Some choices are easy to make. There's no real fear of their consequences. Something in you knows what choice needs to be made, so you make it. Easy.
Some choices are much more difficult and require much more thought. For me, that leads to some sleepless nights and stress. We weigh the options and try to measure the consequences. We pick up each piece to examine it and try to see what future it could possibly bring. The simplicity doesn't exist within the threads of these choices, but a choice must be made.
Other choices are placed in front of us because of the agenda of someone else. These are the choices that, if you were really given the choice, you would never see and never have to make a decision about. These are the unimaginable, the dreaded, the choices that present themselves in your nightmares, because facing them in the real world is, by definition, a nightmare.
For me, and I would guess for a few others in this great wide world, one of those nightmare choices would be having to decide between my family and being who I am.
My brother-in-law once said that if I decided to live my life openly, there would be a day when I would have to choose between my family and my lifestyle. On the recent family vacation, my youngest sister brought this up in a discussion we had at her insistence. She has remembered those words from my brother-in-law and is worried that the prophetic day is moving ever closer.
And yet, if that choice was actually given to me, it would be one that I would choose to never see.
Both of my sisters are married. My youngest sister even mentioned to me that she could understand how I felt to a certain extent, because given the choice, she would rather spend time with her husband than with the rest of us. But that's how it's supposed to be. You grow up, you find someone you love and want to spend the rest of your life with, and you do. You leave the nest. You build a nest of your own. You find the pieces of your life and you make something beautiful out of them.
I love my girlfriend with all my heart. She is amazing and beautiful and I miss her when I'm not with her, even if I know I'll see her in a few hours. She loves me completely, she treats me well and wants to be with me. We both want to spend the rest of our lives together. And just like my sister, I would rather spend my time with her than with the rest of the family.
My brothers-in-law have been welcomed with open arms. Naturally. They married my sisters and my parents couldn't be happier. They honor their Priesthood and are sealed to my sisters. They golf with my dad. They are good fathers and husbands. They get birthday and Christmas gifts from my parents and grandparents. Their phone numbers are programmed into cell phones across the family. My parents ask my sisters about them, wondering how they are and hoping they are well.
This is not the case for me.
My parents don't want to meet my girlfriend. Neither does my middle sister and her husband. They don't want to hear about her, have her in their home, or even think about her. I'm fairly confident that they hope that I'll come to my senses and escape the spell she has on me. There won't be a birthday card for her in August. There won't be a gift under the tree in December with her name on it. She won't be invited to the next barbeque. Therefore, I do not have the option of being with my girlfriend and being with my family at the same time.
If the choice was given, I would change that. I would give up the compartments I keep my life in. I would spend more time with my family because I wouldn't have to give up any time with my girlfriend. She is my future. She is my life. Time without her is empty.
So whether they know it or not, making that choice will not be my choice. It will be theirs. They will be the ones who ask me to give up her for them. I know the reverse will not be true. They will be the ones who force that decision, not me. And if they don't want me to have to choose, they shouldn't put it in front of me.