Puzzled Pieces

By Rochelle

As we pulled into Hollywood, traffic crawled and people filled the sidewalks. This was no typical afternoon in sunny Southern California. Flags waving, banners unfurled, same-sex couples walking hand in hand with heads high and smiles beaming — we’d unknowingly rolled into the middle of “Pride Week.” Seventeen years old, both vulnerable and seemingly invincible, my heart was captivated. “This,” I thought, “is the life for me.”

I was already embracing a lesbian lifestyle, but as this scene unfolded, I felt like a missing puzzle piece who’d suddenly fallen into her puzzle. I was convinced. Everyone was joyous, confident, and free, and I was determined to have that too. As I sought to integrate myself into the gay community, they welcomed me. Surely everything would be OK and I’d be content.

Yet the further I plunged into lesbianism, the greater the void in my soul grew. I found girlfriends and guy friends; went to social events, gay puzzle-226743_960_720bookstores and clubs; wore the clothes, talked the talk, and tried to become the person I thought I was, but deep inside I still was unsatisfied. What appeared to be a wonderful, enriching lifestyle turned out to be an illusion. It looked thrilling and exciting, but in reality, there was backbiting and selfishness, much as I’d already experienced in heterosexuality. People I encountered weren’t satisfied and confident; they were depressed, empty, and anxious, just like I was. What I thought would bring me life and community left only brokenness and bitterness in its wake.

As I persistently pursued lesbianism, God was pursuing me. I’d grown up hearing and knowing about God, but never knowing Him personally. With every poor choice I made and even when I ran from Him – God was there, reaching out to help, guide, and save me. I couldn’t see it then, but He was trying to get my attention, desiring to pour out His life-giving grace and restore every shattered piece of my heart. With some of the consequences and circumstances resulting from my decisions, there is no other explanation for why I am alive except that God had a plan for my life and His mercy preserved me.

All my life, I believed I was unlovable and invisible. My deeply painful emotions and sense of rejection left me angry, betrayed, and untrusting. I was unwilling to let anyone – even God – get close to me and risk being hurt or abandoned. But God loved me patiently during the years of my rebellion. There were times when for seemingly no reason, I opened my Bible and knew God was speaking to me, His Word stirring hope within me. Several times, I cried out for God’s help because my life was crumbling. He often didn’t answer in the way or timing I wanted, but He always came through and His way was better. At any moment, I could have surrendered my life to His care, but even when I didn’t, He never forsook me.

Coming from a place of brokenness and confusion, to throw myself headlong into homosexuality seemed logical. In hindsight, I see how it was an illusion. What I thought I’d receive as a lesbian – significance, security, identity – was not what I found. What I found was emotional turmoil and disappointment. Because I intensely desired acceptance, I stubbornly tried to jam myself into a puzzle that God never intended. In His infinite kindness, God has shown me the true picture and where I belong in Christ. Now I have a perfect fit in the Kingdom of God.

Eleven years ago, homosexual people walking beneath banners like glorious soldiers enthralled my heart. Now I am secure under another banner – the banner of Christ’s love. Looking back, God has already done more than I ever dreamed. He knew my needs better than I did and continues to meet them as I trust in Him. He placed me in a thriving community of believers. He settles me when I battle anxiety. He forgives my failures. He gives me hope to fight on. And as a Father, He speaks tenderly, reminding me of His love and delight in me.

Rochelle is a guest contributor.

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