In a previous post I had shared the testimonies of four men who were, at one time or another, in homosexual relationships. They eventually decided to break free from those relationships and live as God had intended them to. Based on their accounts, their love for God proved to be more than their love for their partners and for the lifestyle they hung on to for so long.
As I read their stories, I wondered -- as I had done several times before -- where the stories were of women getting out of same-sex relationships. It was more common to come across news and features of gay men who talked about their journey. And then I stumbled on this:
If you want to read yet another diatribe that’s “pro-gay” or “anti-gay,” then this article isn’t for you. We’ve all had quite enough of those anyway, haven’t we?
I just want to tell a little of my story, with the hope that maybe someone out there will hear me differently than so many of the aforementioned sound bites circulating right now. Warning: You may not like the way my story turns out. You may feel sorry for me, or even be angry with me. You may feel flustered that my story doesn’t fit nicely into a theological box that you would like to keep nice and tidy. You may hate the advice I have to give, but please know that what I share is coming from a place of love and concern. Prayerfully, I’ll even encourage someone out there.
So…here it goes.
I am a Christian, one who believes that what the Bible says about sexuality is of great importance. I’m also someone who was in a same-sex relationship for many years, even as I claimed Christ. For a long time these were the two things that defined me.
There are lots of us out there actually, even in the most conservative of churches. Most often we don’t talk about it, but today I will, because I want you to know that there is a story contrary to the one heard on repeat in the media every day.
It was during college when I met the person who would quickly become my best friend, someone I would eventually consider something more akin to a soul mate. It took a couple of years, but eventually the emotional closeness we shared gave way to a physical intimacy.
To make a long, long story short: I was terrified about what was happening, but I also loved it. As our familiarity and affection toward one another grew, a coldness and distance was developing between God and me. Because of this, I tried many times to fight against it, but was unwilling to cut off the friendship, so I just carried on, the depth of our relationship kept hidden from the outside world, even as we actively pursued ministry together. We lived together for years until the Lord painfully pulled our lives apart.
Oh and friends, did I mention that I LOVED her? It wasn’t a “butterflies in the stomach” kind of love. It was a ‘You are my person” kind of love. The, “Whatever life throws at us, I want it to be with you,” kind of love. And life threw a lot at us. I would have gladly spent every minute of the rest of my days with her. I loved her certainly no less than someone loves their spouse. We had shared 8 years of friendship as well as the same home and the same pets (read: children). We had worked together, gone to school together, eaten all our meals together, traveled the world together, and shared all our deepest thoughts with each other.
So I know what it’s like to truly love someone and be frustrated that if only one of you was a different gender it would all be ok. I know what it’s like to genuinely love Jesus and want to serve Him, and yet, to feel this other undeniable pull; this thing that says, “You’re different.” I get it: the unwanted attraction you sense when you were just minding your own business, or the discouragement you feel when you think that because you’re too butch or too effeminate, no one of the opposite sex would find you attractive even if you wanted them to.
I so desperately wanted it to be ok. I wanted the Bible to say it was ok, so I looked for those who argued that it did. I read articles and books about the Greek being mistranslated and passages being taken out of context, but as much as I wanted them to be the answer, I knew enough about how to read my Bible on its own grounds that I was hard to convince.