Coming out and coming to faith

 
Rachel Gilson | March 9th 2020

I became a Christian much to my own surprise. It was as if the sun of the gospel had evaporated my atheism in an instant.

But as time went on, one reality remained like a stubborn puddle: I was sexually attracted to women. I still am.

So many questions pressed for attention. How could something that felt so right be condemned as wrong? Why would God prohibit acting on these desires for love? Would Iever have sex again? What words should I use to describe my experience—since neither gay nor straight seemed to fit? How should I navigate close female friendship in my new Christian community without everything getting… complicated?

My new Christian friends didn’t know where to point me. They had never had to consider these questions from my angle; they were all attracted to the opposite sex—a fact which presented enough challenges of its own in the fight for joyful obedience. And all the while, we were bombarded with the loud, monotone declaration of our culture: “You must obey your sexual desires.”

Born Again This Way

Born Again This Way

$16.99

A rich portrayal of living faithfully and happily as a Christian with same-sex attraction that paints a compelling picture of discipleship for every believer.

I remember one cool morning in Wyoming, sitting outside with a friend who also happened to be named Rachel. We were discussing one of our guy friends who had come to Christ in college. Before that, he had lived by following his own intuition of what would make him happy and fulfilled. He had had a girlfriend with whom he was sexually active, but when he met Jesus, he called it off and broke up with her.

Rachel and I had learned that this ex-girlfriend had recently also come to know Jesus as her Savior, and it seemed that she and our friend would now resume their relationship—this time both as Christians. Perhaps they would even one day marry! Wouldn’t that be a lovely story of redemption?

It seemed like it to us. But it also made me quietly realize that that story would never be mine. If any of my ex-girlfriends came to Christ, I would rejoice. But none of them would be my future wife. Redemption could not look like that for me. It just felt so unfair: an ache in the heart that pulsed dreadfully, not letting me ignore it. I voiced it to Rachel and received sympathy. Yet neither of us really had an “answer.” It felt like uncharted territory. It was.

My life has told a different story than what society expects for me and what I expected for myself, because God himself has written his own twists and turns into the narrative

Our culture sings that we’re “born this way,” as if that settles the matter. But I’m born again. My life has told a different story than what society expects for me and what I expected for myself, because God himself has written his own twists and turns into the narrative: unexpected blessings that are more powerful, more lovely, than anything I could have imagined in my former life.

This book is my story. It’s just one among many, and it’s not intended to be weaponized against anyone else or used as a pawn. But my hope is that my account of coming out, coming to faith, and what came next will be a refreshment to you on your own journey. Though I have experienced failure and pain, I have also received freedom and joy. In later chapters, I’ll also share stories of others who are walking this path with their eyes fixed on the Lord.

Even more than stories, I want to offer you the Scriptures, and show you how those ancient, God-breathed words can meet us right in our very contemporary circumstances. They will challenge us and comfort us, and ultimately root us in the God who loves us.

And whoever we are, that’s what we most need.

I wrote Born Again This Way for you

Perhaps you’re sure of your sexuality, but unsure of what Jesus has to say about it—or whether he has any right to own it. You are welcome —I wrote the book for you.

Maybe you find yourself secure in Jesus, fighting to say yes to him and no to same-sex sexual sin—yet still, like all Christians who have gone before us, you’re living in a body that is not yet free from temptation. You don’t want to limp to the finish line but to run your race with joy. My book is for you.

Or maybe you’re listening in on this conversation as a pastor, significant other, friend, or parent of a Christian with same-sex attraction. You long to love like Jesus, who came full of grace and truth. My book is for you too.

I want to show you that Jesus is beautiful, powerful,  and worthy right at the heart of this conversation, right at the heart of our sexuality. He is not scared or unsettled by anything, and if we are rooted in him, we can be people of power and love and self-control.

This is what I want for myself, and what I want for you. I’m not writing as a polished product, standing behind the finish line, clapping for you with the medal already around my neck.

I’m right with you, sometimes stumbling, often aching, but also running with joy.

No matter where we start from, no matter what shape we’re in, he is not hindered. His love and power are more than sufficient. He is always more than we expect.

Born Again This Way is a rich portrayal of living faithfully and happily as a Christian with same-sex attraction that paints a compelling picture of discipleship for every believer. Buy a copy here.

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Rachel Gilson

Rachel serves on the leadership team of Theological Development and Culture with Cru. Her writing has appeared in Christianity Today and for Desiring God and The Gospel Coalition, and she regularly speaks at churches and on college campuses. Rachel is wrapping up her Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and lives in the Boston area with her husband and daughter.