Use your words.

About 6 months ago, I got asked to write for my first published book. Well, it’s not MY book, but a book with other authors, I’m just one of them. It’s on ministering to LGBTQ youth. I was hesitant because it’s not the normal theological circle I run in. But I thought, “what the heck?” I always wanted to say I was a writer. I mean, I’ve written children’s stories, how hard could it be to write about being inclusive to LGBTQ youth?

Y’all, writing on a professional level is hard. Being honest with your heart and theology is hard. Turning things in on time is hard. (I am especially gifted in this area, which is why I’m so grateful to our editor.) Laying it all out there and joining your voice with those who you don’t completely agree with is hard and scary and literally makes me cry each time I have to revisit it because it is raw and real and I BELIEVE that creating a church that is fully welcoming and all inclusive is the only way we will usher in God’s kin-dom.

But it is hard.

But damn it, this is important. It’s important because I refuse to let people in churches think it’s okay to treat anyone as less than or that God’s love has conditions. I refuse to let people think that “love the sinner, hate the sin” theology is acceptable. I refuse to let people think that God loves them less because they don’t fit a mold. I refuse to let people think that it’s okay to put God in a box and gender God when God is bigger than the gender binaries we have created.

Writing is hard. And I have more respect for writers than I could ever imagine after this. You literally put yourself out there with each word and sentence you write. Then you give it to someone you might not know and let them rip it apart if that’s what it takes, and then they give it back to you and say, make it better. Then you have to do it again.

But it is worth it. It is so worth it if this means that Gods work is getting done. Here’s to hoping.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Rev Christine vogel says:

    Shelley: great to see you’re on the verge of being published!!
    What’s the name of the book — i am assuming it’s a collection of essays — and when does it come out (no pun intended)?

    Blessings! Christine


    1. Hey Christine! The book comes out the beginning of January.


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