Monday, December 24, 2012

The Man Whom God Correcteth (Job 5:17)

I have not blogged here for a while, and it has certainly NOT been from lack of things to write. In fact, I have so much I wish I could write about that I think I'll have to write a number of posts over the Christmas break while I have more time than usual. Admittedly, it has been a lack of time that has been the major cause for my lack of writing. Let me just first begin with a quick list of some very major relevant updates in my life and the SSA world generally from the last 2.5 months:

  • The Church launched a new official web-page specifically devoted to same-sex attraction issues. It is fantastic. Take a look if you haven't seen it already:
  • (Gay) Mormon Guy, the blog which I've mentioned numerous times here and which had a profound impact on my, unveiled himself from anonymity in a beautiful post last month. His real name is David Peterson and here is the post:
  • This blog reached its year-mark! It was Thanksgiving weekend of last year when I began this blog and a very interesting journey of self-discovery that I've reflected on a lot over the last few weeks especially.
  • Last, but certainly not least (and this is hands down the #1 reason I haven't had as much time to blog)... since mid-October I've had a girlfriend. A few weeks ago we even talked about my SSA and it hasn't been an issue at all in the relationship. That subject of course will have to be an entire post of its own, which I promise to write at some point during the next week or two. But I feel like I need to get some other thoughts out in this post before I can write that one.
For now, I'd like to focus especially on the third bullet above: reflecting on the last year of my life and my journey confronting my SSA rather than ignoring it or pretending it isn't there. This blog records a good portion of my reflections upon that journey (with the obvious exception of some chronological holes when I didn't write as much--especially during the summer). I'm amazed at the evolution of my thoughts about myself and my relationship with my own SSA. I have to admit that while many of my early posts are extremely valid emotional outpourings that adequately described my state at the time, they do not all necessarily represent how I feel now. Some of them are very simple in areas that I now see with greater complexity, while others which I once saw quite complexly now seem so very simple.

One thing is sure: I am more stable and sure now than I was a year ago regarding my SSA. Some of that has been incredibly painful. For example, my post from October discusses some of my feelings from those summer months when I didn't blog for a while. It really doesn't tell the whole story in terms of the actual events which triggered those feelings, and I don't know if I'll ever record those here, but I learned incredible lessons from those things. I was made to confront some major weaknesses and make a couple sacrifices in order to grow. But guess what? The happiness I've attained in the recent months as I've been a better person makes that pain totally worth it. Below is a verse from our wise friend Job that adequately sums up these sentiments. From chapter 5, verse 17:

"Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore, despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty."

The last few days I've been pondering a few additional weaknesses and have had my eyes opened to very clear ways the Lord is offering to help me to overcome them. I can already clearly see some pain and sacrifice that are required, but looking back in amazement at how far I've come over the last year, I feel already a sense of happiness to begin the process of working on them.

The great thing about being corrected is that by definition it makes us more correct, and why would we not want to be correct? The great thing about being corrected by the LORD, is that the alternative is to be corrected, or more likely mis-corrected by others or, perhaps most terrifyingly, ourselves! From experience, that tends to end in disaster.

May I end this post of reflection on the last year by giving a special thank you to a follower of this blog? Her name is Emily. She found my blog through one of my Obadiah tweets on Twitter back in early December of last year and to my knowledge was the first human other than myself to ever read it. She was certainly the first to ever respond or send feedback, which I desperately needed at the time. I had written a handful of posts at that point believing they were being sent into darkness, heard by nobody and it made me feel awfully lonely and insecure. She was the first other human to ever chat with me about my SSA and give me encouragement, even though I'd never met her in person (and still haven't). She regularly comments and send feedback on my posts and I don't think she's ever known how much of a help she was just by reaching out compassionately to a poor confused gay kid she came across on the internet. Likewise many more supporters have followed since then with emails, tweets, FB messages, blog comments, etc. of non-stop support and love. Thank you all so very much.

My best,