Know Our Stories: Struggling With God’s Will

Over the last two years, 200+ LGBTQ people have entrusted their stories to me. This one in particular hit me hard.

This 61 year old man remains in the closet to this day. From all he observed as a child, he told me “I decided to shelter my friends and family from having to deal with the embarrassment of having a gay person in their midst… The Lord and I would have to contend with this on our own.”

He realized he was gay around 11. “While I was crushed to discover I was gay, [I believed] the Lord would deliver me from this curse.”

Thus began decades of pleading with God. He wanted to marry and have a family, and began to panic in his late 30s as he felt time was running out – all the while God remained silent.

One night, his constant prayer to be freed from same-sex attraction took a turn. “I said to God, ‘If I am sick of this prayer, you must be too.’ So that night I stopped.”

Eventually, despair set in as he realized he would never marry or have a family. “I struggle with why this was the Lord’s will for my life, and if it wasn’t, why didn’t he make it clearer? I don’t know what I did wrong, as I faithfully followed the church’s teaching. But I would not describe my life as flourishing.”

He is deeply concerned for the next generation of LGBTQ in our churches. “Given that we now know orientation change is next to impossible, traditional church teaching now is that [the only option for] gay Christians is a life of singleness and celibacy. If that was the message when I was young, suicide would have been a consideration.”

Oh, my heart. I respect this beautiful soul, as he made his choices out of a sense of obedience and duty to God and family. Yet my heart breaks for him, as it should not have been this way.

And may his urgent concern for the next generation be not a prophecy, but a wake up call.

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