I wrote this prayer out on weekend back in February when I went away on a personal retreat (mostly because I was at my breaking point) between relaxing in a whirlpool with a book (and a beer – it is Wisconsin after all), taking naps, eating junk food, walking around Native American burial mounds, visiting the places my dad lived and had warm memories of. Even while doing all of those activities, I felt I was able to maintain a dialogue with God, and we came to a place of… well… agreement? It wasn’t a negotiation or anything, but I feel like we talked it out. If He would have been here physically with me then I feel as if it would have ended with a hug and a handshake. Is that odd? Well, that’s how it would have gone down.
I decided to share the prayer with you now because, well, if you read my blog… there’s a big shift… and I wanted to explain what happened to cause it. I titled the post “comfy jeans” in a direct response to a post I had written almost a year to the day of this Wisconsin weekend. Which, looking back, I wasn’t as honest as I should have been in that first post… not necessarily honest with you (to some degree yes) but more so, honest with myself and with God. For so long I repressed everything that was inside of me… and I had confessed it numerous times, I’d gone through deliverance sessions, counseling, and I didn’t want to be a “failure”, rather than admit my same-sex attractions, I shut it down and decided to focus on the outward stuff. It was as close to vulnerability that I could come. Interestingly, the more vulnerable I was with that… the more the real stuff started coming out (pun not intended, but I do enjoy it, so I’m leaving it).
I’ve pretty much given up on Living Waters. Not because I don’t believe in You or because I think You aren’t powerful enough to fix me… nothing like that.
I still haven’t figured out if homosexuality’s a sin. I know, it’s practically doctrine in most denominations, but… it just doesn’t sit well with me. Sex outside of marriage, okay, I get that, I can work with that. But… choosing to love someone regardless of their gender… does that truly impact You (or anyone else for that matter)? I mean, what’s the difference if I were to hold hands with Aaron or Erin? Does that really make You look bad???
I’m not trying to be argumentative here, I just want You to know where I’m at with all of this.
Ya know, I’ve lived under a heavy blanket of shame for close to two decades now. For the longest time, I thought it was because of this ugly sin I’ve been hiding and burying. Now, I’m starting to wonder if it was just because I haven’t been true to who YOU created me to be.
When I started on this “journey” a year ago, the purpose was “to be the woman God created me to be”. I thought that meant wearing pink and fancy underwear and eventually getting married and having a white picket fence. Well, maybe, just maybe, it’s being comfortable in my skin regardless of what I’m wearing or who it’s near, to operate in my strengths, and to reflect Your goodness while I’m wearing my comfy jeans and a roller derby t-shirt.
I have so much pain and anger inside of me that I’m not reflecting anything positive. But that is my fault. I’ve internalized everything that I’ve heard (though I haven’t acted on anything) that I’m an abomination, that You hate me. It’s hard to come to You and to call you Abba Father, Daddy, when I’m being told You hate me and my thoughts.
So, there’s been this major disconnect, and I’m the one to blame for it – I chose to believe the lies – that You hate me, that I’m evil, that I’m going to Hell (I may have started that one).
I guess what I’m saying God, is well, I like chicks… and I’m going to stop fighting that. But, I love you… and I’m going to fight to keep You in the center of my life.
I want to follow You. I’m not quite sure how to go about it though. I know that I’m leaving the Vineyard, at least until I know how to do this Jesus thing WITH You. I know I need to find a supportive community that gets me and YOU. Right now I feel like my communities are polar opposites and I’m being pulled apart down the middle. So, what I’d like from You is to find a church that meets those needs for now, that doesn’t make me feel an impending sense of doom when I get to the parking lot. I also need reminders of Your love for me… because I’m expecting some “interpersonal challenges”. Is it weird for You when I get all professional with You? Sorry.
But thank You. Thanks for meeting me out here in 3 degree Wisconsin. Thanks for sitting and listening with me. Thanks for smiling. Thanks for being the God that I remember following before all this blew up.
So yeah, thanks again.