I started dating a wonderful man this spring, and (as I had previously decided) stepped down from my position leading music unless/until the elders invited me back. There are people at my church who told me they would leave if I were leading music and dating simultaneously. This came at a good point in my life, as for the last six months (and the next year), I am spending more time focusing on school, work, and furthering my career. I had not given enough time to this due to all the time I was giving church. It’s okay to take a break.
But I’m learning that even after I graduate next spring, and when I can transition to a place where school and work become the same and I have fewer time commitments- there will likely still be no place for me to serve in the ways I feel called (music, teaching) at my church.
And people are still giving me verses…you know which verses. This is requiring so much patience on my part. It’s easy to feel resentful about how people conceptualize me, and what roles they think LGBT people should have. I get the impression that many hope I will change.
I was speaking with one of my closest friends about this- about how bitterness can build up in one’s heart, and choosing forgiveness is the way to break it down. Forgiveness is difficult. But that’s the Gospel. We are all forgiven. If I claim to be Christian, which to me means choosing to follow Jesus, then I must extend the same grace of forgiveness to others. Even if they say things that hurt, marginalize, and misrepresent me and other LGBT people and allies…I have to start with forgiveness. Don’t hold these things against them, Perrin.