QUEER AS IN pro celebration
QUEER AS IN pro freedom
QUEER AS IN pro connection
QUEER AS IN pro me
QUEER AS IN pro people
QUEER AS IN pro consent
QUEER AS IN pro recovery
QUEER AS IN pro lesbian. gay. bi. trans. queer. intersex. asexual, +
QUEER AS IN pro non-binary
QUEER AS IN pro black
QUEER AS IN pro brown
QUEER AS IN pro API
QUEER AS IN pro body positivity
QUEER AS IN pro immigration
QUEER AS IN pro migration
QUEER AS IN pro femme
QUEER AS IN pro QUEER community
QUEER AS IN pro reconciliation
I worked 10 years in & for a church community which I deeply loved. While I found my work very meaningful, I now see that in many ways I was working to earn love & acceptance, because I did not know that I was intrinsically loved. My church community became an expression of the longing I felt for home, love, safety & healing.
Unfortunately, I was hiding an entire part of my identity (my sexuality) in order to gain that acceptance. Deep down inside, I felt I was 'passing' in the community I was seeking to find love in. I felt like an outsider, creating a community for other people to participate in.
As I began my two year process of coming out, including divorce, I felt my entire false persona, which I had crafted to fit in, like a wedge lift and flip over my entire life.
What I found as I excavated this false life was a Jesus narrative that I had never heard before. I had 'faked' being a good person, I had done all the right things because they were the right things. Now the Jesus in the stories who butted up against the status quo and flipped everything upside down made sense.
Quite painfully, this new found Jesus, was not fitting into my church work. It became clear that the church I loved & I were on divergent paths.
I think there is a place in all of us that longs for safety, home, healing & love; and it is because of that longing that many of us arrive at the door of church. But many, like me & other LGBTQia+ (lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, intersex, & asexual) people feel the painful sting of exile from their church communities, and in many cases their families.
We sometimes can find God in the places of exile.
I am finding the place internally where my spirituality & sexuality can coexist, working to realize I am a whole person loved, not broken. Discovering in the process that sin, to me, was hiding a whole part of myself.
I am learning that I have intrinsic value, apart from church. I am learning that God was never in the 'box' of church, they do not own him/her & they do not get to tell us if he/she loves us. He/She is telling me I am loved in the place of exile & he/she is bringing me home internally.
But I, and others, long & work for a day of reconciliation.
Reconciliation with my own identities.
Reconciliation with the church & the LGBTQ community.
Reconciliation with the church & it's heart.
I believe this is not just a culture war we are in the middle of, this is an opportunity for the church to see with fresh perspective. I believe God is using the LGBTQ community to reconcile with the heart of his/her people.
All we have to do, is begin to listen.
I know that is an audacious thing to assert, but I also know it to be true in me, so I believe it is true for you & in us.
"I have a deep and abiding love for the church." -MLK jr
God placed a love in me for the people who pour their heart out to this thing called 'church', I believe we are all connected and that 'church' is meant to be an expression of that collective story.
Never let us forget that these are the stories He/She uses to upset the status quo. These are the stories that the bible was written to tell.