Seventeen. In, Mostly ‘Out,’ & The Spaces Between. Part I

Ambiguity aside, this is the story [most names omitted.]

When I was 14 I became persuaded that the meta-narrative Christianity asserted to describe the nature of reality was absolutely true. From early childhood I had been really captivated by humanitarianism (thank you Oprah) and was discontent with the notion that there was nothing to account for that. Science had told me ‘how’ things in the universe happened but the resolve for ‘why’ seemed quite insufficient. I thought other world religions were appealing, sexy (if you will) but when exposed to the faithful and loving witness of a small  faith community and the biblical account for where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going something started to happen. Intuitively, or so it would seem, I knew this had to be true, and more than simply having to be true I was driven to a sense of responsibility. Responsibility for operating independently and autonomously of a divine Creator’s purposes, responsibility for my selfishness, my impatience, my pride, and ultimately my brokenness. I wasn’t really sure what to call this at the time but it was like all at once I was overwhelmed with the notion that no matter how squeaky clean my life appeared to be, this was all wrong. I was wrong about God. I was wrong with God…and the deepest parts of me began to crave change in that in a way beyond my own capacity. Under the crushing weight of sin and this personal responsibility broke the light of the gospel. For the first time the whole Jesus thing made sense. It was amazing, groundbreaking, and because it is impossible to avoid Christianese in posts like this, I was what the Scriptures call reborn.

So everything started changing. And I was infatuated. I dove head first into church activities, retreats, conferences, music, movies, youth rallies, and the ministry opportunities within the previously mentioned faith community as well as the ‘Church’ at large within my public high school. I really was growing in love with God, the person….not the ideology,philosophy, or system of belief and experienced affirmation and acceptance at a place inside me beyond cognition.

But

as you would guess, some frustrations both personal and intellectual began to develop.

You see, I was shuffled quickly into a number of leadership positions within these believing groups and there was sort of this expectation that I had to have all my s together. Whether that came from my adult mentors, the peers around me, or my own prideful habits I can’t be sure, but nevertheless it was a very real and pervasive complex. Somewhere in the midst of learning how to articulate the message of life in Jesus to others I lost sight of my own neediness for the gospel in my own day-to-day living. I can’t explain the specifics of how that happened either… but it was a huge problem and I believe it is something every person trying to follow Jesus goes through.

It’s kind of weird though…because you never really have those thoughts out loud or even to yourself for that matter. You always tell people how desperate you are for God’s unmerited goodness but your life and your heart just exists  “above” that charity. It just feels really ugly to know the same power that conquered the grave lives in you but

you.are.still.just.so.human.

So you run from your helplessness. You try to lie to God. You try to lie to yourself. And unfortunately you successfully lie to other people.

So there I am going through high school doing what I can to try and learn how to interact and worship my savior but yet what He asks of me– a broken and contrite spirit– I just refuse to yield. So I internalized.

My doubts, my questions, the thinking struggles, and the feeling struggles as well.

You see, as sure as I was that Jesus was the Son of God and totally worth my life’s complete devotion I was also pretty sure that what seemed natural and attractive to me in terms of sexuality and gender were condemned at least 8 times in the Scriptures. What I am trying to say is that I found superior intimacy with other females and I did not know how to keep that exclusive from physical attraction. There seemed to be no choice in the matter and in the same way that I had come to understand my salvation as simply “happening” to me…in so also was all this gay stuff. Based on the notorious reputation of the Church in responding to homosexuality I was miles from being able to deal with it and so I responded with this idea that I would “just not act on it.”

Such a notion worked quite effectively until I met someone who really captivated both my heart and mind

…and from there the flood-gates burst forth.

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