When I started this blog, it was to serve as a journal and encouragement to others. I wanted it to be a place where I could share, reflect and grow. I’ve become side tracked my “stuff” and my new blogging friend Matt has helped me see that without saying a word to me specifically. I’m still going to post things I’m passionate about, but I’m not going to neglect my Christian journey or my coming out experience. You can read about Matt’s journey at his blog. Please be kind in your words, even if you disagree. My response to his post titled, “It Gets Better…Temporarily” is below the video.
Matt, my experience is a bit different than yours. It’s a long story, but I shut off the gay part of me for most of my life. I grew up in a conservative evangelical community, went to seminary and entered ministry. My life verse was Phil 3:10. It is at the bottom of every journal page of mine from my sophomore in college forward. “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings.”
I was a happy and fun-loving guy that was so good at hiding the gay part of me that I fooled myself. The “lifestyle” you speak of was foreign to me. I never experienced the heterosexual or homosexual extremes. I never strayed outside of my marriage, but just continued to stuff these feelings deep inside. Slowly, this started to eat away at me. My personality totally changed. I went from being the uber optimistic guy, great husband and “fun dad” to a shell of a person that no one recognized. During this time I was seeking God, planting a church and trying to hold life together.
After about 12 years of marriage, kids and a long time in ministry, I was looking in the mirror one day and said, “This is stupid, you’re gay.” Matt, I knew not ONE gay person. I had a couple of friends who had been in and out of being a lesbian, but I didn’t know any other gay guy.
That has marked the beginning a journey of discovering who I am. Fortunately, I have some wonderful family and friends that are walking with me. It has been painful for my family, as we both realized that this had been the cause of both of our depression and are divorcing. My kids are doing great… and for this I am eternally grateful.
I hear you passion and don’t question your sincerity. Please hear mine. I’ve observed those in the ex-gay ministry…friends of mine…encourage guys like you to get married because that makes things better. Please caution the guys that I know will come to you for seeing this as a solution. Marriage is hard enough for two people that are naturally attracted to each other. Be sure that at the very least, both parties go into the marriage with eyes wide open.
Well-meaning Christians have told me that I can’t be gay and Christian. I refuse to accept that. Typically (not always), these Christians seem to be motivated more by fear, hate or anger than a true passion for God. Not ONE person in the world but God knows my heart, or anyone else’s heart of that matter. Above all else, continue to be kind in your words. I love the quote from Philo of Alexandria… “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.”
Just know this… I am here. I will pray for you. Hopefully we can both stumble our ways through this life and meet the loving embrace of our Savior. I hope nothing but the best for you.
I leave you with one other quote from the movie “The Help” that I just love. It has had to be my mantra over the past few months…
“Ever morning, until you dead in the ground, you gone have to make this decision. You gone have to ask yourself, “Am I gone believe what them fools say about me today?” — Kathryn Stockett (The Help)
Grace and Peace.