One of the things that has proved the most transformative for me are all of the people I have met over the past few years, and how unique each of their stories are. As each of them share with me the pain and struggle surrounding their coming out experiences, I am always humbled, challenged, and heartbroken that we have not done more to show God’s love to those who are in the midst of serious crises.
So, I want you to meet Jared. Jared is a really special person that I’ve had the blessing to get to know a little bit through his participation in an online community I am a part of. Jared’s story is one of the most open, honest, and heart-tugging that I’ve heard. I thought you all deserved to hear it too, and Jared was more than willing to oblige.
So, here’s Jared:
(Everyone say, “HI JARED!!!”)
And here’s his story, in his own words, untouched by me. Let your heart be open as you read it.
I have grown up in a very conservative Christian household ever since I can remember, I have believed in God ever since I can remember. When I was five or six, my dad came into my room to tuck me into bed and told me that he knew that I believed in God, but that part of that means I have to declare my faith to God, out loud. So amidst his prescence and the prescence of the Lord, I declared my belief and love for him.
Everything was fine and dandy until about seventh grade. This was when my gay feelings started appearing in my life. At first, I was only attracted because I wanted to be like what I saw, but then I started becoming sexualy attracted to them. I had no idea what to believe. I knew what my dad had told me about ‘the homosexuals’ and I didn’t want to be that. I believed in God, why would he give me these crazy notions?
I wondered that all the way through high school. I graduated from high school, still gay. Things were pretty hard for me then, my dad remarried to a very conservative woman who I couldn’t get along with. She really made school difficult for me and the one place I was supposed to feel welcome at, my home, was like a prison cell. Things just pilled up on top of everything. Life started feeling insignificant, suicide was not really a factor, but it did cross my mind. And I still loved God, but didn’t know why.
I didn’t know what to do, so when I went to college, I expected I would be open about my feelings, but I got scared and couldn’t do it. After all, the first week I just happened to bump into a lot of people and make friends with them and almost all of them were Christian. What would they think? I hid my feelings from my roommate and everyone I knew. I only confided in one woman, and she was very nice about it, unfortunately, as school picked up, I barely talked to her again.
As I hid my true feelings, my relationship started failing with me and the Lord. I didn’t want it to or even realize it much, but I wasn’t talking to him at all, so I was surely losing him. Praying halted, the music I listened to was trash, everything was horrible in my relationship. I went on, doing whatever I wanted to do and two years later, I paid the price.
Now I am taking a year off, because I don’t have the money to support myself, so I am struggling right now just to make ends meet. God has given me a place to stay, for the time being, but I feel I am being a burden to them, so the sooner I can, I am going to find my own place to stay. The plans for my future are still right where they always were, in his hands.
The September of this year, I had a converstaion with my dad about my lack of work. I had told my dad before I went to college that I was bisexual because I honestly was very confused, but partially because I thought he might be able to understand. To my surprise, he was understanding, but every chance he gets, he tells me how bad ‘the homosexuals’ really are. This night, we didn’t talk about that.
After a lot of emotions and tears, I decided I needed to talk to God again, so I went to a quiet place in town and just let my tears fall. I cried about missing my mother, I cried about having no job, I cried because I was homosexual, I cried. I then pathetically told God I needed him to help me. I told him I knew I was unworthy of anything he could help with, but that I knew I needed him to help me because I alone couldn’t do it.
As I finished up my talk with God, I turned the radio on to here Z104, a pop station, and quickly changed it to Life102.5, Christian music. On the radio was Matthew West’s song “The Motions” and after that was Echoing Angels’ “You Alone.” Let’s just say both these songs spoke to me about my feelings of being gay. I cried on the way home and just kept repeating, “You are amazing God.”
Two days later, I had a job and two interviews. I also found this site (gaychristian.net) the day after my Golden Birthday, so I know my selfish requests had been answered.
On 10/11/10, I was finally able to come out on facebook. In that process, I was able to come out to both my mother and my father. I was very worried how they would think and what they would do, how they would treat me, etc. But with God’s grace, they both have said they will love me no matter what I do.
Things will still be a little difficult, as they both do not understand and think that what I am doing is wrong, but with time, I know we all can endure this and get over it.
I am just in awe of our God, only God could love so unconditionally. He is incredible and I am so glad I was able to restart my realationship with him and get things back on track. He truly is an amazing God. I hope this has helped you, because it surely has helped me.
Jared, thanks so much for your willingness to share your story, your journey, and your heart with us. We are better people for hearing it. May your walk with God continue to flourish. May you find his love all around you, and may you become more and more like him each and every day! Thank you for sharing!