I know pretty much all the words to every Backstreet Boy song ever written.
I say this not to empathize with the gay audience to whom I write. Nor to show how ridiculously gay I myself am. I say it to give you a glimpse into my heart.
I spent a large part of my teenage years (and just as large a part of my college years) listening to lovey-dovey lyrics. I wasn't a fan because I thought Brian was hot (though, I do). I was a fan because I believed the words they sang. Like scripture to my soul, they reaffirmed to me a universal truth that everyone should know. I always believed in seeing fireworks, in happily-ever-afters, in 'nothing else matters' and 'no one else comes close' and, most of all, in love itself.
I always knew that someone was out there for me whose face would light up when I walked into the room and that would make the butterflies inside me go crazy when I saw them, even after 20 years. That there would be someone who I would lay next to at night all tangled up in each other. Someone who's heartbeat I could listen to for hours. Someone who I'd make breakfast for in bed on their birthday and just-because. Someone who'd I want to show off at work Christmas parties and mission reunions. Someone who I could sit next to at movies and not feel alone. Someone who I could bring home from college to introduce to my family.
Over the last two years though, I've had a crash course in reality. And something I always knew (but never quite so poignantly), is that God wants my heart. Mistakes happen and can be repented of; hormones can get out control and really, it's not a huge deal. But God wants my heart.
He doesn't want a piece of it, He wants the whole thing, and He wants me to give it to Him. For a reason I don't entirely understand, He wants me to give up the dream of being able to lay next to someone I love, He wants me to give up the desire to feel what its like to fall asleep in someone's arms. He wants my heart and more than anything, I don't want to give it up.
As a Church member, I always had this romantic idea of what 'giving your heart to God' meant. It was a beautiful and peaceful experience accompanied by warm-fuzzies and angelic harmonies. Sure, it might be kind of hard, but it was the ultimate triumph, the ultimate victory before everlasting peace and happiness.
For those of you who have read or seen Angels in America, I feel like the experience might be more something like this:
Harper: In your experience of the world. How do people change?
Mormon Mother: Well it has something to do with God so it's not very nice. God splits the skin with a jagged thumbnail from throat to belly and then plunges a huge filthy hand in, he grabs hold of your bloody tubes and they slip to evade his grasp but he squeezes hard, he insists, he pulls and pulls till all your innards are yanked out and the pain! We can't even talk about that. And then he stuffs them back, dirty, tangled and torn. It's up to you to do the stitching.
Harper: And then get up. And walk around.
Mormon Mother: Just mangled guts pretending.
I firmly believe that my heart is the best thing about me. Does He really want me to rip it out, broken and bleeding? Does He really want me to give up my dream of interlocking fingers with someone I love?
Does He really want me to be just mangled guts pretending?