Thank you for sharing this news with me. I really am honored you would entrust me with something so personal. Before I say anything else, I want you to know that I love you and am for you. That was true before you shared this with me and that will continue to be so long after this conversation. I would love to grab lunch or coffee soon to hear how you are doing and how you are processing everything in your life right now. Sometimes life throws a lot at you and, if you’re like me, you need some other people to bear the weight of it all with you. Until we are able to meet, I wanted to share my heart with you.
I would imagine you are experiencing a lot of different responses right now—and I’m sure just as many emotions yourself. In watching the experience of others who have come out to their family and friends, I would have to imagine you are feeling great affirmation by some. There is sense of freedom that comes with making something of this magnitude known and being received so warmly when you do. However, if I had to guess, there are some who have not responded this way. Maybe some have been hurtful, even hateful. I shudder at even the thought of this, but I know it is so real. Others may have distanced themselves and their silence speaks volumes. Far too often, Christians fall in these last two groups. I hope that hasn’t been the case for you. I don’t want it to be of me and I certainly know that it is not true of God.
I do feel compelled to share one of my fears with you. I fear that you will be pressed into the mold of our culture that tries to define your identity by your sexuality. The loudest voices in our culture right now tell you to embrace your sexuality and not to let anyone say otherwise. I know many have been fearful of acknowledging how they are feeling in this area and it has led to incredible hurt, even some who take their life. There is danger in keeping silent, but I also want you to know that there is great danger in identifying yourself by your sexual desires, even when those desires may have even developed unwanted on your part.
Friend, please hear my heart: What defines you now doesn’t always have to define you. The desires that control you now don’t have to be the last word on who you are. There is a greater hope and security than finding our identity in your sexuality. That hope and security is found in Jesus.
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This post is a part of a series entitled, “Letters to Students.” I am working letters to an indecisive student (vocational training vs. traditional college), to a transgender student, to an anxious student, etc…
I would love to hear what type of student you would write to or who you think would need a personal letter of encouragement filled with gospel truth and practical wisdom.