Steph here.


Lately life has been a little bit like a white blur. Never mind the fact that it’s winter here, and we’ve just made it through the snowiest February on record for Colorado. With the cold and the short days and the constant homework for Linds  and the endless doctor appointments for me and the lack of community and the ever so dragging stage of waiting for what could possibly be coming next for us, Linds and I have been stuck, mired, bound in a formless space of wondering, questioning, and intense feelings of frustration, anxiety, and doubt. It’s been incredibly difficult, but somehow (and we both know it’s the amazing grace of God and the presence of love in our lives) we’ve drawn closer together and have grown A LOT. I really mean a lot.

Somehow, in the midst of great difficulty and endless unknowns, we have become stronger, deeper people and closer as a couple. For that I am so incredibly grateful.

I’m also grateful because after what has seemed like an endless long, cold white blur stage, we are finally moving on to a new adventure, and things are beginning to take shape again. Color is coming back into our lives, and though we have learned much in the void, we are hopeful, excited, and ready to let this stage of our lives end and say hello to a new beginning.

Lindsey has received a position in Savannah, GA, and we have accepted the new opportunity with open arms. Suddenly, we are standing on the threshold of a new and very grand adventure, the chance to create a home in an environment that is ideal for my health and the way we’ve been wanting to do life for a while now, close to family and on the East coast.

I really only thought in my wildest dreams that we could possibly build our new home near the ocean. And now that it’s a reality, it still hasn’t really sunk in for me. Since my childhood years spent on the coast in Maine, I’ve longed to live near the  ocean again. The last time we took a trip to visit the ocean (for our honeymoon), I cried as we drove out of sight of the beautiful and vast expanse of blue. I felt like everything was closing in around me as the trees surrounded our little rental car. Our lake here in Colorado has helped me a great deal to cope with how far I am from the ocean, and I settled in my mind that as long as we could find any body of water to live close to, I would be okay wherever we ended up.

I feel like I’ve won the lottery though because the beach will now be in my backyard. But more than that even, Linds and I have just secured housing on an island. An island, people!  I’m overjoyed. I mean, I can’t describe it in words right now. But I’m sure I will feel it all in a powerful way when I’m standing on the shore looking out at that beautiful, vast expanse of blue again.

I’m already claiming healing, deep, deep, deep healing of many kinds for myself and great joy and fulfillment for Lindsey as we set out on this journey. There is so much before us and so much that we’re looking forward to experiencing and establishing. We are focused on painting our life with rich colors again, and we can’t wait to share the journey with all of you!

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Steph here.

Hi guys! It’s a snowy, cold night here in Colorado, and as I wait for Linds to make the long trek home through crowded highways and icy streets, I am thinking of family.

Linds and I have been talking some recently about the tragedy of losing one’s family of origin when you are honest about who you are and whom you love. When I say “losing” I mean that in many different ways because I know that there is a wide spectrum of experiences when it comes to coming out and family reactions. Some gay people are entirely shunned, entirely cut off by their families of origin (and friends too). Others are just treated differently or not fully accepted no matter how much time goes by.

Either way, it is an incredible loss.

Either way, the reality is that finding one’s self in such circumstances is excruciatingly painful.

Even those last two words don’t do any justice at all to the amount of pain that comes with such rejection. I know from personal experience what it feels like to be seen as “lost,” to be labeled as “on the wrong path” or “far from God.” I know what it feels like to lose siblings and to have my parents refuse to support me and to not have my family of origin attend my wedding and to have conversations where my heart is painted in every other possible light than the reality of where it is and how much it loves.

Recently, Lindsey and I were having lunch with a friend (and her sweet wife) who shares similar experiences with me in the area of loss of family of origin. It was amazing to me to sit and share the pain and burdens of our hearts together with our supportive and loving wives lending their agreement and sympathies over the difficulty of the whole subject. I was struck by the power of community in the midst of great pain and loss.

And God used it to gently nudge me in a new direction when it comes to being gay, being christian, and having the pain of loss of family of origin.

My first thought has been how important it is for us to have community. It is a healing salve on great and gaping wounds that, sadly, so many family members have inflicted. It makes such a huge difference just to say: I’m here. I know. I feel it too. You’re not alone.

My second thought has been how important it is, for me, to talk about it. Yes, it’s true. I’ve been incredibly wounded by my own family of origin. But that’s not where my story ends (and hopefully not where the story with certain family members ends either), neither is it where your story ends if you’ve experienced such loss as well. I’ve seen progress over the years in some places (even if I haven’t seen anything budge at all in other areas). For example, my brother and I were best friends growing up, always so close. And when I came out, he was going through difficulties of his own, and our relationship struggled. But he has gone through a lot in his own life, and somehow (through the incredible power of love), God brought us back together, and we are the best of friends again. It’s such an incredible blessing in me life! But the truth is that many of the family of origin places in my heart remain places of great sadness.

And again, I say, that is not where my story ends. I am sure that God will work everything out for the good some day. I trust Him to heal me and help me and work in the lives of my family of origin as well. This doesn’t make the painful parts any easier to feel! But I believe in God’s fierce redemptive power, and that does give me purpose and hope as I lay the pain at His feet.

My third thought from God’s sweet movements in me, is that of the family that God has surrounded me with no matter what I go through. Leaving one’s parents and creating a new family unit with one’s spouse is probably not supposed to be this sad or painful. But I can’t tell you how sweet it is to have created and be able to daily cultivate this little family that Lindsey and I have. And I am profoundly thankful for something so healthy, so full of love, so full of growth, so God-ordained and blessed as this marriage that Lindsey and I share. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

And beyond that, God has given me so many sweet and loving in-law family members that have welcomed me with open arms and loving hearts, and I am so continually thankful for all of them and blessed by them.

For those of us who have lost family in this culture and religious war, who have lost friends, who have lost securities and traditions and the ability to share our wonderful new families with our families of origin… We have lost much, yes. And we are still also whole in the Lord and the power of His redemptive love.

It hurts so much. And it is hard. AND there is much reason to hope, to reach out to community, to tell your story, to embrace God-given family. To believe in the power of love.

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Steph here.

I have to be honest about something. I have been living in fear. As a Jesus-follower, a gay Jesus-follower, I have been living in fear. This fear has caused me to clam up and shut down, to shrink away and hide. The truth is that I love God with all my heart. I have always known that He is everything even though I haven’t ever been able to (nor will ever be able to) figure Him out. He is a divine mystery, yet I know Him intimately. He is my all.

But lately (really, ever since I came out, which was 4 years ago), I’ve been afraid. Afraid to talk about Him. Afraid to live my love for Him out loud. Afraid to question. Afraid to struggle with anything. Afraid to be open about anything pertaining to my relationship with God.

That fear didn’t always stop me from talking about God. As those of you who have followed this blog know, I’ve written about God and my relationship with Him and things that I believe and experiences I’ve had etc etc. But I have to admit to you that all my thoughts and musings about God have been lived under a blanket of fear. The fear of judgement. The fear of pain.

You have to understand that I have always been a Jesus girl. I started reading through the Bible when I was 8. I remember my brother telling me when I was 13 that I would probably never be a rebellious teen because I loved God too much (and he was largely right…anything that ever seemed rebellious coming from me was just an attempt to stay afloat, to handle the pain of living in a dysfunctional family and deal with my issues with anxiety and pain from difficult life experiences). I was singing and writing music from a very young age because I wanted to be in ministry, and using my love for writing and singing seemed like a very good way to do that. I was constantly involved with church or a ministry of some kind or a bible study (no matter how I was struggling or what I was going through). I met Lindsey at a Bible study, and I distinctly remember saying within the first few weeks of being in that Bible study, “I don’t really even know why I’m here as I pretty much feel like ‘fuck you, God’ at this point in my life.” Still I sought Him, still I chased after Him like my very life depended on it (which it does).

I have been through a lot of crap in my thirty years on earth, but no matter what dark hole I’ve been in, I have known God there and have come to know Him more despite all of it. He has continued to work in my life in very tangible ways and has greatly loved me and drawn me closer to Him.

You can imagine, then, how difficult it has been for me to follow His lead and continue to build my relationship with Him, be honest about my sexuality, and then very suddenly and decidedly be painted as “lost” and “far from God.” I have a incredibly sensitive heart. I always have, and I have come to accept that I always will. And because of that, I internalized a lot of that rejection and judgement. To talk about God became a kind of battle ground for my credibility. I have to confess that I started to think too much about what people will think when they read about my life. Will they wonder how I can fake a relationship with God so well? Will they wonder how I can be so close to God and married to a woman? Will they finally admit that my relationship with God is genuine? That I still have a place in ministry, in giving and serving, in loving the Lord and being loved by Him? Will they notice what I already know is true, that my heart is right with the Lord?

I am very sure now that I am not the only gay believer to feel this way, to struggle with these judgments, to have a broken heart over the the thorough rejection of my passion for God by the same people who used to praise it. But for the majority of the last four years, I have lived in a very isolated way under the pain of their judgment and have, because of that pain, fallen further and further under a cloud of fear that has significantly impacted my life.

I stopped sharing when God teaches me something new. I stopped letting my love for Him overflow in any way that is open or that could draw attention to me or to my faith. I stopped going to church and started loathing being around Christians. And even though I have grown more this year in my relationship with God than any other time in my life, without even realizing it, I internalized the message of the modern day pharisees. That He is their God, not mine. That I am not welcome to participate in the everyday sharing of His love because I am gay. That my relationship with God could not possibly be valid except to be down on my knees begging for forgiveness and praying for the reversal of everything that I naturally am to allow me to divorce my wife and marry a man (or at the very least to divorce my wife and live alone).

I hid my heart and my greatest love. But no more. This is the battle cry I make with the loving and fierce power of God in my life. I make it for me. I make it for anyone who has ever been made to feel that they are not welcome in His ever growing kingdom.


By S.J. Laney


He is not
working redemption
in me
every day

so that I
can sit
in my house

over the fact
that so many people
who used to see me
as a valuable asset
to the kingdom of God
now see me as lost

No more

can I live
in hiding
because of so-called
who feel they
have the corner
on truth

who feel they
have the ability
to tell me
and my Jesus-loving heart
that I don’t belong
at the table


to these chains
that keep me from saying
the things
I really want to say

the chains
that keep me
from chasing him openly
for all to see

the chains that
try to keep me
in a feel-bad place
because people say
they won’t take
my relationship with God

or that my passion
for Him
can’t be real
because I’m gay


to allowing the opinions of others
to dictate how I move
and am moved
or how openly I share
and experience my faith


I was born and
I live to know Him

The time has come
to stop the duck-and-cover life
the life lived under fear

because it hurts so much
when I am judged
when I am deemed
to chase after my God
with all my heart

to be fiercely loved
by Him
unworthy to be hidden in the
shadow of His wings


For Jesus himself
lived the truth
while religious people
mocked him
called him a blasphemer
from the devil

No more

Jesus is in me
And I am in Him
I am the apple of His eye

I will not surrender
my place
in the kingdom of God
as He is working it
right now
on this earth

I will not lay it down
for the judges
and the haters
who are no closer
to the Truth
than the Pharisees were

Jesus is mine too
to love
to follow
to obey

Jesus love is mine too
to be human
to be known
to be forgiven

This is what He has given to me
a place in the working
of His grand redemption

This is my inheritance


The line has been drawn.




The Laneys says:
Yes it does, Jason! :) more

Steph here.

Oh where, oh where have the Laneys gone!?

We know! It’s been forever since our last entry and the posts have been few and far between this year. (especially from me! Last time I wrote it was nearly summer and now it’s nearly fall!) We are working on remedying that as we have lots of life we really want to share with all of you. This year it’s been hard for me to write for a number of reasons. One of the biggest reasons has just been that my health has still been on the decline all year, and I often just don’t have the energy for a lot of extra things. The other reason is that I’ve very specifically been focusing my writing energies on my poetry this year, which has brought me an incredible amount of joy!

I have always been a poet, and this year I made it my goal to stop dabbling in poetry and really start pursuing it as a passion, with purpose and focus and goals. When I started working from home, it really opened up more time for me to pursue this art form that I love, and I am thoroughly enjoying it! A few months ago I started a little poetry blog at You can click on that link to check out some of the pieces I’ve been working on this year!

I’ve also been enjoying working on my photography a lot more and posting it in tandem with some of my poetry on Instagram. If you have an Instagram, you can check out my photography and poetry and follow my day-to-day poetic (and not so poetic) meanderings of thought under the account: juststephaniejoy. (Lindsey is there too under justlindseylaney!) Or, if you don’t have an Instagram account, you can still check out some of my photos by clicking HERE.

Linds and I are still working hard at building healthier bodies by following a strict autoimmune paleo diet. Linds doesn’t follow the diet quite as strictly as I do(she is still allowed to eat eggs, and tomatoes, and nuts :-P), but she has been the most amazing support, and she has soldiered on through cutting out most of the “normal” things we used to eat. As my health has continued to decline, my endocrinologist decided that it’d be best if I started to see a neurologist, and now I’m going through the lovely process of being tested for a host of autoimmune diseases. We do not know, yet, what exactly is going wrong, but we are trusting that God will take care of us no matter what and that love will always, always see us through!

A week and a half ago we had the most wonderful privilege of saying our wedding vows again, this time to make it legal. We took a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico (which I heard as had a record 55% of marriages performed there this year be same-sex couples…go Santa Fe!), and we absolutely made the most of our little vacation, celebrating our 2 year anniversary and choosing each other again in a legal ceremony. September 2nd, the day we had our civil ceremony was definitely the best day of my life thus far. :D Here are some pictures of the incredible weekend and the monumental event…


We visited this beautiful little prayer garden a couple of days before our ceremony and sat hand in hand, praying together over our marriage and life together. What a special memory for us!


We made sure to soak up all the beauty and history and love that Santa Fe has to offer during the five days we were there visiting. We even bought some beautiful art to commemorate the occasion!





Linds told me later that she was afraid that she wasn’t going to be able to repeat anything the judge was telling her to say because she was so full of emotion. But she repeated every word and melted my heart the entire time! ;)






The Judge who married us was such a sweet and loving person. He was so genuinely happy for us, and it was such a blessing to have his gentle presence in our day. :)




Legally married!



We met so many sweet people that day. People who offered to take pictures without us even asking. People who blessed our marriage. People who congratulated us and went out of their way to make our celebration even more special. As someone who gets easily anxious when in the spotlight, I absolutely treasured every moment of our quiet, “just us” celebration. I loved our wedding day two years ago so much, most especially because of the presence of our family and the special memories I have of them loving us so thoroughly and celebrating us with such joy. I feel so incredibly blessed that Lindsey and I got to have this moment together because it felt like an extension of that marriage celebration, only with a day that was tailored a little bit to my quiet nature that tries to find ways to treasure such moments (as opposed to just letting them fly by). The whole weekend was incredibly special and fun and filled with love. But this day in particular was so special for me because it was tailor made for Lindsey and Stephanie, and I got to spend the whole day focusing on absolute gift of having (and choosing) Lindsey as my wife, my family, my home.

We are blessed to have been able to celebrate our marriage in two very, very special and memorable ways, and even though we still consider September 29th our anniversary, we are excited to be able to celebrate our marriage all month long now!

It’s been an exciting and full September already for us, and there is much more to come. Stay tuned!

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