I want to start off by saying that God is real. God perfectly loves, is all knowing, and cares about each of us. He is with us in our brightest times and our darkest moments. He knows us individually, and because of that, He loves us individually, beyond anything we could imagine.
My name is Shannon Hubbard. I grew up in Gardnerville, NV, playing soccer and spending my summers at Lake Tahoe. After high school, I moved to Utah for school and then ultimately graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho. After graduation in 2016, I moved to Virginia where I still live.
Growing up, I never put much thought into my sexuality or the fact that I could possibly be gay. Not until my sophomore year of college did it make its first real appearance in my life. My close friend and I overtime both disclosed to each other that we liked each other. I had “liked” boys before and found them attractive and all of that. But this. This felt so different and it felt so real. My friend and I were both members of the church and because of that, we didn’t let ourselves have a true relationship. I so badly wanted it, and so honestly felt that it was right. Yet we decided to continue keeping our religious standards and eventually split ways all together. The next few years were a continuous fight to get rid of my feelings and to find some sort of peace. When I came out publicly two years ago, I did so with this post
Fast forward to now, I have dated a few different women, have continued to attend weekly church services at a variety of Christian churches, and have found a greater relationship with God than I have ever had before. Based on what I was taught my entire life, it seems odd that I would have peace and happiness and a fullness of joy while choosing to date women; and yet I do have all those things. There are bad days, and there are friends that no longer choose to speak to me, and there are moments when I feel as if I am all alone. But the cracks and crevices that make up my life are filled with true joy and peace. And in those moments when I feel alone, I can know that I am not. Because God loves me for me. And He is with me and does not leave me. He knows my heart and my desires and is walking this life alongside, and behind, and in front of me.
I have enjoyed attending different church services over the last few years. I can’t say that I have found one yet that I want to fully dive into for the rest of my life, but each one has provided me with more insight into my Savior and my God and my own life. And each congregation of Christians has reminded me that nobody is perfect. I love when people make themselves vulnerable and show their weaker side, and the things that they struggle with. Whether its being LGBTQ, or having an addiction, or being depressed or a million others things, we all have something we struggle with. And it seems to me that those who are willing to be open about their struggles, are the same people who are able to love others who are struggling. We may not have the same background or education level or sexuality or skin color, but we are all trying to do our best and trying to become better. My favorite Christians are the ones that love me and truly show that they care about me, whether they agree with how I am living my life or not. And I am trying to become that same person for others.
For those struggling to accept or maybe even acknowledge their LGBTQ brothers and sisters, I would say just try it. Take thirty seconds out of your day to say hello, ask how they are doing, and overtime I think you will see that we are just like you.
For those of you struggling to find a balance between being LGBTQ and bring a Christian, I would say take your time. There is no rush. God has nowhere to be except to stand by you as you run or walk or crawl through this experience. Your answer and your balance might not look like mine or like anyone else’s, but you will know when you’ve found it. I promise it gets better.
This is a small insight into my life and into my beliefs, but please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or comments. I am so grateful for those who took the time to listed and talk to me when I was first trying to figure everything out and in turn I am doing my best to listen and help others along the way.
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This In My Own Words story is a contribution from Let’s Love Better, a Facebook group dedicated to helping people learn to better share love, while fostering an atmosphere of understanding. When we know better, we do better.