Deliverance from Confused Sexual Identity, Lust and Pornography
The Lies I Lived With
I asked this question to myself: What lie did I believe in the past that delayed my growth in Christ or my discovery of my identity as a child of God? My answer will be the lie that “I can change myself!” I lived most of my life on the misconception that I can be successful if I worked hard to transform myself to the person I want to be.
This false belief of what I can do and myself was driven by another lie that consumed my growing up years and caused negative experiences to me as a child and adult. I was confused with my sexual identity and was made to believe Im gay. I personally do not know the root cause of this and how this thing started but as far as my memories can take me, homosexuality or the term “gay” was attached to me as early as 1st grade in school. Young boys called me gay and some teachers looked and laughed at me because of my isolation with boys and more association with girls. I carried the gay labeling and the painful stigma that goes along with it. I felt like a deviant or an outcast. The painful treatment I received from people crushed me and caused me to live in fear and isolation from other people.
I was not athletic nor acted masculine like other boys. I remember being kicked out in playgrounds and constantly being teased by other kids because Im different. They yell and call me names that always devastate my feelings. My teachers also destroyed my self-image by their grins and whispers questioning why Im not like the other boys. Everyday Im scared of bullies and other people laughing and embarrassing me. They were prejudice and they sexually harass me publicly and privately. This robbed me my self-esteem and self-worth. I became shy and hid away from people for fears of being discovered gay and being rejected because of it. I hated my life and felt abnormal. I believed God made a mistake when He created me.
But while this poor self-image and homosexuality was corrupting my thoughts and feelings, my parents were actively instilling Godly wisdom to my siblings and me. My dad introduced me to Jesus Christ when I was in 3rd grade and accepted Him as my Lord and Savior. My dad later on became a pastor and everyone in the family became involve in church ministry. But life didn’t make it easier for me. I felt everybody was looking up to us to be the model family and this pressured to me to be more secretive about my gay issues and live up to the expectations of others. My parents didn’t fail to let me know what was right and wrong and from the very beginning I know homosexuality is a serous sin and make God angry and not bring me to heaven.
I always wanted to be one of the boys. I wanted to be accepted and to be included as one of them. With this in mind, I did everything to be accepted. But I always get disappointed and pushed away when they think and realize Im gay. Because of my efforts and longingness to be one of the boys, I started to desire men. I began sexually fantasizing men and created an ideal man in my mind. I desired to literally touch men to know what a real man and his body feels like. I had same-sex crushes and thoughts of having sex with them.
I learned more about homosexuality in our health class and learned that the definition of homosexuality best described me. I was covered with fear with that discovery but I decided to be quiet about it and do everything to outgrow and changed it. No one knew about my crisis and I was doing my best to hide it from my family and people that knows me. I cry every night asking God cast a quick fix and change me. I didn’t find the answer “why I was made like this?” I was confused, alone and felt the desperate need to change into a heterosexual person because I am a Christian.
I was so alone and disturbed because I know I shouldnt feel this way and I can’t act on my sexual desires on men because I am a Christian. There were times I was ready to break down, I thought of death and slashing myself to get attention from other people and make my life easier. My attraction with men and my relationship with Christ were a heavy weight on my shoulders that I try to keep balance. But I carried on still thinking I can change and prove to people my heterosexuality. It was like living two lives, one as a straight Christian boy to show in public and the other one was a confused and hurting young boy whom I kept hidden.
I got involved in masturbation as early as 8 years old and got introduced to pornography at the age of 12. But this made me more disoriented with myself and questioned God more validity of my relationship with Him and being created His image.
Because I know God forbids me to have sex with my ideal man, pornography and masturbation became my way to live and act out my fantasies. I found pleasure in porn and masturbation because I can fulfill my lustful desires and be sexual with men. I found satisfaction from it but it later on grew into an addiction that took control of my life and horrified me more about my secret gay life and how it affects my obedience to God. I found myself masturbating excessively everyday since 8 years old and sometimes in public when I reached adulthood. I spent lots of time and money renting 2 to 3 porn videos many times a week from different stores using different identities and fake IDs.
There were also several occasions that I had the opportunity to act out my homosexual desires. But as much as I liked to satisfy my curiosity with men, God spared me from acting them out. He always gives me a way to resist temptation and walk out to the very last minute. In these cases, I know I was over powered with my fear of Gods condemnation and anger than to fulfill my need for male affection and acceptance.
I prayed and served the Lord in church as a pastors son to fulfill my obligations. But I was miserable and hid more behind my mask because of my sexual addiction and secret identity. I wanted to break out from my life and have a new one. I constantly pray to God to change me and make me stop sinning. I did everything from deliberately hurting and inflicting pain to myself to punish me every time I sin, but no progress or change was happening.
In year 2000 I was engage to get married and was still hiding my strong sexual interest to porn, masturbation and men. I was living in a cycle of sin, guilt, crying to God for forgiveness and going back to sin again. Masturbation was more uncontrollable and more impulsive and the types of porn I get involve with are getting darker. One morning in October, I was surfing for porn and I came across the website Setting Captives Free (www.settingcaptivesfree.com). The website was a 60-day freedom from porn course. Because of heavy guilt and my desire to break free from my sins, I gave it a try and signed up. I thought to myself, maybe this time will work. The course revealed to me Satan and how he has been working in my life. This started the flame that God used to give me strength to slowly break free from my sexual struggles. Through the course I gained full understanding of God and His power to dig me out from the sin that buried me.
Through its chat room, I met a man who introduced me to Free in Christ, an online fellowship and support group of men dealing with sexual sins. I became an active participant to the group and made friends with faceless men whom I only know by email address. I met people who were in the same boat as I was and others who were in worst conditions than me. I felt at home and opened a big window to me because of the realization Im not alone and men were willing to help and walk with me go through my crisis. I can say and write what I want and expose my deepest secrets to them with less fear of being ridiculed and laughed at. I found accountability and support from them as I went through the difficult process of overcoming temptations and my sexual habits. I received Godly counseling and prayers from brothers that motivated me to discover myself more as a child of God. By the grace of God, through the Internet, God led me to people whose testimonies and friendship helped me little by little build my self-esteem back and the confidence that God never made a mistake when He created me. I used to think and almost gave up that I will be living my sexual confused life for the rest of my life, but God showed me I was wrong and gave me hope.
One by one God revealed to me the lies Satan made me believe and God gave me the wisdom and strength to break each one of them. Im learning that my real identity is in Christ. I was overcoming my attraction and desires with the same sex. One development was, during that time, I greatly feared opening myself to my fiance, but God gave me the courage to speak out and reveal my secret sexual struggles to her. The emotional revelation was exchanged with unconditional love and acceptance from the most important woman in my life and its an unexpected response that only God can give.
In February 25, 2001 I experienced what I considered a significant expression of love and acceptance ever given to me by other men. I personally went to see a pastor whom I met online. The personal welcoming I received from him overwhelmed me. I felt this was the kind of acceptance I cried for every night for a long time. He also introduced me to a man who came out of homosexuality. His testimony motivated me and gave me hope that only God transforms people. He also explained that the identity I used to believe about myself was a total lie from the devil and that Im not gay.
Our conversations were meaningful, but what impacted me the most were their simple acts of acceptance and friendship. Their welcoming embrace and their unselfish interest to spend time to see and hear a stranger like me made me feel so valued, respected and understood, something I longed for and never experienced with men and other people before.
For years I believed I can change if I worked hard to attract people to like me. But God surprised me on how simple acts of love and acceptance can give the significant change that Ive been looking for and how this acts can over cloud the painful memories of hurt and rejection I had in the past. I hungered for understanding and empathy for a long time and God granted it that night, no long or dramatic process of discovery just basic actions of love from few chosen people who demonstrated it.
While driving home from that meeting, I cried before the Lord and said this is the kind of life I always wanted. I acknowledged that my past efforts to change were useless and that only through Him I can experience a total restoration of my self-esteem and assurance of my male sexuality. I surrendered myself to God and further denounced the strongholds of Satan. From that moment, I was smiling before the Lord because of the joy of experiencing God to finally break the last chains of my sins and knowing that this day will be the start of my real transformation to a new man.
And God continued to reward me. He led me to more Godly people and made more valuable friends. Some of them are faithful men who came out of homosexuality and sexual addiction. These are friends who delight me and drive me to develop my true masculinity and character for the Lord. Through them Im always reminded that I was never gay and never will be. I made intimate friendships that gave me the security that I have someone whom I can always depend on. I gained a mentor who loves me more than a brother and to whom I modeled Christ with. The wise friendships God gave me rewarded me with acceptance, love and fruitfulness in my spiritual walk with Him. God is developing more heterosexual feelings and Im gaining back my self-confidence and learn not to be afraid of people. I can now assert emotions without feeling ashamed and inadequate.
I gained a deeper understanding of what my life is to the Lord because of my experiences. I cant change myself and total brokenness from self is needed in order to discover your real identity. I took Gods challenge to share myself to my fiance and to other men and to stretch myself more and get out from my hiding. I took the risk and the willingness to be stripped naked and abandoned in order to be changed according to God’s male standards. I found freedom and forgiveness from my addiction and found a changed life. I overcame my struggles with porn and masturbation. Im now at peace with myself and have forgiven the people who caused me pain and self-doubt. Im no longer confused with my sexuality. Im now married and always in love to my wife who completes me and brings me closer to God everyday.
The lies I used to live with are gone. God proved it through the evidence of His word that my identity is in Him and not of the world. I spent so many years living in deception, but now I have greater number of years to look forward to living and celebrating the truth that Im not and never was gay but a real man of God.
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