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.
Her eyes are big, gentle and kind. Then she plays. Her fingers upon keys, her body dancing, her voice singing out. In her words, her glory–I glimpse the more that is here. But later she tells me she doesn’t see it. Her beauty. Her value.
She feels displaced, separate from the exquisiteness of her own soul. Even while she creates beauty, and is loved, so loved, here.
Our hearts can struggle to claim glory we can’t see. Who we are–what we create, how we love–feels separate from the representation of ourselves most familiar: failure, weakness, isolation, lack of hope.
God, why do we feel displaced from our own selves, our own lives?
She asks me questions, and I listen and do my best to respond. About community. About connection. About offering one’s heart to trusting people. About how to be comfortable searching for our own self. And oh, how this can be so difficult to do.
Oh, girl, I know.
When we have contempt for ourselves, we lose the self we may have fought, for so many years, to reclaim. Even after victory through surrender, freedom through fire, life through death. For self-contempt makes us not recognize our true selves. We don’t connect with the glory in the daughter God sees.
We seek God’s voice, but we feel detached from His words. We listen for Him, and we disbelieve what He says.
Self-contempt is a battle some of us fight daily. The beauty God sees in us we reject. This daughter God loves then feels like a vision. A specter of imagination. A dream. We don’t know her. We don’t trust her. And so we struggle to accept God’s love for her too.
Life? Freedom? Joy?
Come on soul, rise up. Rise up. You are forgetting who you are.
Sisters, let’s not stay here.
So, in the dark, we ask God to strip layers of doubt, of pain, of fear. In our loneliness, we ask God to show us His face. In His face, we find the daughter God loves. But how we do trust her? How do we love her? God, how do we end this feeling of displacement from our hearts? How do we live content, joy-filled, free?
I come to the weary places. I come to the desolate places. I bring light in darkness, song in silence, warmth in cold. How do you believe that I am good? How do you believe that I am here? How do you believe that I have more for you? How do you let me connect what is displaced, worn out, rejected, isolated, sad?
It is so simple, my dear one. Come to Me. It is not complicated, my shining one. Come close, I am right here. Time with Me cleanses you of sorrow. Time with Me heals your doubting, timid heart.
You are more than okay. I will teach you how to believe in what I see. I will teach you how to trust what I see, what I say, more than what you see and what you hear, on your own. Stay close to Me now. Chase me down. Let Me catch you. I want to catch you. So let yourself fall first. I’m right here. It won’t hurt, in my arms, when you fall.
Father, come. Your girl needs rescuing again.
Sister, how is your heart? Do you believe your Father adores you? Do you trust His character? Do you know the version of you that He knows? Is that someone you’d like to come to know more?
This post appeared originally at jenniferjcamp.com