What’s Okay For You Might Not Be Okay For Me || sexual assault

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I’m here for the people who unwillingly consented to sexual acts because they were in a situation where it was “normal” or where they felt like they didn’t have the right to say no and now they feel violated but don’t feel like they can say so because what happened “wasn’t a big deal.”

I’m here for anyone and everyone who has felt taken advantage of in a sexual manner but isn’t taken seriously because we live in a hook-up culture where apparently those sort of interactions should at least be expected when on a date.

Some people have certain experiences and are totally okay with what happened. That’s great for them and they can do with their bodies what they want.

BUT some people have those exact same experiences and it traumatizes them. They feel violated and taken advantage of.

And that experience is just as valid as the first.

We all react to things differently and experience things differently because we are all different people with unique emotions and histories and boundaries.

What might be okay for you might not be okay for me.

What matters is how a situation affects the person that experienced it, not how the same situation affects someone else.

No one can change your narrative for you.

If you experience something and you feel violated, you’re allowed to feel that way even if someone else feels differently.

Your truth is your truth. No one can take that.

Not even the person who violated you. They may not have had bad intentions, but you were affected negatively by what they did. What you experienced is your truth, even if it wasn’t the other person’s intent.

You were affected, and that fact alone is enough.

Experiences are relative which can make lines blurry and confusing and messy, but your view of your experience isn’t wrong because it is YOUR experience, not the violator’s or your friends’ or anyone else’s experience.

No one can tell you how to feel.

No one can tell you that your body wasn’t taken advantage of.

No one can tell you that you aren’t allowed to feel assaulted.

No matter if you said no,

if you stayed silent,

if you said yes because you were afraid,

if you fought,

if you didn’t move,

if you pretended to be okay with it because all you know of men is anger and you’ll do what you have to do to avoid that.

It doesn’t matter how you reacted to the assault because you shouldn’t have to ask someone to not assault you.

It’s not no means no.

It’s yes means yes.

Just because you didn’t say “no” or “stop” or “I don’t want to” doesn’t put you at fault.

The other person should know to get affirmative consent before even touching you.

Our culture has normalized hook-ups to the point that it’s just assumed that if you’re on a date then you want to. And I’m sorry, but I’m so not here for that.

I’ve had people tell me that I need to be up front with my date and tell them at the beginning that I don’t want to do anything sexual.

Great idea,

except I shouldn’t have to actively put in effort in order to not get assaulted.

I should be able to assume and feel safe in the fact that nothing sexual will happen unless we’ve agreed upon it first, not assume that hooking up is a “go for it” unless someone vocalizes ahead of time that they don’t want to.

Let’s teach people to ask for affirmative consent instead of teaching people to share preventative PSAs before the date has even begun.

Because a meaningless hook-up for one person could be assault for another.

I get it, it’s culture. But since when do we buy into culture that we don’t like instead of trying to change it?

Because I need it changed for me.

I went on a date this summer. I didn’t tell him ahead of time that I didn’t want to hook up, because why should I have to actively work to not be assaulted? I didn’t say no when he pushed me on the ground, because how was I supposed to know how he’d react at being turned down after he was already on top of me? I tried to act normal after everything happened, because how the heck was I supposed to inform him that he just violated me (as if he shouldn’t have already known)?

I didn’t do any of the things you’re “supposed” to do, because I found myself in a fast-moving situation that I did not want to be in and was so scared I couldn’t use my voice.

I didn’t do what I was “supposed” to do, and I was still assaulted.

It was a first date, and no consent was asked for or given. I really cannot comprehend how it would have been remotely assumed that I wanted to hook up with him, because let me assure you, I was not vibing with him at all and I definitely was making that clear.

I have friends who have had the exact same experiences on dates and they feel the way I do, but they’ve been shamed into silence about it in the same way that I have [until now] because “hook-ups are normal.”

I’ve also had other friends have the exact same experiences on dates as we did and yet they loved it, because both parties went into the date wanting to hook up.

Their narrative isn’t my narrative.

And that’s okay, and all of our experiences are still truth.

So basically, I’m really, really not here for people telling me that my perception of my experience is wrong. No one can sit here and tell me that what happened was okay if I didn’t (and still don’t) feel okay about it.

It might have been okay for you.

But it wasn’t for me.

And you can’t tell me (or anyone else) how to react to their experiences.

If they felt violated, they were violated. End of story. No matter the intent or the circumstances. If someone feels like they don’t have control of their body or what is happening to them, that is enough to be considered assault.

“Other people do not get to tell me what my experience means, or where they would like to place me in their pantheons of suffering. There is great danger in letting those around you determine what your experience means to you, and I have found that one of the best ways to combat that is to keep my story for myself.”

–Zoë Medeiros, “Why I Stopped” from Not That Bad


Edit on 08/09/2018 at 12:27am: This blog post was originally titled “Normalizing Hook-Up Culture = Normalizing Sexual Assault,” but has now been changed after realizing the negative connotation that that title carried in regards to consensual hooking up and casual sex. While within my post it is easy to see my point, the title does not leave much context and can be assumed that I’m saying people should not hook up because it is the same as assault. This is definitely not the case, and my point was that the culture of hooking up really enforces the idea that hooking up should be EXPECTED on a date, instead of discussed about. By all means, do what you want with your body and hook up on dates if you want to, I make that clear in my post. I’m just saying that the normalization of the expectation of hooking up without asking first is what can lead to assault because then what happened is “acceptable” so that means that the assault “wasn’t assault,” no matter what the survivor thinks.

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Who’s Sitting at the Table with Jesus?

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Last week while I was in Ohio, I went to church on Sunday morning with my family that I was visiting. The pastor was preaching out of John 13 on serving others with humility, but he said something that struck me in a different way than the point he was trying to make. He said,

“Who’s sitting at the table with Jesus?”

I’m pretty positive that he was asking who was literally sitting at the table with Jesus in the story he was preaching on, but I took it a different route. I started thinking about the present day Church and the people that we deem “worthy” of hanging out with and reaching out to. Our standards are so so different than Jesus’ were. In my notes I was taking during service, I wrote down, “I know this isn’t the point the pastor was trying to make, but who is Jesus inviting to the table? Are we inviting those people too?”

Right now I’m reading Mark 2 and I am just CRYING at the beauty and love and empathy of our Jesus!! In this passage, Jesus is literally sitting down and eating a meal with Levi the tax collector and the other outcasts who had been following him that day (other tax collectors and probably lepers and prostitutes and children and the lame and the list could go on!). Some Pharisees (the men who were literally LEADING THE CHURCH) mocked Jesus and asked his disciples why he would choose to eat with such men. Jesus overheard and responded with, “people who are well do not need a doctor, but only those who are sick. I have not come to call respectable people, but outcasts. (Mark 2:17)

Jesus had NO SHAME for hanging out with the people that most others would avoid even eye contact with. He loved them and he cared for them. Aside from his twelve disciples, it seemed like the outcasts were his go-to people to hang out with. 

So who were the people that Jesus hung out with?

Tax collectors.

Prostitutes.

Adulterers.

“Unclean” women.

The demon possessed.

Lepers.

The sick, blind, and lame.

Children.

And the list could go on and on and on.

And ya know? I really don’t think Jesus entered into these relationships with a goal of changing them. Of course he normally did, because that’s just who our Jesus is: a savior and a healer, and it is almost impossible to meet him face to face and not walk away changed. BUT I think his purpose of knowing these people was to simply love them. To show them that they’re worthy. That they have a place in this world, and in the Kingdom.

And I just really can’t help but wonder… why the heck don’t we do that now?

My uncle and I talked about this the other night after we watched The Greatest Showman (he’s a retired pastor and called the movie the “second best Gospel movie of all-time,” so of course we had to talk through all the similarities and metaphors afterwards). In the movie, P.T. Barnum reaches out and finds the outcasts to join him as he creates the world’s first circus. Of course, at first his mission was to find the weirdest of the weird so that they can basically be made fun of, but his mission changes and it all becomes so much more. These so-called “outcasts” find a family and unconditional love and their place in the world. They’re seen as worthy people for the first time. Barnum was the Jesus figure to these people–he gave them a home and showed them that they belonged.

I don’t know how it’s 2018 and we’re still so bad at this.

The Church isolates basically any group of people that isn’t middle-class, successful, and without too many bumps in the road. If you don’t fit the ideal of what a Christian “should” look like, you’re mostly likely shunned and unwelcome.

Friends, if we really want people to know the Lord, this isn’t how we make that happen!

If Jesus were physically here today, who do you think he would be hanging out with?

Us? The people who are isolating HIS people?

No. He’d be hanging out with

LGBTQ+ people,

immigrants and refugees (and yes, EVEN those who try to enter the country illegally!),

drug addicts,

people of color,

people of other religions,

the mentally ill,

sex industry workers,

alcoholics,

the poor and homeless,

kids in foster care,

and all the other “forgotten” (aka ignored) members of society.

And how often as a Church are we hanging out with these people and inviting them to our table?

Rarely.

This is where we’re doing something wrong. This is where we’re messing up.

If we really wanna follow Jesus, we gotta LIVE like Jesus. And that includes opening up our table.

In all honesty, if Jesus were here right now and he was having a big dinner party, I don’t think we’d be at the top of the invite list. He’d invite all of those people that I just mentioned before he even looked at the Church because we are not living and loving as we should be.

I don’t know how we’ve gotten this so messed up. The second greatest commandment is to LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. And instead we’ve somehow twisted that to “love your neighbor if they are like yourself.”

We aren’t called to change people. We are called to love people.

So let’s go get a bunch of those foldable tables and put them all together. Invite our LGBTQ+ classmates and Muslim neighbors and the homeless man on the street corner that we see every morning. Invite the moms who are working as strippers just to be able to put food on the table for their kids, the dads who are in and out of rehab for alcohol and drug abuse, the families who are fleeing persecution in other countries to only meet persecution and imprisonment once they reach American soil. Let’s open up the table and invite all the people the Church has been avoiding. 

Let’s love them,

let’s hear their stories.

Not to change them, not to convert them.

But simply to show them that they have a place here, and that that place is with us.

“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”

“And you cannot imagine all the places you’ll see Jesus
But you’ll find Him everywhere you thought He wasn’t supposed to go
So, go!.. Go!..
And hold all the mothers, whose babies bleed from bullet holes
And feel all the hunger, the bellies and the bones
Shout for the prisoner, cry for justice, loud and long
And march with the victims, as Jesus marches on
And sit at all the tables, ’cause Jesus eats with everyone
And dance to the music, if you can’t sing its native tongue
And cry for the wombs, the mothers and the empty arms
And hold high the warriors, fighting now for freedoms’ song”

— Dear Me by Nichole Nordeman

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Summer 2018: a healing balm

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“Right now I’m breathing easier than I have since probably freshman year, life is finally starting to feel not painful again” ~ a text I sent to a friend last night, 07.15.18

h e a l i n g .

I came into this summer carrying a whole lot of baggage and wearing a whole lot of scars, completely adamant that healing was going to happen this summer, even though it only felt like I was still getting knocked down with every step I took.

This summer literally

tore

me

down,

but I’m growing and rebuilding and feeling stronger than I’ve ever been.

I broke harder than ever before this summer (debatable point, but I broke pretty dang hard), and each time I thought it was the worst that it could get, something else would happen and I’d crumble a little more.

But now I’m doing the best I’ve ever done.

It took filling an entire journal, a whole bunch of processing through art, and beginning to work through an inner healing curriculum, but I am on the road to healing.

Breathing doesn’t hurt.

I don’t wake up in the morning dreading the hours to come.

I’m not waiting to get hurt again.

I

feel

whole.

I finally decided to stop running and actually sit in the pain and be intentional about healing.

THE most painful process of my life, but oh the joy on the other end.

Freedom for the process,

grace for the hard days.

My mantra this summer.

My heart is the strongest that it has ever been.

It’s wounded, it has scars.

But it’s not afraid of the pain anymore. It’s not afraid of the healing. It’s at peace with where it’s been. 

It’s not afraid of being broken.

I have become so self-aware this summer, and I think I’ve finally grown some self-respect that I’ve been lacking for a really long time. I’m setting up boundaries for myself so that I finally stop putting myself in unhealthy situations. I’m actually trying to protect myself for once. I’m making conscious decisions for myself so that I can continue to heal and only get better. I’m finally taking care of myself emotionally and mentally, not just physically.

Summer 2018 has been a healing balm for me.

I wrote in my journal,

“Summer 2018: A HEALING BALM FOR HEARTACHE–the skinning of what hurt so bad + the regrowth of what is so good.”

If that ain’t the truth.

This summer has been what I imagine treatment for burn victims to be like: continually having to scrape off and reopen the wounds so that something healthy can grow.

I’m finally thinking in color again.

I’m breathing and rejoicing in that fact.

The joy deep inside of me is showing again.

The pain brought healing,

all because I stuck through it.

I chased after the healing and would not let go, no matter how much it hurt.

I broke more than I thought I could,

and I am healing to a kind of wholeness I never thought I could be.

Is it perfect?

No.

But I’m breathing, and it finally doesn’t hurt anymore.


A fun new playlist I made because YAY for healing, easy breathing, and yellow living!!

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21 Things I Learned in Year 21

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What up, hello!! My 21st birthday is in a couple days, and I am SO. HYPE. This year has been a wild one–a lot of sweet moments, but also probably one of the worst years of my life. But that’s okay! I’ve learned and I’ve grown a lot a lot a lot, so I’m thankful for the hard because it has made me better. I’m not all the way there, but I’m working on it!! I’m so ready to leave this year behind, but I also don’t want to forget all that has happened and how it has changed me. So here’s some of my top lessons I’ve learned this year that have hardcore challenged me and broke me and healed me and ultimately changed my life for the better:


  1. Write down what’s good. It’ll be an anchor for when things are bad.
  2. The darkness doesn’t last forever–no matter how bad it is, it always goes away. Maybe in 24 hours, maybe in a few months. But it always leaves.
  3. Certain seasons can hurt so bad, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not necessary.
  4. I literally have no idea who I would be without the color yellow.
  5. Sometimes you have to fight a battle again, but that says nothing about your victory the first time around.
  6. When people show you how they feel, trust them.
  7. Traveling won’t cure everything (or anything, really), but it’ll make things feel better for a few days, and that is so worth it.
  8. The mess and the healing can happen at the same time.
  9. Believe that people like you. It’ll make the whole friendship thing easier.
  10. It is SO COOL when you can look in the mirror and finally say for the first time, “wow, God, you really did good on me.”
  11. Political involvement is cool. (!!!)
  12. Let the hard things grow you, not destroy you.
  13. Do not be ashamed of the things you had to do to survive.
  14. Maybe don’t suppress things for 15 years because when you finally try to deal with it you kinda lose your crap for a hot second and end up in the psych hospital.
  15. Loving people hard is the most important thing you can do, even if sometimes it comes back to bite you in the butt.
  16. You have everything you need within yourselfdon’t try to find yourself within someone else.
  17. Freedom living still has messy times with slip-ups. The slip-ups don’t define your freedom. What you do after them does.
  18. Abandoning and betraying yourself is the worst thing you could do for your own wellbeing and healing.
  19. Invest yourself in new people.
  20. Someone’s inability to love you says nothing about who you are as a person or your worthiness to be loved.
  21. Loss is so so painful, but sometimes it is exactly what you need.

Also, to celebrate the end of an age and the beginning of a new one, here’s some of my fav pics from the past year. 21, I am so ready for you!!

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An Affirming Christian: Why I Support Pride

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Okay, I know that within the faith world and even my own community, this post is going to be controversial. If you disagree with me, I love you. If you agree with me, I love you. Literally no difference in love for you whether you stand with me or not. I’m so 1000% okay with the hard conversations over this topic–I had to have those conversations in order come to this stance. What I’m not okay with are arguments, name-calling, and belittling/dismissing entire groups of people simply because you do not agree with the way they live. So. If you want to talk with me personally and challenge some of my thoughts or just want to chat more, please feel free through my contact page. If you’re hostile, I won’t talk to you. I’m here for civil, God-honoring conversations. That’s it. The comment section of this post is not a place for debates, so I will be monitoring any comments that come through and deleting ones that I do not feel are appropriate. If this post is going to anger you, please feel free to go ahead and exit out now. I’m not here to change anyone’s mind. I’m here to share the research I’ve done, the conversations I’ve had with scholarly people who love the Lord, and my own personal convictions from Jesus. I have no agenda here. Just sharing my thoughts and what I believe to be truth just like I do in any other of my blog posts! The song ringing through my head as I type this: In every eye that see me, Christ be all around me. Amen. Now let’s get rolling.


Okay, what up, I don’t really know how to start this blog post.

This personal belief has been a long time coming. I’ve wrestled with this question for years: is homosexuality a sin? I was raised being taught that it is wrong, that you’re not born gay, that if you’re gay then you need to stay single and celibate for your entire life. I’ve even had people go as far as to teach me that gay Christians are going to hell. None of this sat right with me, and it was never a conviction that I felt from the Holy Spirit. So I wrestled. I went back and forth on my opinion. I cried about it a lot and prayed about it even more. I talked to a heck of a lot of professors and pastors and friends (both affirming and non-affirming), and here I am. I have a stance. And I believe that it is Biblically backed-up too.

I believe that the Bible we read never once mentions consensual, monogamous homosexual relationships.

Now, keep in mind: I love social justice, but I love Jesus even more. No matter how much my flesh wants to side with something, I have to be able to support said beliefs with my deep faith. I will never turn on my Jesus to fight for a worldly belief. I came to this stance by talking with the Lord and studying Scripture, so I don’t come to this stance lightly.

The Bible only discusses homosexuality six times–three times in the Old Testament, three times in the New. Each time, however, it is discussing something extremely different than what we know to be homosexuality. I could go into each verse more in depth about what each one is specifically talking about, but I’m trying to avoid writing an entire novel. Basically, each passage is talking about rape, cultic prostitution, pagan worship/idolatry, pedophilia, and really just situations in which the relationship is abusive or is already dishonoring to God for other reasons. Never in any of the scenarios is it discussing what we know to be homosexuality: a monogamous, committed, consensual relationship of two people of the same sex who are of legal age to be together. 

In reality, Paul (or the authors of Genesis and Leviticus) had no context for what an appropriate homosexual relationship would look like. When looking back in the Hebrew and Greek language of the Bible, there is no definitive word for homosexuality. The word “homosexuality” did not even exist until about 100 years ago and did not appear in the Bible until 1946 for the first time.

Let’s do a short little word study on the words used in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and 1 Timothy 1:9-10. The Greek words are malakoi and arsenokoitai. We don’t know an exact translation for these two words, but malakoi is understood to mean either “soft” and “spineless,” or discusses the act of uncontrolled lust or misused sexuality for ANY gender. So it is not specific to homosexual relations, but any sexual relation that is not honoring to God. Arsenokoitai is a bit more confusing, because a lot of scholars that I’ve read believe that Paul just straight up made the word up. Basically from my understanding, the word literally means “man-bedders.” Okay, cool. But when it is used in other ancient Greek literature, it is talking about economic abuses and exploitations. A lil different than gay sex, ya know? This word is also often linked to pederasty, aka the act of a grown man having sex with young boys. Which is obviously abuse and perverted. And this perverted act of a man (often elite Greek elders) abusing a boy is vastly different from two adults living in a consensual relationship.

(I could talk more in depths about the Greek and Hebrew language used in the other passages, but honestly right now my brain hurts. If you wanna know more specifics, feel free to message me and I’ll be glad to talk about it with you!)

In Romans 1:26-17, Paul uses the word “unnatural” to describe a man having sexual relations with another man. There’s a whole lot that can go into the discussion of using the word unnatural here, so again, please feel free to message me and we can talk more. But the point that I want to make here is that later in 1 Corinthians 11:14, Paul uses the same Greek word for “unnatural” to describe a man having long hair (and vice versa for women having short hair). Okay… so why as Christians today are we still condemning one but not the other? Last time I checked, it was no big deal when I got a pixie cut back in high school. We recognize that those verses that are more cultural specific (long vs short hair, women covering their heads in church, women not speaking in church, greeting one another with a holy kiss) are not relevant today because we are in a different cultural society. So why are we not reading the rest of the Bible through a cultural lens?

The Bible is alive today. It is relevant today. It is still as authoritative today as it was when Paul and John and Moses and David and all those pals wrote it. BUT it has cultural significance. It is an ancient document. Paul’s letters in the New Testament were written to specific people groups in a specific time period on a specific topic… and it’s been pretty scholarly proven that the topics discussed are not the same homosexuality that we know. There is so much cultural context in the Bible, but that doesn’t invalidate anything that it says. Like I said, it is still alive and authoritative today. Recognizing that the Bible has culturally relevant topics in it does not mean that we can’t learn from it as present-day people. Trust me, God still speaks to me everyday from his living and active Word!!!

We really like to pick and choose which passages we want to read through a cultural lens and which ones we don’t. But we don’t have that power to deem something as literally relevant to us or not. We either need to read the entire Bible with cultural context in mind (which is what I believe we should do), or we should read it all 100% straight-forward. Which let me tell ya, would look VASTLY different than the Christianity we know today.

If we did that, men would have to have short hair no matter what (1 Corinthians 11). Women would have to cover their hair when in church (1 Corinthians 11), and they would not be able to even speak while in church, let alone hold a leadership position (1 Corinthians 14). We would have to greet one another with a holy kiss (Romans 16:16). We’d literally be physically turning our cheek when someone slaps us in the face so that they can also slap the other cheek (Matthew 5:39). Tbh, I don’t know any Christian who does all of those things (except maybe not letting women lead in church–that one is still heavily debated, but thankfully I was raised in a church with a woman pastor on staff). Basically what I’m saying is, if you think we should read the Bible straight-forward and not question any of it, please greet me with a holy kiss next time I see you. (jk please don’t do that, but you get my point)

Also, as I’m writing this I’m thinking of prominent pastors who are condemning of homosexuality because the Bible is “straight-forward” in its condemnation of it. But I’m finding humor in this because multiple of the pastors that I’m thinking of are women. Trust me, I 1000% believe through and through that women are allowed to be pastors, but please, if you’re going to be in a leadership position, don’t pick and choose which verses you should read with context and which ones you don’t. We try to make the Bible fit our own agendas when we really need to be making our agendas fit the Bible. I’m for women pastors, but I believe that it is hypocritical to say that we should read the Bible straight-forward about homosexuality, but allow cultural context when reading about women’s roles in the church to benefit ourselves.

There’s a term for all this called “Biblicism.” This is the idea that the Bible “emphasizes together its exclusive authority, infallibility, perspicuity, self-sufficiency, internal consistency, self-evident means, and universal applicability.” And it’s not that this idea is wrong (the Bible is the perfect Word of God), but it’s impossible because the Bible is a historical document written by countless authors over a span of thousands of years, and then edited and placed together and interpreted by even more people. Plus there are genres that we so often overlook!! There’s poetry, there’s drama, there’s comedy, there’s history. There’s literally everything, and all of them will have slightly different tones and messages because of the genre that they are placed in. And like I said earlier, it’s an ancient document written to ancient people. What was true for them and their struggles in their culture might not be relevant today.

When we try to read the Bible literally, we’re missing out on a lot. I believe that we’re missing a lot of points that God is trying to make on a lot of different things if we just take everything face value and never search for context or anything. We have to look at the history and context and everything around a verse in order to get the full picture. If we don’t, we are portraying our own cultural norms onto an ancient text that already has its own specific cultural norms. And I’m pretty sure our God lives and exists outside of cultural norms.

So. Now that I’ve given you all of my reasons on why I don’t believe that the Bible addresses homosexuality, let’s talk about where you go from here!!

I can’t say for sure.

I cannot tell you for sure 100% if homosexuality is a sin or not, simply because the Bible does not address it. I’m not God (surprise/thank goodness oh my gosh), so who am I to be able to declare something that is literally not even addressed as a sin or not? We can’t say that homosexuality is a sin because we have no proof to back up that claim. If we do try to say that it’s a sin, then we are sinning because we are placing ourselves in a God position which IS a sin.

In the same way, I don’t think I can comfortably say for certain that homosexuality is not a sin. I’m not about to put myself in that God role of trying to declare things as sins or not. I just know that it’s not addressed. So I’m going to sit in the semi-uncomfortable place of “hey, I don’t really know for sure. But I’ll support you, because I see nothing telling me not to.”

Listen. It isn’t our place to say if homosexuality is a sin or not. And I’m pretty sure if God didn’t address it in the literal book that he wrote for us, then I’m pretty sure that it’s not as big of a deal as the church is making it out to be. 

I have no place to judge my LGBTQ+ friends. Even if it were a sin, I have no place or right to condemn, and I believe that I would be more condemned by Jesus when I get to heaven for how I treated my brothers and sisters poorly than for standing up for them. 

Above all else, love.

We gotta stop being so obsessed with sins and be more obsessed with people and their hearts and their lives and stories. That’s what really matters. That’s how people meet Jesus. And Church, we’ve been doing a really sucky job at showing our LGBTQ+ friends who Jesus is.

In the Gospels, Jesus hung out with the outcasts. He kinda really despised the Pharisees and spiritual elite. He often found himself with the prostitutes, the lepers, the tax collectors, the crippled, the adulterers. And if that’s the example Jesus set for us, why aren’t we doing that??

I’m not saying that LGBTQ+ people are in the same boat as adulterers or prostitutes (they’re not at all at all at all), but the Church likes to throw them all together and label them under the same category. And that is directly against what Jesus did.

The Church has hurt this community like none other, and there’s gotta be reconciliation. My God loves my LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters just as much as he loves me. He is as pleased with them as he is with me. He sees no difference between them and me. 

LGBTQ+ pals, Jesus loves you. He is pleased with you. He wants you.

Church fam, let’s show them that. I’m not trying to convince you to change your stance. But I am trying to convince you to love this community as Jesus loves them. And Jesus loves them a whole heck of a lot. And to turn away from that is to turn away from who Jesus is and create our own idea of a savior.

So, long story short: I don’t believe that the Bible talks about what we know to be homosexuality. I cannot tell you if it is a sin or not because I am not God and I can’t decide something that I have no Biblical proof for, but I am affirming of my LGBTQ+ pals because I have no reason not to be. Our God is love, and I’m going to live in that love by loving this community and accepting their love. 

To sum it all up, my friend told me this quote the other day and I agree wholeheartedly.

“I would rather get to heaven and God tell me that I loved people too much and too hard, than get there and him say that I did not love people enough.”

A-to the-men to that.


And just some resources for y’all (most of these are affirming resources because I mean, that’s my belief and what I’m writing about, so please don’t get @ me for not linking any non-affirming articles please!!):

An Honest Challenge to LGBTQ-Non-Affirming Christians–a great article on how to love those who are LGBTQ+ even if you don’t necessarily agree with their sexuality.

Jen & Brandon Hatmaker–this is just a short Facebook post from Jen and Brandon about how they came to their stance of affirmation, but it is so so good. They also talk about it in other interviews and blog posts and such if you want to search for those too to hear more in depth about their journey!

The Bible does not condemn “homosexuality.” Seriously, it doesn’t.–this article takes each “clobber verse” and examines their cultural context and Greek/Hebrew meaning. Not the most scholarly source in the world, but I figured I’d link this one instead of a bunch of commentaries on the Greek and Hebrew language because those are a bit of a headache to read tbh. The man who wrote the article is a pastor, so he’s for sure done his research also, and everything he says in here are things I’ve read directly from scholarly commentaries and exegeses!

Candice Czubernat–honestly just a great blog to read from a married lesbian Christian mom.

The Law of the Land has caught up with the Law of the Lord–this one is AWESOME and not a side of the discussion that I addressed. I especially love the chart about the Biblical definition of marriage. So good.

God and the Gay Christian–this book has rocked my world. Seriously. If nothing else, read this. Not to change your mind, but to better understand. This man believes in the Bible as the authoritative Word of God, and it is refreshing to see him dig into Scripture in the way that he does!

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Thank You, God, for Mental Illness

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Lately, I’ve started practicing thanking God for my mental illness.

I know, it sounds weird.

“Hey, God, thanks for the crippling anxiety. Really loving not being able to catch my breath today!”

“God, I’m honestly so thankful for the times that my brain existed solely as a calculator to count each and every calorie that entered and exited my body. Thanks for making my brain able to do that!”

“Seriously, God. Panicking whenever I get in too close of a proximity to a boy–what a blessing.”

Lol, that is NOT how my prayers go. Nope. Not at all.

This is what it’s more like:

“God, this hurts. A lot. But thank you giving me these experiences and this platform. Mental illness is crippling and some days I really feel like I’m not going to get through it, but I see you here and I know that you are here with me. This darkness is my proof that you are good and that you aren’t leaving me. If this is what it takes for me to know that, it is well.”

We all have our own darkness. I don’t know what yours is, but mine is a few psychiatric diagnoses and a few traumatic experiences and all the symptoms of both of those. It’s heavy and I’d honestly rather just throw all the things away, but they were given to me so that I can know who God is in my life.

He fought for me. Hardcore fought for me, time and time and time again. Dude was putting on his armor multiple times a day when I was in middle school and high school thanks to self-harm and anorexia. He still puts on that armor daily to help me fight my crazy anxiety and trauma reactions.

If mental illness has taught me anything, it is that God is here for me and he’s not giving up on me.

If he was going to give up on me, he would’ve done it a looooong time ago. Probably when I was in seventh grade, if we’re being honest. But not only has he stayed with me, he’s fought for me.

So, I’m thankful. I’m thankful for the mental illness that has shown me Jesus and taught me more of his character and who he is as a savior and redeemer and friend.

Don’t get me wrong. I would so so love it if Jesus took away every ounce of anxiety and depression in my body. But that probably won’t happen. And I’m okay with that. As great as it would be to live a life where I didn’t have to take medication each morning so I can function each day, that isn’t the life I’m called to. This mental illness is the thorn in my side (2 Corinthians 12:7-10) that I will choose to rejoice in and be thankful for. Because these are the things that introduced me to Jesus and force me to lean on him constantly. They drive me straight to the cross, and there’s no place I’d rather be.

So, God, thanks for the darkness. Thank you for showing me that you fought for me time and time again, and that you’ll keep doing so until I’m safe in your arms in heaven one day. I see my anxiety, and I think of you. I see my depression, and I am reminded of who you am as Father. I see my eating disorder, and I remember your providence. I see my trauma, and I know that you were with me then. Because of these things, I know you. That is more than enough for me. That is healing, right there.

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Seen + Known, and Still Loved

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This picture makes me feel seen + known because these are the trees outside of Carolina House. These trees saw ALL my emotions two summers ago. These trees heal me.

Do you ever just wake up on a Monday morning, crying because you desperately want to be seen + known, and still loved? Because that’s me right now.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I spent a good chunk of last week in my favorite place ever, Durham, North Carolina. My home away from home, my happy place. The city that holds my entire heart.

I know Durham is a super random, probably not exciting city for most people, but that place is where I can breathe the easiest. It’s where I can exhale a breath that I’ve been holding in for months. It’s where I am free and the best version of me possible (if you don’t like who I am, maybe go to Durm with me. I’m 1000x better there). It’s where I went to treatment and where I got my life back. I’m convinced that healing is in their oxygen there. Quote me on that. I’m so convinced that I’d probably even argue a scientist on it.

What makes Durham the healing and life-giving place that it is, is the people there. My people there. My people there are my TRIBE, the ones that I am so completely authentic and vulnerable with that it hurts but feels so so free and so clean. I can’t talk about my treatment friends without crying. I’m lowkey sobbing now as I write this because I LOVE my people there. I don’t have to wear a mask when I’m in Durham. I can feel all my feels so deeply, but also feel the joy that springs from so deep inside. I don’t have to hide. I can wear my heart on my sleeve there, which is tbh my favorite place to wear it because I’m all about vulnerability. 

With my treatment friends, it’s acceptable to struggle out loud. To feel all your feels to the deepest extent. Really, it’s expected. Because to us, being emotional means healing. And the shutting down, hiding, and avoiding means that you aren’t changing, you’re hurting, you’re struggling. It’s what we were taught, and it’s how we learned to get our lives back. It’s how we live our best lives. Because the emotions and the crazy brought us freedom in that lil yellow house in the woods, and it does the same out here in the real world too.

And y’all, I wanna live that way everyday, everywhere, with everyone.

But I can’t.

That isn’t how our world operates.

Our world teaches us that emotions are bad, that they are not to be seen, that we need to hide them and stuff them.

I lived like that for the first 18 years of my life, and it was hell. It landed me with an eating disorder, self-harm, and suicidality. It taught me to use my body to convey how I felt, instead of my words. Because that was prettier and a lot more acceptable. But oh my goodness, couldn’t have being open and honest about how I was feeling saved me from all of that? If I was taught to tell my truth with my voice instead of my body?

Glennon gets me (always). In her book Love Warrior, she says, “We started out as ultra sensitive truth tellers. We saw everyone around us smiling and repeating, ‘I’m fine! I’m fine! I’m fine!’ and we found ourselves unable to join them in all the pretending. We had to tell the truth, which was: ‘Actually, I’m not fine.’ But no one knew how to handle hearing that truth, so we found other ways to tell it. We used whatever else we could find–drugs, booze, food, money, our arms, other bodies. We acted out our truth instead of speaking it and everything became a godforsaken mess. But we were just trying to be honest.YES.

I am so sick of hiding. I have been for the past two years, so I’ve decided to be hella honest about where I’m at all the time. And that is so healthy for me. If I can just vocalize my thoughts, outwardly process them whether it be to my journal or to another person, it gets them out of my head. If they stay in my head, they take root and that’s when things get dark and messy. But if I can get those thoughts out into the light, they hold less power. So I’m honest. I’m vulnerable. I’m all about living open with my close group of people (and sometimes the internet when the time calls for it–#livingoutthatGlennonlifestyle amiright).

I REFUSE TO HIDE ANYMORE.

But oh man, refusing to hide has been one of the most painful things because wow, some people just don’t want to see and know you for all that you are. And maybe it’s not that they don’t want to, but that they just simply can’t. Which is okay, and so valid. But that doesn’t make the sting of “oh my goodness, I was seen and known, but not loved” hurt any less.

I’m not always a hot mess. I’m a deeply happy person that happens to feel every other emotion just as deeply, so ya girl has lots of thoughts and lots of feels. I’m sensitive, but that’s not a bad thing. My sensitivity allows me to see the world in a different light and is going to make me a kick butt social worker in a couple years. I just have a lot to process a lot of the time. No emotion or situation is black and white for me. It’s all gray, all the time. There’s a lot going on in my head, and I’m really not ashamed of that. 

I just desperately want to be seen + known. And even more so, I want to be loved for all that is seen and known about me. 

Durham with my treatment friends is my small slice of heaven. I am so seen and so known, and yet I am still so deeply loved. I want that kind of community everywhere. I don’t want to have to hop on a plane to experience that.

If you’re wishing to be seen, known, and loved also, let me know. Write a comment, shoot me an email. I know we’re all out there. We’re all fighting to find our place in this world, wondering what’s the perfect equation of being real with the world enough to be appreciated and applauded but not too real that it makes people uncomfortable.

Personally, I’m tired of that equation. I just want to be real. And I know that a lot of y’all are feeling that way too.

Let’s make this a goal. A community goal. To be real, to be authentic, to be vulnerable. And to encourage one another in that, lift each other up, and love each other so so big. Let’s form the community that we’re all desperately wishing for.

I’ll see you and I’ll know you, and I promise that I’ll love you.

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