Wednesday, June 1, 2011

More Thoughts on IQD

Ty Mansfield relates the story of a friend in his section of In Quiet Desperation.  His friend's emotions frightened me for how accurately they mirrored my own.  Speaking of the first experience he had with another man, Ty's friend wrote:

I finally understood how it felt to want to write and sing those cheesy love songs, and even what it was like to naturally want to kiss someone.  Whenever I dated a girl... the drive to keep the relationship going was never there.  Homosexuality is such a misnomer.  It is about so much more than sexual attraction.


This is definitely the hardest test of faith I have ever experienced!  After finally feeling for the first time what romantic love was really like, knowing what it was like to kiss someone and have it race through your mind for the rest of the day [or week, or month. Ugh.],  to meet someone that you connect with emotionally, socially, physically, spiritually, who seems to complete you in every way, to miss him so much when he isn't around, to have him fill a void that you didn't even know was there, to actually feel truly loved and to truly love in return, to know what it's like to want to spend your entire life with someone, and for everything logically and emotionally telling you that this is good and right and natural and that you should embrace it, and then to willingly give it up because something deeper--something more eternal-- tells you it's not right and that it's not God's will, that for me is the essence of sacrifice--that is the only thing that I know of that I could give up to truly show God how much I love Him and how much I want to serve Him and be with Him someday.
(112-113, emphasis and brackets added)

Damn you, In Quiet Desperation...  That entire, stupid paragraph hit so close to home when I read it last night.  I have such a hard time understanding why something that feels so natural is so wrong. If it were just about the porn and the masturbation, even though it'd be difficult, it would seem doable. But to that sex drive is added the emotional fulfillment that, even in my extremely limited and one-sided experience, still feels so natural and so essential to my happiness.  Even now, after weeks of separation, the memories of the kisses and embraces I've received fill me with twitterpations.  I practice playing and singing love songs, preparing for the day I meet my someone (and in my head, that someone is not a woman).  

It's difficult, and I don't have a super-strong testimony that it will be worth it, but somehow I know that I must leave those desires on the altar of sacrifice.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland is quoted in the chapter as well, saying, "We must be willing to place all that we have--not just our possessions (they may be the easiest things of all to give up), but also our ambition and pride and stubbornness and vanity--we must place it all on the altar of God, kneel there in silent submission, and willingly walk away" (117).  Even now, that sentiment brings me to tears of sadness.  I don't want to give up such a big part of me.  But, at least for now, I know I do need to obey that admonishment.

For the record, I am a happy person.  Blogging and journaling has a tendency to make me only write about things that are heavy and sad, but I'm nonetheless a happy guy.  Today was sunny and beautiful, I have great friends, and I am grateful for a million things in my life.  Me writing about the despair I sometimes feel has no effect on how thankful I am for the life I lead.


1 comment:

  1. I've definitely felt that this-is-so-right-and-natural-it-can't-be-wrong impulse. I guess it's important to consider the inverse. Being with a girl felt unnatural and felt unfair more so to me than the hypothetical her, so in simple mathematical terms it boiled down to making two people frustrated with a situation for the rest of their lives versus one being happy either alone or doing what ultimately and naturally made me happier (plus one :) ).


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