He is there. Thank You God. 

Is this it? Is this my testimony? You’re real? 

It’s the second time I’ve been to church in 15 years. The last few weeks have been beautiful to me. The love, acceptance, happiness and fulfillment I have felt is such a great blessing. I have searched for answers my whole life, I have searched for peace. If this is what you offer me, I gladly accept this. 

While at church this last Sunday, we had a group prayer. We were asked to pray for those of us that have physical issues going on that need healing, depression and anxiety/relationship issues, and finally financial problems. I was able to honestly raise my hand for both the depression/relationship and financial issues. 

I prayed for myself to grow and get through my issues with depression and my past relationship, my financial issues as I go back to school, and to be able to get to my true happiness; however I also prayed for those around me which includes my neighbor Z who has ongoing heart issues. 

After this group prayer, a lady came up to me and say next to me and my friend and she asked if she could share God’s message with me. She told me she had a vision about me from God, and if course I said yes. 

This is what she shared:

“Hello, my name is Trisha. God sent me a vision for you. Would you like to hear it? [Yes please.] I’m sorry if I start crying, it’s a powerful message. [Definitely, thank you.] In my vision there was a pirates chest with treasure in it, overflowing and full of riches. It was locked and you held the key. It was surrounded by big shadowy figures that were blocking you from it. As I looked around there was a flashlight on the ground and it was pointed at the chest. It seemed like the flashlight was causing these shadows to be bigger and more scary than they were. I hope this message helps you and means something for you. [Thank you very much for sharing!]”

So this is my testimony. How this came from a complete stranger and yet it applied so much to the things I had prayed about and the struggles I have been through lately. I had asked for a sign earlier this month for God to let me know if he is real, I remained and probably still remain open minded. 

I have questions, but there is no doubt in my mind. I wonder, but there is no fear. With speaking to my family/community, I know I must give my troubles and fears and doubts unto Him for he will take them from me. When I fully accept Him, His son and their love, everything will be clear and empowering. 

I have asked God for help. I have asked Him for freedom and for His love, His forgiveness, and His acceptance. I have asked Him to deliver me into the hands of those that should most help my life to become whole. I have asked for Him to watch over those around me and to shower those I don’t know personally with His love, acceptance, and light for everyone needs it whether they think so or not. 

I feel so blessed after this weekend for he has shown me his love. I feel blessed that he had that vision sent to me. His love is real and his light will never fade. I have a long way to go yet, but it is a journey I will take on gladly. 

A not-so unhappy Birthday

I ended up having the best birthday weekend ever. It, by far, has surpassed my expectations as it fulfilled my want for spending it with close friends and family. It was a busy weekend to be sure, while sleep deprived, was well worth it. 

My friends took me for a pedicure on Friday, while I wasn’t fond of it being overpriced, it was a good experience. We were able to chat of nothing in particular while being pampered and massaged. Afterward we ended up bar hopping in our little local town-city. We called it a night at about 1030pm and went home. The next day was just as amaxing. 

We went to an early brunch on the river at 10am. We started with “the hair of the dog that bit [you]” us, some Hibiscus Mimosas and Bloody Marys. The food was amazing and the atmosphere was just perfect as we relaxed on the patio next to the fire pit. Once finished we headed to the city nearby where we commenced our full day of bar hopping yet again. We did this for the next 10 hours, hitting one of my favorite spots  (a German bierhalle) and traveled to a few other spots after. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. 

We spent all day on the patio of each spot soaking up the cocktails and warmth. I paced myself only having a drink every hour or so, as I didn’t want to get too sloshed. We ended our night back at the German Bierhalle with another friend of mine that showed up around 630pm. We called it a night at about 10pm as during our travels, my doctor that I work with called me and invited me to go sailing the next day in the San Francisco Bay. 

I awoke at 730 the next morning and got ready. This was the most exciting thing I have done in my life. While I have been on small fishing boats in lakes and on a barge getting ferried to Alcatraz before, this was a totally different experience. I arrived at 10am as expected after my Starbucks stop ok the way out of town. We left the marina and headed out into the bay, just me and him. About 3 minutes into our escapade, he handed me the helm. For the next 4 hours, we sailed the bay while he taught me how to sail, sharing the most amazing experience with me. I have always seen people sailing and thought it looked so beautiful and thinking it must be so very relaxing, but to my revelation, it was hard work. Don’t let me fool you, it was also relaxing and very fulfilling. 

We pulled back into the marina and relaxed for a half hour or so before I had to depart. He enjoyed a beer while I had a glass of white wine with out glamorous chips and salsa. I then headed out with me and my sunburn/windburn to fight the traffic to get home. It took me longer to get home than it did to get to the bay, but it ended up working perfectly. 

I arrived in time for my birthday dinner! I took a quick shower, changed into something more comfortable, treated my sunburn with aloe and headed into dinner. We enjoyed great food made by my grandma and an amazing pineapple-upsidedown-cheesecake made by my mom. All my immediate family that I love showed up. This was such a perfect day, but it wasn’t over yet!

I headed to my 2nd family’s house (neighbors of 27 years). I got there at about 730pm as they were starting dinner. They invited me to grab a plate of course, which I had to decline as I was already stuffed, and we all enjoyed eachothers company. After dinner, we started a fire in the fire pit in the back yard, grabbed some red wine and relaxed around it. 

We had amazing conversations about society, politics, education and God. My 2nd family is very religious, but the type of such that you aspire to be; Wholesome, loving, open, accepting, and model Christians. I sat with my 2nd brother (we will call him “M”) and cousin (“B) until about 130am talking about God and forgiveness. We spoke of my depression and transgressions. We spoke of homosexuality and God’s love for me. M made it clear that he did not want to reprimand me, or try and convert me, he could only speak of God’s love and forgiveness and how sin is forgiven. We spoke of my fear and skepticism of religion due you past experiences, but he was adamant of God’s forgiveness. His certainty of this made me feel so much better, and I will be going to church this Sunday for the first time in 15 years. 

We had one of the deepest and intense conversations I ever have had, and definitely the first with him. We opened up about our fears, insecurities and the things we have caved to in weakness. I told him about my scare with HIV and the negative test results, my fear was his judgement and his rebuke, but all I received was his love and acceptance. This was one of the most empowering experiences I have had with someone, even of my own family. It was refreshing when he let me know that, even though I am gay, he loved me and called me brother. I was surprised he said he heard 2 years ago that I am gay and never said anything about it, asked or even probed with questions. 

My weekend ended on Monday with the military interment of my 2nd grandma. All in all, I had an amazing birthday weekend, and today, I will be ending it with dinner of my favorite kind, sushi, with family. What started as depressing last week had become the best birthday I have ever had in a short amount of time. 

Are you there God?

I’ve always struggled with religion, and now that I’ve come to terms with being gay, it’s even more of a struggle. I’ve always followed the philosophies of Bhuddhism, and always trying to be a good person. 

Growing up I’ve never been a fan of organized religion as it always turns out being the bad guy in situations. Followers are seen as fanatics, crazy, or just weird. My ego has always kept me away from the church because, while I don’t care, I do care about what others think of me; I also never want to do anything that will embarrass me. 

Now, I’ve grown up next door to a family of pretty religious people and I consider them family just as they do of me as well. We all have knowm eachother for about 27 or so years. I have always envied how honest, nice, caring, considerate, happy and perfect they all are. I know they are not all of these things all of the time, but they are exemplary people in my book and I aspire to be like them. 

One of their sons was done with church the way I am and fought tooth and nail to never go again because of how it is portrayed and makes him feel. After a few years he finally agreed to go because of everything going on in his life and he felt he needed help. He went and they prayed for him. With this, he felt nothing. As they were leaving at the end of the service, a woman came to him and said “God wanted me to heal you.” She simply touched him and he felt a wave go through his body and he began to cry. 

In my eyes he has never been one to cry; he’s always been tough, went through the marines and went to war three times in Iraq. To hear that he, an outspoken and forward person, was crying and speechless, makes me feel this may be the place for me to find God. 

I have fears and reservations still about going along with questions. I fear nothing will happen to me, that I won’t find God after all. I have never felt him or seen a sign when I ask for one, but am I mistaking the signs? I fear that maybe, if he is real after all, that I have been abandoned. Will I still receive his love for all the things I’ve done? Will he accept me as I am? Will he take the gay away or smite me because of it? Are these things that are even things to worry about? 

All of the evidence from my friends and family, testimonies, point to God being real in this instance. My head thinks so many thoughts about God, deep thoughts that tend to paralyze me and make me afraid. In retrospect, all I can think is “what am I really afraid of here?” If He’s real and I never found him, what will happen to me? If I find him, how will my life change? Will he let gays find him? I guess we will have to find out. 

I have plans to go this upcoming weekend with my neighbors. We will see what happens from here.