religion

just wanting to live

Sometimes you just reach a breaking point. It’s not that you don’t care anymore or even that it’s not important anymore, but sometimes you just grow weary of the constant tension, the constant sensation of being “always on.” Because why wouldn’t that be exhausting? That’s sort of how I feel right now when it comes to Christian LGBTQ things and LGBTQ things in general, the dialogues, the conversations, the controversies, the debates, the activism, all of it. I feel burned out if I’m being completely honest.

 

And it’s gotten pretty darn close to the point of cynicism when it comes to these things now. Maybe it’s because I’ve already had 4 years to think about and process all my own thoughts and conflicts. Maybe it’s because I’m already out to my friends, family, and whoever else might care to know. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had to deal with many of the harsher realities of what this life and what this identity means for some people recently. Maybe, like Taylor Swift, it’s been a case of overexposure over the course of the last few years, with all the writing, rambling, and rallying I’ve been a part of.

 

I feel burned out if I'm being completely honest.

 

But maybe it’s also just a natural part of the ups and downs and cyclical nature of life itself. Maybe feelings and sensations like this come and go in waves. Maybe in a few weeks, months, or a year I’ll be back on the activism train and maybe even working in a position that would require that. That seems logical to me. It’s burned into my heart and soul after all, and there’s no running away from this existence, from this life that I’ve been living and will continue to live until the Lord decides my time is up.

 

For now though, I just want to live. And maybe this is a pipe dream or a symptom of some sort of privilege I didn’t quite realize I had, but I just want to be able to live my life without having to continually defend my own existence, my own convictions, my own identity, my own choices. I just want to be able to live my life without endlessly needing to explain why I think a certain way or why I’ve reconciled my identity with my faith and the rest of my life. That’s all really. I just want to live. I just want to be, and I long for the day when people can look at me, another anomaly among many (read: LGBTQ Christians), and others like me and just accept it at face value, without needing a long, drawn-out explanation or a theological argument to satisfy their own inner nagging curiosities or bouncer-to-the-Kingdom mentality.

 

I just want to be able to live my life without having to continually defend my own existence.

 

I just want to live, to wake up in the morning and go to work, to go to dinner with my friends every once in a while, to love the people I love, to hold someone’s hand, to talk about the future, and to be able to go to bed at night not feeling like I stick out in the church pews with a neon sign above my head just by virtue of being here on this earth.

 

And maybe one of the ways to fulfill that longing to just be, to just live is take a step back and do it. Obviously, this is always going to be something kindling in the depths of my heart and spirit, but I think I’m also willing to go with the ebb and flow.

 

So, who knows? Maybe now that I’m starting to get settled at work and having a functional computer again (long, strange story…haha) I’ll be back to writing here semi-frequently, but maybe I’ll also just lie low for a while to try this whole “just being” and “just living” thing. I have no idea. That’s where I’m at, and I’m going with the flow.

a relationship rather than a religion

In this post, I just want to share a random thought that I had this past week. Sound good? Okay :) Anyone who knows me decently well knows that I am completely enamored with writing and everything about it. I love the way that well-written sentences flow and the satisfaction of using an obscure word correctly. I also love the sensation of a pen or pencil gliding over paper, weaving out your intangible thoughts onto something physical. And this infatuation with writing spills over into everything else in my life.

But anyway, this is what's been on my mind the last couple of days, and I promise that everything I just said about writing is relevant, even if only vaguely. A lot of my closer friends will also know that I don't really pray a lot, or at least, not in the way that most people would think about praying. For the past year and a half, the vast majority of my prayers have been written down in a prayer journal. It just feels more natural to me that way, being able to take a pen and have everything just flow onto paper. And in some ways, it also feels like writing letters, even though that someone that you happen to be writing letters to already knows each and every word that you're writing to them. It feels like writing letters to God.

At the same time, anyone who knows me at all knows that I'm an extrovert. I love people, and I love relationships. So, in the same vein, I also tend to think about different relationships a lot. Something that struck me while I was thinking recently was this: We're supposed to have a relationship with Jesus. That's supposed to be the defining factor for Christians. And at the same time this thought: In any relationship, most people would get annoyed pretty quickly if the other person never let them talk.

How are those two things relevant? Well, for me, I thought of it this way. I think that a lot of times we might talk about praying really hard about any number of things that we might need answers about on any given day. And a lot of the time, we might need answers from God for those things. Here's the only problem: We keep talking to God, asking Him for answers, asking Him to show us what we're supposed to do, and then we don't give Him a chance to respond.

It's occurred to me lately that, sometimes, maybe the reason we're not getting answers from God is that we aren't giving Him a chance to speak. If you think about it in terms of a conversation, then prayer would be us and our turn speaking, but when is it God's turn? I think the answer to this is so simple, that a lot of us (definitely myself included) miss it. I think that a lot of the time, we give God a turn to talk when we open our Bibles. And I know that sounds so cliche and so Sunday school, but I honestly believe that it's also so true.

After all, we refer to the Bible as the Word of God, but then we don't really treat it like that's what it is. I think that regardless of whether we admit it or not, sometimes we treat the Bible like it is just a collection of ancient books that are 2,000 years old, not like a book that God continually speaks through, even today.

I've personally found that, many times, when I'm frustrated that I'm not getting an answer from God when I really need one, it's because I haven't opened my Bible and given Him a chance to speak. And that doesn't necessarily mean that every single verse that you read is going to be directly relevant to your life, but I do strongly believe that when you open your Bible and actually take the time to see what God is trying to say to you, He will speak to you in your mind and your heart through His Words that have been written down for us.

So, anyway, that concludes throwback to youth group. But seriously. God still speaks to people, even in 2015. I think the only thing that makes people think that He doesn't is the fact that sometimes we don't really let Him get a word in.

So, happy Wednesday wonderful people (and maybe my writing bit actually was irrelevant, oh well). Jesus loves you :)