#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:
the best day ever
the dream job
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.
THE LOVE IDOL MOVEMENT
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!