God has used this testimony of this man, a pastor and one of my new friends, to open my eyes even more to the reality that same sex attraction is not limited to any particular “style” of life or “type” of person. People from all different backgrounds struggle with these feelings, and I think that’s something that needs to be realized. It’s not just the people that are “out” and proud that have homosexual feelings, but many people….some of whom truly love Jesus Christ….have these feelings as well. This man’s story is much different from those which I’ve posted in the past… and I am certain multitudes will be able to relate to it.
Here is his story:
Where do I begin telling this story of my life that no one fully knows? My mind races to so many different times. It also fills with fear and doubt. Can I really share it and it be ok?…
Well, here it goes the best I know how to share it. As a young boy I always liked doing things that my sister and the other young girl my mom kept did. They played with barbies, so I played with barbies. I didn’t have any guys to play with so I did whatever they were doing. We lived near my great grandmother and she loved to garden and talk about flowers and make crafts. I enjoyed following along and doing the same. It was obvious that I wasn’t like most other little boys.
I started to elementary school and my friends were mostly girls. In elementary school I had some friends who bought some books at the book fair. I remember coming home as a young boy and my dad seeing the books I had bought. He took them from me and told me that I had bought girl books and I should not have done that. I remember being so crushed and confused. At this point things were beginning to get worse. I didn’t fit in at school and I was over concerned about germs and cleanliness. Things that people said or did really bothered me and I worried about everything. My dad thought I was crazy and told me that, as he discussed sending me to see a counselor. Things got so rough for me in middle school that my parents decided to homeschool me 7th and 8th grade. I was relieved that I would not have to go to school and be around my peers.
I began to discover things about my body and during those days after school with my mom I would go spend time at my great grandparents home. I would read about puberty and development wherever I could find information. I would read about sex in Redbook and watch the soap operas my great grandparents had on TV. I learned much I didn’t need to learn or at least from the wrong sources. During this time my grandparents got a computer and I came across the picture of a guy aroused. This fed my curiosity. I wondered if I was normal. Why did I feel attracted to other guys. Why did I long to be someone else? Was I really crazy like my Dad said?
By 9th grade my parents had decided to re-enroll me in high school where I could be involved in more things with my peer group. There were some good things during this time and some bad things. I was the new kid so some people were drawn to me but at the same time I was the new kid and I was different. I had a senior who was a popular jock ask me if I was gay. I still remember where I was and how it felt. He was the same guy who later exposed himself at PE and started saying I know you are looking at me. I did want to see him but I didn’t want him to think that at all. I was curious and longed to be like the popular guys. I felt conflicting feelings.
I did come to know Christ when I was 15 and that brought some confidence to my life but I still didn’t feel like I belonged. I knew my homosexual thoughts were wrong but I couldn’t seem to overcome them as easily as I thought I should be able to. My dad would try to get me to call girls and go out but I was too afraid of looking stupid and I hated the thought of flirting because I thought it was silly. I always looked up to the jocks because they all seemed to have the girls and the confidence. I wanted to be liked.
While in high school I had a coach who would dismiss my class by who he valued. He would let the sports players go, the cheerleaders, and the band and then he would say, “The rest of you can now go.” Those words would haunt me. I poured myself in to everything but sports but I never felt I was good enough because I wasn’t an athlete. I did not feel I could please anyone especially my dad, the one I wanted to please the most.
I dated a girl my junior year and I felt the arousal of desires but I didn’t really like her. I just wanted to be accepted so I was glad to have a girlfriend.
My senior year I grew in Christ and felt much more contentment but I still often thought about guys. I loved having a close relationship with another guy. During this season I had one friend who I spent a lot of time with and if he had shown any interest toward me I probably would have crossed some lines that I would have regretted. We would wrestle and goof off like guys do and my body would react and I would get upset because I didn’t understand why. I am thankful through it all that God protected me.
I moved off to college after graduation and my porn habit picked up. I downloaded videos on Napster and saw way more than I needed too. I would go through seasons where I would do better and then I would spiral downward again. I took a ministry position in college and it put a ton of pressure on me that I wasn’t ready to handle. During this season I came really close to crossing some lines that would have forever changed me and my future but God’s grace continued to protect me. I dealt with depression and stress and they sent me toward my coping mechanism, more porn. Ministry and a sin habit don’t go well together. It is only by grace that I did not lose all that God had blessed me with. If I could go back I would have shared my struggle with another man or seen a counselor in order to help me process all that I was going through.
From college I moved on to seminary and went through a very difficult season until I met my wife. We met after my semester in school. I finally found someone who I loved to talk to and spend time with. About two months into our relationship I told her about my struggle with same sex attraction. She accepted me through my tears and brokenness. I loved her even more for accepting. It was the hardest thing to say to her because I was afraid she would reject me or feel like I wasn’t attracted to her.
Things improved but my wife and I faced a ton together. During all of these ups and downs I continued to wrestle with thoughts about other men. At times I risked rejection an opened up to some people in my life. Each time I did that I was relieved when they accepted me and loved me.
I believe the rest of my life that I will be putting sin to death in my flesh and seeking to walk by the Spirit. I often want to give up but God’s grace sustains me and allows me to persevere. He shows me small victories and has recently provided me some new people to confide in and share my struggle. Accountability has been very helpful for me and God has given me some wonderful believers to walk with through this struggle.
God is good and my struggle does not change that fact. I must trust him and walk by faith. Sin is who I was before Christ and now I am a saint who is being made into the likeness of Christ.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)
Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. (Romans 6:13 ESV)
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. (Hebrews 12:3-4 ESV)”