April 1998

The last two weeks have been filled with a lot of anxiety about the future.

I used to have everything figured out perfectly. I've been preparing for the career I'm in now since I was fourteen years old, and everything has gone pretty smoothly on the climb up the ladder. The job I have now is the job I planned to have when I was a sophomore in college. Everything is perfectly aligned for advancement. On another front, I still feel empty about the lack of close relationships I have with others (especially guys), but overall my social life as a straight person is pretty great.

However, as those of you who've been reading my columns know, I've stopped denying to myself that I am gay. I've even accepted it, and have come to trust God about it; He is completely sovereign, infinitely wise, and perfect in His love for me. He created me gay, and has a purpose for me. The problem is, whatever His purpose is for me (I'm still learning about it), it isn't compatible with what I had been planning.

I don't care to go into the details in this public forum, but basically, if I stop pretending that I'm straight, I can't have the career that I want. It is a dream I will have to give up, one of the many ramifications of being gay and following God's plan. In the end, it will be good; as I think I've talked about before, being gay will pull me away from the insulated, suburban life I would have lead if everything were normal. I will not spend my life sheltered from the problems of the world; my service to others will not be limited to tax deductible charitable contributions. I feel I am called to touch and be a part of a hurting world, not to hide from it's reality like too many of my fellow Christians.

Christians are called to sacrifice in many ways. Giving up my plan is not the cause of my anxiety. The anxiety comes from not knowing what's next. I've never been where I am now, not knowing the next step and being afraid to make any choice at all because it might be the wrong choice.

Two weeks ago, I was accepted to the first of several law schools I've applied to, for this fall. Do I really want to go? Or is it just because I want the future economic security, and I don't trust God enough to provide it for me without a law degree? Is it worth the massive debt I will incur? Do I still have what it takes to be a student after being out of school for two years? Can I bear to be separated from my family and friends, even though they don't know the real me and I don't dare to tell them? Am I ready to live somewhere other than West Michigan for the first time in my life? Will I find new friends in another city? Will I have the courage to tell them I'm gay?

Will it really be a fresh start, free from the distractions of my past, or will I fall into the same lies I do now?

Logically, I don't see myself living a satisfying life as a gay man where I am right now. And I'm running out of energy to keep lying. Law school is probably my best ticket out of here. But a simple logical equation like that doesn't stop the anxiety or the doubts. Every time I see a plane, I wish I was on it. Every time I have a good experience with a friend, I want to stay forever.

"Now listen, you who say 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.'" JAMES 4:13-15


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