Monday, July 17, 2006

YE SHALL NOT FEAR...

In Sacrament Meeting yesterday, the speaker quoted a scripture that I had heard countless times before. His message was about "being prepared". But, somehow, I didn't hear that message. As I read and reread the scripture, I got lost in my own thoughts about this internal angst I'm dealing with about my same-sex struggles. The speaker wasn't even close to addressing my current prayers and thoughts, but there before me was the written word of the Lord speaking to my concerns of fear, of indecision, of differing and loud voices!

"I tell you these things, because of your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness, in a manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear."
-- D&C 38:30

I had a cross reference redlined in the margin and now, totally lost in what the speaker was saying, started my own scripture study right then and there and flipped to it:

"For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of the sound mind. Be not though therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, not of me his prisoner; but be though partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God."
-- 2 Timothy 1:7-8

I had this one marked as well, obviously for a different reason and in a different context.

Now, I don't have anything profound to offer here, but these scriptures got me thinking about my fears and about feeling weak, about my listening to a lot of loud and enticing voices, and about being ashamed of my testimony.

I am not a weak person. I do not view my being 'gay' a weakness. But I do feel that there are a lot of voices out there, very loud ones, with images portraying beautiful love between fantastically chiseled young men, that confuse me and make me doubt and divide me against myself, and thus make me question my testimony and my very essense - that I really am a Child of God.

I am who I am. I am a Child of God. God loves me. He wants me to be happy. He doesn't want me to be afraid. He wants me to be strong, to stand for what I believe in, and to be the person I was intended to be by CHOOSING. I have years of "treasured wisdom" of spiritual experiences if I but choose to remember them. The alternative voices are enticing and exciting, speaking to me louder than the "shaking earth". But I'm not afraid!

The life of sexual promiscuity with another or several male partners seems to be exciting and promising - and I'm sure wonderful - but will it bring happiness? I doubt it. Will it bring me strength? I doubt it. Though I desire this companionship (a same-sex monogamous relationship similar to that which I have in my marriage), I can't see how it can bring me any closer to God and eternal happiness even if I am "discovering the real me" in the process. And I'm not even sure that such a relationship is truly real or even possible for me (See LDSwithSSA most recent blog)though I certainly hope for some it can be and is.

But for this moment (maybe not tomorrow) I am pricked by these scriptures. I am strengthened in my thinking. I feel power in my choices of what voices I'm listening to, even though the images of young fresh meat still entice and probably always will and "shake me to the core"... But I am still in charge here and it is still my choice to remain faithful (not just "technically faithful" as noted in my previous post). Some will say that I ultimately am still afraid of the choice to embrace this different path, and maybe so, but right now I don't feel afraid.

I'm not the bear shaking in fright at the top of the tree. I'm the cat calmly sitting on the ground and, for this moment, in control without fear!

3 comments:

Kim Mack said...

I hope you keep tapping into this power. I can assure you it won't always shake you to your core -- if you continue to work on those thoughts and fantasies. You won't give up "who you are" by doing that. I promise.

These aren't just trite words of encouragement from an optimist. I've been in a similar place to where you are. I even went past where you are, unfortunately. What you sometimes hope you'll find there, you might find there. But you'll also find other things. I wrote this to a friend last night:

"I've been pretty dang happy with certain people. Sublimely so. But in those quiet moments, my spirit wasn't so pleased. I couldn't remain, and I knew it, even if it killed me to leave. I remember a few times my head being on her chest, so happy and so pleased ... and then that feeling would come, and I knew it wasn't where I belonged. Quite a mix of feelings in a matter of moments. But it was something I had to follow."

It was more heartwrenching to have gone there than it is where you are now. Trust me on that. :)

You're doing great and you have support all around you to continue on in this kind of power and choice.

Samantha said...

How funny--I often think of the Timothy scripture, and was going to quote it in my last comment to you--much better that the spirit sent you there, instead.

It's interesting, for me, because I know what I have, and I also know what I'm missing, the basis of comparison is available. You have only the knowledge of what you have, and the fantasy of what you think you're missing--a different basis of comparison.

How I would love to be in your shoes. How I would love to have the opportunity to tell the Savior, "I wanted something, but I did what you asked me to do, instead." I don't have that option anymore. Regret is an ugly master.

Choice is a sacred gift.

I hope you have peace for awhile. You've agonized for quite some time. Everyone deserves a rest when he/she is weary.

-L- said...

First of all, thanks for being such a great example to me. This post was quite inspiring and reminded me of the strength I can get from reading the scriptures (which I need to do much more than I am!).

Being biological creatures, I consciously try to acknowledge that our attractions are somewhat irrational. And I try to remember that fading feeling after getting something I've irrationally desired. It feels great and then subsequently pretty empty. I can think of lots of examples both sexual and otherwise. Now I'm just rambling, but your post got me thinking about this stuff!