One afternoon in a place I used to work, my co-worker found out that I was a Christian and held a leadership position in a ministry at church.
And she said, “Ohhhh. You’re one of those people.”
To which I replied, “Yes, yes I am.”
I could have asked what she meant asked for clarification. It’s the natural response. When I didn’t, when I confirmed instead, shock plastered her face. Because I couldn’t have known what she was thinking. Was it something so negative about Christian leaders that aligning myself to one of them revealed something ugly about me? Was it an assumption based on past experience? Did I meet her assumptions? Did I break them?
I don’t know, but I don’t care. Not in the way that I didn’t care when I was in dark places, but in the way that whatever she thought and said didn’t bother me. It didn’t make me feel like I have to defend myself, Christians in general, my faith, or God.
I don’t have the gift of evangelism. That came out of nowhere, but bear with me.
I love God. I love that I’m in a relationship with Jesus. I love that the Holy Spirit guides me. I love enjoying the benefits of being God’s child. I love being able to rest on Him when troubles come. I don’t like troubles. I get stressed, worried, and my face breaks out. But I love that even though there are troubles or my acne scares are a plenty, God has a plan – the best plan – for me.
But I’m not the type of person who stands on street corners handing out salvation tracts. I’m not the type of person who integrates Scripture seamlessly (or not) into the conversation. I’m not the type of person who’s going to try to save you.
I know, I know. Trust me, I know. It took years for me to stop feeling bad about being bad at evangelism. To stop beating myself up for not having brought one friend to church. To stop believing that my lack of saved souls was proof that I didn’t have enough passion for Jesus.
This was supposed to be my salvation story, so again, please bear with me. I promise I’ll try to make sense of it all.
I was born and raised a Roman Catholic . My Christian college profs will tell you that I’m predisposed to the Christian faith. My mom became a (Protestant) Christian first. Then my sisters, me, my Dad, and my brother was born into it.
I had enough exposure in my Catholic school to understand that the Christian church had something different. They were real. This one lady even danced in a circle during worship, right there on her seat, arms raised, eyes closed, and she didn’t care that she ended up standing with her back to the worship team. And these guys actually knew how to use a Bible. They weren’t perfect but they tried so hard to be loving, as opposed to the feared priests at my school and the teachers who alienated the Christian students, told us we can’t go inside the chapel, we had to stand outside and wait. Unsupervised, the three of us walked around campus; we were in 3rd grade!
It would be in my teens when I really asked Jesus to be the Lord and Savior of my life. When I really started a relationship with Him. Started walking a spiritual journey. And I had a lot of passion for Him and my faith, translated as that overabundant excitement and enthusiasm, inviting friends to youth nights, and unashamedly talking about my faith.
But growing up, one grace-filled day at a time, I started becoming who God created me to be. I realized it’s okay that I don’t have the gift of evangelism because God gave us different gifts according to His purpose. And it’s okay I never got my friends to church because sometimes we’re just seeds who’ll never know what kind of impact we’ve had on others. As long as we are true to God, it’s all good.
Passion doesn’t always translate as hormone filled teenage energy. It can be like a deep river, running strong, unwavering in its course. It translates as perseverance in the face of trials, standing strong when others put you down, allowing God to be your Justifier and Defender.
Passion can translate into being and growing into who God created you to be, even if it’s a socially awkward introverted girl that says weird stuff.
So maybe others see me as one of those people, whatever that is. As long as I’m one of God’s people, I’m good here.