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Belonging has never come easy to me.
Growing up, there was my mutated national identity to deal with―my not-quite-American, not-quite-Indonesian soul, restless in both countries. Later, when I came out as a celibate gay Christian, I found I didn’t fit into the church as easily as I used to. I’ve often wondered what it means to belong to others even when I can’t manage to blend in with them.
The way Jesus tells it, if we give up on belonging in order to follow him, we’ll find ourselves belonging anyway. We might not belong the way other people do, with normal homes and normal families and normal ways of fitting in. But we’ll belong in a way that’s a hundred times better.
We’ll be fully in place because we know we are out of place. We’ll belong like aliens.
Maybe you’re caught in the same tension as me, wanting to fit somewhere even as you’re permanently out of place. Maybe you feel like an alien.
If so, let’s be aliens together.
In this grab bag, we have 8 biography & memoir e-books. The prices and sale dates that they have provided are under each book cover.
In this grab bag, we have 6 e-books on gender and sexuality. The prices and sale dates that they have provided are under each book cover.
In an age where neither society nor the church knows what to do with gay Christians, Greg Coles tells his own story.
Let’s make a deal, you and me. Let’s make promises to each other.
I promise to tell you my story. The whole story. I’ll tell you about a boy in love with Jesus who, at the fateful onset of puberty, realized his sexual attractions were persistently and exclusively for other guys. I’ll tell you how I lay on my bed in the middle of the night and whispered to myself the words I’ve whispered a thousand times since:
I’ll show you the world through my eyes. I’ll tell you what it’s like to belong nowhere. To know that much of my Christian family will forever consider me unnatural, dangerous, because of something that feels as involuntary as my eye color. And to know that much of the LGBTQ community that shares my experience as a sexual minority will disagree with the way I’ve chosen to interpret the call of Jesus, believing I’ve bought into a tragic, archaic ritual of self-hatred.
But I promise my story won’t all be sadness and loneliness and struggle. I’ll tell you good things too, hopeful things, funny things, like the time I accidentally came out to my best friend during his bachelor party. I’ll tell you what it felt like the first time someone looked me in the eyes and said, “You are not a mistake.” I’ll tell you that joy and sorrow are not opposites, that my life has never been more beautiful than when it was most brokenhearted.
If you’ll listen, I promise I’ll tell you everything, and you can decide for yourself what you want to believe about me.