Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Authenticity in the journey

I've pretty much come to the conclusion that writing comments on other people's blogs and maybe even entering into dialogue with them via the stream of online communication, apart from video calls, could possibly be deemed useless. I think it can work, but you really need to be careful with clarification and asking questions, to further dialogue and get a better understanding of what is being said. Terminology and wording is subjective...and can be misconstrued.

So much is being written about sexual identity...authenticity and some of it is very insensitive. I am to some degree quite frankly saddened by some of the misconceptions that are out there, and things that are being written regarding some of the responses and attitudes.

I am pretty authentic in my faith and my journey of who I am as a sexual male. I have great friends who I LOVE, who understand me, accept me and validate who I am. But my ultimate validation, love and acceptance comes from God...and not others. It is God who affirms me and calls me out of the wilderness and it was God who called me out of my captivity. For me, that captivity was the deception that being gay (and the use of that descriptive word was just that...a way I described myself, just as I would the color of my eyes, my height, my likes, dislikes, to me it was unchangeable)was okay. I had bought into the belief that I just needed to accept the fact that God made me gay...created me that way and I needed to get past the guilt and shame I felt as a christian.

For me...reconciling the two never worked. I chose being gay. That didn't mean I never tried. I did. I tried affirming congregations. I tried groups, but to me, there was something missing. I never felt a depth or an authenticity in those gatherings and it just felt like a political, or social justice meeting. Every time we met, we addressed the issues surrounding something about being lgbt defined as it pertained to policies...politics...and social justice meetings etc. I realized that in a lot of ways, I went from one extreme to another. It was disheartening and disenchanting. So, I privately prayed...but mostly, just lived life. I went to work, paid my taxes, lived with my partner, traveled, and pretty much did what other couples did.

but...having not addressed some key issues in my life, reconciling faithfulness wasn't in my reality but neither was that for a lot of my friends...and I will say that was true for my straight friends and my lgbt friends.
I was mostly happy. I had a good life.

So in the midst of all of this...why...if God so loved me as a gay man...why would he audibly call me out of that description and into something different? It doesn't make sense.
Some people would justify that...oh...then you weren't gay to begin with...or you didn't hear God? Or for you...being gay wasn't your true orientation.
The same people would justify saying that because I still struggle with same sex attraction...that I am lying and that I am not being authentic, that I am depressed, that I don't know who I am and in so, can't authentically minister to others. That my true orientation is gay...and I should label myself as gay and that I am now in a mixed orientation marriage.
Sounds like a lot of critique...right?

We need to be honest as to where we are at...reality! What is our reality? We need to be authentic in this...we also need to be authentic in the fact that we no longer live...Jesus Christ now lives in us. This doesn't mean we "lose ourselves" or our sense of "being", it actually is a "coming into the fullness of who we are as a gift to those around us". It is truly knowing ourselves and the complexities of understanding who we God's created ones. He designed and predestined us all...and desires each of us to come to the knowledge of just how much HE loves us. That is really exciting if you ask me. It isn't a doom and gloom message of give this up...take away that, but in reality, recognizing all the stuff in my life matters, but not so much as to follow Christ. He asks us to come "follow him" to give up much, but not to lose who we are...HIS!

My reality is that I still face same sex attraction from time to time. It isn't as intense. I have learned a lot about ssa and it isn't this huge defining thing in my life. I don't condemn those whose journey is different than mine, or how it looks for them, but for me, I have experienced Jesus healing many factors surrounding ssa.

I also realize that this isn't something that defines me and that doesn't make me non authentic. I am honest with it and with others...but I am much more than this and I have a whole pile of stuff that God is dealing with in me...things that he wants to touch and heal and restore. I have also come to realize that our sexuality, is very important to God. The things God created is important and we have a thief that comes to kill and destroy and my personal belief is that this thief comes to distort and deceive and that is part of living in a sinful and fallen world.

Today...I kinda feel like venting. To just get things out of my head. It's late though and I have a full day tomorrow.

Pray for us, as we continue to seek God and His heart for his children.


Sarah-Jane Melnychuk said...

This was a good article to read.

There are certain factors that I won't be able to grasp my mind around... I mean, because there is much the Lord spared me from... I begin to question how to communicate to others because many times it feels like we're coming from 2 different worlds... and we are... I recently had to disengage from a conversation simply because the conversation itself began to go around in this circle... mainly because my response just didn't make sense to the person and they were trying to trap me with terminology and confuse the issue. I always keep coming back to the one truth that has never done me wrong, and that is Jesus. When I turn my focus to Jesus and make my life pursuit all about Him authenticity is there. When I don't make it about Him it is then so easy to begin to live from a false self, a false identity...

I just want Jesus, everything else is icing on the cake, a blessing, a privilege.

kenny said...

Some people use language as a weapon, and as something to hide behind. It makes them "feel" important and in reality are probably feeling extremely vulnerable and non gracious. When we use terminology as this type of tool, it cuts people out and refused to allow them into dialogue or "gracious spaciousness!" I love ya Sarah-Jane...and your heart for Jesus is beautiful! Your Papa God says that you are His favorite daughter.

laura said...

I'm grateful for a clear testimony. Thanks for taking the time here and in another blog. This post is a blessing.

Horst Peters said...


Your honesty, courage, strength, and steadfastness are encouraging and a challenge to me to do better in my journey as a Christ follower.

May God bless you (and Paula and Phoebe), strengthen you and protect you as you step out in faith to communicate God's truth and love.
Know that we love you and pray for you.