Anger, Imperfection, and Divine Protection

IMG_1112I sometimes think I hear this “voice” in my heart that tells me what to do. When it first really started, I knew “for sure” that it was God speaking to me somehow. I called it a “knowing in my heart.” It was a voice clearly outside of my own, because I felt that my own voice was sinful and self-hating. As my faith has been shaping and changing, and as my own personal confidence has grown, I still think that the “knowing in my heart” is somehow Divine, but I’m not sure the details. Perhaps a higher self that God Themselves instilled in me. I’m not sure. I don’t really care. It’s a mystery. I am only sure that the voice feels wise, and I have gained wisdom and love by listening to it.

I tell you all this because the story I want to share with you will sound a little crazy if you aren’t sure what it means. Sometimes it felt like I was speaking to myself, but other times it had knowledge that there’s no way I could have known. Sometimes I “felt things on my heart” that simply instructed me to call someone, or send someone kind words. But sometimes the voice was for me, to comfort me. Read More »

Why I’m Exhausted by “A Church is not THE Church” and Why I’m Glad I Was Churchless

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Have you ever heard someone be very vulnerable and exposed, share their story about how the Church has hurt them, and then someone else said, “Listen, I get it. But you need to remember a church is not the church! You shouldn’t ditch the necessity of church just because of a few bad apples.”

Do you know the word for that?

Dismissive.

For the same reason, I’m exhausted by hearing “not all men are going to rape you, so stop being afraid”. I’m exhausted by basically hearing “you were vulnerable. someone hurt you. but stop having rational fears that relate to the pain you went through.”

“Not all men”

“Not all cops”

“Not all white people”

“Not all Christians”

Dismissive. Is your theory right? Sure. It is true that not all Christians will be like the ones who hurt you? Sure. But people are trying to protect themselves for damn good reason. The theory is right, but it isn’t helpful to say. In fact, it’s harmful.

Here’s why if you feel confused.

Church is an extremely vulnerable place. People don’t usually go to church because they’re bored. They go because their heart is longing for something more; they go because it’s a shot at healing; they go because they want to belong. These are all extremely vulnerable things to feel. There is no place for dismissiveness.

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One Step Forward (God’s Movement in My Life Regarding the LGBTQ+ Community)

IMG_4560Before you read this, I want you to first be aware that I am absolutely NOT an important voice in the LGBTQ+ community. I personally don’t find any straight voice to be very important on these issues. I have provided more voices at the bottom of this blog because I think it’s more important to listen to the voices of those who have experienced these challenges, and a few of the ones who have helped me the most are Eliel Cruz and Kevin Garcia (also the people I know in real life.) I have not experienced challenges or oppression for my sexuality or my gender identity. I decided to share my story for the purpose of sharing my story and in hopes that maybe someone can be encouraged or enlightened, and to explain why I arrived at the (seemingly) radically different views that I have arrived to. I may still be wrong in some ways, and may not use appropriate language. I asked two close Christian friends who are part of the LGBTQ+ community to read and review this, so I’m hoping it’s affirming and encouraging to such an important community.

Now, for my story.Read More »

Enjoying the Temporary Happiness

IMG_3295 (1)Do you ever wonder how to hold onto the “good old days” while you’re living them? Everyone keeps telling you to “be present,” but do you know the most important part of being “present” is to… let go?

Grief, exhaustion, pain… sometimes these are other words for life. I’ve been reflecting a lot about my struggle with finding peace, but I have found that there is one piece of all of this that I have had right. I often stress about the future and live in the past, and I have struggled with allowing people the room to change and grow. But I’m growing.

Particularly lately, I’ve heard a LOT about living present in the moment. I think the first time this idea occurred to me in a way that I understood was when I watched the finale of The Office. Read More »

Where Is God?

And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.

– Philippians 3:15b, NIV

526123_10150806564552345_2146827565_nI was a teenager l when I was led to this particular verse in a part of the bible that I had never read. The whole story is probably in an old journal, but I was in a place of doubting God worked in a personal way with me. While I saw Them* work this way in the life of a friend, I doubted that They would use me. At that thought, another thought entered my head: “Philippians 3.”

What? No. I avoided Philippians for a reason. I had never read chapter 3.

“Philippians 3.”

I don’t feel like standing up and walking to the kitchen, where my bible was.

“Philippians 3.”

FINE. I marched to the dining room table and flipped open my bible to Philippians 3.Read More »