Sunday, December 13, 2015

It's All About Jesus!

This Christmas, I am thankful for the simple reminders that it's all about Jesus.

"What shall I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a Lamb.
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part.
Yet, what I can, I give him: give my heart."
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"What shall we give to the Lamb who was offered,
Rising the third day and shedding His love?
Tears for His mercy, we'll weep at the manger,
Bathing the Infant come down from above." 
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"Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above!"
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"Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord,
That He this glorious earth hath wrought,
And with His blood mankind hath bought."

For the past little while, I've been wondering what it means to give my heart to the Lord...as a gay Mormon.  In the young adult crowd of the Church, a lot of emphasis is placed on marriage.  That is very understandable, as we are to multiply and replenish the earth.  But it's hard to hear all the time, not possessing all the feelings that naturally lead to that.  I greatly appreciate the shifting conversations surrounding same-sex attraction and single adults in general (I acknowledge that there are some gay people who are married...to members of the opposite sex, and it's sad that I now have to specify that when I say "marriage"...but I speak more from my own experience).

Sometimes I still let thoughts of shame creep in when it comes to marriage.  These thoughts sometimes come from my own self-criticisms, but they also come from the cultural influences around me.  To be honest, I currently have very little desire to be married to a woman.  For some reason, I always thought marriage was inseparably connected with being a follower of Christ.  I thought that giving my heart to the Lord would always mean working towards marriage, or even developing the desire to be married.  But I was wrong, or at least I hope I was.

I've seen this picture (to the right) passed around a lot lately.  It's meant a lot to me, especially at this Christmas time.  Christ doesn't want my marriage.  He doesn't want my "straightness."  He wants my heart.  I still don't always know what it means to give my heart to Jesus, but just the very thought gives me peace.  I've half-heartedly been saying that I'm open to the idea of marriage, but I'm also open to developing relationships with other ga/uy friends, or maybe even some sort of covenant partnership with a man I love.  It might look like "playing with fire" to many, and it may be hard in that regard, but with an eternal perspective and with my testimony, it actually makes sense to me.  I haven't received a clear answer with this, which usually means I have to take action...and I don't like it when that's the answer!  But either way, I know that the Lord, and my resolve to keep my covenants, needs to come first.  I need to continually give Him my heart, even if I need to make that decision every day.

This Christmas, I am once again grateful for the reminders to keep Christ at the center of my life.  I need to slow down, minimize distractions and allow myself to feel of His love communicate with my spirit.  I need to accept myself and remember that at each and every moment, I am enough for Him.  I appreciate and close with the words of Elder D. Todd Christofferson from the December 2015 Ensign:

"I hope you will take time this Christmas season to sit for a few quiet moments and let the Savior's Spirit warm you and reassure you of the worthiness of your service, your offering and your life."

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