Choosing Color

I am most definitely not bold.

When given the choice between objects, one that’s understated and one that’s overstated, I’ll always choose understated.

Should I wear a cream colored scarf or a multi-color, patterned one?

I choose cream.

I’ve always admired people who are bold. Who are unforgiving in who they are. I’m too much of a people pleaser. Being bold to me also means being able to vocalize what you stand for. It’s uncomfortable for me to take a stand. To stake my claim on a mountain and not waver.

I was recently listening to the “We Can Do Hard Things” podcast with Glennon Doyle. She was talking about the topic of ‘queer freedom’, and she shared about a letter she felt compelled to write to her son when he was two years old. The letter expressed what would happen if he ever came out to her. At the time, her beliefs about this topic were different than her church’s. The letter became an essay she published titled, “A Mountain I’m Willing to Die On” in her first book, Carry On, Warrior.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my own beliefs, how they’ve changed over the years and how I can be intentional in letting my children know where I stand.

In 2015, my little sister came out to me. I had been suspicious for a while, but didn’t want to assume and bring it up first.

Growing up in an evangelical church, I don’t remember any pastors being openly “anti-gay”, and my parents never used negative language toward gay people. It wasn’t until college that I met an openly gay person. However, I still had ingrained assumptions about homosexuality. Like the assumption that if you played softball, you were likely to be a lesbian (my sister played softball).

I remember the day she called to tell me. It was in the most unassuming, casual way, like “Yup, this is me”, which is totally my sister. She doesn’t like to make a big deal out of things.

As a lifelong Christian, in that moment, I knew God loved her just as equally as He loved me. 
She was worthy of love just as much as me- and deserved to find her person- whether that be a man or a woman.

The following year when I got pregnant, I started writing journal entries to my unborn son; part narrative- me documenting my pregnancy, part love letter- me telling him that no matter what, I would always love him.

My son is now 4 1/2. Last month, in early June, we were out driving and he noticed a rainbow flag. I knew I had the opportunity to share with him what it really meant. So I did.

I told him that just like his aunt, he was free to love who he wanted, and could choose to marry a boy or a girl. Saying that out loud felt bold. He may never remember that moment, but I always will. With permission from my sister, I posted the story to Instagram. It was, quite literally, the most colorful thing I had ever written. It was me climbing up the mountain and proclaiming, “This is where I stand. I am willing to stay here- to die on this mountain, if it means that my child knows he has the freedom to love who he wants.”

*****

Choosing color, when you could wear cream.

That’s what bold means to me.

This post is part of a blog hop with Exhale– an online community of women pursuing creativity alongside motherhood, led by the writing team behind Coffee + Crumbs. Click here to view the next post in the series “Bold”.

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