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Love Will Bring Us Home
This is a story from the caverns of my heart – a part of my heart that I rarely share with anyone apart from John.
But today, I feel called to share this particular cavern of my heart with you.
I originally wrote this piece for an audition I recently had. My audition piece wasn’t selected in the end, but I still wanted to share it with you all. Because this piece is so personal, I also recorded a video of me sharing it. This is the kind of piece where I think it’s important for you to hear my voice and my emotions behind it all. So feel free to watch it or read the piece below. They’re both the same story.
And please note, all questions in my piece are rhetorical. 🙂 Thanks and enjoy.
On the surface, I look like your typical white American woman.
I have a husband, three children and a cat, and we’ve been part of a church for most of our lives.
But if you take a moment to look deeper, you’ll see there’s more to my story.
I, in fact, am biracial. I look white and sound white and so people assume I am white. But I’m not. My mom is Korean and my dad is Caucasian. I had the privilege of living in South Korea for five years as an adult, and it was life-changing to live in the homeland of my ancestors. I fell in love with Korean food and culture, the language, and my people. I may look white but I think and feel more Korean than most people realize.
My marriage also makes me look like I’m straight, but I’m not. I’m queer and my husband is straight, and we are in what is called a mixed orientation marriage. And what makes this whole story fascinating is that I didn’t realize I was queer until 7 years into our marriage. No one ever told me you could go to bed one night thinking you’re straight and then wake up the next morning realizing you’re queer. Like, why wasn’t this addressed in our premarital counseling?? 😉 Okay, so my story’s a little more complicated than that, but for the sake of time, that’s basically what happened.
Just to add to the complexity of life, I’m also a recovering Christian. Having gone to church my whole life and eventually landing on a preaching team, all I ever knew and did was revolved around the church. But recently, as I started to deconstruct white straight male power and privilege and the patriarchy, I learned how much of my Christianity was the byproduct of white straight male thinking and ideology. As a biracial queer woman, their theology had no room for me. It didn’t represent me or my story. Heck, it didn’t even acknowledge my existence as biraciality and sexuality were never discussed in the churches I attended. Not being named is not being known. And after 30+ years in the Christian church, I couldn’t stand being unnamed and unknown any longer, and so I left.
And it’s scary, you know.
Because I have three little kids.
Three little kids who look up to me and ask me the deepest, most brilliant questions all the time, especially my oldest. She’s 7 but I swear she’s an old soul living in a child’s body. She was 4 or 5 when we were snuggling in bed one night when she asked, “Mom, where are the middle people?” I said, “I’m not sure what you mean, honey… what do you mean by middle people?” And she said, “You know. There are boys, girls, and then there are boy/girls. You know, middle people.” And I was like, “Dang girl, are we talking about transgender people?” We ended up having this amazing talk about people who are transgender and it was such a beautiful conversation.
But I never had these kinds of conversations growing up. I didn’t know the term transgender til I was an adult. So at times I feel incredibly inadequate when trying to answer my daughter’s questions.
The same thing applies to the church. I’ve only ever known church life. So to no longer be a part of a church almost feels wrong, especially when I think about my children.
- What if Christianity is right? And what if I’m wrong?
- What if it’s the true religion, and I’m completely screwing up my kids and their afterlife by pulling them out of the church?
- Will they be mad at me when they get older for not having given them the tradition and community and faith that comes with being part of a church?
- Will they become even more agnostic or atheist than I am and be completely turned off to any level of spirituality?
- Is it my fault if that’s what ends up happening?
- Am I okay with all of this?
And the questions go on, spiraling down a thousand “What if’s” in trying to think through every scenario possible to try to figure out if what I’m choosing to do with my life and my children’s lives is wise or foolish… or maybe somewhere in between.
But here’s the thing, you guys.
When I’m spiraling down the path of the thousand “What ifs”, I can tell I’m operating from a place of fear. My whole body constricts, my breathing becomes shallow, and I can feel my whole face scrunch up.
But when I think about how I’m resisting toxic theology, and how I’m standing against queerphobia and standing for full inclusion of all kinds of beautiful people, I feel my whole body expand, I feel a lightness to my chest, and my whole face lights up – I realize then that this is what it means to operate from a place of love.
And if there’s anything I have learned in my 34 years of life here on Earth it’s that I refuse to make decisions based in fear. Instead, I will keep choosing love over and over again, love for myself, love for others, and love for my children, until love brings me and my babies all the way home.
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[Featured photo: James Picard on Unsplash]