I've been planning a surprise birthday party for my mom for about a month now. I'm taking off work, flying to Virginia at 5 am and walking in on a lunch with her and her closest friends. I've called the restaurant for the reservation, arranged for my uncle to pick me up from the airport, have all of her friends on board, etc.
Today I got a phone call from one of her best friends who said they had a question about the party. The "question" was essentially whether I would be using the birthday party as an excuse to display my sexuality and make some form of gay-nouncement. She was concerned I was planning on introducing her to someone significant and that my mother just "couldn't handle that."
I told this concerned friend not to worry, I would not be wearing a rainbow leotard to the restaurant and great news - I have no one to introduce her to anyways.
I've never felt supported in this area for my family. I know very well their opinion of my sexuality and I know it is not favorable.
The thing that hurt me in this situation was two fold:
1. Here I am, killing myself to just do something nice and this person (who has known me since I was born) assumed I would be selfish enough to plan a birthday party for my mother and somehow make it about myself.
2. Even if that had been the case, the idea of me presenting someone significant in my life, or just being who I am, was so offensive to her, she felt the moral duty to prevent it from happening.
When I tried to come out when I was 15, I was sent to therapy. When I came out again in college, the school itself sent me to therapy. Their attempt to "pray the gay away" essentially turned me entirely from Christianity and I spent the duration of my stay at "The World's Largest Evangelical University" as a raging Atheist who hated therapy.
It took me years to finally come to the realization that being attracted to women and being a follower of Jesus Christ are not mutually exclusive events. To realize that it is not God's fault his humans are sinful and flawed by their very nature, and furthermore, that therapy is actually a good thing. I plan on doing many posts about my spiritual journey and the role my faith plays in my life, as well as the importance of mental health, so I will digress for now.
Suffice it to say, It took me a really long time to finally conclude that GOD is LOVE. And love and hate are always mutually exclusive events.
So, when this concerned friend called me today allegedly from a "place of love" all I could do was be sad for a moment, turn up the praise music I had ironically already been listening to before the call, and keep right on working.
And as the words, "your love is loyal", by Lauren Daigle (one of my favorites) echoed through my ears, I was reminded of the true love that this world cannot even comprehend. And that love knows no label, no sexuality, no political party and has no agenda. It is free, it is selfless and it is never ending.
So, to the concerned friend who felt the need to send my Monday into a downward spiral, please don't fret over my moral compass. Because I am a child of God, just like you. And yes. I am a lesbian.
"Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever." - Psalm 136:26
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud...it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres". - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15
“Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:18-19
“Above all, be loving. This ties everything together perfectly.” Colossians 3:14
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8
“Hate stirs up trouble, but love forgives all offenses.” Proverbs 10:12
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:9-10
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” 1 Chronicles 16:34