Letter to my teenage self: Jeremy
Firstly I want to say that I love you so much and I really hope you can listen to what I have to say with an open heart and mind. I know what you're going through and how hard it is right now but it isn't always going to be this way.
Deep down I know you believe that God loves you for who you are. I know you're struggling to love yourself and I know you're about to experience so much pain and anger, but you don't have to. Nothing the Bible says is condemning you, your feelings of gender confusion or your gayness. God loves you so much, God is all about love and inclusion. God is beyond gender and beyond sexuality. God uses male and female pronouns. Are you hearing me? You are beautiful.
You struggle to be happy within yourself, you struggle with your body image and your aspergers. You don't feel like you're understood or appreciated. You dream of waking up straight with a family, even though you don't want to change. Be honest, you need to be honest, you just want to be you and fall in love with someone who thinks the world of you.
Well, spoilers(!), you find him! It's 2020 and you're married to a guy called Jack who would literally do anything for you, follow you anywhere and love you forever. You have the most perfect little doggie, Belle, and you feel complete. You're part of a church who love you for you, no strings attached. No more "you can sit down but you're not one of us" rubbish.
I'm guessing you feel a bit angry now, upset that you eventually give in to your sin. But who says love is a sin? Where does it say that you need to live a life filled with so much self hatred and shame? Loving Jesus means loving yourself and others too. You need to love or else you can't hope to live.
It will be scary and you will lose a lot of people in your life, but they weren't investing in you anyway. They couldn't love you, or support you, or even see you as a Christian. To them you were some sort of depraved creature. But you're going to be so loved. You're going to have the best of friends, a dream job, a family who love you and support you. You'll have an amazing little family and you'll never need to be ashamed of yourself ever again.
You are free. You are reborn. You love God more than you can even imagine. You are loved more than I can even imagine. If you've read this far then thank you. I think of you often and I know you can get through this, because you already have.
Love and hugs,
Your future self, Jack and Belle.