LOVEboldly has truly been a faith saver for me. My journey with Jesus started at a bonfire on October 21, 1993 in my senior year of high school. I quickly began investing all my free time in ministry. Before coming out, every church and ministry I served was excited for me to put to use my education, training, and skills. Many in leadership prepared me to be a part of their leadership teams. Yet, as I started honestly wrestling with my sexual orientation and identity, what Scripture said, who God is, and more, I found that my sincere questions, and even my presence, was not welcome anymore. Suddenly, everything and everyone I had invested my life, talents, time, and money into wanted nothing to do with me. When I finally "came out" and announced my engagement to my fiancé, those who were supposed to be messengers of hope suddenly began sending me messages of hate. The church world felt like the least welcoming place to me now. My heart had lost its home.
One day last year, by God’s grace, I met Heidi in a coffee shop and she invited me to come to the LOVEboldly Bible study group in Cincinnati. To be honest, there were several months this past fall where I was very close to losing my faith because I just could not take another wound from one more "Christian". I knew God deeply loved me and I felt the same, but those "other" people were just too much handle. When the hatred I experienced nearly drowned out my belief in God’s love, LOVEboldly would shout love and hope. When friends would cut ties or just disappear, LOVEboldly came running with open arms to provide hugs and comfort.
My wife and I have found a home at LOVEboldly. Even when we don’t agree theologically, we know we are valued and loved. We are challenged in our faith and actions and have found the support we need to grow spiritually. I feel alive and safe in my own skin again.