A Year-end reflection

Photo by Tim Foster on Unsplash
by Mark, a Courage member
Photo by Thomas Grams on Unsplash

I joined Courage at the end of 2021. Having lived in the closet for over thirty years, I was fearful and guarded about coming out in an unfamiliar group and in church. Back then, I imagined that when I encounter Jesus in Holy Communion I would spontaneously combust into fire because of my “sin”. 

Today, I am more authentic and hopeful about the future. I am more integrated and find more meaning in life. I no longer believe my desires and attractions are a sin but part of my sexual orientation. The invitation is to manage them to avoid sin. I am grateful I am better able to manage my actual sins. 

Courage had a significant part to play in my transformation. I am grateful for our faith foundation, the safe space, shared trust, the many challenges and learning gained throughout my time spent with the community. I experienced the growth I needed –  a willingness to be vulnerable before a faith community and before God.

The honest sharing of our lives, successes and failures is like the breaking of bread with the community. These moments met my relational needs in a healthy way. I learnt to understand what it means to be seen, comforted, and supported/challenged in a safe and secure environment. 

The support I received, not only brought me closer to God and the community, it also helped me to be more authentic with my family and to give back to the community and the wider church.

While I have not encountered Jesus in the dramatic manner I previously feared, I realised that I am already encountering Him in this community as I grow. I believe that the Lord has been guiding my journey all this while. 

As the year ends, I thank God for how He has transformed my life through the work of the Holy Spirit. I am grateful to Fr Adrian (our spiritual director) and fellow  members who have journeyed with me. They have come together to build a safe, relaxed and prayerful environment at Courage. This grace given by God through Courage continues to support me as I continue to reconcile my faith and my sexuality. I desire to grow in deeper integration, to live a meaningful life, and to fully own my primary identity as a beloved child of God.

As the Courage community continues to grow, I pray all members will find safe and rich soil to support our faith journey, have greater patience to wait for God’s time, experience greater hope for the future, and flourish more as children of God. I pray that everyone in the Courage community will grow to be good stewards of our shared space and continue to build our church and community for each other  and others whom God may be calling to share this faith with us.

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Mark is a Courage member who strives to live a wholesome and integrated life.

The opinions and experiences expressed in each entry in the Reflections page belong solely to the original authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of Courage Singapore. Some entries have been edited for length and clarity.