Puzzling at premarital sex, and the ways I don’t regret it

Expect me to ask a lot of questions here. Questions because: on the one hand, who am I to give answers? And on the other hand, I legitimately have very many honest questions. I have them, and so I’ll ask. This kind of honesty is taxing on me so please, have patience with me.

Something I am wrestling with lately: premarital sex. It is not very pertinent to me anymore, I guess. I’m married now. And yet, there was a time when it was very relevant to me. I loved love, and I had a great many relationships. Poly girl in the big world— that was me.

And yet if it’s a sin that I’m meant to repent from— well, then regret for my past is hard for me to come by. Sometimes I try. Really, I do. And yet it ends in confusion and self-loathing. If I did what I was not supposed to do, then it caused me to have what I was not supposed to have.

And yet.

And yet such beauty and such pain was wrought from it. I suppose I’d be glad to have been spared the pain… but even that feels forced as I type it. Someone else’s words speaking through my mouth. Because my pains defined me, molded me, shaped me resilient and compassionate.

And the joy— should I wish to have been spared that? Talk about an arrow through the heart. Would it be best if I didn’t have the bittersweet memories, poignant and drenched in wistfulness and loss? I don’t know. I don’t think so.

Because the loves I had were beautiful to me. Those memories are steeped pink in my memory; they glow like the lights on the wall of my old bedroom, slink over my skin like the red satin sheets long since consigned to the trash. I don’t think I would be better off without them.

My sins won me loves and my shining protector, my wonderful one. I do not think those men would have glanced at me for more than a moment if I was committed to chastity, to God’s word and Jesus. Why does that feel like blasphemy to say?

And yet.

It’s still the truth as I know it. When I am feeling charitable and pious, I think to myself that maybe God would have had other plans for me: other loves, a different path. But this path has been drenched with so much light, and so much goodness, and I am loathe to give it up— even to pay homage to my Lord.

I love my husband, and I love my life. And I wonder if that is a crime? If I am falling short of true repentance.

Maybe God will change my heart yet. Only time will tell.

(Pssst. Hey you! Just a friendly reminder— you can find this blog post, along with other writing, art, and oddments at my website: hopezane.com)


Living an Authentic Life as a Christian and an Artist

You might have notice, that lately I am Everywhere on the Internet. In the interest of getting my stuff out there, I have been going hardcore into social media. It is equal parts thrilling, frustrating, and a little bit terrifying. In light of that, and more specifically the fact that I have actually been showing people my art—real live people that I know and go to church with, and have worked with in real life—I have been doing a lot of self-reflection.

And here is the thing: I don’t fit neatly into any specific niche. I’m too vulgar for the church, but I’m too churched for the world. Too alternative for the pews, too full of Jesus for the atheists. Everywhere I go, I constantly do not fit in. I feel like I am bound and determined to constantly be pissing all sides off.

Sometimes I want to hide, you know. I’m tempted to change the art that I make, tempted to hide the writing I do. To take anything off the table that shares too much of my heart or my beliefs—especially the ones that are too. Too something, the what never really matters much. If you split the difference and walk the middle road, it’s impossible to offend anyone. And yet, if you do that the magic rubs off; and you are left with something bland and uninspiring where the sparkle used to be.

How it feels to be a Christ-follower and an artist, and a writer, and to want so badly for others to love and approve of me: this is it right here.

And yet, I feel called to authenticity. And so I steel myself and say to myself that yes, perhaps I will constantly be pissing off most people… but I can hope that in the midst of it there are other people caught in the middle. People like me, who are too much of all of the things to be one thing. People who are many things.

Who are working out their salvation with fear and trembling, while trying to learn how they fit into 2018 in America. Who are filled with such compassion for the LGBT community that it hurts their spirits, but who are willing to say, “God, you are in control. It is your plan, and I trust you. If it makes me look hateful, if other people don’t understand. If it makes me look like a fucking fool… still, I trust you.”

people posing sunset

Two things come to mind:

This video of a poem by Sierra DeMulder, called “Talking to God” (“Half of us are broke, the other half are breaking, and I am just a witness to half of it […] Remind me life is suffering, existence is coincidence, and I am just a witness to half of it.”)

And this poem by John Donne:

No man is an Iland, intire of itselfe; every man
is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine;
if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe
is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as
well as if a Manor of thy friends or of thine
owne were; any mans death diminishes me,
because I am involved in Mankinde;
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

And last but not least, I just want to remind you all that I’ve moved to hopezane.com! You can find me and all my writing, art, and other wacky projects there.