Thursday, December 25, 2008

yes, it's been a while

i can't believe its been over 3 months since my last post. i know only a handful of people read my blog anyway, but i'm still sorry to have taken such a long break. i have a million excuses, but the truth is, i haven't really known what to say.

until now.

its christmas night and i can't believe i'm on my computer blogging. that wasn't the original plan. in fact, i've been in bed for a solid hour. crying and stressing out. i'm not one to cry. nor am i one to stress. but tonight it all came pouring out.

you see, i've been spending alot of time with my parents over the holidays. just me and them. and i've been loving it. i've got the most amazingly close relationship with my dad. he's my hero. my best friend. well, he's everything to me, to be honest. we've had such an incredible time.

it's becoming more and more difficult to not fully be myself with them. they don't know i've embraced my identity as a gay female. they know i love Jesus. they know i love them. and heck, they even know i "struggle" with homosexual tendencies. but they have no idea that God has been rocking my world these past few years. they have no clue that i've embraced who i really am, and i'm living the true abundant life. 

tonight my heart is heavy. i feel the weight of the world on my chest. i am crying hard. not just tears, but tears gushing filled with anxiety and stress and downright fear.

i am so scared. and i didn't want to write any of this out, because it almost makes it more real. and honestly, i stopped writing for a while because i was so sick of the people who kept emailing me and commenting, trying to persuade me that i'd been lied to and decieved. i know what i know. and i know what i know in my heart and deep within my spirit. so i guess these 3 months of silence have been good, but i can't hold it in any longer.

so please if you're reading this and you're thinking i'm crazy to think i can be gay and a Christian, i ask you from one Christian to another, please dont comment or email me. i'm going through a hard enough time as it is, trying to wrestle with when to tell my parents about who their daughter really is.

part of me wants to shut my computer down and tell them tonight. get it over with. why delay the inevitable? why drag on the fascade any more than i already have? why keep on lying to their faces? i can barely look my dad in the eye anymore. my best friend. i can barely look at him because i've never been dishonest with him before.

the other side of me wants to keep hidden. stay in hiding where the waters are "smooth" and where i dont rock the boat. but the boat will be rocked sooner or later. and the time is coming. i am so terrified. i'm full of fear.

the main two things i'm scared of:

1. angering my mom
2. disappointing my dad

mom will be totally pissed, no doubt. she'll react in complete and utter rage and anger. that's not the part i'm scared of. she can yell, she can argue and do anything. that really wont phase me. what's really going to kill me, and i mean in that deep place that few have access to, is when i see my dad's eyes. when i see his disappointment. when i see his fear. when i see his grief over the loss of his little girl's dream. how will i survive? will i be ok? he will always wonder how this is all going to work out.

i know eventually it will work out. being a Christian for 20 plus years has taught me a thing or two about the sovereignty of God. i know He'll work it all out, for my good and His glory. i know He'll work it out with my parents. i know He's preparing their hearts as i type this.

but i'm scared. i can't sleep. the anxiety is growing. the time is drawing near. the 22 page letter i've been working on for the past year is about ready to be released into the living room of my parents. they will be destroyed. and i do not exaggerate. they are the right of the right wing. they are more fundamental than the fundamentalists. they are conservative before conservative was cool for christians. thank God dad is the most loving and understanding man i've ever known. if it wasn't for him, i would have very little hope.

so what now? when? i keep pleading with God to show me. i keep begging for a miracle. but it's not going to be easy. and there's no right time. it's a lose/lose situation. either way, someone will be hurt. the boat will be more than rocked. and the once smooth waters will flood.

my hurricane is coming.

this has brought me so much closer to Jesus. my knees are soar. i haven't prayed this hard in a while. if only Jesus would write it in the clouds for me. i've begged for signs. and then i feel silly afterward. but i really do wish i knew the "when" of it all. thank God i know the "Who." where would i be without that?

so for those of you who are reading this (both of you :) i would appreciate any advice or encouraging words. my life is about to drastically change and i'm just flat out not ready. but i'll never be ready.

how is NOW not the right time? it's gotta be the right time to do the right thing? is dishonesty ever right? my eyes are blurring. tears tears and more tears. my heart is breaking because i know i'm going to severely break my parents hearts. and we've gotten so much closer lately, but for what? are they close to the real me? 

i was stirring something today for the christmas meal, and i couldn't help but look at the 6 place settings at the dining room table. one for me, my parents, my sister and brother in law. and there's an open spot. for my Beloved, Hope. someday she will sit there. i am begging for a miracle. someday i'll get to be with my girl for the holidays. being away from her has been terribly difficult. impossible, really. 

the God who lives inside me is in the business of splitting seas and saving lost souls. He can roll stones away and endure the cross. He can make nothing out of something and cause dead things to become alive. He cheated death and He gave me life. i know He can do this. i haven't the faintest clue how, but i know He can do this. so it all comes down to trust. once again.

Jesus, help me trust You. please. i am groveling and begging.

and then i feel you pick up my chin, gently. you want me to lay at your feet and simply be. help me to be loved.

oh God, i need You now more than ever. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

watch the Lamb

i've been watching the Lamb and He has changed my life.

i always loved that song by ray boltz. and now... i love ray boltz even more.

he said, when coming out publicly recently, "This is what it really comes down to... If this is the way God made me, then this is the way I'm going to live. It's not like God made me this way and He'll send me to hell if I am who He created me to be... I really feel closer to God because I no longer hate myself."

amen. i'm hoping someday i can be as bold and brave as he was. 

read the whole article HERE 

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

thoughts from an ex "ex"

i loved this testimony from a guy who realized how hurtful and ridiculous "ex-gay" ministries are.

if you're interested, read it HERE.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

yet another story line

i'm realizing that most people blog about really inspiring things. most people talk about more than their own lives. i love to read many people's blogs who talk about real life and real experiences. and i realized that i dont so much do that. i more talk about my personal journey. selfish? yes, kind of. but also, i've realized this is like my online journal of sorts.

so, i apologize to those of you who read this and get bored with my rantings about my experience learning to live as a gay christian in full time ministry. but to those of you who enjoy seeing God's hand in all this, thank you for reading! i enjoy keeping you in the loop. because this is quite a journey.

today i had coffee with a safe, low-risk amazing friend who i came out to about a month ago. but i've been wanting to tell her the whole story: my relationship with Hope. so today, yes at starbucks again, i told her all about Hope. it was amazing. she responded so well and was genuinely excited that i had found true love. she wanted to know all the details. and at the end even said: "omigosh, i feel like i need to get you a wedding present!" it was so beautiful. she was so supportive and definitely wants to come to our wedding ceremony, whenever we have one in the future. 

gotta love starbucks. i can't seem to keep secrets there.

it was so refreshing to finally get to talk about Hope like i've always wanted to. i've wanted to shout it from a mountain how i'm in love with the most beautifully created woman in the entire world! i want to praise God outloud for His provision and His grace. 

this road is hard, but i love that i know i'm not alone. God is there so close. closer than ever. and also, i've got about 9 people who now know about me and some of those people know about me and Hope. how freeing!

just had to share... 

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

soulforce goodness

LOVED this article.

click here for some amazing insight from mel white.

a starbucks outing... literally

girls and boys, i am on a roll. the Lord keeps giving me that feeling. you know the one, the one that rises up in you and makes you feel peaceful enough to come out to someone who you trust. maybe you dont know the feeling, but i've become well aware of it. its a scary feeling, because i know i'm about to share with someone something very deep and personal. but its a great feeling because i know in that moment the Lord is Sovereign and leading me to share my story.

so today at starbucks, i met with an old friend who came back into my life after many years. about 10 years ago she asked me to sing at her holy union ceremony with her soon-to-be wife. in my ignorance, i was clearly convinced that being gay was a sin. so i told her absolutely NOT. never would i be caught dead singing at your unholy union.

my heart still cringes at those words i remember saying. such pain i must have caused.

well, when God started changing my mind and heart about the issue of homosexuality, i started thinking of all the bridges i'd burned with people like my friend. so i resolved to find every gay person i had hurt and make amends. it was difficult because i'd lost touch with many of them

so i searched and searched specifically for the info on the gal i had coffee with today. i couldn't find her email anywhere. so i prayed and prayed that God would either make me remember her email address or some way in which i could get in touch with her.

nothing for many many months. and it was eating at me. i really wanted to make things right.

finally, i surrendered. i gave up. i told God that He would have to drop her info in my lap because i couldn't find it anywhere.

3 days after that, she actually emailed me! after 8 years of not talking. she emailed me! isn't God awesome?

so i email her back immediately and tell her the God story. how i had tried to find her info. and how i gave up and then she emailed me. and i went on and on about how wrong i'd been and how sorry i was and i think i asked for her forgiveness like a gazillion times. of course she was gracious in her response, understanding my ignorance.

which isn't bliss, at all.

so we ended up talking more after that, seeing each other a couple times, and then we had coffee today. and i had a feeling she would be the 9th person on my safe, low-risk list of people i can tell that i'm gay. and lo and behold, she was. 

the funny thing is, she had asked me a week prior in an email if i was questioning whether or not i was gay. apparently my questions had led her to believe i was searching. but at this point i wasn't ready to come out to her yet. so i truthfully and simply replied, no, i'm not questioning. all the while in my head thinking, well, i'm not. there's no questioning, wink. i'm absolutely without a doubt gay.

so today my lead-in to my outing at starbucks (pun intended) was, "hey remember when you asked me if i was questioning? well, i'm not questioning. there's no question. i'm gay."

she almost spit out her double tall iced caramel 2 pumps macadamia nut over complicated with whip and a monkey playing a banjo macchiatto. it was awesome. i love surprising people. because i have tried to hard to perfect the art of putting up a front so that i am able to stay in ministry. i was glad she was astonished.

we had a wonderful talk after that. i shared with her my fears and my heart and my pain over the tension between being gay and being in full-time ministry surrounded by christians who are homophobic. its very hard. and many readers who haven't read my past posts say, "then just get out of ministry. or get into new ministry. just come out with it." 

oh wouldn't it be nice if it was that easy. the problem is, i cant. i feel called into the exact ministry in which God has me for such a time as this. and until He shows me another road, i'm staying right where He's planted me. someday He will resolved the tension. but for now, i keep walking by faith with the word as my lamp and the Lion of Judah panting beside me.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

i love my friends

my best friend, who i told last week about my relationship with Hope, you remember the one? well, she has come a long way. the Lord has used my situation to challenge her to reflect on what she thinks about homosexuality. it has been beautiful to watch her grow.

so yesterday we're talking on the phone, and supposedly she got into a conversation with a black and white fundamentalist anti-gay christian. the girl said things about how clear it was that being gay is a sin.

my best friend stood up for me and all those christians in the LGBT community. it was amazing. she said to this girl, "i totally disagree." and the girl kept on going and going and again, she said "nope, i disagree. i dont think homosexuality is a sin."

one life changed. so many more to go! but there is hope!

plus, this past week, the Lord opened up a door for me to come out to another person! she's a really good friend i have in ministry and i felt comfortable enough and trusted her enough to tell her. she responded so well. actually, it was yet another one of those, "i'm gay too" coming out sessions. it was truly amazing. God keeps blowing me away with the number of gay christians He's bringing in my path.

the number of friends who are excited about attending my wedding someday off in the far far future is growing!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

fully coming out to my best friend about Hope

so, i finally did it. i was so nervous i could barely breathe, but the timing was right. my best friend and accountability partner ashley came in town. let me preface this by saying that before this conversation, she knew i was gay and totally accepting of it. she didnt, however, know about Hope, the love of my life. 

and i knew it was time to tell her. so i know i haven't blogged in a while, its because things have been crazy, but better late than never. especially with good news!

so she came over and i told her i hadn't been completely honest with her. i started in on everything. balling my eyes out the whole time. she listened so well and then i finally told her about Hope. 

it broke my heart because she was hurt. to see the hurt i caused her, i could see it in her eyes, killed me. but God went before me. she responded well and with grace. she had compassion on me and understood why i had to keep it from her to protect myself and Hope and our relationship. 

after the initial shock and hurt wore off, she was completely excited about our relationship. so, thank Jesus i have another friend who knows about the love of my life! its so freeing to get that out. 

so that makes 3 people who not only know about me being gay, but also who i am in love with.

God keeps providing. just wanted to give you guys an update. thanks for the support.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

finally, an amazing blog on marriage and sex

wow. this blog made my day today.

had to share it with you all. click here.


Friday, August 1, 2008

house of reps apology to LGBT?

the House of Reps just put out a formal apology for slavery. The wording is below...

but first:

now, we see slavery as horrible. but way back when, people thought it normal. people even defended it with scripture. thankfully, over time, we have seen the error of our ways. i pray that some day this same thing will happen with homosexuals. i pray that some day people, america, the church will realize how horribly wrong their attitudes and beliefs have been toward LGBT people. i pray that similar wording will be used in a formal apology to those of us who are persecuted for our sexual orientation.

Note the numbered reasons why we now see that slavery was WRONG. It parallels greatly with the topic of homosexuality.

"After recounting the evil of slavery, it concludes:

Whereas a genuine apology is an important and necessary first step in the process of racial reconciliation;

Whereas an apology for centuries of brutal dehumanization and injustices cannot erase the past, but confession of the wrongs committed can speed racial healing and reconciliation and help Americans confront the ghosts of their past;

Whereas it is important for this country, which legally recognized slavery through its Constitution and its laws, to make a formal apology for slavery and for its successor, Jim Crow, so that it can move forward and seek reconciliation, justice, and harmony for all of its citizens: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives:

(1) acknowledges that slavery is incompatible with the basic founding principles recognized in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal;

(2) acknowledges the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery and Jim Crow;

(3) apologizes to African Americans on behalf of the people of the United States, for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors who suffered under slavery and Jim Crow; and

(4) expresses its commitment to rectify the lingering consequences of the misdeeds committed against African Americans under slavery and Jim Crow and to stop the occurrence of human rights violations in the future.


maybe someday they will issue an apology to people like me. i would love to see a church apology. here's how i would re-write it about us:

(1) acknowledges that bigotry toward homosexuals is incompatible with the basic founding principles recognized in the Declaration of Independence (and in the Bible, for that matter) that all people are created equal - regardless of whether or not they're created gay or straight;

(2) acknowledges the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of this prejudice and bigotry

(3) apologizes to members of the LGBT community on behalf of the people of the United States and the church, for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors who suffered under those wrongful prejudices; and

(4) expresses its commitment to rectify the lingering consequences of the misdeeds committed against homosexuals under this bigotry and to stop the occurrence of human rights violations in the future.

i am aware that it is difficult and sometimes wrong to compare slavery and homosexuality. but in this case, i compared the two so as to dream about the possibility of one day having apologies from america and the church for their treatment toward LGBT peeps.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

an amazing weekend

thank you all for praying! it happened!

i began talking to my friend about homosexuality and i finally felt the Lord gently pushing me to tell her. so i did! and i broke down and cried about how much healing and freedom i'd found and it was a beautiful moment. so amazing to find another low-risk friend to add to my inner circle of friends who love me and support me, for exactly who God made me to be. wow! i'm still stunned.

but get this:

when i came out to her, she confided in me about her own homosexuality! it was amazing. God was so all over that.

and i was also able to tell her all about me and Hope, which was refreshing. so, all in all, the weekend was amazing and the Lord added another safe, low-risk person to my inner circle of friends! He is so good and so very intentional! it simply couldn't have gone any better! 

Friday, July 25, 2008

another possible coming out weekend

i know i haven't blogged in forever, but i realized something about myself: i only like to blog when i really have something noteworthy to blog about. so i apologize to those of you who keep asking where i keep disappearing off to. i haven't disappeared! i'm still here more than ever, just busy busy busy with life and such!

but God is good and He is loving on me more than ever. i have never felt this loved and treasured and accepted by Him. it just keeps getting better. life keeps getting more abundant. looking back on this past year of ministry and life, it's amazing to see how God has increased His anointing on my life and ministry. i love to look at the timeline of how things between me and Him really took off when i finally accepted who He made me to be as a gay Christian woman. 

so awesome!

well, this weekend i have a friend coming in town and i've been wanting to come out to her for a long time, but the timing never seemed right. well, she's coming to stay with me for several days and i would really love to tell her. she isn't convinced that it's not a sin. but in her words, she's just been waiting to meet a committed Christ-follower who is gay. so, i'm guessing that's me. but i'm nervous because i'm unsure of her reaction. and i dont want it to be awkward since she's staying with me and all :)

so please pray for this situation. pray that God will prepare her heart and that i'll know whether or not to share with her. and if so, when. 

i'll keep you all posted about this situation!

one more thing i wanted to share with you:

Hope and i were walking around a school we volunteered at and a young girl, about 16 years old came up to me and said that she didn't know what it was, but she could sense a powerful anointing over me. and she said she could see Christ so evident in me and that she knew God was going to use me in big ways for His kingdom. that was so awesome to hear. and then, she had no idea that Hope and i were together, so she said, "i also notice it about that girl over there in the blue shirt. who is she? because i see that same unique special anointing on her as well." that made me smile! because i knew she was talking about Hope.

i just sat back in amazement at God's continual reaffirmation of who He has created me to be. there's nothing like hearing His soft voice of acceptance. that i am His beloved and that He's crazy about me.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hope is on a roll!

i am sitting here on my couch smiling from ear to ear. i can't wipe it off my face. i've got a beer looking at me from my coffee table and my sweet puppy is working on a bone. nothing could be more perfect. except for the fact that it just got more perfect. Hope just called and she just told her best friend ALL about us. 

now, you might remember that she came out to her several posts ago. but she didn't tell her about us. but tonight was the night and Hope brought the thunder! i just got word that it went great. hope said it couldn't have gone more perfect.

Hope's best friend is an amazing woman of God who loves her and i have gotten to know her and she's an incredible person. i've wanted her to know so badly because i knew her reaction would be positive. at first i was afraid hope's bf would be upset with us for not telling her the whole truth: ya know, the part about hope and i being madly in love with one another. but she wasn't upset. she responded perfectly!

we'll call Hope's best friend Sally. that's a good name! sally.

so sally just texted me and here's what she wrote:

"i just want you to know that i know and that i feel ok about it all. i love who you are and i'm just glad its you. i'd love to still talk to you about it all. but for now, thank you for loving my friend so much. now i really can't wait to hang out! have a great evening. we'll talk soon. and by the way, i totally understand why you guys waited to tell me. i'm not upset. i'm sure it'll take me some time to get used to but i want to learn more about it. i need to. but i'm totally feeling cool about this. i love that you love Hope. i'm really happy for you both. i really think God has been preparing my heart for these conversations."

i think i just peed in my pants! that's how exciting this all is. not only does sally know that hope is gay and now she knows that i am gay and now sally knows about me and hope's LOVE for one another based on Christ! and yes, it was quite a long text. but such great texts! wow. i'm still dumbfounded by it all. i had no idea this would all happen tonite but i'm so thankful it did. and the most amazing part is that hope and i have been praying for MONTHS that God would prepare sally's heart. and HE most obviously did! yet another affirmation and confirmation to His preparation of our new life. 

side note, while Hope was telling her best friend about her one true love, i had the privilege (insert sarcasm here) of looking through my sister's wedding album while my mom hunched over my shoulder at the table and asked me when i would find a husband. oh that someday mom would shine over my wedding album like she did tonight over my sister's! i'm not holding my breath. but i guess stranger things have happened. like the whole parting the red sea thing. 

next step: telling my parents that Hope is moving in. and then... giving them the much anticipated letter of all letters. 

here's to hope's boldness and sally's tender, gentle, and loving response! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

gotta love it!!! -

this website was huge in my entry into the thought that being gay and a christian didn't haven't to be a contradiction. but i hadn't visited the site since i started writing my parents the "i'm gay " letter about 3 months ago or so.

but for some reason tonite, i was drawn back to this amazing resource. and i'm not sure who is in charge, but i want to say thank you to them. i love the site and i love the resources. in fact, things i've read on have helped me tremendously as i continue writing this letter to my parents. 

it's so helpful to know i'm not alone. it's so helpful to know there are hundreds, thousands of people out there just like me. i am so encouraged tonight by what i read. if you haven't checked out their website, it's time!

by the way, some of you have been asking and the letter writing is coming along well. there's just so much i wanna say and i know my parents. they will expect thorough-ness. and that is definitely what they will get. i know you're not gonna believe this, but the letter is already 21 pages long! wow. i know, my poor parents are gonna go blind before they can even decide how they feel about the news. 

the bright side is, however, that i'm almost done. i think i've almost said all i need to say.

so, i'm feeling good about the progression of things. i hope to give them the letter before christmas. not around christmas, because that would be horrible timing. but ya know, like november-ish. we'll see. God's timing is way better so i'm relying on Him. i sure wish He'd do that whole burning bush thing. 

hope is in da house

as most of you know, i call my beloved Hope. just a reminder in case you were confused :)

Hope has been living with me for 6 months now but basically in secret. my parents love the fact that i live alone and they probably wouldn't be excited about the idea of me getting a roommate. but i'm ready to tell them, because i just don't like hiding a bunch of stuff from them. 

and i'd rather tell them that Hope is moving in officially and then give them the "i'm gay" letter, than the other way around. because if i give them the letter and then i tell them she's moving in, they're going to dislike that even more. so i'm trying to figure out the timeline of all this, while also surrendering to the Lord's perfect timing.

but basically, i want to tell my parents that she is moving in. they will think it's just because she's a great friend and i want a roommate to help with the expenses of my home. and i want her to move in officially by august. so i'm thinking i'll need to tell them late july, if not sooner. only problem, they're totally gonna give me crap for it. because they know that i "struggle" and they'll probably think this new roommate will make me "stumble." so they'll be against it, but i will press on.

i'm just nervous. i know everything is about to really go down. i'm ready and not ready all at the same time. but i would like to tell them she's moving in and have her move in. then i would like to give them the letter around november or december. that means that my parents will know i'm walking in freedom living as a gay christian and they will also know i'm in love with someone. so they'll probably have a problem with the fact that i've living with my lover. i would have a problem with that too. the only difference is this: if we could get married, we would. i never wanted to live with my lover. i always wanted to get married then live together. but i don't really see any other option in this situation.

she is the one for me. there is no doubt in either of our minds about that. so in my mind and hers, we are basically married, we just can't officially and legally get married... YET. but hopefully the Lord will open a door soon (aka-free plane ticket to california) that would be pretty sweet. but until then, me and Hope are enjoying a beautiful life together but i'm ready to include my parents in this part of my life. 

last night i cried because i was so scared. i cried with Hope and i told her i was so afraid of hurting my dad. that is my number 1 concern: hurting my dad. i know my mom will be upset but i'm not as worried about her. i'm desperately scared to tell dad because i know it will hurt him and disappoint him so deeply. but it needs to be done and it's time.

i'm blogging today to solicit your prayers. the time is coming. Hope is even thinking about telling her parents soon. but again, they will have to keep it completely secret because if this gets out, my job would be in jeopardy. it's getting to be an even scarier road. but i'm trying to take it one day at a time.

i so badly want our families to be happy with our relationship. but i know it's going to take time. i was walking alone in a field yesterday just talking to Jesus and pleading with Him that He would prepare my parents hearts and that they would be just as excited for me and Hope as they are for my siblings and their heterosexual marriages. 

Sunday, July 6, 2008

new pic

so, what do ya think? i just finally got tired of the really dark scary looking closet picture so i tried to find something a little more bright. thus, the smily face.

let me know if you like it or if it's too obnoxious.

something interesting that happened to me last week: one of my christian friends started ripping on the new hit radio song "i kissed a girl" - i've only heard it like twice but apparently the lyrics say "i kissed a girl and i liked it" - it's sung by a girl.

she was appauled and thought it was the worst song ever. disgusting in fact. what is the world coming to?

funny how i've never heard her comment on the hip hop songs she loves that tear down women by calling them bit&*#s and hoes. is there supposed to be an "E" in that last word? hmmm.... 

anyway, just a thought. 

as she was tearing this song apart, i was thinking, "wow. i definitely kissed a girl and i definitely liked it. in fact, i'm going to marry the girl of my dreams one day, and i'm really gonna love kissing her everyday! morning breath and all!"

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Go flair yourself

remember the movie "office space"? such a good movie. if you've seen it, you know about "flair." it's that stuff jennifer aniston had to wear at the restaurant she worked at. so i was looking all over the internet and found some pretty interesting flair that i would definitely wear if i wasn't still in the closet. please excuse the random mood i'm in! but i think you'll like this flair too. 

Thursday, June 26, 2008

i'm putting my john hancock on it

just saw this and wanted to share. i found it via God's politics - jim wallis' website. 

sign it if you want. i sure did.

bloom where you're planted, if you can stand it

hello faithful readers :)

i have had several comments from you all wondering where the heck i've been! great question! don't worry. i'm still here, still loving Jesus, and still very gay.

actually, i feel more "here" than ever, i love Jesus more than ever, and i'm gayer than ever. isn't life beautiful?

i have been entrenched in work, in a good way. i did want to blog, however, about how a couple of weeks ago my mom dropped by to pay me a visit but i wasn't home. somehow she got inside my house and then called me to tell me about it. my heart sank. i remembered that i'd just ordered a bunch of books online and they were sitting all around my house. 

in the office, i had "gay children, straight parents: a plan for family healing" sitting on the floor - when i thought of her face and reaction to finding this book, my heart fell out of my butt. in the junk basket, which i knew she would look through, i had "stranger at the gate - being gay and Christian in america" and also "jonathan loved david: a look at homosexuality in biblical times."

wow. i totally thought i'd been outed by my obsession with ordering books dealing with LGBT issues. 

but turns out mom didn't find anything. she didn't even realize that Hope is living with me. my mother still thinks i live alone with my goldfish. mommy dearest would not enjoy finding those books and finding all of Hope's stuff in my home. 

huge sign of relief. i knew my mother would act strange if she'd found anything. but she was completely normal and so was my dad. i am so thankful they didn't find out that way. i am still working on the letter. it's already like 16 pages. and i just can't stop writing. i have so much to say!

three more fundamentalist right wing religious nut sightings: 

i was attending a conference and the speaker had the audacity to say the following:

"homosexuals are the kids who were messed with when they were little. every single person who is gay was sexually abused in their childhood. gays who say they're not, just don't remember correctly. they have stuffed the incident. but it happened and that's what makes them gay. and once they reconcile that incident in counseling, they can be freed from their abominable sin."

i am waving the BS flag right here as i sit at my computer and retype that crapola. is anyone else irate over that horrendous and erroneous statement? 

unbelievable. i haven't heard this one before. but i had to sit and listen to this bulls***. it was so offensive. it offended a friend of mine who was sexually abused. and it offended me because i am gay and i know for a fact i wasn't "messed with" - which by the way is a horrible term to use. and this man supposedly had a counseling degree. bull bull bull. i couldn't believe it. it literally made me nauseous. 

instance #2 - i was talking with a pastor who said that some kids in his church think they're gay but he says, they're not gay, they're just really confused and really bored and so to pass the time in the small town, they are kissing people of the same sex. seriously?

instance #3 - i was talking with another man in ministry this past week who said that "the gays" - as he termed us - were the sole contributor of the downfall of our society. he said that it is the last step of degradation before God wipes us all out. wow. interesting how God has done nothing but bless and encourage and affirm me ever since i accepted my identity as a gay Christian woman. 

and i have to live and breathe and operate in this environment. you might ask why? why don't i just get out? well, i honestly feel called to minister within the place where God has called me to. bloom where you're planted, i suppose. even when the soil is rock hard and full of hate. i guess God is big enough to achieve growth even out of that. 

Friday, June 13, 2008

an update... finally!

Gay Double Date Update!

sorry friends to take so long to blog about this! the days after the double date were crazy and I’ve been out of town all this week! but lo and behold, here are some updates:

my first gay double date was amazing. I really haven’t found words yet to describe it. me and Hope had a blast with one of my old friends from high school and her partner. we cooked out and laughed and talked and caught up. the most incredible part, though, was getting to be free with my affection toward Hope. at first, it was awkward because we’ve never been able to love on each other in public or in front of anyone, because our relationship is in the closet, for necessary reasons. but after a while, it became more natural and comfortable. I found myself flirting with Hope and it was ok! I was able to hold on to her hand and tell her things I would normally only tell her when we are alone. now, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like PDA central, it was sweet and appropriate and perfect.

I held her at dinner, I was able to stare at her without having to worry about who might notice, and I was able to proudly call her my beloved. to show affection to the woman I was created for, opened up a whole new door of freedom for me personally and relationally. it felt so right and so natural, that by the end of the night I consciously had to stop interacting with Hope so much because we were definitely close to crossing the line of good ol’ public displays of affection. but can you blame me? I mean really. it was my very very very first time ever that I was able to act like a lesbian in front of anyone. plus, I got to love on my future wife in front of one of my best friends! the double date was a match made in heaven, to say the very least.

being “out” for one night in the presence of safe, low-risk people, was exhilarating. it actually grew my love for Hope. I caught a glimpse of what real-world out lesbians must feel like. how awesome must it be to love on your partner without any fear or worry of what other people are thinking or saying.

now I’m so much more aware of same-sex couples in public, even though I don’t see many where I live – conservative right wing fundamentalist capital of America basically. but yesterday, I saw two women hugging on each other and being really sweet, and then I realized it was a mother and daughter. crap. I thought I had found another couple!

side note: yesterday, I sat down with an old pastor friend and some how we got on the topic of homosexuality. he said the usual, “homosexuality is causing the degradation of our society as we know it. may God have mercy on our souls” type crapola that I used to believe too. what was amazing is that it didn’t make me upset like it usually does. I was simply challenged to pray that his eyes, along with the eyes of most conservative Christians, would be opened and they would be freed from their ignorance. his arguments against homosexuality couldn’t have been more flawed. he really had no idea what he was talking about. yet he talked with such confidence. even quoting good ol’ Dobson articles. barf. but it made me realize that we have such a long way to go. which draws me to my knees in day-by-day and moment by moment surrender to the ever so capable and sufficient God who is sovereign over all things.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

two posts in one day? this must be good...

oh trust me, this is good.

things are rolling folks. i can't even begin to explain it, but God is doing such a work in my life. He is bringing people in my life who are going to walk with me on this journey. this very very difficult journey into deep uncharted waters. 

just when i thought God couldn't give me any more safe low-risk people to come out to, HE DID!

a girl i used to mentor for about a year (we'll call her samantha) called me to have coffee yesterday. and coffee we had, among other things. we had an amazing conversation about how we are on similar journeys of experiencing God totally busting out of the box we've put Him in. she's completely straight and married, but is completely opening her mind to new ways to look at Truth. she is learning a ton in grad school about homosexuality, specifically. so she brought it up, and i couldn't have been happier. she looked me straight in the eyes and said, "i don't find any scripture opposing homosexuality. therefore, i dont think its a sin."

well hell yeah!

i couldn't believe my ears. here was another one of my close friends telling me that God had revealed to her that homosexuality actually isn't a sin! i was floored. i tried to hide my excitement and shock and i simply told her how God had changed my mind too. i told her i didn't think it was a sin either. 

i wanted so badly to come out to her, but i knew it wasn't the right timing. so we just kept talking about homosexuality and christianity and the Bible and such. it was such a refreshing conversation. i'm still on a high from it. she totally gets it. and i couldn't be more thankful to God for revealing His truth to her.

when i left her house, i called her and immediately scheduled a second coffee date so we could finish our conversation. so this friday, yes THIS friday, she's coming over and i'm going to tell her about me being gay. i'm totally nervous, but i know it's the right thing to do and the right timing. she is safe and low-risk and she is on my same page and will love me through this. it's almost like God is building up my team, my family, my community who will stick by my side when many others leave me. 

so, two big things coming up friends! gay double date night tonight, and coming out to samantha on friday! AHHH!!! needless to say, this is a crucial time in my life. i'd be lying if i said i wasn't a little scared. amidst the underlying Jesus-inspired peace, i am a little scared. actually, on the inside i probably look like this girl:

first gay double date!

last wednesday, i went to coffee with one of my best friends from high school (we'll call her ashley) who i hadn't seen in many many years. i was so excited because we were so close in high school, but i was also nervous because i hadn't talked to her in forever and had no idea what had been going on in her life. 

in high school, we both confided in each other that we "struggled" with same sex attraction. we resolved to pray harder and be better christians and maybe God would heal us of our sin. obviously, if you've read any of my other blogs, you know now where i stand with this issue! i no longer believe homosexuality is a sin, but i wasn't sure where ashley would stand on the issue. 

so we met for coffee and right off the bat, the topic gets brought up. without even hesitating one second, she began telling me about how God had revealed His truth to her, how she was happier than she'd ever been, and she beamed with true, God-given joy. i'd never seen her so happy. when i asked her why, she said that she was finally free. she was no longer living under condemnation. after talking for a bit, i realized that we were almost in the same boat! we both had been on a year long journey of God revealing His heart for us gay gals!

it was the most amazing time. we had a blast. but it was so refreshing to hear her heart. she is still so close to the Lord, i could see it in her eyes. and she is also a lesbian, committed to one partner. she got to tell me all about her new girlfriend, who she's been seeing for almost a year now. much like me and Hope! this conversation with ashley was yet another huge confirmation from the Lord that i'm walking in the center of His will.

so i felt safe to start telling her about me and my journey. i'm pretty sure she was surprised, because the last time we had talked about our "struggles" i was adamant about continuing to "fight my natural desires" because i thought somehow God wanted me to do that. but everything has changed and i couldn't wait to tell her! i told her ALL about what i'd been going through, where i've come from, what i've been learning and i told her i no longer thought it was a sin either. i love being able to say that to people i trust. actually at one point, just for fun, i said "ya, i'm a flaming lesbian." i'd never said that before, but dang it felt good.

we laughed and laughed and expressed limitless joy about how abundant our new free lives were! it was amazing.

then she asked me if i had someone, and i couldn't hold it in. remember, at this point i have told NO ONE, no one, about Hope. not one person knows about us. but i felt ashley was safe. so i asked Hope if i could tell her, and then i told ashley everything. it felt so good to get that out. so not only was i coming out to another person, but i was finally talking about the most important human relationship in my life, my committed love relationship with Hope. i told ashley with confidence, "i'm going to marry her." i was beaming. i couldn't wipe the smile off my face. she was so excited for me. but also, it was scary telling someone something i'd never told anyone else.

then ashley was like, "i can't wait to meet her." well, Hope happened to be at my house, so we went over there and it was hilarious! so awkward at first, but so awesome to have them meet. my Beloved was nervous of course because this was the first person to know about us and Hope didn't even know her. but the more we all talked, the more natural it felt and the more free we were all able to be. 

i couldn't believe i was standing in my kitchen talking to one of my best friends from high school who was now finally living the life she longed for, and she was talking to my future wife who is living the life she's always longed for, and they were talking to me, and i'm living the life i've always longed for! it was beautiful.

guess what's happening tonight? ashley invited Hope and i over for a gay double date night! her girlfriend is cooking! i'm nervous but oh so excited! my first official gay double date! i'll be sure to let you all know how it goes. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

the beginning of the most important letter i'll ever write

a couple of nights ago, i couldn't go to sleep. no matter what i did, i couldn't fall asleep. ya know why? because i couldn't stop writing a letter in my head. it was pouring out and all i needed was a piece of paper, but i had to settle for my pillow. i fell asleep writing this letter. 

i never wanted to just write a letter. i wanted to do it face-to-face. initially, i felt that a letter was a cop-out, a weak approach to something extremely important in my life. 

what letter? THE letter. the letter that i am going to start writing to eventually give to my parents. telling them that i'm gay. why a letter? well, i realized that i would have no chance of successfully articulating my heart and mind when sitting across from my mother. within 10 seconds of bringing up the conversation, i wouldn't be able to keep talking. mom would shoot me down. she would immediately begin arguing. she would have a thousand points arguing my one point. i would get frazzled, i would get confused and nervous and scared. my thoughts would fall by the wayside. also, i wouldn't be able to keep talking when i see my dad's face of disappointment. 

so to avoid world war III, i've decided the best approach would be to write them a letter. a long letter. a letter that i will probably work on for the next year. i dont want to leave anything out. i want to include every single possible thing in this letter to rightly express who i am, what i've learned, what i used to believe about homosexuality and what i now believe about it and why. i want to share my heart, my dreams, my fears, my beliefs, etc. 

and i know i won't be able to do any of that face-to-face. thus, today, i am embarking on the scary yet liberating journey of writing the letter that will make my parents aware of their daughter's sexual orientation.

here's why i'm blogging about this: i need your help. your advice. your thoughts. have you written a letter of this nature to someone you love dearly? do you have any ideas for what i should include in this letter? i believe that it's wise to seek Godly counsel. so, you, my faithful blog readers, i covet your thoughts and ideas on this issue. how does one even start a letter of such importance? 

ok, i'm gonna go start the letter. i think i'll post snippets of it, here and there, for your review. but my goal is to be myself and to be unashamed. i want to write with humility and thoughtfulness. i don't want to completely ruin my parents' lives with this letter. but it's time. i can't be fake any longer. i love my parents so much and each time i am with them, i am faced with the reality that they don't really know the real me. i so desperately want them to know the real me. it would make my life so much easier. but that's my problem. i don't want to make my life easier at the expense of potentially ruining theirs. my two greatest fears that have kept me from coming out to my parents: my mother's anger and my father's face of disappointment. 

but alas, a letter i will write :)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

My First Love

the more and more i fall in love with Hope, the greater my love is for Christ. the deeper my appreciation for Him, His life, heart and sacrifice. the more i get to know Hope, the more i want to know Jesus, the Author of hope, Perfecter of our faith, and the Giver of all good things, including love.

as my love relationship with my beloved Hope increases, so too (as it should) my love for Christ increases. which made me think about my First Love, Jesus. i found this quote from C.S. Lewis to be incredibly challenging and significant today, as i think about the two greatest loves of my life, while always trying to remember to keep my First Love, my first love. 

Lewis writes,

"When I have learned to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now. Insofar as I learn to love my earthly dearest at the expense of God and instead of God, I shall be moving toward the state in which I shall not love my earthly dearest at all. When first things are put first, second things are not suppressed by increased."

let us all try and keep Christ our first Love today and everyday. no doubt, this will make us better lovers of God and better lovers of people altogether. i heard a pastor once say, "The main thing is to keep the Main Thing the Main Thing."

sidenote: i've realized my blog is a bit dark, which is a misrepresentation of me :) though i am mostly in the closet, i have never been more in the Light. any tips on how to change the template, without changing it to something that everyone else has? 

Friday, May 23, 2008

she did it!

ladies and gents!

i can't even believe i'm typing this, but something extremely exciting and HUGE happened just yesterday! the love of my life, who hopefully you know by now as Hope, CAME OUT TO HER BEST FRIEND!

oh my gosh.

it was amazing. it was such a God thing. the timing couldn't have been more perfect. and do you know what's interesting? exactly one year ago on the same exact day, Hope told me of her feelings for me and that's basically when our relationship started. wow. such awesome timing!

her best friend responded amazingly and surprisingly well. and loving. it was beautiful. it was affirming and served as a huge step of confirmation in this slow but sure coming out process for both of us. that was her first. so we have both come out to our best friends and accountability partners! i'm so pumped. God just keeps opening doors and pointing us toward safe places. now i just wanna keep telling people! but i've got to remember that it's only in God's timing and that not everyone is ready. 

so i continue to wait.

and wait i will. but how encouraging is it to know that Hope has finally told someone! No one knows about us yet, but at least we have people who know about our individual sexual orientation. 

the best part: Hope's best friend totally thinks me and Hope would be the perfect couple. how right she is!!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Coming out as a sacrament

i found this extremely interesting, enlightening, and challenging as i look at the difficult process of coming out.

i'm still not there yet, but someday i will be "out" and oh how refreshing and liberating that will be! 

only in God's perfect timing, equipped with His perfect and all-sufficient grace.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

someday, maybe

in light of today's sermon, i went back to one of my favorite new books What God Has Joined Together and took another look at what the authors had to say in praise of gay marriage. below is a summary of different points the book makes:

first of all, you may be reading this and you might know of some evidence against gay marriage. you might have read dr. dobson and you might have seen some studies he has used to attack gay marriage. 

Dobson argued in a 2004 webcast that "There have been more than 10,000 studies that have showed that children do best with a fathers and a mother. In fact, where children are raised with a committed mother and father the children are less likely to fail in school, be on drugs, be in poverty, commit suicide, get pregnant..." Fair enough. i would see that point and think, wow, maybe he's right. but as is his custom, dobson is twisting the evidence. so here's what the authors say in response to this claim that Dobson used to support his desire for a ban on gay marriage:

"Dobson, as we've sought to demonstrate is surely right about the benefits of marriage and co-parenting. It's better to have both a mother and a father than only a solo mother or father (or neither).... But in terms of an argument against gay marriage, Dobson misstates the point. Most such studies compare children of intact married couples with single-parent children. virtually none compare children of opposite-sex and same-sex couples. And virtually none compare children in single-parent or neglectful homes with children adopted or born into families where they are co-parented by two stable partners of the same sex. Will such children be harmed by not having a father (or a mother)? Or are two committed parents, regardless of gender, better than one?" 

good point, i must say.

it really chaps my butt to see evidence from studies used inappropriately. but enough about dobson, we've been there. 

as i was reading back through the book, i stumbled upon chapter 9 which deals with seven different arguments against gay marriage. and it deals with those arguments beautifully. the chapter is all about why gay marriage should be lawful and why it would be more helpful than harmful. so, because i can't exactly plagiarize and copy all the stuff i like from that particular chapter, i'll just have to tell you to go read the book :) i wish i could sum it all up, but i just realized there's too much to sum up. it is ALL good stuff. but i will leave you with this last idea from the authors, Dr. Myers and Letha Scanzoni:

"Because marriage is inherently healthy, same-sex marriage will be healthier than its less permanent alternatives. It will likely not accelerate us down a slippery slope to promiscuity and polygamy. To the contrary, it has the potential to "let the air out of the tires of the alternatives-to-marriage movement." It can prompt heterosexual men and women to appreciate marriage in a new way. Sean Captain found that out while performing same-sex weddings as a deputized San Francisco marriage commissioner during the time when gay marriages were taking place there. He reported that he had 'learned as much about love in a few days as I had in the previous 32 years.' Observing tearful, joyous couples 'strengthened my respect for the institution,' he wrote. 'It forced me to rethink the mild contempt I have had for marriage and realize how wonderful it can be when two people love each other so much that they are willing to tie their destinies together.' Indeed, i
f implemented as part of a pro-marriage initiative, inviting gay couples to say I DO may help reverse the growing tendency for straight couples to say WE DON'T."

Bottom line:

God has placed an extraordinary woman in my life who loves Jesus and walks closely with Him. she (Hope) loves me deeply and i love her more than my own life. i believe that we were designed to spend the rest of our lives together. i want nothing more than to marry her and enjoy the benefits that hetero married couples have. if i could and if the dang flight prices weren't so expensive, i would get on a plane right now and fly to california and make it legal. i just wish the rest of the world saw the benefits of allowing homosexuals to marry. i so long for the day when we can look back and say, "oh my gosh, how could we have been so wrong and restricted toward gays?" 

i am encouraged, however, when i think about how far we've come in some ways. remember how combative the world and christian community used to be against interracial marriage?people (though some still do today) used to freak out at the thought or site of marriage between people of different skin colors. and now it is widely accepted, as it should be. hopefully someday it will be the same with marriage between people of the same gender. maybe someday two committed partners in marriage of the same - sex won't draw such a judgmental eye. i am also encouraged by the fact that culture will always be changing. it will always morph and take on different looks. marriage has changed so many times in the past centuries and beyond. men used to have more than 1 wife, people used to marry for all kinds of reasons other than love, etc etc. but now marriage is very different. and it will continue to change. this change would include gay marriage. 

my dream: to marry Hope and spend the rest of my life with her. to glorify God to the highest possible degree with our marriage. to enjoy the same rights and benefits of heterosexual couples. to walk in freedom with who God has made us to be. 

someday, maybe. 


ok... i'm officially off my soap box. thank you for humoring me and reading :)

what exactly is a family unit?

i knew it would happen soon enough. i was actually surprised that it only happened today. but finally, and i'm sure it was in light of the california ruling on same-sex marriage, this morning the pastor spoke harshly against the ruling in his sermon. it was uncomfortable for me, to say the least. i'm sure my church wasn't the only church where a conservative pastor knocked on the ruling. i wouldn't be surprised if it was included in sermons all over the country. i was surprised, but i was saddened. 

there i was, sitting in the pew of the church as the pastor began preaching about how horrible it is to let gays marry. how horrendous the california ruling is. his number 1 and only argument was that gay marriage will ultimately destroy the family unit. and when we destroy a family unit, we destroy everything. he talked about how gay marriage is the last straw in the slippery slope to hell. messing with the family unit is when it all goes downhill. 

websters dictionary defines family as this: the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children. 

so i sat there thinking, who defines what a family unit is? why have i never heard a sermon about other things that supposedly destroy the family unit? i've never heard a sermon arguing that divorce or adultery or a number of other things destroys the family unit. why only gay marriage? 

i can't help but think that the family unit already has been under a lot of destruction. or maybe its not destruction at all. maybe it's just change. families don't look the way they used to. now we have all kinds of family units. does that mean it's wrong? then why should we single out gay marriage as the single most horrible thing that could possibly happen to the family unit?

i totally disagree.

i think allowing gays who are in love and committed to one another for life will do anything but destroy the unit. i think it will strengthen it. any time you have two people in the household who love each other dearly, they will probably do a better job of raising kids who don't need to constantly go into therapy when they're older. 

i would like to see a study of how different a culture is that allows gays to marry versus countries like america that don't. does america really have that much better of a system because we only have legalized gay marriage in two states? i think love is going to strengthen th family unit, regardless of what it looks like. i think children raised in a loving environment will ultimately help make better and loving citizens. i agree with rob bell who said that LOVE WINS. it just does. it will continue to be the better option. love never fails. and when we start putting homosexuals on a separate sphere, we get into trouble. homophobia is probably one of the main roots against gay marriage. people are scared of the unknown. they might ask, "well if you let gays marry, then what's next?" 

why do people automatically think we are going to slide down some slippery slope if we let two people of the same sex marry?

i guess i just don't get it. 

but it was definitely awkward to sit in the church, next to my Beloved Hope (who i would give anything to marry her right now) and listen to this typical anti-gay marriage sermon. i see where the preacher was coming from, but it still makes me sad. i believe that love wins. and if two God-fearing and loving parents happen to be of the same-sex, then what's the big deal? i don't see how that destroys any family unit. who defined the family unit anyway? what does the Bible have to say about a family unit? and why can't it morph and change over time? i covet your answers so please post something!

i am ready to read some studies comparing children of hetero married couples with children of same-sex married couples. in the book i've been raving about: "What God Has Joined Together" the authors address issues and arguments for same-sex marriage. i thought their arguments and points were fascinating and i wish i could've preached on that after the sermon this morning, just to show that there are both sides to that coin. so in the next blog, i'm going to include some of those highlights from the book which argue for same-sex marriage and how truly beneficial it can be, despite what one might think. 

Sunday, May 11, 2008

the thorn in my side

i'm not sure if i'm allowed to say this, but can parents be the thorn in one's side? if so, i think that's one of mine. my parents. now, don't get me wrong, i dearly love them both, but they definitely prick me. and the more and more free i become with who God has made me, the more difficult i find it to relate to my parents. especially since i feel like they don't know the real me. they think they know me because they know i'm their daughter who loves Jesus and who struggles with homosexuality. but what they don't know is that God has changed everything, and that i no longer see it as a sin. but how do i even go there with my fundamentalist right-wing republican conservative christian parents? where do i even start?

today at lunch my mom says, "well, i guess we can't watch grey's anatomy anymore." i say (knowing exactly what she's referring to) "why?" 

she says, "because two guys kissed!" - she said with utmost disdain, as if our waiter had put raw chicken on her plate.

i had a choice in this moment. i can either play along like i always do. or i can finally stand up for something. so, in a moment of boldness, i grew a pair, so to speak. 

i started in on her and my dad (with all gentleness, well some gentleness) and i said:

ok wait so now you're going to stop watching it? why now? just because of guys kissing? then why didn't you stop watching it when there was adultery or pre-marital sex or a slew of others "sins" portrayed on the show? why all the sudden must you stop watching now? because they committed the unforgivable sin of putting gays on tv? (insert sarcasm throughout this narrative) i can't stand when christians condone everything on tv and then the second something about homosexuality comes up, they get on the boycott bus. it's ridiculous. if you're going to stop watching because of that, because you think it's sin, then you have to stop watching when you see another sin being committed. 

i was obviously perturbed. 

she answered sheepishly, "you're probably right. but i dont understand why they have to go there with the gay thing. i mean, that is the worst you can possibly get. why did they have to throw that in there?"

i answered firmly, "because that is real life. they don't do that just to piss you off. they include scenes like that because that is life. that is how some people are!" (in my head i'm shouting, THAT'S HOW YOUR OWN DAUGHTER IS!) - but because it's mother's day i decided to refrain from accidentally giving my mom a heart attack on mother's day. it just wouldn't be appropriate.

in case you don't know what i'm referring to, in grey's anatomy this past thursday there was a story line of two men who were in the military and who were also in love with one another. they had a make out scene. big whoop.

so the conversation goes on and i get more and more annoyed. but then my heart just starts breaking. what an battle i have to fight someday. what an uphill climb this will be, to someday tell my parents that i'm gay. their sweet innocent little obedient and Godly girl is gay. my mom sees homosexuality as the worst possible thing ever. i bet she'd be more excited if i told her i was a murderer. she just can't handle the "gay thing" as she calls it. and i can't really blame her. she's old school and grew up believing what everyone around her believed. and it's been reinforced by her church and her occasional listening to dr. james dobson (oh how factual he is... yeah right. please see the latest entry from to see just how erroneous dobson really is)

so the lunch continued pleasantly, thank God. but i definitely made my point and i was delighted at my boldness. i never stand up to my mom, but i did today and it felt good. no, i didn't change their mind on homosexuality, but at least i made a tiny inroad into another way of thinking about how ridiculous christians are being. homophobia is evil. 

this whole process with telling my parents could take 50 years. they will probably do things that make me feel like they are that thorn in my side. but the good news is that they love me and they want me to be happy, above all else. so i'll continue to pray that one day, they will soften to the voice of their little girl pleading for their approval. 

i wish i didn't want it. i wish i didn't care. i wish i could just tell them and get it over with. but in my situation it's not that easy. my dad is my first love (besides Christ) i love him so so so much and i know that this would break his heart. and break his heart, i cannot do. not right now at least. someday i'm sure i will be honest with them. but not yet. 

ironically i got in the car after lunch and the song by bruce hornby "that's just the way it is.... some things never change."

but in God's world, lots of things DO change. He delights in impossible situations. like parting seas and melting hearts of kings. so too may He melt the hearts of my parents.

an accidental coming out

i guess in God's economy there are no surprises. but in my life, a couple of days ago, there sure were. i sat down to have coffee with my best friend and accountability partner. we'll call her anne. she has been reading "what God has joined together" (see previous posts if you dont know what i'm referring to) and we were planning on discussing it at coffee. a casual, enlightening discussion.

anne has known for several years now that i have, quote, struggled with homosexuality. and the reason i wanted her to read this book was to start a conversation. i wanted her to gain a more open-minded approach to the topic of homosexuality, especially since she's so important in my life. she thinks i think it's a sin and that i'm committed to fighting it. so she holds me accountable each week as to whether or not i've fallen in this particular area. little did she know, however, that more than a year ago i started to change my mind about everything. see previous blogs on that too. 

these past few months my goal has been to take baby steps to start coming out to my close friends. thus, i asked anne to read the book. and she did and she had a surprisingly open mind about everything. i loved the way she responded. it was amazing and loving. so i was expecting to sit down at coffee with her and tell her i was searching and just wait and see what her reaction was.

by the way, my beloved Hope was with us, as well. which made things even more exciting.

so anne starts sharing with me her thoughts on the book and the overall topic of homosexuality. she is definitely more open minded than she used to be. she realizes she's just taken everyone else's word for it. but now she is digging deep into scripture and the original language and she isn't afraid to learn something new and she is ready to own up to the possibility that she, just like me, might have missed the boat on the whole issue of homosexuality being a sin. so she talks and talks and i listen intently. i had prearranged in my head that i would not reveal to her that i thought it was ok. that was a little too deep and i wanted to keep the facade up. but then she asked me what i thought about everything, and thus began diarrhea of the mouth.

i tried so hard to equivocate and beat around the proverbial bush, but i couldn't do it. i couldn't keep lying to my best friend. my heart broke as i shared with her what i really thought. i even started crying, which never happens. as i cried and shared with her my truest heart in vulnerability, i finally opened up to her and told her i didn't think it was a sin. of course i explained to her the journey it took me to get there (minus the falling in love with Hope part) and how i hadn't felt one ounce of conviction from the Holy Spirit during my searching process. 

i had planned on stopping there.

then, before i knew it, i just came out and said it. "anne, i'm gay." i'd never said those words to anyone besides Hope, myself, and God. but here i was, at a public coffee shop, tears streaming down my face, confiding in my best friend and accountability partner. 

wow. i still can't believe that happened just two days ago. i would've blogged earlier, but honestly i've been dumbfounded by the whole situation.

so i told her that i was gay. not that i was a christian still struggling with homosexuality. but that i was gay. that i no longer believed it was a sin, because i actually took the time to study the Truth. and there i was, beaming with joy as i finally opened up with someone. i came out. briefly, but out none the less. i am gay. even as i type it, it feels so freeing to get that out! the best thing about anne is that she didn't blink an eye. it didn't phase her. she trusts me and knows me and my heart and how desperately i long to be in God's will. she knows my passion for abiding in Christ and bringing Him glory above all else. 

i found a safe place in her.

no, i didn't tell her about Hope. 1, because she was sitting right there. 2, because anne knows her very well. and 3 because i love anne and didn't want her dying of a heart attack in a coffee joint. so i will soon (maybe years down the road) tell anne about my intimate committed relationship with Hope. 

telling anne was more freeing than i can explain in this blog. though she already knew i had that tendency, she had no idea that i had embraced it the way i had. i was a changed woman and she could see it. she has seen how God has been freeing me up and ministering through me in ways He never has before. she has experienced and noticed the fresh new anointing and passion that God is pouring out on me right now, and it's because i've finally embraced who He's made me to be. i have accepted that i am accepted. i have fallen in love with the One who first fell in love with me, just because i was His. not because of anything i did or didn't do. no, He loves me. as i am. and now that i am truly realizing that love, i am living more than ever. truly living. and now i'm living on another level of freedom, as i finally came out to someone. 

i am still hidden in Christ and mostly hidden from others. but now Hope and anne know that i am a dedicated God-fearing Jesus-loving young woman who is gay. talk about a load off my shoulders. accountability will definitely look different than it used to. and i couldn't be more excited!

so now all i am waiting for is, for that new friend i was telling you about several blogs ago to read the book.  i will see her soon and i see a safe place in her as well. i know i'll tell her someday too. 

thank You Jesus for safe people. for being my Safe Haven in this storm. 

Monday, May 5, 2008

Thank you Grey's Anatomy

After several seasons, one of my favorite TV shows, Grey’s Anatomy, has finally hit the home run! I knew that I’d been missing something all these years in my weekly devotion to the program. There was almost like an emptiness... don’t get me wrong. The plots were creative, the characters were compelling, and the drama was OH so dramatic. But it was missing something VERY important and left me wanting more.

Last year I remember sitting with Hope on the couch that we sat on every Thursday night, with a glass of white wine, thinking to myself... (and outloud), “You know what would be AWESOME? If Dr. Hahn and Kallie took a liking to one another!”

If any show had the guts to do it, it was Grey’s, but many episodes went by... and even the strike that left me quite bored, to say the least. But then.... there was the past Thursday night: a glimmer of hope! The beautiful marriage between my favorite TV show and my sexual orientation.. ALAS! I along with the rest of America realize the beginning of a ground breaking plot line and romance... Yes, Dr. Hahn and Kallie.
I called it! I have a sense for these sort of things. :)

So, thank you, Grey’s Anatomy, for finally giving the LGBT community something specific to look forward to every Thursday night: the much anticipated development of the perfectly matched female doctors.

Right now, Dr. Hahn clearly likes Kallie, but Kallie is unsure what to think of everything, though she clearly has some feelings for Dr. Hahn. I have been in both of their shoes and I’m sure many men and women will be able to relate to this story line.

That friend of mine that might be safe to come out to (refer to last blog) is a big fan of the show Brothers and Sisters, where there are two gay men in the story line. I was tempted to begin following that show, but alas... my favorite show came through and stepped up to the LGBT plate! (forgive the baseball analogy)

Tune in next week for an episode that will hopefully show Kallie’s disappointment with her one night stand with McSteamy after leaving the bar. She will soon realize how much she desires the touch of Dr. Hahn.

Yes, I realize this is a TV show. Some of you may be thinking I should get a life! But sometimes its the little things in life that encourage us that a new world is very very possible. :)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

i might have found someone to come out to!!!

i have been praying for quite a long time now that God would send me a low-risk friend who could potentially be someone i feel safe with enough to come out to.

keep in mind, i have not come out to ANYONE! but you faithful readers, of course. but as of now, only me, God and my Hope knows about my sexual identity. i have not told anyone else! and this was hard for me because i so badly want to tell someone. 

so this past weekend i had an amazing opportunity to spend some quality time with a new friend of mine. she is awesomely open-minded and loving. we had many conversations throughout the weekend, but one conversation was especially appropriate. we got on the topic of homosexuality. she asked me my views and i told her i didn't think it was a sin. of course i told her why i thought that and i told her my journey of coming to that realization. i felt so comfortable with her and that's why i felt safe telling her my true views on homosexuality. she's really the only person besides Hope who knows my views on the issue. i have to be careful because if it got out that i think its ok, i would get into some trouble. 

i live in extreme conservatism. surrounded by fundamentalism.

so i haven't even been able to tell anyone my true beliefs on homosexuality, much less that i am gay! but this weekend i was finally able to get that off my chest. 

she responded with intrigue and interest. she listened to what i had to say. of course i was trying to be smooth, so as not to let on that i'm actually gay. she responded fabulously. and then she started to tell me her stance on the issue. she still isn't sure whether or not it is a sin. she gets stuck on romans 1. so we dialogued about all kinds of different things that i have been learning and she is extremely sensitive and kind, especially about committed monogamous same sex relationships. 

because i saw that she was safe and low-risk and open minded, i realized that soon she might be the first person i officially come out to. and i couldn't be more excited about it!

i encouraged her to read "what God has joined together?" - the book i've blogged about several times. and i encouraged her to watch "for the Bible tells me so." she has already ordered the book. and plans on watching the movie.

so i look forward to seeing what God does here. but all i know is that i'm extremely encouraged. God basically dropped this girl in my path and i'm realizing that she is the perfect first person to potentially come out to. she will keep the secret. and love me regardless of what she believes about homosexuality. i cannot wait to tell her about the real me! 

i plan on hanging out with her again in several months, so that just might be the time i decide to tell her. of course i'll wait til i feel a peace about sharing. but i'm pretty sure she's my "person". hope is so excited too!

God is good! He is so good to not leave us alone. and He loves when we're in community. and He has already begun building my future safe community, even if that process seems slow to me. i am so thankful for this new friend of mine who i might actually be able to confide in.

Friday, April 25, 2008

i just couldn't keep this to myself...

i just received the most encouraging email from a friend, in response to a comment i got from someone who was confused as to why i'm hiding my sexual orientation from the christian community in which i do ministry. the email was just too good to keep to myself, so here is the email: i hope it encourages you as much as it is encourages me in my "coming out" process.

Dear Hidden,

First, a person in ministry is obligated to their community to help to keep the focus of that ministry on God (and not the minister her/himself) whenever possible. There are a million ways for this to go awry, and this "hot button" issue is one of the easiest. Assuming (and there's no guarantee) that you get to KEEP the job leading the successful ministry, after revealing this information. Still, it's virtually guaranteed to get in the way of ministry until it's an issue that the church-as-a-whole can see from a healthier angle.

Second, your safety is definitely an issue here. You stand to risk a job (and possibly a career) in which you are happy and successful...your income, your community, your friends, your family...and the risk is based on a characteristic over which you do not have control. This is not something to do lightly. I absolutely agree that "out" is preferable--healthier for you and everyone else. The truth is almost always the right answer. (And if you have a problem with the word "almost," consider the position of Miep Gies, hiding the Frank family from the Nazis. She lied to protect them. This is different only in the level of certainty of physical harm; there will certainly be pain on many fronts following the Big Reveal.) However, that isn't something to do quickly, unadvisedly, or without substantial preparation. Safety is an issue here, and that comes first. Having it happen in a compassionate, stable and healthy way is also crucial. God has called you to do that ministry, in that place. God knew what he was getting, and will help you to continue living out his purpose--whether or not that purpose is clear to the questioner...or even to you. :-)

Coming out is sometimes years-long a process, in which you lay the foundation (brick by brick) to live out in the world. If you don't have that support in place first, it will be damaging to you and to those you care about. Prudence and hypocrisy are two different things. It took me about five years of preparation to be fully "out" in every aspect of my life, and I don't regret a single day of that preparation. I didn't ask to be gay (and spent about 20 years fruitlessly trying NOT to be). I didn't choose to be in a position to jeopardize everything I care about, and I'm betting you didn't, either. These are the cards I was dealt. I had to grow into the ability to live honestly, and my community had to grow into the ability to accept it. Rome was not built in a day.

Also, there's a way in which this isn't a fair question. It's a little bit like growing up in the projects and getting the "I'm a self-made man" speech from someone who grew up in a home with two loving, not-overworked parents, adequate food, solid education,etc. "I did it; so can you poor people!" Well, maybe, but don't you DARE think it's the same thing. Some people are born on third base; some are born on first. It doesn't mean they can't both get to home plate, but the person born on first sure has to work harder for it. have to find the peace within yourself to do this courageously and compassionately, in your own way and your own timing. Relationship with God, prayer, grace, patience, and perseverance will be necessary. I'm a firm believer that God lives in the gaps between us, and will help us to bridge them when we're ready.

Peace, girl.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

deep in my heart

i just received an email from a concerned and confused blog reader. the email reads:


Hey there.

Just curious. If you're comfortable with being gay then why you hidin' it? Is it because deep in your heart you know it's wrong?

I'm a little confused.


i completely understand why you would be confused. and maybe some other readers are confused, as well. i explained this early on in my blogs, but instead of just telling you to go back and read all my blogs, i will explain it anew here in blog land.

yes, i am extremely comfortable with being gay. actually, comfortable might not be the right word. i have embraced and accepted it yes. but it's hard to get too comfortable when i live in such a hostile world toward members of the GLTB community. it's difficult to be comfortable with my sexual orientation when i live in a christian community that thinks gay people are doomed to hell. and it's uncomfortable not to be able to tell my family and friends whom i love dearly. but God never really called us to be comfortable, so i'm not really that worried about it.

in response to your question "why you hidin' it?" i give you this:

trust me, if i didn't have to hide it, i wouldn't. i would love to shout it from the roof tops! i wish i could go on tv and tell everyone that i'm gay. i wish i could be the poster child for a person who actually loves Jesus more than anything and who also happens to be gay. i wish i could tell my closest friends and beloved family. but i can't. and no, it's not because "deep in my heart i know it's wrong." quite the contrary.

i've never been more sure of anything, besides my salvation and calling into full-time ministry. i am extremely confident with who i am deep in my heart. deep in my heart, i find Christ seated on His throne. by His kindness and grace, i have set Him apart as Christ the Lord in my heart. deep in my heart i find nothing but peace and God's sovereignty. deep in my heart i find the Lord smiling on me, living through me, and working His power in me.

the reason i have to hide it is this:

if i didn't hide it right now, i would lose everything. and call me a coward or whatever you want to call me, but i'm not prepared for that right now. if i came out, i would lose my job. my church would ask me to leave. it would destroy a ministry i know i'm called to. it would ruin my relationship with my family and most of my friends. it would end what i'm doing right now. and i know that what i'm doing right now is exactly what God has called me to do: spread the gospel and lead worship. therefore, until He makes another way for me, i must remain hidden. i know this won't make sense to you, and that's ok. i'm not expecting to change your mind about homosexuality. but i did think that i owed you and whoever else reads this, an answer.

i don't know yet how to balance my ministry and my sexual orientation. i don't know how or when i will tell people who i really am. if i start stressing out about that, i lose my joy and peace. so i am trying to take each day at a time. i am consistently surrendering to the Lord, relying on Him to get me through the day-to-day. i am throwing myself on His grace while laying my burdens and anxieties about the future down at His feet.

God will show me when it is safe to come out from hiding. but right now, it's not the right timing. for me, keeping my sexual orientation private is how i'm able to continue on in ministry and continue making ends meet without completely destroying my community. and yes, i know God will provide when eventually i do come out... but i'm not rushing into anything. His timing is perfect so i will wait.

thanks to those of you who have written me such sweet notes of encouragement in this process. thank you for reminding me to be patient with myself and to not be so hard on myself. and thank you for reminding me that it's ok to protect my calling at this time. thanks to those of you who edify me with you words of wisdom and perseverance. and thanks, even, to those of you who post combative/homophobic things to me. because even in that, i seek the Lord and His affirmation or conviction.

He is good. He is sovereign. and He will keep me in the center of His will. where we get tripped up is when we judge others and act like we know everything. that's what happens when God is small and man is big. but the truth of the matter is, it's all about God. He is not small, He never has been. He is God, the I AM and He is sovereign and big enough to speak to me, and i praise Him that He does!

i am hidden in Christ. i am hidden from others. but the important thing is, at the end of the day, i am a child of God. and He is pleased with me. His pleasure, grace, and love toward me are not based on what some people might think of me or the issue of homosexuality, and that is refreshing. when all is said and done, it comes down to who we are before God.

broken and needy, Lord i am Yours. Abba Father, i love you. thank You for first loving me and for never changing Your love toward me.