I first knew of Dr. Trista Carr when my beloved Marin Foundation invited her to speak at LITT gathering. A friend of a friend, turned into a friend of my own after we connected over twitter and blogs, and I have been blessed by her insight ever since. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and has thrown herself into the LGBT community as a member and a powerful voice. I am indebted to her for her writing and her career and most importantly, her friendship.
Listen to the love people. And be sure to check out Dr. Carr’s blog here.
My Twitter friend, Registered Runaway asked me a while back to write an open letter to sexual minorities—the LGBTQIA community. I was honored to be asked. It was a crazy busy time for me, so I told him that I would be able to get to it until the later part of April…well, it’s now May and I’m just now getting to this project. You see, writing is not something that comes easily to me. I dread it really. It takes someone relying on me for something for anything to get done. And sometimes I procrastinate too long because of the anxiety I have attached to writing. I can be a bit of a perfectionist—as much as I try not to be. And reading and writing are some of those things that take me so long to do well that it’s much easier to just put them off.
But something I hope I do well that doesn’t take as much effort for me is loving on people. And that is what I would like to do right now.
I would like to love on you.
I would like to let you know that no matter what; no matter how you call yourself; no matter what you do; no matter the color or style of your hair; no matter how many tattoos you have or don’t have; no matter the color of your skin; no matter the object of your affections; You. Are. Loved.
You are loved.
I love you—though I don’t know you, most likely, I still “agape” you. And I can safely assume that you have at least some, even if it seems like only just a few, friends and family members that truly love you too—even if they have difficulty showing it. But even better than that, God loves you.
You are loved. You. Are. Loved.
And you were loved from the time of the creation of this beautiful, broken, messed-up world in which we live. Ephesians 1:4-5 (NIV) tells us that “he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons [and daughters] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”
It pleases God to choose you. To love you. To adopt you as his child. It pleases him. It is his will.
I love this!
It makes God happy to call me his daughter!
It makes God happy to call YOU his son or daughter!
Do you read anything in there about him being pleased to call you a son or daughter only if you have your act together? Or what about if you have same-sex attractions? Or what about if you’ve had same-sex sexual relationships or encounters? Does it say anything in there about him only calling his straight and narrow human creations his sons and daughters?
NO! No! No. A thousand times, no.
Regardless of what you do in this life, Jesus did not come into this world to conduct sexual reorientation therapy on you. He came to reorient your heart. To orient it towards himself.
There are plenty of other places where you can hear the behavioral mandates and requests that God makes of people. But in all honesty, none of those behaviors matter if your heart isn’t oriented correctly. You can act however you want and it makes no difference—not one iota. Your heart is what matters most. Your affections. Your desires—for God. For Jesus.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (Psalm 51:16-17)
Out of a broken and contrite heart—out of a heart of love—your actions will speak for themselves. You will want to do things that please the object of your affections. We all do it.
But how can you love God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit if you do not know how much you are loved?
Isn’t it when we feel loved that we are more prone to love in return? Are we not more likely to feel loved when we believe we are loved? Don’t we feel more like loving when we decide to act in loving ways?
Yes. Yes. And, yes.
All of the above are true.
We have to believe that we are loved in order to feel like we are loved. We have to feel as though someone loves us in order to be more apt to love that person back. We have to do things that demonstrate our love for someone in order to increase our feelings of love.
And sometimes, it is hard to believe it. It’s hard to feel it. And it’s hard to do anything to show it.
This is where trust comes in. This is when you need to know that God is not a God who lies. He cannot. He is not a person like you and me. He is completely Other. His love has no bounds. His love doesn’t make sense to us. It doesn’t fit our economy.
So there comes a point in time when we just have to simply say, “Ok. I accept it. I receive it, even if I don’t feel it.”
I bet once you do that, you’ll eventually start to feel it. When you sincerely, with all your heart, willingly acknowledge the love that God has for you in his Son, Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, you will begin to know some of the extent to which you are loved.
And no one, and I mean NO ONE, can take that away from you!
You. Are. Loved.
You are chosen. You are beloved. You are called sons and daughters. You are blessed with EVERY spiritual blessing. You are holy and blameless in Christ. You are redeemed. You are predestined. You are for his praise and glory. You are included. You are God’s special possession. (see Eph 1:3-14)
I don’t care what anyone else tells you about God’s love for you. If it is anything less than the truth of what I have shared above—what the Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians—then it is a lie.
You. Are. Loved. God loves you, and I love you. Many blessings on you in you quest for love.
In Christ’s love and mine…
Dr. Trista L. Carr