I’m not sure why I ended up on your blog page, but here goes nothing. I’m 19 and I’ve attempted suicide four times. I feel like I’m nothing more than a statistic. I am really struggling with balancing my mental health disorder, my sexuality, my faith and my depression. It’s like I’m trying to juggle and spin plates at the same time. I look at Job and think, “Why can’t I be that guy?”—still thanking God in hardship, still rejoicing and praising, still focusing on God. Instead, I can feel bitterness rising, and I only turn to God when I want to unleash some anger.
Why did God make me gay, chemically imbalanced, and with a bonus personality disorder? I came to Christ because of my depression. In Jesus, I saw hope. Now, I feel that my depression is what is leading me away. My parents aren’t Christian, and neither are the majority of my friends. Indeed, since coming to university even, I haven’t found a community yet, as the Christian Union here was so conservative and fundamental that I left the meeting in a hot sweat. The only church I’ve found that I like is the [church she’s at now], but the congregation is so big, I haven’t found anyone I can connect to.
I guess I want fellowship. I’m so scared of reaching out to other Christians because I fear as soon as I say, “Oh, by the way, I hear voices, fancy ladies and enjoy cask ales too much,” I’m going to be flat-out rejected. I know people look at my arm and see my scars, and that’s all they see and that I should, “Stop, just stop, smile, be happy!” Why do some think I chose to be this? You wouldn’t think or say that to a person with a physical illness.
I’m not even sure why I wrote this and decided to write to you, but I may as well swallow my nerves and just ask for a kind word, because honestly, that’d be magical.
Dear Young Lady Who Wrote Me This:
The emotional honesty of your letter is nothing less than inspiring: it reminds me of what life really is, rather than what it’s so tempting to pretend that it is. We all have demons we flee. You remind us that the highest and most important endeavor of our lives is to finally stop running, turn, arm ourselves with the truth, and with that weapon, and that weapon alone, slay our demons.
That’s what you’re doing: directly and with great courage, you’re fighting the good, real fight. And—despite how I know it sometimes feels to you—you are winning that fight. And that helps us all to win our fights. By sharing as you have, you’ve made us all a good deal stronger.
Hang in there, girl. You’re going to be all right; no one who can write a letter like this won’t be. (And definitely dismiss, outright and with great confidence, any notion whatsoever that God condemns gay people. Here is proof that literally nothing could be less biblical.)
I know this like I know my own name: out of ten thousand people, Jesus would choose you to hang out with you. Jesus didn’t show up for people who think they’re winners. He showed up for people who know that there’s something terribly suspect, if not outright destructive, about the whole idea of winners and losers. He showed up for people like you, who only want to “win” against the ever present, ever ruinous idea that any person in the world matters less than anyone else.