Friday, June 3, 2011


Recently I had a moment in the blur that has been my life and focused in. I began to realize exactly how much has happened over the past six months, how much of it has struck sudden and fast and faded into everyday use before I had time to notice it.

In the past six months I lived a lot, which might be why I feel tired as I write this. I learned how to drive and got my permit and then my license. I bought my first guitar. My brother, sister, and I took our first roadtrip without any outside supervision. I finished my third year of college. I started writing for one of the biggest Christian music sites on the web. My big brother, who had been my childhood hero, moved out of our house, and I became the eldest. I saw my grandfather flicker and fade, and shortly afterwards I stood to remember him... the first time we’d had to say goodbye to a member of the immediate family. I watched my little sister, who I have spent almost every day with my entire life, walk down her own path to Japan.

A lot of these changes barely skimmed the surface of my consciousness. It was a matter of simple survival, one coffee cup, one song, one sunrise at a time. But there was a point in April when I stopped for a moment as I was wrestling with some things through writing in my journal. I had been up late so many nights praying and asking questions with my guitar strings, and in the middle of the weary blur I felt some massive change bearing down on me. It was like standing in middle of a dark and winding road at night, catching a sudden blinding glimpse of headlights as an approaching car turns briefly into the open before disappearing around another hill. I knew I was going to be hit with something. I just didn't clearly know what.

When it finally did hit, it shook my reality sideways and inside out.

I am told so often that one of the things people appreciate most about my blog is my honesty, and because of that I feel I have to write about this in some sense, even though (to be completely honest) I really don't want to and I don't know how. But this is also my primary public platform, so I might as well say everything I need to say now, even if it costs me some pride.

Since I started telling people I am dating, so many people have wanted to talk about this, have wanted me to tell the story. I have been asked a lot of questions, most of them adding up simply to “why did this take so long?” Which for me is a funny question, because that question barely matters at all. People want the whole story, they want to know what was going on in all the years where I stayed so silent on the topic. I can't give people that. Sometimes I can give them a summary, but even that is far too long for this blog.

I can honestly say that this was not the plan. The plan was to stay single for the rest of my life, and to be happy that way. I had effectively built a reputation for being a hardcore cynic, and I liked that reputation, if I am honest. It was safe. In early April I actually wrote a blog entry apologizing for and explaining in some sense my cynicism, but I never posted it. It was easier to let the walls stand.

The shortest version of the story is this: I fell in love when I was 15, and I hated myself for it, and so I lied about it. There was never any hope in the situation. It was like fighting an endless war with no chance of victory, learning exactly how to maintain the fortress walls, how to direct the defense maneuvers, how to keep all the doors locked. It took practice, and it was hard. If I am honest, it was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced. Even to remember enough to write this paragraph is like needles and knives against my skin. It was a terrible fight, and I was incredibly alone. I learned to be content, accepting that this was the way it would always be. And when it changed it was at first like a cannon ball to the chest.

So the answer to the question of why it took so long is actually kind of simple-- it was never an option. It wasn't like I was sitting in my room waiting for him to ask me for years. I wasn't hoping for or expecting that, especially not recently. Even six months ago this wouldn't have been possible— even three months ago, our stories weren't to the right point yet. I have said jokingly that it was his fault it took so long, but if I am honest, it wasn't my time yet either. This was not at all a part of my plan. But God told me to say yes, and so I stepped off a cliff. I'm still trying to decide some days if I'm falling or flying or both.

So this is the change. The last change in the world that I expected, but that seems to be the way that God does things. My head is in an awful tangle, and my heart is even worse. If I am honest though, it feels like hope.

I wrote on this blog a month ago that I had mostly given up on the concept of a future for myself. I said that the summer would be hard, and that music was the only thing I had left that made sense. But now the world has rearranged itself again (I really should learn to stop pretending I'm in control). I think in some ways I feel like I know even less than I did before, that things are less stable. But I feel like it is better this way.

There are a lot of memories that I still can't touch, things I still don't know how to talk about. There is a lot for me to learn. There are a lot of moments that are hard, particularly because of the distance, and particularly because of how many bad decisions I have made. But singing beneath it there is something that I didn't think would ever be a possibility... there is joy. And even five minutes of the joy that I have seen and been given by him makes all the years of loneliness and unanswered questions worth it. I feel terrified. I feel like the most blessed person alive.

There are some people who walk into your life and suddenly it’s flipped upside down. Jordan is, always has been, and always will be, one of those people for me.
- My journal, September 9, 2007

So here's to the adventure of losing illusions of control. Here's to waking up and relearning and change. Thanks so much to all of you who have been so incredibly supportive in the past few weeks with your messages and texts and phone calls and (most of all) your prayers.

Peace to you.
- Elraen -