From my journal, dated July 9 2012 (age 18)
My sailing trips. How can I begin to describe what they mean to me? Yesterday I got back from one of the trips where I volunteered as Bosun’s Mate. The job of Bosun’s Mate really challenged me to work hard and also to become a leader and a role model.
I celebrated my 18th birthday on the trip and it’s funny because on the day itself I didn’t feel older, but now that I think about it, I do feel older. On the trip, most of the trainees were younger than me and it felt a little strange to have them look up to me for direction. I guess I’m used to being the youngest, to following quietly. Here I was challenged to become a leader.
It’s the atmosphere and community that I particularly love about these trips. Living so close together, it is impossible to hide who you truly are and it is scary for me to reveal so much myself, and yet it is so amazing to feel accepted for who you truly are. A recurring quote and even theme of this last trip, and I guess of the trips in general, was: “You can only be loved as much as you are known.” I feel like that is one of the main things I will take back from this trip. I will try every day to be myself completely and to open up and be honest with everyone.
Another quote that epitomizes what these trips are about and what they’re striving to teach is: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” These two quotes are the quotes I would like to live by.
And so where does faith come into this? Perhaps I will talk more about my history with God in another entry, but for now I want to say that I believe in God, I really do. Calling myself a Christian though, I find harder to do. I struggle with believing that Jesus was raised from the dead and that there is a heaven and a hell. And yet I truly believe in Jesus’ message and the way of life he preached. To love God and to love your neighbour. The crew on the ship are examples of the strong, selfless, caring, and loving people that Christianity creates. And I went want to be like that, truly I do.
And so I struggle on. I cannot believe that homosexuality is a sin and I can’t take the Bible literally. But faith is by definition a struggle and I want to believe so badly.