Thursday, July 10, 2014

Belong... {the post I didn't want to write}

It's Five Minute Friday! Usually the lovely Lisa-Jo posts a prompt that starts a blogging flashmob, everyone writing for 5 minutes (no stopping, no editing), then linking up and sharing a little comment love. She's offline this week, so we're gathering over at Crystal's place. Head here for more info, more posts, and/or to join in!

An aside - this took a bit longer than five minutes to write, but it's something I've felt led to share for some time. I finally grudgingly told God that if it worked with tonight's FMF prompt, then I would post it. Note to self: don't test God.


God has been prodding me for some time to come out with a piece of my past, to share my story so that He can be glorified and others encouraged, but I’ve been pushing back in fear and telling Him that applying the perspective I gained is surely enough, that I’ll just drop hints here and there and the people who need my story will catch on and ask, saving me the mess of everyone else knowing. And then He brought me a blog post, a letter from a friend, Tenth Avenue North’s album The Light Meets the Dark, and Five Minute Friday, and I finally gave in. Some people who read this will be angry, some horrified - I can think of several who will probably stop speaking to me, for one reason or another - but it is not my task to control the reactions of my readers, only to write.

So, in obedience, I write. Growing up, I didn’t really belong anywhere. I preferred talking to adults as opposed to peers, but was often misunderstood and patronized - forced into peer interaction, I found boys to be better and less shallow conversationalists, but that was taboo. Granddaughter of a preacher and daughter of the church pianist, I pretended to fit in at church, but was slightly terrified lest someone discover my secret... As the girls I interacted with began to go boy crazy around me, I quickly fabricated a loftily virtuous persona, high above their silly crushes and short-term relationships --- in order to conceal the painful truth that I cared for boys only for talking to, but was romantically attracted to girls. Terrified of being found out by the extremely conservative Southerners I was surrounded by, I hid it well, never acting on my feelings but feeling them nonetheless, and I resigned myself to a life of singleness and celibacy. [A note, for clarity’s sake: I did not refrain from acting on my feelings because of fear, but because I believed them to be wrong.  I did then and do still believe that same-sex attraction should not be acted on - that merely feeling a feeling does not mean that you should put it into practice, whether it’s lust, anger, pride, or any other. Yes, you may be born with a tendency toward certain feelings, and there is no shame in your initial reflexive impulse - but you can choose whether or not to let it go further… we are all born with a bent toward some particular sin, and that bent can only be overcome through the power of God’s Spirit.]

But the moment I first saw Adam, healing began. I walked into a Tacky Christmas Sweater Party, congested and with a nose as red as the pompoms on my sweater (the event wasn’t really designed for anything other than a good laugh and a fun time, so I wasn’t really worried) and he was the first person I saw. Total stranger though he was, I was overwhelmed with emotions and attractions on a level that I had never experienced before - which is why I was so unshakably confident that God brought us together, and for a reason. Before that, I had only experienced a sense of fear and judgment - but in that moment, I was overwhelmed with a Love and a Grace and a Hope of such magnitude that I was suddenly able to believe that God really is good, and that I wasn’t just an unfortunate mouse in a cosmic maze, chosen to be the one who always got a shock instead of a piece of cheese.

The healing is almost complete, but there are still scars. Never having had the typical childhood dreams of being a wife and a mum meant that I was (and still am) ill-prepared to be either. So there’s currently an art project in the way of me being able to vacuum, there’s a mountain of (clean) laundry on my dresser (looking for the match to a sock a few days ago, I unearthed a longsleeved Tshirt --- aaand it’s the middle of July), and as I stagger sleepily to get Brooklyn in the middle of the night I sometimes wonder what the hell I’m doing up (by the time I get to her room I’ve remembered that I love her, and she’s a mostly helpless baby and needs to be taken care of, but that realization may take a few minutes to come).

So I journey on, not really belonging in any single circle but advocating for balance and unity. My own perspective causes me to look at every person, at every situation, with the awareness that there are always at least two sides to every story, that I don’t know what someone else is thinking, and that very few of the hills we choose to die on are worth fighting over in the end; that a love that unconditionally thinks of others before itself and is beyond the comprehension of an aching world is the only path to healing, and that that love can only come by surrendering to Love Himself.

7 comments:

reflectiontherapy said...

Very well written. Thank you for sharing, and I do pray that the Lord would use it to be a blessing and testimony to many, for His glory. Blessings to you.

Karen Brown said...

I am so inspired by your honesty. Thank you so much for sharing this. I know others who have struggled with the same internal conflict and I'm so glad you shared your story here. We all have things that make us feel isolated and different. All of us. And God used your journey to teach you to have compassion and openness for others. This says it all :"My own perspective causes me to look at every person, at every situation, with the awareness that there are always at least two sides to every story," I'm grateful for your testimony. And I'm glad I'm your FMF neighbor. :)

Peggy McPeggy said...

Thank you for posting this, for your honesty and voice speaking out. It's not an easy subject, but it's one that should be able to be voiced, especially within a community of believers. Thank you <3

Missing Mikayla said...

Stopping by from FMF - your honesty and bravery are inspiring! Thank you for sharing.

faithmustardseed said...

You are brave, friend! Seeing your path and your journey of faith in this area-it's such a testimony. I love that you are being so real and honest, baring your soul with such a hot-button issue. Your bravery is inspiring today, as is your story. Thank you for sharing!! I pray you are supported today, and that this post is used to help others heal.

Rebekah Ellis said...

I love the brave transparency of your post here. How little we know of the world outside our walls; of the paths outside ourselves unless we trip and fall beyond our boundaries or unless someone steps forward from the shadows that line the path to share their story. I love knowing this part of your story and embrace you with the same unreserved whole-heartedness I did before you shared. I pray there will be so few (let's say none) who grow angry or turn away. Your story of hope, trust, and turning yourself over (and over and over) to God's loving hand and grace is a testament to the mighty things that Love can do. Much love to you friend ♥

Meredith Bernard said...

So glad you were brave enough to share this part of your story, Sarah Jo. Your story is important and worthy and needed. I have parts of my story that are hard to find the words to share, but I know they will come. I appreciate your transparency and I know God will use this part of your testimony to draw others to Him. Bless you #fmfpartysnailmail friend! :D