I truly believe 2017 is going to be amazing. Up to this point, 2015 was a year of coming out of the church closet and the excitement, adrenaline, highs, and lows of discovering life truly unhindered. In 2015 I cast off the last grave clothes of legalism adopted from many culturally conditioned religious ideals that are unnecessary and unattainable. No more. 2016 took things a bit further and was definitely a settling in period. 2017 looks to be quite an exciting, even liberating, year. I feel it in my bones.
2015-16 was also doing the best I could to not trade in one form of legalism for another more “progressive” kind. Legalism is legalism. Done with it in whatever flavor it tries to manifest in.
I don’t mind being called conservative in some things and progressive in others if it helps bring clarity to the topic at hand. But, those individual points are not the full context from which to live a full and healthy life. It’s not fair or life-giving to expect myself or others to conform to any of those individual beliefs with high relational consequences one way or another.
2016 also was also a year of healthy assertiveness and catalytic moments. After joining the local HRC Orlando/Central Florida steering committee, experiencing the Pulse tragedy from a local perspective, enduring the horrible election cycle and results, there were many “crystallizing” moments in my faith and passion. I am gay, the LGBT+ community is my family, Christ is my Lord …and I am not ashamed or timid about any of that.
Now, to be sure, I don’t want to be an ass about any of that! That said, no need to be quiet, and plenty to chime in on so that’s what I will do. I want to get the rough draft of my book done by the end of this month. I will be interviewing for two different documentaries, and my goal is to blog 3-5 times a week! I also might have an opportunity to speak at a gay Christian conference this summer (still in the very beginning of that discussion so we will see if that happens.)
Speaking up… I’mma do it y’all!
All of that said, I am learning a lot of really humbling things as of late as well. Being true to self is not only celebrating the good and free, it’s also accepting the consequences, and working out, how past decisions are impacting current views and relationships. It’s so weird to realize how afraid and fearful I was/am of interpersonal intimacy and issues of love.
Yet another big adventure I am currently taking!
I have a feeling 2017 is going to be a great year. It’s not just a hope but an inner peace and resolve. No doubt it will be like the rest of life with highs and lows, but something in me rejoices with the thought that 2017 is going to be amazing.
Thank you for reading and for friends and supporters who allow me to be a part of your lives. To love and be loved is all we can do or ask for really. In this, I am a rich and blessed man indeed! Happy 2017!
[callout]Quote for the graphic came from a book called “Love Is All You Need.”[/callout]