2003 was a significant year.

 

It was the last year I saw my father alive (sort of, but more on that later).

 

It was the year that I had the perfect job for me. It did not pay well, but in that job God let me use my gifts of mercy, evangelism, and administration in a way that made me feel like I was making a difference.

 

It was the year that I determined to change.

 

My parents came to visit in the summer of 2003, and it was during that summer that our denomination’s annual conference really started to change me. I started reading the Bible. A few weeks after the conference I walked to work and stopped by a bookshop that I frequented, and inadvertently found a One Year Bible – New Living Translation. I bought it, and started reading. It’s not that I’ve never read the Bible. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve read it cover to cover. I’ve been to seminary. I’ve taught adult Sunday School for years. But, suddenly, I wanted to read it. I wasn’t the most faithful reader: if I missed a day, I rarely went back to catch up the missed readings. But when I made the time, I would read that days readings.

 

I started finding it easier to avoid porn on the internet. Don’t get me wrong – I was still addicted to porn. But it was a little less frequent. And it no longer was satisfying in any way. I was also able to avoid the occasional tryst with another man. I felt like God was finally giving me some victory over my sinful desires. I wasn’t becoming straight. I was just becoming more faithful to my wife.

 

By May of 2004 I’d reach a significant crisis point. On March 31st I had been fired, “without cause” (so they said) from the job that was perfect for me. I did not know what God was telling me to do next, except to start being honest. So, one day in May I sat down with my wife and confessed everything. It was amazing how she seemed so able to forgive me and move on. I was overwhelmed, and convinced that that was all I needed. If she could know what I had done, and still love me and cherish me, then I could be straight from now on. I put internet accountability on my computer. I looked for accountability partners. I confessed my sins to our bishop, to another pastor in our community, and to leaders of my local church. I started having sex with my wife on a regular basis. I did my best to make it satisfying for her, and to enjoy it myself. It seemed like I was winning this battle.

 

Of course, I was still attracted to men. And, no matter what I did during sex with my wife, I still had to think of men in order to “perform.” And sex with my wife was kind of like eating cabbage (nothing against cabbage) when I could be eating fettucine alfredo, or chocolate cheesecake.

 

In spite of these feelings, I was able to stay faithful. I continued to read my Bible, and to pray.

 

Then, in April of 2005, I received a phone call from Australia. Dad had had a cardiac arrest. Mum had revived him, but he was in a coma, and not expected to live. In 72 hours we obtained 4 passports (a miracle in itself), were winging it down under. Dad “lived” in that coma for 15 days. It was the most precious 15 days of my life. We spent hours together as a family, gathered from around the world and around the country. We prayed, we sang hymns of faith, we took communion together.

 

I also got in touch with some old friends. One of these was Bernardo, mentioned in Part One. Bernardo was the first person I had ever come out to, 17 years earlier. I told Bernardo my story, how I was having victory over homosexuality. He asked me how I keep doing this. I told him that prayer and Bible reading was key for me. He asked me what would I do if I was unable to read the Bible, or if prayer became difficult. I had no answer.

 

Lovingly, Bernardo told me that he would be my friend no matter what life I chose to live.

 

You could have knocked me over with a feather. Somehow, those words sounded like the Holy Spirit. At that point in time, I wouldn’t have told anyone… that would be heresy. But suddenly the possibility that I could be loved and respected simply by being who I am, rather than by trying to meet expectations, was right in front of me. And I was scared.

 

Suddenly I began to wonder who I really was, and was it possible for me to just be me. Could I be accepted, Just as I am?

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2 Responses to “My Story, Part Two: Repentance, Death, and Me, Just as I am”

  1. NageIssuels Says:

    Hi, cool site, good writing 😉

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I have thesame struggle with you.But thanks God that the old has gone, the new has come.Since we repented for being gay,let the blood of Jesus wash our mind and so we will not claim that weakness again.We may struggle again and again coz i believe being an issue about homosexual is very deceiving and the temptation actually will last for many years like what u have experience.But what is wrong on what u have shared is that, you are still claiming that you are still a gay.Remember that the abundance of the heart is what the mouth speaks….We rather claim the victory over and over since Jesus is so gracious and will still be loving and forgiving with no end.Thus, let us repent again if our flesh will confess again that we are still on thesame sexuality.No, we are not, when God forgives, he forgets so we rather carry his forgiveness and the washing of his blood on our sins….We are a new creation….the old has gone.
    Blake-a victorius christian ffrom the curse of homosexual

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