Celebrate Being Known
-Ashley Detar Birt
O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. -Psalm 139:1-5
During the summer I realized I was queer, I spent a great deal of time praying for understanding. I didn’t understand the new feelings I was experiencing, and as a result I felt distant from God. I went to church looking for answers, but still left feeling lonely and confused. How could I possibly know God anymore? I barely knew myself.
Thankfully, God knew me. God had always known me, continues to know me, and will continue to know me. Just because it took me some time to recognize and accept who I am doesn’t mean God was ever confused about me. I was exactly who God made me to be.
There is something amazing about a God who knows us so intimately. Whether we are accepting our sexual orientation, living into the gender identity we are called to, or expressing ourselves as beloved beings, God knows who we are and who we are becoming. As we journey towards a better understanding of ourselves, God watches us. When we reach the other side with a better understanding of who we are called to be, God is there, waiting for us. We are always loved, always known, and never alone.
As you continue about your week, remember that God has searched you and knows you. Your sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression may evolve, but God is right there in that evolution with you. Celebrate your relationship between yourself and God!
About The Author
Ashley Detar Birt is the Director of Christian Education at Rutgers Presbyterian Church in New York City. She obtained her Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary, an MA in Theater Arts from the University of Pittsburgh, and a BA in Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University. She serves on the board of More Light Presbyterians and blogs on the intersections of race, sexuality, and faith for Believe Out Loud.