Don’t You Dare!

This story is self-explanatory. It was forwarded to us so that we could share it with you. Whether you are a current student or not, we feel that you will benefit from reading this story.

Don’t You Dare!

Don’t you dare let the current Shorter administration make you feel or believe that you are anything less than made in the image of God.

I was raised the child of a Fundamentalist Southern Baptist pastor and I always knew that I was gay.  I was told that I was unworthy and was doomed to Hell.  I felt like a second class citizen my entire life.  I felt hated by the church.  I felt hated by God.

I “chose” to be straight.  I only dated girls and was even married.  None of that changed who I truly was.  Sexuality is not a choice.  Some have asked me how I always knew that I was gay and I must honestly say that I didn’t.   As an adult I was able to reflect back on my thoughts and feelings, and then I realized that I had actually always known.   One response I’ve given to others is, “When did you know that you are straight?  When did you ‘choose’ to like girls?”  Of course, they always knew and it wasn’t a choice.

Though Shorter was a conservative Christian institution, my educational experience there was fantastic.   Many students and faculty did not fully agree with or understand my plight, but they all showed me a deep caring and Christian love.  For the first time in my life, I felt loved by other Christians.   For the first time in my life, Christians spoke of a loving God.  For the first time in my life, I felt the love of God!  Words cannot begin to express the profound change this made on me and my spiritual journey.

Throughout my childhood and early adulthood I was a disaster spiritually.  Though I wanted to believe, I could not fathom a Creator that would make me this way and then doom me to eternal torment.  I searched far and wide in search of a loving Creator.  I dove deeper into the church, but I must say that love was not found in the Fundamentalist church in which I was raised.  The Fundamentalist did nothing but drive me AWAY from God.   I studied the scriptures, prayed, and allowed the Holy Spirit to guide me.  Eventually, I was guided to the understanding that God does love me and that I’m not broken – I don’t need to be fixed – I’m not lost.

I truly believe that the Holy Spirit of God “enables believers to comprehend God’s truth as revealed in Scripture.”  The same Holy Spirit that led Fundamentalists to understand that their daughters should not be sold into slavery, the Shorter football team can play with a pigskin, or that the new Shorter president should not be burned for wearing garments of mixed threads or eating shrimp, is the same Holy Spirit that led me to understand that I too am made in the image of God.

Current students, I grew up a victim of Fundamentalism and have been angered greatly that some of you have fallen victim to it as well.  Don’t allow the current Shorter administration make you feel unworthy.  Don’t allow them to damn you to Hell.  Don’t allow them to tell you that you are not made in the image of God.  Don’t allow them to drive you AWAY from God.  DON’T YOU DARE!

There is one lifestyle “choice” that I have made.  I have chosen to embrace and love myself, knowing that God loves me.  I have chosen to share that love, and the light of Jesus with others.   I have made the choice to share with you my story – a painful choice.   I’ve stopped several times while writing this to catch my breath and dry my tears.   My story is a journey from hatred into love.

Let me assure you that you too are loved by the Christian church.  You too are worthy.  You too are a first class citizen.  You too are made in the image of and embraced by a loving and caring God!   “Choose” to accept this.  Walk in light – Walk in truth – Lux Veritas.

One response to “Don’t You Dare!

  1. Jennifer Davis Stover

    Awesome story and testament of faith. Your story sounds just like my father’s story. In fact, he said alot of the same things you did. You see, he too was gay, and did all the things he felt he had to do to “fit”, including marrying and having children. He also knew from an early age, four years of age, as a matter of fact, that he was “different”. Homosexuality is not a choice. the way he put it, God is a loving and forgiving God, and who in their right mind would choose to live a lifestyle of condemmnation. In the end, he had to choose to be the way God made him and live his life as God intended him to live it.
    Jennifer Davis Stover
    Shorter Alumni class of 1983

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