Last night I did something I haven’t done in a long time.
It’s been years since I let myself go down that road.
Normally I would feel hypocritical, normally I would become bitter and enraged, declare myself as weak or fake.
This time … this time, it felt okay.
I can’t remember the last time I prayed. Talking to myself? Working out my issues mentally? Yes. But engaging with an invisible being that may or may not actually be there? No.
I walked away from the church because I firmly believe that you take none of it, or you take all of it. No picking and choosing. No sex followed by prayer. No swearing because you know you can repent later. No declaring someone’s sins as worse than your own – aka, no justifying your actions because well, at least you’re not gay or you’re not as bad as Hitler. Fun fact, Hitler believed in Jesus, believing in Jesus will get you into heaven – do you really want to worship God for all of eternity (which, by the way, sounds super boring. I can only sing Beautiful One by Jeremy Camp so many times) and see Hitler decked out in white next to you? I have very little respect for those who intentionally go against what they claim as their faith or religion, making mistakes – fine, but to intentionally give in to societal pressures because you think you found a loop-hole in the system – no.
At about 5 in the morning that feeling of loneliness started to kick in. I lied in bed, closed my eyes, and said something similar to the following (and yes I do pray this eloquently – I am a pastor’s kid, plus I’m a creative writer, I got practice):
God, it’s becoming more and more clear that I’m quite gay. The thought of a woman excites me more that a man ever has. But I was raised to believe that this was not okay. I also don’t believe it’s a choice. I guess technically I’m pan-sexual, I don’t believe that someone falls in love with a penis or a vagina, they fall in love with what’s above the belt, a person. If a man comes my way and he’s spectacular, great, if a woman does, also great. I can’t grasp that I would be vetoed from heaven because of who you brought into my life to love. I can’t believe that you’re that cold and heartless.
I left the church because they put you in a box. The human race has created rules that supposedly tell us how to worship this energy that surrounds us, how to govern our life, how to do this, how to do that, and who to love. I have to wonder how many of these rules are cultural, I mean, obviously now it’s okay to wear mixed fibers, braid our hair, and decorate ourselves in jewelry. And we no longer marry multiple spouses or sacrifice animals.
I’m going to love whoever you bring me, man or woman – I’m hoping woman. I don’t want to put you in a box, I think that if you are a you, or if you are just an energy in the sky, that you are a loving energy that won’t foul us on who we end up loving, if we swear, if we drink, or if we have sex out of marriage.
I was hoping that this would reach a conclusion in the end. It’s the creative writer in me, I crave a solid ending. I guess not.
I did feel a bit of that warmth that I used to feel from God. I felt like I was accepted, that God didn’t hate the way I was living my life, closure. I’m not going to start going to church again. I don’t want to go back to that world where God is wrapped up in a to-go box and everyone tells you how to live. That’s not what this was about. This was about finally being able to confront my past while also embracing my future. I was taught that if something is on your chest, pray about it, and I finally did that without feeling like a weak person. I’ve finally moved on from my issues with religion, enough time has passed, the wound is now a scar – a weight has been lifted, and I feel like God or whoever/whatever I was talking to is supportive of me in where I’m heading. My parents may not agree, but, I can’t do much about that.