We’re all friends, here, right?
I have a really big problem.
My problem is that I think I’m super funny. But, I’m often mean funny. You know what I mean? I am sarcastic and borderline rude, but people think it’s endearing and joke about how I “don’t have a filter” around the office.
To be fair, I don’t really have much of a filter. I have experienced TONS of different environments growing up and I have a hard time keeping straight what was socially acceptable in homeschool families, vs. private Christian school, vs. permissive parenting stints, vs. rural public school, vs. nervous breakdowns, vs. hippy communes (that’s a fun story), vs. high school parties, vs. fundamentalist circles, vs. ‘Jesus is a liberal’ circles . . . To be honest, my head is all kinds of mess.
So, here we have adult Jenni with little filter and a deep need to bring hope to the world. They don’t always mesh well.
I have long been described as having a “rebellious spirit.” I definitely lean toward non-conformist in most of the way I process the world, but rebellion is different. When I was a teenager, someone said to me — and it still rings true:
When rebellion is the root of change, you become what you hate with a different dress code.
Rebellion is destructive. I have chosen the path of destruction at times. And, it has never ended well. My experiences down that path have concreted in my heart the need for true Hope in our world.
Non-comformist. Even that phrase is a bit pretentious, don’t you think? I generally pride myself on thinking differently, challenging the way most people think about God and Life and Living. I hold tightly to my persona of “the kind of edgy one” — “you never know what Jenni might say.”
THAT’S THE PROBLEM.
Pride. It’s holding more tightly to the way I am perceived than to Jesus. Now, I am far from a people-pleaser. I don’t consciously sit around thinking about how other people view me. I more think about how I can shock people or how I can beat them (remember we are friends, here) . . . But, if I were truly honest, being properly understood matters. Doesn’t it to you?
We all have to choose at some point whose opinion matters the most.
I’ll out myself. I’d pick Jesus over any of you, any day. In a heartbeat.
When I started writing, I thought about making sure I wasn’t always talking about Jesus and didn’t use scripture all the time, so that people who might read not knowing Jesus wouldn’t feel left out.
But, then I realized . . . I don’t have anything worth writing about other than Jesus.
As prideful as I may get, I have to understand at the end of the day that I am NOTHING without Jesus. I know because I have lived without Him.
I write to create room in my heart to hear God’s voice. I never want to be without that voice, again.
I’m not even saying I am a better person while following Jesus. I hope I am changing. I pray my heart is melting. I work to see my walls breaking down and peace leaking out.
I have dear friends that help me to see the progress of my heart.
What I am saying is this: My potential to be a change-agent for Hope and Peace and Love is INFINITE in the arms of the Creator-Redeemer God of the universe. And, without Him, I will just fuel the rebellion.
In my own effort — I’m funny. And, I’m often hurtful. The way I use my humor is, often, (spoiler alert) just another wall that keeps the rebellion alive in me.
When I think about how I want to be remembered, I don’t want it to be, “you never knew what Jenni might say” . . . Rather, I want people to say of me, “you could never shut that girl up about her Jesus.”
At the end of my life – may people hardly remember me, but may they know deeply the real and tangible Jesus.
May what our Master Jesus Christ gives freely be deeply and personally yours, my friends. (Galatians 6:18, MSG)