Updates and such

It’s been a while since I chatted about being gay and Christian. Here’s an update.

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It’s been a hot second since I’ve written. Not sure if anyone event reads this. But I just need to blast out my thoughts and get them outside myself, they need to be something other than me to make sense of it, externalizing and validating absurd and confusing thoughts. So if you read and this makes no sense, very possible. I like to pretend my thought process is logical, but it’s actually a sprinkler–spraying in all directions to simply return to where I began. Anyway… here we go.

So I have a boyfriend. I probably should have checked the blog post before this to see if I had said that or not yet. We’ve been dating for about a year. Long story short, he was the first guy to take me on a date. Up till that point, I imagined homosexuality as this awful thing that God requires us not to do because He’s looking out for us. So the fact that it hadn’t been satisfying and that every guy I had been with just felt like a mutual usage of each other, fit into my frame of mind. Don’t touch. It burns.

This had been my idea of God’s morality for a while. Raised a Christian, I ran across two verses that have shifted my frame of mind about morality. The first one is John 10:10. It talks about God coming to bring life and Satan trying to steal, kill, and destroy trough deception. The second one is I Corinthians 10:23. This one talks about everything is permissible under the New Testament (the time we now live in after Christ) but not everything is beneficial. So God, in his infinite wisdom and love, has concocted rules to help us benefit us and gain life, while Satan longs to deceive us, painting mirages where there is nothing but sand to rob us of life.

This was homosexuality for me. It’s bad because it’ll hurt me, and it had up until then. I went from zero to twenty-two in less than two months flat. Virgin to slut is a fine line, a fine line that left me wanting and feeling used. I came to believe that men just mutually use each other. That is until I met Joey.

Joey is an odd duck. If you were to meet him, you would not think he’s gay. That is if you were to prejudge him based upon our society’s very narrow-minded view of the stereotypical gay man. The guy loves guns, working out, and has a hard time sharing his emotions. The guy has a pretty hard and spiky exterior. Sarcasm is his native tongue and he brags about how no one ever knows if he’s not doing well.

All these “great” attributes are not the reasons I’m attracted to him. I’m attracted to him because beneath it all is a heart of gold that deeply cares. Beneath it all, there’s a man who deeply loves me and has pursued me furiously.

Pursuit. It’s a powerful thing. Dating Joey has shown me how much I’ve craved this, so much so that I’ve pulled away at times, just to be pursued. Not the healthiest of decisions. But the longing for it is deep and powerful. It made me realize that that’s the reason I hooked up with so many guys.

It felt so good to just put up a picture and bio and get messages.

Pursuit.

It felt so good to walk around naked in a bath house and have guys look at me.

Pursuit. 

It felt good to have a friend chase me and want to be with me above anyone else.

Pursuit. 

Whether a friendship, hook up, or mentorship, there’s been this desire in me to be chased, to be pursued, and it’s been there a while… 

I’m seven-years-old. I’m playing tag… always. I’m twelve; I’m walking the fence, hoping someone will wonder why and walk with me. I’m fifteen. I’ve sat on the side of the building of my private school, hoping someone would notice I don’t sit with everyone else and sit with me. I’m twenty-seven. People ask me how I am. I always say, “okay”, hoping that people will ask, “No. How are you really?”

I love prying. I don’t know why Gary Chapman did not include it in his five love languages. Screw gifts. I feel loved when people keep asking questions, pulling back the layers, curiosity carrying them forward.

Pursuit. It’s a beautiful thing, and I crave it.

I think that’s why the idea of ending up with a woman is so hard sometimes. Growing up, I was taught that there are gender roles, and they should be followed with the strictest of care. To deviate makes you looks like the other sex, and that’s frowned upon. And you know who does the pursuing? Men. Gender roles will definitely be a blog post for later, but in short, let’s just settle with there is a lot of shame in the idea of letting a woman pursue me.

So where does that leave me? How do I satisfy this deep desire?

Men. Men pursue. I can have a man pursue me, and a man has pursued me… for one year now, and it is the most confusing, exhilarating, frustrating, addictive, abhorred thing I have ever done.

First and foremost, there’s morality. As recalled earlier in this blog, I view the morality of God as God looking out for our best interest, as God acting as a Father that knows better. So if he told me “no” to homosexuality in His book, this means that I should not do this, and because I am, I’m looking behind every corner for the demon or the con, the catch to this “happy ever after”.

And I ain’t gonna lie. I’ve found a few.

First off, I wanna give a hand to anyone that has secured a same-sex relationship that has lasted longer than a few years. Navigating a same-sex relationship has felt like a mine field. I’m not sure where to step or even if I should. Should I go left and he go right? What about when we both jump here? Will that trigger the mine? So those that have marriages and families as a same-gender couple, bravo. You guys are champs. It’s not easy, and here’s why.

  • PDA. You don’t get to do this freely. You’re always wondering how people are going to respond to this. You’re always wondering who’s watching. Kisses are snatched in the safety of shadows. Hand-holding is attempted with anxiety running down the spine. In short, you are always looking over your shoulder.
  • The closet. Both my boyfriend and I are not completely out. Not only do strangers have opinions of you and your love life (of which they have no right to), but your loved ones do too. So when you finally come out to them, if you ever have relational issues, you never feel safe talking to them. Why? Because they won’t fight with you for the relationship. You’re scared that if they’re not saying, “I told you so” and “This is why dating a guy isn’t a good idea”, they’re at least saying it in their head. You have no one in your corner, and it makes it so you have to figure out relational problems alone. All my relationships, both family and friend, feel different. They feel strained. That everyone is just tolerating this relationship. I miss how our relationships were. So much so that I often think about abandoning my boyfriend for the hopes of regaining the way the relationships uses to function.
  • Sex. Not gonna lie, if I end up with a girl, this is the main reason. I love the kissing and the intimacy with my boyfriend. But the sex? Sex is rough, and not because of Joey. He’s great. I panic all the damn time, and he’s been nothing but patient and loving. But gay sex sucks. Here’s why: in a heterosexual relationship, the roles are set. One person will always do the penetrating. The other will always be penetrated. Not the case with a versatile (where partners switch roles) gay relationships. How does this affect sex? Well, pretty intensely, actually. I’m not a huge fan of being penetrated. It hurts. So I either feel like I’m hurting my boyfriend to pleasure myself and feel like shit cause I’m selfish. Or I’m being penetrated and I’m terrified this is my lot in life–to have sex that I don’t even enjoy for the rest of my life.
  • Wedding day. Because people have opinions of same-sex relationships, the wedding will never be like I imagined it. The people I wanted there won’t be there. People will not be agreeing with our vows, they’ll be tolerating our vows.
  • Family. I will never get to make babies with the person I love. We can have surrogates. But this freaks me out because the child’s mother won’t be in their life and if we have a lot, it could become “my kids against your kids”. So we could adopt. But what about that child’s upbringing? They will be teased their entire lives, and that will be my fault. And regardless of surrogates or adopting, we will never have a child that is both of ours. It’s just not possible. Our love will never procure life.
  • Ministry. I have always wanted to spend my life as a missionary or a minister. I love talking about the Love of God and seeing miracles. Whether because of everyone else’s opinions or my own internalized condemnation, the reality of ministry while being gay seems impossible. I have to pick one or the other.

So overall, gay love seems pretty sucky for me. Then I research. Maybe this is just me. But when I look around, it seems like gay love is riddled with pain. So many gay men commit suicide or are plagued with anxiety or have tons of partners. If you were to watch a gay and lesbian romance film on Netflix, you’d find a story of heartache, not hope. Does this mean that gay love isn’t supposed to work? I truly wonder this sometimes. When I pray, like I have been for over a year now, “God have your way,” I almost always imagine God destroying my relationship with Joey and “getting me back on track”. I rarely see Joey and I living in a cabin with our three kids smiling as the sun sets behind the mountains, a whiskey in my hand and a lemonade in his. I see me meeting a woman, wondering the globe with her, and Joey and I securing a friendship. That’s the best case scenario that is the easiest to envision. But all that

Does this mean that gay love isn’t supposed to work? I truly wonder this sometimes. When I pray, like I have been for over a year now, “God have your way,” I almost always imagine God destroying my relationship with Joey and “getting me back on track”. I rarely see Joey and I living in a cabin with our three kids smiling as the sun sets behind the mountains, a whiskey in my hand and a lemonade in his. I see me meeting a woman, wondering the globe with her, and Joey and I securing a friendship. That’s the best case scenario that is the easiest to envision. But all that said, when I pray, “God, have Your way”, I don’t hear God saying that that is the ending. I feel like He’s not giving me the ending. I feel like He says, “What if my way is stripping you of condemnation and shame to walk wholly and holy before me? What if the story is better than any version you can conjure up? What if I am walking with you no matter what and that I will turn it all for the good like I said I would? What if?”

I’ve begun releasing what “His will” should look like. But does that mean that I’ll end up with Joey? I have no clue. Religion aside, I really don’t know if this is what I want. But the idea breaking up with Joey sounds terrible. I don’t want to break his heart, and I’m not sure that this is not what I want. Joey is an amazing man. Do I think that we work well together (probably another blog post)? No. And I think that’s where I’m at. Religion and what other people think pushed to the side is this what I want. I genuinely don’t know. You’ll probably hear a lot of that coming up here over the next few posts. Ps, I’m not good at consistently. So I have no clue when you’ll get the next post. Blogging is not so much for other people. It’s for me, getting my words out there and simply validating them, saying they matter to make sense of them. Back before modern medicine, bleeding out was a way of purifying the body, of getting out the bad. That’s how writing feels for me–bleeding out. But not for some sadistic cause, but cathardic.

Anyways, there’s your first one since a hot second.

Just Thinking Out Loud

What will become of us…

I just masterbated with another dude via a chatroulette-like site.

What will become of us? What is this really all about? Is the life in Christ at a snail’s pace, or am I missing something?

Am I supposed to care so much about my failings? Should I view these moments even like that? 

Once upon a time I had a thought that God actually celebrates with us when we fail? Why? Because He sees the end game; He sees your victory further down the road, and now you’re just X amount of falls away from success. But it doesn’t feel that way. 

Should I feel shame? Should I have regret or remorse? But wait, isn’t Satan the accuser of the brethren? Am I not agreeing with him as I contemplate these wonderings?

Once upon another time, I told a group of kids in a youth group to look to Christ always. Stop looking at what you did and start looking to what Jesus did.

How should we respond to sin? I think that’s what I’m ultimately asking.

My greatest aim is to get past this, but how? I did, once upon yet another time, but I’m not over this hurtle at present. But maybe that’s the problem–maybe my attention shouldn’t be here. Or should it?

You see what I mean? I don’t know the proper response to this. I don’t, and it’s an endless dog-chasing-tale circumstance–a catch 22, as they say. (Why is it called that?) I want to understand why I keep falling and how to move on, but then I’m not sure if I should be wondering about this to begin with. So I’m no steps forward and two steps back.

Sins a bitch. I’m confused.

The Holy Within the Sin

I recently had a conversation with my younger brother. We were discussing how he feels distant from God as a result of distraction or being caught up in sin.

“I wish I could just be dead, that way I can stop worrying about the cares of this world and have God be with me constantly.”

How many times have we had these thoughts?
“Oh there’s just too many things stealing my attention from the One that matters.” “I’m overwhelmed with sin.” “Once I get myself together I’ll come to Jesus.” “I’m just too busy for God.” “I wish I could just sneak away to be with Him.”

A song comes to mind. “Look at all the pretty things, that keep me far away.” A movie quote comes also. “My grandmother used to always tell me, ‘Take Jesus wherever you go, and if you can’t take Him there, don’t go.'”

The song insinuates that there are “shiny things of the soul,” which gravitate our ADD “third eye.” We’ll drift away; we’ll loose sight, and although those thoughts speak of intimacy with a person as if loosing eye-contact, we must not take a that wavelength a step further–these things pull me away from God.

The movie insinuates another thing–there are places God won’t go with you. The quote could read, “Take God with you everywhere. Just don’t go to the bar or club. Don’t sin. He can’t go there because He’s holy.”

“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol (Hell), you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.” (Psalm 139:7-12 ESV)

What does this say about our classic cliches? What does it do to our theology when this verse is truly applied to life?

As my brother continued his monologue of “I just wish I could be near to God now,” I responded with. “Invite Him into everything, especially the sin.”

My brother’s response was much like any “normal” Christian. “Oh, I can’t do that. He’s holy. Darkness and light do not mingle. He’s clean and that’s just filth.”

Our Christian phrases that have made oh so much sense, are not even Biblical. The last time I checked, Jesus was God coming to a sin ridden fest pool. He already got in the mud; he already stepped into the darkness, for it’s as light to Him. The vail was torn with the words, “It is finished.”

I don’t know about you, but some of the most profound moment where I KNOW I heard God was right before and in my sin. “Don’t do this. I love you. It won’t satisfy. This isn’t who you are.” A vast number of my spiritual epiphanies have occurred postdate my most sinful of moments. In the wake of my deathly decisions, I’ve heard the most sweetest of whispers. “You’re loved. You are not condemned. You no longer have to weep. Joy is coming.”

I recently had a conversation with a more liberal pastor whose suggestion to my homosexual tendencies was to masterbate to straight porn. Believe it or not, it’s a clinically proven fact that your hormones and tastes are trained. Though I want to get married, though I find women beautiful, but penis has been trained to jump to a boy. Your hormones are aroused by what you’ve ejaculated to. Guess what, if you masterbate to bridges, you’ll get hard on bridges.

With that in mind, there have been times where I’ve looked at gay porn over the course of the past few months. As stated in previous blogs, my sexuality has been a tumult to say the least. But instead of “feeling far from God,” because that’s all it is–a feeling, I welcome God into my sin. I hear Him whisper to my heart, “Landon, you can go there, but this is not who you are.”

My God stood by my side through the all ten minutes of perusing the profane, even up to the moment of “climax.” As I ejaculated, I heard God say, “Okay, let’s think of a woman and retrain that brain. Sex is about intimacy. It’s going to be beautiful, and you’re meant to share this with your sweetheart, while gazing into her eyes.” And so I imagine that. I imagine it with her, and it’s been transforming my sexuality. The idea of taking one in the ass now sound painful and gross, when a few blogs before I was talking about how I want that.

What is happening to me? Am I schizophrenic, or is something happening to my hear as I allow the love of an all-consuming God to enter into my darkest of places? Agape really is as powerful as He claims. Unconditional love does something to the deepest of scars. I’m a first-hand account of that truth.

Eternally in His love, even when I’m “not where He can go (hogwash).”

Stagnation | Progression

It’s a bogeling and trivial thing to meander over thoughts such as purpose destiny and longing , while your life seems to be in park. I’m not talking about that apathetic outlook, in which one chooses a standstill due to a lack of motivation, unable to overcome emotional inertia. Mine’s worse. I’m not in idling with the gear in “P.” I’ve been towed away and a yellow boot has been put on my wheel. I cannot go anywhere if I tried. I’mm stuck, broke and penniless.

I’m not quite sure if money truly makes the world go round. It could simply be an all-powerful being somewhere out there. But about a my cheezey metaphor for life, money definitely puts literal gasoline in my literal car, making it go literal places.
Being broke is a bitch.

However, here’s a thought–though I crave progression, longing for forward motion, though in another life I was a bohemian hippie nomad, there is something happening behind the bars of stagnation–simply being.

I’m one to be entirely wrapped up in the task and accomplishment at hand. I throw all I have at them. I’m currently producing an audio theatre piece. I’m contacting actors, rewriting the script, scheduling sessions, and the fact that I can’t reach my audio engineer is driving me to the brink of insanity. Why? Because I can’t stand lack of motion.

I’m also currently a “partner” at the famous “Green Lady.” Since my writing career, or lack there of, is nowhere near “taking off,” I have to pay the bills with latte and coffee brewing. I promise you, it’s not that interesting. However, as I’m trained int he way of Starbucks, I can’t help but mull over beverage routine and recipe cards.

It’s not healthy. Not healthy at all.

All this said, I’m someone obsessed with doing. I find purpose and identity in the happenings of life. No wonder I feel purposeless. I’m trying to conjure up destiny inside a crappy cappuccino.

But we’re more than what we do.

Me, being a male, has nothing to do with what I do. It has everything to do with whether or not I have a penis. While wandering through Europe and India this past year, busying myself with humanitarian efforts and works of faith, I lost myself. But on the State bound plane ride home, as the earth dropped further beneath me, a prompt was whispered in the depths of my heart.

“It’s time to be, not do.”

The sentiment has rung true. But the initial excitement has long since dissipated. It’s not fun finding yourself sitting on a stagnant sea. Who goes to the beach to watch a motionless body of water? No one.

But it’s only when the sea stills, that a reflection becomes distinguishable. But more than a reflection, if that sea were to sit still just long enough, the dust settling, the water becoming crystal clear, you could stare past that mere reflection to the depths of the ocean floor, discovering the beauty of the coral beneath.

What will we find as the sea murk nestles below? What if the deepest parts of us are discovered, not by digging, but simply being?

My meanderings as of late.

Momentum

 

 

 

“An object is either remains at rest or moves at a constant velocity, unless an external force acts upon it.” -Newtons First Law of Physics

I’ve recently added a second book to my current reading list: “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Donald Miller. Before departing from each other, my ex-girlfriend and I exchanged books, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years being one of them. I read “Blue Like Jazz,” Donal Miller’s #1 Best Seller a year ago, and it gave definition to emotions and questions I couldn’t articulate. I figured another book by the man who put words to my heart, wouldn’t be a bad bet. I was right.

The book speaks of living a good story. All good stories have basic elements–protagonists, antagonists, rising and falling actions, conflict and resolution. Don’s friend Jordan summarizes story in the simplest of terms, “A character who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it.”

How many of us are living good stories?

Don, at a specific point in his book says, (In regards to the massacre in Mumbai) When we watch the news, we grieve all of this, but when we go to the movies, we want more of it. Somehow we realize that great stories are told in conflict, but we are unwilling to embrace the potential greatness of the story we are actually in. We think God is unjust, rather than a master storyteller.”

We, as human beings, hate risk and love comfort. We flee fear and embrace the secure. We avoid conflict or change yet fight for homeostasis. And yet, the elements we love, cherish and embrace as humanity are the exact things contrary to a good story.

If we watch a story about a man who is raised in great home, had everything given to him, figured out life without risk, gets a career job, finds a beautiful wife, has 2.5 children and rescues a dog named Chewy from the humane society because his 2.5 kids begged and pleaded, we’d walk out of the theatre infuriated as the credits rolled. We want risk, triumph, failure, overcoming all odds to see the character we love succeed, regardless of costs. In fact, the higher the costs, the harsher the struggle, the more we love the story. But still we prod on for meaninglessness and security.

Don later discovers that all characters, whether in a fictitious novel or real life, don’t choose to move, don’t choose to embrace the story. They must be forced. An Inciting Incident.

An object at rest will remain at rest, unless and a object of equal or greater force acts upon it. It’s more than physics.

Since coming home from oversees, I haven’t dreamed; I haven’t soared. Why? For fear. Afraid to fail. Afraid to succeed. Afraid if there really is a God up there that gives a damn. Afraid I’ll let people down. Afraid of what I want. My dreams have been shipwreck on the coral reef of fear, and though everything in me screams, “ABANDON SHIP!!! SETTLE FOR A NORMAL LIFE!!! GET A DEGREE!!! FIND A CAREER!!! LIVE A NORMAL LIFE!!!” There is a hardwiring in my soul like that of a captain…

I’d rather drown aboard my sinking vessel which was born to set sail and see the sacred seas, than loose all hope and cast my anchor down.

The Inciting Incident… Or rather, Incidents (guess I needed a bigger push).

1. An Old Friend
I stood on a hill overlooking the city I grew up in, with a friend reunited hugging me from behind. “Where’s the Landon I knew? Where’s the Landon that believed God for crazy things and loved people so deeply? You say you’re happy, but I don’t believe you. I’ve seen you happy. You’re not happy.”

As Adam’s words continued to cascade over me, I was reminded of a Landon long lost. A Landon I loved being, but am not now. A Landon who I’ve been trying to find, but elusive and evasive. A Landon, whose name isn’t Landon.

I want to be him again.

2. An Unwanted Roller Coaster Ride
Last night I went to a Switchfoot concert. I’m not a diehard fan of Switchfoot or the concert scene for that matter. I’d rather listen to the perfectly crafted EP that I can pick whichever song pleases me or fits my mood. A concert doesn’t accomplish that. You join the band in the journey they desire, while we, the audience, simply get on the roller coaster, choosing to either lift our hands in excitement or blow our chunks in vertigo. Needless to say, I get motion sickness easily. But as I watched a film of how Switchfoot flew to the shores of Australia, New Zealand, Africa and Indonesia and listened to them sing, “I dare you to move,” I lifted my hands on their roller coaster of a concert.

I want this.

I want to move. I don’t want to sit still and settle for the foreseen and senile. As much as I hate it, I want risk. As much as I loathe it, I want the highs and lows of life.

Last year I read a fantastic book named, “A Severe Mercy” by Sheldon Vanauken. In the beginning of his autobiography, he speaks of the highs and lows of life. He truly believes there is a choice as to whether we will live a flat line safe life, or an insecure on of highs and lows.
“So, if he wanted the heights of joy, he must have, if he could find it, a great love. But in the books again, great joy through love seemed always to go hand in hand with frightful pain. Still, he thought, looking out across the meadow, still the joy would be worth the pain-if, indeed, they went together. If there was a choice-and he suspected there was-a choice between, on one hand, the heights and depths and, on the other hand, some sort of safe, cautious middle way, he, for one, here and now chose the heights and the depths.”
-A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken

As I began to dream again, hearing the words, “I dare you to move; I dare you to move; I dare you to lift yourself up on off the floor,” I saw Latta Ditti, a prostitute dying of AIDS and tuberculosis. I saw Navid, a little Indian boy whose mom is locked up in a lifestyle of sex. I saw Jr Higher students ascending above me as they sing praises to their God.

What am I living for? What am I living for?

When my stories written, do I want it to be said I limped along, crippled by a porn addiction? Or do I want it read, he saw lives transformed as he lavished love from a God above? And I guess the question simplified is “Do I want to risk?”

Epiphanies in the Perverse

I’m sitting here in my car waiting for a friend outside Five Guys to grab a burger and to speak of friendship and hurt, and as I wait I’m thinking about thoughts I never really allowed myself to mull over. I saw an attractive guy in Whole Foods today. I couldn’t help but lock eyes with him here and there as he passed back and forth through my peripheral vision. Why am I attracted to him? And the answer came in the gentlest of whispers…

You want to be him.

As I analyze the mystery man, I realize how much of this is true. How he’s handsome. How he has a smile in every task he undertakes. He’s dripping with joy while sweeping up trash. How he’s engaging with people on a genuine level.

It’s how I know I can be and should, but why am I not?

The thoughts continued, but now twist and turn into something sexual. Initially, I pulled back, not allowing myself to lust, but then a thought came–let’s allow the thoughts, Landon; let’s analyze this and see what your heart is longing for below all the sex.

And thus began the thought process.

Would I be top or bottom?
Bottom.
Why?
Because I want to be led.
What sex position would I want?
Sitting on his lap facing him as he held me.
Why?
Because I want to feel secure and cherished while looking into his eyes.
What would you want to happen besides sex?
I would want him to hold me close to his chest, to smile at me in approval, to tell me what he thinks of me, to make promises of never leaving me.

What does this say? What’s the root of what I truly want?

I want love. Masculine love.
I want someone to show me the way and how to be a man, to lead me and never leave me, to hold me close and create a sense of security, to be delighted in all that I am, shortfalls and all.
Why? Why do I feel the need for this? Why do I want to be led by a strong masculine man? Why do I want someone to hug me and say they’re not going to leave me? Why is the approval of one person so important, and why does that one person’s opinion mean so much?

When I encounter Jake, my friend online, a phrase he kept saying that brought so much pleasure to my heart was, “You’re absolutely awesome.” He’d say it about my bod, my hair, my personality, my jokes, my deep thoughts. He thought it was all so great. I was intoxicated with his approval. But when I couldn’t reach him in the following days, I thought I would loose my mind.
I do this often–putting all my “eggs in one basket” with someone’s approval. As I look at my life, in every season there was someone who’s opinion meant everything. I could be loved by all I encounter, but if that one person didn’t approve I was a shipwrecked heart.

The speculation continues as I analyze roots and wounds.
I was abandoned by my best friends in my deepest hours of need. I thought there was something wrong with me to chase the away. Instead of being chased I had to do the chasing, and I’m tired of it.
My dad never showed me how to be a man. He never inspired me with masculinity, saying, “Follow me; I know the way.” He never believed in me and sent me out to conquer and succeed. As a result, I don’t feel like I can succeed as a man, and I need someone to show me the way.

I need someone to show me the way.

I process; I ponder. My mind wrestles and wanders. But ultimately I know the answer, and it’s a lot more simple than I care to imagine, and more cliché than an aspiring writing finds taste for.

The love of God.

As I was driving to meet my friend, abraded with pilfering thought processes, the phrase “daddy’s boy,” came to mind, and it warmed my heart like hot chocolate. I’m daddy’s boy. Why does this mantra mean so much?
It’s interesting to note, that the three years of homosexual abstancy, we’re also the three years a potently powerful truth was swallowed into the depths of my being: you are God’s son, and He is your loving Father. This is also the number one way Jesus chose to relate to God: as His Father.

What if the the cure all was simply bathing in this knowledge?
The cure for homosexuality.
The cure for sexual promiscuity.
The cure for loneliness.
The cure for contempt.
The cure for pride.
The cure for every bereavement and curse of the soul.

Too simple? Maybe so. But it did work at one point in this author’s life. Maybe I’ve simply complicated things. Why don’t I just come back to that simple truth, and keep it just that—simple.

on a dirt mountain road underneath the blazing stars…

It’s been hard to say the least.

Since re-entering America, I’ve had the hardest of times. I’m Martha burnt out in the kitchen. I’m the church of Ephesus in Revelation, robbed of its romance. I’m done.
The past several days the cry of my heart has been, “Jesus, just come find me.”
I have so many questions…
A resurgence has erupted in the bowels of my chest, a wound uncared for, now festering and gangrene…

Homosexuality… It’s a bitch.

Nearly every night I’ve been on my iPad scouring the Internet for moral contraband. Hardcore porn. Miscellaneous webcams. Craigslist rendezvous’s. It’s been a mess. Just today I laid in bed till 3 in the afternoon. Laid out in the wake of hours wasted on the Internet. This doesn’t satisfy.
The catalyst of my near abandonment to the plight I find myself in occurred a few days ago in an alternative gay chat roulette. I met a 22 year old with the same story as my own.
Raised a Christian. Held church leadership positions. Has a serious relationship with a girl.
AND YET, he’s dabbling in “the sin unspeakable.” We both are.
Multiple times throughout our conversation as we divulged our stories, the comment “TWIN” became a consistent occurrence. We’re even identical in our strategies as to how we hid our “heinous” acts.
We talked for hours when, initially, all we wanted was to gaze upon each other’s penises. In the end, we exposed our private parts briefly, making the comment, “Well, we should probably do what we came on here to do in the first place,” but it’s not what we wanted.
Since then, I’ve been manically internally digesting whether or not I should just abandon it all, including my Jesus, in order to fall madly into these “dark desires,” as Mumford puts it, letting them clutch me in their dark vice-grip claws.

I’m at a loss. Rather, I am lost… In desperate need of being found.

I came out to the mountains tonight. It’s currently 1:24 am. Underneath the stars I beg the question of God: where are you? Where are you in this? Why do I feel so alone? What do I do?
Prior, all sorts of questions abraded my mind. Do I throw myself into this completely, becoming the “Prodigal?” Do I “give myself over to Satan for the sifting of my soul?” What about my girlfriend? Do I end that relationship? Do I tell her?
Truth be told, I’m tired of fighting. I’ve given in. When temptation comes, I thrust myself into it headlong. Luckily, my demons haven’t flung me into any “physical encounters.”

And this is where the shift happened.

Immediately before running up into the mountains, I headed downtown. Hungering to satisfy my lusts, I “happened upon” the location of a local gay bar. I drove by, intending to simply pass… That’s not what happened.
A block passes by. I pull over and park. I get out, walking the block I just passed. I stand outside the heavy metal door, music blaring within. That was when it dawned on me—I don’t want gay sex. I simply want intimacy.
Now, out in the mountains, I’m talking to my Jesus. There’s always been a stronger connection to Him while the blazing infernos millions of miles away gaze down upon me. I ask, “What’s happened to us? We’ve fallen out like all my other relationships. Where did I go wrong? Where was the wrong turn, many miles ago?” I heaved and moaned, as the things locked up in my chest oozed to the surface. It felt like a vomit of soul.

It was there, in my ranting and raving, I heard Him.

“We’ve already been through the ringer, Brandon. This relationship, like all true relationships, has been tested with fire. This is no different, and I’m not intimidated by it. Come back to me. Don’t worry about the “sin.” I just want you to know me, and I you. I’m not trying to make you “good.” I’m trying to show you you’re loved. It’s what I’ve been trying to do since the beginning.”

Tonight, before the stop in downtown and the trek to the mountains, I spent the day with two great friends. We watched “The Kings of Summer.” It was there that the idea of friendship being the deep desire of my heart, rather than sodomy, or other male-on-male actions for that matter, dawned on me. I never had what these boys had—a beautiful, adventurous, unadulterated love through the bond of pure friendship. We catch a glance of this love in other movies as well—”The Goonies,” “Lean on Me” and “Super 8.” The coming of age movies that remind me of what I missed. Or the epics—”Braveheart,” “Harry Potter,” “The Lord of the Rings.” A beautiful love that has nothing to do with sex, but intimacy, of accepting and fighting for the one you love, of being brothers.

This is the desire of my heart.

While talking to Jake, my roulette encountered friend, we both asked, “Why do we do this?” I think this is the answer—our hearts long for something beautiful, intimate, real. Something directly out of the heart of God. A verse that actually comes to mind is Ecclesiastes 4:11—the verse about two lying together to keep warm. Many a time I’ve shared a bed or patch of grass with another man, and it had NOTHING to do with sex. It was two friends keeping each other warm in heart and body. Some of my favorite moments have been lying next to a friend I love. No sex. No lust. Just love in brotherhood.
What’s wrong with that?
Deep down I know the cry of my heart is not gay sex. It’s true unadulterated friendship, and it all starts with a friendship with The Friend—the origin and its author. That’s what io tend to do, to drink of the fountain that will truly quench my soul’s thirsting.

Father, return me to Your heart. Return me to Your Love. Plunge me deep into Your rivers of grace, and wash over me anew with Your ferocious AGAPE. Woo me. Undo me. Flirt with my soul and romance my heart. I guess, what I’m actually asking is, would You be my friend, for You are its definition. Void our relationship of moral duty, and in its place institute desire.

Sincerely,
Your friend…