An Open Letter to the Closeted

uscg_photo_2_signaling_for_help

 

I’m writing this for the closet LGBTs, but in a way, I’m writing this for myself. When I was where you are, alone in agony, I wish someone would’ve written to me. Just a word from a world where there were others. A red flare far out in the dark.

 

And maybe your story is a lot like mine. Maybe you need these words more than I need to write them…

 

Maybe you heard it first at age nine from the front row pew. Your pastor said it in ten seconds and it felt like hell and hate hurling down upon you. Maybe you heard it in the car with James Dobson declaring to the nation, to your family, that perverts like you don’t get to have God. Maybe you heard it in everything that went unsaid.

 

Maybe you opened the Book and saw six or so verses with their crushing words, leaving your soul cracked wide open. Maybe you read them with a lump in your throat and tears down your face and trembling hands. Maybe a part of you died.

 

And the message was received, loud and clear. You cannot be known, because you cannot be loved. You will not be welcomed. You will not be saved. You will lose everyone you care about. You will be thrown away.

 

So you ran backwards. You receded down deep, laid thick bricks all around you to keep everyone out. You believed it all was true and you believed that hiding was protection.

 

For me, for a long time, I believed them too. I believed God could care less. I believed that the only way I would be loved and get my pardon from Hell was to be straight. I believed that sometime, long before memory, maybe as a toddler, I chose to be gay, because that’s what the Church folk said. This is merely a matter of choice.

 

I believed it fully in my decaying heart, until late one night, at my lowest point, He told me something different.

 

It was 1 am and I was below the stars wrapped up in the backyard hammock. I was hyperventilating- violently. Cries were choked out and breath was cut short and I was all past hope.

 

I asked Him how His people, His followers, His body, could be so cruel and tough and severe. Why are you like that? I spat. Why do they say You’re on their side? Why am I even here? Why can’t I be your child? Why won’t you take me?

 

I threw wild swings in the dark, imagining His face was right in front of me. I knew He was there, I believed it, but I was completely convinced that He didn’t care a bit about me.

 

He hated me and I was all past hope.

 

But in the middle of the madness, in the swinging and the cursing, a sudden seam was stitched. A bridge built between my before and my after. A moment that changed everything forever.

 

It came quietly, like the first drops of rain, gentle and cool. It was five words and they were the sweetest ones ever spoken to me.

 

“I am not like them.”

 

I was struck and lulled and captivated all at once. I lost my breath and my arms fell limp to the grass below. I placed my hand over my heart. I squeezed my eyes shut. I listened to it echo through my soul. Reverberating. Over and over, again and again, until it matched the rhythm of my returning heartbeat. I am not like them. I am not like them. I am not like them.

 

The great I Am heard me. Saw me. Spoke to me. Came to me.

The great I Am is not like them.

 

The cries and moans didn’t cease, but they came from a different place. A source of pure joy and adoration and peace and I hang onto this memory with all that I have because it is all that I need. I am His love, I am His joy, He likes me and He loves me and He saved me.

 

He reached out and wrapped His big arms around me and it was like He had waited forever for this.


 

He Loves me… and He loves you too whether you believe or not.

It’s true.


 

I know how that word sounds. Love. Every time someone said it to you, it never felt real because they didn’t know that part of you. If they did, they would have never said it.

 

Listen, if you’re going to hear anything from me, hear this.

 

That’s the monster in the closet talking. The enemy will tell you anything and everything to keep you there. To keep you ashamed. To keep you afraid. Away.

 

But God loves you. He loves you. He loves you. Say it. Out loud. He loves you. He loves me.

 

When God formed you, he named you Masterpiece. Did you know that? Not just another work of art, but the very best thing he ever did. When He came to dwell, he made his bed in the margins. In the closet.

The very ones despised by the religious order were the ones He identified with most. Those were His brothers and sisters. Those were His friends. Those were the ones that got Him. He is with the beaten beside the road. He is with the hurting. He is with the accused. He is with the LGBT soul drowning behind the closet door.

He has carved your name in His palms. He has counted the number of hairs on your head. He thought of you first. He loved you first. He made you on purpose. He gave you a heart and a soul and a mind and breathed life into all that you are.

 

You are the best thing He has done. He has so much pride in you that it borders on embarrassing affection. He is fond of you. He fawns over you. He loves and He likes you.

 

And I believe, more than anything, he wants you to know that..

 

God is not straight and God is not gay,

He is above all the labels, He is only Love.

 

The head over heels, can’t shut up about it kind of love. He feels this for me. He feels this for you. He’s waiting, desperate and still, for you to grasp that, and then maybe, to grasp Him.

 

RR

  • survivorgirl007

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE … ad infinitum!!!!!!!!

    • registeredrunaway

      :)

  • Laurie

    I recently found your blog. My son came out to us one year ago and we have experienced all kinds of healing this year that a few years ago I couldn’t even begin to see as a possibility. You have expressed exactly what I want him to hear. I’ve printed it out and will put it in his Easter basket that will get to mailed to him this week (he attends college out of state). He has rejected Jesus because of what he’d heard for years. Perhaps God will use your words to just pry a tiny opening into the wall he has erected between him and God. Thank you.

    • registeredrunaway

      This is perhaps the most humbling comment I’ve received here on this blog. Thank you so much for writing here, you have no idea what that means to me. I am praying for your son. Let him know he contact me if he ever needs someone to talk to.

  • http://gravatar.com/tmoberg7 tmoberg

    Love you! Hoping this blog blesses many!
    Love, your proud mom

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  • http://theepiscopalian.blogspot.com/ William W. Birch

    I was forced out, due to a public humiliation, when I offended my roommate in seminary; it was tragic, and I didn’t think I’d ever come away from the shame. Little did I know, the guilt and fear and shame I felt for being attracted to the same sex (and hiding it from most everyone) would contribute to my sinful, private behavior. I, too, grew up in Church hearing the “Abomination!” sermon against homosexuality. I just knew that I was inherently abominable, and that, if not for Jesus, God the Father would strike me dead. Why? Because He hates sin and I was thoroughly sinful.

    On the other side of the outing I can admit that I feel free. I wouldn’t go back now to a hidden state for anything. Praise the Lord. More importantly, the Lord still loves me, and most people who know of my sin also still love me.

    Thank you for this great, great reminder!

  • registeredrunaway

    Thank you for sharing your story! It seems, all of us, have similar histories that veer this way and that, unfortunately, they often lead us to the lowest points Until we emerge and realize we are loved. It’s borderline intoxicating. I am so so so glad you received love and support and freedom on the other side of that door!

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  • http://twitter.com/micahjmurray Micah J. Murray (@micahjmurray)

    Every straight Christian needs to read this.

  • http://tumbulwead.wordpress.com Kenny Pierce

    God, this is my story. Our story. Your brothers and sisters in Christ, who also happen to be gay. So many wounded, but still waiting and hoping for the kind of whisper of unconditional love that you experienced. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  • http://www.hollicareylong.com Holli

    I am in tears. This is heart-wrenching and beautiful and amazing. I agree with the comment above…we all need to read this. And I also agree with you. God loves you.

  • Jeff

    Thanks for posting this. It’s beautiful.

  • Anon

    Thank you for this. It cut right through my heart as I read this and am grateful to have found this.

  • http://awritespot.wordpress.com awritespot

    These are bold, beautiful, important words. Thank you for sharing them.

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  • Roger

    If I were gay, I’d be a bit skeptical about coming out to a Christian community, given the history between gays and Christians

  • Sandy Ochoa-West

    Love, Love, Love, this is beautiful

  • http://gravatar.com/patrickgillan patrickgillan

    It’s my story to thankfully like you I rose above the tragedy including being removed from my post as youth Pastor, being evicted from my church home with a wife and three children, being shunned from the Christian community and being left to figure it all out on my own. Divorce followed and all the trauma that comes with it BUT God never abandoned us our family is a happy family. AND despite the hateful things
    Christians have done I found that God is bigger and better then that and His Love endures forever. Gods richest Grace to you.

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