Why I’m Scared, but more importantly, Why I’m Not Scared

Do you ever have those moments when you’re with the Lord and you know, without a doubt, that He is there and He starts teaching you some things about yourself that scare you just a little bit? And you’re like “God, you crazy.” That has been my life lately but I’m more afraid to share with the world exactly what it is that’s been scaring me, but I know I need to so here goes:

I’m bisexual. That’s not what scares me though.

What scares me is the number of friends I know I’ll lose, even though that makes me question if they are even friends worth keeping.

What scares me are the people who don’t understand the difference between “I’m attracted to more than one gender” and “I’m attracted to you” and the people who will constantly tell me to “just pick one” because of that. Don’t you think I would if I could? This would all be so much easier. I can’t do that though and that’s something I’ve accepted. These people have no place to not do the same.

What scares me is how often I have heard that people who aren’t straight are all destined for Hell with no chance for redemption, no matter how untrue that is. It’s so easy to misinterpret passages and I believe that’s what a lot of people have done.

I shouldn’t have to be afraid though. I’m not the one with a problem here, not really anyway. I feel sorry for those people; I can’t imagine how terrifying the world must be, living in it with such a closed mind. I don’t believe that this should separate me from the church in any way. The church that believes it should is not the church my Savior describes and it’s not the church I want to be a part of.

I know they need to be shown a love that understands us both and that brings us to why I’m not scared:

I know that God created me and He is not surprised by this any more than He is surprised by the way birds soar and flowers grow. I know that if I’m wrong about anything that comes with this realization, He will love me unconditionally. I know, without a doubt, that when my time comes He will be there to welcome me with open arms.

Ignorance is a result of the fall and there is no such thing as a God who hates.

If you take only one thing away from this, I pray with all my heart it’s that: There is no such thing as a God who hates.

Whisper

When I think about the world being spoken into existence, I can’t imagine God was very loud or very quick with it. Seven days has a completely different meaning to us. He had to have taken His time, put thought into every little detail.

That’s why, as we approach fall, the trees won’t change and lose their leaves in unison.

It’s why I’m cared for differently than you are.

I don’t believe God is the focal point of all equality. He is fair and He is just. Everybody gets what they need.

We all need love, we have that in common, but we need it in different ways. I need to spend time with you. I need to hear it over and over or else I’ll forget that the idea even exists. Others need touch, to physically feel it.

And that’s the beauty of love.

We all need it and we can all have it, but His love is personalized.

It isn’t forced and it isn’t harsh.

It is offered and it is gentle.

It’s whispered so I know the love I’m offered is for me.

And it’s the greatest whisper there ever was.

 

 

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Baby Names

Most days I’m content to just let the future be. I know that my future has been planned, every detail of it, so I don’t have to worry, but then there are days like today when I sit on Pinterest designing a nursery for a baby who may never exist and I’m suddenly worried it will never happen. Yesterday I didn’t care, but that’s the thing about worry. It doesn’t care about your past or lessons learned, it’s only there to eat away at whatever peace and trust you still cling to. It rots, destroys from the inside out, but there is Hope and that begins by saying this: For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

If I should ever have a daughter, I’d like to call her Esther, so that she may be a star that points to the Heavens. And I’d want her to experience the depth of the King’s guidance, to follow the light of a star much brighter than her own. But when I think about the possibility of something so important being entrusted to me by its very creator, I am petrified. Worry will always come back. It’s at the root of my sin, my deepest struggle. I worry I can’t do this thing called life on my own, and I can’t, but Hope continues: Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

If I should ever have a daughter, I’d like to caller her Eden, so that she may learn of Perfection. I’d want her to know, to always know, what it’s like to have the Giver of Life breathe into her. I’d want her to know what it’s like to look to Him for comfort when she stresses like I know she will. As much as I want to pass on my faith, I know that sin is inherited, too. I am learning to trust, however, that Hope is stronger than fear and it continues: You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

If I should ever have a daughter I’d like to call her Eve, not so she would be stuck in hiding but so she could know what it’s like to be found. She’ll experience insecurity, she’s my daughter after all, but she’s His even more so. He’ll find her as He found me. She will experience imprisonment, she will know what it is to be broken. But Hope will continue and she will experience freedom and redemption: I will be found by you and will bring you back from captivity.

I plan. I worry because I forget I don’t have to. I either trust or I dream and I’m learning that it’s okay to do both. Before I should ever have a daughter I’d like to learn to call myself these things, always and forever. If I should pass on Hope and Love, I pray I’d pass them together. I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

If I should ever have a daughter I’d like to call her His, but first, that’s what I’ll call myself.

Just Us

God blessed me with an amazing opportunity to start sponsoring a darling little girl through World Vision this week. I’ve been having a hard time deciding how to start this post and I think that’s it – the good that God creates where I cannot find any. There is a girl, a family, a community who will be shown the love of Christ through tangible good deeds and I get to be a part of that. I am amazed at how great He truly is and I think that’s what I am coming here with, what I am placing on the table to share, and what I am keeping all at the same time: He is good.

This post feels late to the party and I’d like to start off by saying I’m okay with that. I needed to take some time to process through the events of this week before sharing my thoughts with you. I think that’s fair. This is not me jumping on some sort of bandwagon. This is me still trying to fully understand what I am feeling and being vulnerable in sharing those feelings with you, so bear with me, please.

Earlier this week World Vision released a statement saying that they would not take a side in the Homosexuality vs. The Church issue and that they would allow their American branch to hire employees in same-sex marriages. I think that sounds completely reasonable. The evangelical world, however, was up in arms. It was deemed unfair for World Vision to do this to their sponsors. People began pulling sponsorships left and right and well known evangelists rallied for others to join them in doing so because heaven forbid we serve alongside people with whom we disagree. Thousands of children who were counting on these sponsorships for various life necessities were caught in the middle of a battle that shouldn’t exist in the first place and is in no way their fault. That is not fair.

Like the few other bloggers I have been able to find that are on the same page as me, I feel like I am reading a different Bible than these people. My Bible teaches unconditional love and faithful giving and it is so much better than what I am reading online this week. It brings a hope so much stronger than I think people are willing to share.

When did homosexuality become the end all be all of sin? That’s a boat I don’t recall getting on and I want off. I’m not even convinced it is a sin, but that is almost irrelevant at this point. The point is that there is no such thing as a sinner that cannot be redeemed, there is no such thing as a sin that Christ did not die for. The point is that this is not an us vs. them issue. At least, it shouldn’t be. This should be an us issue. That’s it, just us, because there is no them. This should be us, the Church, reaching out to the world and welcoming it with open arms, welcoming the world, the whole world, to be a part of the us.

Here’s my hope in this: God is unchanging. He knows every single person who has become involved in this issue – the people pulling sponsorships, the people adding sponsorships, the children they’re impacting, you, me – and He is working in all of our lives. I truly believe that.

He sent His son to die specifically for this issue. He died for the people on both sides and those caught in the middle. I truly believe that.

He brought His kingdom down to us so that we may have hope. He is good and loving and faithful. I truly believe all of that.

So this is not me abandoning my faith in any way. I want to make that clear.

I want the evangelism described in my Bible. I want the Church coming together, through disagreements, to reach the world, the whole world. I want us to work as one body to expand our family in Christ. I want to see people remembering who and what God died for. I want to see myself remembering that. I want to see myself actively praying for those who make me so angry. I’m at fault here, too, after all.

If this is how we’re going to react when we disagree, I’m not sure that’s something I can be a part of. If we are going to isolate people, if we are going to look past or over someone because we disagree with who they are, that’s not something I could ever be okay with. If we are going to continue to create a them where there isn’t one, I no longer want to be a part of the us.

I want off of this boat; I feel like it’s going under and I hate the ocean. I’m getting on the boat my Savior is steering because I feel safe in His control and this can’t be it.

Love thy neighbor

I’ve been thinking about that command a lot lately and I think sometimes people take the neighbor part of it a little too literally.

There are about 7 billion people on this planet and when Jesus told us to love our neighbor I think he had more in mind than we do. A lot of times Christians fail to realize that the words used in the Bible are translated from another language, so we assume that every word was written with the exact definition we usually associate with a certain word. When most of us think of the word “neighbor” we think of someone who lives near by (e.g. our next-door neighbor) but I don’t think that’s what Jesus meant.

The pastor at the church I go to gave a better definition of the word “neighbor” and I think this is closer to what Jesus was probably saying: “A neighbor is any person in your circle of influence that has a need.” That essentially means a neighbor is any person in your circle of influence because who doesn’t have a need? And in today’s world if your circle of influence doesn’t spread outside of the street you live in or even the town you live in there’s a problem.

Of course Jesus wants us to love the people who live near us as we love ourselves, but I think he wants us to extend that same love to anyone we are connected to no matter where they are in relation to us.

And this is exactly why I am so passionate about getting to know the people I come in contact with via the internet. Because the misunderstanding of the meaning of “neighbor” is one of the reasons I think a lot of people don’t understand loving the people we meet online – because they don’t live near us – and even though the internet was not around when the Bible was written I think we can still use it to demonstrate a very biblical concept: loving people because they are people.