Monday, May 16, 2011

Winds of Change

Sometimes life can become confusing. There are days when we all wake up, look around at the circumstances that surround us and begin to question our existence and the myriad of simple choices that have brought us to a certain point in time. Such is my story and journey this day.

I awoke at 4:30 am to the cheerful sound of bird song and the quietness of my home. This may be the very same bird who held watch and kept me awake all night on Saturday some 300 miles away. At least it sounds remarkably like him? I slipped on a pair of worn jeans and a thick sweatshirt and stepped outside onto the front porch to survey the beginning of a cool and clear day. The moon, near, full and luminous on the horizon, shone like a bright white beacon and stunned me with her beauty. I sat down on the porch and took it all in.

It is time for a change.

Now, typically, when one hears those words, one may get a certain idea of altering circumstances or possibly making different choices. I feel that this is something far deeper and more subtle than making a few decisions that will change the outcome or picture of my life. This is more of a  momentous shift in being not in doing.

I have had time to think. A space to pause. A short trip to clear my mind and blow out the cobwebs of the whirling circumstances that are my life and it has been good. My conclusion, while not easily found, is this.

I do not like who I have become. I am not pleased with the choices I have been making. What I have been doing has been at odds with who I should be being. My focus has been wrong and my life has become a direct result of these choices.

Vague statements aside, I find it rather easy to put into words what this means for me. I will try to spell it out rather briefly, if only to see it in writing for myself.

Faith: I have lost my way. I have been ignoring God. I no longer was spending any time praying or reading the Bible. I continued going to church as a social activity but have not really had my heart and mind open to anything that may have challenged the choices I have been making. When others attempted to guide or help me, anything that was offered that did not fit my selfish and narrow world view was discarded as an attempt to control or hurt me. I have been confused and frustrated about my emotions and how I relate to the people around me and as a result have sought out comfort in all the old ways that I am so familiar with. It is time to start listening and seeking once again.

Vocation: This last November, I made a rather poor choice(in hindsight) to enter the service industry again. I felt I had a rather good grasp on what it entailed and felt that with the maturity I had gained in the past years that I could keep a firm handle on the drain on life that it can become. I started working in a restaurant with high hopes of enjoying my time there and picking up useful skills in my goal to attend culinary school and become a chef. In this attempt, I have failed miserably. To be clear, I have made some great money, had a "good time" and made plenty of friends. On the surface, it is the picture of a good career move. In reality, it is a complete mess. My life, both personal and public, has become entangled in the lives of those I work with and the days have dissolved into long hours at work that blend directly into the long hours of partying that tend to follow such a high stress and intense environment. I do not like who I am and what I have become there. I have been working hard and playing even harder. The reputation and person I have lived out to my peers at work is not who I wish to be. I no longer feel this environment is healthy for me emotionally, spiritually and socially. Today I will be resigning. I feel that anything less than total separation from this place and those people I have called friends will help attempt to repair the damage I have done to myself in such a short time.

Identity: The tug of war between my faith and personal identity has been a struggle writ large across the entries of this blog. I have battled back and forth with myself as to how to resolve that interior juxtaposition that is my belief in God against what I consider my most raw and basic foundations as a person. No where has this been more plain than in the conflicting and baffling posts that have come out of my head on these pages. I do not have any simple answers. There will be no broad general sweeping statements.

These things I know. I am a Christian. I am gay. I do not know how or even if these will ever agree with each other in my soul, but I know them to be the truth of my life, as I understand it. The decisions, choices and actions that I have engaged in over the past few years have not brought peace and comfort to my heart in these areas. Trying to mesh my old life with my new life has not occurred in the seamless transition I had hoped it would be. When in a relationship, my mind did not rest easy for many different reasons, many which were tied to faith and the conflict I was experiencing within and without.

This was brought home to me in a conversation with a new friend over the kitchen table in his home. My other friend had gone on to bed around 1 am and I had stayed up to talk to his room mate and his roomies girlfriend. I shared my story with them and we had been discussing things for a few hours when he asked me a very simple question. He asked honestly and quietly...

What if a gay guy came to you as a friend, said that he was new Christian and wanted to live his life for Christ but had no intention of changing how he lived. What would you tell him?"

This pierced me to my core. I could not answer that question. I still cannot answer that question. I hope that soon I may be able to in some tangible and real way.

Now, before you worry that I am going to run off on some ex-gay jack ass rabbit trail, please be assured that I am not. I do not subscribe to the idea that one can alter or change ones sexual orientation for whatever altruistic reason someone may have. I do believe that I have a choice in the actions and choices that I make with my body and heart. What I am saying here is this...

As a Christian, I feel that there are things in my life which have not lined up with what I profess to believe. To be blunt, my life has been a picture of how NOT to be a Christian, or an illustration of how God wants me to live. I party hard and am better known at my local gay clubs and bars than I am at church. When I am not working, I am out drinking and hanging with all of my old friends from my old life.

When I am single, as I find myself right now, I am as promiscuous as I have always been. I have sex with whomever I want with no concern as to the consequences to myself or them. I have done nothing except please myself for quite some time now and it has not worked for me. I have run away and am so tired of running. My soul is thin. I have to stop. For a season, I will remain sober and celibate. Let me see how I fair then. I want to explore the ideas of Repentance and Purity.

The winds of change are blowing. I am not sure where they will be taking me, but my sails are filling even as I speak and I know that this port of call has not been my friend. I am headed out towards open water and my eyes are starting to fill with the early morning gleam of the rising sun. The horizon beckons. It is time to set a new course.

Feel free to tag along. I think this is going to be an amazing journey.



  1. I find it heartbreaking that people suffer so much reconciling their sexuality with religion. The shunning and exclusion on a social basis because one is gay and 'immoral' (according to fundamentalist preachings) is deeply offensive to me as a homosexual and reeks of hypocrisy. I see on tv the heads of Jewish and Muslim children bobbing up and down as they memorize scriptures; will these children grow up capable of free, rational and independent thought? The word 'brainwashing' comes to mind and the extremist misery it causes. I am not against religion, I am against today's narrow-minded and self-serving interpretations of religious dogma written thousands of years ago by men from a tribal and parochial viewpoint (ie homophobic passages in the Old Testament). Rather insane in this modern day and age when we are privileged to know our place in the universe and science is opening our eyes to truth. You can be Christian and think for yourself too. Homosexuality has been around since the dawn of life, is rampant in nature and always will be; it does not get any more natural or normal than that. Never allow others to use religion to dump guilt on you over your sexuality. Most homosexuals I have known or seen stand head and shoulders above a lot of heterosexuals in the morality department showing much empathy and kindness.
    -The problem with your question is that you are equating homosexuality with sin (a lie) and then asking for a choice. You can be Christian and a practicing homosexual too; Jesus did not put down anyone's sexuality and disliked hypocrisy. You are an intelligent man and you can interpret your religion as you see fit, not as others do for their own power and influence.
    -Heterosexuals go out and party hard and hang out at clubs and bars too; so let's separate the sexuality thing from a life of excess. Stop the religious guilt over your sexuality and do something for a more moderate lifestyle. Being gay does not mean a life of wanton debauchery, but being comfortable with your sexuality and having a loving partner. I hear what you are saying but please dump the religious guilt over your sexuality cos it is damaging to your mental well-being.
    -The simple things in life are best and free; fresh air and sunshine and outdoor exercise and fun. As for vocation every job has it's rewards and pains. Actually it sounds like you are fairly successful in the service industry and enjoyed it; you only need more self-discipline on the personal side.
    -As a fellow gay guy (who has been there) believe me I know how you feel trying to make it in a heterosexual and religious world. I hope you can find that best friend/lover for support and reduce the stress level. Moderation and balance are good words to remember. - Wayne :)

  2. Wayne, thank you for this comment, wow!!!
    "The problem with your question is that you are equating homosexuality with sin (a lie) and then asking for a choice."

    I have struggled a lot with God about the feelings you are having. Recently, I heard this from God in my heart. "If you believe that being a Christian and gay is possible, then you sanctify that journey..."

    Sanctify... make it holy... make it pure.

    The problem with us is that deep in our soul, we still think that we are sinners and destined to live a miserable life struggling against...ourselves. I don't believe any longer in the Divine jinx or the Divine hoax of a mean, capricious God screwing us in life with an incurable temptation. Rather, we battle against ourselves and the constant harassing stream of untruth coming from social and demonic sources telling us to give in to our basal nature and die. Much like Lot's wife telling him to, "Curse God and die!"

    I now believe faith and sexuality can be reconciled but it has to somehow be done in each of our own lives and within the uniqueness of our own experienced journey of life. Even here we look for a brainwashing or mantra we can chant over ourselves to "make everything feel better." Say no to that bologna and engage in the real work and soul searching of being fully reconciled to God and united with Him in sonship. He calls us to nothing less and sexuality is a very small piece of that puzzle.

    Best regards and blessings,
    Mark (from GCN)

  3. Erratum...

    Opps, not Lot's wife... Job's wife (from the book of Job in the Bible). Ugh! Ha ha...

  4. Reading this was probably the highlight of my day. I hope this new direction ends well for you!

  5. D, you have no idea how excited I am for you.

    To be blunt, this really is NOT a sexual issue...even though that is all that many would prefer that you & they could reduce it to. It's about putting Jesus above any & everything else that can get in the way of faithfully following him. (Many just prefer to reduce it to a sexual issue, because then it becomes more about "Them" and less about Jesus)

    I've got plenty of issues that I still fight with everyday that I refuse to lay at the feet of Jesus. (Sometimes it's sexual. Usually it's other things.) But it still comes down to that whole Genesis 3 issue of us wanting to be God.

    I think that in many ways, where ever this leads you, it will be painful. But at the same time, it will be brilliant & beautiful. You are going to learn so much more from Christ during this time then you could possibly imagine. Keep that in the front of your mind. Where ever it may ultimately lead you, Jesus will be there holding you.


    P.S. BTW: While at the moment, the major issue that you are dealing with is a sexual one. You are going to find that there are plenty of other items that you are going to have to deal with. You just couldn't see them before because this was your major focus. This will be an eye opener, thats for sure.

  6. Thank you all for the comments. Be sure that I read and consider each one that people are considerate enough to post here on my blog and I will never edit or delete their content to suit my needs or opinions.

    That being said, due to some of the emails and correspondence I have received in the last few days, it seems that many are misunderstanding what I am trying to communicate about the changes I would like to see in my life.

    I am not trying to become a heterosexual due to some belief in God. I am not condemning the fact that I am a homosexual man due to some interpretation of the Bible. I do not view my sexual orientation as some type of curse or something to be struggled against or with. I do not subscribe to the notion that I have "unwanted same sex attraction" or whatever nonsensical Christianese verbiage is currently in vogue.

    What I AM saying is that I feel my life of excess in all things and sexual promiscuity is and has been at odds with the moral principles and beliefs I hold due to my faith in Jesus Christ.

    The idea and concept that somehow no rules apply to me as a gay guy that DO apply to my str8 friends seems to fly in the face of logic. How can it be okay and normative for me to be a drunken man whore and then expect some level or decency from my heterosexual friends on the grounds and basis of our shared belief?

    I have to believe that God has a vested interest in how I live my life, what I choose to do with my body and who I share my penis with. I am not wracked by guilt, shame or live in fear due to my past. I HAVE been saddened by some poor choices that I have made and how those have hurt me and others I care for deeply.

    I hope that this comment brings a bit of clarity to my post and I always encourage an ongoing dialogue as I live and grow.