Jonah and I had a major misunderstanding. It started when I received an email from him on Sunday. One of the things he said in the email was that he hoped I was having a good Sunday.
Well, my Sunday was not very good. I went to church. In Sunday School they were talking about Jonathan and David. I've always wondered if Jonathan's feelings towards David ever went beyond just "brotherly love." I think David was probably straight, but I sometimes wonder about Jonathan. In any case, the lesson made me think about Saul and David, two people who had it all and lost much of it due to their transgressions.
My former bishop, who's also a very close and dear friend wanted to meet with me after church. We met, and I told him about my relationship with Jonah. This man is no longer my bishop. He's simply a good friend who's truly interested in my happiness and well-being. Well, of course, that news wasn't the best news to hear on his end, I'm sure. To his credit, he's extremely nonjudgmental and compassionate, but, of course, he's concerned about me. I told him I simply wasn't sure I could go on living my life according to the tenets of the church as far as this issue is concerned. I told him I loved the church dearly and, of course, would be very sad to leave it, but that I just didn't know what I was going to do.
Of course, he doesn't know how to help me and what he can do to make things better for me. I don't think there's much he can do. He's simply a human being doing his best to help in the best way he knows how. There was no judgment or chastising. He was simply seeing how I was doing. But as I looked at him, he looked so tired and worn down; not even by my problems, but just from being a bishop. This man, who I will call Frank, is beyond doubt probably the most Christ-like person I know. He truly cares about people, and I think he genuinely tries to love all those he comes in contact with. He goes beyond and above the call of duty and is always helping people. I actually think he's generous to a fault. But he's generous because he truly loves people. If there is an example I am in such great admiration of, it is Frank.
And Frank looked so tired and helpless as I talked to him, and it made me feel guilty. I want to stress that Frank didn't do anything to provoke my guilt. I just felt guilty. We hugged goodbye after I talked, and I just felt bad the rest of the day, and I wasn't even sure why.
In any case, when Jonah wished me a good Sunday, I explained that I was feeling guilty and that I had told my former bishop about us and that I still wasn't sure what I needed to do. Well, Jonah mistakenly took my response as my way of saying that I didn't think I could continue our relationship and that I wanted to break it off. So he sent me an email back saying that if staying true to the church was going to make me happier than being with him, then maybe that's what I should do. And I mistakenly thought his email meant that his patience was at an end (which I wouldn't blame him for) and that he wanted to break it off with me.
Well, when I read that I was so devastated and sad. I went to work and was in such a depressed and angry state, which many people noticed because it's unusual for me to get that way. It was tearing me apart to think that I wouldn't be with Jonah for the rest of my life, and it made me angry that God would put us together only to rip us apart, and it made me especially upset because I knew the faults in our relationship rested mainly with me and my inability to decide what I really want. So I was just miserable.
After work I got in my car and just sobbed, which is very unusual because I tend to be pretty stoic and unemotional about things. Well, when I got home, my mom noticed I was very depressed and asked me what was wrong, and I explained the situation and that I thought Jonah was breaking up with me and that I couldn't bear the thought of being without him and how I've spent my whole life trying to be a good person, and how according to the dictates of Mormonism, I feel in many ways that I am a failure; that I have tried so hard to "do what's right," and that the Church doesn't have the answers I seek, and how if Jonah was a woman, everyone would be overjoyed, but because he's a guy, I feel like most of the people in my religious network would be very saddened by my news.
Well, I sobbed in her arms for a bit, and she assured me that I was a very good person, and that she knew that the choices I faced were difficult, but that she only wanted me to be happy and could see I've spent much of my life trying to "do my best," and we had a very open conversation about homosexuality and my relationship with Jonah. I told her it confused me that the place I'm told to seek joy and happiness doesn't seem to be providing me with it, and the place I'm told not to go seems to be making me very happy. I told her, "It's not like I want to leave the church, but I just want to be happy, and Jonah makes me happy." She said she knew, and I even talked about wanting to marry Jonah. She says while she doesn't understand everything, she knows I'm going through a horrible ordeal and that if being with Jonah would ease my pain, then maybe that's what I needed to do. To hear that from my own mother made me feel so much better.
In any case, I wrote Jonah a long email back explaining that I was sorry if I was causing him such frustration and pain, but that I understood if he needed to break up with me for his own sanity. Well, I got an email this morning saying that he had misinterpreted my original email as my wanting to break up with him and that he was only trying to make it easier for me. Needless to say, neither one of us wants to break up with the other, and we are both very happy now. Jonah left me some wonderful words of encouragement and, in essence, says he's in this for the long haul.
In a way, though, I'm glad this miscommunication occurred because I feel I gained three valuable things from it:
1) It made me realize how deeply I really do care for and love Jonah. I am a brick wall emotionally, and the thought of us breaking up devastated me. It was good to know that I actually had feelings deeper than I could have imagined. It made me feel more alive, even if it wasn't particularly fun to experience.
2)It prompted a much needed conversation with my mom. We were really open about everything, and it made me realize how much my mom loves and cares for me. Even this morning when I told her it was all a misunderstanding, she said, "I'm so glad things are going well and that you're happy again. I love you so very much," and then she gave me a hug.
3)It helped clarify for me that maybe it's time I choose Jonah instead of the church.
Anyway, I've never felt so sad and happy in the span of 24 hours.