Unchanged

An Open Letter to the Members of CHANGED

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I’ve learned a lot from you in the past month. I’ve read your stories, heard your fears and struggles, hopes and dreams. I have been reminded over and over again what it was like to desperately desire God’s approval and to will every fiber of my being to fit the mold that was so seemingly easy for everyone else but me. To cling to the Word when it felt like I was barely tethered to the Earth, seconds from unraveling and never far from my own self-harm.

I remember what it was like to feel paralyzed by the prospect of losing the people I loved the most to pursue a life that I was told would ultimately lead to destruction.

I remember the demon of my same-sex attraction waking me up in the middle of the night, demanding my repentance and smothering me with shame. 

I remember being prayed over by friends and hearing them wage war against Satan and his armies, celebrating the victory of overcoming my same-sex attraction, but only to find myself struggling again.

I’ve heard your stories and I see myself in each and every one of you. You love Jesus and you want to live a life that is good and righteous. I wholeheartedly believe it.

When we first started talking about launching UNCHANGED, we decided that we would not shy away from confronting the institutions propagating ex-gay theology, but we all agreed that it was important to protect the individuals seeking shelter in the movement. Not so deep down we are actually the same.

We are the ones who have been called to be different. We didn’t ask for it and many of us pleaded with God to take it back. We find that the stories of our beloved heroes in the Bible often begin with an appeal to take away what God has set before them.

The courage it takes to tell your community about your same-sex attraction, knowing that they will ask for change in exchange for acceptance, is astronomical. You did it once and I believe you can do it again. This time however, you don’t need to change your LGBTQ+ calling to find love.

In the words of Amanda Cook;

“Allow Me to introduce Myself again
I'm the Love you used to think could not exist
I'm as sure as where you're standing and as free as the wind
You don't have to reach for Me, because this is where I am.”

If you choose to take the next step towards self-acceptance, we are here for you. We understand the sacrifice and risk it takes to come out a second time and if you’re not ready, that’s okay. We love you and we see you. UNCHANGED will continue to grow and expand its resources for LGBTQ+ Christians in the months to come. When you’re ready, you can come home. 

With love,

Lauren

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