Sunday, March 1, 2009

Created in the image of God: Part I

I have wanted to blog about how I came to reconcile being gay with being a Christian for a while. I didn't realize when I came out, that I would be expected to reject being a Christian. I did, for many years, believe that I had to reject being gay because I am a Christian because my pastors and youth leaders and "The Bible" told me that being gay is a sin. A sin worthy of death and eternal damnation. Or so I thought. So many people believe.

I am going to give you a story I haven't told anyone in 30 years, not even Lorrie. Not the story of coming out, but my story of how much I denied my lesbianism in the name of "christianity."
When I was in high school I belonged to a youth group at our local Presbyterian Church. The leaders were a young couple very much excited in the Lord. My friends all belonged and we had a lot of fun there. What I didn't understand until many years later is that they were what is known as a Five Fold Ministry. (I don't have the space to explain this so click on the link if you don't know what that is.)

One important point about the Five Fold Ministry is that a lot of what they believe in is what I call "touching the supernatural." One of the things that many of them still believe in is exorcists and exorcism. They believe that most of our ills are caused by the devil and his demons and their are people in the church endowed with the "gift" of exorcism. OK, so now you know already where I am going with this one don't cha......

I opened up to the youth counselors about feeling not normal, my attraction towards women, even after I was saved and baptized and received the Holy Spirit. They decided we had to take a weekend trip up to see one of these "gifted exorcists" because the only way I could still have these feelings after I was saved was because I was possessed.

HEY, stop laughing you guys, I really didn't want to be "gay," I didn't want to be a "sexual pervert," gays got put in loony bins and received shock treatment for crying out loud!!! I am and always have been fairly rational, intelligent and sane, sane sane. But everything I thought I knew about homosexuality told me if I was, then I was insane.

So, I got exorcised of my demon of homosexuality, along with a few other really scary ones. It seems I was really badly possessed. Oh, the demon of homosexuality is simply called Sodomy, in case you were wondering......

So, after this weekend at the exorcist's house, and lots of praying and crying and really only having Jesus scared out of me, I quit going to the youth group and church. I didn't stop believing in God, but I realized humans were unbelievable.

And I still was attracted to women.

I continued to talk to God, to read my Bible, only I used Strong's Concordance while I did so I could look up the words in the original Hebrew and Greek. I learned a lot about what we think the Bible says, isn't quite how it was written in it's original language. Part of it has to do with the "concept" behind the words. Words have meanings that take many more words to explain them to someone who does not speak the language. Like exorcism. It is one word, but it has a concept behind it that takes pages to explain. When we know what the word means, we no longer need to take pages to explain it.

Take the word "witness," in the original Greek it isn't about trying to convince someone with words, it is about living your life so that when people see how happy and fulfilled it is, they want to become like you.

My witness sucked. I didn't even want to be like me. I was in college, drinking and smoking lots of pot to feel better, trying desperately to find a man who could make me feel like the people in the sappy movies felt. I thought there was something wrong with the guys I dated (but it was probably me). Or at least they just weren't "the one." The longest I ever went out with anyone before I married my husband was 6 months. Why waste their time or mine if they weren't the one? I continued to have crushes on women, but you know, don't we all, you just don't act on them, right?

I quit smoking pot, didn't drink so much and moved to Yosemite National Park to work for a summer. I stayed 5 years. I talked a lot to God in Yosemite. It is a good place to do that. It is awe inspiring and serene. Mostly I think I whined to God. Why wasn't I normal like other people. (other women) Why couldn't I be happy with some guy and having a family. How come I still got crushes on women? What a one track mind I had then.

God did too, every time I whined, Psalm 139 would go through my head:

O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night’, even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.

For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed. How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! I try to count them—they are more than the sand; I come to the end—I am still with you.

O that you would kill the wicked, O God, and that the bloodthirsty would depart from me— those who speak of you maliciously, and lift themselves up against you for evil! Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

I wasn't getting the message. I thought I was being told to just try harder to "pray away the gay." I wasn't listening because I didn't want to believe what was obvious. God wasn't asking me if he could search my heart, he already had, he was telling me that I needed to search my own heart and realize just how fearfully and wonderfully made I already was.

I worked very hard and many hours to fill up the void I felt inside. I got promoted a lot and actually had a pretty good time there. I made lots of friends and we would go backpacking together on our days off. They were all women. As much as I loved those trips, and looked forward to them, they were really, really frustrating.

I met my ex-husband in Yosemite. He was also working there, actually he worked for me as the cafeteria manager at Curry Village. He was funny and smart and good looking. We would stay up late after work and talk and watch old movies together. We would go out for coffee or to the Mountain Room Bar for cocktails. That was it. We didn't hold hands, or kiss or anything so I really enjoyed spending time with him.

He went golfing one day down in Wawona with a friend of ours, and on the way home took a back road. LOL. A back road in Yosemite is a fire road, they only get used if there is a forest fire and you aren't supposed to drive on them ever. On the back road the car hit a rock and had the oil plug knocked off, they blew the engine about 3 miles from the main road. They started walking and got lost as it was getting dark. They walked all night until they found a main road about 15 miles from the one they were headed for. They hitchhiked back to the park.

At 5:00 in the morning he knocked on my door and told me about it. He said all he could think of was getting back to me and that he was afraid he would never see me again if they died in the woods.

He asked me to marry him.

How could I refuse?
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