You Are To Be Celebrated

ICYMI: The United Methodist Church has been busy imploding lately.

I’ve spent a lot of time recently wrestling with the very real hurt and trauma this conversation the UMC has on the regular about the inclusion of LGBTQIA+ folks brings up. I felt like I should say something profound and moving about the whole hot mess. But I couldn’t find the right words. In fact, I couldn’t even find a place to start.

Fortunately, there are folks who are brilliant and loving (like Nadia Bolz-Weber & Glennon Doyle) who not only found words but put them out into the world in the spirit of love & healing & GOODNESS:


It took me a long time to stop conflating God and the church–and to ask for my God to-go, please. But on this side of things, there is healing and freedom. Not everyone has the same path. But I do know definitively that you don’t need church to have God. In fact, I’ve begun to see God everywhere. In the little interactions I have with other flawed, miraculous humans. In the (rare instances of) sunshine in Atlanta. In the quiet moments of peace (no matter how fleeting) when I feel deeply the love of the divine.

One of my best pieces of advice in times like this: find your people. It doesn’t have to be the church (but it can be! There are plenty of churches that will celebrate you for who you are. Never accept less than that). Find a community who will stand by you in the daily struggles and the existential ones. And if you can’t find a group of people like that (a running group, a book club, a knitting circle, a writers group), create an ad hoc group of folks you’ve gathered along your life journey who love you to your core (even when you’re annoying, or cranky, or a tad irrational). Lean on those people. And be there for them. Create community. That’s the best and hardest part of being human. Dive into it.

Know that the Universe has only love for you. And it will keep nudging you along your path. I think God is constantly rejoicing over the beautiful, messy creation that I am–all while being just a smidge exasperated at how complicated I try to make everything.

Because the truth is simp]e: We’re all divinely created. We’re perfect just the way we are. Me. You. Your annoying AF neighbor. All of us. We’re valuable.

God doesn’t love us in spite of who we are. He loves us BECAUSE of who we are. Gaiety & all.

**Photo by Robin Benzrihem on Unsplash

Author: Kendra Lee

I am smitten with Atlanta. I believe Black Lives Matter. I care deeply about housing justice, education, and transportation. I am a huge MARTA fan. I've got the most adorable second grader, an incorrigible Boxer named Delilah, and a pretty amazing husband named Simon. I've been sober for 9+ years. I heart coffee. On any given day I may write about all--or none--of those things.

5 thoughts on “You Are To Be Celebrated”

  1. Scripture says we are not perfect the way we are. We are sinners. A fallen, BROKEN people. All of us.

    We need to repent and turn to Christ and follow the Scripture.

    God does not love us because of who we are, He only loves us because of who HE is.

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    1. I bought the line that I was broken for a long time. I don’t anymore. I don’t think that’s what God believes about me. I think that’s what some churches put out, to keep us coming back, seeking God (and some sort of redemption) through them. God is so big & expansive that we simply can’t comprehend the intensity of His (or Her. Whatever.) love for us. And I’m sure God honors your perception of Him as much as He honors mine.

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      1. It’s not buying a line. It’s what Scripture clearly states. Scripture is the Word of God so that is what God believes about us. We can be made holy and perfect, but not in our natural state.

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      2. You and I disagree on the fundamental nature of scripture–and how people have interpreted it. And, truthfully, this post is about the celebration of LGBTQ folks in the face of hurtful discrimination by the church. Again. Not about theology. I have mine. You have yours. But I will never buy the idea that I am in some way “broken” again. You do what you feel is best. I know I will.

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