The author also announced that he and his wife were divorcing.

Best-selling Christian author Matthew Paul Turner, who has written books like When I Pray for You and When God Made the World, has come out as gay in a moving Facebook post, and announced that he and his wife are divorcing.

In the post, Matthew wrote: “Dear friends, I have difficult news to share. After much thought, prayer, and counseling, Jessica and I have made the decision to end our marriage. While we’re best friends and thoroughly love doing life, parenting, and pursuing our dreams together, ending our marriage is necessary because I am gay.

“Being gay isn’t a new discovery for me. However, as someone who spent 30+ years in fundamentalist/evangelical churches, exploring God through conservative theologies, I’ve lived many days overwhelmed by fear, shame, and self-hatred.

“Though my own faith evolved long ago to become LGBTQ+ affirming, my journey toward recognizing, accepting and embracing myself took much longer. But for the first time in my life, despite the sadness and grief I’m feeling right now, I can say with confidence that I’m ready to embrace freedom, hope, and God as a gay man.”

He also praised his wife, Jessica, for her support, writing: “I would not be able to say that without Jessica’s undying grace and support. I fell in love with her 17 years ago and still love her deeply. Despite her own grief and pain, she has loved and encouraged me to be fully me.

“Many of the steps I’ve taken recently wouldn’t have happened without Jessica walking beside me, helping me through every fear. Jessica is and will always be my hero. She’s brave, strong and showcases love like nobody I know.”

Jessica also wrote her own post, saying: “How do you write the most vulnerable, hardest post you’ve written in 14 years of being online?

“My husband, my best friend has bravely shared his deepest truth this past year. He is gay. While this doesn’t change how much we love him, it does change our relationship. We are moving forward with ending our marriage, while remaining deeply committed to our family and each other.

“We have worked for more than a year on trying to make our marriage work, even in light of Matthew’s truth, but it wasn’t healthy or fair to us or our children. We feel confident that this is the next right step for each of us and our family.”

via Flickr

Matthew has received a lot of support since coming out, with his Facebook post gaining over 1,000 likes. One friend wrote: “Proud of you Matthew, also proud of Jess. I have been where she is and my ex husband and I are still very good friends, we co-parented and now co-grandparent. He, his husband and my husband and all of us spend lots of beautiful family time time together. Life is better when we live into who God creates us to be.”

Another wrote: “Peace and love to you and your family! You have been an inspiration in my life for the last decade, and you are still continuing to inspire me with the way you are handling this. Also, welcome to the big beautiful family that is the LGBTQ+ community!”

While a third added: “Blessings to all of you on this journey. Kudos to your courage and love, supporting one another through it all is remarkable and just what your kids need.”

Matthew also confirmed that he was intending to continue writing, saying: “I will continue to write children’s books and am grateful for the support of my publisher Convergent Books. Writing books about wholeness, hope, and God’s love for children is an honor and privilege I do not take for granted.”

Related: Here are all the celebrities who’ve come out as LGBTQ+ in 2020 (so far)