Sarah said that as a child, in her heart she was looking for God. She attended an Anglican church and remembers frequently confessing her ‘sins’ because that is what she was taught to do. Sarah didn’t know what ‘sins’ were, only that saying sorry repeatedly was required.
Discovering her sexuality at the age the age of 13, and coming out was a very painful, lonely process involving self rejection and a belief others would reject her. She could not understand why a God would have created her to suffer in this way. She concluded that as she had been to church a lot and not found God then he could not exist. She now saw herself as an atheist.
Homophobia in school caused her major stress and unhappiness.
She then made contact with the LGBT young people’s group run by Hayley and for the first time found support from people who understood her sexuality. She became active in that group. As she understood herself more, she was able to support others and she eventually chaired the group and represented them to different official bodies.
Hayley was keen for the young people’s group to be aware of all the LGBT groups locally so suggested that they visit all local groups including Liberty Church. Sarah couldn’t understand why Hayley wanted to visit Liberty but came along anyway.
The evening of the visit Hayley and two young people, including Sarah, came and had a meal at the mid week meeting. After the meal different people around the table spoke about their relationship with God and what Liberty Church meant to them and answered questions that came up. Sarah had never heard people speak openly about how they related to God before. She felt God was saying to her ‘This is it’ and she knew this was what she had been searching for.
It was nearly a year after that first visit that I followed up on that ‘inner voice’ and came to Liberty one Sunday evening. It was not as she expected a Sunday service to be. It was lively, not miserable and a bit strange to see people singing with their hands in the air. However she felt at ease, liked it and wanted to come back.
A few Sundays later, during the worship, she felt she connected with God. It was like receiving a great big hug from Him and gave her an incredible sense of peace deep inside.
Sarah now knows that God loves her. She senses He is with her and she talks to him in her heart. She has more peace within her and her friends have noticed that she is calmer.
She concluded be saying that in the past her church had taught her to seek forgiveness and strive to be perfect. At Liberty she has found that God loves her as she is and she has come to know Him for herself.