Answered by: LBP Board Member Joni

First I want to look at what authentic means, “genuine, accurate in representation”. What does genuine mean, “not counterfeit, real, free from pretense”.

So how can we be authentic, the real us, genuinely who we are, while keeping a part of us hidden in secret? It can definitely cause discord inside of us as we feel we are not being honest and shame can creep in as we feel our integrity lacking by not being fully us, who we are at all times in front of all people. For many of us, discovering who we are authentically can be a journey in itself. When I finally accepted the sexual part of me and identified that I was in fact a lesbian, I began to understand a lot about myself. Things suddenly made sense deep inside and pieces came together that had seemed jagged and just didn’t fit. Initially, I was discovering who I was fully, the real me and embracing that while at the same time I did have to live in secret. I began to accept who I was and then seek to discover that God also accepted me as I was and in fact, knew all along who I was as He created me fully to be me. I allowed Him to let this truth go deep in my spirit and in my heart.. it took awhile for me to fully believe it. I learned that being a lesbian was only a part of who I was and that God has truly made me a beautiful mosaic, several things making me ME. I think it is possible to live authentically while not being open to others about every piece that makes you who you are. Doing that though, I believe, comes from a place of accepting yourself and being at peace with who you truly are. You can walk in authenticity and hold those dear things close to your heart without parading them around others. Keeping things close to your heart does not mean you are deceiving others or lying to them, it just simply means you are using wisdom until you feel you are able to share those things with them.

Psalm 139, this entire chapter is something that I read out loud to myself often. I want to highlight a couple of the verses in this chapter.

verses 1-3 “O Lord, You have searched me and KNOWN me, You know my sitting down and my rising up, You UNDERSTAND my thoughts afar off. You COMPREHEND my path and my lying down and are ACQUAINTED with all my ways.”

verse 13a “For You formed my inward parts…”

verse 15a “My frame was not HIDDEN from You when I was made in SECRET…”