Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Looking Back Moving Forward

Wow guys I just realized a couple of days ago was the one year anniversary of my blog. The last year has been so incredible. I have had more growth this year then in many of the years before it combined. A year ago I was a lonely, confused, and hurting person filled with so much shame I could barely stand never mind move forward with my life. God found me at my weakest point and broke through my intense shame and low self worth to begin to show me His true love for me. He used many of you guys to help me more than you will ever know. Without your support, encouragement, prayers and advice I would still be in that place. I really do love you guys and thank you for responding to a hurting stranger with Christ's love.

I have poured out my soul on this blog and often the posts have been incredibly raw. Sometimes I want to go back and delete them after the fact but then decided to leave them up in case some day another hurting person finds them and they are a help in some way like others blogs have helped me so much.

In the last year I have grown so much. My confidence has grown. I actually go to social events and manage to enjoy them even though I am still quiet but even going is something I never used to do. I shared with a couple of family members about my struggles with SSA after much help and encouragement from several of you who kept pushing me and encouraging me and gave me tons of advice. My relationship with these family members is so much better now that I have shared this and we are more open and honest then ever before and it is so much deeper!

Then I joined a small group at church which is another thing that has always filled me with fear since I always assumed I would have to wear a mask and not share my real struggle. Still I went (after much encouragement from you all) and it has been so amazing for me. To see that these other Christians have very real struggles that they have to deal with has been such a help to me. They have hurts and pains just like me. It may be a different struggle but me having this does not make me worst then them. We all have something to deal with. Seeing them be so vulnerable and real has given me courage!

And moving forward there is another very HUGE thing happening in the near future. I am sharing with my small group about my struggles. The date is already set and I told the leader I want to share my whole story to the group so there is no backing out! I will be sharing next week and this is a pretty scary thing but something I know God wants for me. He has been with me every step of the way on this journey and He won't abandon me now. I know that I will get some freedom after sharing and can finally let them in to see the real me that I always have hidden both the good, and the hurt and pain, everything. Basically I will finally be showing my humanness and weakness and need for a savior and not be pretending I have no problems and "everything is fine". Its great to finally be joining the human race lol. :) Also me being vulnerable with this group will help me to get closer to them as well and show them I trust them. I am hoping it also gives others in the group courage to share struggles that they have and have been ashamed to share.

I will be sharing both my pain growing up with this struggle, my hurts, rejections, feelings of being "less than" other guys and wondering if God could even love me because of this. And also the incredible ways God is working in my life now and how he led me to a group of strangers with the same struggles who showed me the truth of Gods love and how he has used them to encourage and change me. I also will share about my renewed love and thankfulness to Him for how he rescued me from my prison of shame and lies that Satan had been convincing me where the truth about myself. I am going to share how I learned I am worth something to God and loved by Him how I am now. And that I know he won't abandon me on this journey as I move forward even though it will be hard and lonely at times.

Anyways a year ago I never would have dreamed I would be doing this. I never would have even considered going to a small group never minding sharing my biggest secret that has filled me with shame for most of my life! That just shows the power of Gods love and how he can change a scared and shame filled person into a brave person as for me this is a pretty brave thing to do! I know God is giving me the courage to do this as on my own I never would be able to.

Anyways the last year has been the most painful and also the best year of my life because it was the year God finally got through to me and showed me my worth as his Child. I am tearing up as I write this thinking about all I went through this year and how much courage it took and how out of character it was for me. God truly was with me all the way and gave me the courage to do it. Thank you so much those who have commented, emailed, chatted, messaged, talked, and become friends with me for the encouragement and support you have given me. I can never repay you for it.

Praying this year is even more amazing and filled with more growth for both me and you all too! A huge step will be happening next week for me so I have a feeling everything is going to be different pretty quick! I am going to get messy and show people the real me the hurts and pains and the good stuff too. :) I of course would appreciate prayers that it goes well when I share with my group.

Love you guys,


Friday, March 11, 2011

Pray the Gay Away?

Earlier in the week the documentary "Pray the Gay away?" hosted by Lisa Ling aired on Oprah's network OWN. Its worth watching and gives all sides to the debate on whether its possible to be Christian and gay. I feel overall it was pretty fair in its handling of exodus and those who choose not to act on their attractions. I was afraid it would be edited in a negative light and look down on those who choose not to embrace the gay lifestyle despite their attractions. Worth watching if for no other reason then to see what its like when one struggles with this and the way it makes you question your faith at times and look for answers.

The episode is now online at Oprah.com! Here is the link to watch the full episode: Pray the Gay Away? Full Episode

Also after this episode aired they had a special with host Gayle King where she interviewed Lisa Ling and got updates from many of the people that appeared in her documentary "Pray the Gay Away?"

Here is the link to watch the special that featured discussions on the documentary "Pray the Gay Away?" and updates from people who were interviewed in it: Pray the Gay Away? The Conversation Continues...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wandering Thoughts for March 3rd

Some random thoughts and links for you all!

-First a surprising editorial on the front page of CNN today titled "My Take: The Bible really does condemn homosexuality". Not something I expected to see on the front page of CNN. It is in response to this article that was posted on CNN.com last week: "My Take: The Bible’s surprisingly mixed messages on sexuality"

-There is going to be an interesting episode of "Our America With Lisa Ling" on the Oprah Network OWN airing next week. The title of the episode is "Pray the Gay Away?" Here is the episode Synopsis: "Can prayer make you straight?" Host Lisa Ling explores that notion as she observes some 1100 participants at a Freedom Conference sponsored by the evangelical organization Exodus International, which offers advice on combating same-sex attractions. "I have chosen to live my life through the filter of my faith," says Exodus president Alan Chambers, "not through the filter of my sexuality."

The episode airs Tuesday March 8th at 10pm on OWN. Not sure if I get that channel but if not I hope I can watch it online after. I hope that this documentary is edited and presented in a fair and respectful way for those who chose to share their stories at last years Exodus conference.

-Here are a couple of blog posts I want to recommend! :)

1.First this post titled Drowning, Comatose, & Heart Surgery (part 3) is really great and discusses what hiding our struggle and being in a sort of loveless numb state is like perfectly. I so related with his description and am looking forward to more freedom as I share my story with others hopefully soon. Looking forward to reading part 4! :)

2.Love the song "God is not a white man" by Gungor so wanted to link to gaypks blog since he posted the video to it recently! :) Check the song out there if you have not seen the video! Its cool! Here is the link: http://calledtobegay.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/god-loves-lesbians/

3.Am glad to see Jay posting again!! :) http://thenextadventures.blogspot.com/ His blog was one of the first blogs I found that was about SSA so always great to hear his thoughts.

4.This is a new blog I just started reading in the last couple of weeks. The author is currently sharing his testimony and struggles with SSA in a very honest way. His love for God through all his struggles is so evident and so inspiring! Check it out! http://intheaftermath.xanga.com/

-And finally an update about me lol. I still have not shared with my small group about my struggles with SSA. I am determined to though just have not found the right opportunity yet. The group is great for me though and I feel I am starting to get a bit closer to them which is great news! Please keep praying for me that I will find the right time to share and have courage to do so if you could!

Ok thats it for now. See you next time!