I have been in the presence of God plenty of times. I have read my bible for years and I’ve prayed for God to miraculously take SSA (same sex attraction) away but nothing happened.
I’m not saying those things don’t work because I know of people who have had and encounter with God and SSA completely vanished, but for me it wasn’t like that.
Why did I not receive complete deliverance at one of the hundreds of altar calls that I answered? Was there something wrong with me? Did God just not like me as much as others? Did I not deserve deliverance because God supposedly “hates” gays? Some of my questions never received answers but I knew God didn’t play favorites and he has great gifts for his sons and daughters. I had a deliverance destined for me! My problem was I didn’t know how to get it.
My name is Zach and I was an openly gay teen. I loved God but he wasn’t my only lover. For the longest time I never understood why I was attracted to the same sex and why everyone else was born normal. Since I can remember I have always been different from other guys. When I was in elementary school I was treated differently. I can even remember it only took my first best friend one day to never speak to me again in kindergarten because I was too weird. At the age of ten, I was molested by a guy. I never had a dad to run to so for years I wrestled with why. Why was I the victim? Maybe my difference translated into vulnerability to him. Throughout middle school I was bullied and labeled gay. At that point in my life I had no identity. I didn’t stand for anything so I fell for everything. I accepted the label.My difference became homosexuality.
I learned fast that accepting the labels didn’t stop the labeling. Agreeing with Nay Sayers fueled the fire rather than quieting the crowd. In the middle of all the chaos I decided to follow Jesus. Little did I know following Jesus is not a quick fix for my life. That decision actually made everything harder. Now I had the responsibility of proving to everyone that I somehow quit cold turkey and am no longer attracted to guys. I was in a whirlwind of emotions and identities. My life started to spiral out of control. I fell into depression and started to harm myself. My family started to distance themselves from me. I don’t blame them. I wouldn’t know what to do if I was put in their position.
Fast forward a few years, in the midst of my messy life God began to encounter me on a deep level. I wasn’t in any way seeking Him or desiring what He gave me. He came out of left field. I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit without knowing what it was but from that moment on I could sense God’s love peeling back layers of pain and rejection that had gripped my heart. He began to speak to me in the most intimate way. It made no sense to me that a Holy God chose to encounter and speak to the heart of an openly gay teen. Even as I write this post I am reminded of Mary Magdalene, a lover of Jesus by day but a whore by night. It makes sense now that God would want to love me. How could He become my Father without stepping into my mess like He did for Mary?
Through God lavishing me with His love, I began to realize that a lot of my problems, if not all of them, were an issue of the way that I think. Ephesians 4:23 says, “.. let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitude.” That’s exactly what I began to do. I began to pray, “Lord, cut on me; don’t cut me off.” This process taught me that a relationship with Jesus is just that. It’s a relationship. It takes time and investment. It is a journey. In this journey I have learned how to personally overcome homosexuality and same sex attraction. Before you continue reading, this is not “THE WAY” to see freedom in your life. This is the way God led me to freedom. Your relationship with God is personal and unique. What works for me might not work for you. After all this is Christianity not a one way American dream.
I had to realize that God is taking me on a journey that no one else has been on because it is my journey.
I could sit down with all the counselors in the world and try to get help from them but without God I will never change. He created me therefore He has the answers.
For me homosexuality and same sex attraction was an issue of the mind and heart.
The voice in my head that is always speaking nonstop is what fueled my issues. It wasn’t molestation that caused me to be gay. It wasn’t an absent father that caused homosexuality. It wasn’t being born different that caused same sex attraction. My experiences do not cause my problems. What I thought about my experiences is what causes my problems. In other words, if I can change what my mind dwells on I can change my life. Holy Spirit led me to stop saying “I am a gay Christian.” to “I struggle with same sex attraction.” I am glad He didn’t stop there because that sounds like from bondage to bondage. That small shift in mindset laid a foundation and opened the door for complete freedom. Shortly after, I began to declare, “Same sex attraction is not a sign of a lack of love, it is a symptom of spiritual brokenness and I am no longer broken.”
I am attracted to that which is mysterious.
Holy Spirit spoke this to me recently and it makes so much sense. The only reason I was attracted to the same sex is because I saw guys as a mystery. Therefore I wanted to get close to what I didn’t understand. Seems weird, but remember that I was treated differently even from birth. My experience did not create this mystery, my thought process of the treatment did. So I decided to make what was common to me (girls) a mystery and what was a mystery to me (boys) common. I stopped hanging out with girls and starting hanging out with guys. At first it was extremely awkward and uncomfortable but as time went by my life began to transform. He began to transform my life so drastically that my appearance even began to change!
When I looked into the eyes of fire, all other lovers burned away.
The glue that held my freedom together was the fact that Jesus desired to be intimate with me. The most intimate people lock eyes with each other. Watch your parents. They love each other so they make intimate eye contact. When I locked eyes with the one who died for me everything changed. I began to become like the one I daily behold.
These short simple truths changed my life completely. Now I live in complete freedom from homosexuality and same sex attraction. Now I live a life free from SSA and full of attraction for God and my wonderful girlfriend, Bayleigh West.
God did not just deliver me out of darkness without delivering me into His marvelous light!
UPDATE: I wrote this blog in July of 2016. I am now married to that beautiful woman, Bayleigh Autumn Holder. We are currently starting our family and are on fire for Jesus like never before. We are missionaries who believe in finishing the Great Commission, but most of all, I no longer am attracted to men! No more thoughts. No more desires. No more confusion. What about God?! 8/3/17