No, this isn’t clickbait. It’s true.
I’m moving back to Colorado.
In 3 weeks.
Because none of us have time here on the interwebs, I’ll organize this post via FAQ’s, with the quick and easy answers in bold, and then you can read more in-depth if you want.
1. What about your job?
I LOVE my job and will still be working full-time for Lead Them Home remotely. (Learn more about my work.)
I’m answering this one first on purpose: The reason I moved to Boston in the first place was because my boss wanted me to be local. I believe this was very wise on his part, and I am glad I had this time to adjust to the team and for them to get to know me. However, we are a fairly remote organization anyway and only meet once a week or for special events. I have gone back to Colorado for extended periods of time in the past year while working remotely, and it has worked out very well for all parties.
Therefore, in January, my boss let me know that he felt confident in my work ethic and ability to continue working even if I ended up moving back. I didn’t know what to do with this at the time, so I resolved to stick around in the area for a while and reevaluate after a year had gone by.
I couldn’t have asked for a better job. Lead Them Home is pioneering a path toward justice and mercy in the realm of faith, sexuality, and gender, and we invite the body of Christ to join in honoring God and radically loving LGBT+ individuals by supporting our work through prayer, action, and resource allocation. Quite tangibly, this manifests itself as supporting my full-time work through committed giving.
I’m still raising support and need another $800/month raised to meet my goal for October (ex: 16 new people giving $50/mo).
(I’ll also be holding an info gathering in North Andover this Friday night and in Denver in late September. Email me for more details.)
2. Why are you moving?
Because I want to and am free to.
Nothing sudden happened — I’ve been praying about this since January and finally came to a point of decision this month (August). See more about that process in #3.
A quote from St. Augustine on the human role in the universe goes, “Love God and do what you want.”
This quote used to paralyze me, because I figured that, when I signed up to follow Jesus, I had already given up all that I had wanted, and I had refused to trust my own desires.
I didn’t want to let anyone down — not people, and especially not God (at least in the big decisions). But my theology was incomplete: it focused on what I traded in rather than what I had traded for. It had focused more on the no than on the grand yes.
While following Christ does require great sacrifice, it is never without greater gain — that is, infinitely greater gain. And this is a gain that we begin to experience even now, even if inevitably incomplete this side of life.
My theology of desire is being refined. I’ve realized that, when I surrender my sinful desires to Jesus, He puts in me redeemed desires — desires that still have some level of continuity with how He made me uniquely all along. These redeemed desires will indeed require me to sacrifice personal autonomy and certain pleasures, but they were designed also to lead me to holy and pure joy that brings life to my world and those around me.
In the past, I have pursued the evasive optimal decision, but I always found the data I was working with was incomplete and biased. I have tended to figure eliminating the bias (namely, my own desires) is the best way to make the “optimal decision.”
But insights from three men, along with years of nerve-wracking opportunities for freedom, got the message across to me that my desires really do matter. They aren’t ultimate, but they are important. Some desires can be evil depending on their object, their means, and their end. But redeemed desires are good! Evil desire is what makes us exploit other people for our own gain. But redeemed desire it what makes us lay our lives down for people with a unique joy. And there has never been a greater demonstration of God’s heart than great joy amidst great sacrifice.
In the most simple way, I’m moving back to Colorado because it’s something I desire and feel the moral freedom to do. There will be both positive and negative consequences to it, and I’m not unaware of them, and I’m choosing to own them all — even amidst inevitably limited and biased understanding of the implications.
3. No, like on a practical level, why are you moving?
- An acquaintance was looking for a good living situation in Danvers, and I had one to give away.
- I miss my biological family, and while I hope to have many more years with them, I know I won’t have all of the years with them.
- I helped plant a church in Denver that has continued to offer me a voice and a platform even after I’ve moved.
- I’m trying to plan an event in Denver, and the best time to do it will be in late September — which is why I’m moving so fast.
- And lastly, more important than my mind would like to admit… Colorado is the most beautiful place I have ever visited.
Colorado is my first love. It is flawed, but I find joy at the thought of adorning it with love and hope and strength.
It has taken me months to discern my own desires on this matter. But remaining this long in a stay-or-go limbo led to a feeling of aimlessness — particularly, relational aimlessness.
At this point in my life, I feel a need to find out who (plural) I’m going to lay down my life for, and to commit myself to them in some way.
So here I am, on the other side of my decision. I didn’t overthink it. I thought about it. But I also felt about it. This is important… and good.
4. Will you miss us in Boston?
Absolutely. Please stay in touch. We need each other. (As a start, join my newsletter.)
I am really thankful for the 16 months I have lived in New England. I have found a beautiful community here. I am particularly thankful for my church, Highrock North Shore in Salem, which has shown me what it looks like to truly identify, care about, and address needs in its local community. Doing those three things are the fundamental units of loving your neighbor as a collective body.
I have also been able to interact with at least six other faith communities (all of different denominations) in meaningful ways. It is enlightening to see how other denominations practice faithfulness to Christ — and to get to know and learn from men and women from these traditions. I have found mentors, friends, and big sisters and brothers in the faith here. My own beliefs have been both expanded and refined — and I’ve gotten a glimpse of all I have yet to learn and to understand.
My biggest regret is that I’ve been unable to interact with non-Christian communities or individuals in meaningful ways. I miss conversations with atheists, agnostics, Catholics, ex-Catholics, New-Agers, Wiccans, spiritualists, and everything in between that I’ve enjoyed over the years in Colorado. (This, of course, doesn’t mean these conversations don’t exist in Massachusetts. But it does mean that, as I return, I must intentionally seek them out.)
Stay in touch, please. You are all family to me, and in the realest way, you always will be.
5. Where will you live?
Denver, Lakewood, or Littleton.
I’m currently looking at some places in the Sloan Lake area, but I had also been looking at the above three cities in general.
My parents offered for me to stay with them until I find a place so I can be a little more picky, but ideally, I find and secure a place in the next month. While I appreciate Aurora where I grew up and where my parents live, it isn’t quite my scene. I also wouldn’t be able to afford living there apart from my parents.
Ideally, I’d like a place with income diversity, close to downtown or to highways/public transportation, and with a potential for strong local community.
If you know of any places, let me know.
6. I need/want to process this with you.
No problem. Email me and let’s set up a time to meet and/or talk.
Please also pray for me, that I would land in a good place where I can be attuned to how God is leading me to love Him, my neighbor, and myself.
I Like Pictures
I think that’s it. Now I’m gonna share some pictures from Colorado because I love it and invite you to share in my joy — a joy that I pray will be contagious and bring people closer to Jesus in mind, heart, and spirit.