Permission to Swear
(Or the "Lisa - Clause")

Before I move full speed ahead with my story, I need to take care of one important matter that will cause major issues if I don’t: 

It has to do with swearing

As I wrote my introduction, I noticed that I already swore twice. I used the words “hell” and “shit”. The words came out very naturally and felt necessary. I felt the need to say them for the sake of authenticity. Now I know how Christians feel about swearing, and I know that scriptures don’t necessarily celebrate foul language. 

I’m not here to justify swearing.

I’m not going to tell you that there’s a scripture that says it’s okay to swear. (I’m still looking for it) I prayed once about swearing, convinced that God didn't mind it as much as some uptight Christians. I told God, “Hey God, this annoying and pretentious Christian guy keeps telling me that I shouldn’t swear. You don’t really care about the words I use, do You? You see my heart and know what truly matters. You know that my intentions are good. You don’t focus on the external stuff, right?” God responded later that night by giving me a dream where He washed my mouth with soap. I was a little baffled by it.

As annoyed and disappointed as I was in God's response to me -- still -- the humor of it wasn't lost on me.

In my dream, I was taking a bath. On the side of the bathtub, there was a bar of soap. Suddenly, soap bubbles began to rise from the soap bar and float into my mouth. I looked down at the soap bar, and on top of it, I read the words: ICHABOD! 

At this point, I didn't even know what Ichabod meant. I just knew that it meant something bad. I had to look it up later, and I discovered that it meant without honor or glory and that the word originated in Hebrew. 

What the...? 

Right after this dream I woke up angry as a bee. I was really mad at God because I didn't want to change a thing about myself.

I've been going back and forth over the years with this language issue. I've had periods of no swearing and pretty abundant swearing, even recently. But that night, I remember wrestling with the idea after this prayer until finally deciding to comply and clean up my speech. Immediately after that decision, to my surprise, I felt an unexplainable sense of homecoming.

I admit that I’ve always had a potty mouth. When I was in second grade, I once visited a friend’s house, and while talking to her about random stuff, I swore happily like a sailor, which came naturally to me. While doing this, I wasn’t aware that my friend’s mother was secretly eavesdropping on our conversation. Suddenly, she stormed into the room and gave me the most furious lecture I’ve ever received in my life. I still remember it to this day. She went on and on about how she couldn’t believe her ears of the words coming out of my mouth and how unbelievably inappropriate it was for a little girl to use language like that. I was so shocked that I didn’t swear for the next two years...

I had mad respect for her after that. I’m glad that she put me in my place.

If you think about it and follow the spirit of truth to the end with the sincerest aim to clean yourself, then foul language probably wouldn’t fit the picture.

And I admit, it would be a little difficult to imagine angels dropping f-bombs in Heaven. Somehow, it just wouldn’t seem right…

But I’m no angel, and this is not Heaven.

Therefore, enter the “Lisa Clause.” 

The Lisa Clause means that I get to swear while telling my story because that’s what I do, and that’s who I am.

I'm human. I'm imperfect, and my story is ugly.  Make no mistake. And if you want to hear the real story from an actual human, you will also have to listen to the f-bombs coming out of my mouth because those are the real words of the real story. It’s a package deal. It's either that, or there will be no story. Yes. If you want to hear the story, you will have to listen to my sin, all the dirt, before and after conversion, so please, don’t come to me with your scriptures, Christians, don’t put me on trial.

I will save you the trouble.

There is no pretty version of this story. If that's what you're looking for, leave now.

 This version is Rated R and contains foul language.