doodle. I will get this!

    • Amy

      Kelly I hope you will pick it up when you have some time. Jennifer has a way of sharing her journey that reflects our own…

  7. tammy@if meadows speak

    I never cared for math either but this equation is one I adore. Amy, I enjoyed reading your Lent journey and getting a glimpse behind the curtain, if you will, of what God was doing during that time. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Amy

      God does a lot when we get quiet, huh Tammy? xoxo.

  8. Heather @ My Overflowing Cup

    This post is absolutely beautiful! I continually amaze myself (and not in a good way!) that I do really, really believe that because I have Christ, I have everything. Then my thoughts betray me as I begin to add to the equation. My human nature always wants to add, but I need to learn to subtract. Thank you for this beautiful reminder!

    • Amy

      Heather I had to write this equation absolutely everywhere!~ so easy to forget. Thanks for visiting with us here.



  1. The One Math Equation We All Need to Know | Beloved in Blue Jeans - […] sharing about this math problem over at Jennifer Dukes Lee’s place today.  I hope you’ll join us […]

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