I’ve spent the good part of my 30 years running and hiding from sin. From the day I first realized I was homosexual, I linked the two words together. I believed you couldn’t have homosexuality without sin.
I was raised in a very small, rural town in West Virginia. The Baptist church we attended would only hold 100 people, with only 20 or so in attendance on any given Sunday. I don’t remember the sin of homosexuality spoken from the pulpit, but somehow it still made its way into my conscience.
I do remember, from an early age, the negative connotation associated with homosexuality, either by a statement of “what a shame” when someone was discovered to be gay, or “I wish they’d put all those gays on an island and blow it up” in response to the AIDS epidemic. And lest I forget the teasing and torment of elementary school, ranging from name calling like “Gayvie Davie” or (to the tune of Davie Crockett) “Davie, Davie Miller, king of the fags and queers.” Trust me, I had no doubt that homosexuality was wrong, and thus must be sinful.
I spent most of my elementary years perfecting my skills at masking my queer tendencies. I remember sitting in my bedroom deepening my voice, laughing more “manly,” watching how I crossed my legs or held my wrist, all in hopes of not only hiding the fact that I was gay, but also to convince God to change me. I’d spent uncountable hours on my knees praying, crying, and begging for God’s healing, changing powers.
I had convinced myself that if I worked hard enough, prayed hard enough, and showed enough faith, God would take this sin from me. I wasn’t sure what I had done to deserve this affliction, but I was bound and determined to show God that I trusted him to heal me.
I tried everything to satisfy him. I always had a girlfriend, I started my high school’s first Bible club, I sang on Wednesdays and weekends at various churches, I covered my body in religious labeled clothing, I prayed constantly, and I scolded myself every time I found myself lusting after someone of my same sex.
As the years passed, and I eventually graduated from college, I found myself staring at a past spent running from a sin I couldn’t outrun. Several times along the way it had caught up with me and I had slipped and fell into its lair, only to crawl out despising and loathing myself even more. Every time I would slip, I would feel ashamed of what little control I had over my sexual drive, and more importantly, the lack of faith I was sure it reflected in God’s eyes. How was I to expect him to change me when I couldn’t even control myself?! Perhaps my homosexuality was simply a test that I must pass before reaching a greater relationship with the Father? Perhaps I was me ant to live a life of celibacy? I didn’t know. All I knew was that I wasn’t trying hard enough.
I continued trying harder and harder to be straight, yet always falling short. Until one day I just gave up. I went into a deep depression from what my life had become. I had ended an eight-year marriage, found myself struggling financially, and had even thought of ending my own life. I was at a new low. But then one day it dawned on me — I had been taught that God answers our prayers in one of three ways: yes, no, or later. It had been more 30 years of constant pleading for change, I thought it was safe to say a “yes” answer was not coming my way, and after all these years, how much “later” did I really think he would wait. I now knew his answer to me was a resounding “NO!!”
I soon stumbled upon this Web site, and through it God spoke to me telling me that he loved me just the way I was. I had been convinced by society that my natural, born, sexuality was a sin when, in actuality, it was exactly as he had designed and molded it. I had spent my entire life trying to change what he had so perfectly created, and he was probably more than a little ticked off at my insistent pleas for change.
What I had believed was a sin, could now be viewed as a blessing! What a revelation!
I now look upon my sexuality as something to be embraced and loved. At times, I’m even able to be thankful for it. I was chosen with a more unique sexuality than the norm, sort of “special” in its own way.
I’ve also come to accept my sinful nature, and I no longer look at God as demanding of my fear, but of offering forgiveness instead. Of course I try not to sin, but I don’t critique every piece of my life and measure my worth by the level of sin it contains. I know now that God created us with a sinful nature so that we can spend the time in worship and praise at his magnificent forgiveness. There’s no greater way to know of someone’s love than when you’ve hurt them and they still embrace you with forgiveness.