Monday, September 15, 2014

Soul Sharing Take 3

I always like to take time here or there to reflect back on where I was a year back from my journal entries. I did that this morning and couldn't help but see how greatly things have changed for me, physically, mentally and emotionally in that time frame. I thought perhaps it might be beneficial for people to see where I was compared to where I am now. I imagine it might raise a lot of questions as to how those changes came about, and if anyone has those, feel free to ask. Some of those potential questions may also find answers in my previous blog post concerning my faith. So without further adieu, here's my sharing of journal entries, take 3:

September 17. 2013

I went home this previous weekend to celebrate with Peter for his Mission Farewell. Derek ended up coming home with me, which was a big step to make, but I think it all worked out really well. He was well received by everyone, always helped out, and my family was gracious to him.  I think he had a good time. Peter gave a very powerful and heartfelt mission farewell. It was neat to see the mission fire in him to when at one moment he raised his voice and spoke emphatically from his soul concerning the things he knew. I love that boy and have no doubts he’ll be the best missionary. He’s much farther along than I was.

I had a long discussion (unanticipated but needed) with Derek in the car on the ride home about our relationship and taking things a step back. He cried. I cried. It didn’t end well when he told me he didn’t understand and after all the emotions I poured out, I was exhausted. I dropped him off at his house, we had a minor scuttle of raised voices (albeit no harmful words were said) and then I left. I spent the rest of Sunday evening crying over the whole matter and feeling things were done between Derek and I. Yesterday (Monday) was not much better. I skipped my two classes, never went into work, and stayed in bed all day eating candy (and feeling sick from it) and watching the first season of New Girl. Not a productive day or something I’m proud of.

Derek had been experiencing some hardships and particularly hard words from his parents and was having an especially rough day. At the beginning of the day I told him despite his request to see me that we shouldn't for a few days. But after hearing of his family situation, I knew he needed someone. We went shopping at the mall and I ended up buying a jacket and some shirts at Macy’s. I also saw Bro. Phillips from my Glenwood ward while there and he asked me if I was still single (ironic). 

I bought Derek some McDonalds and he ended up staying the night. I had two 5 mile runs today which felt nice and did a good job at making me feel better.

Now in regards to today, I've been having a relatively good day. I woke up, and skipped my first class since it was a lab and I had already done the work for it. I went into work in the afternoon as normal and it’s been relatively busy today. I've been busily reading up on church statements and talks concerning homosexuality and earnestly praying as to what to do.

I want a temple marriage. I want a family. I want to be happy. I want to follow God. That is what I want and what I am going to take confident action in seeking after in my life, taking those first small steps now.

Peter goes into the MTC tomorrow. I will miss  him.


September 20, 2013

It's been another good day. Derek and I had another long chat last night, that climaxed and ultimately disappeared again in the land of un resolved issues and confusing abyss. I told him everything yet again about marrying in the temple and getting worthy. He then told me at one point I was being selfish for leaving him out. He also got really quiet and sad and then told me some deeper things he was struggling with and how he couldn't lose me. He makes this so hard. It's even harder when we have discussions like this, he only tries harder to impress me and hang on. He brought me blue flowers today (2nd time in a week), lunch for tomorrow, and a box full of printed out pictures. It was a beautiful, thoughtful gesture, and I was so grateful and at the same time felt so guilty. Afterall, this whole problem doesn't deal with his love for me, but whether are homosexual relationship is ok in the sight of God. He believes it is. I don't. And I'm trying to understand, but things haven't/aren't changing. Derek means everything to me and has loved me more than anyone has. I don't want to lose him in my life, ever. I also can't hang on to something simply for another person. I need to have my own convictions which I'm trying to attain. Oh, I need courage and strength. We did in a positive manner resolve to be better at not pushing the chastity boundaries.

I woke up later than I'd have liked to this morning, so I had limited time to run and get a chest workout at the gym. I went to class and then studied for an hour before I took my anatomy lab test. My lab isn't normally on Friday's, but because of the conflicts I've experienced, I had to take it today. I got a 90%, awesome.

 I was reading in 1 Nephi 13 today about how the devil perverts and blinds the eyes of people in our days. I also read how they sought after material possessions and tainted the gospel and scriptures and tailored it to their own needs. I was nervous while reading. I really don't want to be one of those people.


September 21, 2013

My heart is full tonight. I've been at work all afternoon, finishing up homework and reading assignments, and then reading in a book that Derek gave me last night, "No More Goodbyes", by Carol Lynn Pearson. I don't think I was ready to handle the emotional drama it's resurfaced in me. I also find nearly uncontainable the grief and sorrow I feel as I read the stories she compiled in the book, and see that I can relate to much of it, but then also see the tragic ending to many. Perhaps I can handle it. I don't want my life to end tragically. I'm a fighter, and I'm special. I know I'm here in this life to make a difference for good. Now I can see, in small proportion, why I've had to traverse these "deep waters" of same gender attraction. In a sense it's felt like I've lost everything. But then as I see more clearly I see I've gained much more. So here at work, as I stare out into the chasm of cubicles at work, my heart is drawn out to good: in prayer, in gratitude, in love. I don't know my future, I don't know where the next year of my life will bring me, but I do know I will love, and I will change, and I will grow. And I will help others to do the same.

I went to the BYU Gym to do a arm workout and then short run on the indoor track before taking my first Orthopedic Impairments Midterm. I got a 95 on the multiple choice- awesome! I studied hard for it (even better that I studied it all while at work and being paid for it). I had a Costco date with Derek, where I bought pillows and some teeth whitening strips, before eating their delicious pizza and berry smoothies. Derek is very dear to my heart, and sometimes I don't treat him or think of him as I should. I hate that I do that. The whole gay mormon conundrum doesn't help me in that. But I do love Derek; He is a wonderful human being.

I feel grateful for my life. I feel grateful for my wonderful family. I am so blessed. I am grateful for Peter's willingness and devotion to serve a mission. I attribute all my happiness and blessings of late due to his mission. I am grateful to God  for his unfailing love.


September 24, 2013

My body still finds me in the trenches of this cold, or whatever it is, battling to keep up a normal life, despite being wounded. I can put one step in front of the other, but not much more than that for the time being.

I avoided school again this morning. I woke up after a restless night sleep, feeling worse. I spent the morning reading more of “No More Goodbyes” and watching Parks and Recreation. I managed to make it to work, feeling good enough. I’ve since spent the majority of my shift finishing the book by Carol Lynn Pearson. I have shed many tears, been caught up in many harrowing memories, and left at the edge of deep chasm of confusion, great anxiety and fear. That is when I let myself feel those things. I must also admit I have felt deep peace while reading. It’s comforting to read of such heroic stories of people/parents and persons out there who do so much to fellowship those who struggle with same gender attraction. It’s also horrific and deeply disconcerting to read of the less successful stories of love. My heart aches. And yet amidst it all, I know God is real, and he loves me, and somehow all of this will work together for the good of each person, including myself. I have to believe.

I often feel caught in the middle of a tug of war of emotions and feelings: my homosexual feelings on one side, and the Church on the other. And at one given time of my life, one has greater sway on the other; I have yet to find equilibrium. My reason gives sway to the motion that there isn’t. So then I turn off life. I can’t hope to choose between the two. Or can I? I can’t stop living. This is where the despair and anxiety fills in.

Audrey Hepburn gives me hope (if I could go back 50 years man maybe just maybe...), in a quote I read of her she says:"Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, "I'm possible!"". I find encouragement in tackling the impossible as possible.

I want to be full of life, as I’ve experienced it before. I want to be of help, of hope, of love. I want to be the best possible person I can be; the person I believe God intends and hopes me to be. I am deeply blessed with such amazing friends and wonderful family who never hesitates to tell me and show their love for me.

Somehow this all must be working together for some greater purpose. I don’t see it yet. But I will keep putting one step further into the darkness, and I pray these steps all aren’t in vain in the end. They have to lead somewhere.


September 25, 2013

There's not a whole lot to say about this day that would seem worthwhile. Unfortunately I've still been feeling sick today, so I skipped my first lab in the morning. My other two classes went well. I then came home to get in a quick home workout and an episode of Parks and Recreation before heading to work.

I read in the news today about a little 2 year old girl who is need of a bone marrow transplant. The news article retold the story of how her mother experienced a similar issue and received a transplant, but then was too weak and passed away. The little girl is still in need of a bone marrow transplant donor. The story jolted me and I really wanted to do something about it. I went online and looked up the registry to qualify for being a bone marrow donor. I filled out the survey in great haste to then find out that I didn't qualify. From my initial excitement to be the possible means of helping someone to knowing I couldn't, I felt dejected and guilty. I could be the means to save a life and I don't qualify to help them. To add to the reason, I didn't qualify because of the sexual relations I've had sex with men, which poses me at a “greater risk for HIV”. I still feel horrible about it. I don't want that little girl to die, or anyone else.

The day has whittled by and all in all I'm happy and at peace with my life. I had a great open talk with Derek last night after finishing that Carol Lynn Pearson book. He shared his opinions on homosexuality and same sex marriage unions as I shared my own. I also asked him to respect me in the areas I was trying to figure out or am struggling with. It was the first time I felt it went over peacefully, on both ends. Life is good.


September 26, 2013

I feel like I am a better person at the end of today than I was in the beginning. I woke up this morning in time to get ready for school and drive over to find a parking spot. Despite my hard reached attempts to find a spot, I was unable to find any after 15 minutes of waiting. Instead of waiting more I decided it wasn't worth it and I headed back home. I cleaned up my room and watched Parks and Recreation instead. I love that show, too much. Too much.

I was lazy before I headed to work. I could've taken my anatomy test since I had felt ready and my professor canceled class for us to take it. But I missed my opportunity. I will not let that happen next time. On my way to work, I managed to scrape the right windshield mirror right off my car, coming out of the alleyway in the back of my house. I was dumbfounded by it. My car will truly look ghetto now: it's a battle scarred, war survivor. I\ shall name her from here to forth Rocky.

Peter wrote his first email from the MTC today. He's been living in Wyview housing and has his class there also. He sounded so great: full of desire to be obedient, help people, learn Spanish and preach the Gospel. I'm so proud of him. I can tell he will be a great missionary, and he's so far ahead of most missionaries I ever knew or the missionary I attempted to be. I could feel the spirit in his email when he wrote, and it inspired me to be better. I can be a lot better. I made some goals for myself after some contemplation, including not watching any rated R movies, getting up earlier and thinking less of myself.

I received a facebook message from an old friend and co worker of mine off the mission, asking me if I was a homosexual. I was taken back. She then later wrote she didn't mean to offend me but that I was so beautiful, she couldn't believe someone like me could still not be swept up by someone. I was shocked by the message initially and hurt (I really shouldn't have been). I messaged her after telling her I've been exploring my sexuality and she seemed to be very understanding. The whole homosexual issue has become a very tender issue for me lately especially. I don't know what is right or wrong in the exact details of my relationship with Derek in particular. I'm trying to understand that still. He complicates things so much for me, and yet he brings me so much happiness and joy to my life. He is one of the most loving and kind human beings that I've ever known.

I've been wearing my ring today that I got from the DR as usual. I look at it and it reminds me of the commitment I made to give my best and to make a difference in this world. It also reminds me of who I choose to be and become: nobility. But not the nobility of the world of riches and kingdoms, but the nobility of character, integrity and charity. That's what I hope to be and aspire to improve in.


September 27, 2013

 I've continued to read in Neal A Maxwell's book that I'm reading. It's brought several insights into my life, and I believe I've heard God's voice speak to me through it.

One of those was in relation to my desire to be purified. In one part of the book Elder Maxwell speaks of purification and that in order to do so we need to exercise faith and be patient. I thought about my faith and how I am to exercise faith in God. I then thought of God and his purpose for us, which I know is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. I then thought of that exaltation of man, and the requirements to receive it. One of those plainly taught since I was a kid is a temple marriage. I then thought if I am to be purified, and to submit my will to God, then it seems clear to me that God wants me to take steps of faith in getting married in the temple. The book later went on to talk about God's understanding being higher than ours, and despite our lack of knowledge and understanding, we are to place trust in God. Perhaps this is my case. I am to trust God and marry in the temple, despite not knowing how these homosexual feelings or my love for Derek is to factor in to this life. It feels excruciating to me, thinking about hurting Derek, or giving up that love for him. I could never stop loving him.

But that is what came to me, and I felt as if God directed me to see it as such. I then read in my scriptures 1 Nephi 19, where Nephi speaks of making the plates, despite not knowing for what purpose they were. I don't know a lot of things. But what I do seem to know is God desires exaltation of me, and that there is greatest fulfillment in that, which includes a temple marriage to a woman.

I took my anatomy midterm this morning, and ended up getting a 90 on it. I studied hard and despite the test being harder than I thought, I'm happy with the score.

Derek came to eat dinner with me again today in my car. I discussed the things I had been thinking from my study and he shared his arguments back. It wasn't the most productive for either of us. We both weren't really listening to each other and in return made each other feel disrespected. I want to have the spirit with me and do God's will. This is not my life but his, and not my will but his. Perhaps this is one of those crosses or sufferings that I have to bear, just as Christ did in his own way, to become exalted. It must be. Actually, my life is not just God's, but it is the life of those I seek to give it to, or give my love to rather. My life belongs to God and mankind. I can't let down. I must remain strong and determined. I am a disciple of Christ.


September 28, 2013

Another day chronicled in my personal travails of life. Tonight finds me well, feeling full of peace, love and joy. I feel joy. It is a wonderful thing to experience life in such a way, to have the spirit with you, to be open and willing to receive the love of God in your heart. To receive of Christ's Atonement and to be made pure. I want to be pure as I want to be full of His light. His image in my countenance. I strive to be that person every day.

I woke up this morning ready to take on the day. I took a nice hot bath to subdue the cold I felt from the icy temperatures. I love a nice hot bath. I did some personal exercises before I then headed out to go shopping for groceries and my sister's birthday presents. I wasn't able to find the things I wanted in the end for my sisters. I hope I can through online shopping and my day on Monday, get that completed.

 I finished my Neal A. Maxwell book. He finished the book by speaking of the prophet Joseph Smith, which always touches my heart. He recounted a quote of his where the prophet Joseph Smith speaks of the blessings awaited the faithful at the end of this life. This is the quote “The spirits of the just are exalted to a greater and more glorious work; hence, they are blessed in their departure to the world of spirits. Enveloped in flaming fire, they are not far from us, and know and understand our thoughts, feelings, and motions...” I thought of my grandma when I read that, and I have every confidence that she'll be fulfilled with these blessings upon her passing. What a beautiful thing. I was also touched by Oliver Cowdery's final words of passing when he said “let me fall asleep in the arms of Jesus”. I quiver with love when I hear that. I do profoundly desire those own blessings in my life, and will do all I can to achieve them.

Derek came to kindly bring dinner for me tonight. We ate together in the parking lot outside, as it had grown warmer in the afternoon. He made a wonderful spread of bourbon chicken with a blue cheese sauce, coconut curry, homemade grape juice and other delights. He is so talented and so kind to me. Truly Derek is a noble of heart among men. I spoke to him of my personal inclinations towards not dating men, and of my desire to marry in the temple and be obedient to Gods commandments. As I did so, it was the first time I felt calm talking to him about it. I felt the spirit with me as I think he did too. He was a little forlorn as I understand, I can't help that. But I think he knows as I do. All of this will work for my better, as I believe his, if I continue to love God and serve him. I believe it. While we didn't settle on any ultimatums, the words were unspoken but felt.

Bit by bit, I'm chipping it at my natural self, pulling off the scales, sometimes with great pain and force, to the person in great anxiousness awaiting beneath. I can see him, feel him and breathe him. He seeks to be seen and heard. God is with me and I with Him.


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