Posted in The Smudgiest Candle

A New Beginning

Good morning, Cyberspace!

Last week, I heard something that made me seriously think. I was told, encouraged, and inspired to do something–be something–that is not necessarily normal, nor easy, for me to be.

I was told to be bold.

And as usual, I know exactly what you are thinking.

“Kenzie,” you say. “What do you mean you’re not bold? You’re, like, way too bold. You’re bolder than those extremely annoying Butterfinger commercials screaming at me to be bolder than bolder than bolder than bold.”

And to that I must say, “Why, thank you.”

But alas–no. You are wrong.

See, I can be bold when it comes to my writing. I can shriek at you like the tiny pterodactyl hatchling that I am and pound my meaty fists on the table while drilling my latest manuscript woes into your tiny, susceptible noggins, all in the name of being a bold writer.

I can throw cookies in the air and stuff pom-poms in your face to cheer you on when you’re having a bad day, and give you virtual muffins and cocoa and whatever it is to try and get you to crack a smile and know that you are loved, all in the name of being a bold bloggy friend.

But when it comes to my faith?

Well. When it comes to that, I am a coward.

Even now, as I type these very words, I’m questioning whether I’m going to post this. And it isn’t even because I’m worried about the way people will view me. From what I know, the vast majority of you are also Christians. I’ve read your blogs. I’ve seen your profiles. I know the interests you blast into the blogosphere, just as I blast my own Christianity into the Great and Terrible Cyberspace by way of my profile and the About The Authors page. It’s right there, visible to all who’d spare a glance:

‘Mackenzie Keene is a Christian…’

And that’s it. One sentence. One word. That is all I’ve given to honor the most important decision I’ve ever made.

That is all I’ve given to honor the most important person in my entire life.

One sentence.

And why? Why is that all I’ve done, when there are so many opportunities that I can grasp to tell God’s Word through this blog? Why, when there are so many lives that can be touched with even a simple verse, have I refrained from even posting that?

The answer is really quite simple.

When it comes to speaking about faith, I am a coward.

And I’ll tell you why.

When a Christian talks about their faith to a non-Christian, or even other Christians, there are two ways it can be perceived.

Option One– The ‘Haughty’

Now, I know you know what I’m talking about here,  so don’t even try to deny it.

Know that I know that you know.

The ‘Haughty’ happens when a Christian is talking about their faith, not to boost the faith of another Christian, or to show God’s all-consuming love to non-Christians, but to boost themselves in the eyes of their peers. They use their Christianity and their faith in Christ, their knowledge of the Bible and their own profound ‘holiness’, to make themselves look…flawless.

And that, dear beans, is not what Christianity is.

Christianity is knowing that we are flawed.

And when I say flawed, I mean flawed. Think blackened sins waging on in our shattered hearts. Think minds filled with anxiety and fear. Think severe, incredible weakness because we know that we can do nothing on our own.

And so, because of that–because we realize how severely and incredibly weak and guilty and flawed we really are–we turn to the One who is flawless. The One who picks us up, and–instead of making us stumble through our lives on our shaky, quivering knees–carries us in His arms and fills us with hope. The One who refreshes our souls and puts a joy so profound into our hearts that there is no more room for the darkness.

Christians are not people who are ‘Holier than Thou’. Christians are people who have realized that they are weak. People who realize they are frail. People who realize that they are not ‘holy’, and therefore turn to the One who is.

But that can sometimes not be the case when we talk about our Christianity. Sometimes Christians are ‘The Haughty’, trying to make themselves taller than others, when really, we just need to be–

Option Two– The ‘Joy’

I know you’ve seen it. That person, that one person in your life who is just so filled with joy that you look at them and think–

HOW.”

But the answer is simple:

Jesus.

And when you talk to this person, even about the most dumb, arbitrary things, you can’t help but notice this beautiful light inside of them, a light that is so rare to find in this world of darkness that you can’t help but want it too.

And no, I don’t mean some giant blaring spotlight that gets thrown upon them for “THE ULTIMATE CHRISTIAN AWARD!”

Because that’s just wrong.

I’m talking the little light. The small light. The soft light that can never die.

Unlike that giant spotlight that’s eventually going to crash and burn and need about thirty electricians before it’s up and running again, this little light is always there, always shining, and never goes out.

Sure, sometimes it flickers and dims, but still it burns on, and anyone who cares to look will find it.

Now, the ‘Joy’ is different than the ‘Haughty’, because, when they talk about their faith, or about God, or just about anything, it is not to elevate themselves on a pedestal of fabricated holiness, but to bring light to another person’s life, whether that person is a Christian, a non-Christian, or an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie (my personal favorite).

And you can tell the difference. The ‘Joy’ does not care if people know how flawed they are; they agree to it heartily themselves. They know they are sinners, they know they have issues, and they know that, through God, they are made stronger through it all. They have joy and hope, because their strength and happiness is in God, and when they talk, it is to share that joy and hope and strength with you. Not to brag about it and gloat.

And this is where I come to my dilemma.

Cyberspace, I want so badly to be a ‘Joy’. I want to be able to share my faith with people, rather than at them. But I am so, so worried that no matter how hard I try, I’m going to come across as a ‘Haughty’.

Because it is within every Christian’s power to do so when remained unchecked.

And let’s be honest for a moment here: I get carried away.

A lot.

And it is because of this (possibly irrational, but most likely completely rational) fear of coming across as snotty that I have refrained from posting this for months.

And I still have that fear. I am still afraid to do what I feel called to do, and that is to set aside even a tiny little piece of this blog to the One who I owe my entire life to.

And, quite frankly, I don’t think that fear will ever go away entirely.

But today, I choose to be brave. I choose to be a little bit different than your average writing blog. I choose to be, 100% and completely, me.

And I am nothing without God.

So here’s what I’m going to do:

I’m going to start sharing my faith more through this blog. Whether it is through a simple Bible verse to inspire you and me and all the cookies each week, or even through the occasional post, I am going to do my best to be a ‘Joy’, to share my faith boldly, stifling the fear that constantly cripples me.

But I’m also going to keep my feet planted firmly on the ground where they belong, for I am also determined that there shall be no high and mighty pedestals ’round here.

(The ‘keeping my feet planted on the ground’ statement is completely metaphoric, because obviously my dragon wings need to be stretched every once in a while, or they’ll tear, and then it’s blood and vein tendrils everywhere, and really it’s just a giant, slightly terrifying mess, to be honest.)

And if there ever comes a time when I do flounce my arrogant self up on top of a shining pedestal, feel free to knock me down with your favorite baseball bat, hatchet, pitchfork, or any other–preferably murderous and slightly sharp–objects.

Thou hast my permission.

Because yes. I–the Smudgiest Thought–am a Christian.

Chances are, so are you.

And it is time, dear beans, for us to be brave.


So… This post was not my normal Smudge, was it? Not exactly funny. Not exactly sarcastic… In fact this was almost too much severity for me to even handle. Hopefully I did not kill you with the seriousness.

But, please be honest… What do you think? Are you excited for this new change? Obviously, there will still be the plethora of random writerly facts to badger you with each week, but hopefully every once in a while I can be a little shining light to the Great and Terrible Cyberspace. So what do you think, Cyberspace?

What do you think?

 

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Author:

Christian, writer, blogger, dreamer, and full-time dragon enthusiast. I also like to fling cookies everywhere. Preferably at your face.

35 thoughts on “A New Beginning

  1. I’m excited for the new change, it’s always nice to see another Christian around the cybersphere. It’s apt that you posted this right before Easter. It’s good to have a place for serious thoughts, not just story cookies. (Except now we’re all cookies apparently, I think I’ll be a brownie or a white chocolate chip…)

    I tend to find that if I try to directly talk about deep or serious things like this, I feel really awkward and kinda go blank. But I can say a TON about the real world and what matters through my stories.

    It also makes me think about my little bios or descriptions I have in cyberspace, because sometimes I say if I’m Christian, and other general aspects of me, and other times I only put one detail about myself. My main blog profile just as a warning about me not writing much, but leaves you with atmospheric imagery, which I like. But I don’t think I have anything on there saying I’m a Christian–except that I have a little comic about me moping at the Holy Spirit. I think I’ll just make an About page for all my general info. That’s the other thing, my blogs are always half-finished so I think I needed this post to make me fix it up a bit.

    It’s always good to read your blog! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww, yay! I’m so glad!!! And…I actually didn’t plan for this to be right before Easter??? I’ve been trying to write this post for months, and suddenly it just happened, but I GUESS IT’S A MIRACLE! YAY!!! XD I know, right? Of course, most of my thoughts are going to be the usual WHAT AM I EVEN DOING type of thing, but there’s going to be those few serious thoughts in there too! It’ll be fun! (And I think I shall be an oat chocolate chip cookie… Those are my favorite!)

      Ugh, SAME! It’s a real problem… Talking about serious things are just not my forte, but I’m hoping that somehow I’ll be able to keep going forward with this, even through the scariness. And YES! Our stories give us entire worlds of chances to share our experiences and joy!! That is a wonderful way of sharing!!!

      Yeah, my description and bio says that I’m a Christian, but that’s pretty much where I left it, so I thought, “Eh. Why not change that up a bit?” XD OH! I saw that comic! I thought it was awesome!!!

      Awwww!!! Thank you SO much! Your comments always make me so happy, Jethan!! Thank you!!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ❤ Lovely, m'dear. I don't yell my faith anymore, because people don't respond to loud noises. Rather, I show my faith by the little things. I sneak Jesus into every post, whether he is the main focus or in the background, holding the strings. I believe this is your vision and I believe you will do well.

    I wish you luck, my sister in christ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thank you!! And yes! That is EXACTLY what I’m going for! Not that loud sound, but just that little whisper that can sneak in and touch somebody’s heart!

      Thank you so much!!!! I’m so excited to begin, but also terrified, but I’m sure it’s gonna be fun, so YAY!!! XD ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, Kenzie, this post makes me so happy!! I definitely relate to your fear. I have the exact same struggle all the time. I think it is absolutely wonderful and inspiring that you have made this new decision! It is a very courageous step, and I can’t wait to see you be the “Joy” here!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. EEEEE! I’m so glad you liked it!!!

      And ugh, isn’t it terrifying??? I’m still not sure what I’m doing exactly, so I’m just sort of waddling around trying to figure out what I’m gonna do next, but hey! It’ll be interesting! XD

      Awww! This comment means so much to me, Anna!! Thank you!!! 😀 Let us hope that I do not fail in this endeavor! XD

      Like

    1. Awww!! Thank you SO much! 😀 I’m hoping that I can be a Joy! I’ll be fun, I think!

      And I actually didn’t plan this to go up right before Easter, to be honest. It just sort of happened? But it’s cool that it happened this way, so YAY! 😀

      Like

  4. I can’t say I’m Christian (though I am agnostic, so I’m still open to the possibility of one day converting), but kudos to you for being proud of your faith! Something like this takes a lot of courage. And though I’m not Christian, I’m still interested in learning about and experimenting with all different faiths (once again, agnostic), so I’m excited to see what posts you come up with!

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awwww, thank you SO much! I actually had to schedule this post about a week ago, rather than actually hit the POST button, so that I wouldn’t change my mind and delete it. I was pretty worried about posting it, but I’m really glad that I did! I’m really excited about doing this, too, and I just hope that it doesn’t end in one giant fail. XD

      Like

  5. I think you’re making a wonderfully bold decision, and I think it’s great. I wish you success. And don’t worry about being “haughty”. If you speak what you feel, not what you want to feel or what you think you should feel or what you think others should feel, people will realize you’re speaking what you believe. That’s what counts. Not pushing things on other people like the “haughty”, but showing them what matters to you and why.
    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww! Thank you! You honestly have no idea how much this means to me…

      And your advice is absolutely wonderful, and I shall DEFINITELY be keeping it in mind! I actually needed to hear this, because it is SO easy to get caught up in how a Christian SHOULD be, and sort of brush of how they really are, and that is not what I want to do AT ALL!!! (Ugh, this is going to be slightly complicated for me… [*nervously eats all of the cookies*])

      Thank you so much!!! 😀

      Like

    1. Hahahaha! I GOT IT WRITTEN! YAY! It’s been, what? A couple months at LEAST since I said I wanted to do this, right?

      Oh well! As Mr. Krabs once said, “The deed is done.”

      Love ya, too, Jimmy! 😀

      Like

  6. I’m glad that someone is coming out and being more expressive about their faith on the internet! I feel like that can be fairly difficult to do, and even I am cautious around doing or even saying things like this when I shouldn’t be. Way to set an example!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww! Thank you!! To be honest, though, I am literally scared to death about this… *munches cookies nervously*

      I’M NOT GOOD AT BEING AN EXAMPLE WHAT AM I EVEN DOING??? *throws cookies in the air and runs away*

      But no, seriously, this is terrifying… BUT HOPEFULLY THIS SHALL NOT END IN FAILURE! (like everything else I try…) 😀

      Like

  7. Wow. This spoke directly to me. I seriously think about this all the time, and I never know how to share what I believe without sounding like some haughty proud person that wants to shove their religion in someone else’s face..
    Thank you so much for the encouragment and the challenge. ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness, yes!! Exactly! It’s like, I want to share Jesus with the world, but I don’t want to stuff him in their face and be like, “LOOOOOOOOOOOOOK!!”

      I’m so glad you liked this post! 😀 I think I can chalk the first post of this project as a Not-Fail, so YAY! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ah, Kenzie. I don’t know where to start…

    Can I just say that even before you made this changed you were a Joy??? You are just so precious and happy and a light everywhere, okay??? So don’t doubt that people noticed that and wished thery had what you do.

    Also I just want to say that it is so… cool, for lack of a better word, that someone as cool and young and modern as you is a Christian. That sounds weird, but Christianity gets a pretty bad rap sometimes so it needs all the help it can get and I think you do the name proud. The world needs to know Christians aren’t all boring and prudish and judgemental.

    Thank you for the lovely post, friend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AWWWWWWW!!! Oh my word, Kate, that means SO much to me, and this just totally made my day!!!! EEK!!! *hugs* You are the best!!!

      Oh my word, YES! That is exactly what I’m trying to do, because I feel like Christianity gets this weird, stuffy vibe, and I don’t really like that??? And while I might not necessarily be “cool” (although if you say it, it MUST be true, right??? XD ) I do want to show the world that Christians aren’t all…stuffy…

      THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS COMMENT! Your comments are so sweet and amazing, and just UGH!! I love your comments!!!

      Like

      1. EWWW DID YOU SEE ALL THE TYPOS IN MY ORIGINAL COMMENT??? UGH. I hate autocorrect.

        I AM ALWAYS RIGHT DUH. But yes, I get the feeling that people think Christians are all middleaged and boring OR trying reeeeaaaaalllly hard to be modern and young and failing. So I’m just comforted by the fact that you are a Christian because your not a) boring or old or b) trying super hard to prove that Christianity is the cool thing to do. You are simply being you and that does very nicely, in my opinion. 😉

        Like

        1. There weren’t TOO many typos, haha! And autocorrect is my nemesis (besides tea, of course) so I can COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND YOUR HATRED. 😛

          OF COURSE YOU ARE! *feeds you cookies* Yeah, being a Christian and talking about your faith is SUPER DIFFICULT, because it can be construed in so many different ways, and it’s just…ugh. And YAY! I’M NOT BORING! OR OLD! *dances like a chicken*

          Awwwww!!! You are the sweetest person in the world!!! *throws all of the cookies at your face and squishes you in a hug*

          Like

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