You can feel His hand pressing in sometimes. His hand a whisper, a voice tangible. You claim the voice feels difficult to recognize, but you know it. You at least recognize it by its gentleness, its firm nudging toward what feels good and uncomfortable and right and hard. You feel the tension, subtle but sure. And you squirm.
You want to run, but you don’t. You don’t want to stay, but you do. Questions come, the voice whispering, gently: Why do you feel uneasy, the walls feeling close, too close? But you ignore it. And you keep making small talk with the people you’re with, not asking yourself the real questions and turning your tangled thoughts over to God:
Why am I so insecure? Why am I choosing to be hard-hearted and not soft? Why am I judging? Why am I believing I am separate, different, better than her?
I don’t ask myself the questions. And when she – the woman I don’t yet know – enters the house, the wide, front double doors swinging in, I reach out my hand stiffly. And I see it, recognizing the judgment in me, the subtle deciding of who she is and who I am. I feel myself deciding her worth, assessing her, choosing to see through murky lens rather than through the pure eyes of my Father.
Chosen. Adored. Beloved. Beautiful. My child.
I am not seeing her through His eyes. I am not listening to her with openness. I am sizing her up, forgetting who I am. The lies I heed, on my own, contrast too starkly with the beautiful truth of what He sees.
I am the daughter of a King who was born in a stable among animals and excrement and was holy.
I am the daughter of a King who honored His parents but could not stay away from learning and teaching, for hours, about His Father.
I am the daughter of a King who waited at a well for an adulteress and saw her true heart, underneath her actions, her mistakes, her failures, and loved her and stayed with her and spoke to her and showed her she is special and matters.
I am the daughter of a King who challenged selfishness with fierce gentleness and who conquered death with self-sacrifice and love.
I am the daughter of a King who knew His Father and heeded His heart within Him and trusted Him and chose Him and let His will be done.
I am the daughter of a King who loved thieves and liars and murderers because He saw their heart underneath their actions and knew they were His brothers, His sisters.
I am the daughter of a King.
The moment I judged the woman who walked into the house, the woman whom I had not yet met but had judged in my heart before I even said a word, was just one of the moments I forgot the truth of who I am. There are many days I forget this, but when I assess the worth of another person and value the opinions of people rather than the heart of my King, I separate myself from Him. I separate myself from the truth of who I am.
My daughter. My restored. My flower. My delight.
And so here, in this safe place with sisters, I lay myself down. I confess and beg forgiveness and call out, weak and broken and strengthened and healed. I confess I forget whose daughter I am, and I forget the face of my God.
No more judging. No more hurting. No more separating. No more condemning. No more forgetting who I am.
Do you hear His whisper, friends? Do you feel His touch upon your heart? Do you need light, fresh air, and new things?
If you would like to go deeper and explore the life-changing effects of having raw, honest conversations with God, please take a look at the book “Breathing Eden: Conversations with God on Light, Fresh Air, and New Things.”
“Breathing Eden” is 40 raw, honest, heartbreaking and encouraging conversations between women and God. These prayers are like our own: full of pain, celebration, anxiety, and joy.
If you pre-order before Oct. 3 (you have a few more days!) and forward Jennifer your Amazon receipt (firstname.lastname@example.org), you will receive bonuses specifically created to enhance the experience of reading “Breathing Eden.” Find out more here.
Jennifer J. Camp knows what it’s like to chase down an identity not her own. And now she listens and writes and speaks to point women to Jesus. She is co-founder of Gather Ministries with her husband, Justin, and she’s passionate about encouraging women to live lives of identity, community and adventure with Christ. Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with Justin, their three kids, and her very insecure dog. Connect with her at jenniferjcamp.com.