There are stories that have yet to be told, yet to be whispered, even in the dark when we believe no one could possibly hear. But we wonder yet if these words, hidden in secret places, could be gathered up. We wonder if there is a place for them. For the question is about more than words. It’s about the claiming of our stories, often the ones most difficult to speak out loud.

I know.

It’s hard to share. There is fear of rejection; we’re convinced that the person to whom we share will condemn us. There is shame, the cruel and twisted feelings of humiliation at having sinned. We want to keep the story secret. It’s a story too painful to tell. There is disbelief that sharing the story–even a story of beauty, or joy–will help. We think it surely can’t bring about any healing–for the person listening, or for us.

So we struggle, even, to open up our hearts to God.

And sometimes we don’t even know what the prayer is, until it is unearthed, the Spirit searching our heart and revealing to us the hidden, fragile places that need to be coaxed into the light.

I know.

It can feel impossible to discern, sometimes, how to pray. It can feel impossible that the beginning of prayer–sharing our heart with God–can even do any good. I know this from my own experience, and from leading women’s groups for years. And I’ve been wondering why we feel this way.

And I’ve also been wondering what it might be like to walk like Eve did, with God.

What would it be like for us right now, in our particular life situation, to hear God’s whispers?

Breathing Eden NYC SoHo
We can so easily feel overwhelmed and stuck because we have only considered our situation from our own perspective. We believe that our truth is the truth, the only truth. But, actually, there is more.

What would happen to our outlook on our situation if we listened to what God thinks about it. If God spoke into our struggle, our joy, our uncertainty, our pain, how would our lives be different? How would we view our situation if our prayers were conversations and we heard God’s answers back?

I bet we would awake to new life–God’s light, God’s fresh air, God’s new perspective on our situation. I bet we would be open to considering our situation, our story, our life, with new eyes.

This is breathing Eden, experiencing new life, intimacy, with God.

I decided I want this kind of life, this new outlook on my circumstances, right here, right now. So I started capturing women’s stories–the brutally vulnerable, the beautifully raw. Then I asked God what He thought of it all. And I wrote that down too.
Breathing Eden NYC

What what He said was never what I expected, but always what I hoped.

Breathing Eden is a book containing the stories of women whose raw, honest prayers needed to be heard.


The women of Breathing Eden

Some of the stories were inspired by real life women I’ve met. But many of the stories were of women I have yet to meet face to face. Similar to how I wrote Loop, I listened intently for God’s voice. I waited, I looked for Him. Who is she, Father? What is she doing? What do you see? How is she crying out to You?

What was different about writing Breathing Eden was that I asked God to show me a picture of a woman He wanted me to see. I would see an image of her, in a scene, a moment. These visuals, in my imagination, prompted the writing of each story. Even in the few stories inspired by women I know in real life, the words to their stories also began with an image in my mind. I prayed, as I wrote, to be able to listen to their stories clearly. I listened carefully to what they had to say.

Then, after I wrote down each woman’s prayer, I listened for what God wanted to say to her, making the prayer complete. And I wrote that down too.

I did this forty times.

Breathing Eden cover

It was difficult immersing myself in each woman’s story. It stretched me emotionally so much that I would feel it physically. Yet, in each conversation I found that, no matter our circumstance, God doesn’t want us to stay in the same place. He feels our pain; He binds our wounds. He rejoices with us when we celebrate. He knows that we ache to breathe Him in.

And He loves it when we do.

God wants to fill our life with light, fresh air, and new things.

This book is actually more than a set of forty conversations. It is particularly designed for the reader to engage in each story. Each conversation contains exercises for individual study or for small groups to dive in together.


The big news

On October 4, Breathing Eden: Conversations with God on Light, Fresh Air, and New Things, is releasing, through Zeal Books. Quarter-backed by Don Jacobson, Zeal has been amazing to work with; I couldn’t imagine a more gifted, supportive, and creative publishing team. But you know what is something to get excited about today? We can preorder Breathing Eden on Amazon right now and get additional resources that I hope will make your reading of the book even more impactful.

Breathing Eden blog header text pre-order green

Breathing Eden pre-order incentives (1)*To claim the pre-order gifts, email me (jennifer@gatherministries.com) a copy of the receipt with the subject line: Breathing Eden pre-order. Easy, right? And continue to check out the Breathing Eden book page, as more information is added.

Want to tell me what excites you about the book, or what questions you have?

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Showing 32 comments
  • Ginny Thibodeau
    Reply

    Oh Jennifer I just think this is going to be a blessing for the people you share it with as well as yourself! You have brought tears to my eyes as I’m reading this, I have grown so much in my relationship with God just by reading your posts and the prayer loop. Thank you so much!? Realizing that there are so many people that need hope even the most strongest ministers have doubts and need prayer. It makes me know that I’m not going through this alone. And God didn’t intend for me to. I have seeked out other groups at my church to join, I have shared. I know through my sorrows that God will give me a place far better than I can ever imagine. I may have peace and rest,happiness for ever with him. Thank you Lord! Thank you Jennifer bless you.

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Ginny, I am so grateful for your words here. They are such encouragement to me. I love that you have risked and been courageous in sharing your heart with the community God has brought into your life. It feels scary, such vulnerability. Yet, such healing often begins here. Bless you as you continue to seek Him and listen for Him and follow Him with your whole heart, sister!

  • Denise Burns
    Reply

    Please . . . divorce coming to a. End. Sister I’m struggling. Not only with constant physical pain but emotional. I need prayer. My children need prayer. I am struggling after many years of fighting for faith and God, Jesus Christ & Holy Spirit and what is right ! I feel abanded….. Where is God ? After being married (24 1/2 yrs.s ) to a emotional manipulator and having three children and health issues that are going to be ” I’m told” forever. The rest of my living life. Working hard ,as not only a faithful mother, wife, daughter , sister, friend and finally believer ! Where is God? Evil is winning in every aspect of my life. My Children , finances , health home in every imaginable way. The manipulating husband & father that I’ve spent half my life with is being aloud by some evil spirit to deviistate all of us four and kick my physical legs from out under me and LIVE.! And live great. My children are and have been being ruined for many years. As me. And with courage I said “enough” !!! After two years of a separate life completely. The children and I get to feel the deviation of his spite for this not sometimes but daily.!! As I try to stay above water / drowning in everyway. My children are so captured by this man in two visitation a month that it needs psyc. Visits and medicines and my faith to try to win them back the rest of the time from evil spirited confusions ! I feel truly left alone as well as losing my mother whom i cherished two years ago as well. My pastors & family , and friends council and prayers seems to open the gates of hell even more ?! Lost sister and drowning at 48 with three children ( 18,16,8) whom I cherish with all my heart. I can’t even $ provide for them like they are bought twice a month by this child like father whom has lied and hurt me for half my life. So I said after years of standing up for the lord !!! Also suffering in pain everyday with the physical .,, Why?

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Dear sister, His beloved daughter–your email right here is the reason I wrote this book. The book begins, in the introduction, with me sharing the agony and frustration of feeling overwhelmed by life’s situations and searching, in desperation, for hope. “How can I bear it, Father?” we ask? We cry out our prayers and we plead for him to hear. If the prayers ended there, what hope would there be? If it is only our words, our heart crying out, and the doubting of HIs hearing, or caring, or rescuing, we flounder and sink, deeper still.

      You are not alone here, dear one, even though, I know, it feels like you totally are. That is a lie. You are surrounded by His angels. You are pursued by your King. You are held and adored and cared for, the Spirit in you, asking if you want more of HIm. There is a conversation now, the other side of the story that you are invited to hear. I stand with you, lifting you up, listening.

      Let’s listen for God’s response to the situation. There is never not hope where He is. And if you want to join with other sisters and pray, in a larger community, and listen for His voice, I invite you to join me at Loop Prayer Sisters. https://www.facebook.com/groups/LoopPrayerSisters/ We stand with you.

      Much love,

      Jennifer

  • Tonya
    Reply

    Denise…I just want you to know that I am going to be lifting you and your broken family up to God in my daily prayers!!! Please keep leaning on the Lord for your strength through this difficult time in your life…may He carry you through it and may your light shine brighter because of your suffering!!!

  • Tara Stitts
    Reply

    Hello Denise,
    I’m in agreement with Tonya and Jennifer. We lift you up in prayer. I’m a firm believer in the scripture “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

    • Shaila
      Reply

      Amen, all things are possible through Christ Jesus who strengthens us…

      • Ginny Thibodeau
        Reply

        Amen! Denise praying for you and your family!

        • Denise Burns
          Reply

          Thank you Ginny, Jennifer and all the woman who are praying for my kids and I. Your a new blessing to my life ,as we really need each other. Keep praying girls as I for you also. Thank you & in Christ Jesus,
          Denise Burns ❤️ Kids

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Tara, I love standing with you, sister.

  • Denise Burns
    Reply

    Thanks so much

  • Thecla musima
    Reply

    I wait patiently for this book to come out. I feel blessed already.

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      I am so thrilled, Thecla! Thank you so much for your encouragement!

  • Thecla musima
    Reply

    Hello denise i say goodmorning to your life. We all have thesame problems camourflage differently. Remember he knows it all and nothing can separate you from him. Keep your headhigh up. Because you are the head and nit the tail.

  • Madelein Viljoen
    Reply

    I am so excited for whats comming…God is so awsome….every Loop mail is an absolute blessing and I love to share this with my friends…so the book will be captured in our hearts….for what He promise….and we take it….will happen.
    My brother is suffering with cancer and my struggle with God was just lifted with a new song so I took the invite “Come dance with Me” that you shared…and from that morning the Holy Spirit took me and since then…..I am dancing….
    Blessings to you and stay UNSTOPPABLE…..fot the Lord our God is mighty….Blessings

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Madelein, you are fierce and beautiful, sister. I am so grateful for your words, your faith, the way you look and choose to see God. You bless me so much. Thank you.

  • leonie
    Reply

    Hi jennifer it is a real blessing to be able to read whatever GOD HAS PLACED IN YOUR HEART FOR US AS WOMAN .WHEN U READ OR LISTEN TO OTHER WOMAN S STORIES THEN U ACTUALY NO THAT YOURS ARE NOTHING COMPARE TO THOSE THATS GOING THROUGH ABUSED LIFESTYLE. GOD BLESS YOU I FEEL BLESS TO BE PART OF THIS THAT GOD HAS GIVEN YOU IT INSPIRE ME ALOT AND LOOK AT LIFE POSSITIVE LY GOD BLESS

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Hi Leonie,

      It is indeed such a treasure to listen to one another’s stories–to endeavor to listen with the Spirit’s ears and eyes and heart. Yes, it is beautiful to be able to do that–to have women who are vulnerable and brave.

      Yes, let’s continue to go forward together.

  • Allison Vigna
    Reply

    We would like to interview you on our christian Talk radio program.
    Please contact us for more info.
    Thank you
    Ally

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Hi Ally, Thank you so much for reaching out! I will send you an email. 🙂

  • Christie
    Reply

    Jennifer: May God richly bless this new endeavor. I cannot imagine the personal cost to you, but I know He has, and will continue to, pour out His grace, love & blessings in response to your precious devotion to Him and His daughters whom He loves. Your Loop devos have been such an amazing encouragement to me these past months as I walk thru a new season in my life – retirement. It wasn’t what I thought it would be, yet I know it’s no surprise to God. He know what He is doing at all times and it is always for our benefit. I was in women’s ministries for many years but am now without the comfort & support of Christian sisters, since my husband can’t seem to find a church family in our new location that “suits” him. Thankfully, the Internet provides things like FB, emails, and blogs like yours, so I’m learning that the comfort & support doesn’t always have to happen in person (although old-fashioned me – at 66 – still feels that there’s no replacement for a physical touch). Thank you again for your precious service to him.

    To Denise: please try to find a local women’s group, thru a church, or even sometimes your local chamber of commerce will list non-denominational or inter-denominational groups you can attend. They may say “bible study” or something, but if it’s a group of God-loving women, you will find amazing support, love, prayers, and the wisdom of what others have gone thru. Next to the Lord Himself, my Christian sisters from ladies ministries have been the thing that helped me navigate an unhappy marriage, unexpected pregnancies, a near-divorce, a child in jail, a runaway daughter at 15, a very unhappy & controlling husband and many, many more of life’s challenges. I’m so grateful that God led me as He did – and is still leading. I am praying for you & your children. Don’t give up. Those kids need you to find that strength in the Lord.

    Thanks again, Jennifer. Sorry this was so long. ?

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Christie, I am so happy you shared here. You are steadfast, intent on finding and claiming your God despite difficult circumstances. You encourage me greatly. And what a blessing you are to sisters here. Thank you.

  • Rita Lewis
    Reply

    Denise
    My husband left me the day I had a stroke and was in the hospital my daughter took my granddaughter and left also. I have not seen or heard from them since December 20 2015 except for the divorce papers. Please know you are not always alone. Keep your focus on God and those children. If you truly give these things to God (take your burdens to the Lord leave them there) you will be blessed. I am living by proof. I know it’s hard but the harder you lean on God leaving your thoughts out the more you will see his Grace his Blessings and his answers to your prayers. Take care of those kids without bashing your husband and you will see an amazing transformation.
    God Bless

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      I love your heart, Rita. I love how you encourage with His truth–that you bless others from the love He has given you. Thank you.

      • Rita Lewis
        Reply

        Thanks can’t wait for your book
        God Bless

  • LaShondra
    Reply

    Jennifer, I can only say Wow!! It’s as if you come and wrote from my heart the things I’ve tried to put into words for my Heavenly Father. I adore Him so! Thank thank you for obeying and sharing your gift of heart with the Body of Christ..???

    LaShondra

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      LaShondra, this is the best! I am a big smile on my face now. Thank you so much, sister!

  • Jennie
    Reply

    I can’t wait to read this book. I’m inspired by the replies from the other women.And the way you have talked about it. Looking forward to getting the book so I can start reading it. Thank you for inspiring me by your words.

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Jennie, I am encouraged by these beautiful voices, too. How amazing to be gathered up with such women. I am so glad you’re here, sister.

  • Sherry
    Reply

    There’s a situation in my extended family that is of such concern. There isn’t a day without thoughts of “What are you doing in this God?” I’m learning to trust more fully, but the burden has to be resubmitted to God many times a day. He has me in a waiting period, and it’s the hardest I’ve ever experienced. For two years, there has been only an occasional encouragement regarding the situation, but not real change or peace. I am listening and anticipating God’s will and answer. I hope to “learn the story behind the book”, Breathing Eden. Thank you for sharing these words with your readers.
    Sincerely.

  • Roxanne
    Reply

    Our son and daughter-in- law ate getting a divorce e after 14 years of marriage. They have two boys, 5 and 2. Our son was unfaithful and was viewing a lot of pornography through most of the marriage. Our son says his wife was cold, indifferent, as to his sexual needs, especially after children. Told him to just deal with it..our daughter-in-law says that our son was mean, hateful and scary at times. Initially we supported our daughter-in-law after our son dropped the bomb, via text, that he had been unfaithful at least a half a dozen times in the last 5 years and wanted a divorce. But since that time, August, we have talked to our son and found out that, like always, there are two sides to every story. Not excusing our sons behavior at all. .but our daughter -in-law has not been honest with us either about her part. Need prayers for our son and daughter-in-law and their children.

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