Advent 3: JOY in the Generous Space Community

This week’s Advent theme is JOY.  (If you haven’t already, check out our last two weeks’ Advent posts on hope and peace.)

JOY via photopin (license)

JOY via photopin (license)

Coming out as an LGBTQ+ Christian can be a very difficult process, but it can also bring unexpected moments of overwhelming joy.  We asked our community members to describe one of the most joyful moments they experienced as they reconciled faith and sexuality.  Here are some of their responses:

  1. When I was just beginning to come out to myself, God spoke “I accept you” very clearly to me. Amidst a three-year period of depression and silence from God, he made sure that message came through loud and clear. It was a solid moment of joy amidst depression.

  2. As an ally, I have experienced joy in being welcomed by my LGBTQ+ community with open arms. Your resilient faith and care for one another nourishes my soul. Thank you all!

  3. I was afraid of my parents’ reaction to my coming out, but I’ve felt so much joy since realizing that our relationship has actually improved since coming out, because I was able to let them in on more of myself.

  4. Once I started coming out and accepting myself more I was able to love more and better. (Non-romantically!) Every time I look at my relationships with people, even how I interact with strangers; it brings me joy how much I’ve changed for the better.

  5. The most joyful moment was when my coming out gave others courage to come out to me as well, and I could offer them advice and hope.

  6. Learning to ask, “How do I live for God as a gay man?” And not just, “How do I live for God?” That is, learning that God has given me a unique set of experiences with which to please him.

  7. It’s hard to describe the joy and relief of finally being fully known, and finally being fully loved.

  8. I remember the rush I got at the first Generous Spaciousness retreat when a roomful of queer Christians and allies joined in singing with me: “My hope is built on nothing less/than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” I was home. These fabulous people understood why I want to love Him so hard.

  9. I thought coming out would mean most of my friends would distance themselves because of awkwardness or theological disagreement, but joy came when I discovered some of my long-time friendships were actually growing closer as a result of the vulnerability and trust my coming out demonstrated.

  10. (from a mom) The moment after “out” when everything seems to have changed and you realize that nothing, in fact–nothing essential in your relationship–has changed.

May God bless you all with anticipatory joy this week as together we await His coming!

Lara laughing via photopin (license)