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s time has passed, and as I have spent time assisting people in furthering their walk with Jesus, it is my firm belief the majority of difficulties people experience regarding sexuality and sexual orientation really have nothing to do with these issues.
Rather, I believe they instead wrestle with self-love, self-image, self-acceptance, self-actualization and self-esteem. When these truer issues are addressed in Jesus Christ then the sexuality and sexual orientation will naturally and without effort fall into place and its proper holy expression.
Now we have come full circle, being yourself, fully, responsibly, in Love.
hen I cam out publicly as gay, I did so because I not only knew I needed to be myself totally and completely, openly, but because I knew I needed to do so for the other people in my life whom I loved and cared for deeply. Coming out is, and should always be, an act of Love. It is an act of Love not just for self, but for other people, too.
My friends said when I decided to come out, I really decided to come out. I didn't just come out of the closet, I blew up the whole closet. I didn't just tell my friends and family, I told everyone. I told people at work, I told my pets, I would go to fast food restaurants and say, "I'll have a hamburger, a large order of French fries, a Dr. Pepper, and, oh, by the way, I am gay." Well, ok, I admit, I am exaggerating slightly here, but you get the idea. I knew, knowing my past personal history of false shame, low self-esteem, etc., that for me, if I didn't come out totally and completely, I would be tempted to retreat again to the closet the moment I felt pain or rejection. Oh, by the way, before I forget, Dr. Pepper is the only real soda anyone should drink; it is the best. I thought I'd throw that out so if you drink anything else you can feel bad about yourself and shatter your self-esteem, haha.
For you, you may not want nor need to blow up the closet, but you need to come out just the same. Closets are for clothes, and for storing things, not you. Since I blew up my closet I've had a terrible time finding places for my clothes and boxes of Christmas decorations, but I've not had any trouble being me. Sure, yes, I endured rejection and loss, but the greater good I have gained in coming out has made up for such losses, and a lot of them I now realize were not in either mine or other people's best interests. Love sometimes tears down in order to build, and we've been over that already.
Just as coming out to yourself as gay positive was a radical life changing experience, so will coming out to the world. You sometimes cannot control the actions and reactions of other people and life, but you can always control your own actions and reactions to their actions and reactions. Did I lose you? By coming out to self, but forming a good and positive self-image and self-esteem, you are now better equipped to handle life in being open about your sexual orientation. Believe it or not, but coming out to self was ninety per cent of the battle, and coming out publicly is only ten per cent.
When you do decide to come out, come out first to someone you know will be Love to you. In so doing it helps reinforce the good and positive changes you are making. This someone may be a friend, your doctor, a counselor, a co-worker. Frankly, it is rarely a family member, though it sometimes can be a brother or sister, cousin, etc. We seem to have our most difficult time coming out to family, especially parents. This is understandable. Family and parents is where we first found or tried to find love and unconditional acceptance. We desire to belong and need to belong to a family. We are autonomous, but we also have a need to belong. We desire, need and want the love and acceptance of our parents and family.
But, all of these people are human, and they may be struggling with their own issues of self-love, self-image and self-acceptance. They may not be very receptive to your sexual orientation revelation, or know how to handle it. Coming out puts the person to whom you are coming out to in the closet. Just as it took you time and nurturing effort to come out to yourself as gay, it may take the same time, or longer to come out as the friend, co-worker, brother or sister, mother or father, wife or husband of a gay person. Sadly, some of them stay in the closet forever. You cannot force them to love and accept you as gay, but you can create as positive and healthy environment as you possibly can to hopefully bring about positive change and full acceptance. You do this by Love, by Loving them, serving them, being Jesus to them. Remember, you are Christian long, long before you are gay or anything else. It is Christ people should see in you first, your sexuality way, way down the road.
So, wash the feet of those who will accept you and wash the feet of those who will reject you. You may have to change churches, locations, jobs, but that is part of the process for developing and being the person God desires you to be. You may have to build new friendships, let go of old ones. You may have to go and create a family of your own, where you can both Love and give Love, receive and give nurture. You make the positive and effective changes necessary, not only for your own life and mental health, but for the lives and mental health of those around you. Reality begets reality, honesty begets honesty, Love begets Love.
oming out is essential to healing and finalization of self as God intends. But, there is a step further, that of making gay into what it really is... no big deal.
To God, being gay is a non-issue. It only becomes an issue when it is out of balance, if it is seen exclusive to the rest of what makes you who you are, when it operates out of dysfunction, outside of Christís Law of Love. It is an issue to some people because of the inability to see diversity within Godís creation, or because of prejudices, stereotypes, misinformation, fear, denial, self-hatred or insecurities.
Being gay means being you, being yourself, and that is really quite mundane, dull and boringly normal. It means being true to yourself, your sexuality, your life and world, and your God. So being out means being boringly normal you, and that you are very special.
When you first come out, you seek out those who are similar; you desire connection, support and reinforcement. But, there comes a time, for those who embrace growth and maturity, when you desire to return to the rest of society and become a part of it. That's where I think Christ desires us to finally find ourselves.
Life is always a seeking of balance, between being part of the group, being accepted by the greater whole, and being an individual, unique and special. If youíre too individual you get branded as eccentric, nerdish, etc., if youíre too much part of the group you dissolve into the whole.
The gays who never move on beyond coming out get trapped in a world that gets its identity in sexuality. They decorate their lives with rainbow flags and stickers, embrace a vocal minority who try to "look" or "act" gay. Itís fun to be around other gay people, but sadly many gay people make the same mistake Christians make. Before a Christian, most friends were non-Christian, but once a Christian, well, you get the idea. Further, often Christians pull away from society, and society then suffers from their lack of interaction; how can a sick world be healed if the healers are in hiding? Such should not be the case, for Christ said we are to live in the world, just not be corrupted by it. Similar with being gay; you should abide in the greater world, being yourself without compromise. You should walk in your sexuality wherever you are, and within the greater whole, not separating yourself, associating and living around only those of like mind and persuasion. In your interaction with other people, you witness to the boringly normalness of being gay, and so elevate both society and yourself.
In coming out, have fun, explore your new life, make new friends and connections, learn, expand and grow. Grow and mature in your self-confidence and self-esteem, and become a mentor to other people coming out, too. But, neglect not the world around you; people need you, both gay and straight.
Sharing your sexuality is sharing that which is but a very small part of who you are, a non-issue. Love compels you to be yourself, not be someone you are not. You do not compromise self for acceptance. But, neither do you broadcast to everyone your business. You share your sexuality when it is important. When you abide in your larger society, living within it, tempering yourself, being yourself, walking openly in your sexuality without flaunt, then you have found life beyond coming out.
I could go on for many more pages, but the message remains the same. God Loves you, God has a plan for your life, Jesus wants to help you become the person God has always meant you to be, and through Jesus... you can.
As time has passed and as I have spent time assisting people in furthering their walk with Jesus it is my firm belief the majority of difficulties you have experienced regarding your sexuality and sexual orientation really had nothing to do with these issues.
Rather, I believe you instead have always been wrestling with self-love, self-image, self-acceptance, self-actualization and self-esteem. Now that these truer issues have been addressed in Jesus Christ then your sexuality and sexual orientation will naturally and without effort fall into place and its proper holy expression.
I really don't care what your sexual orientation is, what I do care about is that you have peace, joy and happiness in it. That peace, joy and happiness comes through a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
God Loves you unconditionally, accepts you, and desires the best for you. Together with God, you can build a good, positive and healthy life and sexuality, and walk in them. Life is risk, and together with God, you have taken the risk to be who you are in Jesus, and found it can be good, positive and healthy. Life will be difficult, but it will also be fun. You will walk and run, you will also fall down. You will be hugged and you will be rejected. You will find success and you will find loss. You will experience grief and pain and you will know joy and health.
You will know yourself when you know Jesus, find yourself when you find Jesus, Love yourself when you Love Jesus. Love, and be Love is all that you are and do, both to yourself, to other people, to God.
Long ago, God sent an angel to me to tell me Jesus had changed my name from "Brian," Celtic meaning "strong and unmovable," to "Ben," Hebrew meaning "son." I am so thankful for this blessing. Through this I came to learn just how much God Loves me and everyone else. I tried so hard to live most of my life as "strong," and Jesus desired me to live it as God's "son." This is the same desire God has for you, too.
I am very proud of you, but more importantly, God is proud of you. The two of you have your whole life ahead of you. Go now, enjoy it together, walk in it as best you can, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the Law of Love.
May the Lord Jesus bless you and keep you, may Jesus make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you. May you find God's Peace and Love in your rising up and in your lying down, in your going out and in your coming in, in your labor and your leisure, until that day when we all come together in unity before Christ. In Jesus name, Amen.
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