First, Matt, The world is a beautiful and complicated place, and the sooner you embrace that the better. I know right now you are in love with the Bible and only really trust people with a similar respect for it. That’s fine, but as a wise man once said, “All truth is God’s truth.” Learn all you can about the Scriptures and your faith, but cast your net wide. And don’t let your love of God ever get in the way of your curiosity about the world. After all, if you’re right about God, He created it all and loves it. Explore it and fall in love with it. Extend this generosity to other ways of thinking and believing too: you’ll be wise to read widely and generously. Read, hear, listen. Test before rejecting. There have been a lot of smart people all over the world over the centuries. Don’t be afraid to learn from them. Again: If God is who you believe He is, then All truth is is God’s truth. To reject foreign ideas without understanding and testing them is really just a sign of your own insecruity about your beliefs. Relax and learn. You’ll be richer for it.
You are a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for.
Keep the people you love close to you. (On that note, don’t worry about mom. She’ll come through what’s happening now better than ever, even if it will take a bit of time.)
Now, the pink elephant in the room … Things aren’t going to work out the way you want them to. A time will come when your circumstances will force you to engage your sexuality in a different way. This probably comes as a shock and disappointment to you. But I want you to know that you fought hard and stubbornly for what you believed was best, without ungraciousness towards those who made different choices and without living a double life. You can be proud of yourself for that. Don’t worry; it will be okay. Remember: you’re stronger than you give yourself credit for.
I’m not going to try to push you to take steps you don’t want to take. I know you aren’t ready to hear it and I know you need to follow your faith through until the end. I understand that. In many ways, your faith will serve you well: you will learn many things about the world, yourself, and your relationships through it. It will also reveal to you much beauty and allow you to meet many wonderful people who will shape you in ways you can’t imagine yet. But, following Jesus will also complicate your life in untold ways and even cause some harm. Be prepared for both the joy and the frustrations and confusions: It will be a far rockier road than you imagine now. Ultimately, it will come to a dead end at the edge of the abyss, but there will be much beauty and wonder along the way. (Despite how things turned out, on most days, I still think it was a road worth travelling.)
But while I’m not going to tell you what to do, I do have a few things I’d like to say: Extend grace to yourself and others dealing with these complicated issues of faith and sexuality. What you — and they — are dealing with is Big and hard. Especially for Christians. You probably already have figured out that God doesn’t respond to this as you’d hope or expect. You’re not going to get an answer to ‘why’, and it’s going to continue causing you a lot of frustration and confusion over the years. Go easy on yourself, and better yet, go easy on those who make different choices or who give up the fight before you do. (I’m not just saying this from my perspective now; you’ll figure it out for yourself in a couple years anyway). And if (I say ‘if’ for your benefit, since I know you can’t accept ‘when’) you find you need to make that step yourself, remember also to extend a similar grace to those who aren’t there yet. It’s a very personal thing; everyone deserves to do it in their own way and in their own time.
Lastly, and most importantly, I need to repeat that it will all be okay. You will come through the difficult times and emerge a better, stronger, more gracious, more forgiving, and more loving you.