Good question. In short, I wrote the book I needed to read.
There are days when I wish we were all labeled with one identity. How many online surveys do we entertain in order to be sorted into categories? (I’m a Ravenclaw, Sanguine, Wind, Otter, Phoebe, Cheese Pizza, Pisces.) We want all the best parts of us to be labeled so we can be filed appropriately and live fully in our assigned place in the world. But that’s not real life, is it? We are complex creatures with many gifts, habits, neurosis, and curiosities. What is completely annoying is when all those different parts of us don’t play well together. Hell, I cannot even give myself a single letter in the LGBTQ+ acronym. I’m more than one.
I was married for 35 years, but I’m also a card-carrying member of the LGBTQ+ tribe. (They don’t really have cards… more like tattoos). I’m also a Christian, a mom, an advocate, a writer, a teacher, and a mediocre guitar player. What would that acronym be? MLGBTQ+CMAWTMGP? That’s not a pretty tattoo.
Here’s the thing. I have successfully accepted all those parts of myself, but it wasn’t without some crisis, regrettable choices, and a thousand hours of therapy. However, my biggest identity hurdle to jump over was spiritual.
I am not alone in this. Some LGBTQ+ folks find themselves at an impossible decision. Much like a highway exit that appears unexpectedly, you only have seconds to consider if it’s the right course. The sign above the exit reads: Love Jesus or Love Self. (Insert panic, rapid steering, screeching tires)
There is a battle going on. You’ve seen it. Bible verses are thrown like bombs and caustic voices demanding respect from both sides. I would argue that the Bible is not a weapon to hurl. But as long as authority is given to it, the battle of ideas must be waged—more intelligent men and women than I engage in these things. Culture, language, interpretation, context, and time period, all are relevant discussion points when arguing LGBTQ+ inclusion and acceptance in the Kingdom. But that is not my war and not my point.
Please join me, and let’s step off the battlefield, away from the bombs. I encourage those who feel rejected and dejected to have an experiential version of God’s love. The strongest doctrine can fail unless we have real personal knowledge of Him.
I’m fifty-six. I’ve known and loved Jesus my entire life, and having an identity crisis is not part of how He loves. Making people hate themselves is not part of His love. Making us choose between living your truth and being in a relationship with Him is not part of His love. So my book is a love letter to the LGBTQ+ community. It’s not for the Pharisee; it’s for my family.
Oh, and it’s a hell of a ride—a spell-binding, nail-biting, jaw-dropping thriller. I hope you’ll join me.