While my last five posts don’t lead directly to my present life, I find it impossible to write about the last four years with any clarity. Did I make it back to the arms of the church? Yes, I did. The various church relationships I’ve cultivated have led to happiness and broken hearts, discipleship and loss of faith. I’ve seen young kids ostracied for questioning their sexuality, I’ve seen parents blame the youth leaders for circumstances outside their control, I’ve witnessed as person after person applauded a sermon about “24/7 spirituality” only to leave the trappings of their faith at the door. But that’s not all I’ve seen- I’ve also seen churches rise en masse to help the needy, I’ve seen volunteers show up in such great numbers that they had to be turned away. I’ve seen lives changed because of the faithfulness of friends. I’ve seen pregnant teens struggle with the consequences of their choices, learn new maturity, find the Father’s love in the wake of their own broken hearts. I’ve seen loss of faith and faith regained, brokeness and beauty.
I’ve learned to feel joy in my faith again. Part of the reason it is so hard to write about is simply because joy is insidious. I believe that there are times where people change overnight. I have met people who can give incredible testimony of God coming into their lives and changing them so radically that their friends could no longer recognize them. But is that how it normally happens? No. We go through situation and situation, mountain and valley, drought and monsoon. Somewhere along the way the change happens- but oh so slowly. Just like aging, like the metamorphosis of a butterfly, like carving a statue out of stone.
Somewhere along the journey I felt the tendrils of joy creep back into my heart. Feathery and fine at first, but it grew and grew. Somewhere along the way I saw how I pictured myself changing. I started to feel more sure, more positive. I went from questioning my call to proclaiming it. And parts of what I was meant to do I simply stumbled into by chance- like the time I wrote an “open letter to the church on homosexuality” on my blog, which earned me a never before seen sixty comments.
Somehow I ended up here, writing this to you. I’m not entirely sure how or even why- I’ve guarded my own story closely on this blog. Yet one day I felt a nudging, the kind of nudge I’ve learned not to ignore. So I gave away my secret faith.
I hope it helps you.