I love Jesus.
Like, for real. I think He is the absolute man and an impeccable example of what human beings should strive to be on earth - how He treated others and Himself (He LOVED to take some quiet time to be alone with His thoughts and with God) was amazing.
Alright, now that 75% of people have left the site (I know religious-type posts are not for everyone) let's get down to the real deal: I used to be embarrassed about that fact.
I wanted to use the word "shy" here, since that's a softer, easier word to handle, but it's just not accurate. I was embarrassed. You see, I went to an extremely hippie-dippie liberal arts school for college and for me, school was just not a place where I felt entirely comfortable with my faith.
As far as individual thoughts and feelings, absolutely, but sharing those opinions? Much less so.
Although I certainly didn't deny my faith (after all, I do wear a sassy "Jesus" ring all day err'y day and have since freshman year) I often felt as though I wasn't able to express my thoughts or experiences with God as often as I'd have liked to, for fear of being looked down on by my peers.
my JC bling bling, yo.
It is just about the most cliche thing in the world, but I didn't want people to judge me. Especially in that type of environment, Christians are often looked down on as indoctrinated, close-minded, or just plain foolish.
People at school were nice to me, and (generally) fairly accepting of my faith, but it was frustrating to constantly hear things like "No, you're a COOL Christian!" or "You don't count!" when overhearing conversations others were having about 'religious people.' I knew that they meant it as a compliment - meant it to distance me from the uber-conservative, hate-mongering folks they were conversing about. For me, though, it just made me feel both distanced from those who share my faith AND distanced from those who disagree. To be blatant, it just sucked.
And so, for awhile, I was pretty quiet about things. People knew I was a religious person and if someone asked, I would absolutely share, but I (very very very intentionally) tried to get people to see me as someone who saw faith as wearing "Jesus Loves Porn Stars" t-shirts and using prayer as a Meisner activity, and far less about attending church or reading the Bible daily.
And, I'll be honest, this feeling of needing to keep the strength of my faith a secret was still strong up until the beginning of 2012, when I decided to do something that I KNEW I would struggle with: post one verse of Scripture on my facebook page every day for a full year.
Every. Single. Day.
And I'll be honest, it really was hard. I'm positive that a great deal of my friends have hidden my posts (I might too, if I were them and the subject wasn't something I was interested in, so that doesn't offend me) but others have told me, in private, that they have really enjoyed my verses.
I try to keep it simple, and the only rules are:
-No skipping days.
-No posting after midnight (it's a new day, then!)
-The verse MUST be something I read during my Bible readings that day
and I suppose there's the unspoken rule that it must be a verse I think is interesting/agree with/that really resonates with me/I find theologically intriguing.
It has been one of the scariest things for me to do, silly as that may sound. It has meant that when I make new friends and they friend me online (which is so commonplace it's almost bizarre when it doesn't happen) they see a facebook full of the Bible. Just wallpapered in the Bible.
And sometimes that makes me feel nervous. It makes me think people will judge me.
But, you know what? It has also been one of the most awesome, freeing, fabulous things I've ever done! Because eventually I stopped caring! If people go to my facebook and see posts about Jesus, well...they are just seeing something that's important and interesting to me. And if they try to judge me as a human being, or pretend to know my political views or my views on social issues based solely on their preconceived notions of religious people, well then they are making a grave mistake.
It is not my responsibility to make sure I am never judged negatively or incorrectly. I can only live and be the best possible person that I can be - which for me, it turns out, means following my main man JC.