And the story continues…
Maybe it was my pending 18th birthday, perhaps it was my questioning my adoption and why I had been given up for adoption, or perhaps it was my pending high school graduation, however, during my senior year of high school, I broke my boycott on reflecting during Lent. As I feared, once again, “it” came rushing back into my life. I did my best to keep it under wraps, and for a while made sure to not write anything even remotely close about it on anything. Lent came and went, I graduated from high school and was about to go on my last summer mission trip.
I always had fun going and working with my youth group and youth groups from around the country in a town that needed help. Each night we had worship, and on Thursday Night we held a deep and emotional worship that was always a life changer for many of the campers. The last part of that worship session was where camp attendees were invited to stay in the worship area to think, pray and meditate. I stayed for a good while that night. At some points I sat there crying while others, I just stared at the large cross they had erected on the worship stage. At some point, my youth group leaders had begun gathering behind me, concerned, since I was not being my optimistic bubbly self. I remember vividly though, that one of them came and sat next to me and wrapped her arms around me. We sat like that for a few minutes. Then I gathered the courage and asked her one question. “Do you think God forgives people who are mistakes?” She never really responded but she did say that I wasn’t a mistake. Granted, looking back it must have seemed a strange and random question, but it was at that moment that I knew I had to try this new life style, and why no try then, since I was starting a new chapter in my life anyway.
The following two years were tumultuous while I experimented, and kept it from my parents and friends. I was too ashamed and afraid to tell them I was trying to see if I fit into this unholy lifestyle that I had been raised up on to avoid and despise. However, shortly after Lent 2004 had begun, my parents searched my room (I was still living at home during college), because I was being more withdrawn than normal and they were concerned. They found a few emails and letters that I had started writing to a friend talking about what I was going through with questioning my identity. To no surprise, when I returned from school that day, they confronted me about my feelings and lifestyle and if I was honestly questioning my sexuality. We went through the same “condemning of my soul” conversation that I was unfortunately getting used to. However it was that day when my parents put their foot down and gave me an ultimatum; fix my life and live under their roof or if I wanted to experiment to move out. I vividly remember the way they put it too: “I can’t make decisions for you but if you want to live as a fag, I will not have it under my roof.”
I chose to move out.
After that, they helped me find an apartment, and in three days was living on my own. Over the next few years, they helped me out with rent and other major life issues, but for the most part, we kept our distance.
And this closes another part of my Lenten journey.
Until next time!
Peace, Love and Pandas!