Sometimes I feel as if I’ve been left alone. I know that ultimately, I serve the God who has not left me alone.
And yet, it feels that way. The last few days have probably been some of the loneliest I’ve had in a while. I’ve been fairly stressed with trying to get everything in order before I start seminary in the fall. I’ve been judged unfairly by people from church folks as well as family members. I miss both of my best friends a lot. I need a better job that will actually get my bills paid.
I am very tired of sleeping alone.
Let me say that again…because some people just heard me say that I am tired of not having sex…which is most decidedly NOT what I just said.
I am very tired of sleeping alone. I’m single…lots of single people trying to honor God with their sexuality are very tired of sleeping alone. There’s a measure of security in waking up and seeing someone next to you…like they won’t leave you alone.
Now, I hear the answer coming… Your security needs to come from Christ, not from someone sleeping beside you.
Really now? What is the statement by God that it isn’t good for man to be alone if not truthful? Did he not make that statement before sin even entered the world? Desiring someone with which to live life and to sleep beside is the way that God wired human beings.
So lets take that design by God and introduce sin. So I have the very natural pain along with sinful desire. This brings about a great deal of hopelessness in my condition. I have no idea what God has planned for my life. It may or may not involve my ever feeling safe alongside someone I love. I may or may not ever feel toward a woman the way I currently feel toward men. I may or may not ever get married. A life of perhaps seventy or eighty years with little hope of ever not being alone?
One way I don’t feel alone is hugs. Several of my straight Christian brothers have, in recent months, criticized my hanging out with other gay guys, Christian and non. But where am I going to get a hug from any straight friends? Do I always have to ask? I don’t have to ask my gay friends for a reassuring hug.
Here’s the other problem: now that I’ve announced this, two things may happen. First, any affection I’m shown from a straight guy will seem to me to be contrived. Second, in a month, all of this will be forgotten and any efforts on anyone’s part to help will cease.
I basically have a lonely life ahead of me. Right now, I’m well-connected. I’m about as far removed from socially awkward status as anyone can be. I always have friends to hang out with. When I’m at church or even visiting a new one, I have no trouble talking to any number of people. I’m 28.
What happens when I turn 35? 40? 50? It’s already getting tough to have friends my age that aren’t insanely busy with their own kids, except for the ones who, like me, are gay and celibate.
All of this to say…and as non-dramatically as possible…who will hold my hand when I die? Friends only go so far.
And so…I feel alone. Very alone.
Jeff S. said:
David, this must have been a hard post to write, but thanks for putting it out there. You express very real thoughts and emotions. People and the church need to hear them. I wish there was an easy answer for you. As I spend time with my dad, a widower the past 5 years, in the hospital battling cancer and pneumonia without my mom, it gives me an inkling of what you mean when you day “who will hold my hand when I die”. I trust you will continue to build a network of good friends over your life, but I understand what you mean about sleeping alone.
Keep on giving hugs, my friend. Straight guys need them, too, even though they won;t admit it so much.
Craig L. Adams said:
There is a whole class of people in churches that are lonely — but they remain invisible (“under the radar” as we sometimes say). These include straight folks who have never married as well. Many people who have lost a spouse are lonely and embittered and can’t talk about it. Our family-oriented churches are often blind to the reality right in their midst. Lots of people don’t fit the “Love & Marriage” paradigm! Lot’s of people have been betrayed by this paradigm also: living in dysfunctional and painful relationships, and not feeling like they can acknowledge / talk about it. It’s a huge problem. It’s not just you.
I have no advice at all since I struggle with the same loneliness and wishing I would wake up and find someone sleeping next to me. Like you said even more than anything sexual I just long to have someone love me, fall asleep with me, and be there to tell me everything will be ok when I have a bad day. But you worded it much better than I ever could. Sometimes it just does not seem fair that we are forced to go through this but I guess life is not fair and for some reason God must think we can handle it. Maybe He has something better planned that we cant imagine? Thats what I have to hope for even if it at times it feels like a foolish hope. Its great that you have so many friends of least to support you. And if they do hug you because of this post than thats great too the more hugs the better!
Anyways sorry I have no advice I will be praying for you man!
First off I would like to second what Jeff said. It is not that straight men don’t need hugs, they very much do. The biggest problem is that society has drilled it into them that hugging is not “manly”. That is something I have been struggling to overcome, not so much the issue of manliness because I very rarely succumb to the stupid stereotypes society tries to put on us. My issue is a fairly common issue among men. I just have issues with showing intimacy on any level towards anyone and I find hugs to be quite intimate, but I am working on getting past it.
I also struggle with not having someone to love and hold, yes sex enters my mind but it is not my biggest reason for wanting a wife. I think that one of my problems is that yes I want to have a wife, but God is still working on preparing me for one. I am not ready financially, but more importantly I do not think I am emotionally ready for a wife. I do feel that God is putting me in situations to help more prepare me for marriage. I have not experienced it with my own parents but I have seen many people get into relationships, even dating (which I think most people take far too lightly), when they were just not ready. God has a reason for each trial that we pass through. Isaiah 41:10 “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
God Bless us every one.
I think the Church can offer quite a bit more to gay persons than “Just be celibate” because the command comes as a negative. A lot of gay persons encounter rules where it is comprised by the things that cannot be done. May Christ AND His Church meet you in your loneliness by opening up doors of possibility to you, rather than leaving you with the pithy instruction to “just be celibate.” The doors of possibility need to include a path that allows you to continue to be obedient to Christ AND engage in authentic, meaningful relationships with other human beings. But I think the vast majority of people have no concept about what living a faithful celibate life looks like.
Ben Mordecai said:
I think practicinghuman is on the right track.
What does it mean to have deep human relationships for individuals who for one reason or another are committed to celibacy? Especially during the painful, joyful, and meaningful parts of life.