I’m a very anxious person. When I’m with people, I am far less anxious. But when I’m alone, the solitude either allows me to see anxiety already there in my life or causes, in some measure, the anxiety I feel.

I’m anxious about school. I want to do well, especially in my summer Greek class, but I’m woefully unprepared for vocabulary quizzes. Instead, I spend the balance of my time translating which seems to be the translatable skill that I will actually use as a pastor since memorization is lost on me to the point that if Google Calendar doesn’t tell me I’ve got a meeting, then I don’t remember to go to it.

I’m concerned about relationships. Last night, I got frustrated with a friend who counseled someone not to bother reading the materials for one of our systematics classes simply because the readings aren’t quizzed. I don’t understand that…it seems lazy and a waste of time and money to not read those articles. But I chastised my friend in completely the wrong way and now I have to ask his forgiveness.

I’m concerned about a potential romantic relationship. I’ve taken a couple of girls out for various things just to get to know them as friends. I have to know a girl very well before any sort of attraction develops and so I’ve been spending some time with a couple of them from seminary, just to deepen the friendship and see if there might be something emotionally on my end that would be worth pursuing. Both of them are smart, beautiful, and love Jesus. At the very least, I’ll have two godly women as friends.

Both of the girls have seemed to enjoy hanging out with me, so there’s at least some interest in spending time with me. But I worry that I would do anything to hurt them, either through stringing them along or later in a relationship. I don’t even know if I want to date a girl. It seems foolish to write dating out of my life completely. I’ve never really given it a fair shake and I’m 29. I seem to have this deadline for myself that I don’t quite understand. What’s my hurry? What made being 22 so much easier?

Why do I have so much trouble trusting God? One of the girls even told me that it’d be a while before she dated someone because she just broke up a month or so ago with her previous boyfriend. You’d think that would put me at ease…it’ll be a long time before I have to decide if I like her enough to declare anything regarding my intentions…and time is exactly what I need. But I just worry that maybe it was a tacit rejection. Or that she’s waiting on me to make a move now. Or that she suspects that I am trying to figure out if I want to date her and that she’ll put an end to that.

So much anxiety. So little trust.

And then there’s the business of having crush after crush on classmates. They come at the most random times…and I find myself wondering, Can I ever like a woman enough that I could put my desire for male companionship on the back burner? I don’t know. I wish I did.

My life would be very different if I’d moved across the country with my best friend. He once asked me to be his roommate and I was looking for jobs in the city where he lives. He has a boyfriend now, so for all I know, I’d have been moved back to St. Louis by now. But it makes me wonder what would be different.

In a way, my love for him was simple. I didn’t want a physical relationship, only someone to do life with: to laugh, cry, cook, go to shows and movies. Stuff friends do.

In another way, it was incredibly complicated. How can someone in Christian ministry who is gay have a gay roommate and people think that’s ok? They wouldn’t.

And so, anxiety abounds in the chief of sinners. Lord, forgive me and cleanse me of my anxious thoughts. Lead me in Your way, not the way I’ve mapped out for myself. Give me Your righteousness and renew the right spirit which You have given me by the blood of your beloved Son, Jesus. In His eternal and life-giving Name, Amen.

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