Pic of the Day

The Truth Shall Set You Free

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”

—John 8:31-32

For LGBTQ+ Christian believers and non-believers alike, there is no promise more powerful than what Jesus said in John 8:32: “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” When we come out, we live and know our truth and it sets us free to be our authentic selves. In the book The Rock That Is Higher, Madeleine L’Engle says, “If it’s hard for us to accept our monsters and love them and free them to become the beautiful creatures they were meant to be, it’s even harder for most of us to believe in the happy ending.” Many in the LGBTQ+ community may have thought of their sexual as a monster within them because they were told their sexuality or gender identification was wrong, but once we come out, we can embrace our true self and realize just what beautiful creatures we are. Yet, it is often hard for us to believe that we can experience a happy ending, but we can and will if we can accept ourselves and become comfortable in our own skin and in our own minds.

In her writing, L’Engle recognizes the universal human longings and considers how literature, Scripture, personal stories, and life experiences all point us toward our true home. In The Rock That Is Higher, she also wrote, “We are all strangers in a strange land, longing for home, but not quite knowing what or where home is.” As we grow up in a world where heterosexuality and gender conformity are considered “normal,” we do feel like we are strangers in a strange land. We long to be normal, and it’s sometimes hard to realize that what is normal is not heteronormative social conventions, but “normal” is being your authentic self. However, L’Engle writes that we get a glimpse of our true self, “…sometimes in our dreams, or as we turn a corner, and suddenly there is a strange, sweet familiarity that vanishes almost as soon as it comes.” We have to learn to grasp onto and accept that sweet familiarity.

If we do this and accept ourselves for who we are, then it is an affirmation of God’s love and truth–an acknowledgment of our longing for a rock in the midst of life’s wilderness. Gay activist and former Jesuit priest Robert Goss wrote in his book Jesus Acted Up, “For queer Christians, the Bible is read intertextually with their own resistance to homophobic oppression. The truth of a particular text requires an interpretation that includes the social context of the text and the truth of their own queer lives.” Contrary to what many conservative Christians want us to believe, God will never forsake us. He is always there for us and wants us to be happy. Isaiah 54:10 says, “‘For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has mercy on you.” Nothing will ever stop God’s love for us.

If we accept ourselves and accept the infinite diversity of humanity, we can become closer to God. He accepts us the way we are, and if we slip up Jesus died on the cross for our sins and salvation. We will all make errors of judgment occasionally. Romans 3:21-26 says:

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

My mother used to sarcastically say about my father, “Only two perfect men have ever existed: your father and Jesus Christ.” This was usually said when my father claimed he was right, and she knew he was wrong. My earthly father is flawed, but my Heavenly Father is perfect. My father (and my mother, as well) hold grudges, but God will never hold a grudge against us, especially if we accept and live our truth, because “the truth shall set you free.” We should celebrate our freedom and live our truth.

Pic of the Day

Moment of Zen: Morning Cuddles

Pic of the Day

Working Saturday

Saturday and Sunday, our morning low will be -12 with dangerously cold wind chills between -30 and -45. Normally, I’d stay inside my nice warm apartment, but tomorrow is my Saturday to work. I took this Saturday because I went down to Dartmouth on Monday, so I took Monday off and am making up for it tomorrow. Normally, I’d have taken a sick day for a doctor’s appointment, but with all of my doctor’s appointments lately, I’m running low on sick days. 

Up until about two years ago, we were getting six months of sick leave a year. Yes, I know that’s a bit ridiculous, but the idea had been that if we had enough sick time, then we wouldn’t feel pressured to come to work when we were sick. Then, we got a new Human Resources Director who decided that our benefits should be brought more inline with industrial standards. So, in the process, we’ve been dropped down to twenty sick days that accrue over the course of the year. He also cut our vacation time and raised the cost of our insurance. We are paying more, but getting less benefits. So far, he hasn’t meddled with our retirement, which is supposed to be very good. The matching benefits that the university pays is supposed to be an incentive for people to come work at a university in rural Vermont. That’s what our other benefits were supposed to be as well.

This post was supposed to be about working on Saturday, not a rant about the benefits at my university. Saturday workdays aren’t bad. Usually, there is nothing to do, which is the worst part, but it also means it’s very quiet. Also, there is usually some cute cadet who comes in to get extra work study hours. All any of us really do on Saturdays is watch Netflix or something similar. On a normal day, we don’t have many Saturday visitors, and on a day when the wind chill could be -40 degrees, it is unlikely anyone will come in. I’ll be bundled up and park close to the door, so I’m only out in the cold for a very short time. I’ll be in the cold longer walking from my apartment to my car then from my car to the museum. 

 When Sunday comes along, I don’t plan on stepping foot out of my apartment. Although, I might have a friend, i.e. hookup, coming over. He actually came by to see me at the museum yesterday. We’ve been chatting for about a week or so, and he was in the area, so he came by. I showed him the museum, and we flirted a bit. He didn’t stay too long. There wasn’t a lot to show him since we only have one gallery open right now as we install the new exhibit in the other gallery. I’m hoping if we get together on Sunday, he’ll be showing me a lot more. 😉

Pic of the Day

I Don’t Know

Last night was just one of those nights where I had no idea what to write for a post today. Plus, my brain was just tired and feeling uninspired. We’ll see what today brings.

Pic of the Day

Apartment Hunting

Apartment hunting sucks! It always has. It’s worse when you have pets because it makes the choices fewer. I looked at an apartment last Friday, but it was very small and the upstairs bedroom and bathroom was was heated by passive heat, meaning there were no heaters upstairs just vents in the floor for the heat to rise from the first floor.

I was offered the apartment on Saturday, but when I asked to measure the apartment (or get measurements) to make sure my furniture would fit, I was told that an answer was needed by that evening. I had wanted to look at another apartment I’d come across a listing for, but he wouldn’t hold off until Monday or yesterday to give me time to go my and make some measurements. So, I passed on the apartment.

I decided I would concentrate on the other apartment I’d found. It is in a nearby town, but the apartment looks beautiful and has some great amenities. Also, all utilities except electricity, phone, cable and/or internet are included. The rent is also more reasonable than the apartment I was offered. Here’s the problem though, I have called and emailed multiple times, and I can’t get a response. It’s frustrating and infuriating. Why would you advertise an apartment and then not respond to people who inquire about the apartment. I’ll keep trying to get a response. This is Vermont after all. Vermonters work on their own schedule, which is not always what’s convenient for anybody else.

I’ll keep looking. Thankfully, I have time to look, but it makes me so nervous and anxious. It’s really affecting my health at the moment.

In some better news, I went to see an otolaryngologist on Monday for a consultation for the Inspire therapy device for my sleep apnea. She said that I fit all of the criteria and after examining my nasal passages and knowing my history with trigeminal neuralgia, the Inspire device is my best option. Dartmouth will call me in the next week to schedule a sleep induced endoscopy. They need to see what my throat does when I sleep. If it’s closing front to back, then they’ll start the process of scheduling me for the surgery to implant the Inspire device. If my throat closes side to side, then the Inspire won’t work, and we’ll talk then about what other options are available.

The process is going to take some time. I was told that the endoscopy probably can’t be scheduled until late February or early March. If all goes well, it will be a couple more months before they can do the surgery. At best, it will be late April or early May before I can get the surgery. At least it gives me hope for something to look forward to.