#PreApproved Writer of the Week: Joy Lenton

December 16, 2014 | 8 comments

#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
Joy Lenton

It was the broken kettle that did it. An insecure lid, leaking base and awkward handle rendered it almost unusable. We’d discussed replacing it, but held fire because we were thinking of moving, and who knew what might fit or look best in a new kitchen?

Still, I ignored those discussions, felt deep inside a creeping shame over an idiosyncratic kettle. How would we manage when church folk showed up to assist us with long-neglected decorating tasks? How could I expect them to cope with a dysfunctional kettle on top of everything else? Pride was at stake. Our lives have had so much trouble and turmoil that the house reflected it, shouting out our neediness.

Relinquishing my ‘lady of the house’ role had been a slow, gradual process over many years of worsening health problems. Yet my brain still acted like I was in charge. So I went online and ordered something new, neglecting to inform my husband, knowing deep down he would see it as an unnecessary extravagance at a time of greater belt-tightening. Once it arrived, I confessed.

He was hurt. Not only about the deceit, but mainly because it demonstrated a lack of cooperation and trust in him. How could I agree verbally, yet go ahead behind his back and do otherwise? And it  flagged up loud and clear my old insecurity issues. Those ‘what will they think?’ worries and concerns that have plagued me all my life. Those, ‘I’m not enough’ feelings of shame that sit heavy in my spirit.

However much I wanted to kid myself I was over them, they continued to haunt me. The child for whom ‘broken’ was a symbol of her innocence, her family life, her trust. The adult who put on insecurity and inadequacy as easily as she wore her pajamas, instead of clothing herself in a robe of righteousness, garment of grace and covering of love. The woman who has a broken body and lives in a falling-apart home.

I cried tears of regret over how I’d valued other people’s opinions over my beloved’s trust.  Then I wept again over how far I still needed to go on this journey to rid my life of the love idols of people-approval and seeing myself as sick and wounded rather than who I am in Christ.

And when I calmed, I sensed God speaking. His gentle words of reassurance were balm to my troubled heart. A life lived under the scrutiny of others is a sad one indeed. He offers us a life of freedom, hope, release and grace. God already sees me as whole, healed, restored in every area of brokenness. My task is to do the same. It was the ‘how to’ I was struggling with. I read Jennifer’s  book twice, highlighted areas of major import, absorbed its freeing message. That was just the beginning.

Like a tree standing root-deep in water, I needed to see myself in the mirror of His word, then immerse myself in its healing stream if I was to flourish and grow strong. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Believe its truth. Speak it out. Act like I was changed before change happened. I’m still a work in progress, moving forward step-by-step. Deep breath confession…

I’m Joy and I’m a recovering addict to people-approval, but I am also pre-approved by God’s amazing grace.

And so are you. Let’s believe and receive it. For the best gift we can offer ourselves, God and others is to be fully who He created us to be.

Joy is a grateful grace-dweller who weaves words out of the fabric of her days, penning poetry and prose in her PJs. Her desire is to seek the poetic in the prosaic and the eternal in the temporal.

As an M.E and chronic illness sufferer (who is also overcoming a painful past by the grace of God) she writes with a heart for the hurting, to support and encourage others who are struggling with life and faith issues.

She would love to connect with you at her blogs, ‘Words of Joy’, or ‘Poetry Joy’, and on Twitter or Facebook.

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.

THE PRINTABLES

LoveIdolPrintable_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!

by | December 16, 2014 | 8 comments

8 Comments

  1. Beth

    Joy, I am somewhat speechless because I could so relate to what you shared in this post.
    “I’m Beth and I’m a recovering addict to people-approval, but I am also pre-approved by God’s amazing grace.”
    I truly loved, loved this post. Blessings to you, friend. So grateful our paths crossed in this beautiful blogging world. xoxo

    Reply
    • Joy Lenton

      Beth, I am thankful for your kindness, your friendship, and for your company on the journey toward greater wholeness and healing. It feels scary to share our skeletons but they rattle loud, demanding to be heard one way or another.
      And in the sharing we have solidarity with all who feel likewise, all who are hurting, damaged people becoming healed, enlivened and changed bit by bit by the grace of God. xox 🙂

      Reply
    • Joy Lenton

      Thank you, Elizabeth. I have reason to be grateful for my name, though I struggle to live up to it at times! Yet it is one of the strongest reminders I have that the “joy of the Lord” is my strength. He proves it time and again in adversity. 🙂 x

      Reply
  2. Mary Zatkalik

    I’m loving the word Preapproved these days and finding that I say it often! You call people pleasing what is…pride and getting to the root is so healing. We can get the victory by speaking God’s Word over ourselves and believing Him.

    Reply
    • Joy Lenton

      Me too, Mary. It’s so freeing, isn’t it? I actually had to reread my post to catch what you saw here! It seems the writer of a piece can often miss its salient points that God directs others to notice. You are so right in what you say about the power of “speaking God’s word over ourselves” and the importance of also “believing Him” over and above our feelings. Thank you. 🙂 x

      Reply
  3. JViola79

    Beautiful post, Joy. Such truth >>>> “Like a tree standing root-deep in water, I needed to see myself in the mirror of His word, then immerse myself in its healing stream if I was to flourish and grow strong.” Only in His stream will we find healing. Your words brought to mind, For Your Splendor by Christy Nockels (which I am now playing while typing). Thank you for this most beautiful reminder! “With my roots deep in you, I’ll grow the branch that bears the fruit.” Blessings!

    Reply
    • Joy Lenton

      Joanne, I love those words, “With my roots deep in you, I’ll grow the branch that bears the fruit”! May we keep our roots deep in His healing stream as we learn how to develop fruitfulness to bless others with. Thank you for joining in the conversation and adding your own beautiful insights. Blessings to you! 🙂 x

      Reply

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