I like to joke that I am bilingual — I speak English and Christianese. The former gives me a voice; the latter brings an anxiety attack. The Google definition of Christianese is “The contained terms and jargon used within many of the branches and denominations of Christianity as a functional system of religious terminology.” We called them “Keys to the Kingdom”.
Some terms make me laugh. When I married it was my duty was to put my long-hair up, either in a body bun or what I called the Houston bun. You see, the sisters in Houston had the BEST hair. Like EVER. Curly. And BIG. Those sisters had the biggest hair ever. I was always jealous of my best friend who had Houston hair. Because you know, the bigger the hair the holier you are.
Some terms make me cringe or cause the anxiety attacks. Like “five-fold ministry” and “unquestioned obedience” and “striving for the bride” and “watch the spirit”… and “In Order”. That was the response to everything I did wrong, questioned…said. It was always, “Sister, you need to get yourself in order.” As if I thought it would be fun to do all the stupid crap I did because I found it fulfilling to be constantly told I was out of order. I try my best to deal with these phrases by avoiding or snarking or laughing or crying when all else fails.
I was listening to my new favorite song by The Digital Age, Overcome. BEAUTIFUL song that has led me into worship so many times. Unfortunately it ended and I didn’t realize that the next song was going to take me out of worship.
Well today I found myself, after searching all these years…
I brace myself because I know what this song is…a song that has made me sad and happy and I just haven’t been able to deal with it.
It feels like I’m born again…
From the time I walked into that church, a little 3 year-old girl, I knew that being “Born Again” was VERY important…behind getting the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. I sang songs with my father about being born again. I learned and quoted John 3:1-10. I stood up in front of that small school and proclaimed, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” I believed it with all my being. The problem is that I never knew what it was I needed to born from.
When I talked to my children about Jesus and our faith, I talked about being born again. And I still didn’t understand what that meant. It never occurred to me that perhaps I wasn’t born again, because I didn’t know what that meant.
As I work on the recovery process, Abba is bringing back some of these terms into my life. This time, they mean something. This time he’s revealing himself to me, phrase by phrase. And as I submit to this process I realize, I AM being born again.
And so I turn the song up, throw my hands up in the air and I begin to sing the words.
Today I found myself
After searching all these years
And the man that I saw, he wasn’t at all who I thought he’d be
I was lost when you found me here
And I was broken beyond repair
Then you came along and you sang your song over me
It feels like I’m born again
It feels like I’m living
For the very first time
For the very first time
In my life
I’m being born again and I can finally see the Kingdom of God coming alive. I’m living. Fully. Alive. So thankful.