September 27, 2016 vs. September 27, 2017

2016 Journal Entry:

I will admit that I rushed through the last entry to get to this one. This week has been rough despite the fact that it just started. Sunday I could barely get through the church service. I was sitting by myself with tears in my eyes. I couldn't listen to what the pastor was saying. All I could think was, "If they knew I wasn't straight would they accept me?"
Yesterday I broke down and wrote an email to the pastor and asked about his stance on on being gay. It was late at night but I got a response early the next morning. It was a long email but I could sum it up in one sentence. The one sentence that stood out among all the rest, "We do not condone homosexuality." I don't know how many times I reread that email, processing the words and the message. That email broke my heart, it feels like it could shatter at any moment. I feel like raising the white flag and giving up on the idea of church and community. The idea of the church is beautiful. Having a community of people to go to, to lean on, to be brutally honest. I shouldn't have to fight for that, that's what the church should be. What do I do? Do I pray the gay away? Do I never stay in a serious relationship and ask for forgiveness later? Does God hate me?
I'm lost, I don't want to admit that. A part of me loves who I am, the other part is disgusted. At the same time do I lie to myself? Maybe I could get married to a man, live in the suburbs and have children. It would be a lie though and the truth always comes out. Some days it feels like God is here but today it doesn't. I hope that one day I can look back at this and smile.

I'm already smiling.

2017 Journal Entry: 

I don't know why I feel like I've changed. My life is still chaotic, sad sometimes and stressful. I guess I confused my circumstances with who I am as a person. I thought once I got stronger my life would get better, easier. Maybe my life has gotten harder and I've gotten stronger. I learned how to have peace with the past and faith in God for a better future which doesn't mean easy. 
Today I feel at peace, real peace. I feel stronger, braver and more confident. I read that quote by Rupi Kaur and I wanted to scream. That poem is one of my battle cries, that poem sums up 2017. I am happy with what I have and I am happy without the things that I needed to leave behind. 
In a way it's like being a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. The loneliness of being in the cocoon and the fear of leaving it. I wonder if the butterfly is afraid of the new life that they were destined to have. Even if they are afraid they don't have the choice of going back. They have to learn how to survive and look for something better. 
I look at that little girl and I love her but I don't want to be her anymore. At the time I was in a cocoon, safe, protected and naive. I can't go back now, I know to much. That girl is going to go through a lot and she doesn't know it, she's not supposed to. 
I don't feel as lost anymore, I feel more grounded, that's all I ever wanted. 
Thank you God.

I wrote the last journal entry before going back and reading the one before. After I wrote today's journal entry I went back to see if I wrote anything exactly a year ago. I don't remember writing the first journal entry but I remember that day and the feeling. I didn't want to go anywhere or do anything. I felt so alone and lost. I didn't know if I was strong enough to get through it. I wanted so badly to just wipe the slate clean and go back to where I was, deep in the closet. 
That wasn't God's plan though. God knew that I was strong enough and I needed to experience that. I needed to learn that being alone is okay and it's not forever. 



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