Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you. (Mark 5:19)
I praise God that I can share my testimony about how the Lord is freeing me from homosexuality. Thanks to NCM I now recognize how patterns and choices made long ago are directly linked to what I thought was an unchangeable sexual orientation.
There were serious problems in my family. My father was an alcoholic and drug addict, spending a lot of time in and out of prison. Even when he was at home, he was not emotionally available. My mother, on the other hand, was into the party life where drugs and sex were abundant. My two sisters and I were often left alone to fend for ourselves. As a result of these and other problems, my world as a child was stressful and insecure. Because this was my experience of normal family life, even today I struggle with what a ‘normal’ family is suppose to be like. This is one of the areas I’m now growing in.
My family literally fell apart when I was 15 years old after my father went to prison and I was left with extended family members. I was sexually molested soon after as an indirect result of this separation. I felt ruined by the experience, and assumed that I must have done something terribly wrong to provoke someone to do that to me. I also assumed that the molestation proved I was gay, a suspicion that I’d had for some time. On top of that, I felt responsible for what happened to my family – I was the reason my mother and father abandoned me. I’m only now examining how some of these wrong conclusions caused me even more pain as I continued down the wrong path.
My older sister also struggled with lesbianism. Also a victim of sexual abuse, she knew that the Bible condemned homosexual behavior and felt condemned because she couldn’t make the feelings stop. She committed suicide when her girlfriend was killed in an accident. This event pushed me even further into homosexuality.
I began making excuses for the gay lifestyle, feeling that if people had understood my sister’s needs and feelings, she might still be alive. I now realize that she had multiple problems that needed to be addressed. She did not need people to understand her homosexual feelings. She needed help with the root problems, of which homosexuality was merely a symptom.
At the age of eighteen I gave my life to Jesus Christ. However, I still struggled with homosexual thoughts and sought the help of a pastor. He was uncomfortable and didn’t know what to say or how to help me. I was also ignorant of the Bible and knew nothing of what it said regarding homosexuality. It wasn’t long before I began to backslide and eventually become deeply involved in the gay lifestyle.
Gay people told me that the Bible did not condemn homosexuality and that I was born that way. I followed their advice and submerged myself in the gay community. I partied hard, but as relationship followed relationship, I felt the void increase. I turned to alcohol and drugs to numb the pain this void created. I knew that something was still missing.
Then one day in 1987, I read these words taped to a street pole: “Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38) I was convicted of the way I had been living. That night I rededicated my life to Jesus while watching Billy Graham on TV. I stopped the drinking and doing drugs and ended my current gay relationship. I was determined to follow the Lord with all my heart.
The next few months were marked by an intense struggle. God was leading me back to the church but I was afraid to share my struggle due to the fear of rejection. Satan was also tempting me with the opportunity to live the “high life” – the price being my body given to other men to do with as they pleased. Through the prayer and prompting of family and Christian friends, I left where I was staying, moved to Fresno and was ready to deal with my issues.
I heard about NCM, got in touch with Bud Searcy and plugged into the ministry’s program. Not long after accepting the Lord, I was diagnosed as HIV positive. This was hard at first. I soon realized that this was not God’s fault but a consequence of my own choices. I realized that how I let this disease affect my life was up to me – I could either be angry and depressed or choose to live life to the fullest. I chose the latter. I see now that, as strange as it may seem, AIDS is a blessing in that it causes me to appreciate each moment of life I have. Isn’t that how we are all to live – even when we are in perfect health?
At NCM I found the safety to share my struggles and began to reach out to others in healthy ways. I have been learning about what it means to be a Godly man and how to embrace my own God-given masculine identity. I have also been growing in relationship to the opposite sex. A new and exciting thing is happening as the Lord has awakened in me a desire for women and marriage. As a matter of fact, I am dating a wonderful Christian lady who I care for a lot. My struggle with her is not my feelings for her, for God has resurrected in me what I never thought possible. My struggle comes when I think about imposing my affliction with AIDS upon her life.
The Lord is also helping me to deal with the painful wounds created by my abuse and abandonment. Though painful, I have forgiven my family and the Lord is bringing tremendous healing between my relationship with both my mother and father.
My pastor now knows my story and I also have Christian friends involved in my healing process. I understand how homosexuality was an ineffective attempt to meet my needs and I am dealing with the past and relearning relational skills. I feel great about my relationship with Jesus and I am letting Him meet my needs. A personal relationship with Jesus is what I was always searching for without realizing it, He is true fulfillment.
I’m also involved in ministry, something I never thought I would be doing. I’m teaching Sunday School, conducting services at rest homes and telling people about Jesus every chance I get. His grace is truly unfailing and sufficient for me. I love the Lord and He is AWESOME!