“It meant the world to hold a bruising faith. But now it’s just a matter of grace” –To Sheila by The Smashing Pumpkins
I have been out for about a year. When I say out, I mean I’ve told key people in my life. The entire world doesn’t know yet. Such as my personal religious leaders and people of the churches I’ve been to. The main part my sexuality journey is coming to an end and I know that it won’t ever really end. I’ll be meeting new people and possibly the journey will pick. Not to mention how this journey will affect my children’s and future step-children’s journeys. How many times can I say journey in a paragraph? The answer is 5.
I have been starting to feel more confident in who I am in the Lord and not caring what others think. By that I mean, I felt I was no longer controlled by guilt and shame because I am attracted to women and for being in a healthy and supportive relationship with a woman.
I had been stewing for about a week about this Bible study we were planning to do. “The first two sessions talk about how homosexuality is a sin.” That phrase my sister said kept ringing in my head along with my answer of “It is what it is.” Why was I having an issue with this now? The Bible does say that. Even though I believe that what I am going through is different. I feel confident in that. I do not believe that I am openly living in sin any greater than the next person.
A couple of weeks ago I called to get into my therapist because the guilt and shame was tearing me up at the time. I kept having conversations with myself along the lines of “Will she (my sister) believe me that I’m right with God and gay?” “Who really cares?? Are you trying to impress your sister or are you trying to have a meaningful relationship with God??” By the time my appointment rolled around, I felt right with God again but I decided to keep my appointment anyways for a couple of reasons. 1. Because I wanted to get out of work. 2. I wanted to just vent to someone that was a neutral party. Let me tell you! That session was an eye opener and a boundary pushing type of session.
He told me that my relationship with my sister is toxic because I am putting her thoughts and opinions higher than anyone else’s even higher than the love of my life’s thoughts and opinions. I could even go as far as saying even higher than God’s. I never thought of it that way but it was! He told me that I needed to tell her as soon as possible to butt out of my journey. I was so jazzed up after that session that I knew I was going to tell her on Saturday. I could do it. I am an adult! I am my own person!
I must tell you that my experiences with confrontations have never been good. I prayed to God and asked Him to give me the strength He gave Moses. If you don’t know why I was praying that prayer, it’s because Moses had a speech impediment and he was not a good public speaker. But with God’s strength he led the people of Israel out of Egypt from slavery. Surely, God could spare me a little strength to speak to my sister about my thoughts and feelings.
Oh man! It went HORRIBLY, HORRIBLY wrong! It was so bad! I told her what I felt and it came out all wrong. Then she said “not to start a fight but…” Famous last words!! Within 5 minutes, it became a screaming match. “I don’t want to sit and hear a guy saying that homosexuality is a sin!!” “It says it in the Bible, doesn’t it?!?” Back and forth. “You’re distracting me from aligning myself with God. Instead of focusing on Him, I’ve been focusing on you and your life.” “How is it my fault?!?” Looking back at it now, I was putting all the blame on her and not expressing how it was my issue. I was distracted because I was looking at her life and not at Jesus’ life. She kept yelling that I was internalizing these things. And for some reason my brain knew that’s what I was trying to say but my mouth was not getting the memo. I kept yelling that people are saying I’m going to Hell. She kept yelling no one is telling me that.
She asked me if I knew God loved me why am I saying these things. I had no clue why I was saying these things. I wanted to present my case as the confident and self-loving Kat that I became because of my walk with God and my self-acceptance. Instead, I presented my case as bat crap crazy Kat. I think she must’ve thrown confident Kat down the stairs because crazy Kat was in control from the moment I tried to tell my sister my case. And crazy Kat only got crazier when my sister kept telling me that I shouldn’t be deceiving myself about what is right and what is not a sin. Even more so when she said that I couldn’t twist the Bible when I said I have plans on marrying EJ. After lots of screaming and hurt feelings not only by the two of us but also involving my mom and oldest kid, I retreated to my room. I read the Bible and cried and prayed. It was not a very good day at all.
I’ve been reading a blog called A Gay Christian’s Journey and it’s really helped me out a lot. Just like Nathan, he also went to Seminary and Ministry school. He is well versed in the Bible and theology. His blog like many others have been very helpful in reconciling my faith with my sexual identity. He sounds so confident in himself and in his walk with God. I want to be that way.
I was reading his blog post called The Stages of Coming Out. As the title reveals, it talks about the stages of coming out. At first, I was just going to glance at this post because I’m already out so why do I end to educate myself on the stages? I found out that according to his stages I’m not fully out. He described the sixth and final step like so:
“The sixth step is positive self-identification. You can probably accept that you are gay before you come out, but even after you come out there will probably still be some guilt, shame, fear, guilt, confusion, misunderstanding, and other emotions. Coming out is often perceived as some fall from grace onto some sort of slippery slope that leads to some sort of “lifestyle” that allows others to dictate and determine your identity, but only the last part of that is true. Be who you honestly believe God created you to be, live your life according to what you believe God’s Word celebrates, and use the gifts that bear the kind of good fruit that can only be reaped and sown by only someone who with an intimate relationship with Jesus and someone through whom the Holy Spirit works. Identify yourself positively, and be confident enough to accept that that will never look the same for everyone.”
Like the lyric in the beginning of this post states, “It meant the world to hold a bruising faith.” I have held on to my bruised and banged up faith for so long. It’s still very tender. And even just last week it was bruised some more by a family member who essentially told me that only the straight people are blessed the sacrament of marriage. Now, it’s just a matter of grace to heal my wounded faith. Mine and my sister’s relationship has been healing in a very speedy way. Thank goodness that she is a good Christian woman. She’s already forgiven me and I’m just now starting to forgive myself. I’ve also forgiven her as well. Maybe I’ll do alright.
I can’t wait until I am in the final stage and embracing it. It’s going to be such a load off of my shoulders. Jesus has already told us to take up His yoke because the burden is light . I’m learning to do that every day.