A lesbian changed through Jesus

A lesbian changed through Jesus February 5, 2013

I woke many a dark morning, knotted in anguish with the entirety of my cavernous being crying out for release  – asking God to change me.  And God did.

As it turns out, the answer to my prayers was to accept God’s creative genius calling me to live into this crazy and beautiful life as a queer Christian.  When I finally was able to face who I am and begin the long journey toward being who God has created me to be I experienced something radical, something common – peace.  There is much to tell of those days of the tentative steps into the light, but for the sake of this post I can say that they were the worst and best days of my life. It was excruciatingly painful and overwhelmingly joyous because through all the angst, fear and rejection I was meant to face I was also blessed with the most tangible experience of God’s presence in my life. Never before had I felt such a palpable closeness with That Which Transcends Our Understanding. I knew deep in my bones and unto the tips of my toenails that God was with me, just a few steps ahead of me, in the dark valley that my weary feet were made to walk in order to reach the other side of grace. From the moment I allowed myself to accept the truth – I am a woman made to love a woman –  I began to feel newly alive. Feelings of guilt, shame and fear left me in wafting wisps like morning mist rising off asphalt in August. I finally began to feel right, clean – whole. A peace like I’d never known began to spring up inside me like a newly tapped well, abundant with life. Do these descriptions sound familiar to any of you Christians out there?

Coming out and living fully integrated into the body, heart and mind that this soul inhabits, has changed me, is changing me every day:

from accursed to blessed

from self-loathing to self-loving

from self-serving to self-giving

from hopeless to hopeful

from fractured to whole

from isolated to interdependent

from callous to caring

from despairing to delighted

from worrying to trusting

from impatiently perfectionist to contentedly imperfect

from hiding in darkness to walking in light.

Merriam webster defines sanctification as “the state of growing in divine grace as a result of Christian commitment after baptism or conversion.” There are reams and reams of parchment with the ink of the ages scrawled all over ’em talking about the theology of sanctification but what I KNOW is what I have experienced, am experiencing every day. When I finally turned from my life of lies, hiding in terror and shame and faced God and my community with my whole self my feet were set on a new path, lit by a Lamp like no other, that while is right and holy is not easy.  It is frighteningly narrow at many times, fraught with those who would turn me around and destroy all that I have partnered with God to realize but onward I trod with the blessed assurance that I am living into God’s goodness, and found in God’s love.

Thanks for being on this journey with me.

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250 responses to “A lesbian changed through Jesus”

  1. Thanks for this post. I’ve been following you for a few months now and it’s always comforting to hear a voice that echoes my own thoughts and feelings. Being raised in the bible belt, I struggled with my own homosexuality and faith for many years. Twelve years into a marriage and two children later, I finally garnered the courage to be honest to myself and others. It hasn’t been easy the past few years, but I have known peace like never before. And I truly believe that darkness cannot exist in what is exposed to the light. May you continue to be blessed in your journey.

  2. Actually, you have made a pact with the devil to practice your deviant lifestyle. You are a phoney and a pervert.

  3. That’s a typical response of a leftist. Censor the opposition, or insult them. You are supporting a pervert and avoiding the truth of the Gospel while burying your head in the sand.

    • Oh honey, no, I ban people who are so filled with fear and loathing (unfortunately loathing that is likely a distorted self-loathing taught by a cruel, abusive form of religion) that all they know how to do it abuse others. I ban people who wield the bible as a weapon. I will keep you in my prayers because your anger is a mask for deep pain that I can only imagine the source. I will pray for peace and grace to replace the heresy that is in your heart now.

      But I will also ban you so you can not ABUSE me or other, more tender souls who come here and find love and compassion.

      Grace and peace sister,
      Kimberly Knight
      Daughter, sister, mother, wife, Christian and lesbian

  4. You have hatred in your heart Kimberly Knight. You banned Ginny for confronting you with the truth. You are a coward and your perverted, unChristian behavior will be your ultimate downfall.

  5. I believe you are a fraud, Kimberly Knight. You can’t fully be a Christian and continue to practice your perverted lifestyle. You are the most dangerous type of ‘Christian’.

  6. Historically, people have been killed based on the hell doctrine. Both Thomas Aquinas and Martin Luther supported killing “heretics” because, in their mind, the heretic may lead others astray and cause their eternal soul to be dammed. Those who burnt heretics at the stake meant well. Many, many gay and lesbian folks have taken their own lives because well meaning people told them God didn’t accept them the way they were and try as they might, they couldn’t change-prayers, tears, and efforts notwithstanding. Whatever a person’s intentions, their hurtful behavior needs to be addressed.

  7. I’m glad you have accepted that there is nothing wrong with being a lesbian. I don’t understand why you would credit god for it, though. It is your own effort, and you should have the credit.

  8. In all your wordiness, you tried to sneak something in:

    “I’m really sorry that your life has been fraught with struggle over your sexuality, and I’m not going to pretend to know what it’s like for you, but I do know what it’s like to have a sexual addiction for something unnatural and sinful. ”

    Sounds like you are saying her love for other women is unnatural and sinful here. While same-sex relations are found all-throughout nature and across many species, condemnation of it is only found in one. Now what is truly unnatural? As for sinful, are you aware that it is all sinful to wear clothing spun of different fabrics? Did you know that it is a sin to allow women to speak in church? In fact, it’s a sin to get a tattoo, and it’s also a sin to trim the edges of your beard. Oh wait, Jesus eliminated the Old Testament, right? Let’s ask him: “For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” – Mat. 5:18 (ESV). Has all been fulfilled? Maybe, depending on your view of “all”. Has heaven and earth passed away? Not since I last checked (the earth of course being verifiably still here). Now, let’s ask Jesus what he thinks of same-sex relationships: “………..”. On the other hand, what does he think of judgemental religious types? I believe he had a lot to say in that department.

    “We are free from the slavery of sin, but not free to sin…Our sin grieves the one that saved us! Jesus warns us to fear the one who can send us to Hell, fear Him! We are commanded to flee from sin, even if it means at the sense of our personal well being.”

    And there it is, the hell threat.

    In spite of your appeals to God’s love, you are controlled by fear. It sincerely bothers you that this woman might be free from that, since it keeps you from doing things that would make you feel more of a sense of personal well being. Sounds like from what she wrote that your ilk holds no more control over her – she realizes something that many other people need to realize, but most do not approach the depths as she did. You are subscribed to a futile, fear-based, save-your-ass-from-hell type of thinking. You bought it from others, and now you attempt to propogate it. You may be artful about tucking he unseemly parts of your doctrine in the middle of a long spiel that makes an attempt to understand her, but ultimately you have told her that she is sinning and is in danger of hell. You would have her experience your “frustrating”, “embarrassing”, and “heart-wrenching” dogmas with you, because, bottom line: misery loves company.

    • Stephen, if you are going to argue with my point then perhaps it
      would be intellectually honest to avoid ad hominem arguments and instead critique the content of my posts. My point is not to prove how Christianity is objectively right, but why consistency within Christian beliefs is important. If you tear down Christianity then you tear down the author that you’re defending.

      “In all your wordiness, you tried to sneak something in:”

      I don’t believe I was particularly wordy, and all of my statements lead back to God’s love as the reasoning. I don’t think you trust that God is love and you assume that him condemning certain actions is hate, but if you go in with that mentality then you are blocking yourself from hearing alternate viewpoints.

      “While same-sex relations are found all throughout nature and across many species, condemnation of them is only found in one.”

      If your proposition is that “anything found in nature is therefore natural and should be accepted by society,” then you should be prepared to confront the fact that many things you would consider to be wrong are also found in nature – incest, interspecies sex, urinating on things and people, eating babies, etc. The fact that it’s found in nature is irrelevant to whether its morally right.

      “As for sinful, are you aware that it is also sinful to wear clothing
      spun of different fabrics? Did you know that it is a sin to allow women to speak in church?”

      These statements are heavily propagated on the internet as easy ways to mock Christianity, but they are untrue and no Christian believes them. You’ll notice I did not quote any Levitical law because we are not under that law, that was spoken to the Israelites fresh out of Egypt and is oft misunderstood by those outside of Christianity. But you’re right, none of this law was eliminated by Jesus’s coming! How do we live with the paradox of still having Old Testatment law but with freedom with Christ, who after all worked on the sabbath? Imagine a pastor who noticed that many of his members were not coming to church on Sunday because they were washing their car, so he told them “no more washing your car on Sunday.” Washing your car on Sunday isn’t a sin, but you shouldn’t do it if your pastor says so because what he says goes in your church. This parallels the fact that it’s a sin to break your country’s law but only because we are commanded to obey the law of the land, not because the country’s law dictates what sin is and isn’t. This is what the Levitical law is to modern Christians – we can eat oysters on the sabbath because that law wasn’t meant for us, but laws like murder, rape, incest, and the union of men and women before God, which are corroborated with many verses old and new testament, still apply to us. This is a good post about it: http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-law.html.

      Also again, you’re trying to point out why Christianity as a whole is incorrect, which would go against what the author believes in the first place! I’m not trying to give apologetics for why the Bible is true from an atheist standpoint, but rather by assuming the Bible is holy and true and therefore showing what is consistent with its doctrine. After all, the author is a Christian.

      “On the other hand, what does he think of judgemental religious types?”

      You should read what Jesus had to say about the people he dealt with – he was far from non-judgmental and easy going, and he was quick to condemn every fiber of their being, not just their actions. At no point does he say “do not acknowledge others sinning and try to turn them away from it.” Jesus claims that all of us are sinners, worthy of eternal judgement from his father.

      “And there it is, the hell threat.”

      You can’t just gloss over everything I said because you see a reference to hell as “the hell threat” and me manipulating you through fear. If you’re a Christian you believe in hell, and you believe it is a place to be feared, you believe in the Biblical version of why it exists, and you believe the existence and reasoning for the one who sends you there. It’s not me. If you’re going to believe in something then you have to believe in it consistently, you can’t simply choose the things you want to believe and reject the things you don’t want to believe. You should be afraid of pain and torment if you believe in it.

      “You are subscribed to a futile, fear-based, save-your-ass-from-hell type of thinking. You bought it from others, and now you attempt to propagate it. You may be artful about tucking the unseemly parts of your doctrine in the middle of a long spiel that makes an attempt to understand her, but ultimately you have told her that she is sinning and is in danger of hell.”

      You keep commenting on how long my post was, as if that
      has anything to do with the content of what I said. I might be wordy, but I have a lot to say – this stuff is too big a deal to pass over in a couple of sentences. I am not in danger of Hell, and no one who has faith in Jesus Christ is. That’s all it takes, after all. If you read the Bible thinking “I can sin as much as I want because Jesus saved me,” then you ARE in danger of Hell. Don’t you know why Jesus had to die in the first place? How can we continue to say “I can sin today” knowing that? If we love God and had faith that Jesus died because of our sins, we are forever indebted, and would have no problem in turning away from anything sinful. Sin is the whole reason for God’s sacrifice.

      “You may be artful about tucking the unseemly parts of your doctrine in the middle of a long spiel that makes an attempt to understand her, but ultimately you have told her that she is sinning and is in danger of hell.”

      I think you might be making some leaps here as to my reasoning for the post – I am imploring her to embrace the “unseemly parts of my doctrine” because they are what the bible dictates. You might feel insecure because someone in the past criticized what you do and brought up hell as a reasoning for it, but I only bring up hell to illustrate the severity of what incorrect thinking can bring. If you love God, you’re safe. If you don’t, you’re not, and that is something to consider.

      “You would have her experience your “frustrating”, “embarrassing”, and “heart-wrenching” dogmas with you, because, bottom line: misery loves company.”

      I’m not miserable, and I certainly don’t want her to be – I will forever have to live with my sin, as will everyone, but I will never conquer it, and I don’t have to. But I don’t want her to be clouded with the lie that what a person does is morally acceptable so long as they themselves are okay with it – as society propagates. Confront the problems within yourself, knowing that you’re not condemned to death if you fail. Get up and try again when you do, and keep doing that for the rest of your life. This is what we happily do.

  9. As a straight, male atheist, I don’t pretend to share much in common with the people commenting here. Actually got here from an article on Pat Robertson! However, I just want to express how much I admire your strength and resolve, whatever the source.

    Obviously I would say that your situation is from within yourself, not from God….. but blah blah blah, it is irrelevant. With more people holding your attitude, society in general and religion in particular would be much improved. Best of luck on whatever path you take.

    • Thank you Steve, I appreciate you taking a chance to visit after subjecting yourself to the Robertson post 🙂

      I too appreciate your support and you taking the time to leave a positive word even though your own journey is different from my own. I hope you will visit again – you are welcome at this table.

  10. I am glad God is in your life. I thought you should know this and I believe what you think is the truth isn’t. those who knows Gods holy word in Genesis 2:18 it says. “And The Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”

    Genesis 2:19-23 tells us that God made the animals. Everyone single animal came in pairs male and female. Adam saw there wasn’t anyone like him. He didn’t have a partner like the rest did. So God put Adam to sleep and He took one of Adam’s ribs and closed him up. Genesis 2:22 KJV “And the rib, which The Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.” Genesis 2:23 KJV says ” And Ad-am said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man.” The word of God clearly says woman was made for man. It’s not woman and woman nor man and man, but man and woman.
    Genesis 2:18-25 is the first marriage.

    I am not here to discriminate against you, but I’m here to tell you the truth, Kimberly.

    • Really? So you know the truth? Because a story from the bronze age says so? If there existed a god, why would he care about such a trivial thing. ANYWAY, humans evolved into what they are today, so did animals. There is evidence for it.

  11. I’m really sorry that your life has been fraught with struggle over your sexuality, and I’m not going to pretend to know what it’s like for you, but I do know what it’s like to have a sexual addiction for something unnatural and sinful. The human body is a maximize-pleasure-minimize-pain machine, and due to the nature of sexual pleasure, it can be taught to be sexually attracted to pretty much anything. This is especially true in animals that have little or no sense of societal norms and will bang most animate or inanimate objects (you can check Youtube for further, graphic evidence of this).

    The issue of it being innate or not is an interesting one and has two points. 1. is it really innate (you’re born with it), and 2. does that matter? One the first point, the scientific consensus that that sexuality is both genetic and environmental, how you grew up. This is also how every single other trait of a person works. Does this mean there is a “gay gene” – can someone be gay while having no genetic homosexuality trait, or they grow up straight while having a genetic homosexuality trait? To answer this let me show you an analogy. If you took a group of say, a thousand computer scientists, looked at their genetics and found that 50% or more of them have a genetic pattern in common, you might conclude that there is a “computer scientist” gene. This isn’t really how genetics work, as genetic codes are unfathomably elaborate and far more subtle than that – it would be something like a logical thinking trait or a analytically minded trait or something that aids in conceptualizing the abstract. This is how a genetic predisposition for something works.

    On the second point you have to ask yourself, does it matter if it’s innate, to God? We are after all born 100% sinners, so corrupted that we would be unable to come to God without Christ’s direct intervention. You can see that this does not absolve us from the guilt of sin. A person may be naturally angry, but this does not make it acceptable for him to snap at his wife or kids when they haven’t done anything. Even Paul lamented his sinful nature, not daring to abide it. Christ’s first goal was to show us that our mindsets are sin, explaining that its a sin even to lust after a woman, committing adultery in your mind. It’s easy to keep yourself from stealing or punching someone, but its nigh impossible to not want to if you have it in you. But that’s what Jesus commands of all of us, and enables us to do so by His grace.

    I am 100% certain that you are attracted to women and I don’t pretend to be legalistic because that is foolishness – we will never win God’s favor with our actions or lack thereof, can never be sinless in our eternal goal for sanctification. We are saved by Christ’s death, enabled to our faith of Him and secured that we have his love no matter what. We are free from the slavery of sin, but not free to sin, or we misunderstand the gravity of sin – the reason God had to send his son to die in the first place. Our sin grieves the one that saved us! Jesus warns us to fear the one who can send us to Hell, fear Him! We are commanded to flee from sin, even if it means at the sense of our personal well being.

    All of the Bible is the inspired word of God and it is our conviction that nothing be taken away or added. This would serve us nothing anyways – we might try to ignore the traffic laws but the cops will still pull us over for speeding and be right to do so. All of us Christians must open our hearts to conviction, even if its frustrating or embarrassing or heart-wrenching. Paul writes to consider it pure joy when we are faced with trials, because God does not waste our time. He pays attention to us and disciplines us the way a loving father disciplines his children, and God is a particularly loving father.

  12. Im a lesbian girl 26 years old and ive been crying for years and years. Reading posts like yours makes ‘us’ (people who are in the same position) feel more lost and sad.
    Why are you ‘saved’ from being gay and we are not? Dont think we dont pray enough or ask for mercy, shit just wont change to be honest. I dont believe that we’re going to hell just because we happen to fall in love with the same sex, I never asked for it, I never chose for it.

    • Oh hon, I think you misunderstand my post completely! I was not changed FROM being a lesbian, I found freedom in Christ to be fully what God created me to be – a lesbian! Please read it again through those eyes.

  13. Thank you everyone for your support and your consistant invitation to Ginny to participate differently or to leave. It is with a heavy heart and much reflection that I have decided to ban Ginny from this blog. This was a hard decision for me but with discernment in community with a faithful and wise crowd I have done what is indeed right.

    All of you here who shine such love – thank you.
    Rachel – thank you for your advice, blogger to blogger.

    And Natalie, thank you for this quote from a very helpful article.

    “And even within the USA, the concept of free speech does not mean everyone has the right to say everything everywhere. It does not mean you have the right to say your stuff on my blog. It means you have the right to start your own blog. Just because I have commenting functionality on my site, does not mean you have the right to post whatever you want on it. Every host of every site has the right to delete, edit, or modify any comment in any way, to ban users, and to implement whatever moderation norms and techniques one wants.

    Commenting is a privilege, not a right. You have to earn it.

    While early bloggers were generous, giving their rare online spaces up to public discussion, there is no need to feel so generous any more. Starting one’s own blog is easy these days, and ranting on social media is even easier. There is plenty of space for people to discuss stuff, and that does not have to happen on your site – the era of such generosity is mostly over, and most veteran bloggers have severely tightened their commenting rules over the years.”


    • After reading this, I felt compelled to read the comments to see what Ginny had dared write in a public forum. I was surprised, then, to see that Ginny, while opinionated and passionate, spoke in love. Here’s why I think this — if a Christian believes that hell is real and that you place your eternal soul in jeopardy because of your decisions, it is unloving to not point this out. People disagreed with her, and she still stuck to her guns. So she believes differently than you. That’s okay, and how much better than someone who believes the same but simply doesn’t care.

  14. Bonhoeffer said that to explain the necessity of The German Confessing Church’s response to Nazism. Equating these folks with Nazis? That in no way applies here and either evidences your ignorance or the depth of your hate.

  15. Ginny I wasn’t talking to Kimberly tho, I was talking to you. You do believe the bible right? And do you believe the verse I referenced?

  16. If

    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too:
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
    Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

    If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same:.
    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
    And never breathe a word about your loss:
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much:
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

  17. ‘I hate no person,’ followed by ‘woe to you, Kimberly’? uuuuuummmmmmmm…. right.

    You folks are way too kind to the troll- but that is admirable.

  18. Thank you all so much for your loving support and your wise counsel. I am so grateful for the compassion and generosity of spirit. Your speak faithful wisdom where I find myself inarticulate in the face of hate. Thanks be to God for community how ever we find it.

    • Ginny,
      I may be closer to being a conservative Christan than perhaps many people on this blog. If that’s true, you should be able to listen to my opinion right? Are you familiar with the passage in John that speaks of the Holy Spirit coming after Jesus departs? It says “He will convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgement.” I truly believe that to be true. I don’t agree with everything that is said on this blog, but I have full confidence that the Holy Spirit will convict all of us of our own sin. Ginny, perhaps God told you to post those comments, I can’t be sure. But I think I can say with more confidence that your tone is quite angry and desperate. I encourage you to rest in the peace of Jesus, it surpasses all understanding. If convicting everyone else were my job, I’d be stressed out, desperate, and angry too.

      • Seth,

        Please know how much I value our dialogue and your voice at this table. You are a reasonable and compassionate voice at the table where we need not all agree but we are called to conduct ourselves with integrity and respect. Thank you for you willingness, openness and courage to be here and for reminding others to “play nice.”


        • Wait a minute, Kimberly doesn’t take the Bible literally. She probably doesn’t believe the validity of the Scripture you referenced, Seth.

          As exemplary Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Silence in the face of evil is evil itself. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

      • Ginny, you believe that being gay is a sin. Many of those posting here do not agree with you.
        Is it time for you to state what you believe and then move on?

  19. Ginny, Jesus just called, he says you’re acting real crazy and ya need to sort it out. Clearly you have not read the new testament, and don’t know anything about Him. Peace be with you, lost lamb, you’re on the wrong side. Kimberly, I guess this is what it means to really testify, cuz you will be tested. Keep doing what you’re doing, you strengthen my faith!!!

  20. Kimberly, I don’t have any words to add to the love and honesty you have shown in the post and in your open-hearted welcome to so many commentors–including those who don’t have the skills to disagree respectfully. Your recognition that this often betokens deep personal damage is, for me, an even more awesome evidence of god’s grace in you and in the world. Thanks for letting me play in your sandbox.
    Anna Holloway, M.Div.
    Approved for ordination in the United Church of Christ

  21. Ginny, it seems to me that perhaps you have only read and studied from one perspective. Having spent three years in divinity school, carefully studying and considering these Scripture with many other faithful individuals–including my husband–I have come to a different conclusion. God has a radical love for all people, and has made each of us in God’s very own image.

    But then again, I suspect that you don’t even think I should be an ordained pastor because I am a woman. Because that too is clearly spelled out in Scripture.

    Now we see in a mirror dimly, but one day we will see God face to face. Then we will know. Until then, I suppose we will continue to have hate and vitriol spewed on those of us who insist that God’s love, embrace, and acceptance is much wider than even we can fathom.

    Kimberly is genuine in her promise to pray for you. But I imagine that she will not pray for God to change you, only that God will continue to reveal God’s self to you in amazing ways. Can you say the same about your prayers for her?

      • Now that’s just a pure troll comment.
        Ginny isn’t here for a real exchange of ideas, thoughts and beliefs.
        That comment removes all doubt.

    • Who are you referring to by God? It can’t be the God spoken of in the book which forbids women pastors, so I’m slightly confused if this is a new God you’ve created out of thin air.

      I always find it slightly saddening when people appropriate the name and love of God without coming even remotely close to abiding by his standards.

      • Oh hon, I’m talking about the God who transcends our understanding but chose to reveal the heart and will of God through the incarnation of Jesus.

        God didn’t say women should not preach – men did.

  22. You know, it is always fascinating to me when a person professing to be doing God’s work hides behind a computer and uses such anger and vitriol to get their message across. The truth is, Ginny, that everyone’s truth is different…the path to God is different for each of us, and someone else’s path is none of your business. By condemning those who are different than you, you are doing the exact opposite of what God intends, and that is truly sad. We are called to share the LOVE of Jesus Christ with others, and this is best done by being a living example of that love. I don’t believe this is possible by belittling and condemning people who’s path to God is dissimilar to yours.

  23. You know, I used to think that God called me to confront “wrong” ideas that other people expressed on the Internet. Then I started reading Proverbs every day and reading books like Purpose Driven Life, and anything I could get my hands on about calling — I found I just couldn’t justify the hours spent in front of the screen being angry.

    Speaking of calling, isn’t it odd how many times Jesus mentioned taking care of the poor and the oppressed, versus how few times he mentioned homosexuality? And yet I disproportionately hear about one and almost never hear about the other when people argue about what God wants. (Odd phrase: “argue about what God wants.”)

    Okay. Too much “screen time” for me today. My family needs me to be present now.

    • Indeed CJ – as it turns out Jesus never mentioned homosexuality – not once. And you say what my own heart cries out – walk away from the screen and take care of those Jesus called us to care for – poor, imprisoned, hungry…

      • It’s such a struggle to know when walking away is walking away from a person with poverty of spirit, imprisoned in her/his fear and anger, and hungry for love and acceptance…and when walking away is the best way to serve.

    • You shouldn’t hear about what is being done to honor the poor. We are to work humbly for God in secret, not in public because we will become prideful like George Clooney and his ilk. Attention is to be on Him alone.

      We MUST talk openly and truthfully about the unnatural sin of homosexuality. As exemplary Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Silence in the face of evil is evil itself. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

  24. Kimberly, you are one of the most awesome, God filled persons I have the joy to know. Always remember, when the anger bubbles up and you hit the wall of rage, step back and listen for what God would have you do. Some people, no matter how hard we bang on the door, will never open up to us. God will open that door to someone, some day but beating on a closed door will just make the wall stronger and the opportunity for God to walk in even more delayed. Sometimes, as Candace Chellew-Hodge writes (and I paraphrase) you just have to walk away.

    • Thank you John, my friend, your words mean the world to me. I will try a moment longer and then I will indeed walk away and allow those who choose the darkness to be swallowed by it or swim out with God’d help.

  25. I’m sad but also happy reading this. Truly Jesus changes us and gives us a new identity, and Kimberly your smile is from Jesus and it’s a witness to his love for you and your love for Him.

    When I read your testimony I thought immediately that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” as it says Proverbs. In our culture fear is a bad word so maybe say “respect” instead, but I like “fear” if it’s the fear of doing something hurtful or offensive. It’s not about being non-confrontational, it’s about not wanting to offend God. I know because of my relationship with Jesus that if I offend him it’s not the end of my world, but I still value the feelings of anxiety that are red flags when I do things like lose my temper with my children or waste too much time playing Minecraft, whatever. Jesus who loves me can also be disappointed or even angry with me, and (sometimes) I’d rather think about that than go down roads that I’ll regret later.

    “Take captive every thought,” says 2 Corintians – examine what seems good and natural and check it out. We can’t assume that what seems good to us also seems good to God. Look at the story of Cain and Abel, how God liked Abel’s gifts but not Cain’s. That’s not fair, from my human perspective. But it’s the same God we meet in the New Testament, unless we cut out Jesus’ more fiery sermons and stories like of Ananias and Sapphira. God has opinions, likes and dislikes; and he’s not love – he’s Love; there’s more to him than we can possibly comprehend. What should Cain have done, when God didn’t like his gift? Educate God about how much time and effort it was to gather those crops? Reinterpret God’s words to mean that he actually did like the gift? Keep bringing the same gift time after time, until God learned to like it?

  26. “There are reams and reams of parchment with the ink of the ages scrawled all over ‘em talking about the theology of sanctification but what I KNOW is what I have experienced, am experiencing every day.”
    Your story reminds me of the blind man in John 9. They told him that God’s Word was clear, and that his healing couldn’t really be from God. He said, “From God or not from God, that’s above my pay grade. I only know this one thing: I, a blind man, now see.” He knew his experience, his healing, and that is what he held on to, even if it meant that God might have done something new, something not in the Word. We worship a free God and a freeing God!

      • Your fear and hate is palpable and the antithesis of Jesus’ call on our lives. I am actually very sorry for you and pray that a love that surpasses your understanding will find it’s way into your life.

        • The net effect of the exceedingly manipulative conditioning done to our society by the “gay rights” movement can be so powerful over time that ultimately one’s prior beliefs – based on experience, religious training, conscience, and common sense – are overwhelmed and replaced as a result of successive waves of emotion-driven reprogramming.

          There was a time when most Americans knew that homosexuals were not “born that way” but rather had their normal gender-identity development disturbed and redirected through early childhood experiences. There was a time when we recognized on some level that unhealthy relationships with mothers and fathers could cause girls and boys to grow up with gender confusion – just like emotionally devastating traumatic experiences of molestation – if not dealt with properly. But that was a time before much of America itself was seduced into believing there was no God, or if there was a God, He is inconsequential to the affairs of the world, or He’s a God people have made into who they want Him to be, not who He really is. It was a time when Judeo-Christian morality inspired the culture and laws of the land.

          The homosexual movement is not about rights. It’s about redefining truth and censoring all criticism so that militant homosexuals can be comfortable in their “lifestyle” without having to be disturbed by reality.

          All of us, homosexuals included, have a conscience that causes us inner conflict when we’re doing the wrong thing. But if we tumble into the grip of dark forces we don’t understand and then start to defend our obsessions and compulsions, we inevitably come to regard our conscience as an enemy. And although we may be somewhat successful in drowning out that inner warning bell, what happens when this same rejected conscience factor appears in another person and gets too close to us for comfort. We feel threatened. Therefore, we feel compelled to silence the “voice of conscience” – not just the one inside of us, but the one in other people, which tends to revive our own conscience with which we’re at war. This means we can’t tolerate dissent. We simply can’t stand it! To the homosexual living in denial, then, even a loving offer of help from, say, a Christian ex-gay ministry or “reparative therapy” counselor feels like the most vile, abusive hatred. In fact, it’s real love – which we misinterpret as hatred and “bigotry” simply because it causes us to confront a truth that is not welcome in us.

          Our conflicts contain the seeds of redemption – that is, as long as we know we have a problem, there’s hope for a change. But if we deny there’s a problem, we are literally robbed of the chance to find healing. That’s exactly what America has done in buying into the “gay rights movement.” We have betrayed our homosexual brothers and sisters. Glorifying dysfunctionality and corruption, we have relieved homosexuals of the inner conflict they once felt over their condition – something they desperately need, indeed all of us need, if we’re ever going to overcome our problems and find wholeness. A generation ago, we understood there is such a thing as sin, and that sin is a serious matter and to be avoided. Now there is no societal consciousness of sin – only limitless “freedom,” “choice,” and “consensual relationships.” Beguiled by our scientific and technological advances into believing we are enlightened, in reality as we move further and further away from our Judeo-Christian spiritual roots, we actually understand less and less about ourselves. Most of all, we’ve forgotten as a society what love is, because supporting and justifying homosexuality is not real love any more than glorifying drinking helps the alcoholic or celebrating smoking helps wipe out lung cancer. We defend our own corruption at great peril. And if defending that corruption becomes a national movement, as it has with our cultural and legal adoption of the “gay rights agenda,” we’re all in serious trouble. In truth, most homosexuals experience guilt and conflict when they first discover homosexual urges. Thus there is a strong temptation – especially in today’s pro-“gay” culture – for them to “resolve” the conflict by giving in to the compulsion and affirming, “It’s okay to be gay.” But if they do, there is just no way out for them. For this reason, the most loving stance for others to take is not to serve as enablers of self-destructive and immoral compulsions, but to stand in patient but firm opposition. In other words, we MUST side with the afflicted person’s conscience. In America, we’ve done the opposite. “Hating the sin but not the sinner,” the classic Christian expression for loving your struggling neighbor by nonjudgmentally disagreeing, with his errant behaviour, actually has great power – more than we realize. By resisting the temptation to hate, yet still standing firm against what’s wrong, God’s love is able to come through that obedient “neutral zone.” Sadly, we’ve failed those suffering with sexual problems by glorifying and pandering to their dysfunction and pretending it’s normal.

          • Oh sweetie, thank you for claiming that you hate people as well as your literalist understanding of sin. You can not love Christ and hate people, it is not possible so I am glad you are willing to acknowledge your are a hate filled soul. I will keep you in my prayers.

            • I hate no person, and I love Jesus Christ with my entire being. Stop it with your sweetie crap, cuz your sweetie wouldn’t appreciate it, and you are a phoney in referring to me as such. Don’t attribute it to being a southerner cuz I’m one too, and I can decipher that you are a phoney from several states away. Why do you persist in pretending to be a true believer in Jesus when you obviously are NOT? Charlatan much? Leading many astray much? That is NOT love! Woe to you, Kimberly! You do not love me and you certainly do not pray for me, at least not in a way that Jesus can hear you – anyone with half a brain can discern that. If I were you, I would be shaking in my proverbial shoes.

              • Ginny, I do in fact pray for you and am so very sorry for the pain, hate and rage so tangible in your posts. I really am broken-hearted that you feel such brokenness that you feel called to hurt others. Please know that I do care a great deal for how obsessed you seem to be with sexuality. This sort of hyper focus has often been attributed to a deep struggle with one’s own sexuality and I do pray that peace and love find you.

                That said, if you continue to post with such hate and willfully ignorant vitriol I will ban you from this site meant to be a safe place. You’re brand of loathing is not welcome here. And this truly pains me to say because censorship is the antithesis of my own ideal. But I mean it and will follow through. This is not your blog, it is mine. I have NEVER come to yours and abused you, nor will I ever. If you have long hateful posts to write please keep them to your own blog.

                Praying tearful prayers for your heart to open.

              • Ginny, I am sorry that you are angry toward another child of god with whom you disagree. As a believing Christian, you know that you are not given the right to judge others, so you cannot determine whether Kimberly is a believer or not. Only god can do that. The long piece that you quoted above uses the same language and same logic that only 50 years ago was used to exclude people from the family of Christ on the basis of skin color, and that is disturbing because we have learned to know one another differently. Perhaps we should consider that we are learning the same thing about sexuality that, in the last century, we learned about skin color. In any case, I pray for the peace and strength to meet others with loving kindness; I will catch more flies with honey, as the saying goes. I wish the same peace for you, and I understand how irritating having others pray for you can be.

                Here is a thought for you: If god’s love is unconditional, then there are no conditions. If god has conditions, then god’s love is NOT unconditional. We can’t have it both ways. In the churches I serve, we trust in the unconditional love of god. We have to find a way to be open and welcoming to all, because we know that we all sin differently and we are each responsible for our own connection to god. There are many people I wish could make some changes. Smoking is one you mentioned above, because I am sensitive to nicotine (both of my parents smoked), and because I truly believe that smoking harms the person who smokes as well as others like me. All I can reasonably ask is that my friends who smoke be respectful of me and keep their tobacco at a distance. If they make the attempt to quit, I can give them love and support, but I can’t choose to quit fro them and I can’t go through withdrawal for them. Each must choose her or his own salvation; I cannot “save” them any more than you can “save” Kimberly or others with whom you disagree. We each find our own way to god, who is always welcoming, no matter where we start. Our human brothers and sisters are often not as kind as god is, but it is my goal to try to be. I wish that for you also.

              • Ginny, if you need someone to spit on, ridicule, beat, scourge, hate on, and crucify, you’re welcome to come to my blog and do it to me. When you get there, my email is at the top of the page. You are welcome to email me and vent your frustrations and anger and pain and hate at me.

                If you think what you’re doing here is right, fine. Nothing anyone says here is going to change your mind. If you feel you love Jesus Christ with all your being, fine. It’s certainly not appearing that way — just the opposite in fact — but nothing anyone says here is going to convince you otherwise.

                But if you feel the need to knock others down in order to feel tall, then come over to my site or email me. Give ME your hits. And then maybe we can get to the bottom of whatever it is that is burdening you so viciously.

              • Dear Ginny,
                To my knowledge, though we share a last name in common, we are not related. Nonetheless, I intend to write this post and to address you with the care and compassion with which I would address a member of my own family which is more than I feel you have done to Kimberly. I understand the desire to take a book as marvelous and mysterious and vast as the Bible and to simplify it into a one-size-fits all answer book—truly I do. In a world that is complex and ever changing, it gives one a sense of great comfort to think of the Bible as a book that is easily understandable, a book with a singular interpretation of any passage, and a book that never changes. All of that is comforting—but that is not the reality of the mystery and complexity of the Christian life, or of living a life of faith. There wouldn’t be over 34,000+ Christian denominations if Biblical interpretation were easy. And it’s wildly arrogant to think that any of us has a direct line to God and has “the right” interpretation on any/everything. Human sexuality is a complicated thing, and on some level all of us are broken and fall short of God’s ideal…not because we are gay or straight, but simply because we are human.

                Many men & women have dedicated their whole lives to studying this sacred book and trying to live faithfully by its teaching—and have come to diverse conclusions on a myriad of issues. Kimberly is among them. As someone who has grown up in the church and worked diligently to get her Masters of Divinity –she has poured countless hours into her studies. As a woman who happens to also be gay, I have no doubt that she has poured more hours into studying/reflecting/praying over the relevant Biblical passages then you & I ever will. Where you saw her post as a measure of disobedience, I saw it as a beautiful post attesting to the miraculous work of a God who reminded her at every turn that God, “doesn’t make junk” as the bumper sticker goes. I saw it as a post celebrating the fact that she is unequivocally a child of God. What an incredible and powerful claim to lay hold in the face of a society that bombards her daily with mixed messages or clearly negative messages about her worth, I humbly submit that if you have ears to hear, you might learn quite a lot from her. You might have an opportunity to learn about how the Christian faith is experienced through a new set of eyes and ears—in the same way that talking to a Christian in a different denomination, or talking to a Christian in a different country has a powerful way of broadening your view of God.

                I will not try to force a change in your viewpoint, but only to humbly articulate the fact that I am a better Christian and a better pastor because of my LGBTQ friends and the ways that they have shaped, molded, and challenged my faith. To add a counterpoint to some of your points…in a society where so many of my straight peers have trivialized the institution of marriage and have chosen to leave it in droves (around 50% of straight marriages end in divorce)—and growing studies say more and more straight people are opting not to marry at all, my LGBTQ friends understand the sacred value of this institution, they understand the importance of covenant and having a relationship blessed by religious community, and are clamoring to be a part of it. In a society where so many straight couples idly make children and then are derelict in their duties to parent these children—I have seen some of my partnered lesbian friends and partnered gay friends adopt the children that nobody else wanted—children addled with the after affects of alcoholic and drug abusing straight parents who didn’t think enough of their future children to stop these destructive habits during pregnancy. I have seen my LGBT friends who don’t have children pour numerous financial resources into non-profits/volunteerism/church activities because they had the unique gifts of time & financial resources that their straight peers didn’t.

                In short, I have learned so very much about the nature of God’s love and grace through my LGBTQ friends and colleagues in ministry….my most heartfelt prayer for you is that the Holy Spirit will open your heart, and that you will have ears to hear so that you too can know the blessings that I have known by my association with LGBTQ folks.

                In Christ,

                P.S. And if you do find in your heart even the smallest willingness to consider the work of a biblical perspective different from your own on LGBT issues, I commend to you this article as a starting place that might be helpful for you. http://www.ecclesio.com/2013/02/the-plan-b-god-dr-mark-achtemeier/

              • Ginny, you seem to hate this blog and everything it stands for. Have you considered just not reading it? It seems not to make you or anyone else very happy.

              • Your post breaks my heart.

                Not long ago I would have thought the same things that you said. I would have said that I didn’t hate homosexuals. I would have said that a practicing homosexual couldn’t be a Christian. But you know, the more I read my Bible and the more I study Christ, the more I realize that he opened his arms to everyone in love. The people that he was angriest with belonged to the religious establishment and tried to shut the door on anyone who didn’t look the way they wanted them to look. They had no concern for love or justice in any real way. I started realizing that I was the same way, that when Jesus denounced the Pharisees he was denouncing me.

                I don’t know what I think about homosexuality and sin anymore. I’m still working through it, praying through it, and trusting the leading of the Spirit. I’m only 24 and in divinity school. I don’t know anything at this point in my life. What I do know is that the way you talk, and the way I used to talk, is full of hate. Hate that dehumanizes and degrades our brothers and sisters in Christ. Even if you are not willing to cede the fact that a homosexual can be a Christian you should be able to at least affirm that they are of infinite worth and created in the image of a loving God. To go after anyone with such venom and hatred is out of bounds for a Christian. We are called to love in humility. Your words betray your hate, and that deeply troubles me.

                I am praying for you. Not necessarily that you’ll come to agree with Kimberly, that step is way down the road for you if you ever arrive at it. I am praying that you’ll at least take the first step in realizing that Christ calls us to love everyone, and part of that love entails gentle and loving discourse, not attacking a stranger on the Internet with venomous and hate-filled words.

  27. Rom. 1:26-28, “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.”

    God loves you and wants you to know him fully through his WORD. You defined sanctification as “the state of growing in divine grace as a result of Christian commitment after baptism or conversion”. Commitment to God and conversion means CONVERTING to God’s way. Don’t allow God to give you over to your degrading passions. Don’t make up a God in your mind who wants you to be a homosexual, that is idolatry. Follow God’s truth.

    • Mrs. Davis,
      I’m a visitor on this blog too, but I really think that most gay people (especially Christians) have had that verse and others quoted at them before. It’s a difficult thing to talk about with your closest family member or friend. Can it really be done with people you don’t know well or at all online? I’m sure some regular readers here have different opinions on the subject, but from my experience there is no assaulting verses tossed around between those who disagree. I’d really encourage you (especially on this topic) to get to know people first and remember your own sins. And then perhaps after all that, you can have a humble constructive conversation that is filled with listening on your part.

    • Dear Mrs. Davis: Romans 1 clearly says that god “gave them up to lusts” and caused them to turn from “natural to that which is unnatural” as a punishment for failing to honor god under Judaic law. This would refer to appropriate worship behavior, not to personal acts. Taking the verse out of context does not help us to understand the message that Jesus brought in his own interpretation of Judaic law: that love of god and love of other (neighbor) is the whole of the law. If god’s grace is unconditional, then it has NO conditions. We each struggle to do the best we can–as Paul says elsewhere, I know what is right and don’t do it, and I know what is not right and do it anyway. We are all in the same boat.

  28. “I know in who I have believed”.

    Congratulations hon. One day at a time, one moment at a time 🙂

    I know it sounds cliche, but God is good!

  29. God bless you on your journey! I have regularly been amazed at God’s provision, and in this chapter of my life, his restoration. I know I deserve nothing, but here I am, blessed all the same. 🙂

  30. Kimberley,
    Thank you for sharing your journey. Last year I took an extreme 2 and a half months journey of crying, praying, fasting, rebuking everything possible under the sun..because I believed that my feelings were sinful and wrong. But then the miracle of acceptance happened and I came to the sincere and profound realization that I am what I am and God loves me irrespective of what my thoughts may be! He is my Father and has created me in His image just the way He planned and wanted me to be!! He does not make mistakes!

    • Elize, my heart is both sad and glad to hear of your process – sad to hear how hard your own valley was but grateful to know you are now living into the peace that surpasses understanding.

  31. “It is frighteningly narrow at many times, fraught with those who would turn me around and destroy all that I have partnered with God to realize but onward I trod with the blessed assurance that I am living into God’s goodness, and found in God’s love.”

    This is SO true of my experience as well (could be my thoughts exactly!), and I am so so thankful to God for giving me the strength to keep believing Him and believing in His love no matter how many people try to “turn me around.” He is so faithful!

  32. from accursed to blessed
    from self-loathing to self-loving
    from self-serving to self-giving
    from hopeless to hopeful
    from fractured to whole
    from isolated to interdependent
    from callous to caring
    from despairing to delighted
    from worrying to trusting
    from impatiently perfectionist to contentedly imperfect
    from hiding in darkness to walking in light.

    These are transformations that all of us in Christ are going to make independently of orientation. I know in my life it hasn’t been easy and it has been painful.

    • Exactly Jake, that is precisely my point. That regardless of orientation we can live into God’s grace and be both true to God and true to ourselves. Much love <3

  33. Yes. Your descriptions sound very familiar. So much so that they could be describing my passage through the same territory. God bless and keep you as you continue walking. Much love, David.

    • It is a journey Janice and each of us may find ourselves moving forward and back as we take steps toward that Grace. Know that you are precious in God’s eyes even if you still have not found your own vision to see it.

  34. YES! I relate to every single word in this post. I hope this article will help those of a closed mind to open up, even if just a little. Being true to ourselves isn’t easy, but it’s what God intended for us. Sometimes, in the face of all kinds of persecution, I am reminded of the book of Acts, and what Jesus’s d disciples went through. No matter what it takes, it is our job, as followers of Jesus, to spread His love and acceptance…all the while, we must learn to love and accept ourselves for who He made us to be. Thank you for sharing your story. God bless!

  35. God bless you on your journey! You have gained a powerful new understanding and appreciation of the power of grace, and without grace the Gospel is nothing. Well, at least nothing new…Just a bunch of rules. Grace makes the Good News…GOOD!

  36. Thanx for this! It’s a truth that very few can wrap their souls around and begin to live the abundant life in Freedom. That goes for all folks.

    • Yes! Living authentically and with intentionality is what I am working on every day.

  37. How lovely this is. Thank you for your honesty and sharing. Words like these will surely go a long way toward relieving the fear that is the real root of homophobia. God bless your continuing journey!

    • Thank you Cynthia, these are some of the hardest posts to write because even with the joy and peace the memories are still so sharp. Thank you for coming along for the journey!

      • Ginny is correct; it is not defined as a fear. The term “-phobia” here is used in the broader sense (from the original Greek) of aversion or dislike without concrete foundation. According to Webster and several other dictionaries, including the OED, “homophobia” is an antipathy, distaste, dislike, contempt, prejudice, aversion, or hatred that “may be based on an irrational fear” (webster.com).

        It is not a “lie” because it does not promote a falsehood; Ginny herself demonstrates that by showing dislike, contempt, prejudice, aversion, and hatred toward someone she does not know (although, to give her the credit of her stated intentions, she does not mean to act or speak out of hatred and claims not to) for no reason except that person’s sexual orientation. The word was coined by George Weinberg, a psychologist, in the 1960s, and it originally referred to the fear of straight men that they might be perceived as gay. Its shift toward its current meaning is a result of the ordinary process of language change over time. Unless Dr. Weinberg is a demon personified, the word does not come from “the pit of hell.” In this, perhaps, Ginny is exaggerating slightly.