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.