- by Ashe Powell
A Letter to all LGBTIQ in the Christian Community
My dear friend. I have just heard the news of your coming out. Firstly I want to say you are strong, brave and courageous for being honest and freeing yourself from this bondage. I do not wish to lie to you, there will pain and hurt. There will be many more tears and people who think they are right and you are wrong and they will tell you just that. But fear not my friend, many have walked the path before you, including myself. At the time I came out I was a Youth Pastor. There were many people who once respected me, that did no longer, just because I disclosed my sexuality. People were so quick to disregard all that they knew me for. I was extremely hurt by the actions and words spoken by those I considered friends. But, there is hope.
“....there is hope.” Support Get connected - find people that are safe and allow you to speak freely. There are support groups, helplines, and more churches and individual Christians popping up that will welcome and accept you with open arms. You need to surround yourself with people who will love you and show you the endless and abundant love of God. I was so dedicated to God and so tapped in to Him that all I wanted to do with my life was to serve God. This particular story I write with a heavy heart and much sadness still, as for a while after I came out, I was so hurt by the actions of Christians in my life, that I started to lose hope in God.
“I was so hurt by the actions of Christians in my life, that I started to lose hope in God.”
I cannot stress to you enough how important it is to be with people that are like-minded and focused on Jesus to help you through this trying time. I realised - Why do I care so much about what my fellow man says? What about what God says? “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.” God is love. Unconditional love. Agape. That love knows no bounds. As hard as it is, hold onto that love, not the loving judgement of those around you who persecute you. Family I understand you have had some pain regarding the people closest to you. Take it from someone who knows, it is hard at the start, but be persistent, remain hopeful, keep a level head and as hard as it is, try to think of yourself in their shoes. Sometimes the things your family says can be confusing. As hard as it may have been for you to come to terms with your sexuality, it is often just as hard for others to come to terms with it too and may take them some time. Try to understand where they are coming from so that a mutual respect can begin to form. Being defensive may close that option.
"Some of the opinions will hurt you, some will uplift you."
Everyone will have an opinion, some will voice it very vocally, and some will not say anything. Some of the opinions will hurt you, some will uplift you. Something I had to learn very quickly was to stop trying to change everyone’s opinion. I just got hurt more and more, and I was exhausted from constantly having to defend myself and my sexuality. The hearts of those who disagree with you can only be softened by God himself. Trust God to do this my friend. In the right timing and with the other person opening their heart to Him - it will happen. You aren't alone Know that you are never ever alone. There have been people before you, and there will be people after you to walk this road. But my friend, I love you, you are a beautiful creation, loved by God. Know that God's love has no limit, no bounds, no conditions, you are loved and adored by your heavenly father.
"...God's love has no limit, no bounds, no conditions..."
I am sorry for the pain you have experienced all of your life. I am sorry for the hurt you are going through right now. I am sorry for the years you felt tortured because you simply could not figure out how to be the worlds definition of 'normal'. I am sorry for the people who hurt you. I am sorry there are words being said that are tearing you apart. Stay strong my dear friend, hold close to God's love. Surround yourself with people who love you and never forget how amazing you are in God's sight. Grace and Peace my dear friend.
Ashe has always sought creative ways to express herself. Whilst mainly known for music, underneath the surface a writer has been brewing. Ashe has a background in youth ministry and has a heart for all of the young people of this nation to experience God's love for them no matter what their circumstances are. Currently Ashe is living in Brisbane, Queensland. See previous articles by Ashe Powell