My wonderful friend Jenny from the Jenny in Neverland blog came up with the idea of writing a series of letters. These could be to all manner of people- your children, former teachers, your younger self...and I am taking part in her letter writing exploits too!
This challenge was entitled 'A letter to a book character'. I knew straight away who I needed to write to. My book group read The Red House by Mark Haddon this month and although I could relate to aspects of many of the characters in the book, one touched my soul so deeply. That was Daisy. Daisy is a teen struggling with her identity, reaching out into the Christian faith and adjusting to the idea that she is a lesbian. I am a Christian myself, and identify as bisexual. There are times when I have felt saturated with guilt, feeling like these sides to my personality are a terrible clash. I wanted to write to Daisy to give her hope, and to encourage her to be true to herself. It took me far too long to reach that point, and I would love to be able to help her avoid the anguish I experienced.
This isn't going to be a long letter, but is one I felt compelled to write. I know that right now you are probably overwhelmed with emotions. It is incredibly hard to feel that you know who you are but that elements of your true self may not fit together neatly like two neighbouring jigsaw pieces, at least in the eyes of society.
But being gay and being a Christian are not mutually exclusive, especially in modern culture. Of course, you will come up against people who don't understand your sexuality, or your faith, or both. But there are other people out there just like you, there are churches which will welcome you and support you on all aspects of your journey and they will love you for who you are. Jesus said many wise things, but when I contemplate my faith and sexuality the one I always come back to is 'Love one another as I have loved you'. That is pretty self explanatory. Jesus used to hang around with an eclectic crowd. People like Thomas, and Simon Peter who had faith which waivered and that they denied. People like Mary, Martha and Lazarus- ordinary families with issues. People like the lady at the well and the woman who poured oil on him, lepers, outcasts. Jesus openly loved everyone. Jesus openly loves YOU. God the Father too- he is 'Abba', Daddy- the loving father, wanting happiness for his children. INCLUDING YOU.
There will be times where you want to scream, times where you feel people are being self righteous pricks and only seeing the parts of you they want to see. People mock what they don't understand. They are afraid of difference. It is only through honesty that these barriers can be broken down, so with the strength of the Holy Spirit go forward being true to others, but more importantly, being true to yourself.
God bless you Daisy,