Here is a note I wrote to a friend recently. This friend is conservative in thinking and disagrees with my sexuality and my approach to faith. Here is what I wrote back. I have taken out personal references so that he may retain anonymity.
Thanks for the update. I think we see things differently but please don't disregard my faith or convictions simply because they aren't the same as your own.
My beliefs and morales about my sexuality were something I struggled and studied over for years. I did not throw away scripture or choose my own desires above Gods. Scripture is deep and complex and though our interpretations vary our appreciation and approach to the Bible is very likely similar.
Saying something like "knowing very clearly what the Bible says" only makes me wonder how well you truly know it. I mean no disrespect in this, but I have spent years in a conservative bible college with professors (who would be considered conservative themselves) who have dedicated their lives to interpreting scripture. The one thing they all had in common was that they agreed the original language and interpretation of scripture is often complex, confusing and difficult to translate. Scripture is so incredibly beautiful, but it is not often "easy" or "clear".
I have no false sense of changing your mind about your beliefs nor would I want to. I think the different interpretations, perspectives and understandings of God and the Bible promote exactly the kind of diversity and beauty that God represents. Perhaps where you are in your beliefs is exactly where you should be, but I would ask that you give me the same grace and at least allow for the possibility that I may be healthy and exactly where I need to be as well.
I can't explain to you the freedom and peace I felt when I finally started to accept and love myself for who I am, all that I am. My sexuality is only a small part of what makes me who I am, but it is a beautiful joyous thing as well and I fully trust that God has made me just as I am for a reason. My sexuality is a gift. Not one that is always easy to take, as there will always be people who are fearful, ignorant and hateful of what they don't understand. But I have come to truly believe it is a beautiful thing over the years. I wouldn't try and change it even if I could.
At one time I was at a place where I fully gave my sexuality and life to God and was preparing to marry a girl. It was God who convicted me of this and made me question if that was healthy. I felt it was wrong to marry someone whom I would never truly desire the way she deserved to be desired. It felt selfish. I am gay because God led me down this path and called me out to be who I am.
I very much agree with you about God's grace being infinite and beyond anything I could have ever imagined. God has given me more than I could have ever anticipated and I feel blessed to be in a relationship that is beautiful and healthy and to have friends that love and support me in both my faith and my sexuality.
I appreciate your prayers and will also be praying for you. That's what the church is about. I hope that I can be there support you if you ever need someone to talk to.
You're in my thoughts,