10 Struggles I’m Thankful For

In this warm season of friends and family and frozen foul that take days to thaw, it’s difficult, often harrowing, to acknowledge life’s less-than-stellar moments and espouse even a somewhat thankful spirit. And yet impossible though the task may seem, finding the song amid the chaos has produced such release and redemption in my life. Hope. Over the last twenty-six years, I’ve weathered some severe struggles. Here are ten of my fiercest in which, eventually, I saw redemption emerge – […]

IDENTITY: My “One Word 365” Summer/Autumn Check-In

Seek Week is over — a phenomenal five days of fasting, prayer, solitude, community, worship, and sincere soul-searching. A week of identity. If I could sum up my first Seek Week in a single word, it would be just that: identity. It was clearly my theme for the week, and lest I forget, it’s also my “One Word 365” theme for the entire year. I think I had forgotten. The last time I checked in with a One Word 365 […]

Camp Gilligan: Another Camp Ends, Another Heart Breaks

These last two weeks, I’ve been existing as a camp counselor by day and, well, an exhausted twenty-something by night. Despite my sad farewell to Camp Ridgecrest, I was fortunate to work at not one camp this summer, but two. First, it was a weekend camp for foster youth; most recently, it was a local day camp called Camp Gilligan. To be clear: Camp Gilligan is no Camp Ridgecrest. I mean, it’s kind of hard to top the cabins and lake and […]

Foster Youth Camp: Where Struggle Finds Joy

July 14, 2013 — Costa Mesa, California I close the door behind me, desperate for the quiet that only four beige walls and a toilet-throne can provide. My foster youth camp is over, over already, and I’m being forced to attend an hour-long debriefing with all the other counselors. I’m exhausted. Staying here in this church office building with the kids now returned “home” — if that’s the word you can even use — is the last thing I want […]

Camp Calls: Revisiting the Desire of My Heart

This weekend I’m going back to camp. No, not Camp Ridgecrest. Sadly. But another camp nonetheless. When I made the difficult decision not to return to Camp Ridgecrest this summer, my heart longed to work with youth again this June-July-August. After all, that’s been my story these past two summers: venturing across the country to impact youth and subsequently be impacted by them and my peers all at once. And yet with last autumn’s return to southern California, I started experiencing drastically […]

Quarter-Life Confessions of a Gay Christian

I recently published a book. My first. You might have heard. It’s all about struggle and redemption, and I titled it Struggle Central: Quarter-Life Confessions of a Messed Up Christian. But that’s almost not what it was called. I spent many weeks brainstorming the perfect title. The “Struggle Central” portion emerged without much conscious effort thanks to last summer’s hearty camp experience hiding in bathroom stalls – my centralized Struggle Headquarters of four flimsy walls and a toilet. The main […]

Opening the Door: New Challenges, One Year Later

A month ago, I posted an excerpt from Struggle Central. It was one of my more insecurity-inducing posts, as the memoir penetrated the surface of my struggles from camp last summer — struggles I only vaguely referenced on this blog before diving into them headfirst with my book. That particular Struggle Central excerpt featured the heart-racing, chill-inducing, gaze-gathering day when I opened the rickety door of a dining hall filled with dozens of unmet men. A year ago today, I was in North […]

A New May Story: Staying in California

It’s May. These last two years, May has brought about a shift. A change. A drastic tide to the normal flow and current of my life. Leaving.  I tutor in September. I tutor in October. I tutor in November. I tutor in December. I enjoy the holidays. I tutor in January. I tutor in February. I tutor in March. I tutor in April. I tutor in May — And then I leave. Give May a week or two at most, […]