not out still confused 47

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Joined in 2011
October 28, 2011, 18:31

Thanks Ann Maree and Mother Hen,

I actually found the church through fb2 – so to answer people’s questions as to “how did you come to be here” in a truthful way feels like outing myself before I am ready to do so.

I agree with Mother Hen – perhaps I may just “fob people off” a bit.

My preferred style is usually to just sit and take in the vibe a bit – see what’s going on – blend into the background. However, the smallness of this church doesn’t really lend itself to “blending in”!! Oh I am probably over thinking this too much.

As for speaking to the minister – I guess it feels like it might take the pressure off if she knows exactly what has brought me there – but then again – most of me just wants to for the moment remain unobtrusive & quiet.

If i truly reflect on my anxiety around attending this church I think it’s around wanting my state of general anxiety to come to an end. In my mind I race ahead… If I could wave a magic wand, I would be quietly and comfortably settled in a relationship with a woman, i would have passed through all my issues around intimacy with no dramas what so ever (!) My family, friends and work collegaues will all just quietly acknowledge my sexuality without a hiccup and I will be happily ensconsed in serving and worshipping in a GLBT freindly church!! Now! is that too much to ask! (Don’t worry I am realistic – and I am having a laugh at my own idealism right now!) However, this desire for me to just be “at the end” – tends to create a great anxiety around the here and now – am I making sense at all?

So – things like the newness of attending a new church, of figuring out what to say to new people, of figuring out what to say to my current church friends about why i wasn’t there on Sunday… all seems hard.

At the very least – I would just like to be in a church where I wasn’t feeling guilty for being deceitful when conversations about same sex relationships comes up. I am happy to help in a church where I can, to serve where I can – and to do so in a space where, even if I am not upfront about my own sexuality – but where I know that if I chose to be, it would be OK… well that would be a blessing.

This is why I seek prayer – Please God – may this just go smoothly. May I in my mixed upness… somehow bring glory to you, serve you and grow in you.

That pretty much sums it up.

Sarab xx 8)

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
October 28, 2011, 22:31

Hi sarab

Sorry I misunderstood you when you said you were visiting an LGBTI church, thinking you were going to a completely gay church. And so I thought in that case it wouldn’t matter about your sexuality and whether you had to come out or not. Now I see where you’re coming from if going to a regular church, and not knowing how much to disclose or not.

I liked Mother Hen’s idea of either deflecting questions or having a few vague responses pre-prepared so you’re not put upon to say more than you want to. I agree that you only need to divulge what you feel comfortable sharing and just because questions are asked doesn’t mean you have to supply answers. Apart from that, God doesn’t stand there with a clip board and survey doing some kind of census so I don’t see why Christians feel the need to do that! I realise they may just be making conversation or being friendly however it can come across as intrusive, especially when you’re panicking about whether your sexuality will be accepted or not.

You said:

If I could wave a magic wand, I would be quietly and comfortably settled in a relationship with a woman, i would have passed through all my issues around intimacy with no dramas what so ever (!) My family, friends and work collegaues will all just quietly acknowledge my sexuality without a hiccup and I will be happily ensconsed in serving and worshipping in a GLBT friendly church!! Now! is that too much to ask! (Don’t worry I am realistic – and I am having a laugh at my own idealism right now!)

No I don’t think that’s too much to ask. And I don’t see why you can’t have all those things. In the words of Willy Wonker:

“.. don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted. ….He lived happily ever after.”

I honestly believe you are well on your way to living that llife and I don’t believe it’s unrealistic to aim for. Many of us here have achieved similar things and I have every faith that you can too. 🙂


Ann Maree

Joined in 2011
October 29, 2011, 13:32

Thanks Ann Maree,

I like your Willy Wonka quote.

yes – let’s hope my big picture ideal might one day come to fruition. I am I guess just trying to be realistic on a day by day basis that there are some smaller, potentially quite difficult steps in between where I am now and that big picture hope.

And yes – I have been sifting through some possible comments I might make to deflect questions from well meaning people when I attend the new church.

Have a lovely day


Joined in 2011
October 30, 2011, 14:44

Well all I can say is that God is indeed gracious.

Ann Maree and Mother Hen – the church service was just lovely.

I felt so welcome, very comfortable.

On so many levels there were moments that confirmed that it was a good place to be.

At one point during the service there was space for people in the congregation to stand up an share/talk. This was a window into the diversity amongst the people attending and also spoke to the compassion and integrity of those who spoke.

There was even a point when the minister spoke – either in a prayer or something she said about acceptance of people regardless of sexual orientation (or something similar). Never thought I’d see the day when I heard that in church.

I could have cried at the respect, gentleness yet strength of the community. (In fact I did shed a wee tear on the drive home). At the risk of overstating things (as I know all churches are just made up of broken sinners – ie human beings) I felt that this was a space where I could picture Jesus – meeting people as they are – and where people are accepted as they are.

After what has been a somewhat turbulent journey for me thus far – The words that came to mind as I drove home were “soothing balm”.

Thanks for your encouragement and prayers.

Sarab 🙂

Mother Hen
Joined in 2011
October 30, 2011, 15:03

Wow Sarab,

That is wonderful news 🙂 so thrilled it went well and that you feel it’s a place of Gods love and care. Wow amazing the statement the minister said, she gets my vote straight up. :bigsmile:

As you say church is made up of sinners, human beings, so no church is going to be perfect. As long as the good points for your out way the bad, then we can settle in places like that.

Did people come up and ask you questions? what did you say, how did you handle it all.

Wow this is so great, and thank you so much for taking the time to share it with us, I feel privileged to be a part of your wonderful journey. 🙂

Joined in 2011
October 31, 2011, 20:49

Thanks Mother Hen again for your encouragement.

In answer to your question – pretty much my fears were unfounded. People didn’t really ask too many questions.

I was able to answer reasonably truthfully about how I came to be there… something vague about having read something online…. vague vague vague…

Again I say thank you to you Ann Maree and to others for your initial encouragement when i first logged on to f2b. My initial “freak out” was with regard to reconciling faith and sexuality. Just having your affirming comments and reading the stories of others has helped play a part i getting me over some of these hurdles. No doubt there will be more hurdles ahead. (I can predict a few!) But for the moment I am in an OK space – I am aware that there is a whole community of people who are Christians yet are in loving same sex relationships… and more importantly they have reconciled this. I have taken on board the need to be in a “safe space” for worship and fellowship… and I seem to have found this. These steps are enough for the moment. 🙂

I will certainly let you know and keep you posted as to what happens in my journey – as I know the power of “story” to help another (it has indeed helped me). I of course will be keeping a close eye on f2b and the stories of others to see what’s going on and to pray for others. Who knows… one day I may be brave enough to attend a chapter meeting :~

Many thanks xx

Sarab 🙂

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
October 31, 2011, 21:22

Hi sarab

Wow! This is fabulous news indeed. 🙂 🙂 🙂

And well done for taking the step of going to the church. Given your apprehension and anxiety about it beforehand, that took a lot of courage. It’s like you sought God and he in turn sought you out. I’m so pleased for you.

I’m also encouraged to hear about positive church experiences like this one. I think it bodes well for our entire community, whether church going or not. It signifies a move by more churches to be open and accepting to the LGBTI community rather than fearful and excluding as most have historically been.

As well as that, this is a huge accomplishment for you personally that you can tick off your list – and so soon! I mean in the short time you’ve been with us, so much development has occurred, it’s impressive. And the fact that this church visit happened so successfully, makes me think that all the other pieces of your onward journey will now fall into place easier than you expect. 🙂 Well done!! 🙂 🙂 🙂


Ann Maree

Joined in 2011
October 31, 2011, 21:43

Thanks so much 🙂 😀 8)


Joined in 2011
November 1, 2011, 08:26

Hi sarab – I haven’t had access to my computer for a few days, but have been following your story with interest on my phone – just not able to post. I am so very pleased that your visit to the new church seems to have been so positive and agree with the others that it took great courage. It is hard enough to walk into a new church on your own, without having the other issues in your mind.

I trust that maybe the speed at which you are processing things may slow down a little for you for now, and you can consolidate the gains you have made… and that you will be affirmed in that. I wonder if you will feel a little let down feeling now that you have taken such big steps. Hugs for any of those. I know that life has to go on in all its other levels for you.

Thinking of you, and have been saying some prayers too…

Take care


Joined in 2011
November 1, 2011, 20:48

Thanks so much Ammi for your sensitive, thoughtful and wise response.

You are right – I have thought myself that things will start to slow down and have been trying to mentally prepare myself for a return to what in comparison is the mundane normality of life. So weird when I have an absolute internal revolution happening -yet I still need to work, shop, clean be a friend, neighbour, family member etc.

My adrenalin has been rushing a bit lately – as I have taken each step. Now, as these steps slow down – I agree it may feel a bit like an anti climax. It was great that you posted this – as it served to confirm what i was semi conscious of. Thanks.

This may sound odd – but because I am typically such an even keel, calm no drama person – I kind of perversely enjoy the adrenalin rush of things that are a bit emotionally challenging. Don’t get me wrong – there have been plenty of tears and pain that I have not enjoyed over recent months (and of course throughout my life). However, I said to my best friend recently that the process of counselling – although painful – kind of made me feel more alive. Perhaps this is wrapped up in my supression of sexuality, intimacy – true connection. I am not yet really sure of that. Let’s call figuring this out project B shall we!! 🙂 🙂

When I was younger – if I experienced a difficult time – or was working through some stuff – I think I reacted similarly in that I felt somewhat charged by the emotional intensity of struggle and pain. However, back when I was younger I would push things a bit – make some unwise decisions about the way I interracted with others – kind of pushing to prolong this sense of intensity. My younger self faced with my realisation about my sexuality and my decision to leave my church for a more affirming church would be “pushing the envelope” and making pointed statements at this stage with those in my current church to “bring things to a head”. I am glad I am not that person anymore.

Rather than holding animosity toward my current church – i tend now to just think that we are all just people in different places in different seasons. While I am aware of my potential to want to “push the envelope” – I tend toward a more cautious gentler approach these days. Does that make sense?

Thanks a lot for your prayers and support. Hope things are OK for you at the moment. 🙂

Sarab xxx

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