Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

Since there are only two days until Christmas I just wanted to do a quick blog post to wish you all a Merry Christmas! Hope you all get to spend some time with family and friends this Christmas. Don't forget that even though our burden may seem heavy at times and our struggle seems never ending that God loves us so much that he saw fit to send his son to this crazy, cruel, sinful world to be the savior of us all. He came for you and for me and He loves us more then we can ever imagine.

I want to thank you guys again for caring and taking the time to read my thoughts here and praying for me and giving me advice. God really used you guys to help me change so many things in my life. I am really looking forward to seeing what 2011 has in store for me and you all as well. I still have a loooong way to go in many areas but I am thankful for the progress I have made and for God never abandoning me along the way.

A Christmas song for you all!

Love you all and hope you have a great Christmas!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dare to Love

Hey all its been awhile again! Just want to post an update if you care to read. First of all I have good news. I did indeed start going to a small group at my church! Last night was my second small group meeting. It has been really amazing. I have never really been in a small group since I was always afraid they would find out about my SSA. Anyways they really share ALOT in this group and are incredibly vulnerable to one another. Its really good for me to hear that other Christians have struggles too. Not that I did not already know that but seeing it and hearing the struggles first hand is just something I needed I guess. They have struggles but still love eachother and pray for one another and support one another. I already know and feel that at some point I will share my struggle with SSA with them. Probably not for awhile but I think I will someday. Its funny last nights meeting the topic was sharing your "impossible" prayer request. So we talked about that for awhile then went around the room and shared our impossible request. Some shared about unsaved loved ones, or family with cancer etc... Others shared personal things they struggle with. Anyways as they were going around the room I was terrified and like no way am I ready to share my "impossible" request. But I did come up with another thing that has always seemed impossible too. I asked them to pray that I feel safe to share about struggles and that I can open up more with them. I explained how I have many walls around myself and I really want to be more open with people in my life. Anyways they then of course pressed me further and we talked for a little while. They asked if it would be easier for me since I am quiet if they made it a point to ask me how I am doing in the group meetings and I said sure that would be great.

I am really happy and thankful to God that he gave me the courage to join this small group. I am finally learning what real Christian fellowship is and its a pretty amazing thing. They share their burdens and struggles with eachother and support eachother just like it says to do in the Bible. I am looking forward to the meetings every week now and I think 2011 could be an amazing year for me where I will finally let people in to see the real me. By real me I am not talking about SSA I just mean me in general. Like I said I may not share the SSA stuff for a long time but I mean I hope to let them see the real me that I show on this blog who I have always been hiding because of fear and shame.

Its been an amazing experience so far and its only been a couple of weeks. Thanks for all your prayers as you all really gave me the strength, encouragement, and self-esteem to do this. Can't wait to see what God has in store for me next! :)

I want to end this post with a quote from "The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom" by Henri Nouwen. This book has had a real impact on me. Its such a short book but so deep I have been reading and re-reading parts of it very very slow.I dont think its a coincidence that I read this part of the book for the first time just as I was joining the small group! Here it is:
"Friendship has been a source of great pain for you. You desired it so much that you often lost yourself in the search for a true friend. Many times you became desperate when a friendship you hoped for didn't materialize, or when a friendship begun with great expectations did not last....But now you must seek friends to whom you can relate from your center, from the place where you know you are deeply loved. Friendship becomes more and more possible when you accept yourself as deeply loved. Then you can be with others in a non-possessive way....Dare to love and to be a real friend. The love you give and receive is a reality that will lead you closer and closer to God as well as to those who God has given you to love."(pages 80-81)

Anyways this chapter really encouraged me to take a step out and trust God and dare to reach out and love and be vulnerable with others. But even more it made me realize I have to love myself first. After all if God loves me even though I sin and fail so often then surely I can love myself too and realize I am worth having as a friend. God is slowly helping me to do just that! I think I have taken a good first step in this journey to be more real with others and I pray God gives me the courage to continue to do so more and more!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Update Time

Well I promised an update so here is one! :) I realize I have not been blogging as much. Its because alot has been going in in my life. Basically after this post a couple of months ago (Hope?) I decided to really try to change my perceptions and the way I look at things and look at myself. This was thanks in large part to the encouragement and advice you guys gave me which I am very thankful for. So I have been trying my best to reach out and be myself for a change around other Christians. Almost every weekend I have been doing stuff whether game nights, bowling, dinners, or Halloween parties. This has all been in an effort to try and get to know some people better and hopefully let them know me. I admit I still am a very shy guy and after years of hiding so no one could know the "real" me it is only natural that this will take some time for me to get used to this idea of opening up and allowing intimacy. Its at times hard not to lose patience with myself but I am going to keep trying. I have a weird fear of intimacy but also a craving for intimacy. Both sides of me battle it out and I end up just being awkward in social situations. Of course I am introverted by nature so I dont think I will ever be talking non stop or anything like that. But I am a GREAT listener and I know more about whats going on in a group then anyone lol. So I think if I can use my gifts of encouraging and listening people will maybe relate more to me and want to talk. I have not been completely successful yet but I am slowly improving and trying. Anyways everyone has been really nice and goes out of their way to like cheer me on when we went bowling or to try to get me to say more lol :). I feel good when I am around them so I hope I can continue to try and open up more. I just hope they dont see my quietness as me not wanting close relationships as nothing could be further from the truth.

The key for me is to not always judge myself at the end of the night. I always have a tendency to be like well tonight was a failure since you did not come home with 5 new best friends. Or I am depressed I still am not really close to them. But this takes time even more so with me because of my awkwardness and shyness. So I am really trying not to judge myself and am learning to dismiss the negative thoughts I have about myself as not being good enough for them to want me as a friend.

I have some more pretty exciting news. Well when I went bowling it was not just a random group but it was with a small group at church I am thinking about joining! It was a thing they had planned and they said I could come as a way for me to get to know them a little better. I have been nervous it would not work out and I would not be allowed to join since everything has to be approved. But the leader told me he talked to the church and its all set and I can come anytime. After hearing that I was filled with excitement, thankfulness, and FEAR. Now I have no excuses. I have a small group I am signed up with, they seem to like me, I liked them, so ya why am I afraid? Well its the whole intimacy thing again. I have been hiding from things like this my whole life it seems so people would not find out about my SSA. So if you want to pray for me I would sooo appreciate prayers that I have the courage to actually go now that its all setup.

I know for other people this is no big deal at all to join a small group but for me it is a big deal. It would be really good for me I think. And I could hopefully get to know them better and they get to know me. I admit my biggest fear is still my SSA thing as when people share about their struggles I dont want to act like I have no struggles and am fine when this is not the truth at all.That is what I have done my whole life and it sucks being fake. Yet I would have to really trust someone before telling them of my struggles so it will take time. The question is what do I tell them in the meantime when they are sharing struggles and prayer requests? Still thinking about that. I feel at some point if/when I do go and keep going and like everyone and it feels safe I will probably have to tell them about it. But that is something I am trying to get out of my head since its not something that has to be done anytime soon and its probably Satan putting that thought in my head to further try and discourage me and dissuade me from even going. In the past he has had great success at that but I think I am sick of him and his lies finally. Thank God for that.

So ya there is alot going on. Prayers are greatly appreciated. Very excited, nervous, anxious, and thankful for everything that is going on in my life. God is so patient with me its just amazing to me how all this is happening.

The question is will I go this week? Next Week? hmmm.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Some things I am thankful for on this Thanksgiving eve:

-Thankful for you all, my brothers and sisters in Christ, who may or may not struggle with the same things I do but all know what it is like to struggle against sin.

-Thankful to God for doing so much in my life since Thanksgiving of last year! I never would have imagined then that I would have a blog where I talk about my struggles with SSA and my life. Or that I would tell my brother of my struggles and that he would respond with love and compassion.

-Thankful for the support and prayers I have received from you all. Some of you have really changed my life with your encouragement, friendship, and advice and I thank you so much and it means more to me than you will ever know.

-Thankful for having a great family that loves me and showed me Gods love for me from a young age.

-I am thankful for finally realizing over the last months that I am not some sort of different class of sinner for having this struggle but just a sinner like anyone else who struggles and needs a savior.

-I am thankful that my shame has lessened so much since actually talking about my struggles instead of keeping it all inside like I used to.

-Thankful that God loves me more than I could ever know and wants what is best for me even if its painful for me in the short term.

-Thankful I am finally starting to get out more from time to time and hang out with other Christians. Sure I am still as awkward and shy as ever but hopefully friendships will form at some point if I keep trying and trusting God and refrain from judging or looking down on myself when things don't happen as quickly as I wish they would.

-Thankful for God not giving up on me even when I had given up on myself many times over. He has never abandoned me and loves me and every day He shows me more how much thats true.

-I am thankful to be alive!!

Love you all and hope you have a good Thanksgiving Thursday (whether you celebrate it or not) and realize we have much to be thankful for.

19 How abundant are the good things
that you have stored up for those who fear you,
that you bestow in the sight of all,
on those who take refuge in you.

20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them
from all human intrigues;
you keep them safe in your dwelling
from accusing tongues.

21 Praise be to the LORD,
for he showed me the wonders of his love
when I was in a city under siege.

22 In my alarm I said,
“I am cut off from your sight!”
Yet you heard my cry for mercy
when I called to you for help.

23 Love the LORD, all his faithful people!
The LORD preserves those who are true to him,
but the proud he pays back in full.

24 Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the LORD.

-Psalm 31:19-24 (NIV)


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Celibacy...A Gift?

"But I wish everyone were single, just as I am. But God gives to some the gift of marriage, and to others the gift of singleness." (1 Corinthians 7:7)

A friend recently posted this really good sermon about celibacy on a board I frequent. Here is the link to listen to it:

It gave me alot to think about. I have always wondered how celibacy could be a gift since it seems so hard and the loneliness at times is so great. What kind of gift would make someone seemingly suffer and feel loneliness was my thought? I have always had the attitude that if its a gift I want to find the receipt so I can return it and get the gift I want instead lol :).

My biggest fear of living a celibate life is loneliness more than any thing else. To not have someone waiting for you after a long hard day of work, or to love you no matter what. The sexual aspect other than failing to M and P at times has not been as hard for me. Of course I have to continue to try and improve those areas with God's help but God has been really helping me lately especially on the P front. So its not the sex but the loneliness that makes the prospect of lifelong celibacy hard for me to accept at times.

Ok I got kind of side tracked for a bit. Back to celibacy and the church. It just has seemed to me that in the church today the single people are sort of swept to the side and sort of ignored while family and the joys of marriage are heavily emphasized, and are center stage. Sure there may be a singles group but even then its just other singles as if the rest of the church does not want to catch the disease of singleness or something. Instead of celibacy being celebrated as something equally as good as marriage many people in church look down on you like your strange, abnormal, or there is something wrong with you for not being married or having a family. Of least that has been my experience.

I have always had trouble seeing it as a gift and something as good as marriage. I guess its because I am lonely alot of the time and don't have a strong community like one needs to live a celibate life. But also because I guess I still hope for marriage to a woman even though its not likely because of my attractions. But this sermon really stressed how lost the church would be without its celibate members. They do so much of the work and devote alot of their life to the church. They dont have families of their own so they are able to go on missions trips easier to the far corners of the world. They have more time to pray, more time to serve, and more time to be there for others in need. They also have more time to get to know and love God one on one! I admit I have not been doing a good job at many of these things at all. I have not been making good use of my celibacy.

I think I have often treated marriage as an idol. I see others who are married and so happy and in love and are blessed with a loving family and I just dream of being them. I have always had a false view that if I could just be married then everything would be happy and care free. That I would then never be alone and always have someone to love. But I have to realize that there is great difficulty in marriage too its just you don't see it from the outside sometimes. I mean most of my relatives have been divorced and are on their second marriage so I guess being married is just as tough as being celibate just in different ways maybe?

Even Jesus says that its better for some not to marry:

10 Jesus’ disciples then said to him, “If this is the case, it is better not to marry!”

11 “Not everyone can accept this statement,” Jesus said. “Only those whom God helps. 12 Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others, and some choose not to marry for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.” (Matthew 19:10-12)

I guess while I have been living the celibate life, I have not been embracing it and have been wanting healing from my SSA so I can be married to a woman. I have been treating celibacy almost as a curse instead of a gift. I have been resenting this gift. This sermon really made me think about alot of things. I really liked how the pastor said that celibates remind the church of the not yet and the unfulfilled promises and marriage reminds the church of filled promises and the now. And how the church needs both to support each other and be reminders of both Gods faithful promises today and the promises that wont happen until we get to heaven when the church is married to God instead of to one another. I still think that overall the church does not do a good job treating both celibacy and marriage as equally good and the church seems to really push marriage from my experience anyways. But I guess that no church is perfect since it is filled with humans.

Anyways this sermon was really good and gave me so much to think about. If you are like me and have been resenting the gift of celibacy then consider listening to this sermon as it really opened my eyes to alot of things. While I still hope for the gift of marriage I have decided I am going to try to embrace the gift of celibacy whether for a season or for my life and realize that yes it really is a gift that the Lord has seen fit to give me so I better use this gift to honor Him and not resent or reject it. Maybe it means He just wants to have me all to Himself with no marraige to get in the way? Who am I to refuse a gift like that from my Lord??

Lord help me to accept my celibacy as a gift from You. Help me to learn how to use my singleness to serve others and not as an excuse to feel jealousy, resentment, and unhappiness. If you do still have a plan for me to one day be married despite all the obstacles I face help me to not reject that gift either. If I am not to be married or in the meantime before marriage help me to find the community I need to fill my loneliness and to treat this as a gift to be cherished and used for Your glory and not as something that I should want to return! Help me grow and to be able to truthfully accept this as a gift and to be able to thank you for this gift and really mean it. Please forgive me for so often resenting this gift. I love you Father.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Washed and Waiting Review

"Washed and waiting. That is my life- my identity as one who is forgiven and spiritually cleansed and my struggle as one who perseveres with a frustrating thorn in the flesh, looking forward to what God has promised to do. That is what this book is all about."

Just finished reading "Washed and Waiting:Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality" by Wesley Hill. It was an incredible read! He put into words so much of what I feel but have never been able to explain. I encourage anyone who struggles with same sex attractions to read it! Also would be a great book for pastors, friends, and family of those who struggle with homosexuality to read as it really does a great job showing what its like for those who struggle with this. The book is sobering and brutally honest at times about this struggle and the hopes for healing but I found overall I came away encouraged and challenged like never before to realize how much God loves me even if I never experience healing in this life.

Of the three books I have read so far on homosexuality this one was by far the best! The other two I have read "Desires in Conflict" by Joe Dallas and "The Broken Image" by Leanne Payne focused alot on the possible origins of my SSA and on how to go about "healing" or "changing" myself. After reading those books I found I came away even more anxious and worried then before I read them wondering how I was ever going to be able to "change" myself and my attractions. This book does not focus on that at all. Instead it basically says if your attractions never change what then? In a way it sort of reminded me of this amazing post on Karen's blog "Pursue God" from last year.

A huge part of this book is about the loneliness we face as christians who struggle with homosexual desires and so choose to be celibate. Hill described this loneliness so perfectly. Of wanting to fit in with the happy christian couples at church but often feeling like an outsider. Of never really feeling like you belong anywhere: "no relationship seems to satisfy this yawning hunger to be known, to be loved, to be inside some nameless space that remains frustratingly, confusingly, closed." Still he says its better to try and form relationships with people at church then to live hidden your whole life: "We're better off for all that we let in- including all the pain we let into our lives when we open our souls to the fellowship of the church. That pain is better than the pain of isolation." Its something I have to and want to improve on for sure. Anyways this book definitely does not sugar coat the loneliness that a christian with SSA struggles with. It was painful for me to read at times as these thoughts on loneliness I have often deeply felt and thought but never been able to verbalize.

The book then goes on to encourage about Gods love while being realistic about the struggles and loneliness we face as gay christians and gives examples of other gay christians who have been celibate in order to honor God. Its not a long read at all at 150 pages and is only three chapters long with two other mini chapters about famous christians who struggled with SSA. One on the famous christian writer Henri Nouwen and another mini chapter on poet and priest Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Anyways I was really encouraged after reading this book. I was challenged to change my thinking on a lot of the ways I view myself as not pleasing to God because of my attractions and struggles with SSA. The challenge I have is the same as Wesley Hills to learn that:

"The Bible calls the Christian struggle against sin faith (Heb 12:3-4; 10:37-39). It calls the Christian fight against impure cravings holiness (Rom 6:12-13, 22). So I am trying to appropriate these biblical descriptions for myself. I am learning to look at my daily wrestling with disordered desires and call it trust. I am learning to look at my battle to keep from giving in to my temptations and call it sanctification. I am learning to see that my flawed, imperfect, yet never-giving-up faithfulness is precisely the spiritual fruit that God will praise me for on the last day, to the ultimate honor of Jesus Christ.

and that:
"The gospel tells us that our obedience matters to God, that he takes note of it. He sees our struggle to live faithfully with same sex attractions. He helps us with grace through his Son and Spirit. He values our perseverance."

It wont be an easy walk and I will face much loneliness and misunderstanding, but God will be there for me and like a father he is proud of my victories and will lift me from the dust after my stumbles. Do I still hope for healing? Of course! But this book has really taught me to leave it in Gods hands rather than try to force healing myself.

The book closes with a powerful afterword by Kathryn Greene-Mccreight challenging the church to better love and realize the struggles and loneliness of its gay members. Here is a part of it:

Do we (heterosexual Christians) simply cast our glances aside from our brothers and sisters who struggle with homosexual desires? Can we continue to ignore the isolation these brothers and sisters experience within the body of Christ? Are we afraid to hear about the same-sex desire of brothers or sisters for whom Jesus Christ died, even when they choose the narrow path of celibacy, despite the attendant trials of loneliness and solitude. "The eye cannot say to the hand, 'I have no need of you,' nor again the head to the feet, 'I have no need of you.' ...If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it." (I Cor 12:21, 26-27) We who are the body of Christ must show love, joy, hope, and fellowship of the gospel to all who are part of the body."

Anyways to sum it up I highly recommend this book if you are a Christian who struggles with same sex attractions, know someone who struggles with this, or want to have a better understanding of what its like to be a christian and struggle with SSA.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

We will never walk alone again

I purchased the new Jars of Clay cd last week and I really like it. The theme of the album is Christian community and how important it is in our walks. Anyways loved this song especially so figured I would share! :)

Small Rebellions
by: Jars of Clay

God of the break and shatter
Hearts in every form still matter
In our weakness help us see
That alone we’ll never be
Lifting any burdens off our shoulders

If our days could be filled with small rebellion
Senseless brutal acts of kindness from us all
If we stand between the fear and firm foundation
Push against the current and the fall
The current and the fall

God of the worn and tattered
All of the your people matter
Give us more than words to speak
Cuz we are hearts and arms that reach
And love climbs up and down the human ladder

If our days could be filled with small rebellion
Senseless brutal acts of kindness from us all
If we stand between the fear and firm foundation
Push against the current and the fall
The current and the fall

We will never walk alone again
No, we will never walk alone again
No, we will never walk alone again

Give us days to be filled with small rebellion
Senseless brutal acts of kindness from us all
If we stand between the fear and firm foundation
Push against the current and the fall

Give us days to be filled with small rebellion
Senseless brutal acts of kindness from us all
If we stand between the fear and firm foundation
Push against the current and the fall
The current and the fall
The fall

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wandering Thoughts for October 4

A few wanderings and small things that dont warrant a whole post for each.

-First of all I ordered "Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality" by Wesley Hill last week! It arrived on Friday. I have not had time to read it but have heard great things and I am really looking forward to reading it. If you have never read this amazing article he wrote on Ransom Fellowship titled “A Few Like You”: Will the Church be the Church for Homosexual Christians? check it out and maybe you will see why I am excited to read his new book! I will let you know how I liked the book when I finish it.

-I read a really good article by Albert Mohler today titled: Between the Boy and the Bridge — A Haunting Question about all the recent suicides of young men who struggle with homosexuality. It really challenges the church to get involved in the lives of young people struggling with this.

-Had a great weekend and enjoyed church. Went to a cookout with people from church and got to know some people a bit of least. I admit I was still very reserved but of least I went and did talk to some people! :) Also I had a long talk with my brother and he really is encouraging me to join a small group at church. I probably am going to finally do it soon. I know, I know I have said I would before but I think this time I really will. He thinks, and I agree, that it just would be alot easier for me to get to know people and get closer with people in a small group environment like that compared to everyone rushing home after church on a Sunday morning. So I hope I can take this leap of faith as its a big step for me to be vulnerable like that.

-Anyways just overall I have been feeling so much more positive about things lately and feel like my life is starting to improve. I feel like God is really working in my life and I am very slowly starting to open up a bit more to others. I still have a very long way to go but its a start of least. I thank you all for your prayers and encouragement please feel free to continue to pray as it is greatly appreciated!

Here are a couple verses from Psalm 34 I wanted to share that really encouraged me to keep trusting the Lord:

Psalm 34:8

Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

Psalm 34:18

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Why are humans so cruel?

Ugh why are humans so cruel? Was just reading about this heartbreaking story on the front page of CNN about Tyler Clementi a freshman in college whose roommate secretly taped him making out with another guy and posted it on the internet as some kind of cruel joke for his friends to see. A couple of days later Tyler sadly committed suicide. This just breaks my heart. He apparently was still pretty much in the closet about his sexual attractions so I cant even imagine what it must have been like for him to endure this viscious and hateful invasion of privacy and have his deepest secret be made into some kind of joke by these cruel students in this manner. The insane pain and sense of being violated must have been immense and ultimately unbearable. This kid had his whole life in front of him and was an accomplished musician. I am just so sad about this whole thing. Its a tragedy that never should have happened if these college students who did this to him just thought for one second what they were doing and how it would affect another human being.

Lord have mercy on mankind for the way we treat one another. :(

Update: Just read this new article on CNN about Tyler's life. Sounds like he was a great kid with a promising future. Went to church every week and played his violin for the church services and he never told anyone in high school of his sexual orientation. Just never dated girls or guys. Basically except for the violin part he could have been me in High School. I think thats why this story is affecting me so much. Please keep his family in your prayers as I can not even imagine how devastated they must be.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Right in Front of Me

This song by Josh Wilson popped up on my pandora radio mix today and it just really caught my attention. Before I knew it I had purchased the CD on Amazon (It didnt hurt that it was on sale for only $4.98!) Anyways really powerful lyrics about wanting a miracle and evidence of God but realizing the evidence is all around us. It just really spoke to me so I wanted to share it. Alot of these lyrics would be a good summary of my life. Wanting a miracle and to be healed of my SSA thinking it would help me fully trust God. Yet at the same time why should I need something like that to trust Him when He has done so much already?? Just the fact I wake up in the morning and the sun rises and sets is a miracle!! Why should God have to prove himself to me when He already has given me and continues to give me so much??

Right in Front of Me
by: Josh Wilson

Some say we’ve all been searching for a God for years in vain
And some say belief is just the easy way around our pain
And sometimes I’d like to agree when they’re telling me that this is all an accident
Cause it’s hard to let this heart believe when my mind is screaming out I need more evidence

But do I really need more evidence?

I want a miracle, something impossible
So would you help me to believe
When You say everything that’s right in front of me
Is all the proof I’ll ever need

I hear it in the winter wind that blows the icy snow against my skin
And I see it in that summer sun that rises high and then burns out again
And I feel it in my chest in the quiet moments that I trust in what You say

Would you help me trust in what You say?

Maybe this is what it means to question You and still believe
To search and still be satisfied, to know and yet to wonder why
To put my faith in things I doubt, to love what I can’t figure out
Maybe this is what it means

To want a miracle, something impossible
But have the faith to still believe

When You say everything that’s right in front of me
Is all the proof I’ll ever need
Don’t need a miracle, something impossible
That makes You easy to believe

When You say everything that’s right in front of me
Is all the proof I’ll ever need

You’re all the proof I’ll ever need
So would you help me to believe

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thoughts on Healing

I just read a very good article on the Living Hope website written by Ricky Chelette titled "What Does Healing Look Like?" The article is about what healing from unwanted same sex attractions is and what it is not. As I have been learning and realizing more and more since I started my blog and started facing my SSA issues for the first time these attractions are not something you are likely to be healed from 100% in this life. The attractions will likely always be there to some extent because of the way they have been deeply imprinted within us in our developmental years. Some will have less attractions to the same sex over time and others wont experience much change in attractions at all. As it says in this article:

"Real healing is not the absence of struggle against lesser sexual desires, but facing those struggles, acknowledging their allure and immediacy, and choosing to obey the truth found in Christ and His Word. Real healing is predicated on a belief that the Creator knows what is best for His creation and has revealed what is best through His Son, Jesus Christ, and His Word, the Bible."

I really liked how in this article he compared this struggle with SSA to someone having diabetes as in its something you have to manage on a daily basis.

"In the physical world we might compare sexual and relational healing to someone who has diabetes. Diabetes does not often go away (though sometimes it can), but it can be controlled in your life as long as you eat appropriately, exercise, constantly monitor your intake, and submit yourself to the recommendations of the doctor. A person who submits himself to his doctor and disciplines his life will find that he can live a much fuller, happier, longer and more fruitful life. In much the same way, those who struggle with deep sexual and relational issues generally will not find their struggle completely gone. The imprints laid down upon the wet concrete of their formative years will not easily disappear. However, they can live in such a way as to not be governed by the impulses of their sinful, natural flesh and remain obedient to the calling and will of God in their lives. They can walk in freedom and truth!"

Like someone who struggles with diabetes some days are better than others but you always have to monitor yourself if you want to be healthy.

Sure God can heal people instantly of their homosexual attractions if He wanted to but it is more likely that God will use our struggles to draw us to Him and make us realize how much we need a savior. If He just healed everyone of all their struggles instantly would we really still seek Him? Or would life be to easy and our human nature and self reliance take over to make us think we don't need Jesus? Would we think we are entitled for God to fix every struggle we have? Just think how many times in the Old Testament God did some huge miracle like parting the Red Sea and then on the very next page you would see his people complaining and saying God forgot about them. I would like to think I am better than that and if God healed me instantly of my SSA I would always trust Him no matter what. But the truth is I am no better than the Israelites of the Old Testament. I am sure I would find something else to complain about in a short period of time. Questions like: "Sure God you healed me of my SSA but why wont you provide me with a better job? Did you forget about me? Why don't I have more friends? Now that I am attracted to women why don't I have a wife? Don't you love me?"

We will always have struggles with our sinful nature whether its SSA or something else. God never said anywhere that He would heal us of all our struggles in life. In fact everyone has some kind of struggle they have to deal with and a big part of being a follower of Christ is for us to have struggles but still try to live for God. I believe God does heal a small portion of SSA struggler's completely and instantly but I think the reason the numbers of instant healings are apparently so few is that if He just healed everyone of all their struggles with sin then life would be so easy we would not have to depend on Jesus. Rather than me trusting God AFTER I am healed I choose to trust Him now! If I just spend my whole life begging God for healing instead of living the life God has given me in a way that will bring praise to Him than I have wasted my life.

I admit I have spent alot of years and time begging and crying to God for healing and why it took me this long to face myself is a mystery to even me. But I am so thankful that God finally completely broke me one lonely and tear filled night in March which brought me to this point of finally admitting to myself my struggles and finding help online and in admitting my struggle to a couple of people in my life. Doing these things has helped me to find healing in ways I never expected. I still hold out hope to one day be more attracted to females and less attracted to males but that should not be my main goal. Rather as it says in the closing of this article:

"Real healing looks like you and me looking more and more like Jesus."

It should not be my ultimate goal to have 100% heterosexual attractions but instead to try and be more like Jesus. That is a goal that all of us sinners should be striving for!

Check out the whole article "What Does Healing Look Like?" on the Living Hope website its good!

Friday, September 10, 2010

From Panic to Peace

I just was having sort of a mini panic attack worried about all of my problems and wondering how I will ever fix them. It was complete with tears and everything. I know I have to make changes in my life to try and make friends and find some happiness and stuff but I am overwhelmed by everything. I have never been good at making decisions so I am stuck in this holding pattern trying to figure out what to do next. Sometimes it seems like my whole life has just been one big holding pattern. Wish God would just yell into my ear and tell me what to do since I am so dense and confused. Anyways in the midst of my tears and anxiety as I was praying and crying and hyperventilating I opened up my journal and my finger landed on this verse I wrote down back on January 18.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
(John 14:27)

This is just what I I needed to hear at that moment and calmed me. For now of least I feel peace. Still have alot to think about but I am going to try not to worry to much and try not to be afraid of all the confusion and loneliness and things I have to do to reach out to people better. My life is in Gods hands and I know He will guide me and help me be the person he wants me to be. I have to trust Him that he will bring people into my life who would be good friends to me. Why am I so fearful all the time when the God who created the universe is by my side?

After reading that verse in my journal I was just thinking back to where I was in January when I wrote this verse down compared to where I am now. Back then no one in the entire world knew of my struggles with SSA and no one would for a few more months. It never would have crossed my mind to start this blog or to be talking to other christian guys who struggle like I do as I always assumed I was alone. When I look back to where I was then to now I can really see that God has been working in my life. There is no other explanation as I was dead set on going to my grave never letting others know of my secret struggle. Then God led me to the blogs after a really dark and lonely night in March and I opened up finally about my struggles to you all and you have given me so much advice, help, courage, and prayers. Way more than I ever could have dreamed. And through talking to you I got the courage to tell my brother and his wife which was an amazing and very scary thing. Still cant believe I actually did that when I think about it. I never would have done it if not for the advice some of you gave me. All of those things were scary too. First searching for other christians online who struggled like me. Then commenting on their blogs. Then starting my own blog and finally being honest about my struggles on my blog and then in my life. I was scared then too (and completely terrified when I told my brother) but God used it for good and gave me courage I never could have found on my own to get through the fear. God has brought me this far I know he will not abandon me now!!

Lord help me not to be so afraid. Help me to make decisions on what to do and how to make close friends. Help me not to get to worried or stressed out about my struggles with SSA and loneliness and please let me feel your love when I am feeling alone. Please give me peace and courage to move forward and get out of this holding pattern I seem to be in. I am sorry I am such a slow learner and make so many mistakes. Thanks for loving me anyways and thanks for showing me that verse tonight and calming my anxiety and worry. I love you Father.

Monday, September 6, 2010


Hey guys I was just wondering is there any hope of one day being more attracted to females? I read books like "The Broken Image" by Leanne Payne and it just confuses me even more as she seems to say if you say some special prayer and go to lots and lots of intense counseling sessions and spends lots of money your attractions will change. But then I read on other sites how even married guys with SSA are still attracted to guys more than woman.

Or should I just give up on that hope? I am so confused about things. Some days I have a slight attraction to a woman where I am like wow she is beautiful but its never anywhere near my attraction for guys and always fleeting. Its like I dont feel I deserve to be attracted to females or something. Like I dont think I am man enough for them. Sometimes I wonder if when I was a teenager I worried myself into having SSA because I did not feel accepted by others. I remember thinking often "What if I am gay?" because I was not dating girls like other guys and was not attracted to them.

I am just so sick of all this. Every day is a battle and I am always finding myself thinking about my attractions and how best to battle them. Other guys my age are happily married with families and they never have to worry about their sexuality at all. In fact it seems they have no worries at all sometimes compared to me. I know this is not true and they have plenty of worries but I guess I still think it at times. Married guys do have to worry of being able to provide financially for their family but all those worries seem worth it since they have a loving family and a reason to work hard and something to come home to at the end of the day other than an empty, lonely house.

If I could just live the life of a straight guy for one week and not have to think about my sexuality at all and just be a normal guy it would be the best week of my life and for them it is just an average ho-hum week. I hope they realize how God has blessed them and how lucky they are.

There does not seem to be much to look forward to if I am going to be like this my entire life. Just loneliness. I had a bad day yesterday at church where I was seeing all the happy married couples. I almost cant stand to go to church anymore as I feel I will never be like most of the people there and they dont want to be friends with me anyways. They are far to busy with family life than to have time to befriend the lonely, sexually confused, shy guy. I know its wrong to be jealous and have envy but I cant seem to accept my lot in life yet my attractions wont change either.

Anyways dont really know the point of this post. Just venting I guess and wishing I was not me. I know there must be reasons God lets me struggle with this. I have posted many reasons why He might allow this in past blog posts. Its just so hard to keep the faith sometimes when nothing seems to be going right.

I could use some prayers if you feel like praying for me.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

You Make Beautiful Things

This song has really been speaking to me so I wanted to share it here. Hope it speaks to you as well. We can rejoice in the fact that we have a God who is slowly remaking us into something beautiful! Sure its painful sometimes but God never said life would have no struggles or pain.

I can rejoice and be glad knowing that one day my Father will finish what He started in me, even if it is not until I get to heaven.

Beautiful Things

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll even find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

Thursday, August 26, 2010

There is no use arguing with God

I am reading through Ecclesiastes right now. I actually finished the book last night. Really deep stuff there its been awhile since I read that book. Is it just me or is everything meaningless? :) haha. Anyways last night while reading it I came across an interesting verse that spoke to me. Here it is:

"Everything has already been decided. It was known long ago what each person would be. So there’s no use arguing with God about your destiny." (Eccl 6:10, NLT)

This verse just really made me stop in my tracks and think for awhile. Did God know before I was even born that I would struggle with SSA? Obviously He did since he knows all but its an interesting thing to think about. He knew I would have this struggle but still loved me and loves me anyways. Is it possible that no matter what had happened as a child whether I had tons of male friends, felt accepted, and like "one of the guys" that I would have turned out no different since God always knew I would be the person I am? What I mean is I spend so much time thinking about the past and how I wish things had gone different. But this verse seems to say that there is no use doing that or arguing with God about your lot in life because your destiny is already decided.

Of course this brings up the whole idea of free will. If God always knew I would struggle with SSA does that mean no matter what choices I made or what choices others made to include me I still would struggle with SSA? Its interesting to think about. I doubt I will solve these deep questions any time soon. Just thinking.

Also love the last part of the verse. "So there’s no use arguing with God about your destiny." I took that to mean there is no use begging and pleading for God to change yours or my particular struggle. I cant even count the untold times I have prayed to God and cried myself to sleep asking for God to heal me of these same sex attractions. Like it says in this verse there is no use arguing with God. For whatever reason some of us struggle with SSA and its our burden to bear. Everyone has some struggle that they have and God must think that we can handle it and that it will teach us to trust in Him. If we each did not have our own particular struggle we may never learn to have this trust and our faith would not grow. Luckily God does not leave us alone to carry our burdens but helps us!

"Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” "
(Matt 11: 28-30, NLT).

So what I have to learn to do is to really give Jesus my heavy bag of burdens and let Him deal with it. I cant beat myself up so much when I fail and I have to try not to be prideful when I have success. He took all my burdens on the cross when He died for me anyways. So why do I still drag them behind me like I am chained to a boulder?

Sure this burden is still there and may be with me for life but I am starting to find some form of healing by just talking about it with others on my blog and elsewhere and not keeping it all in. It turns out God is healing me after all. Its just not in the ways I ever would have expected. But God always manages to surprise us doesn't He?

Anyways thats what I got from these verses. Whats your opinion? What do you think that Ecclesiastes 6:10 means? Do you agree with my conclusions or is my interpretation of the verse wrong?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Strange Dream

Hmm I had a strange dream last night. Its probably not much of anything but since I remember it and its so strange i figured I would post it. Maybe someone who reads my blog is a master dream interpreter and will know what if anything it means :) . It may be kind of a boring dream though but it was just so weird and I dont remember many of my dreams so this stood out to me.

Ok for some reason in my dream I was growing white facial hair. It was really like super long stubble that was white growing out of my face. It was not like a normal beard but rather like longer than normal white stubble growing. It was painful and my face hurt from it and others in my dream were telling me to cut it off. So in my dream I cut the strange white hair/stubble off with a razor and the pain went away. Then I woke up.

Of course I felt my face when I woke up to make sure everything was ok and before I could fall asleep again I had to look in the mirror to make sure I did not have a white beard all of a sudden or anything lol. Yea I told you it was strange. Dont know if there is any meaning at all or just a random strange dream. Anyone have any ideas? :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I need your touch

"I'm crying out come rescue me with love. Like a child needs a night-light in the dark. Lord light me up I'm lovesick for just one touch. Your all I need but you never seem to be enough"
Tenth Avenue North

Hey all sorry for not posting lately. You may remember a month or two back I posted how I thought I finally had my masturbation struggles sort of under control. Well those days are long gone and I struggle with it often now. I also want to confess that I gave into looking at porn for the first time in awhile last week. That of course made me feel like crap for a little while too. But I prayed and asked for forgiveness and told my accountability partner and thankfully got over the guilt and shame I was feeling. Psalm 130 is a passage that really encouraged me.

I dont know I am realizing that its when I am feeling lonely that I am the weakest. The problem is I am lonely most of the time. I just cant seem to get the close relationships with others that I want. Sometimes I feel like my only purpose in life is to be an example of a lonely person to make other Christians grateful for their families and close friends. I know thats wrong but at times I think it anyways. I just cant get over my fears of opening up and letting myself be vulnerable to others. I am afraid of being rejected and judged. The thing is I want to be vulnerable but just dont know how to start.

This past weekend was good though but made me realize all I miss out on. We had a family reunion and there were lots of hugs and physical contact and stuff. It just made me realize how much I crave human touch. I dont get it often at all since I dont have many close friends. When I am craving it I find I end up trying to fulfill my cravings myself by masturbating and/or looking at porn. Dont really know what to do to fulfill this human need of touch. A handshake is not enough I want hugs and real intimate contact like rubbing each others back, and resting my head on their shoulders and stuff like that. I dont know I am just pathetic at making close friends where we would be comfortable doing this I guess.

Ya I know God should be enough much like it says in this song. He should be enough but as humans we are weak and seem to need more. But God made humans this way to crave touch. He probably did that for a reason since He knew we will need to comfort and be close to eachother to get through this hard life. I have been pretending I am not human and dont need these close relationships for so long its hard to transition out of it and be human and vulnerable to others. I so want to. But its hard.

So anyways please pray for me that I can resist trying to fulfill my need for close relationships and human touch with other things like porn and masturbation.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ravi Zacharias on Homosexuality and the Christian

This video is from 2009 so may be old but its new for me so I wanted to share it. Someone from the audience asked Ravi Zacharias a question about being a Christian and homosexuality and I just really liked his answer. He was honest and logical with his beliefs yet still showed compassion and understanding for those that struggle with this. If you have some time give this video a look.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Your Love is Strong

Last week I went to a big christian music festival and had the chance to see Jon Foreman perform this song live. It really spoke to me so much. It was such a beautiful setting in the mountains with dragonflys flying around and hawks flying above and nature everywhere. Anyways this song just really spoke to me when I saw it performed in person so I wanted to share it with you all here! I took a video of him performing it too that I posted on Facebook. I tried to post it here but it said the filesize was to big. So if you are my friend on Facebook check it out!

Gods love is stronger than all my fear, pain, rejection, and yes even my sin! Its incredible that He loves us so much. Why do I worry about things so much when the God who created the universe cares for me so much? If only I could really learn to accept his love and acceptance completely. Life would be so much easier if I could just truly not only know these things about Gods love but accept them completely and live like its really true.

Lord help me to accept your insane and crazy love for me. A love I do not deserve at all and yet you shower it upon me every day with the beauty of your creation. Every breath I take is another sign of your love. Help me never to forget your love for me. As this song says:
Forgive me a weary sinner
Keep me far away from my vices
Deliver me from these prisons that I helped to create for myself.

I love you Father!

Your Love is Strong
by: Jon Foreman

Heavenly father
You always amaze me
Let your kingdom come in my world
And in my life

You give me the food I need
To live through today
Forgive me as I forgive
The people that wrong me

Lead me far from temptation
Deliver me from the evil one

I look out the window
The birds are composing
Not a note is out of tune
Or out of place

I walk to the meadow
And stare at the flowers
Better dressed then any girl
On her wedding day

So why should I worry?
Why do I freak out?
God knows what I need
You know what I need!

- Chorus -

Your love is strong

The kingdom of the heavens
Is now advancing
Invade my heart
Invade this broken town
The kingdom of the heavens
Is buried treasure
Would you sell yourself
To buy the one you've found

Two things you told me
That you are strong and you love me
Yes, you love me

- Chorus -

Your love is strong

Our God in heaven
Hallowed be thy name above all names
Your kingdom come
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
Give us today our daily bread
Forgive us weary sinners
Keep us far away from our vices
Deliver us from these prisons

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mistakes, regrets, and moving forward

I have been thinking alot lately about mistakes I may have made in the way I dealt with my SSA all these years. Since I had never talked to anyone about my issues until I started my blog a few months ago I was just doing what I thought was best. I figured since I was attracted to guys then its obvious that I must keep away from guys and not form close friendships with them. I did not want them to find out my secret and did not want to stumble and fall with a guy. Well because of that I really have not had close male friends in a long time. And I am realizing from reading posts people have been making and chatting with others that I may have been handling things wrong. That not interacting with guys and not having close friendships with guys probably made my attractions and lusts for guys even stronger then they would have been as I felt like I was not one of them. This makes me really sad and hurts me deeply when I think about it. Because how do you make up for the lost time and experiences and growing up you missed? You can try but in reality you can't really. Of least not in the way it would have happened more naturally at that time.

One of my biggest regrets is that I did not go away to a christian college and live the dorm life with other guys. Once again it was a case of me doing things with the best of intentions only to realize now I was probably all wrong. I figured that I could not handle seeing guys in their underwear and undressing and sleeping in the same room and stuff for 4 years in the dorms. I thought I would be aroused 24/7 and never be able to study or think straight. I mean when you see straight christian guys attracted to females you dont see them go live with a bunch of them who walk around their rooms in their bra's to try and lessen their attractions you know what I mean?? So I figured I would treat males like straight guys treated females and not move in with a bunch of guys who I figured would cause me to lust. So I did what I thought was the right thing and picked a local state college to go to that I commuted to. I formed no real friendships there since I just drove in, took my classes, and drove back. Plus I think if I had told anyone there of my struggles they would have just encouraged me to act on them. I realize now that if I had gone away I would have been forced to be with other guys all the time and may have come to realize I am just like them and maybe been accepted and opened up more and felt like one of the guys. Maybe not but it could not have hurt.

Why did I let my SSA get the best of me and control my life? I was such a fool to let my struggles control me. So I am in this weird position of sadness over something I thought I was doing right at the time. I have to get over the anger I have for myself. Its like now its so clear what I should have done that I dont know why I could not see it then.

So where does this realization leave me now? Well glad you asked. What can be done now about the past? Nothing. I cant relive those years so I have to realize its useless for me to spend time worrying about things I may have done wrong in my struggle with SSA. I thought I was doing the right thing at the time so I cant dwell on it. I guess everyone hurts some time or another about things in the past. Its better to hurt than to be in the numb state I have been in for years (although sometimes i would prefer the numb state lol). So now I am trying to think of other ways to make close male friendships and relate with guys. Its ALOT harder now than it would have been then as most of the guys my age are married and far to busy with family life to form close friendships. Of least with a single guy. I notice married people have no trouble going out with new couples they meet but seldom go out with single people. I guess they think single people have a disease or something and dont want to catch it lol.

But I am going to try to go out of my comfort zone a little and reach out to people more.I am thinking of joining a small group at my church hoping that will let me get closer to people. Maybe that will be a way I can get closer male friends? There are not many other options really as I am kinda quite and have real trouble just introducing myself to random people. Also I have been trying to go to more functions like BBQ's and have been hanging out with acquaintances and friends of my brothers from church and that has been working too as I find I am more comfortable around his friends lately so I will continue doing that.

Anyways I am just thinking out loud to myself about my options of trying to reconnect with the male world. Forget reconnecting how about connecting for the first time lol. I definitely long to be accepted by other males and have male friends. This is all stuff I should have learned as a teenager but didnt because I felt different and separate from other males because of my SSA. Makes me wonder who would even want to be friends with someone as slow at learning basic life lessons as me lol. But I know thats just satan telling me lies. And that someone out there wants a new friend lol :).

If anyone else has any ideas or anything on making friends with guys or anything please post a comment.

Lord when I think about my past and the mistakes I made dealing with this and the way I let my SSA and fear control my life it fills me with great sadness and regret. I should have trusted You. Help me not to dwell on my past mistakes in dealing with this Lord. Instead show me the way to having the close friendships and acceptance I have longed for my entire life. Thank you Lord for having patience with me as I know it must be frustrating to watch me stumbling and messing up all the time as I try to deal with all my problems and sins. Help me not to deal with my sins alone but instead rely on You. I know that you are remaking me patiently and lovingly into the man you want me to be and I am so thankful I am learning these things now of least. I love you Father.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lesson One

Just purchased the newest Jars of Clay album on iTunes last night because it was on sale for only $6.99. Anyways one of the tracks really affected me. It is track 9 titled Boys (Lesson One). It is a song sung from a father to a son about growing up. It really made me an emotional mess listening to it. I wish someone taught me these things growing up. Maybe they did teach it but for whatever reason it did not stick with me. I just never felt like I could be honest about my struggles with my parents. I guess I still have alot to work through and alot of lessons to learn.

Boys (Lesson One)
by: Jars of Clay

Lesson one - do not hide
Lesson two - there are right ways to fight
And if you have questions
We can talk through the night

So you know who you are
And you know what you want
I’ve been where you’re going
And it’s not that far
It’s too far to walk
But you don’t have to run
You’ll get there in time

Lesson three - you’re not alone
Not since I saw you start breathing on your own
You can leave, you can run, this will still be your home

So you know who you are
And you know what you want
I’ve been where you’re going
And it’s not that far
It’s too far to walk
But you don’t have to run
You’ll get there in time
Get there in time

In time, to wonder where the days have gone
In time, to be old enough to wish that you were young
When good things are unraveling, bad things come undone
You weather love and lose your innocence

There will be liars and thieves who take from you
Not to undermine the consequence
But you are not what you do
And when you need it most
I have a hundred reasons why I love you

If you weather love and lose your innocence
Just remember - lesson one

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Please Let Me Off the Rollercoaster

Lately I just want to get off this roller coaster my emotions have become. I am just sick of it. One day I am feeling great and close to God thinking sure I will be fine and everything will work out. Then other days like today I feel its hopeless and I will be lonely the rest of my life. I just feel like its not fair sometimes that I struggle with this while others live a great life with a loving family. But then again I guess life is not fair. For whatever reason God seems to bless some with things like a wife and a family while others like me struggle with something as basic to their humanity as their sexual identity. Its hard to know why but I guess we wont know until we get to heaven. But I still choose to keep trusting God that He must have some kind of plan and purpose for me.

I am almost done with the Desires in Conflict book I have been reading. I have to admit at times it is painful to read as so much what he described seemed to be about me. Hearing his theory about SSA does make alot of sense but its painful to know that things in my childhood may have caused this. It makes me think if only misunderstandings about relationships had not occurred, if only I had more male friends and felt accepted as one of the guys. Maybe I would be married now with a family instead of lonely and confused. If only, if only, if only...

But there is no use wishing things had happened differently. They didnt and its a waste of time for me to constantly dwell on the past and wish I had done this instead of that etc... Plus maybe I would not like the person I would be if I met him today if everything happened different. Maybe that person would think he does not need God because everything in his life is great. Maybe when I get to heaven I will actually thank God for letting me struggle with this as it made me depend on Him when otherwise I would try to do things on my own? Maybe, but for now its a really hard struggle so I just have to keep trying and trusting in God day by day. I have to finally try to move forward and try to leave the pain behind. Its a hard thing to do since the pain has been with me so long of wanting to fit in but never being accepted by my peers, the loneliness, the feelings of guilt and shame.

Having said all that I actually had a good weekend last weekend though. I volunteered at church last Sunday to help set up the worship team. So I got to church around 7 am and we set up all the cables and instruments and sound system and stuff. Got to meet some other people and went out for coffee after we were done and before the service started. It was good and I felt like part of a team. I will have to do it again I think.

Lord please help me to be happy with what I have. Help me not to compare my life with others but just accept that some people have more struggles in life than others. I know its probably for my own good that you let me struggle with this even though its a painful thing and often its hard for me to understand. Please help me to trust You Jesus and to know that you only want whats best for me. Help me to form close relationships with other guys and finally feel accepted. I love you Lord and thank You for my life.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

You Are Faithful

Really love this worship song by Jesus Culture. Always inspires me to keep pressing on and to keep on trusting God.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Why ask Why?

I am reading through Proverbs right now and the other day I came across this short verse that spoke to me so figured I would share it with you all. Proverbs 20:24 Here is the NLT version of it:

"The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?"

I took it to mean that life is confusing and we may not understand why we struggle or have hardships but in the end its for our good as the Lord is directing us and changing us into the person He wants us to be. So going through a struggle and trying to obey God is what we have to do even though we may ask questions as to why do I have to struggle with this when all my friends and family are "normal". They have their own struggles that we may not understand.

This is something I often struggle with. Over the years I have spent alot of time wondering why I struggle with SSA. I have thought over certain things that happened or did not happen that could have caused it. Wondered if only I had done this or did not do that then maybe I would have turned out different. But the truth is I will probably never know why I struggle with this. So I have to start just realizing the whys dont matter as much. As this verse says its not for us to understand the whys. Its just our job to try and obey and trust God that He will use even the toughest struggles, which sometimes this seems like this has to be one of the tougher ones, to direct our steps and draw us closer to Him and make us into the people He wants us to be in order to glorify Him in our weakness all the more.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Click Away

Wow re-reading my my last post made it sound like I am far from God. I just wanted to clarify that those feelings I mentioned in Question 5 of my last post are things I have felt from time to time and most of them things I thought in the past and not things that I think all the time! In fact In the past few months I have felt closer to God than I ever have before! I think its because I am finally really open with God and admitting everything to Him. All my fears, my pains, my hopes, my dreams. In addition to this blog I keep a journal. I write it as if writing to God and its been a great help to me. I have only been doing it for about 8 months or so. But its great looking back and realizing WOW God did answer me. If I had not written it down I may have forgotten. For instance in the weeks up to finding the blogs I had some really painful entries where I was telling God how alone I felt in my struggle. Well than I just re-read the entry after I found the blogs and it made me smile to see how happy I was to see I was not alone in this struggle. I am sure God smiled too and was happy to answer my prayers. I am really realizing He loves me for me as I am now. And because He loves me as I am now I am trying to follow His will for me to show my love back in some small way! I know I cant match His love for me with works but I can try to honor Him. Sure I will fail many times and without His help would fail ALL the time, but He knows whats in our heart.

Ever since I finally admitted on my blog that I have these attractions and talked to my brother and his wife it has been a freeing experience and I have felt Gods love like never before. I am so encouraged by all you guys who read this and your blogs. Seriously to see how God is working in your lives is amazing. It encourages me and I hope in some small way I encourage you all too. Sure we all have struggles and our walks may be harder than straight Christians and they may not understand us or our struggle all the time but of least we understand each other and can support and pray for each other. And even if others dont understand this struggle completely many will still pray for us and try to help as they can.

I sometimes in the past wished the internet had not been invented because it makes looking at porn to easy. But then I could not imagine what it would have been like if it was like the 1950's now with no internet. I never would have found any of you and likely would have thought I was alone with this struggle my entire life.
Like everything else in life the internet can be used for good and evil. Satan has found it as an easy way to tempt people with online porn that is a mouse click away but God also uses it and there is christian support a mouse click away as well. The question is where will we point that mouse? Isn't the support and prayers we give one another way better than the few seconds of pleasure we get from online porn? I think it is!

Anyways I guess I am just sort of rambling today. I am in a good mood. Going to be visiting some family this weekend and they have a pool and its like 93 degrees lol :) I am thankful for a new day. I am thankful to God for loving even me. I am thankful for you all. I am thankful to be alive!

Hey if you are ever feeling down read Psalms 103. Love that chapter it really shows the love of God and how eager He is to love and forgive us! I will post it here even though its kinda long:

Psalms 103 (NLT)
1 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
2 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
3 He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
5 He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

6 The Lord gives righteousness
and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

7 He revealed his character to Moses
and his deeds to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9 He will not constantly accuse us,
nor remain angry forever.
10 He does not punish us for all our sins;
he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
12 He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
13 The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
14 For he knows how weak we are;
he remembers we are only dust.
15 Our days on earth are like grass;
like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
16 The wind blows, and we are gone—
as though we had never been here.
17 But the love of the Lord remains forever
with those who fear him.
His salvation extends to the children’s children
18 of those who are faithful to his covenant,
of those who obey his commandments!

19 The Lord has made the heavens his throne;
from there he rules over everything.

20 Praise the Lord, you angels,
you mighty ones who carry out his plans,
listening for each of his commands.
21 Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels
who serve him and do his will!
22 Praise the Lord, everything he has created,
everything in all his kingdom.
Let all that I am praise the Lord." (bolded by me AJ)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Laying the Foundation

I am reading Desires in Conflict by Joe Dallas and chapter 4 has some questions he wants the reader to answer. Well I decided to answer them here for all the world to see. lol :)

1.What event or circumstance motivated your decision to repent of homosexuality? hmm tough one. I have never acted out my lusts and fantasies with another person so it was not a specific event with another person or anything. About 4 months ago I had looked at porn for the first time in months and I was so disgusted with myself afterwards. After I was done I like usual felt intense shame, disgust, and remorse. The next day I woke up bitterly depressed. I was sure I was the only one on earth who was a christian and struggled with this. I cried for a long time to God and prayed to Him for help and hope. Well God delivered and led me to the blogs later that very day! I finally learned I was not alone. Ever since then I have been really battling like never before to try and repent of my ways and change into the man God wants me to be.

2.What specifically will you need to repent of (turn from)?
-Lust of guys
-Online Porn
-Fantasies about other guys while masturbating.

3.List ways your sexual behavior has effected you physically?
hmm I am not sure I know what to say. I have never been with another guy so dont really know what to answer. Or maybe I am misunderstanding the question? I guess you could say I have always hated the way I looked and wished I looked like other guys does that count? Sometimes I feel like its not worth getting more in shape because I am like who am I trying to impress? Other guys? Girls that I am not even attracted to? I dont know thats all I could come up with. Maybe I dont get the question or it does not apply?

4.List ways your sexual behavior has affected you mentally or emotionally.
Well I have really low self esteem and look down on myself. I have alot of self hate and sometimes think of myself as a freak. I am shy and am often afraid to talk at social events as I dont want people to know what I perceive to be the "real" me. This all started when I first started having these feelings and attractions to guys as before then I was not so shy. I sort of built a wall to hide my shame and guilt so others could not see the "real" me that I was so ashamed of and afraid they would see if I let them in. Basically because of my SSA and the probably wrong ways I have been dealing with it I do not have really any close friends because of my shame and hiding. Sure I have acquaintances but I have never allowed anyone in close enough to be considered a real friend IMO.

5.List any ways your sexual behavior has affected you spirituality.

-I have felt far from God at times and like there is no way God could love me.
-Felt like I was an abomination growing up in a very conservative christian school.
-Did not understand how I could be a christian and have these feelings.
-Afraid to join small groups at church as I felt my sin was to great and I would be judged. Seeing others open up I did not know how I would be able to.
-Filled with incredible shame and guilt.
-Felt I was a hypocrite for praying for healing and then lusting soon after.
-At times as a teenager wondered if I would go to hell because of my attractions.

6.Describe what your life will be like 5 years from now if you dont stop this behavior.
It will be the same as it is now. An unhappy life filled with hiding, guilt, shame, intense loneliness at times, and not many good things to look forward to.

7.You just described what your life will be like if you continue this behavior. Is this acceptable to you? Why or why not?

No its not acceptable to me. I cant continue on this path if I ever want to find happiness. I want to live the way God intended before my sinful nature or whatever messed everything up. I dream of someday having a wife and family but most of all I want to LIVE. I have been so afraid of my shame and guilt I feel like I have never really lived at all but instead have been in hiding my whole life. I want to be free. I want close friends. I want christian fellowship. I want to feel like I belong and am loved and accepted for who I am. I want to trust God like I know I should and really let it sink in that He loves even me.

8. List 10 reasons for remaining sexually pure and list 5 more each week after for the next 4 weeks:

(I sort of mixed sex and looking at porn for my list)

1.I want to honor God with my body.
2.I dont want the guilt that comes with failing.
3.Im tired of hiding my sins
4.The anxiety of being caught is to great
5.The disgust I feel for myself after looking at porn is not worth the 10 seconds of pleasure.
6.Its a dead end street looking at porn with no love or friendship gained from it.
7.I dont want to live in a fantasy world anymore.
8.Dont want any STD's
9.I dont want the shame.
10.If God ever blesses me with a wife it will be an amazing thing for me to be able to tell her despite all my temptations and struggles with SSA I never had sex with another guy.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I'll keep trusting You

Stan who has a blog I frequent often sent me an email today about a blog post he thought I should read. Here is an excerpt from that blog post that I really liked:

"Once we come into agreement with one of Satan’s lies, we then start to live our lives and make decisions out of that lie. So let’s take one as an example: “I am gay and there is no way to be healed of homosexuality”. Let’s say you have come into agreement with that lie. How are you going to live your life? Are you going to seek healing? Are you going to seek out churches to love and help you through your struggle? Are you going to seek out groups of men to mentor you? Are you going to pray fervently for the Lord to walk you through your healing journey quickly?

No. It's highly unlikely you are going to do any of those things. What are you going to do? You are going to find a group of people who believe the same lie. You are going to seek out other relationships that are going to confirm that lie. You are going to have conversations with other people who are going to confirm that lie. You are going to separate yourself from anyone who doesn’t agree with you."

Check out the full blog article here. Its a great read and is all about the lies Satan tries to get us to believe. The article also gives ways on how to fight back against Satan's lies and for me of least the blog post was a really big encouragement to keep trusting God and to keep praying for healing and not to give up.

Anyways I had been feeling pretty discouraged about my struggle with SSA as you may have been able to tell based on that rather depressing song I posted yesterday. Just was feeling hopeless and depressed. In fact I did not even go to church yesterday. I just could not put on my fake smile and pretend I was fine.

I often wonder if change is really possible you know what I mean? I cant get a straight answer from anyone. Some say its a struggle that we must endure our whole life with little hope for healing. Others say after alot of intense therapy some measure of healing takes place and still others say they were healed instantly. Its all very confusing. I guess no one seems to know. Makes me wonder why God does not heal more of us instantly? He must be teaching us faith and trust by letting us struggle. Anyways I just read that blog today and I really liked what the blog had to say about not giving up on healing. We have to live like change is possible otherwise we will just give up and if we give up we are sure stay the same. That is something I really needed to hear! That is so powerful and true. Because if I think there is no hope for change I wont even bother trying. Which is what Satan would love. I needed to read this today.

I emailed my brother last night and told him the truth about how discouraged I am and how I feel hopeless and dont know if I will ever be healed. And he called me up last night and we talked for an hour. It was so awesome and he really encouraged me and told me not to give up. In my email I told him I feel like a freak and he said I am not a freak but just a sinner like everyone else. And he got upset when I said I wish I was normal because he said I am normal just because I sin and have struggles does not mean I am not normal and that everyone struggles with something. Anyways It was really something I needed and we talked about a bunch of other things like prayers and struggles and God. It was one of the deepest conversations we have ever had! So much better than the superficial conversations we used to have before he knew of my struggles. And he told me about some things he needs prayers for too. Basically we both were finally vulnerable and honest with each other! God is using this to bring us alot closer.

I now know why Satan tried his hardest to keep me from telling my brother for all this time. Like this article said Satan knew that my brother would give me support and courage so he kept feeding me the lies that my brother would reject me if he knew.

Anyways I am feeling better today than I did over the weekend and I am going to keep trusting in God that healing is possible. Dont know in what form healing will take place or when but I am going to put my hope in the God that I know loves me no matter what that He will transform me into the man he wants me to be.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Its Not

This song seems like the story of my life sometimes.

Its Not
By:Aimee Mann

I keep going round and round on the same old circuit
A wire travels underground to a vacant lot
Where something I can't see interrupts the current
And shrinks the picture down to a tiny dot
And from behind the screen it can look so perfect
But it's not

So here I'm sitting in my car at the same old stop light
I keep waiting for a change but I don't know what
So red turns into green turning into yellow
But I'm just frozen here on the same old spot
And all I have to do is to press the pedal
But I'm not

People are tricky you can't afford to show
Anything risky anything they don't know
The moment you try - well kiss it goodbye

So baby kiss me like a drug, like a respirator
And let me fall into the dream of the astronaut
Where I get lost in space that goes on forever
And you make all the rest just an afterthought
And I believe it's you who could make it better
Though it's not
No it's not...
No it's not...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wandering Thoughts for July 8th

Hey all just another one of my mini update posts with a mishmash of random thoughts all in one post! :)

First a mini review for The Broken Image by Leanne Payne.

--I finished reading The Broken Image by Leanne Payne the other day. It was pretty good. One problem was half the book was about lesbians and the other about male homosexuals so alot of it did not apply to me. Still I learned a bunch from it and she had alot of theories and ideas as to why people have SSA.

I dont agree with everything in it though as she seems to guarantee healing from homosexuality which I just dont know if I can believe. Although she does not really say what healing means. So maybe her idea of healing is different than what mine would be. She says she has a certain prayer that she does that works 100% of the time but its to stressful for the actual struggler to pray and try to change himself as he has spent years praying for healing and struggling and cant believe fully in Gods healing so a counselor has to intercede and pray for him and really believe it. Anyways she says that but then in the next sentence says the prayer only works after many sessions of intense therapy. So it made me question did the prayer work at all or was it all the intense therapy?

One chapter I really learned alot from was on masturbation and the dangers of creating a fantasy world. It gave me alot to think about and I recognized myself in alot of what she wrote. Also the last chapter was all about prayer and worship and I found that amazing too. Anyways overall I liked it and gained some insight about myself from it. Would I recommend it to everyone? No I dont think so but it could still be a help to some. It seems the book may have been written more for counselors than the actual SSA struggler as she describes her counseling sessions and seems to be talking over the heads of the struggler and to the counselors at certain points of the book. Still I found alot of really useful stuff in the book.

--I am now reading Desires in Conflict by Joe Dallas. Already I am liking it alot more than The Broken Image. He has a great writing style and just seems to get what this struggle is like as a struggler himself. I have only read the intro and most of chapter 1 but wow its like he was writing about me specifically in alot of what I read. He talks about how the Christian SSA struggler feels like he is the only one on earth who struggles with this and how he thinks no one in church could love him or understand, and that has been me for so much of my life. And that when SSA strugglers find others who share in the same struggle as them an enormous burden is lifted because you realize you are just a normal sinner and not some kind of super-sinner that is one of a kind that no one else could understand. That has been my experience. Since finding the blogs and talking to you all it has been amazing to not feel alone in this struggle with SSA! Anyways I will keep you updated on my progress in the book and let you know what I think when I am done. I have a feeling I am going to learn alot from this book.

--Two of my favorite blogs are closing down. :-( If you have not been to Karen's blog "Pursue God" or Jay's blog "Adventures of a Christian Collegian" check them out as they have a bunch of great posts and information about SSA on their blogs and be sure wish them luck on their new projects! I have learned alot from their blogs over the past few months.

--Really learned alot from a talk Dr. Mark Yarhouse gave about Sexual Identity and the Christian that Jeff posted on his blog. Check out the two part lecture if you have time I promise you its worth it! You can find the links to the lectures on Jeff's blog.

--And finally loved this post that Ody-Dan made on his blog posing the question Can SSA/Gay People Enjoy Straight Sex? How About Their Spouse? It is all about his life as a married man with SSA and goes into some very personal details of his sex life. These are things I have always wondered but likely would not ask someone so it was great to see how someone with SSA deals with these issues!

Ok thats all for now. Thanks for reading! :)