About esuke09

I'm a Christian, bisexual, married woman who is seeking to love more deeply.

gays exist [revised].

This has been adapted, modified, and edited.  I wrote this blog post about 3 years ago.  It shows part of my experience in accepting what being gay meant, and what it meant for my relationship with God.

So. I guess this kind of was on my mind today. I know that title seems very obvious. It seems obvious because people identify themselves as gay all the time.  But there has always been a question of whether they “actually” exist.  Meaning, do they actually just choose to be gay?  Or do they develop into being gay?  Or did God create them gay?  Did God intend for them to be gay? and if he did, then why is it a sin for them to pursue who God created them to pursue?

Before I “knew” any gay people (I know, and am convinced I know gay people who just didn’t come out to me for various reasons), my thought was always that seems so unnatural.

Homosexuals are ‘unnatural’
The reason homosexuality felt unnatural, and the idea of it disgusted me was because I was always told I was going to marry a man, we were all going to find a person of the opposite gender and marry them. Then life would be beautiful and satisfying. Therefore, when I think of women marrying women, it felt uncomfortable and strange, because in the culture I grew up in, it was.

This started to change when I took this class in college called Sociology of Sexuality. In this class we discussed how genders are actually cultural and social constructs. Meaning, that aside from the obvious biological differences between a man and a woman, what makes a man “manly” or a woman “womanly” is all just what the culture says it is.  Our culture says the color blue is for boys, pink is for girl.  Trucks are for boys, dolls are for girls.  Girls can cry, boys can’t cry.  This is because of American cultures’ influence on us, and our fitting of people in boxes.

We also read a book called “The End of Sexual Identity” which discussed the spectrum of sexual identity and how the lines are really blurred as far as sexual identity. Meaning, you may feel like you need to fit into being strictly straight or gay, but there is a spectrum that starts from straight and ends at gay.  So you could be “straight” but potentially have some attraction to the same sex.  Which means you aren’t fully straight, but not gay either.  Our society likes things all neatly packaged in little boxes such as “straight”, “bisexual” or “gay” each which mean 3 clearly different things.  But humans are much more complex than that and therefore not all of us fit into those three categories neatly.  Most of us actually force ourselves into those boxes.

This discussion and reading of the book really challenged my view of God and whether or not he could create a homosexual.  Obviously, prior to reading this, I believed that being gay was just a choice.  Slowly I started to question “who would ever choose to be gay? Not because it’s awful or terrible, but just because life is so much easier if you just fit in the box that society tells you to fit into- being straight”.  The other problem with choosing to be gay is: did straight people choose to be straight then?  I started thinking about Adam and Eve, and how they were the first “marriage”.  Some people think that Adam and Eve were the only two humans on earth at that time, but then where did all the other people come from when God destroyed the earth?  Also, I started thinking about the animals and how God only saved one of each gender when he destroyed the earth with the flood.  I questioned whether homosexuality was present in the ‘natural’ world with animals, which it is.  It’s interesting because sexuality is actually very diverse in the natural world outside of humans.  Why was it so constricted to heterosexuality in our own world?

Did God create Gay People?
We all have personality traits, ideas, thoughts, desires, and passions.  I personally don’t think that I picked these traits. As if I had a line up of ideas or thoughts and chose what I wanted my strengths to be, desires to be, or passions to be.  I believe that these gifts, strengths, weaknesses, and personality traits were given to me by God.  I believe that my desires and passions were not choices, but rather through God’s work and developing me to be more like Christ, he’s instilled those passions and desires within me.

For example, one of my passions is to see brokenness restored.  Through my family, through growing up around special needs kids, through God’s work in changing my heart and bringing me out of depression, I desire to see the brokenness of this world restored.  I have eyes to see the world the way it is and I want to see restoration.  I don’t think that that desire came from within me and myself.  I believe that was God’s plan to give me that passion.  I think God created me for a purpose and I think that everything he created within me has a purpose as well.

I started thinking about God, who he is aside from the creation of homosexuals.  One big thing that I realized about God is his creativity.  I mean, look at anyone around you.  The hair, the the eyes, nose, height, skin color, hair color, and that’s literally just scratching the surface.  On top of that, think about God’s creativity in creating personality, thoughts, thinking patterns, dreams, aspirations, desires, loves, strengths, weaknesses, etc.  Could he not extend his creativity to those who are attracted to the same sex?  It just didn’t make sense to me that that was the one place where God cut off his creativity- in creating only straight people.

Homosexuality is a Sin and a Choice
I also thought that homosexuality was just a sin that you either indulged in or you didn’t indulge in.  Like alcoholism, pornography, drugs, etc.  This is what I was taught.  That it’s just a temptation that we must abstain from and avoid at all costs.  But I don’t believe God makes alcoholics, drug addicts, porn addicts, etc.  I don’t believe God is like well this person is going to be an alcoholic, this person is going to be a drug addict, and this person is going to be gay.  I believe that those sins are sins chosen by people.  They fall into those sins where gays don’t know of a time that they weren’t attracted to the same sex.  Taking the example of alcoholism, alcoholics have the hope of knowing they haven’t always been an alcoholic.  Gays don’t.  Gay people have always been gay, it’s not like all of a sudden they began “indulging” in being attracted to the same-sex.

I don’t want to shut this down too hard, because this is ‘Side B’ of the homosexuality debate, and there are very good Biblical reasons supporting it. I’ve realized that the Side A and Side B are more of personal decisions for each side.  But my struggle with Side B is that I compared alcoholism, pornography, drugs, lying, and any other sin to same-sex, committed relationships, and there really is no comparison.  Not only is alcoholism shameful to admit, most alcoholics aren’t willing to admit it.  For homosexuals, admitting that you are LGBTQ is actually freeing to admit.

I also had to think about sin.  What does sin do?  It destroys.  It destroys something.  Your physical body, your spiritual relationship with God, the relationships around you, whatever it is, it leaves you alone, stranded, and broken.  Why then, when I would say “I’m bisexual, attracted to men and women” did I feel free and more full?  Why did I feel like my relationship to God was deeper because I was able to accept his love for me to my bones, not just what I thought was right and wrong?

Sins also make sense.  It makes logical sense to not tell a lie, to not hate someone, to not get drunk all the time or do drugs, to not seek God first in your life.  Those sins make sense. There is never a time where you can be an alcoholic and not destroy something.  But homosexuality and having a committed, same-sex relationship with someone doesn’t destroy your body, it could destroy your relationship with God (I’d argue that would partially have to do with how the church reacts to homosexuality today…).  But all in all, being gay does not destroy anything.  Basically, I don’t see how homosexuality could be destructive aside from any other straight relationship.  A straight relationship could be considered a sin as well if put in the right context.  I struggled to find the real difference between a straight relationship and a same sex relationship.  Any destruction a same-sex relationship could do was the same destruction a straight relationship could do.

I’m not asking you to change your mind, nor am I asking you to read this blindly.  I’m asking you to see another side, to understand the possibilities of other ideas that maybe you weren’t taught growing up, or maybe that the church historically hasn’t embraced.  God is beyond all of that- beyond the church, the other possibilities.  He is the mastermind behind us, his creation, and he is vastly greater than we could ever imagine.  Could he not have created a diverse group of people with different desires, loves, passions, and thoughts?

Whether you want to ignore the ostracized gay community of this world, or embrace them for who they are, they exist and there really is nothing you can do to get rid of them.  God created them that way, and God has a plan for each of them, just like he has a plan for you.  For some that may mean celibacy, for some that may mean seeking same-sex relationships, but either way they are there.  There is a reason they are here, and God is calling us to love them with his love no matter what you think about them as people.  He has called us to love, the greatest commandment and often the most challenging commandment- to love one another.

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changes.

I’ve been really bad at consistently writing in this blog. As a result, I have decided to make a few decisions about my life and where I’m headed. First of all, I want to write much more. I’m a very intra personal thinker and processor, and therefore writing is a great outlet for me to express myself, so look forward to seeing more posts and thoughts from me. Second, I recently found out I have PCOS (poly cystic ovararian syndrome) and hypothyroidism. My upcoming goals are to allow you to journey with me in my struggles with these health issues, and show you some things that have helped me and things that haven’t. Third, I am making a commitment to meditation and quiet. I don’t want wellness to be a part of my life, I want it to be my life and permeate through my entire life. Lastly, I’m going to continue to write about my struggles with faith and sexuality which is a major part of my life- where I’ve found hope, what I’ve learned about Christ, and how I’ve grown closer to Him. 

Journey with me! 

between.

In a world that demands labels, identifications, and sides, it’s a nightmare to be stuck in between.  To not be “normal”, “average”, “white”, “straight”, “American” or “majority” is a constant struggle between two worlds.  I witness this uneasiness everyday working in a high school.  Students are constantly attempting to conform, change, shove, and push their way into the popular, smart, hip, skater, or emo group.  The labels high schoolers place on themselves and peers add pressure to ‘be’ and ‘act’ a certain way.  I especially see the struggle of my students with special needs as they try to make friends, and try to reach out to students who don’t understand why they look or act a certain way.  It seems as though they are seen as different from the start, and their struggle to “fit in” is so much harder than other students.  My heart breaks for them to know how much greater they are than they can even imagine.

I often reflect on my own life and what these labels mean and do to me now.  Life and it’s labels are given by society instead of the peers and colleagues around me.  The expansion of these labels have taught me a lot- mainly that I don’t belong.  Do we ever really belong?

I am a Christian, half Japanese, half American bisexual woman whose labels don’t describe who I am.  The complexity of a human being is fluid and much deeper than any label could describe.  I have felt caught in between many of these labels- it’s a pretty lonely place.

In particular I struggled with my “Christian” label and “bisexual” label.  When you think of what a “Christian” is, you think of a moral, conservative, creation believing, Bible thumper who has all the answers, right?  They are confident about where they’re going, what they believe and sometimes they seem to tell people they’re wrong if they don’t believe what they believe, right?

When it came to my sexuality, I had a picture that Christians were straight.  If they weren’t, they were celibate, that was expected and taught.  So, when I realized I was bi, I felt my “Christianity” was like oil and my sexuality was water.  They couldn’t and weren’t supposed to mix.  I couldn’t be both bi, and Christian.

Because I was told my number one identity was always supposed to be “Christian” (because I believe in Christ), I shoved my struggles with sexuality away.  I wrote it off thinking “I can’t think like that, that’s wrong”, and most of all sinful.

When I think about sin, I think about actions that pull you farther from who God is in a destructive manner, whether that’s destructive toward oneself, ones relationship with God, or ones relationship with others.  When I look back on my denial, ignoring, and bottling of my feelings towards the same sex, I realize how destructive it was towards not only myself and who I am, but also my relationship with Christ and how I relate to Him.  I felt shame, loneliness, uncomfortable, and stuck between two worlds.  When I began to come to terms with my sexuality, that’s when I felt a weight off my shoulders.  I felt God telling me it’s ok, the struggle is ok, and (most importantly) I am ok, the way I am, the way God created me.

The most dynamic, life-changing, view altering thing I’ve learned since coming out to myself and others is how great, deep, and expansive God’s love for us is.  No matter who we are, what we do, or how we hurt ourselves, His love is far deeper than we could ever imagine.  He has taught me how to love Him more deeply, and how to love others more deeply.  Even others who disagree with me.  I’ve realized Christians aren’t tied down to certain stereotypes, certain labels like I described before.  There are Christians who are liberal, independent, straight, gay, transgender, scientists who believe in evolution, smokers; Christians who drink, who aren’t sure, who don’t know everything, who don’t understand all of the universe, and most importantly who don’t know how God works all the time.  When Christ is involved, labels aren’t needed.  Christ is bigger than Christians in this world.  He’s greater than how we label ourselves, and if we go to church every week, or if we go to the biggest church in the country or the smallest.  He is bigger, his work is bigger, and his love for you is bigger.  He is not contained in a label- he’s not contained in a church, or a culture, or a specific bible passage.  He is so much bigger than all of those things.  I’ve found when I step beyond the labels, when I’m stuck in between the labels, although it’s deeply lonely sometimes, I’m able to grasp more fully an understanding of who I am in Christ- and nothing more.

deserted.

Well, it’s been WELL over a year since I’ve written.  So much has happened and I’ve learned, changed, grown, and experienced a lot.  One important thing that has changed is I’ve been able to come to terms with my sexuality- I came out as bisexual officially, found a woman who I fell in love with, and recently married her.  We moved from Chicago, Illinois to Tucson, Arizona in a small, cramped Honda Civic.  It’s been a huge adventure.  God has taught me so much and I can’t wait to start writing again.

Being from the Midwest, I’ve never really experienced living in the desert.  Since I just moved here there are a lot of things I’ve noticed about the terrain, environment, and weather.  It’s a huge massive change from living in the lush, green, flowing Midwest.

The Bible talks a lot about the desert, dry, barren land.  I mean let’s be honest- parts of the Bible were written and inspired in a desert.  I always thought of the desert as a completely dry, fruitless land with lots of tumbleweeds and mirages (thanks to Fievel Goes West). Since being here, I have only seen one tumbleweed, and lets be honest, mirages are everywhere.

Another thing I’ve realized is this is not barren land.  It’s monsoon season here, and there has recently been a decent amount of rain.  For example, yesterday it rained basically all day.  As a result, so many plants grew.  The mountains no longer were brown, but within a few hours, they were green.  There is life in the dry barren land.

When you feel as though you are in the desert spiritually, look for the rain.  Look for the sweet relief and take it in.  Life is not dry and barren- even in the most dry places.  It is full of rich potential, waiting on the rains of the Lord to flow down.  Sometimes rain hurts because of the dry patches of the soul- you can’t absorb it as quickly as it’s coming down, but eventually it will sink in.  There is hope- even in the desert.  Even when you feel as though reward is out of reach, too far off, it’s right around the corner.

“He spread a cloud for a covering, and fire to give light by night.  They asked, and he brought quail, and gave them bread from heaven in abundance.  He opened the rock, and water gushed out; it flowed through the desert like a river.  For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham, his servant.”

Psalm 105:39-42

hiding.

Sometimes it’s hard not to hide behind the jokes and smiles.  Sometimes it’s hard to admit  I feel alone, unwanted, and unneeded. Making people laugh is easy, spending time with people is enjoyable, but deep down, I feel alone.  I am missing fulfilling, deep, life-giving friendship where I am known, loved, and forgiven.  I have grown so much and learned so much about myself in the past year and a half, but I have grown in independence, and as a result my heart is empty despite the constant people around me.

I feel alone in a room full of people.

In a sense it’s because I’ve lost a dear friendship, but I don’t think that’s the only reason why I feel alone.  I have also grown incredibly busy where my time is spent either teaching or working at Chick-Fil-A.  There is no down time for me, and when there is down time, I’m sleeping.  I’ve realized over the past year for me making friends is so easy.  I’m comfortable to be around, I can make people laugh, I can quickly find people to have a good time with.  As a result, I have a lot of “friends” or people I’d be comfortable spending time with.  But because of my likability, I’ve spread myself thin.  I know people only on a surface level, and therefore there are very few friends that I feel comfortable being fully myself around.  And sometimes even them, I fear just being.

As a result, I hide behind words, behind definitions, behind choices, to cover up who I actually am.  Maybe it’s my own fault for not being able to fully trust people with who I am.  I’ve been hurt, broken, rejected, abandoned, and sometimes it feels safer to keep a safe distance with people.

I’ve broken myself into pieces which I individually hand pick which parts to reveal to each of my friends.  So no one fully knows me, and also so I don’t put all my trust in one person.  Maybe this is healthy, but it sure doesn’t feel very thrilling, exciting, or fulfilling;  I guess healthy doesn’t really mean anything of those things.

How often do we do this in general?  How easy is it for us as a generation to hand pick who we are to people?  When we live in a world of social media, this is so easy.  When the words we say are recorded for all of history to read, we have as long as we want to figure out which words to type out and post on someone’s wall, or text to someone’s phone.  As a generation we’ve lost the ability and sense to be vulnerable, real, and honest with each other.  We hide behind the jokes and smiles, forget who we are, and numb what we’re feeling.

who are you: rethinking evangelism.

Hi. Again it has been awhile, and I apologize. I’ve been working two jobs and finding time to think about things outside of methods of teaching and Chick Fil A has been a challenge, and it will only become harder as the fall approaches.

This post might be hard for some of you to read, it might be challenging, or it might anger you. 

A few weeks ago I spent 4 and a half hours talking to one of my coworkers from Chick Fil A (Hi Sharon if you’re reading this). It was wonderful. It was a great talk and I look forward to when I’m able to do that again. In the four and a half hours we talked about a lot ranging from stories about Chick Fil A to Southern Alabama and lots of other things I honestly don’t remember. One story really bothered me though.

She told me about one day after work when she was sitting with a group of my coworkers and a woman came up and asked this question “Do you guys know if you’re going to go to heaven or hell after you die?” The question took the table aback and some responded with “I hope I’m going to heaven, I mean I’m a good person” etc. The lady then began evangelizing to my coworkers for about 20 minutes telling them about Jesus and heaven and believing and faith.

When I heard that story I was so angry it wasn’t even funny. It reminded me of when I went to Wrigleyville with a few friends and I was handed a “Get Out of Hell Free Card” stating that Jesus will save me from burning in hell if only I believed in him.

I find it hard to accept a way of evangelizing that makes those who even have faith feel guilty. I also find it hard to accept that some random woman coming up to a group of Chick Fil A workers preaching the Gospel with her words and preaching judgement with her actions is an acceptable way to bring people to Jesus.

It broke my heart to know that her lack of grace and understanding more than likely pushed every one of my coworkers further from Jesus.  

Why must we as Christians feel this obligation to preach to people we don’t even know?  I am a strong believer in the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit’s ability to convict, but when we take the Holy Spirit’s power into our own hands and rely on our own intuitions, I’m pretty sure we do more harm than we realize.  Do we feel like better ‘Christians’ when we walk up to random people and hand them a “Get Out of Hell Free Card”?  Random people who you don’t even know their names? Do we some how get the satisfaction that “I’ve done my part to evangelize in the world, and therefore I’m better than those Christians who don’t evangelize at all”?  

I understand there is passion with Christianity and when you first become a Christian there is a fire to tell everyone, this isn’t what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about the lack of Grace and lack of desire to actually understand people in the church today.  If anyone knew some of my coworkers, they would know that that kind of action to “evangelize” to them wouldn’t work at all.  In fact it made most of them angry.  

My question for you is, who are you to tell people what they should believe and why they should believe it?  Who are you to judge someone immediately by their response to you question of whether they are going to heaven or hell?  Who are you to assume that people hanging out in Wrigleyville are going to hell and are in need of a “Get Out of Hell Free Card”?  The problem with this way of evangelizing is there is too many assumptions about people and their lives.  Where this type of evangelizing might have worked 20 years ago, this generation will not respond positively to that.  Maybe we should rethink our thinking and learn to love those around us as opposed to throwing our beliefs on them.

You are a Christian, but you are also a human.  A broken, sinful Christian who is saved by grace alone.  A Christian who occasionally messes up, lacks faith, doesn’t trust, doesn’t believe, doesn’t love, doesn’t care, doesn’t desire Jesus enough, doesn’t seek Jesus enough, sees the world through human eyes just like everyone else.  The only difference between you and a non Christian, is your faith.  Although that faith is a HUGE deal, it doesn’t make you any less of a human and more of an angel.  Jesus’ blood saves you because of you’re sinful.  Nothing you can do will ever make you less sinful than you are.  Not even evangelizing to random humans who you don’t even know their names.  

changes and consistency.

Well hello there. It’s been awhile.

After graduating I realized how much I had changed in the past 5 years, and on top of that how much I had changed in the past year after my friends graduated.  I realized that the people who said they would be there for me weren’t and the people who I had met in the past year were there for me.  I realized people are flaky and that people say things they don’t mean.  As a result, graduation was inwardly painful but also a good time for me to realize my life is moving on, and the people who aren’t in my life won’t be in my life.

Life is interesting that way.  It’s unexpected, change happens, you’ll be somewhere in 10 years you would’ve never expected.  I don’t want to be cheesy, but it’ll end up happening eventually- one thing remains.  The faithfulness of God throughout our entire lives.  Whether we turn from him, fight him, love him, trust him, seek him, worship him, or deny him, he will always be faithful.  I’ve learned this in a deep way.  I’m not who I was 6 months ago, nor am I the person I was yesterday. Change is constant for humans, but God is consistent and the same today, yesterday, in 10 years, in 50 years, in 10,000 years.  That’s what we should lean our lives on, the consistency of Christ, not the ever changing people, places, things, or community around us.