On Our Way To Crazy

… like disco lemonade…

I was not on fire. October 16, 2013

Filed under: Introspection — brandi @ 9:30 am

Here’s the thing. I was never on fire.
I wanted to be, so desperately. Sitting in the dark arena/chapel/gym/youth room/campground, the music swelling, the lights just right, I would decide to DO SOMETHING about it all and go down front and try, this time, to get it right. To say the right words and turn my heart into something with a spark I could fan into a flame so the words on my t-shirts would finally be true.
I was the FCA secretary. I worked at the Christian bookstore (not, despite my begging and pleading with the manager, in the music section. But I sold the heck out of some homeschool curriculum in the education department.) I had the See You At The Pole shirt with the big American flag on the front. I never missed youth group. I had one of those laminated sheets that told you IF YOU LIKE (mainstream artist)… YOU’LL LOVE (Christian artist)!
I don’t care what anybody says, Audio Adrenaline is not and acceptable substitute for Everclear.
I was in the youth choir. (Bad idea.) My serious boyfriend was the son of one of the pastors at our church. (Worse idea.)  I highlighted Proverbs 31 and took notes in the back of my Bible and ignored all the things that set off alarms in my head because I knew I was the only one who had those questions and I didn’t want to become someone’s (unspoken) prayer request.
They never told me directly that I was wrong. But I picked it up in a thousand different ways.
When my friend yell-whispered ARE YOU A CHRISTIAN??? before passing me the tray of communion wafers. When I mentioned being interested in going into youth ministry and someone suggested I try to marry a youth pastor instead. When I was the only one who had a problem with the line in that Newsboys song about “an entire turnaround that would make a bouncer take ballet, even bouncers who aren’t ‘happy'”. When everyone was jumping and raising their hands and crying and I tried and tried but my heart wasn’t in it.
I figured out how to create smoke. But I was not on fire.


This post is part of a synchroblog for Addie Zierman’s new book When We Were On Fire.


6 Responses to “I was not on fire.”

  1. Rebecca Says:

    I love your honesty so much. And those kids you get to hang out with for a living, the ones who more likely than not don’t feel on fire either, they are lucky to have you.

  2. Kari Says:

    I didn’t understand that Newsboys lyric until years later. YEARS. I didn’t really know what a bouncer was but I figured they weren’t happy because they had to throw drunk people out of clubs.

  3. Addie Zierman Says:

    Love this. This line — “I don’t care what anybody says, Audio Adrenaline is not and acceptable substitute for Everclear.” — laughing so hard. And yes, I love this idea of creating smoke to detract from the fact that we weren’t sure what it meant to experience “fire” in the way everyone was always talking about.

    Thanks so much for linking up and sharing!

  4. When We Were On Fire: Synchroblog Round-Up | Addie Zierman | How To Talk Evangelical Says:

    […] “I don’t care what anybody says, Audio Adrenaline is not and acceptable substitute for Everclear.” ~ Brandi […]

  5. Sarah Says:

    I was probably 11 or 12 when I first heard that song, and like Kari mentioned, I definitely didn’t understand that Newsboys lyric at the time. And then I didn’t remember it until just now. So yes. I just understood it JUST NOW, RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT, READING YOUR BLOG. And now I hate it with you.

    I always just assumed they were unhappy because they didn’t like their jobs as bouncers. Like they just had to work there because it was a job and it paid the bills, but they were dissatisfied and discouraged with their life and so they didn’t want to do anything at all, like extracurricular dance classes.

    My interpretation is better, let’s be honest.

  6. Liz Says:


    When I saw that you participated in Addie’s synchroblog I thought I should invite you to participate in a monthly synchroblog that I am a part of.

    It’s made up of a home-grown group of bloggers who like to write on topics of post-modern faith & life. This group is open to anyone who is interested in participating. We value respectful conversation and dialogue while honoring our differences. We share links & try to learn from each other.

    Some of the people that originally participated in the synchroblog no longer blog and I am trying to reach out to people like you who are currently passionate about blogging in order to keep our monthly synchroblog relevant and vital.

    If you are interested in joining us you can join the facebook group and receive monthly invitations to the synchroblog. Here is that link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/114506961937378/

    And you can find our website (which you can subscribe to if you want to receive an email when we post the monthly theme announcement/invitation) here: http://synchroblog.wordpress.com/

    (You can see all of the themes that we have covered in the past on our website in order to get an idea of what we do)

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

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