As a young man struggling with gay attractions, there were days I prayed for God to take them away. There were also days when I just 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 my sin and gave me a new life. He was only able to do that when I acknowledged my sinful decisions and surrendered control to Him. I want the same freedom for every person who is 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. May it bring hope to those starting their own journey out of homosexuality and towards Jesus.
Picture it. Halloween 1998, I was roaming New Orleans dressed as a drag queen the from the movie, Priscilla Queen of the Desert. God wasn't even a blip on my radar screen. I had spent many nights prior to this, wandering around New Orleans drunk out of my mind. Little did I know, but this was to be my swan song in the gay community. During the next two months, I would go on to make some life altering decisions, as my heart grew heavy and my wallet thin.
My father and I were talking more. My mom was growing ill. I had promised her that I would return home if she needed me. Being the completely self serving person I had become, I used my mom’s health as an excuse to leave my crazy life behind. Over the span of two months, I had been date raped by a guy I was dating, broke up with him and began dating his best friend, Scott. Scott has the dubious honor of becoming the last guy I dated. We dated for two weeks. It was a last ditch effort on my part to make my gay life work. I was so starved for love and affection that I chased off all Scott’s friends. I wanted him all to myself. Eventually, Scott broke up with me, and I accepted my dad's constant invitation to return home and "regroup". Why would I return home? Returning to my hometown was to admit failure. God had already initiated a chain of events that I couldn’t derail. I was desperate for change of any kind. I was as lost as I had ever been; 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 and then finished the journey home. A long, lonely chapter was ending. I was abandoning everything in order to do the right thing. The right thing? I didn't have a hot clue as to what the right thing was. I never made a specific plan not to be gay or not to have sex again. I made plans to serve Jesus one day, then another. Then I looked up one of those days and God had worked a miracle. After a few short months away from bars and guys, God was slowly becoming my one and only. My faith was growing. God was loosening my dependence on all things gay.
Once home, my family was much the same as I had left them 10 years prior. My mom was a moody recluse. My dad was an absent workaholic. And God was silent. Still. For two months I was addicted to internet porn, while simultaneously attending church and working a 50 hour work 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. I said I was and rattled off the following prayer. "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 that He needed. God changed my life, when I gave him 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 he does. Jesus Christ is the only reason that any of my words have any amount of influence. I know that many of you stand on the verge of something great, because 20 or so 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 so worth it."
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 eventually say "Yes" daily. The time to act is now. God constructs miracles, one "Yes" at a time.