On Thursday night I was able to meet up with an old friend of mine who I haven’t seen in over 6 years. It was such a joy to meet up with her again and share stories. We used to attend an ex-gay ministry together and where she moved on, got married and had a little girl, I eventually embraced my gayness and as a child of God. Her daughter is a sweet-heart and it was a pleasure to have met her.
Another ex-gay acquaintance was also with us, and it was good to see her as well, however the evening turned somewhat sour when she heard I had “come out” back in October. She went about asking me why I would identify as being gay and a child of God. she had already made up her mind and judgement ensued. Even though she was all smiles and concern, she couldn’t help but make a blanket statement on who I was and refused, and I repeat, REFUSED to listen or even give consideration of my story. In fact, as I was about to concede and leave our polarized positions as is, she then went about describing other sins such as stealing, murder, etc alongside my being gay! I asked if I was being lumped in along with murderers, liars and thieves, she indirectly did and said she could not even consider my challenge to check the scriptures. I threw my hands up and walked away. I was insulted by someone I thought was caring and she didn’t even realize what she did.
I’m fighting to keep from becoming angry and bitter over the whole situation. I’m sure she is not angry, but I can’t help but wonder what she thinks of me now… funny that I would think that when the whole coming out was an exercise of not caring what other people think. The sad thing that she would simply dismiss my testimony and say I am a thief, liar etc… very Insensitive, but I can relate because I was like that at one time and I grieve that earlier part me. How many have I turned off because of my self-righteous judgement under the guise of sincere concern?
I can walk away from this experience knowing, somewhat naively that not everyone will be in the same place as I am now, in fact I can relate as I was once in that position. We all have a journey and not all our journeys are the same. Some would like to think that we should all conform to a creed or dogma when in fact Jesus never said that. He preached love and acceptance. even to go as far as eating and drinking with “sinners”. It doesn’t condone the sin but simply recognizes the persons journey and where they are at that point in life. Over time, love conquers and can bring us to a place of repentance and freedom if we so chose to.
I left the church eight years ago, and in those years in the wilderness, the theology I was taught, slowly fell away as I questioned everything I had learned before. When I came back, I only had a residue of the old ways of thinking still clinging to me. Yes, I was bound by other things that held me back, sins that hurt me and kept me from God, but when I finally embraced my sexuality, I was set free, made a new person, and I am freer than I ever was.
The sin that easily can besets us, falling short, not being our authentic selves is just that, sin, which Jesus overcame on the cross. My life is to walk it out, to learn, to grow past those things that pull me down.
I have been much happier and more open than I ever was. My friend commented that she has never seen me so passionate about anything, which goes to show how much this means to me. I am no longer bound by chains of religion and dogma that easily shames us and keeps us bound.
I’m still in transition as I discover new understandings of God his word and His Love for me.