I’m not sure how to write this.
I don’t even know if I should be writing this. When it comes down to it though, I believe that it is worth writing this.
I don’t know if anyone is going to read this, and maybe that’s okay. But I need to get something off my chest.
My name is Noah Vella, and I’m currently in my fifth and (hopefully) final year at Heritage Bible College in Cambridge. Most of you who are reading this probably know that. Most of you probably know I’m into music and stuff, and graphics and whatnot.
There’s the saying, “What they don’t know won’t hurt ’em,” and I mean, few of us use that phrase too often, cause we all know that dishonesty will eventually catch up to you, and you’ll end up hurting people.
I never thought the phrase could be turned in on itself, though.
That what they don’t know could hurt you.
See, there’s something really interesting when you know for a fact that the narrative people think you’re living is not the narrative you know you’re living. And I know that applies to all of us in some way.
What I mean though is, when people automatically assume something about you, which they do in general, and there’s no harm in it by itself–it’s just logical; some things we still don’t really need to ask questions about when getting to know someone. I get it, it’s fair.
But when they get it wrong, and you need someone who understands–where do you go? You’d either have to go to all the trouble of explaining it to someone yourself–all the while knowing that even if they “knew,” they couldn’t really know what you’re going through…
You either do that, or you find someone who’s like you so that you actually feel understood. It’s simple, it’s honest it’s relational. It’s good.
Given the two options above, which would you pick? Which would get your heart-needs met quicker and deeper?
Probably number 2. Right?
But what if you knew that the way that most people like you dealt with the issue was something you disagreed with, and knew to be harmful.
And say you knew people like you who agreed with your views on the issue, but who also were not dealing with it in an honest and healthy way.
How are you going to feel understood. How are you going to feel genuinely loved?
How are you going to grow until either the issue miraculously vanishes or you meet someone like you who you can genuinely learn from?
I get that all that’s really vague, but I think it would put all of us in a tension.
The point of this is
(if you haven’t already guessed it)
I struggle with same-sex attraction.
Some would say that means I’m gay, but I choose my words intentionally, to call it what it is before I put my identity in something that is not worthy of it.
That being said,
this means I have colossal identity issues.
And I get lonely,
And I know that the world has a tailor-made identity label and lifestyle ready to go for me whenever I want it…
But then there’s Jesus.
I honestly don’t know how my life would have gone if I hadn’t met him, but I know that a suicide attempt or two would have definitely been in the picture.
And if unsuccessful, I probably would have taken that gay label and lifestyle and ran with it.
But Jesus has interrupted my life story in such a way that I can’t honestly believe that he doesn’t care about me enough to want what’s best for me.
And the Bible has shone with too much beauty and radiance before my eyes for me to believe that it’s alright for me to handle it in the way some scholars do.
All I know is that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is my only hope, and the love of God is my only reason for breathing in… and breathing out.
I know that what God says is right, and that in Christ, he doesn’t call me wrong; it is my sin that is wrong. And I know that there is a difference between temptation and giving into wrong thoughts,
But other temptations don’t make me feel so lonely.
And, just to clarify–like I’ve said to the men in my life who I’ve expressed this to, if you think you’d be a source of “stumbling” to me, well… let’s just say…
Don’t flatter yourself.
I may listen to a lot of Taylor Swift, but I ain’t that easy.
But in all seriousness,
This makes life real complicated.
And my heart is often in knots.
Knots that are way too tight for my fingers to untangle.
But this is not me “coming out of the closet”;
nothing’s changing, and I’m the same person now as before you knew this about me.
To be sure, I believe what the Bible says on this subject, and I believe that the Bible is good and right in what it says.
And I believe that this does not disqualify me from being a faithful, fulfilling and loving husband someday to a wife with a heart that’s God-gifted with tenderness and understanding.
And I don’t believe that this makes me any less of a man,
But that doesn’t mean I don’t struggle to believe those things…
especially that last one.
And so this is the reason I am posting this.
Maybe it’s a bad idea, and maybe I’ll lose some respect or some friends,
but I know that at its core, I’ll have lost them due to a culture that isn’t comfortable with this kind of honesty.
But I hope that that doesn’t happen.
I hope that we can be a people who people like me don’t have to be afraid of anymore.
Because there are many of us.
And maybe that’s you.
Or maybe you want to understand a little better.
And maybe you have questions.
If either 3 is the case for you, don’t be afraid to contact me.
But, if you’re in the first category,
let’s talk for a second
I encourage you with these words I stumbled upon when I was trying to figure myself out recently, (albeit, from a non-Christian source.):
listen to me
YOU ARE NOT SICK
YOU ARE NOT WRONG
AND GOD DOES NOT HATE YOU.
Furthermore, you don’t have to be defined by what you have done, or what you feel…
Even if those feelings strike very deep in your heart, and there’s sensitive nerve endings around this whole subject for you.
If you are in Christ,
your identity is spelled out like this:
“YOU WERE WASHED, YOU WERE SANCTIFIED, YOU WERE JUSTIFIED
IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND BY THE SPIRIT OF OUR GOD.”
(1 Cor. 6:11)
Read that again, and again.
God is not ashamed of you.
If you’re interested, there are several figures that have greatly helped me understand a ton about myself, the Bible and the world around me;
Rosaria Butterfield, Jackie-Hill Perry, Sam Allberry, and Christopher Yuan to name a few.
And before you keep reading,
Remember those names.
In a world full of mixed messages and so many voices speaking about this subject, it is very important to listen to those that listen to the voice of God first and foremost.
That was heavy one folks.
But I hope that after all this, you see that it is okay to struggle with faith, and it is okay to be honest.
I hope you see that there are people who walk and talk like you who wish that they could be honest with you
—so be a safe person. Please.
If you’re like me, I hope you see that Jesus is our only hope.
I don’t for a second want to pretend I’ve answered every question here
so keep asking.
Ask God first, and caring people second. Seek out people who are willing to listen to your story, be that me or someone else who is trustworthy, and has their feet planted on the Good News of God’s reckless love for very broken people (aka, all of us.)
The Love of God is a bigger Title than any of the confusing things we feel.
And thank God for that.
Thank you for reading.