...These are all relatively mundane things, right? A cup of coffee and a recognizable Broadway song on the way to work. A salmon burger, cottage cheese with pears, and some dark chocolate for lunch. Forty-five minutes on the elliptical while listening to the next episode of a podcast series. Baked chicken breast and veggies for dinner while watching an episode of Buffy after feeding the fish and the cat (preferably not feeding the fish to the cat). It's a simple life. Then again, maybe not...
I realized just how much of my life I've spent waiting for the future only to deprive myself of the present. I'm almost always in my head, thinking about something, longing for something. The struggle to rest in the present moment is a persistent and pervasive one for me, and for so many of us. We have to think 2 hours, 8 hours, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years ahead. Now doesn't exist... unless we will it so.
...if you were to ask me, "Where do you see God working in your life," I might be able to answer you. I might be able to tell you that I've felt God's presence in such and such event, in this conversation or in that encounter. The other day, I started a sentence with, "I felt the Spirit," and I nearly had to stop myself from stopping myself. I don't cringe at words like "salvation" or "God's will" like I did for a while there. Perhaps most importantly, my response to the inquiry of "How are you and God" would be, "We're good. We're okay."
It wasn't until I sat down at lunch with Audrey today outside of the Chase food court on the steps next to the fountain, listening to the rush of the water and feeling its spray on my recently buzzed scalp that I realized it's been a decade since I stop saying I was "struggling" with same sex attraction and started identifying as gay. That summer demarcated the era of denial from the era of acceptance. I didn't know it at the time, but nothing would ever be the same.
My relationship with God has not been easy to maintain lately. I've struggled with a slew of difficult questions about my future, my beliefs, and my faith, most of which have not come accompanied by answers. I've battled against anger and bitterness. I came to conference hoping to release some of these feelings, and nearly 3,000 feet off the ground this morning, I was able to release some.
Part of my journey of balance as of late is finding the rightness between being around others, whether friend, family, church, work, or lover, and being alone. It's never been an easy part of my life, only because I don't think I was ever raised to be comfortable in my own skin. Yet the blessing has come in this... my partner is probably the first who has let me honestly share just how much I dislike being alone (even though I am a fairly strong introvert at heart). When I say I miss him, he doesn't think it's odd or clingy or smothering, but rather sees it as endearing and kind and caring. It's nice to have someone who seemingly gets me, understands my heart and my mind, and gives me freedom to vent and think and be confused. Int the end though, there comes that time where I need to be able to sit in a room, alone, and say, "This is ok. It's not so bad. In fact, I even kinda like it." That's my goal, but again, I'm close enough to the beginning that for now, baby steps are alright. The balance will work itself out... it always does.
It's nearly the end of one year and the beginning of another. Not only a new year, but a new decade. And while this is a new post on a new blog, let this be the start of finding the balance between what has been and what will be. Let the journey begin...