Thursday, February 28

Fear and Pain

In a matter of minutes, my world fell apart today. And I'm crying.

I'm crying because I'm in pain. Because I'm so incredibly, desperately afraid. And I'm crying because I've let myself hope again - let myself be vulnerable to a pain that has ripped me apart in the past and threatens to rip me apart now.

It's loneliness. Total and complete loneliness.

For the last 14 years, my only wish and prayer has been to find a friend. But I can never get close enough. I try, and it doesn't work. Or something happens to push us apart. I can love the people on the street as deeply as I love my family... but no more. There is no distinction, and I'm left alone because I can't cross the bridge to feeling.

The feeling of loneliness is beyond miserable. But the reason I'm crying isn't the feeling. It's the fear.

I can deal with the feeling. Lock it inside a steel box of numbness and tell myself that this is life - that being alone, and feeling alone, is just part of what I face forever. I will never have friends, or at least I will never feel them close. That God knows what He is doing. So I turn off the pain, and try to forget it was ever there.

But then, somehow, someone breaks through. The box that holds my feelings gets opened and I find myself wondering if maybe the miracle I've prayed for for so long is going to happen. If God will help me find a friend and help me feel loved. And I let myself hope.

And in that moment I become more vulnerable than ever before, to fear.

Maybe this is depression speaking. Except that it doesn't feel anything like depression. It just hurts.

I just wish I had the faith to believe. To honestly and truly believe that it will work out. Even when things go wrong, or people come and go. Even if I never have a friend who stays.

I just wish I had the faith to live with hope without being smashed flat by my abject fear of being alone forever. The fear that I try to smother with every good thing I do in life. The fear that makes me anxious when I don't have someone to counsel or someone to teach or something "noble" to accomplish. The fear that convinces me that the people who say they love me... don't... and that only their goodness keeps me in their grace. The fear that as soon as something better, or less painful or needy, comes along, I'll lose someone else before they got close. Because it has happened every time. And the fear that leaves me curled up in a ball in my car, sobbing because I'm ashamed and because I'm afraid.

Dear God, please help me find peace. Help me to feel loved even when I'm afraid of being alone forever. Help me to know that it will be okay, no matter what happens. Help me to love, and to live, and to find joy in life regardless of circumstance. Help me to be vulnerable, and to be able to deal with the pain that comes from leaving my heart open to the people I love. Bless the people I love for the time they've spent with me... and help me be better.

I'm okay. Life will go on. I stopped crying and can go back to class. I just need to have faith that it'll all work out.

It'll be okay.

Tuesday, February 26

Sin and Seduction

"to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (James 4:17).

I found myself wondering today about sin. What it is. Where it comes from. How it can be completely tempting and damning at the same time. Why I fall into its trap. How it's defined and set out for me, and for the world.

Hopefully, by the end of this post, I'll know a little bit more.

In James, sin is described as having two components: "Knowing to do good" and "not doing it."

Knowledge about what is good comes in many ways. The first, and most universal, is conscience, or the light of Christ, that imbues me, and all men, with an innate understanding of right and wrong.

"For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil" (Moroni 7:16).

I don't know exactly what the light of Christ teaches. I'd assume that, like most other gifts from God, it grows or diminishes based on my willingness to follow what it teaches me, or based on my ability to listen to its influence. The presence of ethics, moral situations, and people who make great choices in life without necessarily attributing them to divine guidance makes me think that the light of Christ is actually pretty comprehensive. That could be why good people can exist in and outside of ecclesiastical organizations, in countries where churches have never set foot, and in places where people have had to completely reconstruct the moral foundations of society.

But the light of Christ isn't enough by itself, because I don't think it actually teaches new information about goodness; it just helps me choose when I have different options presented to me.

Hence the need for the second and only other source of knowledge: God Himself.

The light of Christ allows me to choose between the options that I see in life. But God does something more. He can see the pathway that I walk, and knows which way will lead me to happiness. So He reveals that truth-goodness to me.

That happens in a lot of different ways. In the days of Adam, it was simple. God spoke to Adam face-to-face, sent angels, gave him dreams, and inspired his mind. But as soon as Eve entered the scene, truth became transferable. And in the days that followed, God could speak to any man he chose, and those men could then teach others how to be happy.

God chose prophets to lead and guide His people to happiness, and gave them power to prove their authority to men. When the Lord speaks to prophets, it is for the benefit of mankind as a whole.

Then there's when God speaks to His children one-on-one. Through the power of the Holy Ghost, or visions, or dreams, or angels, God still speaks me individually even when there is a prophet... because the prophet teaches a broad, universally applicable set of truths that will help everyone find happiness in eternity. But to rise to an even higher level, I need to understand what else I can do, or not do, to find happiness in my daily life.

Then there was the advent of science, as God inspired men to comprehend the workings of the universe and gave them tools to understand more. Writing, wherein truth could be preserved and passed down, unaltered, from generation to generation.

Today, the truth is dispersed among hundreds of thousands of voices. A prophet that receives continuing revelation for the world. Scriptures that teach applications of doctrine throughout diverse circumstances. The Holy Ghost. Science and medicine and philosophy and art and music and language, all giving insight into the workings of eternity, all offering pathways that purport to lead to happiness.

Short backtrack: It's interesting to me that, even though I am different from anyone else in the world, the pathway to happiness has portions that look the same to me as they do to everyone else. Hence the presence of commandments.

Sometimes I wonder why they're called commandments... and what they really are. I think that looking at sin as something inherently evil is not really on the mark. Many sins do seem inherently evil, but the definition given in James is much broader. It feels like to me that anything that leads me away from eternal happiness is what he was talking about.

Anything that leads me away from greater happiness is sin.


I think the simple reason is that God loves me. And the definition of love is wanting me to be happy more than anything else, and being willing to do anything to help me achieve that happiness. Mediocre parents give their kids whatever they want. Good parents tell their kids to eat their vegetables. But the perfect Father created life as an opportunity for the perfect experience to teach me to be happy. The distinctions of right and wrong and good and evil are simply distinctions to help me find happiness along the path.

Anything less than full happiness is unacceptable to anyone who really loves someone. But that doesn't mean that life will always be happy. Because I'm sort of dense, the Lord has given me plenty of experiences that, in the end, helped me to grow and learn and appreciate life and be happier... but in the moment I was miserable. But that's a sidetrack.

Hence anything that leads me away from the final destination would be sin.

What's crazy, is that as I follow further along the path, God gives me more knowledge... and that knowledge enables me to better choose what is good. Maybe before I knew that I should eat healthily, but my thought was that "healthily" meant eating everything in moderation. Then I learn about the Word of Wisdom and am better able to choose the right things to stay healthy, and I'm happier. Then I read a study by the American Heart Association and the Holy Ghost confirms that I need to give up sugar, and I'm happier still.

So... what's the temptation then?

I think that the temptation of sin is the temptation of the known vs. the unknown. Trust in what I can see and touch and feel, versus trust in God and the things I can't see or touch or feel. Ultimately, I sin because I honestly choose to believe, in the moment, that whatever I'm doing is worth it. That of all the possible routes to happiness, this one is the best. If I'm aligned with God, then I can be sure that my actions will lead to happiness. But whenever I choose something that doesn't align with what I know, that's sin.

The difficulty comes when the pain of sin, and the happiness of goodness, don't come immediately. When a spoonful of sugar tastes good, and broccoli doesn't. If all sins were painful, no one would do them. I wouldn't. Even a few seconds of distance makes it easy to forget and to believe that the gain of sin will outweigh the pain that follows. Like when someone who is extremely lactose-intolerant convinces himself that eating ice cream is worth it, even though he knows that 3 hours of pain isn't worth 5 minutes of food. So it takes humility and faith.

I think it's amazing that God put into place so many guideposts to help me find my way. Some sins - like sexual sins - can have a lasting impact but seem to be (according to modern society) somewhat benign. They were so central to the commandments that people in Israel were stoned for sexual sin, and Christ taught that simply lusting after someone (not even committing the act) was a major sin. The reasons why could seem numerous: Science has shown that the rush of endorphins that accompanies sexual activity embeds it in the brain forever, changing the brain's function in the future. It's the power of creating life. It's the closest I get to being like God - having the ability to become a father. But the reality is that even with modern science and centuries of prophets, I don't know why the road to happiness looks the way it does. I just know it does... and that a loving God knows what things will have a profound effect on my happiness. Hence why He declares them sin.

It would be easy to stagnate in life. To do things that will give temporary pleasure and move from one stage of life to another, focusing on the things that I know will make me happy now. But God has something better in mind. He knows that eventually life's satisfactions lose their savor. That illness, disability, and sorrow won't disappear simply by indulging in life. He wants me to have the ability to be happy no matter what is happening in my life. And I have no idea what eternity is going to look like.

So there it is. I think I understand a little better. And, in my mind, I get the feeling that I need to be humble. To realize that God really does understand who I am, what I face, and the desires and pains of my heart. He knows what will help me be happy, and will always help me know the right direction to go.

I just need to make sure that, when the time comes that sin and its seduction make their appearance next, I'm willing to believe that God knows and loves me... and follow Him on the road to happiness instead of trying to make my own way.

Saturday, February 23

Touch Me... Touch Me Not

I thought I'd write about touch today. I don't know how articulate this post is going to be, as touch brings about a mess of emotions and thoughts inside my head. Which is why I'm writing. Hopefully it makes sense in the end.

I'm not sure how tactile I was as a child. My family is a loving family, and I guess we're giving with touch. I haven't seen other family dynamics, so I'm not sure what other families are like. No. That's not totally true. I realized when looking at my cousins that my family is different from the rough-and-tumble that might be a part of others. My nuclear family didn't wrestle, and the only thing that came close was at extended family gatherings with cousins. Even the sports we chose were no-contact. Swimming, diving, soccer (at least when I was young enough that kids didn't elbow me when the ref couldn't see - older than 10, soccer is a full-contact sport).

There were the sort of strange sensory quirks that seemed sort of normal but now are potentially explainable with the autism spectrum: my refusal to wear wool or long sleeves, my passion for sweat pants that stretched into middle school and then (when my mom, mortified that if I got my way I would attend 6th grade wearing sweat pants each day, bought only jean shorts that summer, then jeans and I had no other clothes that fit me) soft jeans, the assortment of food textures that would cause an unconscious gag reflex, and, even as a toddler, refusing to play in a sandbox or the dirt because I hated the feeling...

And then the others that I'm not sure I ever told anyone. That I couldn't sleep if someone's skin was touching mine, to the point of waking up in the middle of the night on a road trip because my little sister's finger had touched one of mine. That there was a painful physicality to loud music or flashing lights that made my head hurt. That every time someone touched me, I could almost feel it running up my spinal column, a deep emotional response resounding in my brain - for better or for worse. Touch was always charged with meaning.

I remember sitting in Sacrament meeting, my head down, with my mom drawing on my back. She would draw a letter, or a picture, and I would have to guess what it was. I remember being awful at the game. But the reason why I kept playing wasn't because I wanted to get better. It was because of the strangeness of the feeling. Each touch sent waves of shivers through my back. Not painful ones. Just an intense physiological response to something that, even in my little-kid brain, seemed like it should be normal.

I now know that hypersensitivity to touch is a somewhat common symptom of autistic spectrum disorders. Either way, I think it's probably that the intense physicality of  touch slowly and subconsciously made me avoid places and situations where I would be touched. I learned to find a seat where I wouldn't be touched when sitting down. Perhaps my choice in sports was motivated by it as well. And combined with awkwardness that I couldn't see and the natural difficulty with engaging in conversation or entering a group that I could, maybe my lack of touch just made sense to other people. David's a bit standoffish - he doesn't talk to most people; he doesn't touch people; he's not really like other people.

I don't think I could candidly write about touch without also writing about abuse. At 16 years old, I was sexually abused... and the exact, minute details in complete have been engrained in my psyche forever. The incredible grief, agony, guilt, despair, and self-loathing that accompanied the memory when it was first formed are gone. I know that it wasn't my fault. That God wasn't punishing me for being unfaithful in some way. That the experience didn't rob me of blessings that God has promised me. But the memory is still there, complete with the heightened sensations that, looking back, seem to be there every time someone touches me.

If I've been hypersensitive to touch, that could explain a lot. Being hypersensitive physically could subconsciously make me push people away. Attaching deep emotional connections to even an errant brush on my sleeve could make me touch others less to avoid playing with their emotions. I'm realizing now as I write this that, for most of my life, I've honestly assumed that everyone experiences life the way I do. I realize cognitively that that makes no sense. But that belief - that's another symptom of ASD - a difficulty in empathy. Not in empathizing with people once I understand what they're going through and realize that my normal isn't normal at all... but a difficulty in even recognizing that life could be any other way than how it is to me.

Maybe that's one reason why I never touched my dates unless occasion absolutely required. For me, touch carried a deep emotional weight that couldn't just be brushed off - proof that there was a connection there beyond just the casual... and since I knew I wasn't physically attracted to them (even before I admitted to myself that it was because of SSA), and couldn't honestly send that message, I couldn't touch them. It seemed almost like abuse - that sending that message, causing those feelings, would be violating their trust in me. I couldn't brush their arm with mine, or even allow that to happen, which undoubtedly created distance. No one ever asked me about it, but I could tell.
On my mission I gave bear hugs to other elders because that was the only type of hug I could do that wasn't so intense that it almost hurt. Just a hug... I'll just say that hugs are far more intense than bear hugs are. The irony is that the least painful hug for me was the one that would crack their backs and, if they didn't hug back, would also leave them gasping slightly for breath.

Another deeper irony, looking back over all of it, is that one of my primary love languages is physical touch.

I don't know if I'm still hypersensitive. Maybe I am. But that doesn't mean that I need to avoid touch - just that I need to understand it. I got over my abhorrence for long-sleeved shirts - I'm wearing a ribbed long-sleeve shirt right now. I tamed my gag reflex and can eat anything that's healthy, regardless of texture (or taste, but that's another story). I've fallen asleep with a baby in my arms, the heat of its body making me feel loved instead of burning. And I've held guys - in real hugs - who just needed to be loved.

And then last night, when depression hit me hard without warning, I found myself on the other side. Asking friends - guys - to hold me while I cried. And in that touch - again, not a bear hug, but a real one - I felt loved. It was the first time I've had the courage to ask... and the first time someone has held me when I really needed it, instead of me holding someone else. It was a feeling that bridged a gap that I didn't even realize was there.
I don't touch people because, after my own lifetime of avoidance, I haven't learned how to. Because I don't want to be awkward. Because I don't want to send the wrong messages (messages I probably misinterpret in the first place).

But I want to change that.

I think I'm learning what touch looks like to others. What I can do to physically show people that I love them, and how to stop sending vibes that say "touch me not." How I can pull down the walls that have been a part of my reality and let myself feel people - literally - and let them be a bigger part of my physical life.
 I got a massage a little while ago. I had been talking with a massage therapist about my essential oil company. She was giving away free 5-minute massages, and asked if I wanted one. I laid down on the table, fully clothed, with more than a bit of trepidation, and she tried to loosen my back, shoulders, and arms. She asked me after I stood up if that was my first-ever massage. It was. But hopefully I can get the courage to go back.

I've got a lifetime of knots to untie... and I can already tell that it's going to be an adventure.

Friday, February 22

Love is Pain.

How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity? (Moses 7:29)

I don't think there's anything more painful than watching someone I love suffer and feeling helpless to ease their sorrow.

There are pain medications to dull the pain of appendicitis. There is peace and love from God even when my own sins have wracked me with torment, or when I feel alone and lost and frustrated with the world.

But there is no way to numb the pain I feel for others without also numbing the love I have for them.

Emotions can't be turned off one by one. To stop the pain, I would have to go numb.


I've been numb before.

During high school, overwhelmed with the guilt of addiction, inadequacy, and depression, I turned off my feelings. Not all of them. Just enough to be able to get through a day. Or an hour. Or a moment. All that life seemed to offer was pain... and I didn't want to kill myself. So I became numb. Those were the only two options I saw, and since no one else knew, I had no one to tell me otherwise.

And, for a while, it worked. Bottling up all my feelings made life easier. Simpler. Instead of making choices based on passion, I just did what I thought was best. And the pain disappeared into the background. But so did love and everything good in life. When the world offered me the chance to be a performer or study physics, I chose physics... because it was stable, secure, and rigorous. I didn't ask myself what I wanted to do. Maybe I took my love out of the drawer and looked at it for a moment, but ultimately I put it back away.

I didn't believe I could handle it. Loving myself, people, the world, and life, so much... and watching so much pain.

But numbness hurts even more than having a broken heart.

Numbness pulls the meaning from life entirely... and makes it impossible to laugh, to smile, to dance and enjoy the moment. Nothing matters when I'm numb, and when nothing matters, life, as a whole, is awful.

At least when I'm in love, I can see the minuscule good things in life... if I'm willing to look for them. When I let myself love and hope, I have feelings for people. Motivation to do whatever I can to help them find happiness... and a willingness to find any cure for their pains. I would climb a mountain or change the world to see them smile. Yes, love opens the door to pain. Pain so intense that it rips me apart and makes me want to take something to numb my life again.

But it's better to have loved, and lost, and gone through the incredible torment that brings, then to never have loved at all.

Wednesday, February 20

Letting Myself Fall in Love

Sometimes people ask me what I do when I find myself deeply attracted to a guy. Usually the question comes from another guy with same-sex attraction who wants to know how I deal with the temptations that often follow attraction. Often I sidestep the question with the answer, "It's not really a huge issue" or "I get to know him." But even though those statements are totally honest, putting them together doesn't really catch the whole gist of the story.

The truth is that I let myself fall in love.


The scriptures tell us to love all men. Charity - the pure love of Christ for all mankind - is the ultimate virtue. And so I leverage my attractions to men to help me love them.

Attraction is an interesting thing. It blinds me to a guy's flaws and accentuates his strengths. It makes me want to get to know him as a person and to understand the things that are happening inside his mind. And those two things - an eye for the good and a powerful desire to understand him - make learning to love him... the way God loves him... much easier.

It's happened more times than I can count. Attraction hits, and I do everything I can to get to know about a guy. And as I get to know him, I see him as a son of God. His dreams become my dreams for him, and I find myself wanting him to be happy - not just happy today, but happy for the rest of his life and into eternity. 

That may seem backwards, especially from a guy who is committed to living the gospel no matter what. I'm never going to date or marry a guy. So what happens if he's attracted back to me? What happens if he falls in love with me? Doesn't that lead to a compromising situation?

It does.

But so do all the other paths.

The reality is that being homosexual, by its very nature, puts me into compromising situations. Regardless of the path I choose, my life will be fraught with temptation.

The question then is this: What safeguards can I put into place? And the answer I've found is deceptively simple: Learn to love all men. The greatest strength against temptations is love.

When I love someone, there is no way that I could ever hurt them. No way that I could ever do something that would injure them or cause them grief in the past. But there are prerequisites for that happening. For starters, I have to understand what happiness looks like. If I thought that this life ended at death, then morality would make no sense. But since I honestly believe that God gave us commandments to help us find happiness, and that following those commandments - spirit and letter of the law - will lead to the greatest results now and in eternity, everything I do for someone I love will be to help him stay on that path. I could never let myself get in the way.

That's the distinction between love and lust... and the key to how my relationships progress. Love is valuing someone's eternal happiness and being willing to do anything I can to help him to be happy. Lust is valuing my current sensuality above anything else.

Love I cultivate. Lust I smash.

And then when temptations come, they turn my stomach instead of turning me on.

So I'm attracted to this guy. I'm in love with him. Temptations come. But I love him more than just from attractions. My thoughts about him include all the things he wants to accomplish in life and the love that God has for him. I love him as a brother and a friend for eternity. That's the barrier that has worked the best for me, and the one that will keep me safe. Because even if my own morals were lacking, I would never do anything to send my brother, or a good friend, to hell.

Tuesday, February 19

Josh & Lolly Weed: 2nd Voices Video

Josh and Lolly Weed hit the gay Mormon scene when they wrote a joint post on Josh's humor blog. His small readership jumped and his previously personal post designed for family and friends went viral when the story hit Gawker, Facebook, then national news media sites.

I met Josh Weed a few months later at the "Reconciling Faith and Feelings" conference that was hosted by AMCAP (Association for Mormon Counselors and Psychotherapists) and FAR (the Foundation for Attraction Research). It was before the conference began, and he was talking to Ty Mansfield. I introduced myself to both of them just as David Peterson. Not gay Mormon guy. Someone made the comment that we were in sort of a club - the faithful gay Mormons who had recently found notoriety.

Since that time, we've talked a few times. By phone, email, I actually saw him in Salt Lake last week.

Josh and Lolly honestly assert that their story is just that. Their story. They believe that opposite-gender marriages mixed with same-gender attraction create potential danger. They believe that we should love people unconditionally, as God loves all people. And they believe that their story should not be used to bully, coerce, or force anyone else to walk down any path.

Here's the highlight version of the Weed's Voices of Hope interview.

And the full version here:

As soon as I can figure out how to embed the videos themselves, I'll do so. Right now the Blogger/YouTube search function is not cooperating.

Saturday, February 16


I had the feeling today that I needed to keep track of the things in life that have inspired me most. I have an awful memory, or at least one that is incredibly selective based on my mood, and that wreaks havoc when depression hits out of the blue. I find myself forgetting how beautiful life really is and only seeing pain and despair. Sort of miserable.

So I created a new page on (Gay) Mormon Guy called Inspiration and will be putting stuff up that's inspiring to me going forward. Right now I have a few pieces of music that I heard this week.

Sunday, February 10

Trained to Serve

I seem to vacillate between two emotional extremes.

At times I honestly feel pulled to believe that I am worthless and will never amount to anything. Nothing I've ever done, or could ever do, can make up for the worthless and totally unlovable creature that I am.

And then sometimes I find myself tempted to think way too highly of myself. I look at the exact same list of things I've done as in the paragraph before, and think I'm hot stuff. Crazy amazing, or at least amazing. Who couldn't love me?

Then I step back, look at both sides, and laugh.

Wow. I have problems.

I remember reading that people who are bipolar often have feelings like mine. One day, you're crushed under an emotional bus, convinced that you're worthless and completely unable to even fend for yourself or do the things you love. On the next, you've been called by God to save the world. Maybe I wasn't reading - it could have been a counselor who told me that people with bipolar are often deluded. I think I took affront. Either way, in my in-between days I honestly believe both. I'm totally worthless, infinitely valuable, unlovable, awesome, inept, and charged with saving the world.

Which makes me wonder.

What would I be like if I hadn't had these experiences? If I hadn't grappled with suicidal depression? Gone through the agonizing self-loathing of abuse? What if I never had hypomanic highs that made me feel like Superman? Or if I had no problems getting close to people? If love had come and been returned easily within my own hopes and dreams?

I know my life would be different... But would I be a good person?

Something tells me that part of the reason, and perhaps all of it sometimes, that I am unselfish is because of my experiences. That, if I had been born to bliss, I would have been less likely to care about the world... and even if I cared, less likely to do anything about it.

And maybe that's one reason why my life is the way it is. For years, I've slowly developed the habit of trying to find meaning in life, reaching out to help people when I feel awful so that I can feel better. Empathizing with people who have gone through the same things I have. Maybe God is training me so that, someday, when my own problems are gone, I still have the habits of service. So that when the miracle has happened, I fall in love with a woman, and find a piece of my happily ever after, I'm still willing to help people find theirs. Maybe I wouldn't be the person I am today without my trials. I know I wouldn't be a blogger. And yet I am, and now I am so deeply entrenched that, even if all my problems disappeared overnight, I wouldn't.


Wednesday, February 6

Good News

My brother CJ was declared cancer-free this afternoon.

It actually happened earlier than that. This morning he mentioned to me that he had "the doctor's appointment" where he would learn about the results of his bone marrow biopsy. I asked him if he had looked at the results yet. I wondered since I had learned about the results of his last biopsy, even before his doctor did, through the online patient health portal. He hadn't looked, and told me he didn't want to know.

I wanted to know, so I logged into the My Health portal, pulled up the pathology report, and scrolled down until I read the words "there is no indication of malignancy..."

He just heard the good news, and gave me the okay to tell the world.

Thank you to everyone who has kept him, and my family, in your prayers. This experience has been a huge blessing in our life and has given us a multitude of opportunities to learn and grow.

Friday, February 1

Where You Want Me to Go

The email came this afternoon at five o'clock. The sender was the Stanford Graduate School of Education, and before I clicked to open it all I could see in the preview bar was "if you can't read this email properly..."

I found myself watching my emotions. Wondering what the news would be, and how it would impact me. This would either be an open door, or one that would close yet again for another year.

Somewhere inside I already knew. It doesn't rain for three days for no reason. God had already primed me to know that He's involved in my life no matter what happens. He gave me hope and peace.

I got rejected.

Sort of anticlimactic, right? Overly melodramatic? Maybe. I don't know. It's an admissions decision from the only school I applied to - the only plan I had made for my future because it felt completely right. How am I supposed to feel? Devastated? Depressed? Relieved? Anxious? Just last week someone told me about a grandmother who killed herself when her grandson was rejected from college. It makes me imagine intricate glass castles, floating in the air, adorned with thoughts and hopes and waking dreams, that are shattered in an instant.

I'm not sure what my emotions are right now except for raw. Burned. So numb that I'm not sure I can even feel them.

Part of me wants to be frustrated with myself - the self that fails in every job interview, that puts together resumes that make people question my value, that somehow messes up everything he tries. If the last few years of life have done anything for me, they've made me more humble. Feeling like I'm never good enough, no matter what or how hard I try, does that to me. The people who wrote me letters of recommendation did the best they could. So did I... and this part of me feels like it wasn't enough.

Part of me wants to cry. I haven't cried yet. I'm sure I will... because I've been going in this direction for a long time, and wanted it to be the destination... because I'm still afraid of the unknown.

And part of me is grateful that God is involved in my life. I don't know what He wants me to do. I believe that, if I'm doing the best I can, everything will always work out for the best. I don't know how this will work out. This was my best shot, and it felt like the right direction all along. But maybe it wasn't meant to be. Maybe the miracle wasn't getting in... but staying out, because I need to do something different.

I don't know.

Either way, visions from God are directions... not destinations.

Thank you for your faith, your hope, and your prayers. I know that God has been involved in my life, often because of people who keep me in their prayers. And because He is involved in my life, I know this, like everything in life, will turn out for the best.

I just need to make sure I'm going in the right direction... have the faith to believe in Him... and He'll make sure I get wherever it is I need to be.