My name is Justin Young.
This is my story so far.
This probably won’t be the fanciest retelling, but I will just go with it.
Just go with me while I take a step back and run through my life’s inventory.
A peek into What God has done.
How He has washed me in His blessing.
In His Son.
From as far as I can remember, I’ve always had a sense of His presence.
I’d love going into my mom’s dining area (my secret place, an open yet hushed space)
Maybe around this time I was 6? Maybe 7?
Pacing in the wonder of that room.
I remember how light ricocheted from the small artificial glass chandelier.
The assortment of cups in the china cabinet. Zulu paraphernalia from Mardi Gras parades.
The Barney purple stain from my birthday cake in the carpet. The scent of wood shine.
I remember the sheer pleasure of being alone with my senses.
Left to play in my little worlds. Imagine. Imagining little me.
All of my silly babble of Power Rangers and dragons and superpowers, yet
Feeling heard. Never alone.
My first memories of God are one’s of me not necessarily seeking Him I realize…
But of one’s where He’s always known where to find me.
Jesus has always been a part of my story.
I used to do “girly things,” I guess.
Used to catch hell for my behavior.
Limp wrists, easily upset, with a voice too sweet
“Stop acting like a fag”
Was an early curse uttered by my cousin.
I couldn’t help it.
I loved Sailer Moon.
Her enchanting and transforming twirl.
Little me danced her twirl.
We clothed ourselves in translucent ribbon.
Fabric too thin to be armor.
Who would cover me after that look my cousin just gave me?
I think I fell in love with my best friend in middle school.
With crazy blue diamond eyes and a short Shirley
Curly blonde shag of hair.
He looked like a punk rock Mickey Mouse Club reject.
He was sharing maybe Tool, maybe a Good Charlotte CD with me,
I remember him rustling through his backpack and putting an earbud in
And handing me mine.
Maybe we were almost 3 ft. Apart but I remember
My heart bent.
He would always do nice things for me,
I think he liked me too
Until he was too cool.
Hurricane Katrina would come and put my desire to a temporary rest
1 softcore porn
and one sleepover.
Our friend Kyle had two “moms.”
I never had or went to a sleepover again
For a very long time.
I remember my mom’s adamance about me going to church that next day.
Not that I had a choice in the matter.
High school was confusing, lonely,
Libraries would become my safe place senior year,
I was probably the first boy to wear skinny jeans
Shirts fit for a girl’s form.
I got my first fake boyfriend when I was a junior.
I almost lost my first car in the process.
The same car I would flip later on, semi-stoned
On my way from getting a restaurant job
That I would never keep for more than 2 months.
Headlong rushes into my twenty somethings
My desires had no breaks
I hardly remember a time that I wasn’t smoking weed
That I wasn’t seeking my adam
Feed me wine and your obscure playlists
The internet became something close to home
Close to a place where I can lay my imagination down
Desperation isn’t a far swing from depravity.
These subcultures I consumed only needed a rotting foundation.
Disgruntled hearts of youth who just wanna know True Love
I love her
I was raised by her with the help of her sisters,
Her trusted friends,
But by untruths too.
Ultimately, I am grateful for my mom requiring me to attend Sunday church
Up until I was about 16 or 17.
That was the pact we made.
A deal with God
From then on I’d be running up that hill.
The experience I had then
Loud or boring
They marked me.
I am most grateful for my mom’s steadiness and resilience.
She has exemplified to me “God as provider”
“God as my refuge” to me
Time and time again.
I shouldn’t have had sex with a man
As if my virginity plagued me
As if I was the last 21 year old living on earth.
I shouldn’t have kissed a boy so many years before then,
But I did.
I don’t even think they were real men,
In the sense that
Real men would cover
Real men would protect,
Real men would say no.
Real men or not, none of us were seeing Jesus
You were in every room.
Every hideous and shameless moment
I shouldn’t have done “drag”
And I shouldn’t have ever smoked weed.
I shouldn’t have done mushrooms,
Or smoked that “weird stuff.”
I didn’t ask for panic attacks.
I didn’t ask for disease,
You’ve met me.
You’ve healed me.
You crush curses and pour out the blessing of Your blood.
Extreme to extreme.
Edge to edge
You were there.
I moved to LA and burned my life away.
And you raised me.
You put my literal eyes on Your
It called me back home.
I hope you met Jesus
I don’t know where you are no
I thought I was going to marry you,
I was fully convinced
And then I was fully convicted
The Holy Spirit took the air out of our plans.
That Hot air balloon burned down.
Jesus brought me down to earth and somehow is causing me to go higher,
Into the very heights of Heaven,
To only places HE can reach
He’s invited me.
He’s inviting you.
I hope this message meets your heart.
Your love is otherly.
You stomped on the Kundalini Spirit
You trampled the New Age
All I can ever know or experience is found in Jesus
You riches have no end!
You have pleasure in me!
The way You love me
Melts aways any measure of lust
Every lie, every false spirit
You have p u r i f i e d me
In your eyes,
I’m your original
You didn’t have to come for me Jesus
But you wanted me too badly
And you will have so much more than my proximity.
Tore after me
Stole after me
How is it that my presence here makes Your world turn?
I love my neediness for you
I love to be washed by you
I love to bathe in Your light.
I’m thankful to be your delight
And just to know You.