About 6 months ago, I asked God a question. Why did God allowed me to feel those same-sex attractions and if I will ever recover from my depression?
Yet, I got no answer from God. Now, I am beginning to reflect and realise something. God not answering my prayer was not the answer “no” but to wait. Possibly, to wait for something that may never come in this lifetime. So why wait?
I had the privilege these past days to ponder on God’s sovereignty. There are a lot of things that we don’t know about or understand. Sometimes, I think we like to play god and put our understanding of Him in His shoes. We always think that we knows best.
What I don’t understand is that some Christians twist and claim biblical scripture as their own. How to make God work for them? But our understanding of God is so bleak, so small. How can we worship one who we can manipulation? If we can answer every question that people ask, then are we not worshipping one who is smaller than us? Do we really want to leave sovereignty in the hands of one who is so small and so ordinary?
God is who God is. We cannot change who He is just because we wish to. His attributes are never changing. In Francis Chan’s book Crazy Love, he talked about how we tend to think that God is going to bless us, that God is for us. Yet, it is written in Revelations 4 that we were created for God’s pleasure. Our original design is to glorify God, not the other way around. This is also evident in John 5.
So God’s sovereignty extends to the things that we do not understand or comprehend. But it is about learning to submit to God, His standards and His will. It is about trusting in God’s righteousness, His holiness and His sovereignty. It is about letting go of our reins and handing the thrones to our lives over to God.
Sometimes, I wonder why I even bother. It seems that people expect me to magically be happy and full of life after all this time in depression. I think part of the truth is that I do want to. But sometimes, I feel like I get knocked back by the waves of depression, despair and helplessness. There are times when I doubt my own ability to making a recovery from depression. Sometimes, the treatments are helping and sometimes, the treatments don’t seem to work, and that frustrates me.
There is a saying in Chinese, “a hundred emotions intersecting”. This is the exact feeling I am having right now. Somehow, the emotions and thoughts overwhelm me and I can’t distinguish what is what. When they attack, I crumble under the weight and the only thing I do is to retreat back into my shell.
The ironic thing is, I am a very conflicting person. I know myself to dislike big crowds and people, and rather spend time alone, but I also realise that I do yearn for relationship with others. I want to be heard, to be accepted and to belong. I know that in Christ, I will always be loved by God. But it doesn’t quench the need for relational intimacy with other people. I struggle to find the balance between the two.
The other thing is, I feel the guilt of feeling selfish. Sometimes, I doubt my depression to a point where I believe that I am only acting this way for attention. That at times, I want to be loved but the only way I believe I can do that is through being miserable and depressed. Because without the darkness, no one cares right? That was sarcasm.
I feel like I have an unhealthy need for possession of people, and I get disappointed amd jealous. Sometimes, I get so frustrated at myself knowing that everything I do is just letting my emotions take control of me, and dictate the way I should live my life.
Among the feelings, there is still the dark desire of attraction. I keep reflecting on whether or not these feelings will ever go away, but everytime I feel less intense, the feelings come roaring back in in waves. Will I ever get over it? I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. But I do know that whatever they are, I will not act upon it and will continue to push through one day at a time.
Lastly, there is a little voice inside me that constantly remind me of the emotion and pain of separation and leaving. I do not know the future, and sometimes I think that eventually they all leave you so why bother in the first place, but I know that God’s plan is greater than what I expect. I know it will be painful, but I pray that through it, I will grow in Christ.
Recently, I have been plagued with the return, or rather increase, of my depression. It seems that I cannot get out of my head the idea that I am not good enough and that no one cares because I just irritate and annoy them. People claim that it is silly, and perhaps I am crazy, but the emotion is very real. Over the years, I had grown accustomed to holding people at arms length because I am afraid that I will disappoint, and in return be disappointed when I realise how much I hate myself and the guilt and shame I feel about who I am and what I have done.
I know that in Christ, we are God’s children, but reality suggests that in this fallen world, it is not easy to get rid of feelings that have been with me all my life. Some times, the thought of ending it all seems like a much easier and more logical choice. I wonder if people will actually take notice if I disappear or if life will be less burdensome for them without my negative impact holding them down…
It has been a while since I’ve written. Somehow, the energy isn’t as flourishing as before. Maybe it is because I feel tired or tired of thinking and reflecting and trying to remember everything that happens in my head, usually at a time when I don’t have any pen or paper. When I do sit down though, those thoughts are gone and the emotions are not the same anymore.
Perhaps, my emotions are less intense, hence the desperate need to write is also less intense. I often reflect why I write. Am I just looking for a place to let out my thoughts? If I put them on paper, there then is more space in my head for other thoughts. Am I looking for acceptance and approval? Probably on some level, I guess I am. Do I need a place to voice out who I am? As vain as it sounds, that is true. Everyone has a story to tell and a voice to be heard.
But perhaps, the most important reason is to inspire and encourage others on their walk with God. This is also the reason I am learning to be more discerning when it comes to what I write to the public. Our words influence others in ways we cannot even imagine. Even if we think we are sayinf nonsense, those words matter and they will impact someone.
I really want to write the first post of 2017 on my birthday. But I somehow don’t have the energy or the brains to do this after a long day of walking and talking.
I guess I am not so sure how I feel on this day. In my 32 years of life, I somehow think of myself still a kid unwilling to grow up. I look at where God has brought me, the people He has placed in my life. There is no other emotion than gratitude. I am constantly amazed at my lack of faith in God, but amazed at the grace and love He has shown me.
I pray that I will continue to reach for that passion for God when I first believed, and that in my darkest hours, I will hold onto God’s promises as He is holding onto me.
This will most likely be my last post of 2016. I originally planned for a long-winded essay about all I want to reflect on 2016, but I realised that it is unnecessary. Not because it is unimportant, but rather because what I have experienced and journeyed through will most likely stay with me for the rest of my life.
As I think about 2016, I believe there are three points that I can take away from the year.
It has been a year where I had to look at myself in the mirror and realise who exactly am I. I had to face the facts that there are some things in my life that may never change the way I want them to change. Namely my same-sex attraction. One of the more difficult realisations is about letting other people into this inner world of mine, a world I have tried for years to surpress and ignore. It is a world which made me realise that it is a part of me but it does not define me.
2. Thankfulness for friendship
I am blown away at the love that has shown to me over the past year. Never have I been so vulnerable yet so blessed to have people around me who geniunely care for me. In a life where I may never have a family of my own, I found deeper meaning and connection to friendship. It is because of friends who did not cower away in fear at my depression which had helped me to be able to start the road to acknowledging my mental state and reaching out for help.
There is so much which I had reflected on these past 12 months and nothing has compared to the profound experience I had in understanding the grace and love of God. He had not forsaken me in my depression or my same-sex attraction. And through it, I find myself drawing closer to Him. It has given me a fuller understanding of perserving in Christ and what it means to take up our crosses to follow Jesus.
So with 2016 drawing to a close, I am somewhat still confused at whether or not I made any progress this year. Yes, I believe 2017 will still bring about my feelings of same-sex attraction, and I will continue to struggle with depression. Yet, in the midst of the storm, I can see the light in the distance. I hear God calling out my name, giving me the hope to keep fighting for this life.
I wonder if we can really see the invisible. I know that sounds like a crazy idea but just think, if everyone started to fade away when they withdraw from people, would we be able to notice?
I often wondered how oblivious and ignorant we are to other people. We often have this perception that we can see what is in front of us, fully naked and vulnerable. Yet, when off to the side, we have no idea what people are going through.
Everyday, people get up and they put on a mask of pride, mask of happiness and a mask of compassion. They go out into the world wearing those masks. Do we really notice the subtle signs that people radiate from their hearts? Not the ones that say I am great, but the ones that say I am drowning in despair and hopelessness.
We are really invisible to other people, sometimes even to ourselves. We say something for long enough and eventually we believe it.