Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Kids say the darnest things at the darnest times.

What a day.

Right now I stay home on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday's with our 2 beautiful little girls, 5 and 8 and soon it will be full time. Now, I'm kind of new to the realm of raising children and it has taken a lot of energy focusing on them and learning how to do this. We home school (yes, new at that too) and today, while in the middle of doing school work with the girls, cooking a roast and replacing the guts of a broken toilet, grandma and grandpa came by to visit (I forgot they were coming today).

These are the parents of Michelle's ex-husband and they don't really know much of anything except that Michelle and their son are recently divorced. What I mean by this is, they don't know Michelle is gay, she has a partner, we are moving soon so Michelle can finish up seminary. The house is a mess, somewhat empty and we just started to take wallpaper off the walls. Over the weekend we had a garage/estate sale, sold most of the big items in the house to make way for the smaller items we will need when we move in August, we are moving from a 3,000 sq. ft. home into a 563 sq. ft. on campus. Nice and cozy! :)

So, they walk in the house, I say hi, they say hi and then she looked into the kitchen, where the wallpaper is partially off on one side of the room, another wall is naked because we just stripped it and there is no more furniture in there anymore, because we sold it. So, I'm sure this raised some questions, which I learned very quickly she is fast at whipping out the questions.

Is she moving? Did she sell the house? Where is she moving?

Oh my word, on the spot, no way out of it. I answered. So, now the woman is about to faint. She goes in to the living room and has a seat. I'm standing there wondering what I should do. I decide to allow grandma and grandpa time with their grand babies, in other words........hide. :)

After the questioning I received in the foyer, I was afraid. Very afraid. Afraid that she may interrogate me more if I hung out with them in the living room . While in the bedroom, texting Michelle the events that were unfolding, I kept thinking, wow this is awkward for all of us.I wonder who these folks think I am? This could get even more awkward if they are briefed by the girls about all the things that are changing in our lives, like having another mommy.

Now, we have not sat down yet and talked to these girls about us, but they are smart, they know and they are doing great with all of it. Many folks say they have never seen these girls this happy. That's comforting.

So, after some other strange events, she calls for me. She asked me if I would have Michelle call her, she had a few questions for her. As we turn to walk opposite ways, I hear this little voice say what I kept hoping she would NOT say....................

"Mommy". "Mommy". The grandmother laughed and asked her who she was talking to. Again the little one said "Mommy" and ran to me. By now the little one and I are in the bedroom talking and all I kept thinking "I can only imagine what this woman may be thinking."

That visit had to have been a lot for her.

Later on this evening, the girls come in from playing outside with a neighbor friend, who is 5 and they are talking about what they will name their kids when they have them. I contributed some different names to this conversation and the little girl asked me if I had children. Our 8 year old speaks up, very excited and says...............................

"Yeah, Stephanie lives here, she is moving with us, she is our step mother and she married my Mom", all in one breath.

There are complications when you are still partially in the closet, but rest assure, kids will always help you out with them.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Jesus moment

We had a friend over tonight and while visiting, we were listening to the radio (something I rarely do) and this song that I hadn't heard in years came on.

My friend and I sat there listening to the words, in awe, thinking of our Jesus. Teary eyed, I found myself being refreshed just thinking of all that our Jesus has done for us and how much He loves each and every one of us, deeply, passionately, sincerely and unconditional.

I then happen to find this on youtube and wanted to share............................

I hope you enjoy it just as we did, if not more.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I didn't want to be gay.

I remember the day my Mom asked me about Michelle and I. She just flat out asked me if there was something going on between us. I stood there feeling like a little kid getting ready to confess. I always told myself that when that day came, I would be straight forward with her. So, after telling her, I cried.

Standing there with my pocket full of fear, anxiety and tears, I said, "I don't want to be gay." She got kind of teary eyed, hugged me and said "I know".

I didn't want to be gay. I didn't want to be that person everyone would look at differently. With some people, if you tell them you're gay, all of the sudden they think you can't relate to anything. You know, the "Oh, you're one of them, you couldn't possibly understand". I didn't want people treating me differently. I didn't want people looking at me and thinking, "she can't be gay and Christian". I didn't want to explain the concept to people. I just wanted them to get it, to accept me as I was, a child of God trying to follow Christ. I didn't want to be closeted for fear of rejection. I didn't want the pain that comes with being rejected. I didn't want the deal with any of it! I admit it, I was kind of mad, I didn't want to be gay!

I wanted the "normal" life. Funny, I say I wanted the normal life, but never really seen myself marrying or having kids. Heck, I didn't even date a man once that whole time I was straight. :)

By the way, Michelle brought something to my attention the other day. Why do we refer to heterosexual people as straight? As if we gay folks, are crooked or something? We should stop saying that.

Anyway, I began to see that I was wasn't in a very good place. My emotions were everywhere, like a roller coaster. I was plagued with worry and fear of rejection by my family, my friends and my church family. I also remember thinking, "Oh great, now that I'm gay again, I'm going to become that reckless person I was in the past!" Again, I associated being gay to all the dysfunctional behavior and addictions I had before I came to Christ.

The Lord began to show me that I wasn't that person anymore. I was His, made in His image and washed by His blood. I was given a new life, I was taught new ways and although I tried to go back to some old habits and behaviors, I never had peace, I had emptiness. I just wasn't that person anymore.

I'm still excited and grateful that the Lord picked up that person that I use to be, washed me clean, sat me on His lap and told me who I was!

The God hole that use to be so empty was filled up!

I was reminded that all I truly needed was Him. I didn't need the approval of others, no matter who they are. I slowly began to get over what people thought of me, I started to let go of some of my fears and began to see that it was ok not to be like everyone else, it was ok not to run with the popular belief and majority rules crowd.

It was a blessing to be an outcast. I was becoming more like Jesus.

Hang on!

I want to encourage those who are hurting, aching, longing and in situations that just seem to really suck......................hang on. Hang on tight. If you can't seem to do anything else, just hang on tight. That's it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Happiness & Joy

In my own life, I am beginning to see that, at times, it is hard for me to just allow myself to be fully happy with all that have. I mean, to allow myself to be and feel fully blessed. It's like I have this meter inside me that says...."Ok, you are full of 70% happiness and joy, that's it, you're full. No more. I think I sometimes stop myself from being any happier. Maybe I think I don't deserve more.

I say......

"Ok God, that's it, that's all I can take. I have you, good health, food, shelter and clothing, I'm done, I'm full, you don't need to give me anymore."

He says......

"Ok, but what if I want to give you more?" Now don't get me wrong, I think it is wonderful and right when we regconize that we are truly blessed if we have only those things I just listed. But what if God wants to bless us with more and more and more and more? Will we allow it?

I had been single for approximatley 3 years and I was really full of joy! I had this wonderful, new relationship with the Lord, my life was changing for the better and I felt really good! I was content and satisfied with where I was and with who I was. I wasn't lonely, I wasn't really bored, I was content.

And then came along Michelle. Wow!

We had known of each other in church but had never really talked until we began talking about the ministry that was being put together. We just clicked. Within a very short amount of time, we became the best of friends and fell in love. The love has been like no other that either one of us have felt before.

I had met the most incredible woman who has such a loving heart and a passion for God and His people and each time we got close, I would run the other way. Unintentionally, I hurt her over and over again. The love she has for me is big to endure what she did and has with me. I even questioned if that was for real.

I didn't know how to have a healthy, Christ centered relationship with someone else, where the feelings and love is so mutual. I went through moments where I would revert back to old behavoir until God would remind me that I wasn't that person anymore. So, here I am, learning how to have a healthy, stable, Christ centered relationship with the love of my life.

It's wonderful, she is wonderful. She melts me, takes my breath away, she completes me.

There are a lot of exciting things going on in our lives now. We are a family, all living under the same roof. She has encouraged me to quite my job (which I have wanted to quit for some time), stay home, help home school two wonderful, beautiful little girls and we are headed to seminary in August! How exciting!

But I think I allow fear to steal some of those exciting moments from me. As I have told Michelle before, "I am amazed at what I feel when I allow myself to feel it." When I look at everything coming together as it has and having all that I have, I am overwhelmed.

Michelle, thank you. Thank you so much for hanging in there with me. For your patience which stems from your deep love for me. Thank you for loving me for who I am, without any requirements and for loving me right where I'm at, even when I'm crazy in a not so healthy way. Thank you for allowing me the time and the space to work through all this without any pressure.

You are such a beautiful woman in every way. I thank God for the wonderful gift that He has given me in you and the girls. I love you an look forward to our lives together!

What's there to argue about?

I'm in the process of writing more about what I have experienced in my own life within the last year, but for now, a chain of events has lead me to find the lyrics to this song and I want to share them with you.

Love is but a song to sing
Fear's the way we die
You can make the mountains ring
Or make the angels cry
Though the bird is on the wing
And you may not know why

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

Some may come and some may go
We shall surely pass
When the one that left us here
Returns for us at
We are but a moment's sunlight
Fading in the grass

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

If you hear the song I sing
You will understand (listen!)
You hold the key to love and fear
All in your trembling hand
Just one key unlocks them both
It's there at your command

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

I said, Come on people now, Smile on your brother, Everybody get together, Try to love one another Right now, Right now, Right now.

Seems simple. What's there to argue about?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

So many questions

In my previous post, I shared that I had made the decision to move forward with this incredible woman I had met. So everyone knows, that wasn't an easy decision to make and it was not one made lightly. This is not something I would ever suggest someone doing. I had to have a complete peace about it before I made it. Which is a little difficult when you are torn in so many directions with thoughts, emotions and so many unanswered questions.

I'm not sure if I can fully explain the feeling, but I will try. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was not to let her go. Although it didn't make sense to me then, because it went against everything I knew, I knew I was suppose to hang on to her and not walk away. I remember saying to myself, "yeah, but....., yeah, but". Although there were so many unanswered questions and fears, I was scared to make the wrong, not scared-petrified. Petrified that I was going to hurt and disappoint so many people, petrified that I was going to go to hell and take others with me. I mean, come on, this went against anything I read in the bible.

There were a lot of things to consider and a lot of people to think about. How was it all going to work? What if it doesn't work? What about the kids? What about the ministry we were involved in? What will people think? Did I just make a decision that was to doom us all? Have I disappoint ed God again? Could I still serve the Lord and be with her? So many unanswered questions.

Although I was scared, I was shown that all the details would be taken care of it. Everything would work out. That was a bit unsettling and comforting all at the same time.

We made a decision to move forward but we didn't know how. She was married. This was not to be taken lightly. I believe marriage is to be taken seriously with the intent and the motive in ones heart to love and serve each other every day, for the rest of their lives. So, regardless of the circumstances, this was terribly hard.

Through a chain of events that had taken place though, things seemed to work themselves out, without us doing anything. In order to share this part of my journey, I would have to include a few other people and disclose the details of their life and I don't feel it's appropriate to do that. So, to keep it short, their marriage ended and understandable so. Shortly after that decision was made, while the papers where being filed, her soon to be ex-husband and her sat down, prayed with each other and released one another from that marriage.

But, for me, that still seemed to be just the beginning. There were still so many unanswered questions.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Circumstances and Events

In my previous post I mentioned circumstances and events took place in my life that caused me to look deeper into scripture, into my faith and into my relationship with God. I very unexpectedly met and fell love with a very incredible woman. She is the one I have always wanted, I just never knew she existed.

We met at church, she was married and in complete denial about her sexuality. So much in denial, she didn't even know she was gay. I was finishing up with a "how not to be gay program" and in the midst of bringing a healing/recovery program to our church. Within no time, we found ourselves completely in love with one another. Which is usually suppose to be great, but considering the circumstances, it was very scary and exciting all at the same time.

We were both in leadership at a our conservative church, she was married, with kids, I wasn't suppose to be gay anymore and she had never been gay ;) . For me, it was all a bit much to take in. This wasn't how things were suppose to go. I wasn't suppose to be gay anymore, I was beginning to believe I wasn't. I was single, happy to be alone, very content living my life serving the Lord. Many times I had just accepted the idea of being alone for the rest of my life. So when things took an unexpectant turn in my life, I did what many people do under stress and act irrational. Sad to admit, but sometimes we just don't handle things in the best way.

I broke her heart and ran away from that relationship 5 times. It ripped her heart out and mine each time I said "I can't do this anymore". It still brings tears to my eyes when I think of those times. The pain was intense. I was torn in two different directions, either give in and be gay or continue to serve the Lord. I didn't understand then that there may be the option to do both. Each time I left, she did everything that she could to support my decision and be understanding. It has taken me awhile to believe and understand how much this woman really loves me. It wasn't a love that was desperate to be with someone, it wasn't lust, it wasn't a physical thing, it was truly the real thing and it had taken us both by surprise.

After the last time I said I couldn't do it anymore, I spent some time to myself and began to ask some real questions....

"Have you ever really looked in to what the bible really has to say about the subject?"
"Have you just believed what others have taught you just because it sounded good?" Not just the subject of homosexuality either but other subjects as well. "Have you ever really just sat down and talked to God about this?" "What actually is so wrong about being gay?" And the questions just came flooding.

I had spent 15 years in what many call the "lifestyle" and acquired many dysfunctional behaviors and addictions along the way. In 2004, I hit an all time low in my life. I was addicted to cocaine and pain pills, I drank to get drunk, I quite my job and lost most everything I had. Because I couldn't take it anymore and didn't really know what to do with my life, I drop to my knees and cried out to Jesus for the first time ever. My life has never been the same since. I fell in love with Jesus and He truly became my best friend

He began to make many changes in my life and because I recalled all the bad things and all the things that didn't work out while being gay, I choose to try and not be gay anymore. I associated every bad thing in my life to being gay. Now I was at a place where I had to think about this a little deeper.

Was my bad behavior and my poor choices associated with being gay? Seeing clearly now, the answer is no. I mean, I know straight folks who have done horrible things prior to knowing Christ and after knowing Christ. But back then, I think it was easier for me to associate my poor behavior on being gay because that's what I have heard all my life. "Gay people are just wrong, wrong wrong, they're are going to hell, hell, hell and some of the things those gay people do. They are more prone to being addicted to drugs, more prone to being promiscuous...blah, blah, blah. "

Not to mention all the garbage that you see on T.V. and in movies about gay folks. The examples given about our relationships. No wonder many straight folks think we are whacked. I am sure many people assume things about us based on what they see on the screen. Little do they know, it's usually a straight person making the film, trying to make a few dollars.

I can see I am getting off track here. What I was trying to share before I turned left is I never really asked myself the tougher questions. Where it is suggested to us to "test everything", I never tested anything I had been taught. I never asked the questions, I never looked deeper. I never really had to. I had already heard of every reason why it was wrong, I went to ex-gay school. But I never took the time, in the two and a half years that I was alone to look in to the other side of the subject. Maybe I was too scared.

After some time to myself, I had a choice to make and I made one. A hard one. One that I'm sure many would try to argue with me about. Lose the most incredible person I have ever met in my life or go back and get her, hang on to her and see if you can work it out all the other stuff. I made the choice to go back and get her.

Some things are just not clear cut, in black and white. Sometimes you do have to take a chance. If we had all the answers, we wouldn't need faith. I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I couldn't lose the one I had always wanted.

I can't begin to express how glad I am that I made that decision.

The question still remained though, could I keep the love of my life and serve the Lord too?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

An introduction

My name is Stephanie, I'm a Christian. I love the Lord, I want to serve Him with all my heart, my soul, my strength and with all my days. I'm passionate about serving Him, His people and His kingdom work. If one were to ask what defines me, I would have to tell them......He does. I am first and foremost, a Christian. A Jesus freak, a lover of the Lord. My identity is in Christ.

I am also a lesbian. A Christian who is gay. For any straight folks out there that are reading this and don't get it, that's ok. I didn't get it either. But circumstances and events have taken place in my life that have caused me to look deeper into scripture, into my faith and into my relationship with God.

The journey I have been on within the last year of my life has been, at times, painful, very confusing, exciting and exasperating. Sometimes, all at the same time. Much like being on a very long roller coaster ride.

I have fought against my feelings, I have questioned my faith, my beliefs, my morals and my character. I have been stripped like an antique piece of furniture getting ready to be refinished, I have wrestled with God and with His help, have fought against those not so loving voices in my head. The voices of doubt and condemnation.

Today and for probably the last week of my life, I have had more peace about all this than ever. I have hope. I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

I am beginning to share all of this with others for myself, in hopes to sort even more out and so I will never forget the great things God has done through this and in hopes that it will encourage others.

For anyone who is in a storm, a battle, a struggle to reconcile their faith with their sexuality, I pray for your strength and encourage you to hang on to the hand of hope, even when you don't think He wants to hang on to yours. He does and He is. Hang on tight. It's worth it.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Hope is a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Hope implies a certain amount of despair, wanting, wishing, suffering or perseverance — i.e., believing that a better or positive outcome is possible even when there is some evidence to the contrary. -Wikipedia

Stay tuned.......there's more to come.