becoming israel

Information overload
June 24, 2010, 5:28 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m coming up on a full 24 hours here at Exodus and I’m so glad to say that a lot of the anxiety has gone and been replaced with a desire to soak everything in. I’ve had no expectations for what the next moment is to bring and it’s been solidly good. I say solidly good because I don’t feel like I’ve had this mountaintop awe-inspiring experience but it hasn’t been the emotional roller coaster I’ve been on leading up to the conference.

I’m still struggling with finding how to match my head and my heart. This isn’t a new struggle. It’s been ever-present since I began this journey. I feel myself being critical of the worship instead of focusing on resting in the company of God and praising Him. It takes so much intentional effort for me to praise Him and I feel like that is being spotlighted in my heart so far. I think I struggle with knowing exactly why that disconnect/wall exists and that frustrates me. I hope that a continued focus on my relationship with God this week will push me to dig deeper with Him.

This experience so far has been so unique. It’s so different to sit down at a table with different women from different backgrounds and feel free to share and hear stories about lesbian relationships and how we got to where we are now. There is a refreshing absence of shame or hushed voices and I love it. It’s actually quite moving for me to think about it because it’s exactly what I was wanting…a place where people just TALK about it. There’s a community of authenticity and safety that I’m really appreciating.

The speakers have been really interesting and I’m having a hard time digesting it all. I hope that comes with time to reflect and rehash what I’ve heard and learned. I do want to say a quick something about the speaker today. Her name is Kathy Koch and she isn’t a lesbian or a speaker to just homosexual groups. Something about that made me respect her a little more. I’m not sure why. She was a great speaker and super smart. I think her teachings and principles can relate to anyone but she had a certain knack for relating to her audience today. She also did a breakout session on change and I can’t wait to really sink my teeth into my notes from that.

Oh, and on an interesting note, Lisa Ling is here. As in the correspondent for Oprah. I know, right? Apparently she’s doing some sort of a piece for the new O Network. I don’t have any commentary on that….just thought is was interesting. Ok…maybe a little commentary…it’s weird how being here for only a day makes you forget there is a whole world out there with a different opinion and misunderstanding. Anyhow, thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I still covet them but they are being felt and appreciated.


ready or not
June 23, 2010, 8:55 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

In the past 3 months, my city flooded, I took on extra responsibility at work because my “manager” left for a new job, I helped plan and work one of the biggest events I’m responsible for at work, we got new interns (and there was a cute one…why does there always have to be a cute one…), I watched a ridiculous number of episodes of Gilmore Girls, two “major celebrities” have come out as lesbians, I found out I’m having another niece, a friend of mine went into the hospital on mandatory bed rest and had a healthy baby boy about 8 weeks later and I spent a great deal of time thinking about, stressing about and hoping for this day.

I’m on a plane right this second on my way to the Exodus Freedom conference in Irvine, CA (random fact…Kelly Clarkson is my favorite artist and she wrote a very emotional song in Irvine. I have to admit I especially relate today). I don’t think I have ever been more anxious about something in my life. I woke up this morning physically shaken. My biggest questions to myself over the past few days have been “what should I expect?” “what happens if temptation is abundant?” “am I really ready for this?” “if I’m really ready for this, why do I feel like I’m doing everything possible to keep a grip on the ‘lesbian’ side of me?”

I’m assuming this anxiety is normal. I’m going into a completely unknown situation completely by myself…not to mention the fact that it’s a highly emotionally charged situation. Still, I’m a ticking time bomb of emotional basketcase proportions at the moment.

My whole life, I’ve done everything in my power to be the one holding it together. Finding out a dark secret about my family and keeping it to myself, being strong for my girlfriend at a time when we were both confused and scared, being at a church and not acting like just sitting in the pew made me feel like a dirty worthless person while the preacher went off on a rant about how being gay is a worse sin than others (yeah that was fun and come to think of it, it was in the past 3 months too).

As this conference approached, I felt myself begin to completely unravel. 3 weeks ago, I would have told you 100% that I was ready and prepared and even looking forward to Exodus and then the closer it got, the more unstable and perhaps even desperate I got to somehow stake claim on my homosexuality. I think I feel like it’s being threatened by going to this conference. As much work as I’ve done and changes I’ve made, I still hold on to this tiny pocket of my life where it’s ok to ignore what I believe and give in to how I’m feeling at that moment.

Selfishly, I don’t want to give that up. It feels good to give in – regardless of what you happen to be giving into. Genuinely, though, and very deep down, I’m glad it’s being threatened. If I’m holding back even a tiny piece of my life from God, I might as well keep the whole thing. I’m not interested in being a “fair-weather follower.” I want to give everything I have to Him, regardless of how uncomfortable or inconvenient it is. I’m sure watching His Son hang on a cross that day was not comfortable or convenient for God…just a guess.

Even with pretty spiritual talk like that, though, I’m still freaking out inside today – struggling to keep it together for the sake of the nice man sleeping in the seat next to me or the little lady in the overly priced snack shop at the airport and I would greatly appreciate your prayers and thoughts. I plan to try and document how each day goes on here but I’m not sure what the schedule will allow. Being able to get this out in print has been therapeutic already so thank you all for taking time to read.

under water
June 14, 2010, 7:39 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This is super delayed. Shocker right? I went to write this several weeks ago and ended up not finishing it. I don’t know if you know, but about a month ago, Nashville (where I live) was severely flooded and several hundred people or more were affected. Fortunately, my house was safe and didn’t have any damage but several people from my church lost their homes.

The Sunday after the flood, I was driving to church thinking about the Exodus conference (which I’m going to, by the way) and what I was expecting it to be like. Every time I think about it, all kinds of anxiety build up and I feel like I could possibly lose it at any moment. Mostly because of the element of the unknown…but more on that later. Anyhow, having this on my mind, I got to church a little late and came in during worship. I ended up sitting right in front of one our staff members leading worship whose home had been completely flooded. She had lost just about everything she owned from a house her and her husband had bought and moved into not long before.

As I stood there, getting situated, it hit me that she was singing about how nobody can provide like God can and how He is mighty. I wish so much that I could remember what song it was that we were singing. It might have been “Mighty To Save.” It felt like a slap across the face to see someone who had literally lost everything still praising God with all of her heart with a huge smile on her face. Because she knew that God is still God even if she has nothing.

This hit me because it made me feel so bratty. It reminded me of all the times I refused to sing about how wonderful God was because I wasn’t sure I believed it. I realized I still blame God for so much of what I struggle with and I love/worship Him conditionally rather than unapologetically. I think I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, I 100% believe it’s okay and a good thing to tell God you’re angry. But I think there’s a difference between saying you’re angry and taking your anger out on Him or blaming Him for your circumstances.

What I learned that day is that God is who He is all the time. He is worthy of praise all the time. He is with me all the time. And even if I have nothing or feel like I have nothing or just don’t have what I feel entitled to, He is still who He is and that is worthy to be praised. There are days when I feel like I have lost everything like our worship leader had and I know there will be more days like that. My prayer is that I remember the picture in my head of her worshipping with everything she had and learn how to do the same.