Each morning, the first time I rise the sky is still inky blue and outside still smells like night time. I brush my teeth and sit in my meditation corner. I pray in love for peace and preparation. I ask our Creator that if lives must be sacrificed for change, that this change is forever and we never have to repeat this moment in history.
I’m writing here about what I always, somehow, write about: the unlearning of shame. This is the topic on which I’m most focused. It’s my focus, for in the process of unlearning shame, we simultaneously remember our worth, which connects us to Love. And Love—the inherent sense that we’re both loved and emanations of Love—is at the heart of authentic, Christian teaching.
After the birth of my daughter in 2013 at midnight one night while I was up feeding her, I felt God. It was the strangest experience I have ever had. Many times in my life I have said in prayer “Please God, hit me over the head with the answer because I can’t take hints.” He did.
As a parent of two young children, I make many trips to the public library and I read many children’s books. I can be a bit of a children’s book snob, picking what appears to be a high-brow picture book based on the inclusion of a Caldecott or Newbury award sticker, or by literally judging a book by its cover and choosing the ones with the best illustrations.
For those of us who are LGBTQ, we have almost certainly experienced some form of isolation, rejection, or tepid acceptance. This reality is simply a part of our story; but what I have come to learn in the past 18 months is that we all have beautiful, heart-breaking stories of truth.
My story is really no different.
These days I am one of the first in any group to jump to defend someone’s religious beliefs, including their right to share them in a friendly, respectful manner. It wasn’t always this way.