Jennifer J. Camp is another coauthor of “Soul Bare“. She begins her chapter the same way she titled it, on the “Cold, Dark Ground”. It’s interesting to me that when books and movies portray high school love, it’s usually sweet, wistful, and the kids don’t usually appear to regret their loss of innocence. Authors give fictional children adult maturity and infuse their own nostalgia, for something that most likely never existed, into a story that people much younger than them will take at face value. Jennifer revisits her own loss of innocence, but her story is different.
This chapter made me think of the way sex is presented to our kids. It seems to fall in two camps: this is what happens after you’ve made out a few times, and this will send you to hell if you’re not married. Neither are true.
“I don’t remember any inner struggle about whether or not to go through with this. It seemed inevitable, this choice hardly a choice at all” (page 26).
Jennifer writes about her self-value and perceived potential, and how that played into the way she used what power she had to give herself an edge. She, like most high school age kids, didn’t think she had what it took to be who people expected her to be, so she faked it. She grabbed a role and played it. It continued until she crashed into a brick wall of inevitable consequences.
I love how poignant she writes this:
“The next night, panicked and terrified, I ran down my driveway in my thin blue and gold polyester basketball uniform, still on from a late night game” (page 27).
She was a kid in trouble. She had alienated herself with lies as she sorted out who she was with who she wanted to be. When she got in over her head, she did the only thing she knew that could possibly take her back to the starting line. But there are no do overs, and the walls she scraped to crawl out of her situation are deep inside her.
There are some things that only our Creator can handle, but it takes some form of surrender on our part. Jennifer held the weight of one childhood winter in her heart for way too long. It took two decades, but it was when she chose to be vulnerable and release her secret shame that her ground, her walls, and her heart were redeemed.
My own chapter is next. I’ll write about it tomorrow.