#PreApproved Writer of the Week: Jacque Watkins

October 7, 2014 | 4 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.

When Failure Defines You
Jacque Watkins

The autumn sun shines through the Suburban window as I wait for the kids to finish practice. And no sooner do I turn another page of my book, I see her standing at my car window.


It was months ago now—after she’d just joined our mom’s group—she’d found me on Facebook and asked if we could talk. And when we did, she asked for some confidential advice—advice about the mindset of someone who has an affair.

Her heart was hurting.

She’d been betrayed.

And she figured I’d be the perfect person to talk to.

And I thought everything had gone well, until she’s standing at my window and has some gut-wrenching questions.

And while I’m thankful she comes directly to me with her questions, and declares she still likes me, she also shares how she’s had to defend me to another mom in the group—a mom who has a big problem with me–a woman who has stayed in her unhappy marriage all these years, and is resentful I seem to be happy.

I drive away with the kids in tow, as my heart breaks in two.

My story will never be neat and tidy. And there will never be a big red bow to wrap on the top. Ever.

And so, for the rest of the year–week in and week out–I show up, always wondering which woman is the one who doesn’t like me.

And every time I ache with the feeling of the “not enoughs.”

In early spring I receive my first-ever advance copy of a book, along with a beautiful necklace. The book is called Love Idol—an early copy usually sent only to important leaders and influencers.


Over the years, I’d watched advanced-copy recipients post pictures on their Instagram and Facebook streams—images which, although meant to spread the message of a book, had thrown me into an internal spin, as I’d become hyper-aware I wasn’t “in” enough to receive one myself.

And the tapes of the “not enoughs” would play every time.

And yet, with this very first advanced copy, God was making a statement to me. He knew the struggle I’d faced with this issue. But of all the advanced books I could have received, it was THIS book—THIS message—He sent as my first one.

A book with a message my heart would need again and again.

A message chock full of fodder, to preach to my own heart in the daily days,

Truth for when I would need to talk myself off the ledge of the “not enoughs.”

And as I read Love Idol for the first time that spring, I find myself in Matthew Chapter one—the genealogy of Christ:

Jacob, the polygamist.

Judah, his son, and the solicitor of prostitutes.

Tamar, Judah’s sly and seductive daughter-in-law,

And Perez, the incestuous product of them both.

Boaz, the son of Rahab the prostitute,

Ruth, the Moabite foreigner,

And King David, their great-grandson—adulterer and murderer.

And the reminder crashes into my heart like a jolted bumper-car.

With intention, God hand-selected these unlikely ones, that through them, the world would know His great love.

A love that has chosen us too, despite our sin,

And in spite of our shortcomings,

Not because of anything we can do, but all because of who He says we are.

The truth is, our failure never defines us. But God uses it to re-fine us.

And we are pre-approved and loved by Him, all because of Christ.

And so, each week, as I go to my mom’s group, I put the necklace around my neck. It rests over my heart like a shield, and bosses my heart around with the truth…

No matter where I’ve been or failed to go,

No matter what I’ve done, or failed to do,

No matter what’s been done to me, or done by me,

My name is Jacque, and I am loved and forgiven–chosen and wanted by God.

And for always, I AM, pre-approved.

Lover of heartfelt chats and chai tea lattes, Jacque can’t wait to connect with you. Over a decade ago, in the aftermath of an affair, Jacque was found by God’s mercy and changed by His grace. As a Labor & Delivery RN and mama to five, she’s a mercy-lover, podcaster of Mud Stories, champion of second chances, and longs for you to know God loves you for you, and will leave nothing unredeemed in His time. You can connect with Jacque through her Blog or her Podcast, and on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.

Join Jacque and Jennifer for a Podcast

TODAY at Mud Stories, Jacque and Jennifer visit on the topic of Love Idol. Join us at the link, and in addition to hearing our talk, you’ll receive a FREE gift – some of Jacque’s favorite resources for finding freedom from failure.  You can listen to the podcast and claim your gift here.


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 | October 7, 2014 | 4 comments


  1. ro elliott

    Sweet Jacque… Beautiful inside and out… and you have a brave heart…because you are willing to take the risk so others can find Mercy. You tell your story with honesty… The sorrow and the suffering… Along with the joy of His redeeming love!!! Blessings upon you as you follow Him!!!! Xoxo

    • Jacque Watkins

      Thank you so much Ro. You are such a sweet gift to me, always have been, even from those beginning days you first visited a fledgling little mercy found me blog. If only I could hug you and thank you in person for your gracious encouragement and grace and friendship to me. Love you so. xo

  2. MaryLou Caskey

    You are so brave and making such a difference Jacque, thank you so much! Jennifer, your podcast interview with Jacque was also very brave and helpful. May you both be blessed today for making a difference. More importantly, may you sense God’s unconditional approval in a profound way today.

  3. Wendy Speake

    Absolutely wept, Jacqui. Thank you for sharing.


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