There are a defining moments in all of our lives. Some are short, clipped moments. Others may be days, weeks or years. All tumbling into a stirring pot called transformation.
But, if we miss the opportunity, those moments may just be left as terrible memories, bitter thoughts, or even forgotten words.
I am a word girl. I have always loved putting words to pictures, nature, life and as you know me here ~ motherhood.
I also associate words with life. The good and the bad. I have let them hold power over me. And with any good thing, we can also turn them into bad.
Words became my idol. And this is part of my story that I have never shared with you. Until…. THIS book, written by my friend Jennifer Lee, was delivered to my doorstep, and I devoured each and every word as fast as my tired eyes would allow me.
“Love Idol. Letting go of your need for approval – and seeing yourself through God’s eyes.” Wow.
Sometimes we read books with interest, intrigue or to pass time. I began this book knowing that any words I have read from Jennifer Dukes Lee, have always struck my heart in the deep places and her imagery has always kept me captivated. Little did I know that she would put words to the one place in my life that I was left with – no words.
I was finally able to give the last few years a word that would fill a place of pain. Pre-Approved. The freedom has been glorious, defining and most of all – I am able to see myself through God’s eyes and not miss the opportunity of knowing that although hard and long, the last three years were a significant defining moment in my life.
Words can sting, discourage and spread a virus into the listener. And when you are a word girl, words not so fitly spoken – about you – can make a big dent into the approval ratings that you have set up for yourself. So foolishly, blindly, and costly.
“Even longtime Christians are not immune to the lure of idols, especially when these idols are dressed in creative disguises.”
Words destroyed me. Or, so I thought. I forgot that God still loved me, always loved me, and didn’t see me through the eyes of the finger-pointers, standard setters, or the accusers. It was just God and I left in this wounded space. He had to be enough.
Words can haunt you if you let them. I will tell my story ever so slowly here in this space. In hopes that you will also be healed of the pain that can words can inflict.
I began to let critical, mean and untruthful words become my chains. Believing they were my reputation. They were holding me captive and there was no room left for the true identity to blossom and grow while the shackles kept me bound.
“I wonder how many Kingdom dreams have died at the feet of the enemy, who convinces people who their work might be criticized or rejected.”
And so, in the focus of the lies, I had forgotten my true identity.
“..I had not yet come to the end of myself, where Christ Jesus was waiting all along.”
Inflicted words had become my “love idol.” I thought that the people who sat around in conversation about me, were the very ones I needed to love me. I was part of an “earn your grace and love,” community. There was no room for acceptance. Only a box of man-made rules and words that were barbs to those around them. When my “approval ratings,” dropped at the mention of their words, and legalistic decisions pressed upon me, my self-worth seemed all tied up. It was swallowed up with my belief in the lies, the very words that I had allowed to become an idol.
I was bought with a price. I was already Pre-Approved. This was the only thing that really ever mattered.
Literally, curled into a ball of defense from words hurled at me and crushing my spirit was the pinnacle moment of my retreat from any or all words – bright and beautiful. I began to dis-like words with a passion. Afraid to think on my own, act out of my love for others for fear of being judged, or write words from heart in this very space, I was crippled by the approval of man. And his words.
When I began to suppress my words, hiding my self, my dreams and my personality behind fear…All that God had for me, wanted for me, and created me to be was snuffed out. Like a flame. Like a city on a hill that was hidden.
The very thing I loved – Words – had become my idol. I was hiding from the judgement and pain that others and their words had inflicted upon me. God rescued me. I began to hear His whispers. I slowly “came out of hiding.” Ever so slowly and cautiously, realizing what really mattered.
I began making much of God and began to care very little of the words that had potential to snuff out my ability to see the person God made me to be. Bought with a price. Sealed.
I uprooted the idol of approval – and made more room for God.
Let me tell you friend, for now I truly know…
“I’ve been a thief, robbing praise from the only ONE who deserves it.”
“I don’t want to make much of myself, I want to make much of Jesus.”
Jesus + Nothing = Everything.(All bold quotes are from Jennifer Dukes Lee book – Love Idol )
This book is one of my TOP reads for the year! I am giving away TWO copies of this book, as well as the most-beautiful Pre-Approved necklace from Krafty Kash. Spread the word. Begin a Love Idol Book study, or grab your own copy today.