Some people may refer to me as a walking oxymoron: A Gay Christian. People just can’t seem to wrap their heads around it but, I fought hard to make peace with God and I can tell you now – it’s worth it. Coming out into a Christian home nearly broke my heart. There was this strange mix of freedom and isolation at the same time. I remember crying with my family, knowing all too well the ideas and beliefs that followed people like me. I simply could not be the daughter of a preacher and be attracted to the same sex. It was unheard of and unnatural, and for that reason I believed I was unlovable.
I remember growing up always feeling different. Wanting to be one of the boys and being jealous of my friends’ boyfriends. After coming out, many of the people I thought would support me disappeared because, according to them, “the burden was too heavy.” Open arms became shut doors, and the people I once turned to when I was hurting or in pain were no longer there.
I grew angry and decided to stay away, far away. I didn’t want to believe that the God I have known since I was born didn’t, or couldn’t, love me because of my attractions. I knew in my heart that He pursued me, and yet, I stayed away from the church for years. The judgment of others was too hard to bear. My heart and my spirit ached for community and the presence of God so I went searching for Him again. I would sit and talk with Jesus. I would cry out, asking Him to change me and make me whole – to make me straight. Then one night, as I was crying in my bed alone He whispered, “Love.”
I had never felt so relived. In that moment, I decided to never again allow the church to turn Jesus against me. I knew in my heart the God I believed in and serve is full of love and acceptance. He is silly and gracious. He sees beauty in the messes we have made. He pursues EVERY human creation no matter race, background or orientation. His arms are always wide open.
It did take me some time to trust the church and the people of the church again. But aren’t the best things in life worth fighting for? Even though, some people would tell me that I didn’t deserve His love or that I needed to change I can tell you, He speaks to me with love and tenderness. I know and believe He sees beauty in me and accepts me. I know many of us have been so hurt by the church but if there is one thing I know to be true, it is there are good ones out there. There are churches and followers of Jesus who accept us and treat us right, who stick by us and listen without judgments. Jesus never once turned anyone away and He won’t start with you.
Honestly, I like to shock people when they learn that I am a gay Christian. It always makes for a fun conversation. Every day I choose to love others in the radical way Jesus does. To accept the ones who don’t believe what I believe in hopes of shedding a light. I’m happy to say I have found a home church that loves and accepts me just the way I am. It was worth the fight proving to myself and not anyone else that I am still loved by Jesus. So if the church has turned their back on you, keep fighting and keep seeking Jesus. I promise He will show up.
Buena Park, CA