Thursday, July 25, 2013

Living Out Loud

There are some things that my brain refuses to remember. Like, for example, what I did yesterday. Or where I last set down my phone. And there are some things that my brain absolutely refuses to forget, like how I wore a shirt to school when I was in middle school that had the name of Jesus boldly emblazoned across the front. Why does that even matter? And why can I not forget how I confident I felt that day putting it on and how ashamed I felt of my choice once I got to school?

It's not like anyone ever said anything to me, or looked at me funny. (Okay, so they probably did, but that's a middle school kid for you. They simply cannot be explained.) I just remember wanting to be like and look like everybody else. I was (am!) introverted but wanted lots of friends, wanted to fade into the background but also be well-liked, wanted to do the right things but not be challenged on them. I wanted to hang onto my faith but not live outside my comfort zone, which meant that while I was okay going to church and wearing a youth group tee-shirt at home, I felt like I stood out at school.

I haven't changed that much as an adult. I'm still an introvert, although I've learned to be a little more outgoing, I still want lots of friends, I still want to be well-liked, and I still do not want to be challenged on the things I do that seem right to me. I still hang on to my faith but am not that comfortable living outside my comfort zone, even though that zone has gotten a little wider, which means I'm a little more comfortable sharing my faith with other people--as long as the format is plush and, well, comfortable.

The problem is that since my comfort zone has gotten stretched a little bit, I think that I'm living out my faith a little louder and that other people know what I think and how I feel about Jesus. In my mind, I've made perfectly clear where I stand. I mean, I've even told people that I'm reading the entire Bible. Really. Doesn't that say right away how important God is to me??

Does how I live indicate that He actually is my superhero? Does how I live indicate that I really believe that myself??

It wasn't until a conversation a couple of weeks ago where religion, politics, the Bible, and yes, even Jesus, were being discussed that I realized that maybe I don't live quite as loud or as valiantly as I thought I did. Add that to the book I'm reading (Crazy Love by Francis Chan, which happens to be incredibly challenging for me), and you've got someone who might need to do a double-take on how well she's actually fading into the background.

But I still probably wouldn't wear a bright blue tee-shirt with His Name boldly emblazoned in red with yellow sun rays bursting forth.

At least not the one I wore in middle school.

**Just as an aside, I no longer have the aforementioned tee, and any picture I ever had of me in said tee has either been lost or destroyed, so I simply could not share a picture of me in tee.

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