Friday, 24 October 2008

Coming out of the Shadows

I’ve decided that its time to come out of the shadows. There’s no especially easy way to tell people that you love that you’ve been keeping something from them, so I hope that you are able to understand that I’ve had to process some of this without you. I’m a lesbian.

I’ve known this for about six years, and I’ve been slowly coming out to a few friends starting from when I was 18. I’ve gone on a fairly big journey, from being sure that this meant that I was going to be celibate and single forever, to now being less sure what is right/wrong and what the path God is calling me down is. I have never (honestly) stopped thinking that God loves me through all this. That’s one of the few truths that I’m sure of.

I know that the people reading this have different opinions about morality and the bible, and will have different opinions about this journey I’m on. I hope that we can agree to be respectful and loving towards each other and show each other grace in our journies.

I don’t have any answers about how my faith and my sexuality fit together, so why am I doing this now? Firstly, I’m tired of the constant energy it takes to assess every sentence, and censor every conversation to make sure that I’m not saying anything that will ‘give me away’. I don’t want to have to do that any more. I’ve also realised that when I’m honest about this with people, I become closer to God. I value my relationship with God more than my secrets.

I’m also doing this because vulnerability is important. When those of us who follow Jesus are too afraid to be honest about our stories, then the kingdom of God is diminished. Given the controversy about sexuality is in the church, it has never been more important for gay people within the church to be honest about the fact that we are HERE. From the few people in the church I’ve already talked to, I can see that when people become aware that there are gay people in the church that they love, and whose faith they respect, things becomes less black and white, and people are treated with the grace they deserves. If I can be a part of making this happen then I will be very blessed.

For all our sakes, I am grateful that, “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Will you love the "you" you hide if I but call your name? Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same? Will you use the faith you've found to reshape the world around,through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?

Lord your summons echoes true when you but call my name. Let me turn and follow you and never be the same. In Your company I'll go where Your love and footsteps show Thus I'll move and live and grow in you and you in me.