pride

Rainbow flags at church.

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Something big happened recently.

And the fact that it fell on my birthday, was just one of those moments I felt God smile on my life – so I smiled back.

July 25 was our first in-person church service at Open Door Church since Covid, and that was (CUE TEARS) emotional enough.

It was also a faith milestone for me.

Our pastor Bradley asked me to be the one to hang the rainbow flag on our building, as part of our becoming an official affirming church. (😭❤️🌈🙏)

I wasn’t prepared for the feelings that flooded my body as I (unsteadily) climbed the ladder(s) to hang this flag. All my years of feeling rejected from church and knowing that I would never truly be welcome.

Wow. What this means to me. To my faith. To my family. To my LGBTQ Christian community.

What this means especially to those who gave up hope desperately wanting to see this beacon in their night.

I want to sit with this.

I want to let it slowly sink to the bottom of my soul like a heavy rock laden with gratefulness.

I want the dust that it kicks up to be my continual reminder that good change is alive and well.

Never give up, my friends. You are SO loved.

My books! Pride recommended reading!

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Wowzers! A huge thank you to Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) for putting both “Rainbow Boy” (Picture Books category) & “Still Stace: My Gay Christian Coming-of-Age Story” (Young Adult category) on their recommended reading list for Pride month 2021! (Four months today until Still Stace comes out!!)

Pride.

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It’s the last day of pride month. 🌈

2020 has felt more formative for me than ever.

My gay Christian journey started when I was 16, but now that I am (so very) close to the big 4-0, I feel like I am just beginning in a lot of ways. I’m truly learning what it means to trust myself – the deep, knowing me inside. To show up for myself and do hard things.

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I’m learning it’s good and necessary to take up space in this world, to say things, to deeply feel things.

2020 has been a tremendously hard year – for everyone – but often the hardest times bring about the most growth and beauty. I have a sense the coming months for me will be the hardest, but I am tenaciously hopeful and believing for the growth and beauty in the midst of it. (Maybe, because of it.)

A friend sent me this quote that I have said to myself every day lately:

“I will go, and I will go afraid.”

– Morgan Harper Nichols

I hope that wherever you are on your coming out journey, you know it is okay.

You are more than okay.  You are loved.

Happy Pride, my friends. ❤️🌈🎉

📷 Photo of Stacey ©2019 Camilla Hrytzak.