I am so grateful that there are other artists out there in the world loving God out loud and creating with their talents and skills. This song is by Jennifer Knapp, a lesbian Christian singer. I LOVE her song, Refine Me. I feel like I'm slowly getting to the point where I fully embrace God's ability to renew my mind. It's such a journey. I used to think that recovery was putting the drink down. I didn't realize that Alcohol was just a symptom of my problem.
My problem was me. My perception of things, my wanting, my needing, my hoping, my dreaming, my believing the world... without God.
That's scary for me to type on my blog because my relationship with God has been a private one. I remember about 4 years ago I talked to a sober friend about not wanting to bring up God at recovery meetings. I was uncomfortable talking about God. It was kind of like the same discomfort you might feel when your parents are divorced and you are at one of their houses after the split - and their new spouse and their new kids are at the table - and they say, "what's new?" Well certainly you have stories but they all include your mom and while you think she's great, you are pretty sure nobody wants to hear about it.
Well. That's how I've felt about God for so long.
I was off to college. In college I didn't find circles of friends who talked about and outwardly loved God, because I identified as a lesbian. Talking about God in the gay community was like talking about being sober in Hollywood. Sure, you can do it, if you want to dismissed. So I didn't do it, and I made a habit of it. Habits become automatic over time and they can steer our lives.
I remember when I told my friend 4 years ago that I was uncomfortable talking about my love for God out loud. I realize now that was a habit developed in high school and college. Because I DO love God so much, and I want to love God out loud. I remember being so aware of not wanting to be dismissed as strange, out of touch, judgmental, holier than thou...I didn't want people to look at my spouse and have that conversation.
These fears have roots. They are sourced in my experience. Once a man who fell in love with MY first female love came to my house and had a talk with me. His friendly conversation consisted of telling me that he loved her, and if I love her like I say I do, I would go away for good and let him have her, because that is what God wants for her. I recall the ache. That word, by the way, does not do the feeling justice. I remember him saying it was what God wanted for her.
Pitting my love for God against my love for her? I was toast. I had nothing. I want to please God with all my heart and I wanted her to be happy, even if it wasn't with me. I wanted her to be free, and happy and he promised that she would be - with him. Well, I had no fight in me. That had been ripped out of me by then.
Yes, she was my first girlfriend, but God had truly been my first love. So now I was either going to betray two of the most important relationships that I'd ever had, or it was time to surrender. To concede my desire for a relationship with either one, out of my love for both of them, and feel the burn. So, there was nothing left to discuss.
I told him fine. I was more lost than I had ever been. Add to my dismay that I had absolutely no one to talk to about any of it as I was still in the closet. Alcohol sure helped.
I could tell you hundreds of tales that have built a wedge between God and I.
God didn't move, but I did. I wanted people's approval. I thought I was responsible for the happiness of others.
I know better know. I am married to a woman and I love God so much.
I am an alcoholic and I love God so much.
I've spoken to other lesbians, expecting that they have had the same experience. To my surprise, it's not the case. I was shocked. Realizing that opened me up a bit.
There are a few songs I appreciate from another artist, DEE-1. He's a former teacher turned hip hop rapper. He's Christian. He has the following image on his site.
I LOVE IT. I decided to share it with you.
Talk to you soon.