“You can’t be GLBT and Christian!”
That statement is used to wound more people. I know I was one of them. God has healed my wounds in a very gentle and slow process. We always want God to act like Flash Gordon, but that is not the way of our Creator. I was frustrated at the pace of my own healing when I realized I had also asked God for patience. Be careful what you ask for you might get it if it is good for you. I did.
I have learned in the last year and a half since I came out that I am not that unusual. I thought I was about the only gay man that ever tried to pass for straight by marrying a woman and living with her for 15.5 years.
Mercifully, I was shown this is still a very common pattern today. The pressures put on us through homophobic “religious” people to conform to their version of morality causes many of us to avoid telling our families that we are gay, or lesbian, or bisexual, or transgender.
My own parents would have been hard pressed last year to tell you the difference in those four labels we use.
After I came out my first fear was that I would be given up by Jesus or that I would have to give Him up. A wonderful American Baptist pastor and his wife helped me through that part of coming out. I was not just coming out of the closet, but coming into an even closer more personal relationship with God. My life has been so much better than before when I cringed in fear of letting Jesus down by being gay. I was desperate enough to think I could hide it from even Him!
He made me this way for a reason. I am only now beginning to see some of the reasons. The fear and hiding got me to marry her. She got me to church where I developed a close relationship with Jesus. I have three wonderful children that the Lord has loaned to me and my ex-wife. And He knows I am gay.
My relationship with Jesus was strained in recent years with the increased abandonment of the scriptures that tell us not to judge. I felt positively supercharged for Christ at a Promise Keepers rally until the afternoon when they went on the attack against gay men. I then felt so alone and let that artificial guilt get between me and Christ.
I bought into the lie “You can’t be GLBT and Christian!” I felt that justified the beatings I was getting from my wife. I knew inside that I was gay but couldn’t admit it to me or to others. I thought the verbal abuse and sleep deprivation was my punishment for having those feelings and lusts (even though I did not act out on them.)
You ask how I know he cares? He found a way to whisk me home to my parents sixteen hundred miles away. He provided nurturing in their house. He provided counseling I could afford and then sent the best counselors and psychiatrists there could be for me. He sent me a thought-free job that I am now moving on from so I would have time to heal. He provided this job in a small town where I had never lived so I wouldn’t be facing my past until I could deal with it. HE loves me, and he knows I am gay.
There have been so many physical crises in the last year, but God has always found a way to help. When my apartment was condemned at noon I had housing offered to me in ten minutes. Housing that lasted for a month. He made sure I had shelter while knowing I am gay.
I got stuck in snow for 20 minutes in the middle of the night last winter. I never get stuck. Never. Later I was the first car to arrive at an accident the had happened 20 minutes earlier involving an 18-wheeler and lumber both covering the road I would have been on. He slowed me and He did it knowing I am gay.
When I was having car trouble, friends offered out of the blue to drive me 90 miles to see my kids. Tell me with a straight face Jesus is not at work there.
When my new landlord decided to close my building at the height of tourist season, friends have again put me up. I wanted to change jobs and move to a bigger city, but lacked the courage of my convictions. I was given 30 days notice at work (it was not a good job) to shape up or ship out. (In this case “shape up” = don’t be gay.) I am taking option B because I believe with all my heart it is God’s will. I will be able to attend church in the big city. None but the Unitarian Universalists would welcome me here and they meet during my Sunday shift. My new job will give me Sundays off I hope. If not there will be a purpose to that to. I don’t question God anymore, I know He cares and that He has a plan for me.
He loves you, too. I am no saint and I am not unique. Whosoever calleth on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ shall not perish but shall have everlasting life. This means you and me both.