I first heard Vicky Beeching speak this January and it seems appropriate that after going through a whirlwind of a year where I've felt disordered, had a crisis of faith, developed a new crush (which has since largely died down), that I would come back and listen to Vicky Beeching speak again at a keynote at The Reformation Project conference held recently at Kansas.
I listened to the one hour talk last night when I had a bout of insomnia and was encouraged and inspired once again.
She shared her life story yet again, and then talked about Tribes, Trauma and Trust and that's what I'd like to dwell upon here.
Vicky mentioned that for many of us, we might have been pushed out of our church family or ministry but that there is a new tribe forming that are for us and with us - LGBT+ Christians and their allies.
We all yearn to belong and it is difficult when one's tribe rejects you.
I know that first hand. And yet, it is not the end of the world. There are people who are for you, I have been at the receiving end of much love and support from so many that I've come out to. And I'm very grateful for that. It took a healthy load of discernment, a fair bit of vulnerability coupled with a dash of risk-taking for me to get to this place.
I've found my own tribe and I hope to enable others to find theirs too. (Attending LGBT+ conferences are a great way to do so and I'm happy that I'm going for the GCN Conference this coming January in 2016!)
Physically, emotionally or mentally, many of us are suffering. It would be inauthentic if we do not remove the masks on our faces. We need to address these issues and not be afraid to do so.
I'm happy to report that I decided to start seeing a clinical psychologist in an effort to manage my bipolar mood swings a bit better and also a counsellor at Oogachaga to deal with the tension living as a gay Christian. I have benefitted very much from seeing them both and blog about my journey in hopes of starting conversations about mental health issues that are still very much a taboo even in a first world country like mine.
She finally talked about trusting the voice of God. That has been a big part of the struggle for me. I know that God loves me as I am and have often heard from Him that having a partner is fine by Him. But I doubt myself and let the voices of other Christians drown out the voice of God.
In that YouTube video last night, I was reminded to put my trust in God. I am first and foremost a child of God and I really do identify as that above identifying as gay. As a child, I know my Father has my best interests at heart and is with me every step of the way.
Thank you Vicky for speaking and I pray one day we might be able to connect if I ever pop by UK!
If you've got an hour to spare, why not check out the video here, I'm sure you'll be very blessed by it (it helps that she's got quite a sense of humour too):
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