Sunday, March 4, 2012

What It Means

What does it mean to be gay and Christian? Do you adhere to traditional teachings about homosexuality, and refrain from acting on your desires? Do you accept a more modern interpretation of scripture, and find some grounds for which being with someone of the same sex is okay? Do you leave your faith? Do you sin in light of your beliefs? What decision will you make? And what will life be like for you after you’ve made your decision?

The last few months, I’ve been considering so many different beliefs and aspects of my life. I know this has mostly been brought on by the passing of my grandma. I’ve missed her so much that it’s been killing me inside. I wish so much she was still here. But in her passing, I keep thinking about my own life. How much longer do I have left? What sort of life do I really want to have? When (or if) I’m an old man, nearing my own death, what sort of life do I want to be able to look back on? What will I regret? What will I have wished I’d done differently? All these things have been on my mind, and it’s caused me to reexamine so many different things.

One thing on my mind lately is do I really want to look back on my life wishing I’d chosen to be with (or at least have tried to be with) someone. There is someone, a close friend, who I actually have been in love with for a few years now. It’s been so incredibly hard not acting on that love. I don’t know if he’d ever reciprocate (it is possible), but just the thought of regret, on my part, later in life seems to loom heavily on my mind right now. I don’t want to go through life living alone, never being able to share my life intimately with anyone else, and regretting that decision later on when it’s too late to do anything about it. And with this in mind, I’ve thought again about what I really believe in my faith. In that course, I’ve found a few things to doubt and a few questions that haven’t been answered. As I said a few posts back, I’m still not sure what to think.

I do know this, though: I’m not happy with my life right now. I don’t like a lot of my circumstances, nor do I like some of the decisions I’ve made. I know I’ve allowed fear, pride, shame, and even laziness hold me back on certain things. I know I’ve also let others hold me back some. I just feel like I’m in a rut. I see what I’d like my life to be like, knowing it could be that way, but it not being that way because of certain obstacles being in my path. Some of those obstacles may be a good thing though, and that’s what I’m unsure about.

But what will it mean if I keep on the path I’ve been on? What will it mean for me if I never seek out or have a relationship with another man? It could honestly mean a lot of things. It could mean that I’ll never wake up in the arms of another man; that I’ll never have someone to share my most intimate thoughts with; that I’ll never have a family of my own; that I’ll never have sex; that I’ll never have someone who’ll take care of me and who I can take care of; that I’ll never have someone to come home to; that I’ll never know what it’s like to be a half of someone else. It could also mean none of those things. Some of those things could happen in other ways. Above all, though, it could mean that I’ve either done the right thing, or an unnecessary thing. It could mean that I’ve lived my life honoring God’s teachings and wants for my life, or that I’ve lived my life worrying about something God understands and was okay with. It could mean any of those things.

In the end, I just want to be able to look back on my life, whether at the end of my life or in the hereafter, and say that it was a life worth having lived, that I was happy, and that I did what was right.

On that last point, I can’t help but think about our commandment to love, as well as it being a sin not to do the good that we could have done. I don’t want to get to the end of my life, and then have to face God in the next and Him ask me why I never accepted the love of another person, why I never shared my love with the person I love, why I never accepted a soul mate He sent me. I can’t help but believe at this moment, that I would be nothing less than ashamed of the answer I’d give Him: “Everyone told me it was wrong.” And what would He tell me? “Why didn’t you follow your heart? Why didn’t you notice the signs I sent you?”

You see, it’s things like that I keep wrestling with. What’s right and what’s wrong? Not knowing, I’ll not yet change course. I’ll continue being celibate for the time being, until some answer crashes down on me. But I know I doubt that decision so much right now, and it’s absolutely driving me crazy.

5 comments:

Caleb said...

Brandon,

Thanks for sharing this post. I identify exactly where you are in this struggle. I've been wondering the same thing for months now, and I'm not any closer to an answer than when I started. Hoping the best for you,

- Caleb

naturgesetz said...

This is a poignant post. I know how it feels to be in love with a good friend. A couple of comments —

— When I was growing up, it never would have occurred to me to want a sexual relationship with someone I was in love with. Close, intimate friendship was what I wanted. I never achieved it, partly perhaps because I made sure, above all, to remain in the closet, partly because attempts at that sort of friendship became too intense on my part and "scared off" the friends, and partly because of other circumstances, such as people moving. If I could start over today, maybe with the greater openness about sexual orientation, I could find that friendship. I'm still working on it, and I'd come out of the closet to such a friend.

— Making decisions based on what you'd want to have decided looking back on your life is a sound approach, recommended by St. Ignatius of Loyola. Of course the presumption is that the alternatives are not immoral. It is a means for choosing between things that are good.

— The example of the life of Jesus raises the questions of whether happiness is something we are entitled to (or alternatively, what happiness is) and whether having sex is necessary for a good life.

— You seem to be taking it for granted that intimacy without sex is impossible.

I hope you'll continue praying about it.

God bless you.

*hugs*

Daemon Ἴκαρος~ Δαμων said...

You're gay. You're a Christian. Deal with it.

Sounds simple but it is not. You have hair. You have skin. You have arms and legs. You are gay. It is part of being human. Go live your best life now and forget all the things people have been telling you.

Find YOU.

daemon

Sophus said...

Find God, Brandon. If you are really a Christian, He comes first! Find Him, and in Him you'll find yourself.

You already know something of my conviction on same-sex attraction (having struggled with it myself), so having disclosed my bias on the matter...

I'm praying for you, man, that you find God's will and do it. And that you will find peace, and wholeness.

Brandon said...

Caleb, thanks for commenting. I hope the best for you as well.

N, I know I can have intimacy in friendships. I also know, like you, that that's not really happened that much in what friendships I've had though. So, that could be an influence in certain regards. And I know it is also possible to be intimate without having sex. The problem is that there are different levels of intimacy, and the sort I'd like to experience just does not exist between most men unless they are romantically involved (holding hands, hugging, personal talk, sharing time, etc.). Maybe it's just that I want to be romantic, and for most men this is just weird. As for happiness, I accept that not all life is going to be happy good times, but it would just be nice if for a period of time it could be better than not. It just seems like the last few years every time I get passed one thing, here comes another. And I know being in a relationship doesn't necessarily mean happiness. It can mean a lot of unhappiness depending on the nature of the relationship.

Daemon, I am certainly trying to find ME right now. This is, as you said, anything but simple though.

Sophus, thank you for your prayers and advice. I really do want God to come first in my life. I'm just not sure right now what God thinks. And so, yes, I do want to know what He wants from/for me.