There are three reasons motivating me to share my experiences being set free from homosexuality. First, to give praise to the Living God who never needs to change. Second, to erase the myth that one can lose the power of choice to change regarding homosexuality. Third, that one can be too old to change unwanted homosexuality.
It is this third aspect, of being too old, that badly needs to be removed from the viewpoint of all men and women everywhere. Some have said to me, “You can’t change you’re too old”. I am living proof that ‘an old dog can learn new tricks.’ Not only have I quit addictively acting out homosexually after a lifetime of doing so, but my homosexual feelings have greatly diminished. Other unwanted facets of my daily life have also been removed.
Once I thought I should chase after change. I discovered though, that my pursuit needed to be for the power to make right choices. My perceived loss of choice led me back to the very thing I desperately cried for – a love affair with Jesus that gave me the power to choose.
The first thirty years of my life contained a kaleidoscope of events, a mix of warm affection and innumerable abusive boundary violations. All of this created a great amount of confusion, mistrust and pain.
I was born in 1931 and was adopted by parents with no living children. My adoptive mother was a quiet, sweet person who suffered as much as I under the tyranny of my rage-a-holic adoptive father. He was a regular church attender, sang in the choir, taught Sunday school, and was a youth leader, a deacon and a licensed lay preacher. But at home dad would terrorize us all. I dreaded him coming home from work. I never knew what little thing would set him off.
At the age of eight, I gave my life to Jesus Christ and was baptized that same evening. Soon after, because of some childish act on my part, dad severely beat me. I vowed that day that I would never be like him. Dad’s angry rages also went to church. He was often the center of a church fight and terrorized the pastor of every church we attended. I was humiliated by his behavior and often attempted to fix the messes he made.
As a teenager I offered my life to the Lord for ministry. It was at this time that my father chose to sexually violate me. Now my confusion and torment was nearly complete.
I carried this baggage until I was 58 years old. I carried it all through high school and college. I carried it into my marriage and into my parenting. I lugged it for 20 years as an ordained American Baptist minister. I blamed the church and the ministry for not providing me with understanding or help. So I left the ministry, went into business and joined another denomination.
It was not until February of 1989 that I first found a place where real help was available. I read a little three line ad in the Fresno Bee personals. The ad said “Want out of homosexuality? There is a way. Call —.” My first reaction was rage at being confronted again! I sought help so many times through professional therapists but nothing helped. I begged God to kill me or leave me alone. But He would do neither.
My teen years is when I first began seeking help by telling my parents about my homosexual desires and activities. My father hit the roof! I also told my pastor but he was too embarrassed and just sat there looking down at his desk. I came to the conclusion that there was no help for me.
So when I read the ad in the newspaper, all my doubts, fears and anger began to replay in my head. “There’s no help for you. You’re hopeless! Besides, you’re too old to change!” But in spite of all the disappointments of the past, I called and made an appointment. This was the first in a succession of miracles that would take place. That day God heard my cry of repentance and I began the journey out of homosexuality.
The long path that led to New Creation Ministries had many twists and turns. During my three year involvement in their program I was often in a fog of despair. Just before coming to NCM, I had been arrested on two occasions for lewd and lascivious conduct in a public place. After the second arrest, I was sent for counseling by the court. On my first visit the counselor asked me if I wanted to live with my homosexuality. I looked him in the eye and said I’d have none of that! What I wanted was a MIRACLE and nothing less.
I have been married 38 years (at this writing). Even though I gave this beautiful woman many good reasons to divorce me, she never did. On hundreds of occasions she told me of her love. However, one day she looked me in the eyes and said, “When you finish running around, I’ll still love you and want you. If you bring home a disease, even then I will still love you.” What she said that day broke my heart and prepared me to seek help one more time.
Coming to NCM I found my miracle. The help I found not only changed my life, but also greatly affected the ones I love. God helped me see how prideful and rebellious I was in responding to His plan for my healing. He continued to reveal how much He loved and cared for me, in spite of all that I had done. As I read His Word, communed in prayer and continued in the program at NCM, He began to reveal His great provision in Jesus to take care of my real core needs. He began to heal the unresolved brokenness with my father. I also began to learn to have healthy right, relationships with men.
One evening at an NCM group meeting, Bud Searcy, the Executive Director of NCM, prayed “Lord, help us see ourselves as You see us.” Did that ever push my buttons! I exploded in anger at Bud. I felt I already knew what I’d see and didn’t want to see any more. Gently he explained that I needed to see myself as God sees me through Jesus – loved, forgiven, cleansed, righteous and sanctified. In that very hour I came to realize that, while I had much head knowledge about Jesus, I did not know Him nor did I let Him know me. I was crushed by that revelation. That night I told Jesus that if He’d still have me I’d stand in submission to His will and allow Him to do whatever He wanted.
From that time on I became aware of a new and growing desire to walk out a life of repentance. I have received more healing that I had ever thought possible, especially for someone my age. While I have temptation from time to time, I have not acted out in 5 years (at the time of this writing). God is healing my relationship with my children that I so badly damaged. Also, something else has occurred that I thought would never happen: The Lord has restored to me the honor of serving Him in ministry. I thought I had destroyed that for the rest of my life. What was once a point of shame is an opportunity to give glory to our wonderful God. I don’t believe in miracles – I’M LIVING ONE!!