The Road Ahead
So, I met a lady at a party the other night. I will just let that rest there as you predict the potential outcome of this post.
Some of you are praising God that your prayers have been answered, while others of you are immediately beginning to pray that this mystery woman has patience. A larger portion of you are waiting for the punch line.
So, I met a lady at a party the other night. Her name is Jenny. She introduced me to another woman named Jenny; her wife. When I hear a women talk about her wife or a man talk about his husband, it hits a part of my brain that is less shock and more intrigue. I have been introduced to plenty of same-sex wives and husbands. It is simply the sign of the age in which we reside.
Meeting the two Jennys led me down a path of retrospection. If things had been different, I would have married my longtime boyfriend in 1996. And 20 years later Iwould be introducing my husband, Joseph. That gave me pause for thought. To be honest, my first thought wasn't "thank God I didn't get married to a man." My first thought was more selfish in nature; "Thank God I didn't get married, because I wouldn't have enjoyed the freedom of a single life for the last 20 years." Whether I had married a man or a woman, is inconsequential when it comes to freedom. Life decisions are different when it's you alone at the head of the board room, rather than you, your spouse and a few kids all weighing in with their opinions.
While the world is celebrating marriage for one and all, I have to say that each time I see a gay couple together, my heart aches for them. Label me a hater, I don't care. It's isn't a judgment call. I have been where they are and beyond. I know that gay marriage is not in God's plan for His creation. I know the human desire to live a normal life intermingled with the complications of homosexual desires.
In case you were wondering, I didn't wake up one day and want to marry a man. By the time I got to the point, I had been through a myriad of conversations and decisions about my homosexual desires. Wanting to marry a man came after a thousands of compromises, daily shame and heartbreak and many acts of settling for less. I never thought I could leave homosexuality behind. I didn't want to live in the Christian worldwhere they seemed to hate me, so I made the best life I could in the mess of my broken sexuality. I look back now and know that it was only the prayers of my father that kept me from succumbing fully to the deception of homosexuality. If you are a praying parent, do not stop praying and fighting for your child. The bible says that the effectual, fervent prayers of a righteous person avails much.
I think that in today's culture, there is so much acceptance promoted and demanded for all things gay, that gay people get to the marriage decision a lot sooner than I did. I am thankful I had time to wrestle between the religions of homosexuality and Christianity. All these years later, I have a faith with Jesus and a walk out of homosexuality that were forged in the fires of trial and error; safe from angry, belligerent gays and angrier Christians who took "the bible is a sword" scripture way, too, seriously. The gay community goes after anyone with even an inkling of sexual struggle these days, expecting them to claim citizenship under one of the ever-growing collection of initials in the LGBTQ+ moniker.
This year I celebrate that 19 years ago on December 22, 1998, I said no longer will I run from God. No longer will I believe the lie that I was born gay or that gay is a reasonable compatriot of heterosexuality. No longer could I continue to believe something about myself that God didn't believe or orchestrate. I didn't leave homosexuality behind easily. I had to take action. There was a point where I had to stop waffling between the two great ideologies raging within me and freakin' PICK SOMETHING to believe in.
In the gospels, Jesus appears to his disciples after his crucifiction on the beach. After the death of Jesus, their friend and teacher, they had returned to their old lives as fishermen. I imagine that they were paralyzed with hopelessness and grief. What I find compelling and encouraging is Jesus's actions towards Peter. The weight of what Peter had done weighed heavily on him. He carried the weight of his sin into his interaction with Jesus. Jesus, in turn, brought something unexpected. Jesus reminded Peter of their bond and welcomed him to the next season of growth, despite his sinful past.
The Lord is doing the same for me. I am currently spending time some time on the shore with Jesus. He is calling me to a new season of growth. To lay down over 40 years of struggle and follow Him with a renewed spirit. He has called me to make decisions to free myself of the obstacles I have allowed to take root in my heart and to trust Him to do the necessary surgery on my soul. He is reminding me that before I was an earthly son, a minister, an ex-gay or an executive director, He is my savior and I am His chosen disciple. I feel the freest I have ever felt. Considering the Lord delivered me from the idea that I was gay for 27 years, that is saying a lot. As I divulge myself of the things that have kept me bound, I step into a new season, a new beginning and land where excuses stand between me and my ultimate purpose.
This new season is best described by an idea my pastor birthed a few weeks back. The life of a Christian is simply this.
Jesus. All day. Every day.