HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS

19 11 2018

CHILDHOOD

List of attributes or traits of healthy relationships:

I am happy to see them

I feel free to speak, do and be who I am

I feel loved for who I am

I know they will always love me, no matter what

They don’t blame me

They admit when they’re wrong

I am safe with them

Digging deeply into my memory bank for these attributes within my sphere of childhood relationships, I can honestly say only the first one (I am happy to see them) applies to many. But from the age of 12 on, I was uncomfortable in my own skin, with my own body, not because I wanted IT changed, but because of fear. I was afraid that if another girl saw me naked (in the gym showers, for example) or I saw THEM naked, curiosity and attraction would lead to something which I “instinctively knew,” based upon the “do’s and don’t’s” I was being taught, was forbidden. Not that I believed it would be wrong; that was the distinct message conveyed from within the religious community of what THEY interpreted or implied was right or wrong. Of course, EVERYTHING wrong was sin, and being strict emphasizers of SIN and its consequences, my attraction to girls would have placed me in a very dangerous position, if they found out. So, my closet was built, the box placed inside, with me and “their religion” hidden within it!

And the rest of the list of attributes of healthy relationships were all sealed outside of my box-christianity and closet, and they did not apply to ANYONE of my childhood friendships.

ADULTHOOD

While the majority of my adulthood relationships, until the last couple of years, have been moderately healthy, with some of the additional traits of a healthy relationship, it has only been within the past few months that I can honestly admit to several healthy relationships. KS was the first person to whom I spoke publicly (outside of two members in my family) that I am gay, and she is the first person to whom ALL of the traits and attributes apply! And while others know of my homosexuality and assure me they love me, still there are some of those traits which are lacking.

Oh, dear! “Envisioning what relationships I would like to have?” Just recently, my friend, VCM, posed a very similar question to me. She asked, “What are you looking for in a woman?” Ugh! All this thinking and assessing! To me, there are obvious hindrances to pursuing a healthy personal/romantic (homosexual) relationship, the major one being that I need to divorce myself from a heterosexual one. Up to this point, I have pushed far below the surface any thoughts about what a “healthy” relationship would look like, but the time has arrived to take a serious look within my heart and thoughts. This is NOT a comfortable place for me … not yet!!

In actuality, I have envisioned purely domestic aspects to a romantic relationship because I believe commitment in a relationship ought to begin long before choosing whose bed to sleep in. Things such as, who does the cooking, cleaning, laundry, emptying the garbage, mowing the lawn kind of stuff – the exact same kind of “stuff” I’ve witnessed in heterosexual relationships, are the only ideas I have considered. After all, the exact same things need to be attended to in a homosexual relationship as in a heterosexual one! There’s no “homosexual agenda,” which is any different than a “heterosexual agenda.” The emotional aspects of showing and expressing love on a physical level – whew!! – this is embarrassing, to say the least! Maybe I’m excavating deeper than you intended, Susan, but maybe the gems of my true colors are much deeper than I originally thought. I think I’m going to leave the emotional aspects of a romantic relationship embedded for now. It just seems like that part should be explored together with my partner, when the right time comes! “We’ll” know when that time arrives!!

Backing off a little, I would love to have some healthy relationships in the LGBTQ community, which answer to my observations of healthy relationships in the heterosexual community. For example, signs or actions of affection are not misconstrued for hitting on someone. If I put my head on a shoulder to comfort someone or encourage them [this is someone from the heterosexual community now] I am always afraid they are going to take my intentions the wrong way, especially once they learn I am gay. This fear was confirmed in a movie I saw, when the actor learned that the person he had kissed was not a female. He took a shower, washed his mouth out with soap, brushed his teeth, vomited, and threw the covers over his head once he got into bed. Yes, this is a movie. But the reaction is all too vividly real, I am afraid. I would love to be able to impart freely the empathy for my fellow human beings without being afraid it might be taken for anything more than that we are ALL in this boat together!!

Ok! Now to deal with the next question, “What is standing in the way of your having healthy relationships with others? (Ask your little you inside—what do they say?)”

Hhmmm! Ok! Let me deal, first, with the obvious issue of not being able, legally, to pursue a romantic relationship, then I’ll dig deeper for answers to the general relationships.

Legally, I am still married to a heterosexual man. Ugh! No offense to heterosexuals; it’s just not for ME!! In the eyes of the law, I am not free to pursue a relationship. My perception, in God’s presence, is that, had I ALLOWED myself to be HOW He created me, I would never have been in this relationship in the first place! But He had/has many lessons to teach me and very patiently is leading me this way. I do not regret, for the most part, having come through this process. I can actually say I am thankful to God for it, because circumventing it would have only given me a cursory inspection of God’s love. The height, depth, greatness, unsurpassing power in His unconditional love would never have possessed my soul as it does. As God is continuing this process within me, He is teaching me about how He wants me to share and show that same unconditional love to my fellow human beings.

Ok, that dealt with the obvious issue. Now it’s time to excavate deeper again!

What is standing in the way of me HAVING healthy relationships with others? I guess it is my own self-imposed inhibitions based upon years of fear deeply ingrained within me. Sometimes I am still experiencing the “What if I’m wrong?” syndrome. I am positive that the enemy of God is the one who “accuses,” because Father/God has given complete assurance to my heart. I think often the questions come mostly from well-intentioned but mis and uninformed Christians, which leads me to second-guess God’s clear truth for me.

But, how does one throw off the inhibitions stemming from fear? Part of the other side of this issue is also derived from fear. What if (because of how sheltered I’ve been) I do not really know how to draw boundaries and either go too far or allow someone else to do so? It is the fear of extremes now, perhaps, which is standing in the way of truly healthy relationships. Holy moly! I had no idea these thoughts existed within the frame of my being!!!

Now it’s time to begin the next phase of discovering my “true colors.”

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NON-AFFIRMATION BOX CHURCH; AFFIRMATION OPEN CHURCH

19 11 2018

I have little to no personal experience with affirming churches. My beliefs of the treatment of the LGBTQ community are based solely upon my observations of how others were treated in non-affirming churches. Not wishing to experience the rejection I knew would be mine, I withdrew from the fellowship of the “church” of my youth.

As I have witnessed the vindictive nature and attitude of some of the professing members of Christianity, and their obvious loathing of the LGBTQ community members, I am sometimes ashamed to be called a Christian. Not that Christ has done anything wrong. Far be the thought!! It is the misrepresentation of the Jesus of the Bible by those who adamantly claim they are showing God’s love to others by shunning, rejecting, avoiding, despising, condemning, and “turning over to Satan” their fellow human beings – fellow human beings for whom they did not die and on whose level of needing Salvation is identical. They do not act the way the Jesus of the Bible acted, except for their oft-quoted passage about Jesus being angry and overturning the money changer tables in the Temple. This is the passage they use as a sort of “Jesus mask” to justify “their hatred” of anything. “See?! Even Jesus was angry!” they say. There is total disregard for the possibility that God exists outside the frame of their own human and personal experience or even their own frame of reference. Through fear and, in many cases, refusal to gain knowledge from gay people, yes, even the knowledge and wisdom God has imparted to other (Christian) people who are not gay and whose hearts and minds diligently seek after Him, these self-deluded christians loudly proclaim a well-disguised discrimination of LGBTQ people covered in a thin layer of religion, for when examining the Scriptures they insist upon using, it is very clear the verses have been lifted from their context, reinterpreted, and misapplied to EVERY member of the LGBTQ community, regardless of personal testimony and witness that God’s unconditional love and His glory is uppermost in our thoughts, hearts, and lives.

At times, there is a part of me that is happy to be free from the religious community of those so misrepresenting God’s unconditional love. And at other times, I long to have the fellowship and support of a community that truly loves God, accepts their fellow human beings as being part with them, and displays extravagantly that almighty, all-powerful unconditional love of God that was so lavishly showered upon us each one at the cross. It is in this that I wish the true colors of every one of us could radiate to one another and shed abroad the Light of God’s love into a world that is dark with the evil and lies of Satan. This truly would be a safe community into which those in need of the Savior’s love would be welcome! I would feel welcome there!!





THE COMMUNITY OF – – – LONELINESS??

19 11 2018

Yes, even in loneliness, there is a certain aspect of community. There’s a song I heard a long time ago sung by George Beverly Shea, one line of which is, “… Always in a crowd yet alone …” My heart used to ache during our hymn-sings, particularly, when I remembered that song, because, even though I knew the intended meaning was about a sinner and the appearance of the shadow of the cross for his salvation, it resonated within me that in the commonality of all these people singing all of these songs, I wondered how many of us were really like myself and felt alone, not because we needed the shadow of the cross, (most of us had already experienced that) but I wondered how many of us “at the foot of the cross” were afraid to be who we really are. So, in our aloneness, we were, in a sense, a silent community.

In many of these moments of loneliness, I have sought refuge in God’s presence. Being unable to see beyond the scope of the parameters dictated by the religious group of my upbringing, I had no idea that GOD had created me in this way so that HE might receive more glory unto Himself as I submitted to the provisions He made for me.

However, after all the years of possessing a heart accustomed to the deception and lies of the enemy of our souls about my sexuality, God has miraculously performed His wonderful work of deliverance into His true freedom unto Himself in my heart. I have been told that those of us who believe and accept that God has given us these feelings that we have for those of the same sex and the desire to carry out God’s divine command to love them and commit our lives to each other (even if it is someone of the same sex) is “Satan transforming himself into an angel of light,” and that is why I was scared to admit the truth to myself for many years. Who wants to have themselves under the influence of the enemy of our souls?? What “CHRISTIAN” willingly chooses to put himself in Satan’s realm?? **IF** (as a result of) “Satan transforms himself into an angel of light,” we find ourselves to be non-heterosexual and we beg and plead with GOD to remove these feelings and change us to be like everybody else and He does not, this means Satan has greater power than God. THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE!! Do you know how I KNOW and have been assured that it is G-O-D who has done this work in my heart? My heart has received the peace of God which passes human understanding! (He says that He does that in His Word!) Whereas before, I was afraid to proclaim that I love Jesus Christ, my Lord and my Savior, my God with my whole heart, now I am not afraid nor ashamed to admit and to proclaim my love for Him. (He says that in His Word! Perfect love casts out fear and I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the POWER of God unto salvation!) Others may say all they want about who the source is of what is in my heart and “Satan making himself an angel of light,” but a redeemed freed heart in Christ KNOWS the peace that human understanding cannot comprehend nor Satan duplicate; and the true source of the power to be loved and to display that unconditional love is God, for God is love. Satan, even as a transformed angel of light, cannot provide the source nor the power to love nor to put peace which passes understanding into our hearts. God does not ever say that Satan transforms himself into an angel of love. Satan, even as a masked angel of light, is the father of fear, hatred, and lies, and he is diametrically opposed to God’s unconditional love and peace that passes understanding. This is how a heart KNOWS WHO is the source of that which is in it!!!

Although seeking refuge in God’s presence most often to confide my loneliness to Him, there was always that which felt empty and void of the ability to obey His fundamental command to love one another in an intimate way. The spoken as well as unspoken demands of the evangelical and ultra-conservative religious community to, at worst, want us to deny the truth and reality of our homosexuality or, at best, acknowledge it but remain celibate using our own will power or praying to God that He would give us strength “not to commit sin” by pursuing any type of relationship with a person “of our kind,” is a horrible denial of obedience to God. This, I have learned, is a successful ploy by the enemy of God and of our souls to blatantly hinder the blessing of obedience to God to love one another and the greatest evil in it all is the ultimate denial of glory to God. For, religion, in so placing these demands upon us, violates the fundamental command of God to love one another unconditionally as He has loved us.





Safe Community

29 10 2018

I thought I was in a safe religious community when I was growing up. I did not realize that their “safe” meant I could be supported by them as long as I was willing to act or pretend like I was normal – THEIR normal. When God lovingly and patiently led me to understand that His normal for me was different than His normal for them, He also gave me to understand that HE was very displeased with my acting and pretending like I was their normal by being in a heterosexual relationship because being so was a direct denial of His divine right and prerogative as Creator to create me as a homosexual person and to accept His provision for me. And when He gave me this understanding, the safety that I once assumed was mine, was suddenly withdrawn. Since I did not come out publicly to them, I know that the feeling of the lack of safety was more on my part than theirs. However, I had witnessed many years earlier what happened to two other people when they publicly admitted their homosexuality, and I withdrew from their fellowship into a place of lacking community, as I knew it because I did not believe that I was physically or mentally prepared to be the recipient of their discipline of excommunication. It was witnessing this discipline of exclusion from their fellowship (based upon 1 Corinthians 5:5 – “… delivered unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh…” was the verse they used) that terrified me into silence and forced me to wrap the cloak of my pretension around me more securely for all of those years. For those not familiar with the idea of “being delivered to Satan for the destruction of the flesh,” let me spell out for you what it means. You cannot participate in the Lord’s Supper; you are excluded from the Lord’s Table; you cannot speak in a [religious] public setting; you are not permitted to eat with family or friends at THEIR OWN tables; if you DO go to their place of meeting, you can ONLY sit in the back row – NEVER in a seat in any row other than the one closest to the door of exit; you are not permitted to speak with anyone while there; you are not permitted to fellowship with any of them; and there may be more things, which I either don’t know or have forgotten. This exclusion is for the purpose of you repenting of your sin, asking for forgiveness, humbling yourself, and “after sufficient amount of time,” “asking for your place at the Lord’s Table” again. After reading my journal thus far, do you have the slightest idea what this means for a non-heterosexual person? It means you will NEVER AGAIN be permitted “at the Lord’s Table.” For how can you repent for something that you cannot change, you did not choose, and for something that God created? Even if you could choose to “live by their rules,” you would be FORCED to live your life as an affront to God, denying His authority over His own Creation. Ummmm, does this sound to you like a place – a “church” – Jesus would be pleased to attend? Would YOU want to go to that place knowing that there were people attending who purposely live their lives as an affront to God just so they could have “a place at ‘The Lord’s Table’”? Do you begin to understand WHY (still after all these years) it is so difficult to overcome some of the most terrifying thoughts of the consequences of being “excluded from the Lord’s Table for being gay?” One more thing, Journal, then I move on. WHY is it necessary to “ask for your place at the Lord’s Table” at all? Didn’t Jesus tell us, “This do in remembrance of Me.”? We already have His permission to be there and to do this in remembrance of HIM!!!

For the best part of the more than 14 years following my withdrawal from the (subtly) judgmental, extremely conservative, and exclusive religious community, feeling spiritually adrift, I sought some type of religious community which displayed more the balanced Biblical truth and reality of God’s ultimate command to love Himself above all and as witness and proof of that love and devotion, to show it unto our fellow created human beings in the form of the unconditional love He has bestowed upon us. I am not looking for a church or community which downplays sin, which is often suggested. I am, however, searching for one that uses God’s measuring stick for what constitutes sin. I am not searching for a religious community which sets itself up as rejecting all who do not conform to their interpretations of Scripture and to exclusive membership based upon behavior. ** See below

I know that such a community exists, although God has, as yet, not brought me to a local expression of that community, and I suspect that part of the reason for God’s delay in revealing that unto me, at this point, is because He is still in the process of cleaning out the clutter and garbage in my soul to bring out the pure and true colors of the rainbow of His unconditional love within my heart. In the meantime, as I said previously, I’m already a part of the LGBTQ community.

** See above – I have been meditating on this whole idea of churches or people “downplaying sin.” My observation is this: the more people and churches are occupied with sin, the less space, time, and heart they have to be occupied with God’s love. If you search your own heart, you have no need of any other person pointing out what they think is your sin, shortcoming, and failure. The Holy Spirit of God performs that work. For the most part, we are all too aware of our own sin and its consequences. What our hearts are longing for is the redemptive love of a Savior who frees us from the constant reminder and fear of sin. I really don’t understand (when once your heart tastes the freeing love of God) why many Christians insist that “not being occupied with sin” is “downplaying sin.” Nor do I understand why Christians think it is THEIR job to point out other people’s sins at all.





Paying The Price And Leaving The Community

29 10 2018

Due to the strict parameters of the religious community in which I was raised, there was no room for a [known] gay person to grow and flourish among them. After being “condemned” [emotionally] by their narrow and biased interpretation of the Bible about homosexuality to the point of self-loathing, shame, and guilt, I paid the price by leaving their fellowship, a community I felt a measure of acceptance, even pleasure in, until it became obvious to me that because I did not fit in with one of its very strict parameters, that community would reject me as one of its own any longer, once it learned of God’s truth for me. This rejection and consequential excommunication would not be based upon any breach or denial of my beliefs in God’s acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice and love for my soul nor would it be based upon my “behavior unbecoming to a Christian” (for “homosexual behavior”) because I had never participated in ANY same-gender intimacy whatsoever, nor the only sin Scripture declares as unforgivable – blaspheming the Holy Ghost, (oh! perish the unholy thought!!!), but it would be based upon their lack of knowledge and understanding, misapplication of Scripture, and their loathing of homosexuality. It could not be for any of the former reasons, because my FatherGod was drawing me closer to Himself, even more so than He had done at the time He brought my parents and brothers to His Home. Their rejection and exclusion would not (and could not) have been based upon a spiritually-discerned need for my excommunication.

It became quite clear to me that to remain within that community was becoming quite harmful to my progress, as shame, condemnation, guilt, and fear held a power over me, paralyzing any spiritual growth I could have desired, while simultaneously, I was becoming physically sick but could not share the reason why with ANYBODY else.





Touch – As Part of Healing – Really?

14 09 2018

Until today, just now, I have thought very little about the importance of touch to me. Since realizing I was different, touching (especially women) seemed like it was a forbidden experience for me. In my relationship with my heterosexual husband, I did not particularly enjoy touching or being touched. I do recall, when our children were not well or could not sleep, I would always rub their foreheads and that did help them, and I have always loved them and hugged them. But to receive for myself a hug or touch for healing has never occurred to me. It is something I have always viewed as not for me or beyond what I deserve, even off limits. To this very day, I am uncomfortable hugging people, but especially women.

But today, as I contemplate this with the possibility of it being acceptable, the thought seems quite nice! How wonderful it would be to receive a hug or a touch which conveys love and acceptance and imparts its capacity to heal and bring relief from being alone! What a lovely thought the power of a healing touch or hug brings to my mind! I guess there is way more missing from my life than I realize!





Community – Fellowship in Sharing Common Attitudes, Interests, Goals

14 09 2018

My image of healthy community is one in which like-minded people share, build up, and encourage each other, while challenging one another to grow, develop, accomplish and become all that God gives us the potential to become. Healthy community acknowledges beneficial as well as detrimental character traits and strives to create complementary balance for its members, perhaps even acknowledging individuals given to extraordinary capacity to encourage, build up and lead, but it does not encourage those who lead to become dictators who usurp power and/or authority for their own personal gain or for that of their own family and friends and to suppress or minimize their fellow members. Healthy community thrives through the medicine of mutual respect and understanding, appreciation of gifts and talents, celebrating differences and similarities, and recognizing and rewarding the greatest attributes that each one brings into the community from the greatest even to the weakest of its members.

Having a sense of community is a feeling of belonging to or being part of a group of people whose set of parameters suits each person. But it goes beyond that; it is being perceived as a needed and wanted individual of that group, one who gives and receives of the mutual values which characterize that community.

Up to the point of admitting I am gay, in 2001, I was part of a religious community, which [insidiously] prided itself upon its exclusivity. Based, for the greatest part, upon biblical principles as interpreted by its original leaders, the community has been one of the biggest proponents of (at best) marginalization and (at worst) discrimination of the LGBTQ community. Belonging to that religious community, it is probably obvious to the observer, that it required me to deny my true self as a gay person. To a point, I enjoyed that community, but when the guilt, shame, and condemnation imposed by their unwritten rules for conduct and appearance created within me a sense of hopelessness, I could not remain part of it any longer. Coming out of the closet, even if only in my heart and mind at the time, meant I’d left their exclusive community and joined another, which I didn’t even realize had happened, nor did I know existed. Since I was not aware of the gay community at this point, I felt adrift for quite some time. Still searching for community, I sought it in religion, since Christianity or religion was my only frame of reference to this point. I attended five churches. Each one has its own set of given parameters but belonging to the LGBTQ community is not one of those permissible parameters.

It was not until I actually talked to a person in the LGBTQ community, and she said these words, “Like it or not, Jocelyn, you ARE part of our community,” that I realized I AM part of that community. I finally realized I belong to a group, “after my kind,” in which its parameters fit me just the way God intended them to fit me all along. Does that mean I cannot go to church? When God provides what is His mind for me within a church that admits His parameters as theirs, then I am certain I can go to church. I also know that those churches exist. I just don’t know where they are locally.





Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

17 08 2018

     Though I never felt compelled to leave home as a young adult, because my secret was so well hidden, I did feel the need to leave my marriage, my box-theology christianity, and my pretension once I came to understand that my homosexuality was God-created and that to be in a (“romantic”) heterosexual relationship was a blatant denial and an affront to God in His prerogative of His Creation.  So, while not leaving at an early age, I want to address the issue of leaving at any given period in my life, not just from a family but from situations, concepts, anything which puts a limit on my personal and spiritual progress. The knowledge of God’s truth for me birthed emotions within me and built them into an overwhelming sense of personal responsibility to free myself from all my pretension. The resulting emotional distress, seeking options to cope, discovered escaping (i.e. leaving) to be the most viable option of all for self-preservation.

     The events leading up to the defining moment when I said, “enough is enough,” stem from the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, and the following days, particularly the 14th.

     The eleventh of September was the day of the attacks.  That day coincided with the first time I cut my hair—very short—and I wore pants, which that religious group considers men’s apparel and labels sin.

     Sitting at the dinner table, my son and I talked of lives being changed forever or thrown into eternity in a moment of time.  We spoke of the need to be ready and prepared to meet God. My husband ate in silence. Not one word did he offer to either add agreement or disapproval of our conversation.  It was not until three days later, on the 14th, that he indicated why he did not participate in our conversation. His words are indelibly written into my heart, for they mark the pivotal words separating my “before ” from “after!”

     Referring to the eleventh, he said, “The reason I didn’t say anything the other night when you were talking about all those people was because of how you look.  You don’t even look like a Christian. I was appalled at how you look!” I was stunned that “my appearance” meant more to him than souls in life and death situations, some face to face with eternity, and some injured and facing the remainder of their lives with physical and mental disabilities. HOW could whether I  “looked like a Christian” or not, outweigh the reality of other people’s anguish and suffering at such a time? The way people looked did not matter one iota to those people in those moments. “Looking like a Christian” did not save a single one of them from that moment when they faced death and eternity. Those words, it turns out, were the very words to release me internally from the prison of my closet! It was just as though a curtain fell down in front of my face! It felt like God jolted me with that very message to the depths of my being!! He was not pleased with me just looking like or acting like a Christian.  HE KNEW MY REALITY!! Although a Christian, I was not a happy one! I was not happily married! I was living in a closet! I AM gay! I was pretending! I was living a lie! I was denying! The worst thing about the reality of this horrible truth was that it was all against God.  And as much as Christians prefer pretending rather than reality, GOD HATES IT!! *I was told that to my face that Christians prefer pretending rather than reality when it goes against what they believe!

     Because God still had to very patiently wait for me to go from denial through acceptance to embracing His truth about His reality FOR ME, I did not tell my husband of my same-sex attractions out of fear.  However, I did leave and stay with friends, based (to their knowledge) solely on religious convictions. I STILL could not publicly admit, acknowledge, or accept God’s truth FOR ME!

     The idea of leaving paralyzed me into inaction for many years because I do not drive.  I have always been dependant upon others for transportation. Consequently, I was almost terrified at the thought of leaving.  But God always knows how and when to provide for the exact need of the moment, and when His time arrived for me to physically depart from my pretentious marriage, He provided the place, people, transportation, employment, all that was necessary.  

     At this point, I am still not divorced from my husband because I believed God would do a work in my husband’s heart, as well.  But God has been impressing me lately that to remain married, in name only, dishonors Him more because it denies His creational relationship with us so long as we remain in denial of how He has created us and most probably will not reveal to us how to move forward in (marital) relationships with others, honoring His creational relationship with us to Himself, first of all.  The dishonor to Him is the denial of embracing His unconditional love and provision for us in how He has created us.

     So, while breaking up is hard to do, God has very patiently shown me that it is not impossible to do and it is something that would honor HIM!





Parental Profile Of Box-Theology Christians

17 08 2018

     While my parents most probably had a basic box-theology religion, they were not highly educated people; that coupled with the fact of their early deaths and the lack of memories attesting to the contrary, I do not believe nor recall my parents to have been pathological or dangerous, other than the two noted examples earlier, (about the dessert and alcohol) but I recall them to be very loving parents.  Had I revealed my same-sex attractions, I cannot even conjure up an idea of how my parents would have acted/reacted, for in reality, I did not know them very well at all.

     Following the deaths of my parents and two younger brothers, my surrogate-parents were more highly educated and were perhaps further along on the spectrum of unacceptable behavior.  I do not believe they were pathological or dangerous either, but I sense that had I revealed to their knowledge that I am gay, it would have caused a great deal of distress to them because they were ultra-conservative box-theology christians.

     It was the fear of the unknown and dreaded excommunication in the religious realm and how my family and friends might react in my personal realm  based upon religious influences of right and (but especially punishment for) wrong behavior that kept me from admitting even to myself the truth of how I really was (am!).





Thinking Outside The Box – Moving Past My Own Box Theology

17 08 2018

     As I noted earlier, the lock to my closet was broken when I began to imagine I had a deep-seated dark secret.  But there lay within that closet, this box of religious theology and ideology. This box that had buried within it the fundamentals of what had molded, shaped, hindered me into the person I was, preventing me from becoming the person I may have become, discouraging this person from displaying her true colors! But the time had come to start thinking outside this box-theology.  It was time to stop pretending and trying to cramp myself inside of the prefabbed box-theology compartment! It was time to ask the “just because ‘they say’ it’s so, does that make it God’s truth for me?” questions.  It was time to get into God’s holy presence for myself and not just accept the spoon-feeding of teaching that was measured out for me from somebody else’s limited, biased, and prejudiced interpretation of something which did not pertain to them, something they REFUSED to learn of God’s wisdom and knowledge revealed to Human Beings (outside the closed Canon of Scripture) because they did not perceive a personal need to learn, nor did they allow for that need in any other person.

     So, today, my box looks more like a flattened down, wall-less structure.  It is more foundational, with room for God to expand and grow my love for that which brings His heart pleasure, and glorifies Him.  It is less of a container to confine Him within the scope and limits of my finite and often incomplete knowledge. The dimensions of His unconditional love cannot be captured and contained within the boundaries of our self-conceived ideological box-theology, no matter how much we try.  When we let Him, there is always something new He leads us to discover, and we end up with no box at all!

     Also, I read the most awesome verse the other day about the kind of “container” the Word of God talks about: Proverbs 18:10—“The name of the Lord is a STRONG TOWER: the righteous runneth into it and is safe.” God is not contained in a box at all, but He is a strong tower that expands to the heights of heaven.  Just let THAT thought sink into you!








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