By Jami Amerine
This is my word. Defineredismableestly. Granted, I made it up. And granted, it is slightly ridiculous. But let me explain. I am at a crossroad; another adoption, another child launching, a new career in the making. We all come to them, repeatedly. For example, when I got married. I was no longer only defined as Don and Glenna’s daughter, I was now Justin’s wife. Later I became Maggie, John, Luke, Sophie, Sam, and Charlie’s mom. Grad student, blogger, Catholic, displaced Catholic, Spin instructor, injured Spin instructor, Chronically ill. Then, I became a foster mom and adoptive mom. I have been defined, redefined and undefined. I have added prefixes, suffixes and then, deleted and added again.
A woman on Twitter started following me the other day. I clicked on her profile to see who she was and this is what it said: Overweight, widowed, divorced, childless, unhappy, atheist. Working as a secretary for an arrogant windbag attorney. Living in a cramped apartment with a grumpy cat, two fish, and my dying mother. Follow me.
Cause I respect the honesty, and I commit to pray for her.
I haven’t heard much else out of her. Although every time I get on Twitter I click on her profile to see if any of her adjectives have changed. They haven’t. Aside from some funny cat memes and derogatory comments about Christians, these definitions are all that I am left with in my assessment. And I could pity or judge her, but she could pity and judge me. And if I was asked to write a profile for myself similar to hers what would it look like? What defines me?
Simply stated? Tall, busty, married, blonde, 7 kids at the moment, happily seeking Jesus Christ. Stay at home mom, author, in love with my husband. Living in a large home with large family, two dogs, lots of laughter. Follow me.
And it does sound a bit more fanciful and bright. Well, I would have rather typed tall and rail thin, but that’s not the point. The point is the definitions we take on and the definitions we portray as truths of ourselves can both explain us or cripple us. And I wouldn’t want to represent myself to the masses as a complete failure or mess, and I certainly wouldn’t want to do that and preface or conclude with “Christ-seeker.”
There is both the societal and self-imposed assumption that I am better than or whole if I am a follower of Christ. And as Christians, we believe our souls are better off – as human beings we know the definition of Christian doesn’t crown us the definition “flawless.”
So maybe I followed this brutally honest and seemingly dark woman because I envied her rawness. And, I want to be frank, and raw. I recently ripped the Jesus fish off my van. Not to deny my Christ, but because I am a distracted driver and you can’t judge a Christian by their inability to maneuver a 12 passenger van. I honestly don’t want to portray Christians as lousy drivers.
The things that adorn my profile or my biography on my blog are definitions of the human Jami. The feathers in my cap or the bumper stickers on my van don’t convey the profound truths of what it means to be wholly seeking Jesus. At first glance, you might define me as funny, lighthearted, sweet, fanciful, vain, and bouncy. From inside my head I am a one-woman circus – desperately seeking Jesus.
And that is the most relevant definition of being me. My general identity can be found in excerpts on websites. My husband and children could give you a quick run-down of singular adjectives that would give you a universal idea of who I am. My parents and my siblings have an adjective or two. I have friends who think I rock. I have enemies that think otherwise. And I get down and can rip myself to shreds. Or, I can drop a couple pounds, get a syndicated post, and make a perfect pot roast and think I am the “grandiestly” momma on the block.
But all that fades without my Jesus. What I must remember and what I must cling to is my identity in Christ. This character never changes. No matter the number of children under my roof, the size tag on my jeans, the rejection letters in my inbox, for that matter, the acceptance letters either. My identity in Christ is an unchanging description. I strive to be better, and I ache to please Him – and He consistently loves a fearless, grand, unending, boundless, undefinable, indescribable perfect love.
He sees me as infinitely – HIS. Maybe that is what I’ll change my Twitter profile to read, just: HIS.
For in Christ, all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,
And in Christ, you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. Col. 2:9-10
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Jami Amerine is a wife, and mother to anywhere from 6-8 children. Jami and her husband Justin are active foster parents and advocates for foster care and adoption. Jami’s Sacred Ground Sticky Floors is fun, inspirational, and filled with utter lunacy with a dash of hope. Jami holds a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences (yes Home Ec.) and can cook you just about anything, but don’t ask her to sew. She also holds a Masters Degree in Education, Counseling, and Human Development. Her blog includes topics on marriage, children, babies, toddlers, learning disabilities, tweens, teens, college kids, adoption, foster care, Jesus, homeschooling, unschooling, dieting, not dieting, dieting again, chronic illness, stupid people, food allergies, and all things real life. You can find her blog at Sacred Ground Sticky Floors, follow her on Facebook or Twitter.