Here is another testimony, or resurrection sighting, submitted by a reader. You can check out yesterday’s HERE. If you would like to share your story please email it to email@example.com.
HOLY, HEALTHY, HONORABLE RELATIONSHIPS
I was born into a Christian home and accepted Christ into my heat at an early age. Growing up I was mostly surrounded by women which caused me to develop a high need for love and acceptance from men. A need I really didn’t understand until much later in life.
I have learned that all people have a need to be loved and accepted by their same gender and most get that need met very naturally and organically. So much so that they don’t even realize that they have the need, Kind of like the need for oxygen, when you are not receiving air you become acutely aware of it and your need for it and most will do some desperate crazy things to get it.
Fortunately for me those desperate and crazy things did not include physical things. It did however; involve manipulation of friendships, emotional warfare, codependence and dependence. My life circled around me and how I could get my need to be love and acceptance from guys met. Most times it turned out badly and I was left lower than when I started. Only to start again with a new set of friends repeating the cycle until I was once again left alone. It almost always involved my emotional dependence on a single guy.
I like many confused guys hoped that my desires, attraction, and needs would change with prayer and time. Certainly, they would once I got married. I soon found out that the needs marriage fills were quite different than the need I had from guys, I loved and still love Kristi and she has been a rock of grace in this journey. She however, is not and can not be a brother, father or male mentor to me.
In the late 80s, when I discovered just what was happening inside me there where not many resources available. Exodus International was pretty much it. There ministry didn’t seem to fit me as I wasn’t trying to leave the gay lifestyle…. I had never been in it. I knew no one else personally who had the same struggle as me and I didn’t dare tell anyone. But still I needed to figure out all these attractions, desires and deep need for love and acceptance from guys that I had. I felt very alone.
Thankfully, God had a plan… A plan to prosper, not destroy. A crazy plan. He gave me a compassionate and loving wife and friend that would stand with me to the end.
His plan also involved two extended periods of time away from my family. The first one was brought on by Kristi discovering an illicit online relationship along with other online habits. I was asked to leave the house. Well, my belongings were brought to me while I was at work.
During that separation I sought counseling and learned how my high need for same sex love and acceptance had been developed and what it was and what it wasn’t and how to turn it over to God. Kristi and I also attended counseling with a mentor couple and we learned to communicate a little better.
The separation ended and I started to find healthy male friendships. I started to find acceptance among the guys via working out at the gym, and here at church. I had a long way to go but I was finally on the right track.
The acceptance was coming but inside I wasn’t feeling quite like a man or comfortable with my masculinity. So God did the hilarious. He took me away form my family again and I found myself at Army Basic Training at age 41. Not the cure for a midlife crisis I would recommend. Due to good Army training I returned home with new sense of my own manhood and at last feeling like I belonged in a guys world.
So where does that leave me today? I have a wife that loves and supports me. I have three amazing kids that have a heart for bringing others to Christ and living as He demonstrated. And I have a few men that continues to show me the love and acceptance that my heart had longed for so many years.
A friend of mine asked me recently what my focus was. I responded with what God has taught me over the past several years…..
I want to focus on helping people realize that they are made in the image of God and that He can and will meet all of our needs in HOLY. HEALTHY and HONORABLE ways. ALL of our needs, physical, emotional. spiritual., financial. sexual. all of them. He made us with them and knows how to best meet them if we only step back and allow HIM to instead of manipulating our worlds to get them meet in selfish, sleazy and sinful ways.
I’m focusing on bringing people into the Kingdom and allowing the Holy Spirit to bring conviction to them when and where conviction needs to be made. By sharing my story and listening to theirs. healing and restoration will happen organically and their relationship with the Creator will be restored.
I know it has been with me.