I used to think that I had to do things all by myself. I used to think that it was all up to me, and that is a heavy burden to carry around. I used to live in fear and shame, and so often, I still do, but the Lord Jesus Christ is so very good.
This semester, I went on my first (well, sort of) date. I have never been pursued until today, and it felt wonderful! And yet, soon after, the fear of trying to flirt or be someone good enough to be pursued by him overwhelmed me. I tried to look for ways to see him and to let him know that I wanted to be pursued, that I loved God and was available, all the while forgetting that God is sovereign and cares even more about my love life than I do.
When I was in high school (an already rough and lonely time, but anyways), I thought I was ready for a relationship. I longed for someone to pursue my heart, to hold my hand, and to want to be with me. I was searching for affirmation and affection that only God could provide, but I didn’t know this at the time. I ached for the day when I would be noticed by a boy, and feared that the longer I had to wait, the worse things would become. I thought maybe no one liked me because I wasn’t pretty enough or available enough. Maybe no one liked me because they thought I was gay, and I resented that because I knew that wasn’t a part of God’s plan for me. I struggled with thoughts of homosexuality, which is such a word filled with shame and ugliness for me. I don’t want those thoughts or labels I have tried so hard to suppress to define me or be who I am, and I have been so hateful of those thoughts in my own mind and in others. I am afraid to bring this into the light. I became widely fearful of anyone associated with homosexuality because I thought that people might think I was like them, and I lacked so much love for the people whom God cares about, forgetting that in my worst of sins, God is magnified.
If I proclaim to love Christ, then I must strive to be more like him. Jesus was not afraid of what people thought of him or who he associated with, He simply loved others. Maybe it is time I began to do the same too, loving people who are gay, loving people who come from low-income backgrounds, people with disabilities, and people considered by society to be the least of these, but who the Lord invites into His kingdom and His goodness and His royal family; He calls them beloved beyond the labels that society gives.
I cannot say that I have it perfectly all together, I still really desire for a guy to pursue me, to hold my hand, to want me, but inside of me I know that God cares more about my longings and desires than I do and that the more I seek Him, the more He will shape my heart’s desires to look more like me. He is a good Father and wants the best for me, whether in singleness or in a life with a man who adores him and inspires me to love Jesus more. May I rest in that truth that I don’t have to make my intentions known, flirt endlessly and make my availability or Christian title known, or fear being defined by labels or associations, but I can take confidence in the Lord my God who has called me by name and loves me even on the roughest, most ratchet days when I am falling apart. In all things, the Lord is so very good.