A note to those who feel alone.
It was about midnight. My face was against the floor at an altar. The cross above me, and a crowd of people around me. Praying for me, but not fully understanding why I was having such an emotional moment. No one understood. No one would ever understand.
That was the theme of the week; that we would be branded by nothing but the name of Jesus.
To this day that is my sole desire and purpose in life. God, brand me.
But here I was, a teenager at summer camp. Face down at an altar because I literally hated the person I was, my deepest secret, my truest brand, and everything associated with it. Face down because I believed this part of me, if it didn’t change, meant I would never be part of a group branded by Christ.
It was as if my eyes turned into rain clouds and poured down a fierce storm on the chapel carpet. Every drop of rain filled with guilt, anguish, pain, and regret for feelings I had no control over. Heart pounding and heavy as ever, surrounded by people who loved me but left feeling:
Alone, unwanted, misunderstood, and unheard.
I begged and pleaded with the lord, “take this from me oh God” I prayed explaining, “God you are all I desire, this means nothing if it means I can’t be yours.” Internally I shouted: “God heal me”
The tears never stopped. I was so scared, terrified that I would not be branded by Jesus because I couldn’t stop being attracted to men. If God didn’t heal me, what brand would I be associated with?
Gay, perv, fag?
The thoughts ran through my mind as I hypothetically played out every minute of how dissatisfying my life would be if God never healed me from this plague I had dealt with my whole life. It was 2am and finally I went back to my room and went to bed. Nights like these happened often.
Growing up as a gay person is hard. Life confined to four walls of a closet is lonely and claustrophobic. My closet had even less space to breath than others. My closet, had a giant cross separating me from the door, and the only way out would be to pick that cross up, put it on my back, and break down that door. The task was daunting, getting out seemed impossible, and I was convinced I was trapped in the confines of these four walls forever.
I so deeply repressed my sexuality. My whole life I was convinced if I just experienced God more, prayed harder, dated more girls (in faith) that eventually I would just stop being attracted to guys. Eventually I would just be “healed”. It’s that easy right?
I had heard people say things like this from the pulpit: “Gay people just need Jesus”. I had Jesus though, I loved Jesus. But I knew I was gay. The more I heard about how gay people are so rooted in evil the more I hated my self. When I heard pastor figures and Christian peers talk about wanting to physically abuse gays that are publicly in relationships, I would emotionally and spiritually abuse my self.
Why did it never cross their minds that maybe one of the people they were making fun of, or hypothetically abusing, could be sitting across the pew?
Why did it never cross their minds that when they mocked and joked about gay people, maybe a gay person was in the room with them, and they were actually laughing in their face?
If I was seeking God with my whole heart, and loving him with my whole life, why was I condemned to hell if this never went away?
The questions played over and over, and with every unanswered question came another level of self hate. The cycle was viscous. And it was lonely.
Could I really be the only one? Was I really in this alone? Last year I came to the realization that there had to be others like me. People who loved God, who heard his voice, who prayed, read the bible, and believed but also were gay. Others who had tried so hard for God to heal them, but as they got closer to God He never changed them, He just held them.
I found that I was right. I actually found a whole network of people through the Gay Christian Network. People just like me, and it was comforting to know I wasn’t alone. I wouldn’t say I have all the answers, but in the last year I have finally begun to come to some conclusions about my life.
Yes I am a Christian. Yes I love God, more than anything else. Yes I am called. Yes I strive for Holiness. Yes I fall short. Yes I love people. And yes, I am gay.
I will no longer be confined to four walls of the closet ridden with claustrophobia. I will pick up my cross daily. I will move onward. And I will seek the Lords guidance every step of the way.
I pray that no one has to experience the pain and loneliness I did.
You are not alone. You are loved. And you are indeed, created in the image of God.
Peace and blessings