You don’t believe this now, but you will be loved as you are. Right now, I know it seems like there’s no escape. That no matter how hard you try, how fast you run, how fiercely you try to claw your way to freedom from yourself, you sink deeper and deeper into the quicksand of shame and self-resentment. The further you try to hide and protect yourself from detection, the tighter your fears grip and paralyze you.
Fears of being rejected or unaccepted or judged or ostracized from friend groups or your family turning their backs on you, along with a 1,000 other potential outcomes swirl around in that head of yours. It’s too scary, you tell yourself. You are safer if you stay buried in the shadows.
However, you will find the shadows to be the most dangerous place. Eventually, the constant paranoia and anxiety of being exposed will strip the light behind your eyes. The air above you will lay like bricks on your shoulders as the pressure builds from the stress of living this double life. And when you’re full to bursting, at first you will cry and want to throw up every time you ‘break the news’ to someone you love.
While my heart hurts to admit this hard truth to you, your fears are not invalid. You will be rejected. You will be avoided. Family members won’t always support you. Bridges will be burned with friends. More times than you can count, your heart will be sliced open from the hurtful comments made around you about this part of you.
Strangers who know nothing about you will cast condemning looks at you as you pass them on the sidewalk. Be patient. What people say about you is none of your business. Be compassionate. Those who hurt you, judge you, shame you… love them anyway. Accept those who cannot empathize in this struggle with you. Allow them the right to process, and pray for them to have a change of heart.
And in the times when you see all of your fears unfolding in front of you, know you will overcome them all. You will bend in ways you did not know you could, but you will not break. Eventually you will start to see yourself as far more than the label society stamps on your forehead simply for the sake of understanding ‘what you are.’ You will realize you are not defined by or limited to being only this aspect of yourself. Because that’s all this is, one aspect of who you are – just as you are a sister, an athlete, a student, a woman, etc.
Stop begging God to take this away from you. He gave it to you for a purpose. So, seek it. Thank Him for the struggle, the pain, the confusion. Stop cursing at God for ‘screwing up’ when He created you… because He didn’t. You are made in His image and likeness and therefore, cannot be an error, malfunction, or mistake.
Stop avoiding your reflection to hide from the shame and disgust you see looking back at you. Rather, gaze at yourself and see you are good. You are enough. You are worthy of love—all love—not just the type of love society deems as normal.
The moment you surrender your fears and start clutching to His hand, the air above you will no longer crush you and your spirit. You will no longer suffer in silence. You will no longer feel that you don’t belong. You will sprout roots that spread deep into the earth beneath you and you will finally feel the ecstasy God has been holding for you. So, leap. Be free from this prison of self-hate and shame.
No matter what you will go through over these next 6 years, do not turn your back on God. In the moments when your religion persecutes you for this aspect of you, while ironically and simultaneously preaching to love one another as Jesus did, do not become bitter with God because His love knows no boundaries. His love has no exceptions. Seek His Grace elsewhere because you won’t find it at church.
You will struggle detaching from the religion in which you found God, but that’s okay. You will find other ways to see, feel, and hear Him. He will speak to you and affirm who you are in more ways than you ever felt you were rejected. He will bring friends who engage in intentional conversations with you trying to further their understanding of the struggles behind discovering sexuality. Family members will un-harden their hearts and show you support you never imagined receiving. Others sharing in the same struggle will come to you seeking refuge and you will be able to sit in their pain with them and have the confidence to tell them, IT GETS BETTER. And most of all, you will understand you were not, are not, and will never be alone in this.
Lastly, hug Mom and Dad and thank them repeatedly. You can’t see this yet, but they will be your rock in this. They will be your biggest support system and advocates. They will be the first people to show you that you are loved for who you are. Do not take it for granted because a source of unconditional love and support in this is not common, especially not from parents. You are beyond blessed to have them – don’t forget to remember that.
You will be okay. You will hurt, you will cry, you will scream, you will ache, but you will be stronger from it. Trust that each time you share your colors it will get easier and easier. Be proud of who you are and know you are loved.
Peace and Purple,
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Kahrin Spear, and originally appeared here. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more stories from the Spear family here:
’26 years ago, he was laid into my arms for the first time. Love settled on me like a weighted blanket. I prayed for his health and happiness with every inch of my heart space.’: Mom says ‘the dreams we dare to dream for our children really do come true’
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