We both loved art. It was our way of turning our backs on a world that never accepted us. Experimentation was in my blood as an artist, and so was rebellion. And growing up in an all-girls school, same-sex relationships were the forbidden fruit I’d always wondered about.
Being associated with the opposite sex had quickly become, to me, something deeply degrading. I’d seen too many girls hurt by the men who should have protected them. I saw what they gave up, how they gave in. So when she said she loved me, I promised to do a better job than they could.
We’d met in design school. There had been no fear in embracing my preference for girls. Together with our friends back then, we were the liberals with the short hair; where the only thing we liked about boys were their clothes.
But there was trouble in paradise. My girlfriend’s insecurities often got the better of our relationship. She said she needed me, but nothing I gave seemed to be enough. I was not loving enough, not expressive enough, not around enough … Not like that other girl she was getting close to.
We were in trouble.
Months of fighting and emotional blackmail later, I decided to call it quits, falling out not just with my now ex-girlfriend but our entire clique.
After the breakup, I found myself opening a Bible a friend had given me years ago. I still don’t know why I did it – I only remember being so mentally drained by the situation in school and having nowhere else to turn in the mess.
I don’t know what I was expecting. I didn’t know what this God would say to someone like me. Religion was not my thing, and Christianity was full of rules and righteous people who told me my girlfriend and I made them uncomfortable. Would that be God too?
Not knowing where to start, I flipped to a page somewhere in the middle. The first two words I read were “be strong”. Something gripped my heart in that moment, and I knew that He had spoken.
God found me in the middle of the mess I was in. That weekend, I wandered into the only church I knew; I was just responding to the voice in my heart. Be strong. I knew what the Christians might think of me, with my closely cropped hair and boyish clothes. But I wasn’t there for them.
When the pastor started speaking on the same message of perseverance, I couldn’t hold back anymore. I gave my life to Jesus that day.
Things started to change, slowly at first, then surely. The school situation soon fizzled out, but it was an encounter with my new cell leader that profoundly moved my heart.
At that point, I was still sure Christians would have disapproved of same-sex relationships and possibly rejected me if they found out about me. But how could I keep this hidden forever? One day, in a spur of boldness, I finally told my leader the truth.
She looked at me, eyes unwavering, and acknowledged my confession without a word of disdain or disgust. I was shocked. Was this how God looked at me?
Why then, did I feel deep down inside that same-sex relationships weren’t good to Him?
As I pressed on to know Him better through the Word and prayer, I noticed things shifting in my heart for His will over my own. The God I’ve come to know has dreams for my life more beautiful than anything I’ve ever wanted.
Instead of guilt and shame in my journey to wholeness and holiness, I have been loved with a love that is tender and transforming. Do I still have feelings for girls? Sometimes. Does God still love me? Completely. And the more I allow that love in, the less I hold onto my desires.
I may have made a mess out of love, but Love made a message out of me. For every tiny step I take, in all my struggles to be more like Him – He always protects, always trusts, always perseveres.
This is one of three stories of our short film, Love Lost, Love Found. Read the other two, “If we both loved Him, why did God have to take us apart?” and “How I walked away from the perfect person“.
The author’s name has been changed for confidentiality.