Lost But Now I’m Found

Just for a little “Lee Religion History,” I was born and baptized a Catholic.  My Mom got a divorce and was excommunicated when she remarried.  Years later, my step-dad took us kids to a Presbyterian Church.  A friend invited me to a new start-up church and I went with her and was impressed.  It was a Grace Brethren Church where I accepted Jesus as my Savior.  I invited my family and we all became members.  I started at Grace College, then to Bethel College where I received my BA in Biblical Literature and Psychology.

When the puzzle pieces finally fell together, the realization came that I was gay, so did the exclusion of most churches.  When I worked up the courage to tell my husband, he outed me to all, including my minister. At that time, I was involved in a mainline church that was not affirming.  I never went back, knowing I would not be welcome there.

I did try a few others, but Christ was not the center in any of them.  I felt lost.

Two years ago, I rode to ride my motorcycle from Chicago to my new home in Peoria, AZ. While riding along on a lonely road, I saw an interesting clump of tar.  Before I knew it, I was in it.  I was not an experienced enough rider to get out of it.  My Guardian Angel picked up me and my bike, and set us back on our journey.  I immediately thanked God and said I would go to church on my first Sunday in Arizona.  I did, but it wasn’t the right fit.

One sunny day, as I was driving down Happy Valley Road, I saw a big banner in front of a church—very near my house—that said “an Open & Affirming Congregation.”  Bingo. I was there the next Sunday morning.  The church people were friendly to this lone woman sitting in the back, close to the door.  I remember one Sunday tears started running down my cheeks.  I was home, I was found.

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