My name is Nick Asher and I am a 30-year old transgender man living in Cincinnati with my wife. Heidi asked me to share my story with you as the year draws to a close. LOVEboldly has been extremely helpful to me on my journey. The friendships and love I have received at LOVEboldly have helped me be clean and sober today. I want you to how much your support has made a difference for me.
My journey of faith has had its ups and downs. I started going to church at the age of 14 just to get out of the house. I had gotten into some trouble and was on house arrest at the time. I was only allowed out of the house for school and religious functions, so I started going to the youth group down the street. I got baptized there but I didn’t know what it meant at the time. Since then, I’ve really struggled with my faith, trying to figure out what I believe and why. In 2010 I got connected with a Christian coffee-shop ministry in Cincinnati and I grew so much. It was a great place for me to be at that time in my life.
One day, Heidi came into the coffee shop and met my wife, which is how I got connected to LOVEboldly. LOVEboldly helped me right from the start. I’ve had many emotional and mental health issues from my teenage years. I also have addiction issues that I’ve been struggling with for quite a while. Before LOVEboldly, I was in and out of mental health clinics and rehab facilities. I couldn’t manage my mental health, even with the help of doctors and medicine. I would get sober for a while but I would relapse again. When I started attending the LOVEboldly Bible study, my wife and I weren’t “out” to anyone yet – we felt we always had to hide who we were. Being able to be open about our relationship and about our sexuality and gender identities has been extremely healing. The people I met in our small group have become great friends. I didn’t talk much at first, but when I did, I felt they really listened and respected what I had to say. They took me seriously. I felt like I was really part of the group and not an outsider. Being treated with such respect made me want to participate and I challenged myself in my beliefs and my faith. I’ve grown significantly in my spiritual life since LOVEboldly. I‘m still finding my way, but I’m miles and miles from where I was when I first met this amazingly crazy group of people and I’m really grateful for that.
Since LOVEboldly, I’ve found a place where I can be my true self. The love and acceptance I receive there has helped my mental and emotional health more than anything else ever has. I don’t have urges to use or drink anymore. I’m sure they aren’t gone forever, but for the first time since I was 14, they aren’t there. LOVEboldly’s given me roots in a community, it’s allowed me to meet and make friends with other LGBT Christians, and it’s made me feel like I’m actually worthy of love from myself, from others, and even from God. Like I said, I’m still finding my way, but I’m miles and miles from where I started.
By partnering with LOVEboldly, you’ve made God’s love tangible to me in a life-changing way these past few years. I’m really grateful to LOVEboldly for the space they’ve created, and to you for helping support this important work. This year, I hope you’ll consider making an end of year donation to help continue the impact you’ve already made, making spaces for people like me to come, grow, belong, be loved, interact with other Christians, and grow in our faith together. Thank you so much for your generosity and support. I am so grateful.
I believe more than ever that the church is meant to be a beacon of hope, witness, and refuge to those who have been hurt. I believe more than ever that God has called us, for such a time as this, to reach to those in the LGBTQ+ community who are hungry for relationship with Him. Through your support, people like Nick can come, just as they are, with all their questions, fears, struggles, and hurts.
Thank you for your faithfulness that has helped us impact lives like Nick’s for Jesus, and create loving faith environments for LGBTQ+ individuals who would not have them otherwise!
As we finish the year, we need your help. Your generous gift at Christmas time will share the love of Christ with even more people who need to receive it next year as we expand our staff and our impact. Thank you!
Grace and Peace,