Each time a student completes his 60 day course at SettingCaptivesFree.com, testimonials are shared amongst the mentors and I especially felt led to share the following with the visitors of my site, obviously I have permission from this brother to do so.
His is a story of how being gay has nothing to do with genetics gone wrong but everything to do with the way we express ourselves....In many ways the reason why I felt ted to publish this amazing piece of story is because who we date and how we date will eventually determine who we marry which in turn will affect the children we will eventually bring into this world.
I was raised in a Christian home and I cannot remember a day that we missed going to church less than 3 times a week. My brother was involved in sports, but I was never interested. Instead, I was more involved in the performing arts. This caused me to have a distant relationship with my dad.
He was always involved with my brothers sporting events on the weekends. During the week, he worked hard to ensure that we were taken care of financially, but emotionally, he was never there. I think he felt uncomfortable with my interests and me.
I always struggled with low self-esteem and this only fed these feelings. Through my school years, I was always labeled as gay. I would always deny it because I knew who I was in Christ. I would deny this name-calling, but something inside always asked, what if they are right?
One Thanksgiving, my two cousins held me down and introduced me to sex. At first, I was angry and did not have anyone to tell. As I looked back on those experiences, I realized that although I knew I was saved, I still desired to be accepted by other males.
I heard that voice inside me say, you are gay after all! I did not begin to act out with other men until I moved away from home. I started hanging out at bars, reading ads in the gay personals, renting videos etc. I always tempted with the thought of acting out my fantasies, but I never did.
However, I came close many times. This was my normal routine Monday through Saturday, but Sunday was still reserved for God. That was the day that I lead worship, sang in the choir and led a bible study. One day, I answered a personal ad.
We met and on that day, I discovered what I thought I had finally been searching for. A man who showed me love and filled that void of affection I missed through my adolescent years. After a while, truth set in and I realized that what I was doing was wrong.
I was living two lives and nobody but myself knew. I developed health problems from hiding my secret and at times I contemplated suicide. I had periods of temporary freedom and each time I made a promise to God that I would not sin again, only to fall again at some later date.
I decided that I needed to tell someone, so I chose a man in my church choir. Wow. He had struggled with the same thing throughout his life. I finally met someone who understands!
But, that someone became my next relationship for 2 years. Now it was time to take drastic measures so I met with my pastor and told him the entire story. He instructed me to leave that relationship and never go back. I did as he stated, but felt immense pain and loneliness.
After I purchased a computer, I began to search porn sites and spent less time acting out with other men due to my fears of being discovered. This only became fuel for the fire as I started with pictures, moved to chat rooms, then to videos and then finally I was going to sites that were more graphic than I could ever imagine.
All the while, I would be gratifying my flesh and pretending that I was involved in the scenario. My sexual organs became my idol that I worshipped instead of God. I wanted more. I finally got to the point where I began to get desperate and started praying for God to set me free.
I was cleaning out my computer files when I came across a website that I had saved as a favorite. I dont remember how long ago, but it was Setting Captives Free. I decided to give it a chance, but I was skeptical that it would work.
When I enrolled in the Door of Hope course, the 60 days frightened me. I knew that I would not make it through, but I had no other options- I was desperate. As I progressed through the lessons, God showed me that he was the only way I would ever be free from this sin of Homosexuality.
I began to see how much God loves me and that He is the only thing that can satisfy my desires. I began to severe all things that held me back. This included filters and blocks on my pc, cleaning my house and removing all things from my past, even ending unhealthy friendships, which was probably the hardest since I starved for affection.
I turned all my sin over to God. I asked my pastor to be my accountability partner, I told a few close friends of my struggle and I was also was assigned a mentor from the course. It finally felt good to tell others about my struggles and know that I now have others that will correct me if they see things that are inappropriate in my life. Their unconditional love and support encouraged me to continue in this fight.
During the course, I was finally able to walk in purity before God and began to feel that I was being set free. I mattered to God and my life was worth something. God is continuing to work in my life and showing me that I can become the man that He always intended me to be.
Daily I spend time with Him and I have learned that I can have a relationship with Christ. I look to Him to give me the support, strength, affirmation and most of all the love that I need. The more that I spend with Him, the less my mind focuses on my flesh. Each day I feel as if I understand his plan for me as a man. Sure I still struggle, but now I know how to defeat the temptations.
I have learned to pray over my entire body and focus my thought on Him instead of my flesh. Today it has been 13 weeks of freedom. I do not say that to boast, but instead to encourage others that it can happen if you put your trust in Him. Im not sure what my future holds, but I know that my life is in His hands.