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.
We grasp hands and lean back, digging our toes as deep as we can into wet sand.
We are sure to topple over, I think. And I dig my toes in deeper, lock my knees, stabilize my legs. My daughter clings to me with the silliness and joy that gives her her nickname, “Golden Light.” And the waves crash against our legs and the sea water splashes into our open, smiling mouths. We stand side by side, heads back, delighted by our ability to not fall despite the surf’s resolute heaving of itself onto shore.
This is the best. I don’t want to miss it.
So I don’t take many photos, just a few. And then I put the camera and the phone away, tucking them into my running shoes near the sand castle we built higher up the beach.
To look and to see, to listen and to hear, I have to fight against every distraction, every obstacle threatening my awareness of love, joy, beauty. I struggle with the tension of wanting to remember moments like this–the moments I am aware of as holy, filled with love and God’s presence and glory. And it is my heart that needs to remember, needs to see, hear, be.
A phone, an Instagram feed, a Facebook post, a journal description–none of this can adequately capture what it is God is doing in us, this moment. This moment.
There are so many things trying to get in the way of the truth that Jesus, in our hearts, shines bright and good and new. I stand now, both battling and surrendering–my eyes and heart open, choosing to enter into the purity of moments like this one right now.
Me. My daughter. Standing barefoot with waves crashing. October sun bright and hot on our tangled hair, our bare skin.
I am practicing deeper awareness, for I am hungry to experience Life. I am weary from following rules and chasing approval. (I confess I have been doing that all summer. And before that too. And all my life.) There is something that is born in us–and killed in us–when we recognize that there is something we are probably worshipping more than Jesus. For me, it was other people’s approval. And my own approval, too.
Striving toward anything but Jesus is wasted time.
Anything good we do must have Him at the center. Otherwise our own heart, born in Him, is crushed with the weight of our own attempts at earning and chasing and pleasing. Oh, girl. You are so loved, I tell this truth to myself.
Jesus, keep reminding me. Yes, tell me again. Again. Again.
We run to the beach this morning with no plan, no agenda. I want to open my hands, my time, my heart, my life to more freedom, more joy, more life. I want Life without my own made-up rules that have nothing to do with God and everything to do with me not believing Jesus came and wiped the slate clean. It is our brand-newness that is the realization of His dream.
Yes, we are in the midst of God dreaming, God smiling, God running and laughing and jumping and pursuing and chasing and fighting for our hearts until we finally, finally let Him break us wide-open once more.
We, beautiful and alive and full of glory, daughters standing holding the hands of their Father on wide-open shore.
How do you need God to break you wide-open this day? For what are you hungry? What can you lay down? What new Life is He offering you this moment, right now?
This post appeared originally at jenniferjcamp.com