My Testimony to the World
by an Ex-gay Teen
I came from a family of two church-going parents and three siblings. I was the eldest of four sons. Taught about God since the age of accountability, I was ready to face the world right? I thought so. Then it happened. I heard the words that every teenager doesn’t want to hear at 15. My parents were getting a divorce. At first I thought it was just going to pass and everything would get better, but I was wrong. In fact, everything had just begun to “hit the fan” and my life would be turned upside down. My life would never be the same again.
I was hurt emotionally and in need of personal attention. With the divorce happening, my family didn’t have time for me anymore or so I thought. My Dad had never made an effort to have a relationship with me, but I still loved, respected, and believed in him. However, now because of the divorce I didn’t believe in him anymore, and my respect for him was lost. I started blaming God for my parents’ problems and for allowing my Dad to turn away from Him. I turned my back on God and walked away. Just like my Dad had done. I had decided to take matters regarding my life into my own hands. Taking control of my life felt good for the moment. However when I got stuck, I lost control.
I needed attention, love, acceptance, and most of all, fulfillment of a void in my life. I then chose to turn to males for that. I found that in a relationship with a male I got everything I needed. At age 15 I chose to become gay. I was turned on to everything. I had sexual relations with 10 men, got involved with drinking alcohol, did a couple of drugs, and looked at porn on the internet. I got my personal gratification from being around those things. It was my way of life. I found who I thought I was in relationships with men. I had suddenly found my identity in the heart of the world.
At age 16 I fell in love with a man named David. I met David through a church function. My mom and a friend of hers sang in our church choir. The church choir was recording a song and wanted me to help get food and do other errands when needed. My mom’s friend brought David along. That is when our friendship started. It wasn't until a month later that we came "out" to each other and started a relationship. We had a great relationship together and it seemed like nothing could tear us apart. But David ended our relationship abruptly and without any warning. David had no reason as to why or when he decided to feel that way. It just happened. Broken hearted and emotionally spent, I sought for something to satisfy the void that had just been created in my life. I turned to pornography and its instant gratification. It worked for a short time and then became a boring habit. It didn’t stop there, however, that and other upcoming issues continued to plague my life.
I had just turned 17 and I felt on top of the world, like nothing could stop me. I was a “man” now and I could do my own things. I could make my decisions without anyone’s help. I felt special. My uncle had been talking for couple years about this festival called “Burning Man”. I wasn’t quite sure what to think of it. All I had heard from him was that it was all about art. However, what I didn’t understand was that wasn’t all and anything goes there. I finally made my decision, I wanted to go and not even my parents were going to stop me. I lied to my parents and told them I was going to go on a trip to visit some really neat hot springs.
I left thinking no one would ever figure it out. The festival seemed really neat at the time and I felt like a free man. I could make my choices and do whatever I wanted and no one really cared. I could drink, do drugs, smoke, have sex, and be accepted. I drank heavily, did one drug called ecstasy, got into smoking cigarettes, and had unprotected sex for the first time. I thought it was okay, but I still felt guilty, why? I knew what I did was wrong and sooner or later I knew it would catch up to me. My parents eventually did find out and everything came out into the open. I can’t tell you how much it changed my heart to be finally open with my parents and others around me.
My mom suggested that I go to this new ex-gay therapist she had heard about. For the next couple of months I “tried out” this therapist and I finally decided I was going to stay there and get myself some help. He was pretty cool and to this day he still is. I was able to get my feelings out about my parents’ divorce, my time at Burning Man, my sexual identity crisis, and my relationship with Christ.
Then it started. God made it possible for me to go to a winter camp with my youth group at church through a guy at my church name Dustin. He suggested that I go and help out the tech group that was going. I went there afraid that I would be preached at the whole time. And not knowing anyone was making it worse to think about. I was inwardly afraid of something I had been brought up in. I soon realized it wasn’t the youth group I was afraid of, it was God. I had hid from Him for so long I couldn’t stand to be around people who wanted to proclaim Him and worship Him. To think I was going to spend the whole weekend with them! I finally realized by the second day that I desperately needed God in my life and it needed to happen then. I got down on my knees and told God I wanted Him to meet me face to face there. He did and to this day my life has never been the same. I was immediately filled with a joy only God can give. I felt complete and whole for the first time in my life.
From then on I pledged my life over to God and gave Him complete control of my life. It wasn’t always easy after that to keep the faith because of worldly pressures, but I finally had my true identity. I had finally found the love, acceptance, attention, and fulfillment I had so desperately needed. I can honestly say, “not my will, but Yours be done.” I am still 17. I am out at school though. People who have heard from others have asked me about it. They ask me about my past and how I used to be. I simply reply that I was and God has done away with my past sin and as my only savior, I can attest to Him being my Rock and my Redeemer. I am, with Gods grace and mercy, a believer, with true repentance to prove it. After that, they usually ask a lot of questions. I find that God uses my past as an awesome witnessing tool many times.
Nowadays I remember that when things get tough God told us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him; and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5,6) Also I remember that faith does not make it easy, but it does make it possible!
Your little Brother in Christ,