Ten years ago, I never could have imagined that statement would be true. Ten years ago, I never imagined myself officiating a wedding of any sort. Ten years ago, I chose not to vote on whatever was on Kentucky's ballot about marriage rights for all because I couldn't come down on either side.
In those ten years, so many changes have happened in my own life, but I'll fast forward to the end of the story: blame Jesus. Blame Jesus who promised, "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." I never could have known how many times that one phrase would echo through the life I was being called into. I never knew that saying yes to God would plunge me headfirst into icy waters, forcing me to decide if I wanted that abundant life after all.
The first person I met at seminary was a man who came out as gay while in high school and had mostly stopped worrying about it. He assumed I had no problem with him being gay. He had no clue that he was the first person I'd met who was openly gay. Every other gay person I knew was mostly in the closet.
I found a job at a local church. The pastor was a woman. I don't think I ever told her that in the process of hearing about the church, I had a few minutes of fervent prayer that Katie was also a man's name and I'd just never heard it before. I mean, I grew up where Tracy and Ashley were men's names; why not Katie?
My first job after seminary was, well, not good. One woman in particular made it more bearable. I've probably spent more money eating with her than anyone else. I knew from the beginning she's a lesbian. Of course, when she asked me to officiate her wedding, I said yes to this person I love. It was wonderfully good, and fun, and life-giving.
Not everything seemed so wonderfully abundant and full of life as I was going through it. In fact, a lot of it downright sucked. Yes, faith will transform you, but no one, least of all Jesus, promised that transformation would be fun. In my case, like many others, finding a new life of faith threatens people around you. I remember the pastor who cautioned me, "Don't become so open-minded your brain falls out."
I've learned to tread water for now, at least, in this crazy life God dragged me into. Who knows what transformation awaits me next. On Friday, though, I will again stand with two women as they exchange their vows and I will have the privilege of announcing a married couple to the few witnesses gathered. For all these transformations wrought by faith, I say, "Thank you, God." There's far more abundance to a life of faith than I ever knew.