Love Idol- Jennifer Dukes Lee


  
“Because we all so desperately want to know that who we are maters.”~Lisa Jo Baker


I had the privilege of meeting Jennifer Dukes Lee at the 2014 Allume Conference in Greenville SC.  Allume is a writers and bloggers conference and I had not planned to be there.  

While I have had a God-sized dream to one day write a book, I have allowed that dream to be but a whisper and not a reality, so I did not consider myself a writer and therefore, I did not plan to attend. However, a grace gift allowed me the privilege to “show up” and be surprised to find myself with others who have beautiful blogs, write books and speak and various engagements throughout their spheres of influence.

It could have been a major insecure-filled “not good enough” weekend, but God is so good and His people are loving and kind.  Not once did I feel “less than” or not included.  I had a fabulous weekend and met some new friends. Hospitality at it's finest!

I was asked many times, “Do you blog?” My response was “Well, I have a blog…but it’s nothing special and I don’t really know what I’m doing…” So I decided that I was there for a purpose and I would be intentional to look, listen and learn.

And so, here I am blogging about something I enjoy- reading and new friends.

My good friend Karina Allen introduced me to Jennifer who traveled to the airport in my town for the conference and needed a ride to the conference center.  Just like that, I felt that I had met a new best friend! We did not have a chance to really get to know one another well, but after reading Jennifer’s book, which she graciously gave to me, I feel that we are practically twins in the way we have both felt the need for the approval of others.

Having grown up with a deep need for my mother’s approval and always feeling less than “enough”, Jennifer stated some things that really resonated with me:

He is the God of Alreadys, inviting me to turn away from the voices that tell me I’m’ not “enough”. 

His words are an invitation to every unwanted child, every unrequited lover, and every person who has ever wanted to know he or she mattersEph 1:4 1 John 3:1 Eph 2:9-10 (p 122)

 I am loved!  As is.  And the more I focus on that love, the less I desire another’s. (p 128)

While reading Jennifer’s book and feeling that, while our stories are different, our distorted perceptions earlier in life were similar in how we approached our God given dreams.  Dreams He planted in us when we were very young and innocent and believed anything was possible, before life, comments, criticism and critique made us question Who and Whose we are.  


As Jennifer points out, the words “What will others think?...” become implanted in us from an early age.  For me, it was a common household mantra as a little girl. 

For Jennifer, she wanted to be an author and write books from a young age.  She pursued a degree in journalism and landed some really major interviews. But she allowed the Love Idol to squash her dream of writing a book.  Until now! 

While reading Love Idol, I realized some things about myself and have since prayed and addressed them with the Lord on several occasions.  (This will probably be a continual dialogue between the Lord and me until I can get this right. I am so thankful for His Grace!) 

When I allow myself to be paralyzed by FEAR and INSECURITY, I talk myself in to the “LIST” of “not enough” and then I begin to procrastinate and then, before I know it, my God-sized dreams are dwarfed into “could have been” ideas that never happen. 

 The Love Idol can sneak in to your life and trick you into looking away from God for something you crave; approval, respect, a pat on the back,
or a sense that you belong. (p 20)
 
Idols are stubborn showing up in innocent places…the Love Idol is just looking for an opportunity to ambush each one of us.  (p 160)


Jennifer has a sweet, gentle, yet bold spirit about her.  She is confident in Who and Whose she is and I am blessed to have met her face to face.  

After reading her beautiful book, I am also impressed to tell you how humble she is and how transparent she is as she talks about her life and experiences.  God has done a wonderful, healing and freeing work in her life and I have been encouraged to allow Him to do the same in my own life. 

Getting rid of the LOVE IDOL in our lives is not an easy, one time decision to move on.  It is a process and takes time.  Thankfully, God is into relationship and loves to hold our hand as we journey through life with Him.  It’s about our walk of faith.

The walk of a believer is not a drive-through service. Faith is not microwavable. (p 95)


Love Idol is filled with memorable quotes to write down, think about and hold onto.  I will leave you with one of my favorites.

 

“The cure is the process.  It is ok if I don’t have all the answers yet. “(p 94)




 Thank you, Jennifer, for the gift of you!  This book has been a valuable teaching tool in my season and I am thankful to have met you and that you are well on your way to being all that God has dreamed you to become!