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. :)