Saturday, October 21, 2006

Weak...but Strong in Faith

There are definitely stereotypes to being a Christian, as well as stereotypes for being a homosexual. First of all, for the ‘typical Christian church-going individual’, you have this image of a married woman or man, who’s living the American dream. A nice big house with a white picket fence, a few kids and probably a dog and a cat. It’s a nice image actually. Is it perfect for everyone? No. Each person sets their goals and dreams differently to what they truly want out of life. Some don’t reach their goal, and some do. The stereotypes for the homosexual are simple. They seem to set the stage for promiscuity. This goes for all homosexuals, in the ‘extreme Christian’s’ view. We’re all different. Even heterosexuals can be promiscuous, as well as Church goers. Relationships and a loving union are much different than a person being promiscuous.

The other day, I was going through a bout of depression. I thought, “So many people think I’m weak in faith, because I love someone of the same gender.” It’s the total opposite though. My faith is so strong, that it’s practically knowledge. My personal relationship with God is like no other relationship I have ever had with a human being. My spiritual experiences have proven to me time and time again that God is real, and that God loves me, He loves you, and He even loves those who don’t know Him.

As I was praying, I asked for forgiveness for my sins, and prayed to God for strength and courage to get my message across and have it be heard by those who truly need it. I asked that God would give me the words to type out—that it wouldn’t be my own; yet my own experiences.

In a post called, “Good & Bad Spirits”, I discussed my love for alcohol, and how I grew up around it. I explained how it helped relieve my anxiety- and yes, I do know that it’s a problem. For me? It’s really not a problem, as long as it’s in moderation.

I prayed about it, and said, “I’m weak, but I’m strong in faith.”

God answered me.

“What’s better—to be weak in faith and strong minded with tons of willpower?”

I just sat that thinking how incredible that message was. Then I flipped open the bible, and it literally *fell* on this passage:

“My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness. So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me. Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” ~2 Corinthians 12:9

So by my life, being the “Christian lesbian alcoholic”, I know that my faith is the most important thing.

“I am quite content with my weaknesses {alcohol} and with insults {people who judge and ridicule me for being a gay Christian as well as an alcoholic} hardships {challenges in life} persecutions {being harassed for being a Christian as well as a lesbian} and calamities." {any distress that occurs in my life}

Do people really want me to pretend I’m somebody else just because I claim Jesus as my Savior? I’m sure most of you would want me to tell you absolutely everything about me. You don’t want to hear preaching from someone who bible thumps and lectures you about your sins, yet they have their own sins to contend with, do you? For me, I would want to hear from someone who has been through the ringer, or who still struggles with being ‘perfect’—even though that’s not possible. You want to hear about someone with strong faith, yet the ability to relate to everyone as a ‘weak human being’ as we all are, or admit that we are. We’re all in this together, right? It's almost like an AA director holding a meeting, yet he/she has never touched a drop of alcohol before, and cannot relate to the people who she's trying to help.

God led me to a proverb that was written in a book that my friend Lisa got for me as a gift. It’s called, “Proverbs for Life for You”.

The proverb that stood out at me while I was praying was this one:

“Don’t hesitate to be bold in your convictions, especially when it comes to your faith. The only way some people will ever know the truth about God is to hear it from you, from someone who knows him personally. Take every opportunity to share your beliefs, and look to God for the courage to speak boldly. Ask him for the right words and the ability to speak them kindly and effectively. You can be sure he will do his part as you do yours.”

This is the whole reason why I started this blog—to share my beliefs with you, as a weak Christian strong in faith. I share explicit and funny stories about my life with you, so that you’ll see how imperfect I am. I share my beliefs of God with you, and how He helps me everyday. I want to reach out to those who feel too much guilt and shame to come to God, because of their sinful nature. The guilt and shame is not of God. The evil one wants you to think it’s from God…but it’s not. God encourages and edifies your spirit with love and hope…not guilt and shame. People will convict you and judge you left and right, but that’s God’s job. God didn’t hire mere humans to sit around and point out everyone’s sins. When people point fingers and make you feel bad for what you are, and what you did, and what you do—it’s usually a sign of their insecurity and uneasiness with their own life.

So when someone starts pointing the finger at you, remember they have three more pointing right back at them. Live for God, not for people.


GW Mush said...

Hi Deb,
Great Post:) Your strong faith is an inspiration to me, we all have our weaknesses.

Nancy said...

Cheers to you for being brave enough to be yourself. It's the way God made you, after all.

I have married gay friends in my life and admire their commitment to each other and the courage it takes to live true to themselves in the midst of so much persecution. They set a perfect example for anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, as far as I concerned.

Geek said...

Its cool when you figure somthing out like that. Self understanding is hard to come by.

Tense Teacher said...

You always seem to break the tough stuff down and make it easy for everyone - even those who've never opened a Bible - to understand.

samuru999 said...

You do inspire me so
you have a strong faith
and you glow!

Blessings to you!

Dawn said...

Love ya babe and the picture is suhweet

You have many people here reading and loving you and that doesn't even count the ones who don't comment.

Catch said...

Deb ~ Most of us all struggle to be good people, even though we sin everyday in some way. But. do I believe God is going to cast all the alcoholics, homosexuals, lesbians, murders into the fires of hell? NO. I think he will judge accordingly to what is in the heart. We all have our faults..smoking, extra marital affairs...stealing....drinking...whos to say one sin is greater than the other? Take a child who is raised with nothing but violence his whole can he help but be violent...its all he knew. But I think God will judge him according to what is in his heart.....and God will realize how this poor child was raised. You try to do so much good Deb and you have a good heart. God knows this.

The Rev. Dr. Kate said...

St. Paul - mysogonist that he was would instantly have understood what you are talking about. Being a faithful Christian means coming face to face with paradox and living in that tension. You are a person loved by the Lord trying to live her life with integrity and faith. How can God ask any more of you than that? Thank you for so bravely sharing your struggles with us. You do inspire others and you are faithful to Matthew's command to "preach the Gospel to all nations" - even those rabid right-wingers who are so convinced they know it all!
Praying that you have a Sunday that gives you opportunities to rest in Christ's love and mercy so that you are strengthened to continue doing the fine work you do.

Zanne said...

Great post Deb! Funny I was struck by the same passage in Cor. a couple of days ago and almost posted about it. There's also this mystery of God's strength being perfected in our weakness that really blows my mind. I think the religious right will never really get it because they're too uncomfortable with mystery-paradox is not in their vocabulary, but most certainly was in Jesus's. We're known by the company we keep so be of good cheer my friend!

Anonymous said...

I think your faith is stronger and truer than many of the whack job fundalmentalists. Their obsession with hate is deplorable.

bazza27 said...

I've always considered imperfection to be a wonderful quality.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is your ministry...

Your blog becomes God.

"Live for your blog, not for people".

GW Mush said...

Mr Hk,

By looking at your lil icon pic, it looks like your blood pressure is up, hehe

J R Estelle said...

I think God gives us all the willpower we need, but that's it. He GIVES it to us, what we do with it from there is up to us. I do believe that the stronger the faith, the stronger the willpower.

I am not a churchgoer, I don't believe in having to go into a building to believe in a higher being. To quote the Gospel of Thomas (and if you've seen Stigmata, you've heard this too)

"...Split a piece of wood; I am there.

Lift up the stone, and you will find me there.”

And so God is there, for the strong, for the weak, for the faithful and the ill-fated. But nonetheless, God gives us the tools we need because I really believe that if God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

Bossy♥'s YOU said...

I love u more everytime I read this kinda stuff..

limpy99 said...

If there were more angels like that one I'd still be hitting mass every week.

GW Mush said...

yea, that picture of the pretty angel drinking is giving me an erection

Miss 1999 said...

You're so right, again, Deb. None of us are perfect, and I'd rather hear preaching from a real person, than someone thumping the Bible, proclaiming to be "Holier than Thou" anyday! :0)

QUASAR9 said...

Hi Deb,
individuality is fine ...
but is there right & wrong?

No good just saying god loves me therefore I can be or do what I want. God loves me but he's not going to save my teeth if I don't brush. God loves me but he's not going to save my kidneys or liver unless I cut down on sugar and alcohol, God loves me but he's not going to 'protect' me if I'm promiscuos and do not protect myself.

Will God 'protect' me from TB, from AIDS, from Cancer, from the traffic. If I don't want to get hit by a car then it is best if I don't jump out in front of traffic.

As for being a Lsebian - not wanting to be (have sex) with men, or not wanting to have children - that is closer to 'godliness' than being a slapper even if you use condoms - end of story.

There is a difference between Nuns and gay women - there is a difference between celibacy and sexual relationships, there is a difference between loving relationship and sexual encounters or experiences.

So your drinking problem is probably more dangerous to your health than your sexual partner, as long as she doesn't bring disease into the relationship.

Ohh - And Maybe I am more than a little jealous of her. lol!

normiekins said...

great post deb!!!! you're a beautiful person!!! ;)

Clay Bethelbridge said...

Deb, I really like your blog. You seem like a very good person. I am a Christian and I dont always understand why they can be mean to homosexuals when they are great people. I wish you all of the best because you desserve it!!!

Anonymous said...

An interesting blog, check it out if you get the chance.

Cinderella said...

I never listen to others because good or bad the choices I make in my life, I have to live with. No one is going to love me as much as I can love myself and as long as you know you are loved by god, that's the only person you need to worry about. That's just my personal opinion though =)

GW Mush said...

I prefer to be a peacemaker, a fountain, a bundle of cuddly love, a stick-up deodorant in a toilet bowl

Bossy♥'s YOU said...

just wanted to tell ya I totally met def leppard saturday....i have wrote three damn post about it now..i am so lame..


DaBich said...

Great, uplifting post. It comes straight from your heart...which is good. Thanks for the message.
Never give up, keep your faith strong.

GirlGoyle said...

Moderation is the key to living a sane life. And we should always remember that he who lives in a glass house should not be throwing stones.

Leesa said...

When I was first seeing my therapist, he explained that my use of alcohol was a way of self-medicating for OCD. Sort of like it helps minimize the effects. And I always thought it was because I liked the buzz.

samuru999 said...

Wishing you a wonderful day Deb!


QUASAR9 said...

Funny but part of the reason for invading Iraq was meant to be to remove a cruel dictator, and we replaced it with a crueller form of repression
Kill insurgents (even if kurds??)
Kill opposition (even if Shia???)

But isn't that what the previous evil dictator did. Ohh I get it he just wasn't ruthless or efficient enough at killing Iraqies
The US can do it much better.

~Deb said...

*Looks up at Quasar9 with confusion*

Thanks everybody! I appreciate all your views and input. You're better than therapy! :)

My back has been hurting me for the past few days...will be back either later or tomorrow with a new post.