By now it’s no secret that I’m a fan of Jami Amerine. I imagine friends probably get tired of hearing about what she’s said (sorry Jami!), because I often quote her and share her hilarious antics in casual conversation. Maybe that makes me a fangirl? I don’t know.
What I do know is this – Jami is important to me for one reason, and one reason only. It isn’t because she is releasing an already best-selling book and will likely end up more well-known than she ever wanted to be. It isn’t because she makes me laugh, although she leaves my sides splitting nearly every time I read her blog. It isn’t even because she is a faithful friend and actually cares about little ol’ me. And that she does.
Because here’s the thing – I have other friends who are well-known authors, I have other hilarious friends, and I have friends who care deeply for me.
The one thing Jami did for me that is different is this: when I was at my lowest point, about to give up on God, and walking away from everything I have ever believed – when I had finally said hang-it-all, I’m done – God sent Jami.
And all Jami did was point me to Real Jesus.
I said, “I’m done trying. I can’t be good enough for Him. Ever.”
She said, “He doesn’t want you to.”
I said, “I don’t even know who He is anymore. I don’t trust Him. I don’t even like Him.”
She said, “That’s ok. He still likes you.”
I said, “I’m scared. What if I’ve pushed Him so far away He’s done with me?”
She said, “You can’t.”
And then I read Stolen Jesus.
And I began to fall in love with Real Jesus. And I am still in the process. Because how many of you know that when you take a hard fall, it takes awhile to get back up.
See this book isn’t about Jami. Even though it is.
It’s about Jesus. Woven throughout the stories, the questions, the heart-break, and the hilarity that will leave you holding your sides and gasping for breath, is the honest, simple, sweet truth of the Gospel –
Jesus paid it all. It is done.
Why? It’s as simple as “just because He loves us.”
And as I continue to learn about Him, He is patient with me. What I learned from Jami’s story is that He does not tire of teaching me. I cannot wear Him out with my questions and my doubts, my fears and my frustrations, born of simple misunderstanding, and not trusting my own self to hear Him clearly.
I am learning that His understanding of the state I am in is so deep, and so much higher than my own, that it doesn’t phase Him the least when I tell Him I’m angry, or “break up” with Him like Jami did.
He continues to walk with me, to pursue me, to reveal small truths moment by moment, only as much as I can handle at a time. He is never forceful. He never pushes Himself on me or slams me over the head with the truth of the Scripture.
No; instead, “He is most careful with us.”
And He continues to be most careful with me. Day after day.
The search is not over. This journey to learning Who Jesus really is at His very heart continues.
When you are so far gone, you don’t turn around and suddenly find yourself right where you need to be. There has been no miraculous revelation. No “aha” moment to suddenly open my eyes.
But as I read about Real Jesus, there are moments the truth is so clear, and I feel such an unmistakable, gentle love filling my heart, that all I can do is cry tears of relief.
And I am less afraid. And I am more at peace. And I am more confident than ever that Real Jesus has already found me, taken my hand, and said, “Come up here and let me show you great, and abundant, and beautiful things, more than you could ever dream.”
So to the Real Jesus, I say, “Lead. I will follow You anywhere.”
Grace and peace.
Thank you Jami for being His voice of love to this confused, broken fangirl’s heart.