Tuesday, July 10

faithisms: emily morrice

today's post is written by emily morrice.
find her here: blog & twitter.

lingo

to get into secret clubs you always need a password. 
the right word or words. 

to blend into new cultures you always need the accent.
the right voice or lingo.

I know because as a new believer in Christ, I stood out like a sore thumb. 

I met Jesus at a Christian summer camp. I went for the boys and the wake boarding. I came home with a Savior. In that microcosm of Christianity I heard a lot of talk that I didn't understand. Even as a Christian I felt like an outsider.

Swear words would slip out often, and then less so, but every time I felt like it made me loose demerit points. I'd reference things in media or the world that no one else understood and feel like an idiot. But then the Christians I knew would do the very same thing. They'd drop terms like Complementarian, Calvinist, and Proverbs 31 Woman and joke about Mark Driscolls jeans (say what!?) and I'd just smile and nod. The very thing that was stopping me from fitting in was working on both sides. I had the wrong lingo and I didn't get theirs.

For me, the transition from unbeliever to adopted daughter of the King was fast and then really really slow. when I heard the gospel, I was hooked. I needed Jesus like air and water. my sin because so obvious to me and overnight I began changing the way I lived to line up with how God desired me to live. It was probably 24 hours before I gave up drinking, drugs, and my nonChristian beau, and I started reading the Bible.  But then there was the slow transition. My words. My voice. My lingo and accent, essentially, were tremendously telling that I was from somewhere else. The world. 

When you come from a completely non-Christian background (like not.one.single.Christian in my known lineage) you're not going to fit in with people who have known Jesus for a long time. But you should. It shouldn't matter that your edges are still sharp and rough or that you're green and a little clueless, because if you have Christ you have everything in common that you need to belong to the body. But it so often matters. 

In an effort to fit in I threw the baby out with the bathwater [does anyone use that expression anymore?]. I slowly stopped swearing and telling crass jokes and made efforts to give up on gossip [um, SO hard], but I also became convinced that to truly fit in I had to forfeit my sense of humor, talking to boys, and all forms of sarcasm [some sarcasm can be hurtful but I think often it's just really witty]. I researched popular Christian teachers and familiarized myself with their ministries, but just so I could drop them casually in conversation. I desperately wanted to be accepted by the body of Christ so I changed all of me. The good and the bad. 

And it took years to get to a balanced life of being who God created me to be, but living under grace and truth as well. Striving for holiness but not fearing the world. Learning to be pure and Godly but still being me. Figuring out what needed to go and what could stay. And now one of my biggest fears is that my lingo might do the same for some poor new-believing woman in the church. Because talking the talk becomes second nature (praise God it eventually does!), but the flip side is that we can forget what it's like to be on the outside.

When it comes to my language and lingo as a Christian, one of the on-going goals I have for myself is summed up in Psalm 19:14:
{The Lovely Leif}
But I also pray I'll never again fall into the desperate legalism and fear of man that characterized my early walk with God. He has made me unique as he has every.single.soul. And the only time we should all sound the exact same is when we're saying “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” some great great day.

ps - being 
extroverted 
is not a sin. 
hallelujah!



10 comments:

  1. I love this. But I love the honesty the most and to be honest myself as Christians its the constant dying to your old self.. the old unsaved man which is hard because we are human. So really we are constantly trying to get out of the world and its a hard thing not to have a foot in both.

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  2. nailed it em! yes.....dying of the old man, making alive of the new....SUCH a lifelong battling process. oh, Lord I praise you for your grace.......each day, you give us another chance; new mercies :)

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  3. oh yes, and thanks for the sharing my print!

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  4. love this! love love love love this!

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  5. Thanks Emily for sharing this, so proud of you for opening up this way!!! I can totally relate because I come from a similar fam background. I remember once at a clothes swap you organized we played some game and someone said something innocent that I totally took to be dirty..and laughed so much! I was so embarressed when I realized I'd misunderstood. Thank you Jesus that we're saved by grace!

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  6. Wow! I've grown up as a Christian, so I never even considered the fact that being reborn could be so hard. Thank you for the new aspect on it!

    -Lindsey
    Et tu, tutu?

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  7. I got your blog from my cousin Lindsey at the Lovely Leif. "being extroverted is not a sin"...THANK YOU! i needed that encouragement this evening. I've had a week of feeling like I need to hide who I am in order to blend. What a blessing to fall upon your site. I was also very blessed reading your story. Thanks for sharing it. You have an important role in helping those with the lingo grow an awareness that there is a lingo and what it does to new believers. Blessings on your journey

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    1. thank you SO much!
      it seems that you needed to hear what I've needed to hear so often.
      though many Christian women who are Godly, pure, nobel, etc, tend to be introverted, soft, quiet (in their voice, not spirit), not ALL of us are, are that's ok so long as we're still honoring Jesus and being Biblical.
      thank you for YOUR encouragement as well.
      the blog world can be such a blessing, eh?

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  8. oops, that comment was by me, Emily Morrice, but I was logged into a friends account on her lap top :D

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