Jennifer Camp, co-founder of Gather Ministries, and author of Loop, grew up in the middle of an almond orchard in Northern California and now lives in the busy Bay Area with her husband and three kids. A former high school English teacher, she loves to write, but she especially loves to encourage people to seek and live out the truth of their story, their identity in Christ. You can find her writing at her blog, Jennifer J. Camp .You can connect with Jennifer on both Facebook and Twitter. She would love to have you join her there.
The dog let out a howl in his sleep this morning at 4 a.m.
Low. Weird. Totally annoying. I awoke, startled, but fell back to sleep, dreaming that our oldest, who just started high school, was attending my university alma mater’s rival school across town. No, he can’t go to school there!
We are living in a cozy space this fall, displaced from our home due to a house remodel. The kids are in three different schools for the first time. There is a lot of driving now, meetings with contractors, trying to not get overwhelmed by a book launch. Oh, and Justin and I are working on another writing project together, too.
In the evenings, with our family crowded into a single room, we watch the Olympics, the TV blaring too late into the night. There have been a few nights, when I have had deadlines, that I have had to crawl into the bedroom closet, across from the bathroom, and write. Earbuds in my ears, cranking up music by Jonathan David Helser or Lauren Daigle.
This album is on repeat when I write now.
Crazy? Good? Too full, God? Can you help me keep my eyes on You?
I feel God’s closeness when I am writing–it is one of the ways I am better able to listen for Him. So, writing in the closet, upon suitcases where we have kept our clothes stored since June, has not been such a bad place to be.
But there is more for me, I know. There is more for me than work—for scouting for scraps of margin, hope of restoration, in the fringe hours.
How can I find You, God, when I am overwhelmed?
How can God speak to our hearts when we are in a busy, distracted place? Can we even hear Him then? Is it possible? What does God have to say about us feeling overwhelmed?
Three women you find in Breathing Eden-—each very different, ask God the same question.
God, help me. I am overwhelmed.
And He answers.
There is Kelsie, who travels the world. She feels overwhelmed. She feels God’s nudge to go out and love people in other countries. But she questions whether she has anything to offer, especially when she can’t fix the hurt, the pain, she sees. She asks God, “How do You love this whole world? How can I do it?” She fears that she won’t be able to connect or help people so different from her in any meaningful way.
There is Lucy, a young stay-at-home mom, struggling with identity after giving up a high profile career. She is overwhelmed by this transition—wanting to do a good job taking care of her small children while being afraid that she is failing. She asks God, “Who am I? How can I do all this well?” She fears she won’t be a good mom. More than anything, she feels guilty for feeling frustrated, for not having it all together, for struggling in parenting and messing up her children somehow, due to her personal inadequacies. (Where is the instruction manual on parenting?)
There is Bridget, a single, business executive living in the big city. Bridget has a demanding job that stretches her beyond her comfort zone. She is willing to take risks, though, trusting that Jesus is with her and will equip her to do what He wants her to do. She asks Jesus, “Do You care about my work?” She fears she can’t keep up with the responsibilities, that she won’t succeed in reaching her goals.
There is a bit of me in each of these women. What about you?
If you have pre-ordered Breathing Eden, you have received the first five advance chapters and have heard what God says to Lucy. Would you like to hear me read aloud to you Bridget and her conversation with God?
For Oasis Audio, who has put together our audiobook for Breathing Eden, I recorded some demo files of me reading the book. For those of you who have pre-ordered, I will be sending to you today the audio file of me reading to you the conversation Bridget has with God-—and His response back! The audio file also includes the Listen, Think, Trust, and Prayer exercises for Bridget’s conversation—exercises that help you respond to the story so you can have your own conversation with God.
If you haven’t yet pre-ordered, don’t wait! And then make sure you email me your receipt from Amazon so you can get your free gifts. Only pre-orders will receive the gifts of the advance first five chapters, the ebook, Prayers for the Women of Breathing Eden, and the audio file of “Bridget: Behind Elevator Doors” (a story in Breathing Eden not included in the advance chapters)! (Click here to learn about all the other free gifts from pre-ordering.)
How are you feeling overwhelmed? How do you ache for God to respond to this feeling, right here, right now?
This post appeared originally at jenniferjcamp.com