There was a time when I used to pray that God would take away my attractions for men. I believed that if I had these feelings for a man, that I would be doomed to eternity in peril. And trust me, I took this seriously.
When I fell in love with a man for the first time, I prayed that God would kill me in a car accident before I made a mistake that would send me to hell. If I could avoid the life-destroying decision of being attracted to men by dying then I would be saved, or at least I thought.
When I was in graduate school, I realized a different type of love- Love that wasn’t based on my performance.
One afternoon a classmate invited me to go shopping with her, as I had “good fashion.” In fear of being seen as the typical gay man on a seminary campus, I declared “No!” After talking about it with my friends and therapist of the time, I conceded. I would go.
I had a blast. She later wrote me a card: “Isaac, the femininity in you makes me feel more like a woman than any man ever has.”
Later that year I asked men on campus to help me feel like I belonged. And they did. I had more male friends in one semester than in my whole life combined.
After years of praying, starving myself, and shaky my fist at God I was learning something new, about love, God, and myself. Previously I would shout, “You knew who my parents would be, what type of home I would grow up in, what my church would preach, and how sensitive I am. Why did you let me become this guy?”
Slowly I began to believe that He did know these things all along. He gave me those parents on purpose. He knew what type of home environment would shape my heart. He knew what my church would preach and He knew all about my sensitivities. All of that was on purpose. I began to learn that I was being shaped just how he wanted me. My one task was to practice trusting his unconditional love: I love you because you are you.
You see, its easy to hear the voices of our stories, the voices that tell us we’re not good enough, our performance isn't clean enough, and that we are certainly not wanted.
But when we begin to trust that we are loved because of who we’ve become do we also realize an euphoric freedom.
If you ever watch “Coming out live” YouTube videos, you’ll here one question about 99% of the time, “Mom and dad, do you still love me?” To think for any moment that you are unlovable because you are attracted to the same sex, is typical. Us LGBTQ are very familiar with the fear that motivates such a question.
But when we live stuck in the false-belief that we are unlovable do we find ourselves disconnected from truth. Thankfully my parents taught me truth: “Isaac we will love you no matter what.” And more importantly, so did God. It took me time to swallow his proof, but I got there.
Instead of death, now all I ask for is to see myself the way God sees me- from the inside out. I have a lot to offer. I am beautiful. I am loved...and so are you.
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