My name is Tracy, and I am a child of GOD. I’m also a graphic designer, homeowner, daughter, adopted, self employed, only child, sister, wisconsin resident, 30-something, tax payer, church council member, photographer, college graduate, drummer, apple fanatic, girlfriend, cousin, perfectionist, cat owner, web developer, Christian and gay.
Oh, and I’m completely terrified of spiders.
My life has been a completely amazing journey so far. A lot of things have formed me into the person I am today, and like everyone’s story, it has lots of intricate twists and turns that could fill a large novel. (But trust me, I would want to write that even less than you would want to read it.) Here’s some highlights of my story.
I grew up going to church (An ELCA church to be specific) with my parents mostly every week. Baptized, confirmed, helped lead sunday school… the whole bit. Even went to a Lutheran High School.
Church was just something that you did. So, that’s what I did.
Enter the college years. Add the new-found “freedom” that college offered to clinical depression and easy access to parties & alcohol, then you get an all too stereotypical story that was my first years in college.
My college partying was suddenly interrupted by a series of deaths of close friends & family–some passed away from illness/cancer, one was killed by a drunk driver. All of these rattled me out of myself. It was one of the most difficult lows I ever experienced. To this day, I have no idea how I survived, except for the grace of GOD.
Still in college, I did a pendulum swing completely to the other end of the scale. I connected with as many Christian ministries as I could fit in my schedule. I wanted to put my faith into action, so I learned all the songs, played in the worship band, attended retreats, studied the Bible and listened to “Christian” music.
I learned the lingo. I memorized the comebacks. I “spoke the truth” to my friends who I believed had “gone astray.” I spit out the “love the sinner, hate the sin” line more times than I care to admit.
I was hiding.
The years after graduation were incredibly amazing and difficult and beautiful and terrifying. I had the honor of traveling with a music ministry team for a year. I landed exactly the jobs that I wanted. I met amazing people. I got to travel overseas several times. I had a boyfriend. I even fell in love… but it wasn’t with the boyfriend. It was with a woman.
I had to finally come to terms with the fact that I couldn’t run away from, nor change: my sexuality.
A wise woman once told me a quote. It sticks with me every day:
“if you approach the Throne [of GOD] with anything less than all of yourself, you are cheating your Creator”
We aren’t compartmentalized beings. One portion of our personality and being affects the other. Everything is connected. Attempting to “cut off” a portion of oneself only leads to cheating our Creator. And that’s exactly what I was doing. Now the whole “going through the motions” period of my life makes much more sense.
Gay, and Christian (and completely ok with both)
It took many years, lots of prayer and wrestling with GOD, but I finally feel at peace with where I am and who I am. I’m happy that the ELCA, in particular, have made great strides to accept and welcome people like me. There’s still lots of work to do.. but that will be a completely different post.