Anne has very little ability to filter her own thoughts. This results in her complimenting strangers and interrupting conversations. Most of the time, she is delightful, but then there are episodes like today…
This morning, I started a new adventure in our new church – teaching a 5th grade leadership/discipleship class. My experienced co-leader warned me that this year’s class could be the biggest EVER. Kate and Anne – both being 5th graders – get to have me as their teacher. Lucky them ;)
Anne, Kate and I arrived early to church to welcome the 5th graders to class. Imagine my surprise when TWENTY NINE crazy kids showed up. Consequently, I decided to begin the year with a serious talk about behavior expectations ;) As I began my spiel, literally, as if she had planned it, Anne began SCREAMING at me. Seriously. Screaming. “Stupid, mom! I want a snack!!” Kate tried to calm her down which only made Anne madder…”KATE, STOP. I HATE YOU KATE!”
There I was – with 29 pairs of eyes staring at me – right in the middle of me trying to act all strict when my own daughter started yelling. This is what “No Filters” looks like sometimes.
I made a silly quip about how Anne was demonstrating how “Not To Behave” and gave her one of my mean “mom” looks. Miraculously, Anne calmed down. Just a few minutes later, Anne raised her hand when I asked why we needed to show respect to others. She said, “Because if you disrespect others, you are not obeying the Holy Spirit which lives inside of you and helps you to follow God.” Wow. Good Answer. This is also what “No Filters” looks like sometimes.
We survived church and had a relatively quiet Sunday. But tonight, as I was getting her ready for a bath, Anne said,
“Jesus has a good plan for my brain injury. When things are at their darkest that’s when I have to believe the most.”
This profound thought was sandwiched between excitement over new bath toys and wondering whether she had to go to school the next day. Just another thought in an unfiltered day.
I wonder what I would look like “unfiltered.” That is a very scary thought! Most of my thoughts center around myself or are critical of others. I have small moments of thankfulness and/or God-focused thoughts – but not as many as Anne.
In some ways, I believe Anne’s brain injury is an asset. She’s not self-absorbed or bound by the fear of what others will think of her. In other words, she is not encumbered by self-consciousness.
I think Anne’s secret to an unfiltered life is that there’s less of herself to get in God’s way. He works through her more powerfully, because she surrenders herself so effortlessly. I get to see ALL of her joy, sadness, anger, wonder, disappointment and excitement. It is beautiful to me – because she is wrapped in the fragrance of Jesus.