On Instagram, I’m known as idontdothat (meaning I don’t do Instagram – only because idontinstagram was taken). On Twitter, my few twitterings are made by one midwestchick. On SnapChat, the screen name is notdoingthat (because idontdothat is currently taken). On Facebook, I’m me. I’ve always been my proper gub’ment name: Adrienne.
I don’t have a nickname. I go by my first legal name Adrienne (like the movie – Adreeeeeeeaaaaaannnnn – because really, that’s original. I was three when the movie came out so guess how many times I’ve heard that particular reference?). As you can see, I definitely do social media. But I don’t do all social media. I prefer Facebook. I don’t know why.
It didn’t occur to me I didn’t have my name posted here until one someone prompted me for it. It’s amazing how often I don’t identify myself. In this post 2001 world, identity is a thing to be protected, hidden, revered even. Anything that reveals the person I want to be known as (think along the lines of the Artist Formerly Known as Prince) was neatly contained within my Facebook profile. Sort of.
So…who IS this chick exactly?
Adrienne is not who she was when she first started out in the Facebook sphere in 2008. When she began that journey, she was unhappily single in a long term relationship with misery, although she was married to Christ. One couldn’t correlate Adrienne with the joy of salvation. Adrienne was…real. Rough. Raw. On-again-off-again. Lukewarm, as the Lord calls it. People saw half-steppin’ religion. Although she had been a Christ follower, established from birth (from a long line of Christ followers), she was also fully committed to cheating on Christ with selfishness, apathy and despair – and the people who allowed her to support those habits.
I tried to be someone the world wanted me to be. And I hated me for it. You can’t be who Christ called you to be if you don’t know who He has called you to be. Yeah, you can read about how you are called, equipped and well-able to do great works, even superimpose yourself on top of the Bible greats who walked before you. To know and walk in your true authority and identity is something altogether different, and it’s something satan and the kingdom of darkness works overtime to prevent and/or distort. Like Paul, I haven’t laid full hold of it. I wasn’t there, and still ain’t yet. I’m getting there little by little, day by day.
How did I get on the road to discovery? Read on…
In 2008, the Lord was fed up with my shenanigans. On the outside, things appeared to be looking up. God was indeed blessing my life. I was grateful. I was beginning to understand it wasn’t just about rules with Him. It was about the relationship, and the relationship would keep me following the rules by default. Just like any relationship, you don’t want to violate the person you love, so you do the things that please them to the best of your ability.
Anyway, I had just finished some milestones: completed my bachelor’s degree, remained gainfully employed at a permanent gig for more than a year (worked contract for years prior to this), moved back to St. Louis and was prepping for my oldest to become a junior in high school. Although these good things were happening, and I was learning about the Lord and His intimacy, I was full of hurt and mistrust, even as a Christian. I felt…betrayed. Let down. Dissatisfied and uncomfortable. I wanted more. I knew there was more. What I was living wasn’t ‘it’, and I knew this.
2008 was significant. It was a time of new beginnings (eight is the number of new covenant/beginnings). When I graduated on 12/12/2008 (<<<<——- talk about significant by design) the Lord asked me a question that would change my entire life as I had known it. “Can I break you? Are you ready to be broken?” I had ended a relationship with Kids 4 & 5 father and was planning to move out. We had been ‘over’ for three years prior to that, yet I was afraid I couldn’t survive financially or mentally without him present. Our relationship was dysfunctional at best. Truly, that was the best it was from 2004-2008. My children were steeped in this as well. The Lord (who spoke to me quote often and quite clearly) told me I wasn’t living up to my identity, and that He was ready to move me, that I was a princess living like a pauper in a pauper’s kingdom. I was damaging the seed by staying complacent and afraid. Despite this, I was desperate and hungry for change. I didn’t know what He was asking, but I trusted Him because He had shown me favor and mercy. He had wooed me and I was falling hard for Jesus, so I said yes.
The condensed version is January 2009 started off with a sho’nuff bang. In the first quarter I lost my job and my transportation. My family and I had to learn how to survive. I learned how to endure major loss and to trust the Lord for EVERYTHING right down to toothpaste and toilet paper.
He remained faithful. When I thought I was going to lose my mind, when thoughts of walking out on my children felt insurmountable, when the pain was too much and I laid on my couch bald-headed and suicidal for three days in the darkest place I had ever been – completely and totally crushed – the Lord poured out His balm on me and made me brand new from dust. He gave me beauty for my ashes and the garment of praise instead of mourning. The words to me during that time that kept me sane were ‘a bruised reed I will not break‘ (Isa 42:3). Although I was broken, bruised, pulverized in so many ways – from self induced wounds and kisses from friends (Ps 55: 12-14, Luke 22: 47-48, Proverbs 27: 6) – the Lord showed me only He alone could provide for me day in and day out. Even after that, I sometimes forget. And He reminds me Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He still won’t break the bruised.
Facebook shows is my evolution. I barely recognize …her. I went from being pretty raunchy and off the cuff to constantly talking about Jesus – it’s like I can’t turn it off. My kids called me a Bible thumper once and I started laughing. It seems like praise to God comes out. Don’t get it twisted. I have very human frailties – I get mad and some times the wrong things come out of my mouth. Everything isn’t said with love. I don’t always treat my neighbor as myself. While some envy, I’m guilty of lust (for things sometimes, sometimes for the life of someone else). I can be ambitious. Very opinionated. Grouchy. Munchy – yes, I said munchy. I’m a purveyor of fine foods. I don’t care for a lot of fast food, but gimme a sexy cream sauce and I’m hooked. The spicy food had to go because I no longer have a gall bladder. Besides, I firmly believe there will be bacon in Heaven. I think even Jesus enjoyed bacon.
Image is everything. Not sharing my identity here is fairly normal for me because I want to remain…hidden. Been that way my entire life. I don’t like drawing attention to myself. Somehow though, I often find myself in situations in which all eyes are on me, and it’s not comfortable. I think it funny when I ask God about me, He says transparent. I’m called to live a transparent life – before my spouse, children, parents, friends, and now social media. My past…yeah, it ain’t pretty. Not something that can be wrapped up neatly into a box. Although I’ve known the Lord ever since I can remember, I didn’t really have relationship with the Lord until the breaking experience in 2008. That 2.9 years was difficult, some of the most difficult I had ever faced, but it made me…transparent. Open. Honest. Available. All of the things I try not to be. At the end of that period, the Lord molded me into someone I scarcely recognized…but the man He chose for me was able to see me clearly and unfiltered. That alone is a testimony I don’t have space to write today.
If you were to ask ‘who is that Chick?’ I’d say what I have been saying for the last six months. Holy. Righteous. Redeemed. Royal. Loved. Made New. Obviously, not your average chick (been my motto since 1998). I have to be reminded daily I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I’m intentional, purposed and holy – like my Daddy. Those are my titles, but I go by Adrienne.
My turn to ask you – who are you?