Courage to Confront Desire

November 29, 2014
November 29, 2014 jennyrain

Courage to Confront Desire

Photo sourced from Creative Commons

Photo sourced from Creative Commons.

Finding the courage to be honest with myself about what I want has required great bravery.

  • To be honest about WHAT I want, instead of projecting those desires onto someone else and relinquishing ownership of my own feelings requires courage.
  • To be honest about WHO I want or don’t want in my life, instead of the usual self-sabotage I practice in relationships requires bravery.

After a lifetime of letting others make choices for me, define my feelings, tell me what I want, or subjugate my desires to circumstantial-survival needs or the holy requirements of a “higher power,” being able to answer the question “what do I want” is like climbing Mt Everest.

Even if I manage to identify a desire, the second challenge I have is labeling what the heck it is! My body often sends signals that a desire is looming… anxiety, despair, excitement, tension, expectation, but I’m not always sure how to decipher it. And the teaching I’ve received feels woefully inadequate for practical instruction.

  • The CHURCH acknowledges desire exists, but the vast majority of discipleship has to do with quieting desire.
  • SOCIETY teaches us to blindly follow desire wherever it leads… “Follow your heart,” “Pursue your desire,” and it normalizes all forms of misplaced desire.

Both of those guiding meta-narratives result in the same thing…a denial and numbing of our hearts. I don’t think either side has the lion’s share of wisdom on how to navigate our deepest desires. The truth probably lies in the grey area, but not a lot of folks write from the grey area.

This is yet another question I’m wrestling with in this season… how to navigate desire in a way that is life-giving instead of life-destroying. I’m trying to find a way to journey WITH those heart-felt desires — desires that are neither holy nor unholy, but just ARE — without numbing their existence, explaining them away, or following them into destructive places.

Again… no answers… just more questions.


I break things and trip a lot. I like to chase things like dreams, goals, ideas, and raindrops. I create things with words. Writing has been an outlet since I first discovered the magic empty space of a journal. Words dance around in my brain and often land amidst scraps of paper, find their way into journals, or etch themselves into blinking pixels. I hope my words fall like rain on tender souls in need of refreshing. Finding photos in random moments helps me share stories. During a trip to Africa the perfect trifecta of my first DSLR, mission trip, and dream-location happened and my love of photography became a reality. I'm currently writing my first book, "Will They Laugh if I Call You Daddy: Growing up with 2 Dads in an Evangelical World," I'm a board member for One Million Kids, and I believe that every kid of an LGBT parent should have an opportunity to #ChangeTheConversation with their story. My bio remains in process because I am.

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