Thursday, August 25, 2005

It's Not So Simple Anymore

I remember when I sincerely hoped for a wife. It was only this past June. What happened? Two months ago I began to question. Wonder.

I used to be sure. It was about a man and a woman. That was simple. It made sense. And I knew that God had a woman set aside just for me. I would love her. She would love me. We'd have children and we'd raise them together. Hope.

A part of me feels like i've lost that - that small glimmer of hope. What am I really hoping for on this journey of mine? Am I hoping for a man to share my life with? Am I hoping for a life of always having to justify my decisions, choices, inclinations, orientation?

Now it's so much more complicated. It's not so simple anymore . . . .

Is it okay to be in a committed relationship? Am I supposed to be celibate? Is there a difference between commitment and covenant in a gay relationship? At what "stage" is it okay to be sexually intimate?

I look at a couple, a guy and a girl, and I know that their interaction with each other is natural. It seems to fit for them. There's no questioning or wondering. It just is. The chemistry is there and no one doubts whether or not they should be together. This grieves me.

I want to be able to have the same thing. I want chemistry in a context that feels right and natural. I would want it with a woman if I had the slightest hope that it were possible. Did I once have that hope and I simply lost it? Am I lacking faith for not trusting God for it? Am I not believing Him enough that He can and will transform me? But does He need to transform me? Am I okay the way I am? If i'm born with a sinful nature, does that sinful nature include my inclinations and orientation for a certain kind of intimacy? Or did He create me like this on purpose?

I read about gender complementarity and it makes me sad. It proclaims an order to things. Male and female. God and His Church. Christ and His Bride. It fits. There's unity. But this makes me feel like I don't fit. What the hell am I supposed to do? I can't change myself. I can't force feelings, inclinations, or an orientation that I don't have!

Sigh.

Sorry. I'm kinda at a weird place right now.

It's so easy for a straight person to say that male and female is normal. Right. Designed. What does that say of me? It makes me a little bitter. They can say it's normal because that's what they feel. Is what I feel not normal because they don't feel it? A straight person can tell me to pray and deep down the Spirit will tell me that I was meant to be straight. But isn't that deep down examination inherently biased by the person's orientation? A gay person can tell me that deep down he knows he's gay.

I know what I feel. I know what feels natural to me. But I don't want a subjective kind of love to where it's okay to be in a relationship because it "feels" right. I care about what God thinks and wants. He's my God. That's why I need to know what "is" right and okay in His eyes. There are lots of people that can tell me what they think - and I respect and honor all of it. But at the end of the day, it's me and Him. He's the one I worship. He's the one that makes me happy.

He knows how much I want a companion. He knows how much I want physical intimacy. He's got to do something. He's got to give me some options that I can be sure He's okay with.

I'm not "in love" with anyone right now. But I want to be. Who to love? How to love? Why to love? This seems so complicated. I'm not trying to figure out if i'm gay. I'm trying to figure out how to be.....me. How can I be me in a way that is also consistent with God's intent, desire, and will for creating me in the first place?

9 comments:

Ron said...

Eric,

Thanks be to God that life in the Spirit is not based on our feelings! For if it were, we'd be in a lot of trouble! First of all, Christ Himself would not have given His life on the cross. Consider what He said in His last hours as He prayed: "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me." Jesus was saying He would prefer not to go through with what He was sent here to do. It is so refreshing to see Jesus as a human being, with many of the same feelings that we have. The distinction between Jesus and us is that He obeyed His Father in everything. Here is one more issue that we really seem to struggle with as well - true love is not about feelings. If it were, my wife and I would have probably been divorced three or four times! Love is a responsibility, not a feeling. As a carnal man, I could be attracted to anything: women, men, animals, etc. In other words, my carnal man would do whatever feels right. It is the spiritual man that must arise within me and respond according to God's Word and His will.

Does God have an order? Absolutely! And that order is based on His desires, not ours. He is the One who determined how the world would be populated, and how relationships are to be structured. For example, polygamy is not acceptable to God. It is truly one man, one woman.

I remember living in New Jersey, and talking with a pastor about the situation in a particular city. It was truly sad, because I remember him saying that there were some men who had gotten so many women pregnant, that it was conceivable that a young man and a young woman could fornicate and not even know that they were half brother and sister. All because things were not done in order.

Life is hard. But, if we do the hard things, we will live.

geek_boi said...

Eric,

Have you ever come across *Christopher's blog?

http://regula.blogspot.com/

He deals very maturely with many of the issues and questions that you've raised. He's been a great help to me as well.

You know who you are, Eric. Hang in there and know that you are loved and accepted.

Kelly said...

Eric,

Thank you for wanting God... Sometimes, His Spirit doesn't tell us what we expect to hear, or what anybody else expects us to hear. Always in line with Scripture, He tells us of God's love for us, or of what God would have us do. And sometimes, He just asks us to wait on God. What you said the other day about the journey being simple "waiting." I don't understand your struggle, but I know the God you know. I think that He gives Himself to those who struggle over sexual matters in ways that I cannot fathom, that don't always fall under "this is what you should or shouldn't do." I think He seeks all of our hearts, but I never see Him more tender than with a bruised reed. I cannot believe that He would so gently draw us and love us because of Jesus Christ, just as we are. I think humans (and especially Christians) are so much about what *could be* that we forget to love what is.

Be encouraged--He will not fail you.

Praying.

matt said...

Eric,

I'm sitting here absolutely positively stunned. You have captured my thoughts, my hopes, my dreams, my questions. I have thought every single thing you've written there.

You are an amazing child of God.

Thank you for bringing a gift, the tremendous gift of sharing yourself so honestly.

Matt

Angel said...

" Is it okay to be in a committed relationship? "

I know that you need to decide this issue with God.

There was a time where I did not believe that homosexuality was ok, and I hate that I used to feel that way. But as God started changing my heart (as a straight, married female), it was by seeing others for their similarities--and not their differences--that convinced me that yes, is it ok.

I was viewing pictures online of a wedding, a lesbian wedding (they live in a state where it is legal). And the way she looked into her partner's eyes brought tears to mine. Because that is exactly how I'm looking at my husband in my wedding photos. And how can that be wrong???

I wish you peace as you continue on this journey.

JJ said...

Wow. Yeah, you have captured my thoughts and feelings here... the feeling of not fitting in because I don't fit the 'complimentarity' package... wondering what on earth God wants me to do, to be... have I given up hope?

I used to hope that there would be a guy who would be so wonderful he would banish all thoughts of women from my head... I don't think he exists anymore. Is that wrong? Am I not trusting God anymore?

It's a hard journey. And this will sound trite, I suppose, but I'm glad to know that there is someone else on the same journey as me. Thanks Eric.

Nile said...

wow... while I don't struggle with same-sex attraction, I know what it's like to be a Christian and struggle with a "hidden life"... for years I've struggled on and off with sexual addiction of various degrees and have gone through the same "sin-confess-sin again" cycle you have... not everyone will agree with me, but I believe that you and I are alike... how our sinful nature manifests itself may be different, and unfortunately, these sins bear a greater social stigma in the Church than say, something like gluttony or gossip, but the bottom line is this: it's sin.

what you are trying to decide is if same-sex attraction is a sin or not... I cannot make that decision for you, but I trust that if you are a sincere truth-seeker God can reveal Truth to you by His Holy Spirit ... once you have the answer, then it's just a matter of dying daily and surrendering again and again for as long as it takes...

personally, I have been through the Living Waters program of Desert Stream and have found it beneficial... it's a daily battle my brother... and I do consider you my brother... feel free to email me if you like...

Eric said...

((hugs)) peeps. thanks guys and gals! I really appreciate your encouragement, prayers and support. seriously. i love that you all keep coming!

Matt and geekboi and nile - thanks and welcome! i'd love to hear more from you.

if we find that we relate with each other in some way or another, then maybe we all will feel less lonely in this journey of life!

bless you!

Helen said...

I truly beleive God wants you to be happy and be yourself. Your sexual orientation is not something you can choose and you know that. HE knows that. What you do with it, how you handle it, the journey it takes you on - these will all be learning and growing experiences for you and I feel very confident that you will come out that much stronger for your dedication to your Creator and your willingness to please him. I am heterosexual but was once married to a man who in the end.....realized he was gay. I believe he still struggles with it but knows in his heart that he has chosen the right path to his happiness in both this life and the afterlife.
Peace...............