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Everyone, before you continue to read, take a deep breath. Inhale. Exhale. Ok, here it goes. I, Devin Beasley, am a girl. I love God, I love a girl, and that’s okay. 

  

Phew! Okay now check your pulse, still good? And you’re still breathing?! Awesome, great news. Now that my existence hasn’t killed you, here’s a little bit of my story.  

 

So, I always have believed in God, and never have doubted it. My family would make it to church when we could while I was growing up, but sports happened with my brother and I, so, naturally, I ended up in a basketball gym on Sundays rather than in church. As time went on, I always had the same mindset about God. I always have known there is a higher power, and I acknowledged that, but it was never a tangible meaning for me.  

 

That is, until August of 2017, when I was baptized at Crossroads Church, that I knew this feeling was so much more. For my athletes out there, I felt as if he picked me to “be on his team.” That is what I craved all along- to feel the same feelings that I saw every other believer in Christ feel. I envied that. I wished I knew what actors, athletes, and CEO’s meant when they would all stand up at their award shows and say, “All Glory to God.” I always wondered what that felt like, to understand that you couldn’t have made it to that point in your life without God first. I yearned for that comfort, that faith, that trust. It wasn’t until I started my relationship with God that I started to get it - to understand, “Oh, so this is what it feels like.”   

 

So, I always believed in love too, no doubt about it. However, I wasn’t the first one to run and tell my friends about my first crush, to cry over boyfriends, to get googly eyed at high school jocks- it just never was me. Honestly, all I cared about while growing up was basketball. However, I always wondered if there was more to this whole love thing? Deep down, I did want to feel the feelings that the movies portrayed- I mean who doesn’t want the fairytale love story? I always wondered what that felt like, to understand that you couldn’t have made it to that point in your life without living side by side with that one special person. I yearned for that comfort. That faith in knowing that a certain special love was out there- that wholesome trust.  It wasn’t until I started a relationship with a girl that I started to get it- to understand, “Oh, so this is what it feels like.”  

 

My journey with God wasn’t always easy. To this day, I still face hardships. On some days, my faith is sturdy. But on other days, I, and I’m sure many others wrestle with the same internal question, “What is my purpose here on Earth?” There are many days where I must have heart-to-heart conversations between God and myself to get me back into the right mindset. But I love that about my relationship with God. It’s real. It’s not always going to be butterflies and roses, the answers aren’t always going to be spelled out for me. Frankly, that’s what a relationship is all about. It’s about investing your trust, your time, and your faith. It’s about growing together, and it’s knowing that no matter what, God is always right there next to you and He will never let you go.  

 

My journey with being in a same-sex relationship wasn’t always easy. First came the self-doubt and self-denial stages. Then, once I finally got over myself, it was time to tell my family and my friends. Some were shocked, others not so much. It took some people years to comprehend while it took others a mere second, and I had to be okay with all the different time frames. There were some relationships that were a little rocky for a bit after I told them, while other situations were smooth- like water-skiing on a glass lake. I’m so thankful, looking back, that I was able to experience both situations, because that gave me the maturity to understand all people. To not only see things from other’s points of view, but to respect those points of view.  

 

Fast forward to this day, when I can truly say that I have the most amazing support system. I can also say that I have the most amazing girl. She makes this world a much better place, and me, a much better human. She is my person. She makes love everything that love is supposed to be. It’s real. It’s not always going to be butterflies and roses, and the answers aren’t always going to be spelled out for us. Frankly, that’s what a relationship is all about. It’s about investing your trust, your time, and your faith. It’s about growing together. And it’s knowing that no matter what, your person is always right there next to you and she will never let you go.  

 

As you can see, this is where my two journeys collide. These are the two most important loves of my life (I love you too, Mom!). I love God first and foremost, and I love my person. However, some believe that I can’t love both as a Christian - at least, not at the same time. I must either love God or love a girl.  

 

But why does it have to be a choice? 

 

I believe that God created me to love. He created me to thrive. He created me to be all that I can be. And I refuse to believe that because my heart chose an amazing person, that He will turn me away when my time comes. I know that I was created in God’s image. He, Himself, knows my every thought, my every feeling, my true heart.  So, if I am going to be judged by anything one day at the Pearly Gates, I will gladly lay my heart down on the line. If my worst sin is love, then I will go down swinging.  

 

I’m not saying that I’m avoiding what some will lay out in my comments section: “But Devin, you’re just picking and choosing what you want to see! God created man and woman!” Pump the brakes, I know.  

 

But I also know that God’s arms are open to me. I know God accepts me. I know God also accepts my person who loves Him too with all she has. And finally, I know that if we all try to battle back and forth by throwing bible verse bullets at one another, we won’t get anywhere. The only thing that would work is quite simply, love. Love means taking the time to sit down and hear our story and for us to hear yours. To try to understand each other more. We just want to be able to be a part of the same conversation.  

 

We want to live the same life and get the same amount of enthusiasm in love that a heterosexual relationship gets when they choose God in their relationship. We want to get to walk the same path and live our life with Jesus throughout our future marriage. We don’t want to have to make the choice between God and our love. I also don’t want anyone who feels the same as me to think that they must choose between being who they are and being a believer in God. Because, listen to me real quick, God is the truth, and He shows you the truth in your heart. He created you to be the unique person that you are. He created you to shine, and He created you to love. So why do we, as Christians, have to be choosy with our love? Does God want us saying, “Yes, I can love you. Oh, you love someone who is the same sex as you? Nope, sorry, it turns out that I actually can’t love you.” What’s wrong with loving so hard that you fall into it? If we are just simply choosing love, then why can’t we have the two most glorious things put on this earth and at the same time - God and true love? 

 

We have so much work to do here for the people who are forced to make a choice to either love God or don’t love at all. Because, at the end of the day, I’m willing to fight for love, for me, for my person, for all of the people who fight the same fight, and for God. I’m not scared, God told me not to be. “Fear not,” He said. I know one day, when it’s all said and done, I will see my Maker’s face. He will look at all who were able to choose Him and love, and with that, He will open his arms out wide and say, “You loved me, you loved her and that’s okay, because I love you.”