I‘ve been a Christian my whole life, and I have many stories of God’s love and miracles. I’ve personally experienced his healing power, both spiritually and physically. One of these stories, when God healed my lungs of asthma, was what I was planning to share when I was asked to share a testimony. But it’s not what God wanted me to share this time.
God wanted me to share something much more personal than that – something that I have moved past, but that I still have trouble speaking about, even to my closest friends.
I’ve always had the dream of being a father. I’ve always wanted to know that kind of love – the love a parent has for his children. But at the same time, I was scared of that dream. What if I wasn’t a good dad? What if I messed it up and my son or daughter resented me? These were fears I shouldn’t have had for many years yet, but they troubled me during heartbreaks in high school. I began to realize that people there weren’t looking for permanence.
So I blocked off my heart from feeling anything for girls, telling myself I would wait until I understood my calling and had room for a partner.
The problem was – and this is the hard part for me to talk about – I was a teenage guy, and my desires were no different from any other guy my age. And since I had blocked off my heart from running to any woman… I turned to men. There were other factors and reasons – mostly vain excuses – but the fact is that I became gay because I was afraid of relationships with women.
The whole time, I knew it was wrong and that I was giving up my dream of parenthood, and that made my pain worse – so in my pain, I turned to my already twisted relationships to try to alleviate my pain.
During my Discipleship Training School at YWAM, my leaders helped me turn back to God and free myself from this, and I thought I could leave it all behind me and still keep it mostly in the dark. But God kept bringing gay people into my life. I wondered if He was testing me, and why. It was like reopening a scar.
I’m still afraid.
But now I’m choosing to trust God, because I know He’s right. The fact is, I understand the reasons people decide to be gay, and I can use that knowledge to help them get out of the hole that I fell into.
In the moment, it feels right. It feels like you’re following your heart. But because I’ve been there, I know the pain, the shame, the fear, and the loneliness. More to the point, I know what God used to get me out of that mess. My heart breaks for those people and I want to help them.
I guess there are three reasons God wanted me to write about this. The first is to encourage you, the readers. That one thing in your heart where you said “no” to God… That may be what God wants for you to do, but it’s alright. God has a reason that you likely won’t understand until afterward, and it really is the best option for you and the people around you.
The second is to say that there is hope. If you’re caught in sin, there is a way out and God will use your past to reach out to others in the same situation. When you minister, you should be able to say “I know what you’re going through. I’ve been there.”
The third reason is more personal. I’ve never fully opened up to anyone on this topic, and I needed to take a step. As long as my past controls me, I’m not free, even if this stays in the past. So by writing this and signing my name on it, I’m finally taking a step forward into God’s freedom.