I hope anyone reading this will bear with me, I don’t write blog posts that often. I’m not a grammar Nazi, and I don’t know that I’ll be able to say what I have to say as eloquently as some…but I’m giving it a shot.
Once upon a time—well, about 22 years ago to be exact—a boy was born named Spencer Ficiur. I wouldn’t know it until many years later,but that boy grew up and became one of my best friends. I had just finished a semester at Brigham Young University-Idaho and was getting ready to transfer to Brigham Young University, Provo. Thanks to the Lord pulling some strings somewhere, I was able to room with one of my friends from high school, Juliana. She told me of these two guys she’d met, and they’d kind of become a trio. Spencer was one of those guys (along with Garrett Wilkes) and though I didn’t know him at all, I’ll never forget the way that Spencer reached out to me.
I remember distinctly how he friended me on Facebook at least several weeks before I’d met him in person. He made me feel so welcome! From the very beginning, he was a fantastic friend who cared about me. He may not know it, but I cannot even begin to tell him how much his reaching out to me meant at the time. I am deeply grateful for all of his efforts!
That semester was such a blast! The four of us hung out whenever we could. From fighting along with Aslan to exploring the inner depths of a kitchen cabinet—literally head first—we had many laughs and many good times. Between all the inside jokes and crazy fun, I’m grateful we were able to fit homework in there somewhere!
And then I discovered that I was to transfer back to Brigham Young University-Idaho after that semester. The photo above is from the last day the four of us were in Provo together. I was so glad we took pictures! Although I’m several hundred miles away from the other three, our friendships have continued. It’s been a blessing to get together a couple of times with Spencer and Juliana since then. (Sadly, Garrett hasn’t been able to make it those times.) Even though I don’t get to see Spencer that often, I know he’s got my back! And within this last year, it became my turn to have his.
I don’t have any other friends that I know of dealing with SSA, so when Spencer told me, I don’t think I knew how to take it. To be honest, I can’t clearly remember how I felt, but based on how I felt about a later phone call, I think it’s safe to say that I was at least partially uncomfortable. I certainly didn’t understand much—if anything—about SSA since before, I’d tried to avoid that topic altogether whenever I could. I’m grateful for what I’ve learned about it since then!
I do remember the call I received from Spencer the day he told me he felt that he should be open about his same sex attraction. I was very concerned,and although I would like to kick myself now for it, I tried to argue against his prompting. I don’t think I understood that there’s a huge difference between living that lifestyle and fighting against it. I was the devil’s advocate, unfortunately, and advised him to pray about it and go to the temple. I felt so sure that he wouldn’t come out about it if he’d just go to the temple. I’m so sorry and so embarrassed to think back to that time…
You may imagine my concern when he informed me that he would be coming out and being open about his struggle after all. I was so far away, and I couldn’t do anything about it. I struggled against the idea, and I didn’t want him to post about it. I hope I never argue against a prompting ever again, because I have seen the Lord working through Spencer in such a powerful way.
Though I still don’t know much about SSA, I do know that Spencer is touching others. I’m amazed at the influence he’s had in various places. I’ve had the privilege of reading some of his blog posts, and if there’s something you can feel the Spirit strongly while reading, it’s his blog. Not just any blog, but his blog about his struggles with SSA. I have been moved to tears on more than one occasion while reading, and I’m so grateful for his powerful words!
Before any of this, I was against it entirely. Now looking at how many people he has touched and the comfort he can give others, I see I was entirely wrong. If anyone reading this is struggling with SSA, talk to Spencer Ficiur. He can and will be your ally!
It’s not always sunshine and bunnies. It isn’t easy for him to have to deal with this kind of trial. Unfortunately, I think many people, like myself, don’t understand. It’s not something he’s chosen, but he is choosing to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is truly a disciple of our Savior. He is a fighter, and a dang good one at that! I can’t even begin to tell him how proud I am of the decisions he’s making, the missionary work he’s been able to do, and the future possibilities of how he will continue to be a great instrument in building up the Lord’s kingdom. I certainly want to support him and help him fight 100%! I want to always have his back the way he has ALWAYS had mine.
And so, today I celebrate the birthday of a great man who is such a great example to me of one who is willing to fight the good fight! He has deeply inspired me, and I know he will continue to inspire so many others! Thanks for being such a great example, Spencer! Happy Birthday, bud! J