Jesus: You know that I love you. I died for you, accepting a punishment you were meant to receive, all because of my love for you.
Me: But do you accept me? Do you really want to know me, or spend time with me? Seems sometimes like no one else does. And I'm afraid of what they think of me.
Jesus: When I received your punishment, I did that so we could spend all eternity with each other. Yes, Brandon, I want to know you. I want to be your best friend. I love you beyond words. As for others, don't worry so much about what they think.
Me: (Humbled, broken, crying, happy) Will you always be with me? Even when everything is so terrible and I can't seem to find you, and there's no one else?
Jesus: I'll always be with you. I'll never abandon you.
Me: (Hesitant) Sometimes... I just really do feel as though I'm not as good as other guys, like I'm not good enough. I feel so inadequate compared to them. I think that's one reason why I'm drawn to them. And I just feel so lonely so much of the time. People have told me you'll satisfy those feelings in me, but I'm not sure how you can do that. I'm not sure I can trust you to do that.
Jesus: I'll fill your heart, Brandon. I'll fill your spirit so full of hope and love and warmth that all those feelings of inadequacies and loneliness will fade away and become just a distant memory. But you'll have to trust you. I've never led you astray before, have I?
Me: No. But what about my past?
Jesus: I don't remember your past. Those things you did have been forgotten. And as for those hurts, I was always with you through those times, helping you through them. Even when you didn't think that I was. But it's not your past that I'm interested in. It's your future. I want you to be mine, and I want you to have a life and a future more glorious than you could ever imagine.
I know you want acceptance. I accept you, Brandon, with arms wide open. I love you eternally. Will you accept me and love me in the same way? Will you trust me? Will you be faithful to me, and give your life and everything about you to me, as I have given to you?
In one of my more recent posts I described what I wanted from another man. I want a man who will love me. I want a man who will accept me and want to spend time with me. I want a man who will take care of me, and who'll never leave me. I want a man who will help me and comfort me in all situations.
It occurred to me the other day that I already have a man like that in my life. Jesus loves me, unconditionally. He loves me so much He died for me, accepting a punishment upon Himself that only I should rightfully deserve. He accepts me as His own. He likes me for me. He wants to spend time with me—all eternity! He takes care of me in all situations. When I'm feeling bad or lonely He comforts me. When I need help He helps me. He's always there for me.
I think about times when I'm lonely. All I have to do is think of Jesus and I can feel His presence. I can feel Him sitting by my side, with His arm around my shoulder holding me near to Him. Days when I feel so far removed from other guys, when I just feel desperate for a hug or some sign of male affirmation, He is always the one who no matter what, comes to me and lets me know I belong. He tells me I'm good enough, that I'm not some sort of freak. He tells me that just because I'm not like other guys in some regards doesn't mean I'm something bad or that something's wrong with me. It just means I'm unique in my own ways, and He loves me regardless of those things. He accepts me. Those things don't turn Him away from me the way they have and sometimes do with other guys.
And I know that any tears in my eyes Jesus wipes away. There are times when I feel so low, when the whole world seems so heavy upon my shoulders, when I've cried until I can't cry anymore and feel so hopeless and empty inside, and Jesus always is the one who helps bring me out of that. He's always the one, who through His love for me, draws me out of those wretched places. He fills my heart and my soul with so much warmth and joy. It can actually make me feel giddy sometimes.
Jesus can provide everything I've ever wanted. He's the best companion I could ever hope to have. He loves me. He wants to spend time with me. When I'm lonely, I can talk with him, and He'll put his arm around my shoulder and hug me. He takes care of me and helps me through the difficult times. I don't need anyone else but Him. I only want Him. I realize no other man could ever possibly compare to Him. No other man could ever love me as much, or care for me as much, or do so much for me as He has.
These are new thoughts for me. I've often said some of these things before, but never because of this line of thinking or with having these sorts of feelings. I've spent years looking and hoping and searching for another man who'll love me. I've wanted so desperately to be held and to be taken care of. I've wanted a partner or companion with whom to share my life with. I've struggled terribly because I felt like I couldn't have that. And yet it's occurred to me that I could have had that all along. Jesus can be all that I've ever wanted. He can satisfy all of those desires.
My preacher in one of his latest sermons began talking about Adam and Eve and how the serpent had lied to Eve and confused her about God's commandments. While he was talking, I suddenly felt such a moment of great clarity. What if Eve was me and the forbidden fruit was a sexual relationship with another man? What if the serpent had said, “Surely there can be nothing wrong about that? Surely God is just withholding something good from you? Surely you will not suffer any negative consequences if you do that? Surely your love would make it okay? And then you'll know love as God knows love.”
I feel like I've been confused. I feel like somebody pulled the wool over my eyes and blinded me. All these years I've listened to the lies of Satan. I've listened to him tell me how great a thing a relationship with another guy can be, and how the Bible may not really say what so many claim it says. I've listened to him as He's accused God of being unfair to me and uncaring. I've believed those lies about myself—that I wasn't good enough, that I was different, that I was unlovable and that nobody cared about me. I let him convince me to be with another man. And then after all the negative consequences of that, I still listened and believed him when he told me I just had a bad experience and all I needed to do was find another man and that things would be better a second time around (or a third or a fourth or a fifth time). Well, I'm done with those lies. I don't need another man. I don't want another man. All I want is Jesus. I only want Him in my life. I only want what He tells me is good and true and worthwhile. And all the rest can just be thrown out with the trash. I'm done thinking of myself as a homosexual. I'm not going to think of myself in anyway regarding my sexuality. I'm a male, created in God's image, a beloved follower of His, a Christian, and that's that. Whatever I'm tempted to do sexually is not going to rule my life any longer.
And therein is a whole new struggle for myself. Actually, same struggle, but new outlook on it. If I'm going to commit myself to Christ, if He is going to be the only man in my life, then all the pornography, sexual activity, etc., has got to go and come to an end. Jesus asks no more from me in that regard than any other man would. So, if I'm going to be committed to Him, if I'm going to belong to Him, I can't very well be looking at other guys or doing things selfishly with my body. So those things will have to stop.
In a way, I could say that I'm married now, and Jesus is my husband. He may not physically be with me, but spiritually and emotionally He certainly is. He's in my heart. I love Him and I want to be completely committed to Him—only to Him. Like a woman waiting for her husband to come back from a distant land, I'm waiting patiently for Christ, my true love, to return for me someday. And I want to remain faithful to Him in all ways until that time.
I feel like I have what I've always wanted now.
Me: Jesus, thank you. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for wanting me. Thank you for absolutely everything. You're the best friend, the greatest love I could ever hope to have. You're everything I've ever wanted, and so much more than that.
I feel like I've been a fool here lately. I've thought very dumbly. To begin with, something I felt was a sin I asked others to convince me it wasn't. And sure enough, the result was that my mind got filled full of doubt and frustration and that distanced me from God. How stupid could I have been? Rather than ask others to convince me I'm wrong, I should have charged forward along this journey and asked God to lead me on the way. I'm really not one hundred percent certain homosexuality is completely wrong or sinful. I'll admit that. There are a lot of arguments out there that honestly do make me question if it might be okay for two men (or two women) to be with each other in a relationship. But the more I think about it, the more I know that would never work for me. My sinful nature keeps telling me I'd be so much happier being with another man. That little voice keeps telling me that I'd feel loved. It tells me I wouldn't feel lonely anymore. It tells me I'd feel better about myself and who I am. But the more I think about that the more I'm not so sure that'd be true. I might would feel more loved, but I realize even couples or married people can feel lonely and unlovable at times. And I know that what problems I have with myself nobody else can make me feel differently. This is something within me and the only way I'll feel better about myself or about who I am or how I am is to realize more fully how God feels about me. I have to change from within and not from without. All of those things I feel insecure about—my looks, mannerisms, the way I talk, what things I'm drawn to or tempted to do—are things that only God can give me peace or contentment or help with. No one else can do that. No other guy can do that. No boyfriend or romantic relationship could ever satisfy those wants and feelings within me. Only God can do that.
I think about that and my understanding of the bible, and I consider past homosexual experiences that never made me happy, and I realize living a homosexual lifestyle just isn't what God wants for me. My nature keeps telling me it is what I want, but God keeps telling me it isn't, that I shouldn't pursue it, that it won't make me happy. He keeps laying those feelings heavy on my heart.
I haven't been listening to God lately, or communicating to Him as I should have been. I know that's never a good thing, but I forget that at times. When things are going well I tend to forget about God. Then when things become bad it's hard for me to feel close to God and to reestablish a relationship with Him.
There are a lot of hurts I can't seem to let go of. I dwell on some of those hurts more often than I should. I try to push them to the back of my mind, but they keep coming forward. I remember times when other guys made fun of me and rejected me or wouldn't be friends with me. I remember times when my dad wouldn't have anything to do with me or abused me either physically or emotionally (and please don't think that my dad was a bad one. I know he did his best). I remember times when my brother wouldn't let me be his brother and made fun of me with his friends. I remember how frustrated and confused I was when I first started having sex with a younger friend when I was twelve. I remember times when I felt so lonely in school and no one would ever be my friend. I remember that week of fear at camp the summer before I started high school when some of the older guys made me take off my clothes down to my underwear, put a bra on me, and took pictures of me like that and mocked me. I remember all those times of depression when I cried until I couldn't cry anymore and felt so empty and alone and hurt that all I wanted to do was kill myself. I remember finally building up enough trust in my preacher to tell him about my struggles and asked for his help, and then he avoided me and made false accusations about me. And the list of hurts could go on and on.
I'm not mentioning these things in order to get anyone's sympathy. I mention these things because they're the things that's bothered me most. I've had a lot of trouble letting go of these hurts and moving on. And perhaps the reason that is, is because new and similar hurts keep coming up that remind me of these things. I keep trying to make friends with other guys and that's proved to be a somewhat difficult task for me. I keep going to church and trying to be more active there, but I know I can't be open with my preacher. I want to feel and be like straight guys, but every time I see a good looking guy and become aroused I'm reminded that I'm not. And that list of examples could go on and on as well.
It's hard for me to not look back. I know God wants me to let the past be what it was and to lay it aside and focus on the future instead, but sometimes that just seems so hard to do. I try to do that and then when new hurts arise and remind me of the past, I feel like God is breaking His promises. I feel it harder to trust Him when those new hurts come up. And then I feel alone. I'll admit I do have a bit of an independent streak. I like having those freedoms to not be tied down and to come and go as I wish. And I can embrace those feelings at times to the point where not even God can be let in. I push Him out. I feel hurt and betrayed and so I distance myself and take on a go-it-alone attitude. The last two or three years that's been one of the hardest things I've struggled with to keep myself from doing. I know life is going to have its ups and downs. There'll be good and bad. There'll be more hurts in the future. There's no escaping it. That's sadly the sort of world we live in. The important thing to remember is to always hold onto God whether times are good or bad. I have a tendency to forget that. And I have a tendency to forget my own responsibility in some of those bad times or hurts. I know that homosexual activity isn't good for me. It's never brought anything good into my life. But I continue to pursue it anyway. How crazy is that! When will I learn my lesson?
Maybe I should correct that last little bit somewhat. Because I've had homosexual feelings, I've been able to meet several wonderful and caring people. Some of you are those people. And I realize that if it wasn't for homosexuality, I'd probably have never met or known any of you. So, I suppose that's one good thing. Because of these struggles I've learned to be a little less judgmental of others. I've learned compassion and mercy and love for others. I want others to be treated by me the way I wish I'd have been treated more often by others. But really, that has nothing to do with homosexuality. That's what God has done for me. Without God I'd be a miserable, awful wretch of a person. I'd have no friends at all. I'd have nothing and be nothing and I'd be sinning nonstop. But with God, He helps me be a little less wretched and has certainly blessed me with more than I should ever deserve. Through my struggles, God has connected me with other people and worked through me to make me a better person. It's through His leading me that that's happened. I just need to let him lead me more. I have to trust Him and hold onto Him with everything I've got. He never lets go of me, so I should never let go of Him. I have to keep hoping.
Thanks everyone for your prayers. They've meant a lot. And in the future, please don't ever restrain speaking the truth to me.
Sometimes I feel such a strong urge to want to be with another guy. The feeling just seems to consume me. I feel lonely or... well maybe not lonely, but something. I feel like I'm missing a part of me. I alluded to this in my last post. It's as if God took something out of me and there's a void or emptiness now. Maybe it is just loneliness.
Anyway, I had this feeling rather intensely the other day and I was wishing and wanting so much that I could have a boyfriend. Then a strange sort of feeling came over me. I suddenly thought it would be weird to be with another guy. Just out of nowhere this creepy sort of otherworldly feeling entered my mind. I thought about myself having a boyfriend and all the aspects of a relationship with him and suddenly the idea of all that seemed almost like a turn off. To be perfectly honest, this is a feeling that's come over me more and more frequently over the last couple of years. But I don't know that it ever seemed as strange as it did this last time.
I wonder if maybe it really, truly is possible for a person to change their sexual orientation. Especially when I have feelings such as these. I'll admit, the last time I looked at pornography I cleared my mind of any sexually exciting, lustful thoughts/energy/whatever and just really thought about what I was looking at. I saw two guys having sex and the image of that seemed so very odd. I then imagined the two men being straight, and I almost felt repulsed. I thought of guys I knew at work or church and attempted to imagine them kissing another guy or having sex or being in a relationship with another guy, and it just seemed unimaginable.
I've always had such a strong feeling that God never meant for two men (or two women) to be with each other sexually. I guess the mechanics of that act just never seemed to fit the whole creation story and particularly the primary purpose of sex for procreation. (And please don't think that by that statement I don't believe sex is also meant to be an expression of love. Just that without sex, there'd be no procreation or life giving, and so that would have to be its primary function, or else all life would cease to exist).
I think about being with another guy, and I feel like if I were with another guy, that part of me which I feel is missing would no longer be missing. But then I think about what it would actually mean to be with another guy, and I start having these strange feelings. Something about being with another guy just doesn't feel right. Even though most of the time it does. But on that same note, almost nothing about being with a woman feels right.
I wonder sometimes if all this has something to do with feeling less than masculine. I usually don't feel very masculine at all, even though I know I do have certain masculine traits or characteristics. But I also wonder if it's because I'm not fully being myself most of the time. Naturally I'm more feminine in a lot of ways than what I usually allow most people to see or know. I try to be more masculine than I feel I actually am. And the thing is, I think deep down I prefer the feminine me. I like the fact that my eyes have a sort of feminine look about them, the way they're shaped. I like that my smile often has a shy girls look to it. I like that I talk with my hands sometimes. I like that my voice isn't real deep. I like a lot of the sort of feminine characteristics that I have. I just wish sometimes that I could be my feminine self toward another guy. And then I think about what I'd like from another guy—what sort of relationship I'd like.
I want a guy who'll love me for me. I want a guy who considers me something special. I want a guy I can cook meals with and go places with. I want a guy I can hold hands with. I want a guy I can share the holidays and special occasions with. I want a guy who will take care of me and who I can take care of in return. I want a guy who will hold me and love me and think I'm the best thing since sliced bread, and who I'll feel the same about.
I want kids, but I know no other guy can ever give me that. Nor could I do that for another guy. As much as mankind likes to play God, we humans still haven't found the way for two men to procreate. I'd have to be with a woman in order to have kids of my own. But I don't think I could ever be with a woman. Seems like the older I get the less likely that seems. God may have a surprise in store for me yet, but for now, I just don't see that ever happening. Maybe I'm too womanly myself to ever be with a woman. But there again, I don't think a woman could satisfy that void-like feeling within me.
Like I said in my last post, God please just take this feeling and do something with it. It's just annoying the heck out of me. I want something and that something seems to be a relationship with another guy, but when I actually consider pursuing that, something about it starts feeling wrong or unusual. Maybe I just can't escape the fact that I believe homosexual relationships are sinful, and that God wouldn't approve. Maybe I just need to accept this and accept being celibate and move forward along that path. Maybe that void will be filled by greater friendships or even by God himself. However it's filled, I just wish it would happen already, and in a more positive way than I've come up with myself.
~ ~ ~
And now on a whole separate subject, I was informed today that a friend of mine from high school, who I hadn't seen in a few years now, passed away last night. It's suspected he had a heart attack. To the best of my knowledge, this was the first person from my class who has died.
My preacher says from time to time that we are all just a heartbeat away from death. Well, I suppose that's true. It shocks me sometimes to realize just how fragile life really is. And I'll admit, sometimes the prospect of death scares me a little. I wonder if I've been faithful enough, or if I've truly had the right sort of relationship with Christ to be able to go to heaven. I think I have, but I guess sometimes I have my doubts. I get to feeling so far away from Christ sometimes that it makes me wonder whether or not He's still walking by my side, or if He's abandoned me. So far, He keeps pulling me back to Him. As a friend of mine recently put it, “I cannot see without Him as my eyes, or breath without Him as my lungs”. I like that. I can't escape Him and I'm glad for that. He never leaves me.
But I'm saddened that this old friend died. I'd just recently read about him in the local paper. He was involved with the direction of a play in the local theatre, and seemed to be really making a name for himself. I hate that he had to die so young in life. But I'm glad at the same time because I honestly do think he's in that better place now. He now has the rest of eternity before him, with Christ standing by his side.
I feel like I just have to trust God. I have to or I'll go crazy. If I trust God and allow Him to take me where He wishes and lead me in all things, that's the only way I'll ever be happy. And I guess I need to stop worrying so much. My counselor recently told me he felt I was thinking too much about the future and worrying about what might be or what could happen, living in fear of those things, rather than focusing on the moment at hand. I think he's right. I worry too much about being alone, about how my future will turn out, about what career to pursue or what direction I should be taking, and about dying before I've accomplished this or that, and there's just nothing good at all about worrying about any of it. All it does, thinking about those things, is drag me down. I suppose that's exactly what the devil wants of me.
I think I just want a change. I want something different and new and exciting.