#PreApproved Sisterhood Series
Every Tuesday night, one of our PreApproved sisters shares 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.
Janis Van Keuren
Last year when Jennifer launched a team for the release of her new book, “Love Idol,” each of us was challenged to find the idol lurking in our personal lives and surrender it to the Lord. At first blush, it seemed obvious to me that my idol was the approval of others and wanting recognition for my work. It was logical. I’d always been a people pleaser. The oldest child driven to prove her worth.
Then the Lord began to peel back the layers I had used to cloak the real idol choking my life and turning my eyes away from finding the full measure of love that awaited me in Christ’s arms.
I wrestled with the Lord as He began revealing the chains binding my heart. I squirmed in my easy chair, shrinking away from His whispers and gentle probing.
“Oh Lord,” I’d reason with Him. “Can’t we just let it go with an acceptable plague like wanting attention? Do you really need to make this change in me, and what will everyone think?”
But I knew the issue went deeper to the core of who I am. While I was buoyed up by the accolades of my colleagues, my real worth was found in motherhood. My countenance rose and fell on the smiles of our sons and the warmth of their relationships with me. When icy winds threatened our fragile relationships, my heart would grieve as it looked for fulfillment in their approval of me and where I ranked in the status of motherhood in their eyes.
This seeking is never ending because as a mother you are always questioning if you loved them enough. Did I really teach them about how much Jesus loves them? Did I give them the security they needed? Was I encouraging or one of their worst critics?
And as those once sweet, cuddly youngsters turned into young adults, the tearing away for independence shredded my heart. I went from kissing away their “owies” to kissing away our relationship.
I longed for the times we laughed together. Times I was a sounding board for their decisions. Times of making warm family memories that filled my heart with all the love I needed.
It was time to “Let go” of grasping for that love. Of needing it to fill my empty tank of approval and purpose.
Don’t you just hate those two words—Let Go? They echo in my head like a needle stuck in a record track. It came from friends, from counselors, from books. And now I was hearing it from the Lord. That need for their love was taking His place in my heart—and probably had for a long time.
At the beginning of 2014, the Lord gave me my one word for the year—“Love.” But I knew I couldn’t love completely until I had opened my heart to the Lord’s love. Then the “Love Idol” challenge was launched to find our love in Jesus. At the end of summer, our church held its Women’s Retreat and the theme was—drum roll—“Love Without Measure.” Could the Lord have spoken more clearly to me? I doubt it. It was at the retreat that I fell into His loving arms ready to receive the only love that can satisfy.
I haven’t achieved perfect surrender, but the Lord has me on His path to wholeness.
St. Augustine said, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
I’m Janis Van Keuren and I am loved, pre-approved, and found worthy in the Lord.
Just when Janis thought her writing was going nowhere, the Lord drew her into a Christian organization to be one of their writers for events that serve the city from education to social service and government. Without realizing it, she had just stepped into her God-sized dream. You can find Janis writing about snapshots of God in her everyday life at Heart-Filled Moments and in freelance pieces around the web. She’s also wife to a humorous and patient husband and Mom to two adopted adult sons.
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!