The 12 Steps: My Pre-step share – By Nate

January 15, 2007

How do you tell about 28 years of your life in a 5-6 minute timeframe in which people can understand where you are coming from? I would not say that it is impossible, but it is difficult. Would anyone be interested to hear? Do people actually care? Can someone actually understand what I have been through? Am I being too critical? What if they criticize me? What if I say too much? How do I know what to say and what not so say? What if I say personal things and they decide to print an article in the paper about me? What if my friends find out and they decide not to be friends anymore? How am I going to find a wife with all this stuff in my life? Even if I do find a wife, how am I suppose to raise healthy children? What if they suffer with the same things I am suffering with? What if my wife chooses to leave me? That’s it, I’m just going to become a hermit and move to the mountains and live by myself. That will solve everything.

I just gave you a glimpse into the typical thought pattern in my mind. I live in the land of ‘what ifs’ and ‘everybody thinks’.

My name is Nate and I struggle with same gender attraction. Every time I say that, I feel like I am staring in a drug addict movie or something. But the fact is that I do struggle with same gender attraction. I have had this attraction for as long as I can remember being attracted to other people. Unlike some others, I do not have an event that I can point to and say this is when it all started. I was never abused as a child. I never abused anyone else. I was not put in compromising situations. I was not introduced to homosexual behavior by anyone. In fact, I don’t even recall anyone claiming to be a homosexual through my growing up years. Where did this start? I really don’t know. Some may say I was born with it. Some may say it is a broken relationship with my father. Some may say it is the environment that I grew up in. Frankly it does not matter what people say. It does not matter if I was wronged as a child or if it was something that I just chose. I am where I am and I am sick of where I am at, therefore I am going to change.

I have tried everything that I can think of to do this change in my life. My first attempt was to rededicate my life to the Lord. This happened when I was 16. I thought if I focused on reading the Bible daily, then my attractions would go away. Then I tried to excel in everything I did so I could feel better about myself. Then I majored in Psychology, thinking that would give me the answers I was looking for. Then I tried abstaining from masturbation for long periods of time. Then I thought that it was because of the media, so I got rid of internet and television. None of these took it away. Don’t get me wrong, these things were good for me to go through, but my expectation was that these things would solve the problems I was going through. That is when I realized that this was much deeper then what I had imagined. Every area in my heart had to be closely examined and cleaned out for healing to occur.

Then the thought occurred to me, why am I seeking to take this attraction away from my life? Is this something that I can actually do? I have developed habits throughout my life that have not been healthy habits, to cover over feelings of brokenness in my life. Whether it is brokenness in fellowship with God, brokenness in healthy relationships with others, or brokenness with knowing who God created me to be. I am a broken person. I am a result of things that I have done and of things that have happened to me. Some things I was in control of and other things that I was not in control of. So I stand here with my arms open. I am not proud of some of the things that I have done, but I am proud of who I have become. God has taken this broken piece of clay that was destroying himself and started molding me into a vessel that He can use to help others. I do not believe that God chose for me to go through the things that I have been through, but I do believe that He was right there with me, whether I wanted Him there or not. I do believe that God can use me where I am at to bring Him glory. So, that is where I am at right now. I cannot change the past and I cannot find answers to all the questions that I have. But I do know that there are people out there that are going through the same things that I have and am going through. They feel alone, hurt, scared, angry, confused, reject, used, and a million other emotions. They need someone that they can talk to. They need someone that will listen. Someone they can trust. Someone that will love them for who they are not just what they have done. Someone that will help show them about the love that God has for them. That is the type of person that God is molding me to be. Not one of perfection, but one that is willing to be used. One thing that stuck out in the presteps was the fact that for a Christian, imperfection does not mean that I am a bad Christian, but it does mean that I need God. I am still human and feel many different emotions. There are days that I get very frustrated with myself, lonely, confused, angry, and a million other emotions. Yet overall, I am learning to be content with here I am. Not to say that I like every area of my life, but happy from where God has brought me and motivated to go where He is taking me.

Do I still have questions? Yes. Does my mind still bounce from here to there? Yes. Will I always struggle with same gender attraction? I don’t know. But here I am standing with my hands in the air. I cannot control everything that happens in my life, but there are some things that I can control. God is the great physician that knows where He wants me to be and how I need to get there. I have to be open to the things that He is teaching me and willing to do whatever I can. That is all I can do.

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