beautiful desperation
beautiful desperation
beautiful desperation
Beautifully desperate for God.

BEAUTIFUL DESPERATE

“You are not the forgotten one.”

I hear it–a statement, simple enough, from a Father who pursues. He wants this truth to sink in deep this time. He wants me to believe it: Achievement does not make any person more worthy of love.

“You are not the forgotten one. You are the chosen one.”

Oh, Father. Take this heart that doubts your truth. Kill it in me. Give me a new heart. Help me deny the temptations of this world.

Yes, something in us has to die to make room for God’s truth.

WAKING UP

The fire in the hearth blazes. I sit with blanket pulled across my chest, turquoise plaid wool tucked under my feet. The house sleeps, but I know, God, You’re here. Early morning comes like a new beginning, a chance to awake, once more, to truth. A chance to put to death, once more, these lies.

Believing truth is a battle hard-fought and won. Other messages–the dark ones, the desperate ones–the eager pokes and prods to our heart that cause anxiety, doubt, insecurity–are so much easier, sometimes, to believe.

My head, so rational (usually) knows my value is not determined by the world’s definition of success: numbers, on a platform or a scale; beauty, from youth or wealth. My head knows this. My head recognizes the voice of the Father, the voice that has saved my life, given me hope when there was shame, new life when despair reigned.

But yet I still struggle to believe it. My heart rebels against my mind. My mind struggles to convince my heart.

THE PROBLEM

There is such good for us, we daughters of God–such a beautiful life, right here, right now. But rather than energized, we feel exhausted. Rather than free, we feel stuck. We are not made to feel overwhelmed, lost, depleted. And when we do? That’s how we know, in our spirit, that it is time to die again. It is time to break agreements we have made with the enemy about our worth. It is time to receive more of our King’s real life.

“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25).

Over and over, I must give Jesus my heart. Over and over, I must discern what agreements I have made with the enemy and then immediately break them. Over and over, I must die to myself. There was a significant dying in me once before. It has helped me see the value of not delaying in doing it again.

A ROCK HARD HEART

Once upon a time, God, in his tenderness, saw his daughter cowering, a rock upon her chest, dragged down by deceit and pride and shame. And he lifted the rock off of her. He asked her if she wanted to keep her unchanged heart–a heart conditioned to lie and to pretend and to work to create an image that is anything but true. And for a while, she rejected Him. She could not imagine facing her sin. She could not imagine confessing and opening her heart.  So she said no. She was fine. And He let her stay, just like that, for two decades, a secret kept, a heart locked up, a rock upon her chest.

Not only from friends and family, but from my own self, I kept the secret of my abortion. I pushed it down, refused to think about it. I convinced myself that deception was a much better way to live than showing the world my scars. If I could hide my bad choices, my regrets, why wouldn’t I? Why reveal what I had done, who I really am, what I am capable of?

I kept the truth about me a secret, and, in doing so, I convinced myself, for two decades, that if no one knew what I did–what I am still capable of doing–I would be okay. The world was my idol. Keeping up an appearance in which everything looked beautiful, put together, polished and tidy and good made me feel that I was beautiful, put together, polished and tidy and good. I wanted to be these things. And convincing the world that I was these things was easy–easier, at least, than admitting it was actually a lie. All of it.

But there was a cost.

THE COST

The cost of the lie was my heart. I made an agreement with the enemy that I am only loved because of what I do. I made an agreement that if I, in my sin, am capable of so much deceit, of treachery, of murder, then surely I am no good. And I wasn’t ready to deal with that reality. So, rather than surrender my heart, my pain–confess my sin–I buried it.

Those decades of hiding my heart from God were some of the loneliest of my life.

“You are not the forgotten one.”

Old wounds healed. But new agreements made.

I feel myself wrestling to lay down my life again.

It is time.

EVEN THOUGH IT FEELS TOO GOOD TO BELIEVE

We are loved. We are loved despite of our sin. We are loved despite are weaknesses. And even though it feels too good to believe, even though, of course, we do not deserve it, this is the only path to Life. We must lay down our life; we must break agreements with the enemy; we must waste no more time in pretending to be strong, insisting on being stubborn.

We can’t do this life on our own, right here, right now. We are desperate for God. Beautifully desperate. And that is more–so much more–than okay.

This desperation for God is why I listened for God’s voice and I created Loop. This desperation for God is why I listened for God’s voice and I created Breathing Eden. This desperation for God is why I listen and I spend hours each morning creating a new project I am so eager to share with you soon.

And this is why, in whatever I write now, I endeavor to do it with vulnerability. For it is my vulnerability, my weakness, that is my strength. It is a lie from the enemy that tries to convince me that the opposite of this is true.

I am tired of believing lies.

SO, WHAT NOW?

How do we take steps, each day, to surrender?

How do we take steps, each day, to pick up our cross, be confident in our weaknesses, let God be our rock, our stronghold, our warrior, our King, our strength?

Let me know if you’d like me to share with you what I do. In the meantime, here is the truth I cling to: we are so beautifully desperate for God. And that’s a good thing.

What practical thing do you do in response to your desperation for God?

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Showing 36 comments
  • Nicole Leonard
    Reply

    I read His Word daily, gather with a group of women for Growth Group weekly, and play worship music LOUD and OFTEN.
    Thank you for sharing your story. I know too well the carrying of a stone in my chest. And I know the freedom that comes with letting it go. But I also know the painful consequence of sin, trying to silence the evil words of the devil, and the feeling of overwhelming shame and regret.
    The desire to be obedient. To die to my flesh. Why is it soooo hard?
    I’m struggling right now, but seeking Him anyway.
    I’d love to hear about your daily steps to cross-bearing.

    • A clark
      Reply

      Thank you for sharing this.
      It helped my husband and I we have been going through Ill health and other issues for sometime now.
      It is difficult to be vulnerable but it is the only way God can work and that others will believe there is hope.
      I have attending a CBT workshop and I thought Iwas failing God by attending but it is so easy to see Gods hand in it.
      Our core beliefs are the same as wounds and anxiety prediction if when we are listening to the enemy and not Gods truth.
      Our rules are the same as Strongholds or Captivity.
      Plus it has shown me how having a faith does work and I don’t get effected by guilt as much as Jesus takes all of that if we hand it over

      • Jennifer Camp
        Reply

        Oh, sister, you are so wise. Thank you. Yes, let’s continue to be vulnerable. I love how you recognize Jesus in your choices to trust Him. Such encouragement to me.

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      I love this so much–“I’m struggling right now, but seeking Him anyway.” Yes! Right there with you, sister. He is here. I pray we feel His arms around us now, Nicole. I love that we can.

  • Lisa
    Reply

    Wow!!! I needed this today! The wrestle of my heart…..the longing and wanting to be free from the chains of guilt, shame, pride and performance. When will I give all of my heart….when will I lay down the veil that separates me from the One who knows me…the One who bids me to come and live in the freedom He provides……this is my heart’s desire! Please share your steps.

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Hi Lisa, yes, these are chains! And we can be free of them! I love your heart’s desire for wanting to be free. Surrendering with you now, His dear one. I love connecting with you here. And I will write a post soon about how we can surrender and lean in to Him more.

  • Barbara Dobbelaire
    Reply

    I would love to know what you do

  • Theresa Boedeker
    Reply

    I needed your truth today. And God’s truth. I am not forgotten. And I must die and surrender myself anew each day. Yes, if we were not so beautifully desperate for God we would not seek him. We would not feel his grace and love and the whispering of our name on his lips. Yes, let us know more.

  • Lizann Painter
    Reply

    Hello friends – I am new to this group so bear with me as I bare my heart. I have been set free by one word, one prayer and also by walking out the truth over long periods but it has always been specific, Loop-type words that have set me free which is why I love your listening and hearing so much Jennifer. It takes a lot of being willing to be still, yet another journey of surrender.

    so I share a fresh insight Father gave me re sin and temptation: He said; “when a thought comes, see your life like a tree rooted but branches in the wind. See the thought fly through your branches, don’t focus on these and they will fly through. This does not make you sinful or sinning. Just let it blow through, it does not define you. Stay rooted in my overwhelming love for you that you are redeemed and will remain redeemed. this is how you work out your Salvation”.

    Precious friends, be blessed today!

    Love, Lizann

    • Yolanda
      Reply

      I love that insight of the tree Lizann. So true!

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Lizann, this is so refreshing! Thank you so very much!

  • Michelle
    Reply

    Once upon a time, God, in his tenderness, saw his daughter cowering, I have a rock upon on my chest which is being dragged down by anger,hurt,shame,desperation and deceit. I’m fighting God, I don’t trust him anymore because so much has happened to me. My heart is beginning to become unchanged; pretending to be something that i am not in a bid to run away. Creating an image that is far from the truth. I have inner conflict, I’m still rejecting God because i have fallen and do not think he will ever take me back again ,,,because i fell knowingly. I’m not able to face my sins. I am not able and can’t begin to imagine confessing and opening my heart. I don’t think i’ll ever be able to get up again or be accepted by God or those who i have sinned against. There’s a rock upon my chest…

    Just like you Jennifer, I believe,,,
    I kept the truth about me a secret, and, in doing so, I convinced myself, for two decades, that if no one knew what I did–what I am still capable of doing–I would be okay. The world was my idol. Keeping up an appearance in which everything looked beautiful, put together, polished and tidy and good made me feel that I was beautiful, put together, polished and tidy and good. I wanted to be these things. And convincing the world that I was these things was easy–easier, at least, than admitting it was actually a lie. All of it.

    But there is a cost.

    THE COST

    The cost of the lie is my heart. And with each day, i can feel myself slipping away

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Dear Michelle, it is a powerful thing to even see–to recognize–how you are choosing to pull away from God. That awareness shows your awareness of His pursuit of you. He is so close, sister. He loves you as much now as He ever has. Crazy-beautiful. Yes, He can help you accept it. These new beginnings with Him are just the best. Praying for you now.

  • Babbi
    Reply

    Oh the lies. Living with them so long they seemed like truth. But one day I woke up tired of the battle. Knowing down deep I lived in these lies. How many are there I don’t even realize are lies? Just last week I
    prayed and asked God to help me let each one go. To see the opposite. To live in His love and truth. And be able to accept it. It’s not so easy some days when you’ve lived them so long. So to see this blog makes me happy. Write more please.

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Hi Babbi, I love your desire for more of Him! Yes, He wants nothing to separate us from Him, and He will lead us toward these steps that help us stay close.

  • Martha Jordan
    Reply

    Good morning. I look forward to your blogs and Loops. They have blessed me in so many ways, Ms. Jennifer.
    I too have harden my heart. I have gone through so much heart felt pain. Our God does disciplines whom he loves. And He showed His love to me. That’s where I learned humility. I am not beautiful forgotten. I have surrendered all. Thank God for Never leaving me inspite of myself. He delivered me from myself,

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Hi Martha, I love connecting with you here–a sister who knows she is loved no matter what. So beautiful and encouraging to me. Thank you.

  • Billie Jo
    Reply

    I would love to hear your daily steps

  • Rogene
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story. I love Loop and your blogs. I often use them as a devotional for a women’s small group that I lead. When I am listening to Christian music and praising God is when I truly feel my heart soften and an amazing connection to Him. I spent almost 15 years having a hardened heart and there are still times I struggle with returning to that place but by God’s amazing grace and mercy, He brings me close to Him when I call. He has released me from so much of the pain and heartache I was carrying. I am trying to live every day dying to myself and living for Christ.

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Rogene, I love how He brings us close to Him, again and again!

  • Kathleen Keillor
    Reply

    This totally spoke to me! It came from my mouth in prayer to opening up your invitation to come to your blog. I love how God leads. But yes Jennifer, I need to know how to break the agreements and free myself from the lies. It’s been a vicious cycle my entire life; over 50 years.
    I’ve been in biblical counseling for 5 years and I’ve made strides, but this, this particular thing, working for love and acceptance, and for other unspeakables, has me trapped. Thank you for this blog and for Loop. It really helps be believe Jesus is right there talking these things to me.

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Kathleen, yes, it is so easy to believe we are trapped . . . when, in truth, we are free. But we struggle with so many things of this world–wounds and regrets and sin and shame. It is beautiful how He continues to pursue us, never turning, and desires our healing and wholeness in Him. Bless you, sister, as you continue to lean in. What a beautiful thing He is doing in you.

  • Tammie
    Reply

    Oh my gosh, are you in my head? Lol! Everything you described is me. To a T. Except I had 2 abortions. I’ve asked for forgiveness countless time. My head knows, my heart can’t grasp it. I strive to achieve things and give up because I feel I’m failing. I care too much about appearances. I can encourage and advise and help people all day long, but I’m a hot mess. But you’d never know it. Not even my best friend who is my husband. He knows about the abortions from 20 years ago. But most people don’t. I cry out to Jesus for help but I feel like my ears are plugged and I can’t get any answers. I can take 1 step forward and be praising Him with all I’ve got, then wham! Another trial, another failure, another setback or more opposition. I would LOVE any advice you have, Jennifer. Your posts are often what I need to hear.

    • Tammie
      Reply

      P.S. I hate being vulnerable. 😔

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Tammie, the hardest work for me was accepting His steadfast love–believing it–when He showed me how He was with me, even when I made the decision to have the abortion. What I mean is, despite my turning from Him, Jesus loves me. And that is so, so, crazy and beautiful and powerful . . . just the most amazing thing. And then, when I realized how much He loves me, when I began to let myself feel it, I then had trouble loving myself, forgiving myself . . . and He met me (and continues to meet me) there too. Sharing your heart openly with Him, and with another trusted friend–and having dear friends pray over you, listening for His voice to replace the lies you have been believing, is a good start. . . Just keep pursuing Him, listening for what He has. There is always, always more healing. And it is so good. He does not let you go.

  • Sandie Heckman
    Reply

    Jen – I love your blog – love your FB page, love your writing. Thank you!
    I etched a fine line cross on my wrist.
    I sat there this morning staring at the cross and I found this fine line at the edge of sunrise, where the sun rises at the edge of the New morning. A fine line of red and blue that greet each other in the new day. Fine lines at sunset, fine lines on our face that others see and know we are aging with grace, and each smile or frown starts the edge of a new fine line. “Fine”we say to others as they ask how we are. “I am fine” when asked “how are you,” but am I really?
    Are you fine or hurting, and those layers of your heart where your fine is hurting, are kept tucked neatly inside for you dare not speak your truth? Are you fine with Jesus? Afraid to expose to Him how you’re really feeling? He meets me at my fine lines. He knows my fineness, my edgy edges and He’s defining who I am in Him.
    Our heart beats and the cracks in our heart – those fine line cracks from being hurt or in pain, lost loves, fear of not being good enough – are where God meets us. He fills these cracks with love because we are enough.
    I met Him at the fine line of truth today, the edge of forgiveness where He just loves to smooth out my lines with grace and hope.

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Oh, Sandie, I am just soaking up your beauty here. Thank you. So grateful for your heart and for your wisdom.

  • Susie Q
    Reply

    I am so desperate for God. I cry through everything I receive from you. I am in a place where all I have spent my life focused on has come to completion. My kids are grown and I have retired from my career and now all I have to focus on is me. The mess I have hidden behind life. always something more important for me to spend my time and energy on, now just me and God. The mirror isn’t pretty. I looked up and saw what a mess I have become. Once the layers of other importance were lived and I could see me, it was difficult to digest what I had let myself become. The pain from the past, hidden unattended. THe wounded ness from childhood, divorce, rejection, abuse left unattended and even I in acknowledged for years. Here it is staring me in my face. Now what? Now where do I go, what do I do. How do I dig my way out from underneath all these rocks?
    God has been with me, he and I would hit the ground running every morning, taking care of children, tending to life, always looking ahead, being prepared and getting ready for the next thing. Now. The next thing is me. Healing the wounds, working through the sin and pain, weeding through the past, finding my way from rejected to accepted, from shame to mercy and grace, from deceit to truth, finding my way from the begged to the queen.
    I must admit I am raw and it hurts everyday I face myself and my pain but as the wounds are healing the new growth is strong, peaceful, beautiful, confident, loving and in love with my savior.
    I am desperate for God and come to find out He is desperate for me. To my God There is no such thing as things more important than me.

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Sister, It is so beautiful that it isn’t up to you to dig yourself out. Your King rescues you, but it is difficult to know how to claim His rescue, on our own. So, I am praying for community around you with whom you can share this face to face. And a counselor for you to spend time with regularly. These were steps I took, the beginning of healing. For God gives us community, His hands and feet, to help us in our struggle. It is time to attend to the wounds, the pain. And it is time to not try to do it alone.

  • Wendy
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing. I look forward to your email every day. The unconditional Love that God has given me keeps me going. To surrender in my deepest, darkest moment was when his light shinned. It truly was as if a light came on and I could see again. Even more, to have Peace in my heart. GOD LOVES US. He is patient.

  • Tracey
    Reply

    Sometimes your honesty and vulnerability strikes such a chord in me that it wrecks me- ok that is pretty much all the time. God has pursued this girl’s heart of stone vigorously this past year. He has been so faithful to tenderly bring things into the light, not to shame me but to heal me. He has put beautiful women in my life to walk with me and yet the weight of the world feels like it continues to crush me. I was certain that this redemption journey would lead to reconciliation in my family and instead it is ending in divorce. I believed “For I know the plans I have for you….plans to give you a hope and a future” and I lost my job on January 5th after being separated for only two months. I am barely holding on most days but He has not left me. Lies scream loudly of my failure as a wife and as a friend and as a mom. Lies scream that I’ll never be happy……I write truth cards (scripture on index cards) and flip through them many times a day proclaiming His truth over my life. The struggle is real but so is He.

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