I grew up in a very loving home, was taught all the good morals, went to Catholic church, although I had no idea why I was there; I disliked catechism on Saturdays, as I never got to watch cartoons and to this day I have no recollection of anything that was taught, let alone who was in my classes.
I simply followed what I was told: to honor mom and dad, and to do good.
One day during my junior or sophomore year of high school, mom stopped going to church; a few weeks later I questioned my brother of why we were going if mom stopped; we stopped too. I was free! Or so I thought, and it wasn’t really about the cartoons after all.
I had curly hair while all the other girls had pretty straight hair. They could put it in a bun or tie with a ribbon or bow or even braid it and when they went out on a ‘special’ date and got all dolled up?? they’d curl it and those pretty wavy curls made them look so beautiful. Me?? Curly hair that grew out like ‘bozo’ the clown; most of the time I felt like a clown, hiding behind a mask or behind my best friend who was so popular, pretty and need I say—had straight hair. After years of trying to straighten it with rollers, it became my demise. I felt ugly and never wanted the spotlight, and thus became shy, bashful and went along with what was supposed to be the goal in life: to get good grades and then go to college.
Now, you have to understand that throughout my upbringing I felt out of place because of my hair. I was different – I stood out, or at least that’s how I felt and it affected everything in my relationships as life went on. I kept my feelings inside, was quiet among groups and shy around guys, as I never felt pretty enough that someone would love me as I am; pretty much a loner with my thoughts. Just before going off to college though, I had discovered with the correct style and cut, my natural curly hair took on an Afro style, which was the coolest trend then. I loved it and so I felt like I fit in—finally.
During my college years I dated a few guys and didn’t know how to act, I was still shy and bashful, not knowing how to stand up for myself and my convictions; I became a people-pleaser which led to much shame and embarrassment. I wanted to talk with someone who understood but didn’t know whom to trust, or turn to, and even if I had, how would I begin?? My guilt and shame imprisoned me.
Well, early in those teen years I had turned to alcohol and smoking marijuana- it was where I could escape and find solace, and ran to this fantasy world where I could dream and not be judged or feel like I had to perform to be loved- it was my safe place, but only for awhile, as I had to then hide from others while I sobered up. The longing to know who I was and where I was supposed to be going nagged at me and nothing seemed to come together; I watched others happily study for their degrees or find love and eventually marry, but I was lost and drowning in my loneliness.
I remember many nights going out after smoking dope and looking up into the stars, wondering if there was a God, and if so, what if there was nothing and none of us existed at all—what then?? Well, I never got further than that because I knew there was a God, I just knew it. That’s all I remember, I would think on that all the time, every time I looked at the stars.
My 3rd year of college began; I met up with a good friend who had always helped me in previous science classes; he was very likeable and smart and something about him set him apart. I was so happy to see him and share of each other’s summer activities; we talked for a brief time, but we had classes to go to and when the coffee was about gone, he said he had exciting news to tell me and he proceeded to tell me of the Good News of Jesus, that Jesus saves! I sort of squirmed inside, I didn’t want to hear, but being polite I listened and watched him—he was so cute, drawing a picture on a scratch pad, showing how man is separated from God because of our sins and how although man has tried all kinds of ways to reach God—we fail; in fact, all our works will never reach Him because they fall short. Only God can save man and it’s based on what God has done by grace, simply because He loves us that much.
I remember I didn’t understand it all right then and there, and because time was short and we had to run off to class, and he knew he may not run into me again the rest of the semester, he quickly asked if I’d like to invite Jesus into my heart. I had never heard this before in my Catholic upbringing, that one had to be born again to get to Heaven; all my heart heard in that brief moment was that God loved me so much. My gut reaction was to run, as part of me felt cornered and yet I knew this was God wanting me to stop running and just be loved – I said “yes!” and we prayed.
No whistles went off, no balloons came down, but something clicked that moment; I knew this was good! There was a Bible study on campus that night, he invited me, came to the dorms to pick me up, like a gentleman, and introduced me to all his friends who now were my friends--and that began my new walk with believers in Jesus.
The years that followed led me to many adventures of which I could have never dreamed up! I was involved in several good churches, went on an evangelistic trip to So Africa, have stories of fun Bible study fellowship groups, had many fun Christian roommates, and the list goes on and on. After having a rough time earlier in life, I didn’t want to jump into dating; I wanted to experience and learn of my new found walk with Jesus because life was just beginning. There were times when a few of my guy friends felt more than friendship towards me and when I let them know I wasn’t attracted to them in that way, they either were angry or they just hung around thinking I might change my mind and somewhere in there I just wanted to be left alone; I didn’t want anything to do with guys for a long while—just give me some space.
It was around this time that I began seeing some things occurring in the leadership of the churches I would frequent and it disturbed me; the attitudes, little subtle changes that were creeping in. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I soon began to skip church services, which led to not going at all.
I soon ran into a neighbor I had briefly met months before, we quickly became friends, taking walks and long talks almost nightly; it sure felt nice to just hang out and not be judged, to let my guard down and be heard, in contrast to the few guys I had befriended that kept bothering me; I was so disappointed with men’s actions. She was a welcome change, a breath of fresh air!
Months later she had news to tell me—she was gay. She waited to hear what I would say and I froze in my tracks. Those words rocked my world. I had to think; I needed time to think this through. I knew what I was hearing and I couldn’t believe that I had become so close to this friend and to tell her that I couldn't spend a lot of time with her any longer would bring questions up for which I didn’t have answers.
You see, I had poured my life into this friendship and now differing beliefs in a lifestyle, something I knew in my heart was not right, I now had to face. This was personal.
A few years before, I had a Christian sister who was struggling with this desire; she decided to pursue her friend and although we disagreed I told her that I would always be her friend. I quickly remembered my best friend who was my mentor in my walk with Christ, how I had visited her a year before and got in a heated argument with her friend who had been trying to persuade her to leave her marriage to be with her. Did I not see?? Oh, I did, but my desires were already pulling at me, I knew in my heart, and I should have stood by my convictions, but the thought of walking away hurt. You see, I suddenly realized I needed to make a choice; I knew the truth, and I needed to take a stand; If they are not walking the same path as you, there will be hurt and pain down the road.
I ran…for several days; I didn’t talk to anyone or call anyone, as I knew what they would say and truth be told I didn’t want to hear, I didn’t want to have to choose. You see, I gave my life to Jesus years ago and I knew in my heart that pursuing this lifestyle was wrong, it’s not what He wanted for me; He called me to follow Him, to love Him and not the things of this world; to surrender my ways for His ways, because His ways are so much better. Well, I turned to my old ways of drinking and turned up the volume of the music and pounded away on my heavy bag I had hanging out in the patio, until I was exhausted. I found myself praying on my knees, crying out to God and not hearing anything. Deep inside I was scared, because I actually wanted to pursue this unknown path—really?? yes. I told God that I had been good all these years and I just wanted to have fun, so since I wasn’t hearing from Him, that’s what I was going to do. Wow.
As all things that are not God’s ways, they start out fun, life is good!- then the trials, tests and troubles come; I had a Lot to do with the hurts that ensued and oh the pain and heartache. Many times, I would run into other Christians and I found myself hurriedly passing by, not wanting to stop and talk or I’d turn and run in the other direction. Funny, how that seems to me now because it was so obvious; must have been how Adam darted when God came a calling after they had eaten the fruit. You just know. Well I tried going to one of the gay churches to justify my feelings, and let me just say, once you’ve heard God’s Good News and believe it, nothing else satisfies. I heard many stories and brought home articles that twisted the Scriptures to mean something totally different; I really wanted to believe I was right in choosing this way, that it was okay and I was going to be fine. I remember still getting Christian articles in the mail and I’d read them and put them aside, the tug on my heart was calling to come back, but my desires had a hold on me and I felt I was too far into this relationship and I would be all alone again if I did pull out. Have you ever felt like that? You are too far gone and you hold so tightly to what you do have because there would be nothing left but loneliness and pain??
That’s a lie! Keep reading..
Well, time went on and it ended, and now I was alone; but not really, God had never left me, I just was too hurt to be still and see. I had good people in my life that helped me through and yet I still had an ache and longing in my heart that wanted to be loved and soon had another special friend who pursued me with all her heart. I again had a lot to do with the hurts and pain we went through and I decided to break that relationship and move out on my own.
I am so sorry that I hurt both these women by not standing on what I knew in my heart to be true, I hurt them and I hurt my Savior. God has allowed me to see the consequences of my own choosing, that pain and suffering come when we aren’t honest and upfront in all our ways- with Him and with others. We bring pain upon ourselves, others and sadness to His heart.
Now on my own, I had a lot of pondering to do, and I sat on the fence with how I viewed others who were choosing to be in this lifestyle. One day my neighbor who was sitting outside asked me, “are you a Christian?” and I replied, “yes!” and she then asked, “are you gay?” and I replied, “yes!”, “you can’t do that!” came the reply. “well, I am” I said, and went inside. I want you to know, that exchange hounded me for the next few years and as I grappled with it, I began to see how it was I, who walked away from God, and thought nothing of offending Him while taking pleasure in my own ways, living a lie and I am ashamed.
Many say that we may be born this way, but what I know the Scriptures say is that we are all born with a sinful nature because the first man, Adam and Eve disobeyed God and we are their offspring, sin is in our DNA. We need a new nature and that is what Jesus gives when you invite Him to be your Savior and with that new nature you can enter into Heaven; without it, your sinful nature cannot enter because God is so Holy, so set apart from anything you can even imagine that sin has no place where God is. This is why we must be born again; born of the Spirit of God. Anything we do to try and get to Heaven ourselves doesn’t do it; why? Because we are stained with sin and nothing will wash it clean, except the blood of the Son of God who willingly went to the cross for us.
I am thankful for that neighbor who spoke God’s truth to me and I pray that you will take to heart this truth-- that God loves you so much! He gave of His Son to take your place of punishment, so that you won’t be condemned to eternal damnation in Hell. Hell is real. Ask yourself this, are you afraid of death or dying, of what’s beyond the grave?? You know why?? Because we all will face our Creator at that great judgment day and our hearts know it, that’s why we run from the Truth, we run from those who talk of Jesus, we run from the Light and some even want to get rid of the Scriptures and those who follow the ways of God so they won’t have to be reminded of their sins; but, even if one could do that, you’d still be hounded with your guilt and shame because it’s built inside of you. God loves you that much! He does not want you to spend eternity without Him. The Gift is yours, He asks you to come, to unwrap it, but He won’t force you, so it’s your choice. Those who choose to believe, have their sins forgiven at the foot of the cross and inherit eternal Life and won’t fear judgment because their judgment was dealt with at the cross.
I implore you to consider Jesus, time is quickly running short and soon the Lord comes back to rapture His church from this lost and dying world, and besides, none of us know when our last breath will be—Choose Life! It’s only in Jesus, He’s the only One who came from Heaven to earth and back to Heaven again. Run!! To Him!!
No longer am I alone or lonely, my worth is in Jesus who died and set me free; I no longer am shy or bashful, thanks to Him who loves me and knows all about me; my hair is no longer a burden, He takes good care of me, thanks to Supercuts! J I am so thankful that in our sinful state, God showed His great love for us by sending His Son at just the right time for us; He knew we couldn’t save ourselves. I am so thankful that through my wanderings, He never let go of me and brought me back into His outstretched Loving arms.
Please take some time to get alone and read the Scriptures for yourself—for in them is Life Eternal- here are a few that I lean on:
- the Gospel of John – chapter 3! ( all of it)
- Psalm 139
- Romans 5: 8-10
- Hebrews 1: 1-3
And a wonderful, inspirational song to listen to:
PS: If you would have a question or comment please feel free to write me.