Christian and Gay

I never understood homosexuality. For me, I was Paul, persecuting those who identified as “gay” or “lesbian.” I was never one to protest, tell people they’re going to hell, that God hates them, etc. I just didn’t understand how the two could mix: Christianity and homosexuality.

If you’re gay, okay. Live your life however you want. I’m not going to be angry with or oppose you.

But in terms of Christianity? It’s an abomination. It says so in our Bible. So why is it even a topic of conversation at churches and Christian schools, like mine?

I never believed that people “couldn’t help it” or were “born this way.” Not until…

…not until about two weeks ago. I made a new friend. She is gay. She is Christian. She loves God but finds herself attracted to girls. She told me that if she could “turn it off,” she would because it would make her life so much easier… but she can’t.

She’s prayed about it, she’s been prayed over, she’s spoken to her pastor, she’s met with a Christian counselor, and… nothing.

Life didn’t make sense for the longest when she told me her story. I was so confused. I still am.

What’s even more confusing? She likes me… And you know what’s crazy?

I like her too.

The Book of Jeremiah

I’m going through Jeremiah for the second time and am viewing it very differently. The first time I read it, I was saddened thinking about how God’s own chosen people could so drastically turn away and anger God so much. This time as I read it, I see God’s unfailing and everlasting love. He gives His people chances and opportunities to repent in order for GOD to CHANGE His mind and not destroy them, even though He has seen all that they do. God never wants to hurt us, but He will never share His glory with another. Holiness. There is no sin nor impurity that can stand in the presence of the Most High God. He longs for us to rid ourselves of it, because if we don’t, He will. But He loves us and is patient, giving us time to reconcile with Him. Praise God.

Sing Praise

I find it amazing how David continually wrote psalms and sang praises to the LORD, regardless of his situations. Fleeing for his life, shaking in fear, hiding in a cave as a completely innocent man… yet he still chose to praise and honor the LORD. He still chose to acknowledge His goodness and be thankful for His protection. We really have to take a step back and look at our bad situations differently because we might miss all that God is doing. Even when it seems like He isn’t doing a thing, He is still worthy of our praise.

“Es parte de un propósito y todo bien saldrá.”

How many times have we sang the songs and prayed the prayers asking the LORD to have His will and declaring that we are not our own? When the time comes and God does exactly what you’ve asked for, do we complain and give up or do we draw near and desire for HIS will to be done?
It’s funny how God can be doing something amazing in us and we become so blind to it due to our feelings. God sees each tear and all of your suffering and it is not in vain. Through the deep and restless waters, God has never left and will never leave our side. Emmanuel. What a sweet reminder and a wonderful promise. And when God makes a promise, there is nothing in the world–sickness, loneliness, joblessness–that could get in the way of God’s master plan.

Crying Out

I cry out

For Your hand of mercy to heal me

I am weak

And I need Your love to free me

O, LORD, my Rock

My strength in weakness

Come rescue me, O LORD

There’s something about crying out to the LORD in your weakest. There’s something so comforting, before anything has even changed, about knowing that God has heard your cry and will answer, heal, and mend you in His time.

I was listening to Isaiah 38 last night (en Español) and this stuck out to me:

In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says the LORD: Set your house in order, for you shall die, you shall not recover.” Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, and said, “Please, O LORD, remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah: “Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and will defend this city.

Isaiah 38:1-6, ESV

 

En aquellos días Ezequías enfermó de muerte. Y vino a él el profeta Isaías hijo de Amoz, y le dijo: Jehová dice así: Ordena tu casa, porque morirás, y no vivirás.

Entonces volvió Ezequías su rostro a la pared, e hizo oración a Jehová,

y dijo: Oh Jehová, te ruego que te acuerdes ahora que he andado delante de ti en verdad y con íntegro corazón, y que he hecho lo que ha sido agradable delante de tus ojos. Y lloró Ezequías con gran lloro.

Entonces vino palabra de Jehová a Isaías, diciendo:

Ve y di a Ezequías: Jehová Dios de David tu padre dice así: He oído tu oración, y visto tus lágrimas; he aquí que yo añado a tus días quince años.

Y te libraré a ti y a esta ciudad, de mano del rey de Asiria; y a esta ciudad ampararé.

Isaías 38:1-6, RVR1960

 

I’m not sure what more there is to say… but how awesome is it that we have a God who hears our prayers, studies our hearts, and sees our tears. Praise the LORD. Gloria Dios.

 

 

To Be Loved

Very often I find myself wanting to pray for God to send me “the one.” Every time, shortly after, I realize that no matter how much or how hard I pray, it’s all going to happen in God’s timing anyway. I could pray day after day, but if God doesn’t want “him” to come until next year, “he” won’t come until next year, and that’s the end of it.

But more than anything, all I want is for things to have played out differently. I wish my words and my actions and my thoughts were different. I wish I could rewind time and do certain things all over again. But don’t we all…?

We have to remember that we’re never the only lonely person in the world, even though it sometimes seems that way.

I try to remind myself that true love is only and can only be found in God. God is love. If we look to any person for it, we will inevitably become disappointed and perhaps even needy. We don’t want that.

If you want to find love, read the Gospel of John- John is all about love. Or read 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter. You know, there is love everywhere and all around us and we fail to realize it all the time. Emmanuel is His name! “God with us.” If God is love then love is always with us no matter where we are, no matter where we go; high and low.

But we’re human. Sometimes we need to physically feel someone touching us and kissing us and holding us and loving us. We desire to hear the audible words, “I care about you,” “I’m never going to hurt/leave you,” “I want you,” and of course, “I love you.” I get it. It’s natural. We’re human. It’s okay to desire an earthly love. But we have to, have to, have to remind ourselves that God is love and God is with us: Emmanuel.

Do you ever feel like Moses?

Maybe that’s why I love the name Moses so much. Maybe that’s why I could read Exodus everyday. I feel like Moses. Do you ever feel like Moses? Do you ever feel overwhelmed, tormented, anxious, nervous… Unless, of course, Moses didn’t feel that way, but I’m pretty sure he did. Moses, besides Jesus, had to bear the greatest weight of anyone in the entire Bible. He had to lead the complaining, adulterous, murmuring, plotting-to-murder-ing, stubborn Israelites out of Egypt into The Promised Land. He even had to deal with them for forty extra years in the wilderness! Of course I’m not doing anything close to that but I had to leave what I knew, through protest after protest, trial after trial, heartache after heartache, to lead myself and another into our “Promise Lands.”

I honestly feel so humbled. I won’t go into detail as to stay “humble” and not make it seem like I’m some great person, but I believe with all of my heart that God has chosen me to bear a heavy weight and burden so that someone else doesn’t have to. So that two people don’t have to, actually. I am not promoting myself in any way and all the glory goes to God, but I honestly believe that God chose me to bear this weight because He knew I could handle it and that it would make me stronger. Things make so much sense and they are unraveling more and more. And I’ve realized, or am starting to realize, a glimpse of what God’s plan is. I understand why He put in my heart what He did those two years ago. I understand why time after time, I couldn’t go back to what I knew (for the most part). I understand that I’m hurting so two other people don’t have to. Again, I don’t want to sound high-and-mighty. All this glory is going to God. He did this. He did all of this and I praise Him and thank Him for it because I feel so blessed and humbled and loved. God does not put those who are not His children through the fire. He corrects those whom He loves:

5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the LORD,
nor be weary when reproved by Him.
6 For the LORD disciplines the one He loves,
and chastises every son whom He receives.”

7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Hebrews 12:5-11, ESV

Did Moses hurt? Yes! He even complained to God (for example, Exodus 5:22-23)! But when he complained, he was desiring God to be nearer, as opposed to complaining and straying away (my Old Testament teacher taught us that). So the LORD did just that. Yes, it was still hard for Moses, but Moses was Moses:

6 And He said, “Hear My words: If there is a prophet among you, I the LORD make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream. 7 Not so with My servant Moses. He is faithful in all My house. 8 With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?”

Numbers 12:6-8, ESV (God was directly addressing the murmurings of Aaron and Miriam.)

To bear a weight so great is to draw nearer to God. Draw nigh unto the LORD and He will draw nigh unto you. (James 4:8) So even though I or you or someone you know is going through something crazy that doesn’t seem to make any sense, know that God is leading us all into The Promised Land. O, look forward to The Promised Land.

…But when the LORD says to speak to a rock, speak to it. DON’T strike it twice! You don’t want to have to go to the top of the hill and just look at your Promised Land then have someone else lead everyone there… Ooooh, you’ll have to know the Bible to know that one. Or Exodus, at least. 🙂

God’s got something greater than you can imagine in store for you. And do not be troubled, for He has you in the palm of His hands. Sometimes I like to imagine Jesus holding my hand. You cannot say that doesn’t make things better. ♥

Reasons Why I’m Happay

– God is so amazing. To fall in love with God is to fall in love with the One Who is everything.
– I have great friends! I feel the love from back home and the love I feel here is insane! Gloria Dios!
– I just read more of my favorite book of the Bible: ÉXODO! Y sí, la leí en español. 🙂
– “Y habitaré entre los hijos de Israel, y seré su Dios. Y conocerán que Yo soy Jehová su Dios, Que los saqué de la tierra de Egipto, para habitar en medio de ellos. Yo Jehová su Dios. (Éxodo 29:45, 46 RVR60)” That right there! God is just AMAZING!
– The day is finally over and I’m in the bed. PRAISE GOD. Tuesdays are the worst.
– Chelsea gave me hugs today! Many hugs!
– I have the greatest dad ever and I love him so!
– I love my mom!
– I attend the greatest undergraduate school in the world!
– God is good!

I’m just so happy. 🙂

All For Your Son’s Holy Name

There are a million things on my mind tonight. So here they are:

  • I saw Frozen yesterday afternoon with some friends from the Drama Outreach Ministry (called REACH) at school. Ever since it came out, more and more of them would not. stop. talking. about it. So we took a group trip! It was phenomenal. Honestly, it really is a good one and the message the movie sends out about true love is a perfect definition of it that we scarcely see. It’s heartwarming, it’s sad, it’s funny, it will make you go, “Aww,” Idina Menzel sings in it… Definitely a must-see.
  • My friend’s father passed away over winter break. She missed the first two weeks of school and finally came back yesterday evening. My friend and I decorated the room and her bed with balloons, cut-outs, pictures, notes, and food… The only things missing were confetti and a Mariachi band! (For some reason, we both passionately wished we could have a Mariachi band there.) She came back and she loved everything, she smiled, she laughed, and we all caught up. Then my friend and I went to the cafeteria to get dinner and for some reason, all of a sudden, we both felt so sad. It was such a heaviness that was literally only a glimpse of what our friend is feeling. “Weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15)
  • The friend that I mentioned above–the one who I decorated with–is such a blessing. I honestly thank God for her. We always have such a great time together, we can talk about anything, we laugh constantly, we pray together, we eat together, we study together, we go to church together, we discuss the Bible together… Again, she is a blessing that I didn’t even know I wanted or needed. She is so nice and so sweet and SO CUTE. She’s just adorable. All you want to do is pinch her cheeks. I know we will be friends forever. I do mean it. But in all, I just wanted to express gratitude to God for such an amazing blessing.
  • I was watching Legally Blonde: The Musical with a friend the other night and I started falling asleep. So I checked my phone to keep me up a little bit. I went on my Facebook and started scrolling down to, for some reason, see if there was anything old and embarrassing on there. Lo and behold, I find a video that my ex-boyfriend tagged me in. Like a dummy, I go on his page and one glance was all it took. I really wish there was a way that I could express, in words or actions, how much I really do love him. As I’ve said before, not romantically. I just love him unlike I’ve ever loved anyone else. I’ll stop myself there.
  • Last night during Catacombs, Gordon’s candlelit acoustic praise and worship, we sang my favorite hymn of all time, “Come Thou Fount.” It’s funny because I originally couldn’t stand whenever it played on my Pandora. 😛 But anyway, the last four lines of the song are my absolute favorite and always “stick out” to me. Today, they did it for sure:

Prone to wander, LORD, I feel it

Prone to leave the God I love

Here’s my heart, LORD, take and seal it

Seal it for Thy courts above

I started crying. Nothing but flashbacks of my willing sin came to mind and replayed in my head. Thinking of God’s love for me, even when I showed no love for Him, is just incredible. Obviously we know that “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son and whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life,” but when we truly stop and think about it and realize it and feel it… it’s amazing. It is absolutely amazing.

We later sang, “How Deep The Father’s Love For Us.” As soon as that title came up on the screen, the tears came back and I just knew that singing this song would be different this time:

How deep the Father’s love for us

How vast beyond all measure

That He should give His only Son

To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss

The Father turns His face away

As wounds which mar the Chosen One

Bring many sons to glory

Behold a man upon a cross

My sin upon his shoulders

Ashamed I hear my mocking voice

Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held him there

Until it was accomplished

His dying breath has brought me life

I know that it is finished

Can we just dwell on those lyrics? This, in my opinion, has to be one of the most beautiful songs ever written. It helps bring to our minds the reality of God’s true, eternal, unbending love for us and Christ’s undeserving, loving, willing suffering for us. We have a cross in the middle of the chapel, right in front so everyone can see. Singing this song while gazing upon the cross will take your breath away.

Another song we sang (this is my last song reference, I promise) was “Nothing I Hold Onto”:

I will climb this mountain

With my hands wide open

There’s nothing I hold onto

There’s nothing I hold onto

I give it all to You, God

Trusting that You’ll make

Something beautiful

Out of me

  • You know, everything I am is everything that God wants me to be right now (I hope). So many things that I have done within the past two years, I have done because I believe with all my heart that God told me to or told me not to. I don’t know why but realizing that everything you are is because of God just makes you take a step or two back. If you’re living according to God’s Word and His will for your life, who you are is who He has created and called you to be and that is astounding. It’s painful knowing that day-in and day-out I have to deny myself, but it’s relieving in knowing that God has saved you from yourself.
  • I also found out that my mother is getting married.

¡Gloria demos al nombre de Dios!

I am so very grateful to be in a land where I am free to read the Word! I could read Exodus everyday and the fact that I have been blessed enough to read and understand it in Spanish is absolutely amazing! Don’t ever take your Word for granted! Not everyone is as fortunate as we are!
And something that stuck out to me while reading the other day was, “Entonces pusieron sobre ellos comisarios de tributos que los molestasen con sus cargas… Pero cuanto más los oprimían, tanto más se multiplicaban y crecían, de manera que los egipcios temían a los hijos de Israel.” Éxodo 1:11-12, RVR 1960. The KJV reads, “Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens… But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.”
Wow!!! The harsher the cause, the greater the effect. No matter what affliction we are put through, we are children of God and we will never stop growing. It IS an act of God, after all. The children of Israel didn’t suffer for nothing! God always knows what He’s doing (of course)! Be it a pain to the world. That is alright because it will be ALL GLORY to God. Go read your Bible! It is wonderful!