The Way, The Truth, and The Life—John 14:6
Once I understood that the feelings I was having probably meant that I was homosexual, I had to come to terms with that. It was not easy. I had never once in my life been told that it was okay to be gay. One of the early books I read while trying to figure all of this out was one called Finding the Boyfriend Within: A Practical Guide for Tapping into Your Own Source of Love, Happiness, and Respect by Brad Gooch. Who is the Boyfriend Within? Simply put, he embodies “qualities we find attractive in ourselves but often imagine others to possess more fully, as well as … dormant qualities we wish to nurture and grow.” The main lesson I learned from this was the technique where you basically schedule a date with yourself. You dress nicely, cook a wonderful meal, and have a romantic evening with just you. At first, I thought this would be my answer. I could love myself and be content with a celibate life.
That was not the answer. I still wanted the love of another man, and I still do want to find that man. I wanted to feel another man in my arms, to be held by another man, to kiss another man, to make love to another man, etc. These were all things I longed for, and things I could not give myself. However, the struggle that I ultimately faced was: What would my family say? How would God judge me? So I began to pray and mediate on the subject. I did what research I could back then, though I am a much better researcher now (thank you, graduate school). What I came to realize back then was that God will always love me and never forsake me. Though I won’t claim that God spoke to me like a burning bush in the desert, I do believe that the Holy Spirit allowed my heart to understand. My faith could/would/will remain strong and never waiver. It never did and never has. The question was whether or not I could act on my homosexuality. And at certain points I have been very promiscuous, which I do not think God smiled upon, but he did forgive me, and that is the most important thing. God forgives. God loves. God will not forsake us.
I love what Justin O’Shea had to say in a recent post in his blog Justin Dunes:
Let me tell you, briefly, I hope, what is at the bottom or foundation of me. I’ve worked on this and as we joke about here “I am a work of art in progress. . . .always becoming. .” I hold fast to this. We are created in the image and likeness of God. Love does such things. . .Love engenders and creates love. Being a gay man is part of God’s gift to me. . .how I live this out is my gift to God. . . .and to others.. . .because to be real ‘religion is relationships – God… Justin . . .and everyone else.’
How I love is how I live and vice versa. I believe too that God has given me all I need to become. . .grow into the man He created me to be. All I have to do is use what I have been given. . .and. . .as I use and share this I receive more to keep on going. .
One of the most important reasons that I was able to come to these same conclusions is through the loving relationships I had with my friends who welcomed my sexuality and never, not once, made me feel bad about it. My family has been another struggle, one that I hope I will be able to resolve some day. If you are struggling with sexuality and religion, then know that I am here to help. I started these posts to reach out to other GLBT Christians and to GLBT members of the Churches of Christ. I know there are other GLBT members of the Churches of Christ out there, and I do hope that they eventually come across these posts. We need the strength that friends can supply, we need the strength that God can supply, and we need the strength that our GLBT community can supply.