Jonah's family is having a harder time accepting his situation than mine is (although a couple of his siblings have been more supportive than he had imagined). Jonah's home life is not as smooth as mine has been. Anyway, I know he's going through some tough stuff right now, so I hope all of you in blogland will keep him in your thoughts and prayers (every little bit helps, right?).
My mom went to a ward function this evening, and several people had commented to her about what a nice testimony I gave on Sunday (see previous post). She wondered silently what they would think if they really understood what I was going through. I told her that was nice of them, but that I also wondered what they would think of me if they knew my situation. I'm sure many would be okay, but I know some who would have thoughts like, "He used to be such a good kid. What happened?" Mom said she had similar thoughts. I guess it's not easy on anybody. But like I told Jonah tonight, "We can't control how other people are going to react; we can only do our best to live the best lives we can."
My ex-girlfriend, Lisa, wrote me today. You can read more about her here. She and I have just started communicating again after about an eight year hiatus. Her husband (who never really liked me early on in their marriage) is okay with it, too. We're just so happy to be in each other's lives again. I've missed my friend (and she feels the same way). Anyway, she said something very nice in her letter that I didn't necessarily expect. She said:
"Okay...I'm going out on a limb for a moment here. I would never want to give anyone advice contradictory to the church, but it sounds to me like you'd be happiest with Jonah. I suppose the question then is, do you choose your peace of mind and happiness, or do you choose the church? Either choice will bring some heartache.
"...I have to believe that the God I have come to know over the course of my struggles is full of compassion and mercy. I have to believe that if one of my boys came to judgment full of tattoos, piercings, long hair, reeking of smoke and stumbling up the steps because of alcohol, that God would STILL throw his arms around him and welcome him home. I think that there cannot be a 'blanket judgment'...I think each person will be judged on a case by case basis, taking all our life's challenges into consideration. I always tell my kids that God only expects us to do our best, and if our best falls a bit short, it will be okay. You have done your best, Cody, and I think some mercy will be given when that days comes and you face God. I truly believe that some people's minds are 'wired' a bit differently and as hard as you have tried not to feel the way you do about Jonah, there is little you can do.
"...the point I want to make is that should you decide to stay with Jonah and let that be your life's choice, I think God will still have room for you in his kingdom. He loves you and knows of your struggle. One day, things will be made right..."
Whether her words are simply comforting to me, they really rang true when I read them today (and do so now as I reread them). I really feel like I'm destined for a different path at this juncture of my life and that things are going to be okay. I also think it's no coincidence that Lisa has come back into my life at this particular time and delievered these particular words to me. I really think it means something.
Another friend, very active in the church and very intelligent, said something that I felt God wanted me to hear. She said, "I really think there is more to it than we really understand." She was referring to the gospel and life, but not in application to my particular issue, but something about it really resonated with me as far as my issues go. I can't explain it; I just felt a certain truth that is helping me feel more at ease about things.
Back to Lisa. As I said in my previous post about her, she has a mental illness, and in catching me up on the events of her life since we last communicated, she explained all the horrific realities she has had to face in her life because of her illness, and I was just overwhelmed by it all. Just as other people can't fully understand what I go through with my problems, her issues are unfathomable to me. When I've read what she and her family have had to deal with I was saying to myself, "I'm so glad I have gay feelings and don't have her problems." She's doing reasonably well, but it made me think that if we had gotten married like we planned, it would have been a disaster. A bisexual and a manic-depressive; what a Molotov cocktail that would have made. I know my nature, and I really don't think I would have handled her issues well at all. My issues would have probably been difficult for her as well. I give great kudos to her husband. He has stood by her through a lot of awful stuff. I know it's been incredibly difficult for both of them.
I remember when she broke it off with me and how unfair I thought it was and how I could never imagine finding someone that I loved as much as I felt I loved her. Now in retrospect I'm so incredibly glad things worked out the way they did; for both of our sakes. It just shows me that God knows every facet from beginning to end, and that's one reason why I believe that this relationship is the right things for me in spite of the fact that it seems to be contradictory as far as what I know to be true. There is something I will glean from all of this that will draw me closer to my Father in Heaven. I just feel it. I can't explain it, and I know there will be naysayers who think I'm delusional, but the only people who can really know the path I need to take are me and the Lord. I just feel I have been led to this place in my life and this relationship, and I am going to count the blessings I have because of it all.
Anyway, that's it for now.