Monday, March 18, 2013

Don't Go It Alone

Please welcome guest author Anonymous! He is a young Christian man who struggles with same-sex attraction, and desires to share his story to encourage, empower, and equip others in the fight. Be challenged, and share with those who need to hear it!

At the end of the spring semester of 2011 I decided to leave school and head out west.  I had gotten tired of academic culture and was looking for something more personally fulfilling as well as an adventure. I always considered myself adaptable to any situation and could handle any situation on my own, so I wasn’t afraid.  After working at a camp during the summer I fell in love with the great state of Colorado and decided to move up to Denver, to start my new life.  On one hand it was a sense of adventure, stepping out into a brave new world, and on the other I was very much the prodigal son, running from his Father.  

“Speak of the devil, and he shall appear.” - Bane.

See, I was on a search for defining what I believed.  I knew Christ, but over the last year or so I had fallen into temptation big time when it came to sexual sin. I was testing my faith on purpose, and with no one close by to keep me truly accountable I was easy prey for the enemy.  At first it started with “small things” like drinking too much with my housemate, watching porn, and just entertaining thoughts longer than I should.  Then, everything took a turn for the worse farther than I could have ever imagined.  

“All men get what they want, they do not always like it.” - C.S. Lewis

I found out about these places called bath houses, which are places where gay men go to meet other men for sex.  How I ran across these I don’t remember.  All I know is I became addicted to going to them and went there more times than I care or can remember.  In order to protect myself I even came up with an “alter ego” when I went there.  I was a man of masks and sometimes I got confused who I was and what was a mask...

After a while the cost of going to these places added up on top of bills and other everyday costs, plus my hours at work getting cut put me in quite the financial pickle.  In fact, I really was starting to ration out pasta in order for me to pay for my gas to get to work.  I also started to notice myself getting physically sick more often, not to mention starting to feel very paranoid almost every other night.  My sin was taking a toll on me in almost every way.  Like the prodigal son it was time to somehow make it home and that is what I did. My illusion of being adaptable and being fine on my own had blown away by reality.  I had run out of options, I had nothing left, the only logical thing to do was go home.

“The father saw him from far away and had compassion for his son, ran and embraced him.” - Luke 15:20

If you have ever driven across country you know there is nothing to look at, so focusing on talking to God is an easy thing.  Our conversation involved reason, a lot of yelling, and many tears.  Once I got home though, it was nothing but blessings.  He opened His arms through the support of friends and mentors who discipled/disciple me and keep me accountable.  Having brothers there to just help you stay in the Word, pray for you, text you randomly to see what you are doing at the moment, and sometimes just listen to you vent are such a blessing.  Then, having wise men of God invest in your life is just as much of a blessing.  Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t get home and was suddenly perfect.  It is still a huge struggle, a relentless fight, but with the help of brothers in Christ it is a totally different fight.  

I don’t write this to brag or say my sin is worse than yours, because there is no such thing as “worse” sin.  What I do want to say is BE AWARE!  There is an Oh Hellos lyric that goes, “There is no courage in flirting with fear”. We can’t do this ourselves, don’t fool yourself that you can.  I learned many things from my journey, but probably three of the main things are:
  1. Be Aware - 1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober-minded; be watchful.  Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”  This isn’t a game and it definitely isn’t easy.  Satan is looking to destroy us, render us completely useless to the cause of spreading the Word. Stay strong, stand firm!  A wise man of God told me one time in a story, “There are no small dragons, they are all mighty.” Develop a wartime mentality
  2. Be Courageous - Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” It is a tough battle, but “the LORD YOUR GOD is with you wherever you go”. Just think about that statement and be in awe. God has our back in everything we do, we are never alone.
  3. Brothers in Arms - 1 Samuel 14:6-7 “Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, 'Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised.  It may be that the LORD will work for us, for nothing can hinder the LORD from saving by many or by few.' And his armor-bearer said to him, 'Do all that is in your heart.  Do as you wish.  Behold, I am with you heart and soul.'” Remember, you have allies in your brothers and sisters in Christ. Don’t go solo in this fight, it is a good way to fall quickly. Keep each other in prayer and accountable. It’s much harder to tear down a team than a solo act.
Don't go it alone,