the messy beautiful

Father, my mind cannot grasp your greatness. I read your Word, your many feats–how you advocate for us, and my mind, my self-absorption, my pride, makes me focus on myself–my small problems, my small worries and cares. Your ways are good. You see beyond what I can see. You pursue justice. You ask us what we will do–if we will stand with you or against you, if we will both appreciate the lives you’ve given us, the opportunities to love and do what is good, in your name, or if we will, instead, fight our own fight, for our own glory.

Lord, forgive me for how I forget you. It is horrible, and it is true. I am your daughter, the one you love. Yet, my ways are not your ways. And I surrender my ways now. I give you my heart again, with all of its stubbornness, feelings of entitlement, self-hatred, judgemental attitudes.

Here I am, confident that, if you want me to, I can hear your voice, and yet how often do I ignore it? How often do you speak and I close my ears? How often do you open your arms and I run to comfort in other things? Productivity, achievement, food, things? How often do you weep at the injustice of this world and I close my eyes and heart to what is right in front of me? How often do you feel frustration and anger and yet love and love and love?

You love me despite me. Your love has nothing to do with what I do, what I think. But it is your love that breaks open my heart. And my old self, the one who rails against you, dies at the foot of the cross. She cannot stand–this old self–at your feet, Jesus. In your presence, the false parts of her wither; all of the sin in her completely destroyed. Take her again, will you? Take this old self of mine. Take her and destroy her. Throw her into the fire and make her new. It is in death that new life comes. She needs your new life now.

Jesus, you are tireless in your love. You are kind and good. I pick up your cross, my new self–strong and confident in you, and the cross does its work. Again and again, I am made brand new. In all good things, Jesus, you are present.

Lord, be present in me now. I stand here, your beauty, your delight. I stand here, filled with love, capable of anything you have for me to do. You defeat all of my enemies. You crush my every foe. You pursue my heart, pointing out what gets in the way of me completely following you. You ask me–do you want all of me now? For this, right now, needs to go.

And I say yes. Right here, right now. I say yes. I want all of you. Whatever it takes. Remove from me what is not of you and destroy it now. Right here. I am filled with your love. I am filled with your truth. You, Jesus, are the Word come down. You, Jesus, are the Beginning before the beginning. Begin again, in me. I begin again, with you.

Have you listened yet, to Rush, our new podcast? Here is the latest episode, “How to Make the Walls Come Down.” 

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  • Thank you so much for writing this, Jennifer. This resonates so much in me. It’s so honest, freeing, intimate and bold.

    Thank you for sharing your heart!

  • Thank you for your honesty before me, the others sharing this devotional, and the Lord. There is such safety in honesty… no pretense, hiding or deceit. The Lord sees and knows the truth anyway.
    Intimacy is beautiful and freeing. Not many relationships are at that level. I long to know and be known.

  • Love it, Love it, Love it. God cannot put new wine in an old wineskin. So make me brand new Lord. Only you can!!!!!!

  • I so desperately want to say this prayer, Abba…but I know (fear?) “all of me” wouldn’t mean it. I am afraid….so afraid of the unknown….I don’t like who I am, but at least I know what to expect. I’m a hypocrite. I say one thing….and truly mean it w/all that I am at that moment….and the next moment, I’m turning my back to You. The “want” is there, but not the discipline. I realized a few days ago that I still fear Your wrath upon me for failing You. I say I’m going to start reading Your Word for just 15 minutes a day and I don’t…knowingly I don’t. I recognize I’m not good enough. Yeah, I know…..known of us are and You love us despite ourselves….blah, blah, blah…..and, truly, I’m not meaning I’m any worse — or better, for that matter — than anyone else. It’s self-condemnation. There it is….”self.” Why say, “I give you my heart again, with all of its stubbornness, feelings of entitlement, self-hatred, judgemental attitudes.” when I know that I know that I know I’m just going to keep screwing things up??? I’m going to keep trying to control the outcome. I heard something on the radio that I’d forgotten….any bad thing – evil thing that happens to us must first pass through You. Must. First. Pass. Through. You. If that’s true, then why? WHY?!

    Jennifer, thank you for what you do. I have cut my parents out of my life. I had to in order to survive….to start to heal. I thought my dad was the world…instead I find out he hurt me in a way no father ever should. There’s a darkness inside me that scares me….I know I must battle my way through it to the other side to become the woman Abba intended me to be. Reading the letters from Abba to His daughter(s)…..I need them. I do grieve for the physical touch of a father…a hug, a shoulder……..I’m rambling. Anyway, thank you and may He pour out His blessings upon you until they are overflowing.

    • Dear Cindy, I understand this place where you are–the self-condemnation part, the churning, the turmoil, the ache and exhaustion. I battle, even still, the lies of insecurity–which propels me to try to prove my worth, which I can’t do–and the cycle continues. I am seeing the growth in me though, as I let Him chase me, and I open my arms and let Him hold me. For He heals. He does. Although it can be a road that takes some effort on our part–counseling, or definitely a wise person with whom you are open and who loves God and who is willing to stand with you and fight alongside you for the Truth that is yours. I am praying for that person for you now.

      In the meantime, I am praying you also don’t feel alone. 40 stories of women crying out to God–stories of frustration, of pain–but ones of joy and hope, too–fill the pages of a book I wrote. And this is because there is more to our story than just our side of the conversation. We are desperate for God’s take on our situation too. Maybe these conversations will bring you hope too? Bless you, dear one. Please stay in touch. There is good for you. And the crying out to Him. .. yes, keep doing it. For He is also saying something back to you. Here is the link to the book: http://jenniferjcamp.wpengine.com/breathing-eden/

  • Dear Jennifer,I am sO blessed by this beautiful message‼️it is very true and I see me in every line you wrote.
    How evcellenr is our Lord Jesus Christ: ALWAYS excellent.
    Thanks for putting your heart in words for all to see/read and perhaps to understand the depth of it: like mining for the gold of Ophir?
    Shalom Shalom????????????

  • Very sweet! I didn’t read all of it as I find myself hating to read as I grow older for some reason. I’m hurt and angry with God as I’ve never been married and all I ever wanted. I’m now 56 can get plenty of dates, however, love, love is fleeting for me? I’m in love with someone and my heart is broken.. why God I now God doesn’t want us to ask why.. however, I can’t figure out and feel hurt and anxiety .. life should be better than this God. Why make us if it’s to suffer. I want his hear Lord/ Andre, save him and put me in his heart lord or please take him out of mine i pray. Thank you for sharing. God bless you. Lord please.

    • Antoinette, thank you so much for your vulnerability here. It is beautiful. And powerful. His plans are never to have us suffer. His plans are always good. So keep pressing in, dear one. He knows your heartache. He hears your cries. He loves you more than you know. I am praying now for you to feel His closeness, in the midst of your anger and your pain.

  • Oh what a blessing to hear this expression of deep crying out to deep.
    May the Lord continue to use you Jennifer to be the beautiful blessing of God to the very heart of Him and women every where. Such poured out, intimate truth and honest devotion and longing for a deeper knowing and walk with our Lord. Bless you brave heart ????

  • Absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing this powerful blog, Jennifer, I am grateful for you!

  • Oh wow. This. My story. My cries. My Jesus. Thank you Jennifer, for Loop, for your podcast, for your heart, for your transparency. It blesses me in too many ways to count.

  • Oh Jen, your prayer stared up my heart so much.
    Often we say we say we want a heart like Jesus but get so consumed with our pride, whose right/wrong (of course we are never wrong in our own sight).
    This is what I a currently wrestling with, with a loved one. I ask myself “what would Jesus do?” But then go back consuming myself with self justification and acts of retaliation.
    I fall short to coming even to a fraction of HIS compassion, love and forgetting of self and suffering for my transgressions.

    Oh this is such a painful journey- laying down of self….. but then Jesus comforts me by reminding me that HE is with me always, I do not have to thrive or do it alone, that I am enough and loved by HIM. That HE delights in me.
    That I am in this world and not of it – I belong to HIM and I should not try to fit in or react the same way. If one hits the one cheek give them the other.

    So I also pray the same prayer as well…..

    “Lord, be present in me now. I stand here, your beauty, your delight. I stand here, filled with love, capable of anything you have for me to do. You defeat all of my enemies. You crush my every foe. You pursue my heart, pointing out what gets in the way of me completely following you. You ask me–do you want all of me now? For this, right now, needs to go.

    And I say yes. Right here, right now. I say yes. I want all of you. Whatever it takes. Remove from me what is not of you and destroy it now. Right here. I am filled with your love. I am filled with your truth. You, Jesus, are the Word come down. You, Jesus, are the Beginning before the beginning. Begin again, in me. I begin again, with you.”

    In Jesus Name,
    Amen

  • Just beautiful and what I needed to hear, all of it, painful but I know I need it, I love God with ALL my heart yet find myself doing and saying things I don’t want to do and say, Lord please pursue my heart, I want All of you. Amen!

  • I have your book, Jennifer, and I love the stories from other women and I love the answers from God. The encouragement filled my heart and has helped me focus more on God’s love, and great mercy and less on my past. Thank you

  • With humility and pride cast aside, humbly saying. Thank you
    This message, was much needed in this right time. Breaks walls together in Jesus name amen.

    Love you all

  • I LOOOOVVVVEEEE THIS PRAYER! THIS WILL BE ONE OF MY SPECIAL PRAYERS…IT SPOKE VOLUMR, DEEP,, REALITY BUT YET SO SIMPLE! MAY GOD CONTINUE TO USE YOU GREATLY! THANKS FOR SHARING! GOD BLESS

  • Absolutely beautiful, reading this has spoken to me to reflect on where i am and it’s not a good place. I need to be wrapped up in the arms of my saviour and find comfort there.

  • I am SO thankful and blessed by having found loop and reading each email has led me up to this blog.
    Your fervent prayer to your Father in heaven is absolutely a window of love that you have opened up and shared with those of us who read it. It has met me somehow right where I am . Peeling back another layer so that I may grow in my faith and be made anew by His spirit. You have a gift, thank you again for sharing it with us.

  • Pinky Promise I was JUST trying to form these words. Thank you! I am a hot mess. But God knows that and pulls me into His arms anyhow. Loves on me. Strengthens me. Then sends me scampering off to help someone else. Thank you Jennifer. Confirmation that it was Him.

    • Aaaand that was supposed to be a heart emoji…not a laughing face. ❤️???? (Early morning texting.)

  • Oh my, you took the words He needed ME to express and you put them down. Today. It’s as if I wrote them from my own heart and He acknowledges through your hand. Wow. The email you sent was just enough to capture my attention to click over to the blog. Thank you, Lord! (Big fan of your Rush podcast too.) Thanks Jennifer. I’m tickled pink today for His personal touch.

  • Beautiful and raw to the bone. These struggles deep within we don’t always confess. So beautiful. We must confess every day.
    May our Heavenly Fathers blessings be showered in your life. Thank you for sharing J.

  • Awsome ever since I’ve been following on Loop I have always love reading them each and everyone of them always had something to tell me as well as straight to my ???? so I wanna ty

  • Absolutely love the real,open,bluntness of how we just lack commitment, yet He is so committed. He loves us so much. Yet, I question my love, faithfulness, drive, and yearning. Lover of my heart and keeper of my soul, cleanse me and make pure. Stir the fire in me.

  • This came at such a good time…It’s so nurturing how He loves us despite of our continuous actions. I found myself falling into an angry trap and I knew before doing it that it would only upset me…and it did. Then I looked at this email that had a link to this blog and just like that He spoke through you. Thank you so much. I pray everyday for structure, patience, knowledge and wisdom and everyday I struggle again with it. These words are always moving through me and for that I am aware that I will get better at this. Thank you again!

  • “You ask me–do you want all of me now? For this, right now, needs to go.” This grabbed my heart! The Holy Spirit has been asking me if I am desperate for Jesus…Your words are asking the same question. He is a faithful Pursuer!

  • So appreciate Loop and your blog Jennifer…you have an amazing way to express what all of our girls saY! Forever grateful…Blessings Inge

  • Oh how the Spirit moves! Thank you for giving me… us… these words to pray. And, so perfectly timed today. God is among us.

  • I love waking up to this….when I read each sentence I feel like its me talking to the Father. thank you this prepares me for my quiet time. ….. its just beautiful embracing Gods goodness and love. . May God bless you in every way.

  • Thank you for these words that were in my heart but I couldn’t speak them until now!
    Oh how liberating it was!