Sex? A Backstory

One of my goals for 2016 is to write and submit to Red Tent Living each month. Whether a post is accepted or not is beside the point. The exercise and discipline of writing is what I am after.

I held this in my heart quietly and ambiguously as I am wont to do and for good reason. In fact, rather than intending to write each month, I told myself I would do it on a regular basis.

What regular basis meant was left open to interpretation, and since I was the one interpreting, it was pretty safe.

If I don’t say it out loud, no one will know.

It meant that when I saw the theme for February was Sex?, and I had already submitted for January, I could breathe a big sigh of relief and decide that every other month was a good enough regular basis.

What’s going on with me avoiding a topic that is hard and feels terrifying? Why am I having this thought? Who cares whether I write or not? Why am I bothered by my avoidance?

I knew I needed to write. Something. Even if I never hit send, there was something there. I opened a new document and began typing.

There is not much space in my world right now. Usually when I want to write, a topic has been floating around in my head for awhile and the act of opening my laptop and getting it down is the culmination of the process. Twenty minutes later I am finished, especially if it’s for my personal blog.

The Saturday morning in early January that I began free-typing thoughts on Sex? left me feeling agitated and disrupted. I shared words with my husband who found them powerful and honest and necessary. I found them raw and vulnerable and way over-exposing.

It was a good first step.

I knew I needed to keep moving forward towards the terror and discomfort. I knew I needed to engage my heart with curiosity and kindness, thanks to those who have invested time in helping me to process my story. I closed the document and took some deep breaths.

What was up with that? I usually don’t feel this disrupted after writing. I’m glad that I began this post early in the month. There is still a lot about my journey with sexuality that needs to be sorted.

Finished with the editing of my article, saving the raw original document for myself in another folder, I opened an email to submit my work. Usually I include a few words along the line of, Here is a post for consideration this month. This time there was a paragraph of back story and explanation that definitely left plenty of room to not consider this month’s offering, but thanks for the opportunity to write.

The response that my post was in the line-up for this month left me feeling many things . . . excited, nervous, terrified, proud.

You can read it here.

2 thoughts on “Sex? A Backstory

  1. Aunt Marilyn

    I totally went about this blog backwards! Starting to read it because “sex” caught my eye, I jumped back a day, yesterday, as I drove home a little 5th grade girl from my club at school. I drive her home every week from club and enjoy our conversations. She has so much on her mind. Yesterday she was going on and on about “sex ed” and all of the information they are given and she admits it is way to much info for her. She described how girls in her class are shrieking outloud, plugging their ears, not wanting to hear it all. It sounded very disturbing and I truly didn’t know what to do with it. I listened. Finally I simply said how God is the designer of it. He made boys and girls, men and women and it is a very good thing when she gets married to the man God has for her. In the meantime, God wants her to get to know Him. Start reading in your Bible, do your paper that I send home with you each week. No more excuses of your brother getting your paper and ripping it up. You are older and more resourceful at keeping it from him. Will you spend time with God? He loves you! That was it. Time to trust that He will replace all the info she doesn’t want in her mind with His words to her. She must choose to spend time with Him!
    Now back to your blog, I didn’t finish reading it. I touched Red Tent to see what that is. As I was looking on that site, trying to navigate through and see if it is a “good thing” I finally found “about” so I went there. Looks good! Then I scrolled through some of the articles on “sex” and the girl in the prom dress looking down caught my eye. The title was intriguing. I thought, “this will be interesting” still thinking of my 5th grader and all the other girls in my club who are older and have questions. So I read. It was good, honest, so many feelings and emotions as the author was working through this topic growing up. I could imagine it. I smiled to hear her say no way to having babies and then to read she had 8. I thought, “wow, she changed! God is so good!”
    Reading on I finally got to the bottom and saw your face. Whoa! Wasn’t expecting that at all! Yes, she is the oldest of 7 and yes she has 8. I simply smiled! Thankful to have your words inside me as I continue working with students in my clubs. Trusting God for ears to listen and for words to share when conversations about sex come up.
    I went back to your original blog and finished reading! And here I am . . . Thankful for your life and willingness to share it with others, with me!
    your “backward” aunt 🙂

    1. Julie

      I love you, my precious aunt. I love the heart you have for your Bible club kids and for your availability to them. I love the story of how you came upon my words in such a surprising way.

      Just being present for this young girl and others in the awkwardness and challenges of growing up is huge! She will remember you as a safe space for her processing. Keep reminding her of truth and showing up and being the hands and feet of Jesus to the least of these.

      You are a blessing!


Thanks for heart-composting with me! I appreciate your words.

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