I Want a New Super Power

When I was a kid, my super power of choice was invisibility. It was a good way to perhaps, find out what you were getting for Christmas, or see what so-and-so wanted for their birthday. Of course, in those early years, there was always the occasional need for a spy… so rather than contract one out from an espionage service, I could do it myself—if only I were invisible. It doesn’t take many years of living to realize there would undoubtedly be a downside to this super power. If, by being invisible, you could hear everything you wanted to, you would also inevitably hear some things you didn’t want to know. As an adult, I reminisce about my childhood, and even find myself selfishly wishing for that same super power every now and then. After all, don’t you ever wonder what is said about you when you’re not around? If you’re a Christian LGBT, put one toe out of the closet, and I guarantee you… you’ll get a taste. No, you won’t miraculously know everything all at once. But sooner or later… word will get around. You’ll get a pretty good idea of who knows what, and who told them. That guy in your small group? He knows. The lady at the local grocery’s checkout counter? She knows. Your old college roomie? Yeah… she’s known for awhile now. Coming out on your own terms is usually too far gone at this point. So what is one to do?

I wish I had a cut and dry answer… but here’s a healing process that’s really worked well for me:

1)seek a circle of acceptance

2)allow yourself to be honest

3)extend love to others

Seek a circle of acceptance. Before discussing the good that can come from this, let’s first take a look at the harm that can be done by alienating yourself. Your beliefs and values tend to change over time… not just with LGBT issues, but with everything in life. It’s important to know that you have a refuge—a safe haven—where expressing those views will be accepted, even by those who do not agree with you. This is not about choosing sides. This is about respecting all sides (ex: the Chick-fil-A debacle. For Pete’s sake, people… eat whatever you want to eat, and believe what you want to believe. Just check your hate at the door. That’s all I’ll say about that. There certainly isn’t a need for another article on that topic in the blogosphere). In other words, a circle of acceptance doesn’t mean that all people agree on every point. It’s saying, “Hey… I really don’t know how I feel about that. We may have different points of view, but I love you unconditionally, just the way you are.” That’s the whole point of unconditional love… it’s without condition.

Allow yourself to be honest. This can be tough at first. Years of denying your true self, and lying to yourself and others sets a trend. Dishonesty can become a defense mechanism. Once you’ve found your safe circle, give yourself permission to tell your story. The truth is healing. While coming out may be one of the most difficult things you’ll ever face, a life of honesty is a profound, glorious, and welcome reward. You will find that there is, indeed, a mountaintop after the valley. I am so thankful for the path that God has placed before me—full of purpose, discovery, and love… and I could never fathom the blessings that would come my way by being honest with myself and others.

However, remember to never come out unless you are in a position where it is safe to do so. Your safety and well-being is the first priority. If you need/want to tell your truth anonymously, you can always submit your story to our website here. If you’re looking for encouragement, and need to hear it from someone who’s been there, you can read our growing collection of coming out stories here.

Extend love to others. Learning to love profoundly is oftentimes the fruit of a difficult journey. Once we’ve reached our own place of peace with God regarding our sexuality, where do we go? As we’ve previously discussed, loving others isn’t always easy. We are living in a world where hate abounds. In the past week alone, a gay couple was attacked in D.C., A Nebraska lesbian was mutilated, and a gay homeless man in LA was beaten. Sure, we could protest anti-gay groups and picket their organizations. (And there are times when that is appropriate.) But people generally don’t change their mind because they lost an argument. It takes more than that; it takes real conversation. If people turn a deaf ear to your point of view, then go where your efforts will be received. Act out in love. Find others who are silently suffering because of their sexual identity. Tell them they are loved. Make sure they know they don’t have to hang themselves, cut themselves, or overdose on pills to escape their depression and loneliness. Love them fiercely.

There is so much that each of us can do in our little corner of creation. It’s easy to feel unwanted, useless, and less than. But God has given you gifts—talents that are custom-made to encourage and inspire another soul. Heck, He’s even given you that secret desire for your own personal super power. If you could choose one, what would it be?


8 responses to “I Want a New Super Power

  1. Mandy, are you going to post anything in reference to the Chick-Fil-A happenings?

    • Hello, Anonymous! 🙂 I did not originally have plans to do so, simply because I felt that it had been run into the ground over these last few days. However, when I began receiving comments on this post, I realized that the issue is obviously still dominating everyone’s thoughts and conversations (including the ones on Facebook and Twitter)! So… stay tuned. I may have something else off the presses by the end of the weekend.

  2. Flying. I have always wanted to be able to fly. Still do.

    Great post. Today’s been a tough day for me, and probably a lot of your readers. It’s been painful to see fellow believers standing arm in chicken-sandwich-holding arm with others against same-sex marriage, smiling in self-congratulatory glee at the show of their solidarity and power. Grateful there is a circle of support here. Lots of us need to be extraordinarily brave and have those conversations you reference with any one who will listen.

    • Erin, I certainly relate. It has been a very bizarre few days. People on both sides continue to scream at one another without really knowing the facts. One side screams, “intolerance”. Another side screams, “What about free speech?”

      I don’t hate anyone for eating at Chick-fil-A. By all means, if it makes someone happy to support traditional marriage, and if they somehow think they can show that support by eating a chicken sandwich… then have at it—more power to you. I do not have a problem with the difference of opinions. But I DO have a problem when millions of dollars are donated to organizations that take rights away from other people.

      If you don’t support gay marriage, there’s a really simple solution: Don’t marry a gay person!

      Thanks for your thoughts, Erin. I always enjoy hearing them. 🙂 Hope your day was better today.

  3. I have been looking forward to your next post, and as August 1 drew closer, I was sure that you’d post something about the big chicken sandwich debate, and what you wrote was perfect. “Check your hate at the door.”

    It had been on my mind for days. I even looked for people at work who would be bringing their Chick-Fil-A bags and drinks back from lunch just as a silent statement of what they are “for” or “against.” (Do you detect a bit of paranoia there? Perhaps so.)

    It reminded me very much of when I was growing up in a small Southern very segregated town where it was very clear where restaurant owners stood. As a child, I never quite understood what the “colored” sign at the back door meant at the “Victory Luncheon.” Just that it was a place where other people who were given special names that I can’t repeat had to stand and wait in line to get their food. They couldn’t go in the front door and sit down and be served like me. I was glad that I was born different from the people who had to stand in line at the back door.

    If I had a “superpower” back then, surely it must have been that I was born white, though I never thought of it that way. It never seemed quite fair to me. Children have an innate sense for fairness, I think.

    Thankfully things have changed. Had I been a grown up back then, I would have wanted to join the people waiting in line at the back door, but isn’t it a shame that there are things that can make a child think that he or she has some type of “superpower” just because they are born a certain way?

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that being born heterosexual or homosexual is not a superpower. It should not give anyone an advantage over anyone else, and it’s wrong to think of one’s innate sexual orientation as being superior to someone else’s.

    If I could have a superpower, it would have to be something that I wasn’t already born with. Something that is not part of my nature.

    Knowing myself as I do, I think that superpower would be to love and help people who have absolutely no way to repay me.

    A superpower like that has to come from a Super Creator. That would be like joining the people waiting in line at the back door.

    (I am sorry that this comment has gotten so lengthy, and if you choose not to display it, I understand. I did enjoy your post!)

    • sketchbook – wow your response was very insightful and I enjoyed it. The Chik-Filet deal is rather sad. Why did an issue like this have to come into it? My neighbor, a self proclaimed racist who doesn’t like “them gays” felt it was great that the guy has the fuzzies to stand up for what he believed in…..sigh. My neighbor and I have an interesting relationship to say the least lol….I am a COMPLETELY polar opposite to his Archie Bunkerness. I hope I live long enough that the issues that come up have nothing to do with this kind of negative thought/behavior. My husband talk about that things will probably get better in the next 20 years or so when folks that are living in fear, racism, bigotry and righteousness will pass on to their lonely heavens.

      • saymber- I can only hope you’re right. I truly think that one day, there will be no discrimination against LGBT’s. It may take a little longer for that to occur in religious institutions, but I have faith it will happen eventually!

    • sketchbookguy… very well said! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your thoughts; I always do! Your story is a great example of how history can repeat itself if we fail to learn from it. Thank you so much for your insight.

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