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.
You aren't alone now, you know. I know you've decided I'm being far away, distant. I can certainly feel like that to you, I know.
I know how the dark feels like it is closing in, sometimes. I know there is an empty space in your heart that you know needs to be filled. You are beauty though. You are beauty. A masterpiece.
Do you believe Me? Can you bear to let the words I've just said to you be something you believe? And then what does it mean to you, when I say the word, believe? What, to you, does it mean, to believe?
I know what it means to you. You think it means to feel something, deep within you. You think it means to have conviction, to know in the existence of something or an idea or someone.
Yet, when I tell you you are my masterpiece, you see it as only a word, a nice saying, a term of politeness. You don't believe you're special.
Okay, consider this: what is a masterpiece, really? And why would I choose that word to describe you? Let me tell you: You are my only. You are my only one. You are my one I created. You are the beauty I wanted, the completeness I saw as good. I saw you in my heart before I made you. I knew you, and within you is the knowledge that you are known, formed, created, with intention.
That knowledge is written within you, my very breath.
To reject it when I tell you you are my masterpiece is more than questioning Me, the eye of the perceiver, who looks upon you.
Your ability to reject Me or receive Me, believe Me or doubt Me, is how I both hold you and I release you. Because I love you, I let you decide what you believe.
I whisper to you (so then, how can I be far away, if I speak to you in whispers?) that you are mine; that you are loved; that yes, you are my masterpiece, and you get to question what I say. You get to doubt me. You get to decide, choose, whether or not to believe Me.
So, here we are, back at belief.
Here is what it comes down to regarding belief: you believe the things you know. And, in the case with Me, you get to decide what you know. I whisper to you truth, and you get to decide for yourself whether or not it is true. Not only that, but you get to decide what you know by deciding what to do with your days, how to fill your mind, how you let your heart respond to what is around you.
You can believe in only what you know.
And when you doubt what I tell you, it is not so much a doubting, a questioning of the artist, the creator, who has an opinion of the value of what He created. It is a decision on your own beauty, your own splendor.
You decide what you know. You decide what to believe. You decide whether to see with my eyes, your beauty through Me . . or keep believing I am far away, and that I wouldn't know a masterpiece if I ever saw one.
You decide what is beauty and what is not.
To live secure in my love for you is the only freedom there is. True freedom. And that's why you can sometimes feel trapped, why you can spend your days looking for more. It's because you fail to see what is already there, within you: Me.
You must choose Me. You must choose to see Me. You must decide, the moment you awake, and the moment you awake again, to believe I am here, believe I am for you.
For the green of the grass and the arch of the tree boughs only hint at the majesty that is coming. When this world, the earth where you live, is fully restored, that will be the day when there will be no more deciding. It will be clear--then--what is beautiful.
But I want you to see the beauty now, as much as you can. Look carefully now. With your heart.
That's a lot of beauty, my dear one.
I can scarcely take you in.
* I sat down to write to you, and I asked my Father how I should begin. He showed me a face. He gave me a picture of you. He gave me a picture of a daughter, and another one, and another one . . . and this is what He whispered to my heart to say. . . How can I pray for you? Want to let me know, in the comments?
This post appeared first at Gather Ministries.