February 19th was a normal day. For most people, that is. It was a relatively average day in 1996.
I was born in a small hospital in a town I get to call home for now and my mama cried.
All of them do, right?
Apparently my head was perfectly round, a feature that was mentioned several times considering my brother had been born three years earlier on a much warmer day with a much less perfectly-shaped head.
I was wrapped in a blanket that wouldn’t make me distinguishable from any other baby born that year–that decade even. I was blonde and reportedly beautiful, and I was born that way.
Don’t call me Lady Gaga just yet, but I was born that way.
As precious as I was in those moments, I was born with a nature that was particularly inclined to sin, to worry specifically.
A few weeks ago the United States government made gay marriage legal.
I watched as my social media apps filled up with opinions on it, and some broke me. Some absolutely shook me to my core. Others angered me. Posts filled with hate lined my timeline as if they were teenagers in line for the best ride at the amusement park. I was not amused.
I wanted to speak with grace and tact but refused to stray from the Truth. I wanted to reach out and I wanted to hug each one of my friends who celebrated the decision. I wanted to take their hand and show them love. Some of us have been separated by choice in college and the distance that entails, and others have merely been separated by time.
So here is an open letter to those who rejoiced when the decision was made and to those who made justifications based on various things:
First, I love you. I wish I could get that across more personally than some words being typed on a laptop, but this is me, at midnight, telling you that I love you. I want to preface it all with that, because I do. I know that you are created in the image of God and that we are both on this crazy journey called life and sometimes it’s just plain tough.
I want to tell you about my sin, and to let you know that I can totally relate to feeling enslaved to a temptation. For you, it may be loving someone who shares the same combination of the XY chromosomes as you.
For me, it is Worry.
Worry wears grey. She is real, just as real as yours. She whispers during the day and screams at night. She hides Truth and leaves Lies at my feet every day. She loves to see me cry and loves even more to see me overcome with anxiety.
Worry walks with me and stands even closer when I am trying to walk alone.
I am very aware that worry is a sin. I refuse to let the fact that I am naturally inclined to do it be my justification. And I beg you to consider the same for your own sin, whatever it may be.
Just as I am more inclined to worry, you may be more tempted by the sin of homosexuality. Or gluttony or jealousy or idolatry or lust. And don’t get me wrong, I struggle with a plethora of sins on the regular–but worry is my naturally occurring stumbling block.
I remember vividly forgetting to complete an ABC order assignment one night for homework in third grade and when I realized what I had done, I nearly lost my breakfast. I refused to enter the classroom and the teacher found me in tears in the hallway with Worry sitting cross-legged next to me.
Worry showed up daily, but showed a love for being clingy at certain times. She loved the night-before-the-test and the hour-after-cheer-tryouts. I had her memorized and for the longest time, I accepted that she was my lunch buddy. She was my shotgun rider and unfortunately, the one I found myself dealing with as I lay in bed at night.
But Worry had to go. There was absolutely no way to rid myself of her apart from the power of Christ. It was Worry, along with all of our other sins and Christ’s immense love for us, that held Jesus on the cross. It was that love for us that meant Jesus could not stay in that grave.
and now I refuse to dance with Worry.
Worry could’ve consumed me. Praise the Lord, Jesus rescued me. He saved me from my sins and brought me redemption.
And while I know that Worry has no power over me now that I am a believer, I know that it is still something I struggle with. But I will pray. I will fall on my face before God and beg Him to give me strength to trust in Him completely. I will trust that God has a greater plan, and that he wants to guard my heart from sin because sin is ugly. It wrecks lives, and it could’ve so easily consumed mine.
And what does this mean for you? for the one who is so tempted to love another man or another woman?
I want to fight with you. I want to lock arms and hold hands in prayer and find strength in the Father. I want you to know the Lord in the way I have come to know Him, and in doing so realize that He knows what is best for you.
More than that, oh so much more than that, Christ wants to fight with you. He wants to provide you the strength to look your sin in the eye and remind it that Jesus is better. To remind it that God’s design does matter. That it is the only thing that matters.
Were you born with the desire to be in a relationship with someone of the same gender as you? Possibly.
Was I born with a nature of worry? Absolutely, and I believe it with every ounce of me.
But is that a reason to accept that sin and embrace the fact that living in it–in worry and fear or in homosexuality–is worth saying that Jesus is not enough? Is that reason to say with our words and our actions that what we want or what we are inclined to do is better than the plan of our sovereign Savior?
I can also say with every ounce of my being, no.
I want to love Jesus with you and fully embrace what it means to live in surrender. I want to lay down my desires and follow Him. You with me?