One Yes at a Time
As a young man struggling with gay attractions, there were days I prayed for God to take them away. There were days I felt hopeless for a life apart from them. I gave up on God. He never gave up on me. For that, I am grateful. God helped me walk away from the sin of my gay life and gave me a new life. He was only able to do that when I acknowledged my sinful decisions and surrendered to Him. I want the same kind of freedom for anyone stuck between the opinion of the world and the truth of God, regarding homosexuality. With God all things are possible. Here is a small portion of my story.
Picture it. Halloween 1998, I was roaming New Orleans dressed as one of the drag queens from Priscilla Queen of the Desert. God wasn't even a blip on my radar. Many a night prior to this I had wandered around New Orleans drunk and searching. Little did I know, but this evening’s jaunt was to be my swan song in the gay community. Over the next two months, I would make life changing decisions, as my heart grew heavy and my wallet thin.
My father and I were talking more. My mom was growing ill. I promised her I would return home, if she needed me. I had devolved into a completely self serving person and used my mom’s health as an excuse to leave my crazy life behind. During those two months I had been date raped by a guy, broke up with him and began dating his best friend, Scott. Scott was the last guy I dated. It lasted a mere two weeks, serving as a last ditch effort to make the gay life work for me. I was starved for love and affection. I chased off all Scott’s friends in an attempt to have him all to myself. Eventually, Scott broke up with me. I accepted my dad's fervent invitation to return home and "regroup". Why would I return home? Returning home to my hometown was the best and worst thing I could do; it wreaked of failure. God had initiated a chain of events that I couldn’t derail. I was desperate for change of any kind; lost and utterly hopeless.
1998 was drawing to a close. So was my 10 year run as a gay man. My flesh was not happy. I packed up everything I owned and drove from Mississippi to Oklahoma. I had one last hoorah with an ex-boyfriend in Texas before finishing the journey home. A long, lonely chapter was ending. I was abandoning everything to do the right thing. The right thing? I didn't have a fat clue what the right thing was.
My family was the same as I had left them 10 years prior. My mom was still suffering from the ravages of bipolar disorder. My dad was still an absent workaholic. God was silent. Still. For two months I was addicted to the most depraved forms of internet porn, while simultaneously attending church and working 50 hours a week as a truck driver. When God spoke again, it was to the point. He asked me if I was finished with porn and ready to start the business of living out my calling. Life had become exhausting. I gave God one more yes and prayed, "I have tried to make my life work for ten years God. I have tried to be gay no matter what You threw at me. I can't make this gay life work. I don't know how You are going to make it work, but I am giving you the reins of my life Lord. You have complete control. Let's see what You can do."
That was all the invitation God needed. My life changed, when I gave God full access. As you read this, please know that I stand before you as a man of much experience. Translation, a man who has done many wrong things on the way to the right thing. A man whose God never gives up, even when the man does. Jesus Christ is the only reason that any of my words have any influence. I know that many of you stand on the verge of something great. 20 years ago I stood in the very same spot. May I whisper to you a simple encouragement:
"There is Hope. Do not give up. The struggle out of bondage and into the arms of Jesus is worth it."
That journey out of gay life began simply enough. I never made a specific plan not to be gay or not to have sex with guys ever again. I concentrated on serving Jesus one day, then another. Working to rebuild trust that had been shattered by so many men. After a few short months away from bars and guys, God had worked a miracle. He had slowly becoming my one and only. My faith was growing. God was loosening my dependence on all things gay.
What is it that God is asking you to do? What is he saying to "Get rid of"? Is He asking you to stop talking to an old boyfriend? Is He encouraging you to close certain doors to your past? Change your phone number? Delete your Facebook "romances"? Is He asking you to clear space for Him in your busy, mixed up life?
More importantly, are you listening?
I said "Yes" to God once and continually find ways to say "Yes" daily. The time to act is now. God constructs miracles, one "Yes" at a time.