Thursday, May 29, 2008

You're All I've Ever Wanted

Me: (Curious and hopeful) Jesus, do you love me?

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.

19 comments:

jennypo said...

Brandon,

I read this, and I thought, "Is this what God can do?" And then I realized that this is what each of us should be - an example of what God can do with messed-up humanity.

I wish there were more men like you. Isn't it just like God to take something our world says is broken, and then with it show us all what wholeness is?!

I want to let Him do that with me, too.

Neo said...

Hey man,

I will go by the pseudonym "Neo" for these purposes, as I don't want to reveal my true identity on a public blog at this point. I just discovered your blog a couple days ago, and had some thoughts.

I am a 21-year old Christian man currently attending a small Christian liberal arts college. I identify myself as heterosexual, but I used to struggle with SSA. I believe that it is too soon to say I don't struggle with it any more, but I have found quite substantial healing.

My story began much like yours - during my early years in grade school, I was frequently the target of rejection and mockery. From these experiences, I learned to feel as though I wasn't really one of the boys - a feeling I later came to think of as "the different myth" once I realized it was an illusion - and learned a pattern of not letting myself get close to other men. I never became romantically or sexually involved with another male and have never used pornography, but I did struggle with masturbation from a relatively early age. That certainly didn't help.

I can relate to many of your feelings of being inferior to or different from other males - I went through the same feelings myself. I think I can also understanding the longings you've had to be with other men. I have had the same sorts of feelings.

I knew I had SSA feelings from sometime around late middle school to early high school. I felt ashamed, and decided to keep it hidden and never tell anyone. However, I felt that God wanted me to share my struggles. I wasn't actually able to bring myself do so for a few years.

At some point, when I realized that SSA was becoming harder to resist, I knew I needed to do something. I started looking up ministries and such on the web. One of the most helpful ones I found was ironically actually not a Christian site - http://www.peoplecanchange.com . I recommend looking through their stuff, because much of it has rung true for me. Just be careful not to make theological conclusions not informed from studying the Bible. But one of the things they mentioned was that healing in isolation is effectively impossible.

Knowing that, it only took about 6 months and just the right timing for me to force myself to talk to my older brother. That was soon before I started college. At college I started making an effort to befriend and let myself get close to the other guys on my floor. Over time (and with much thinking, writing, and some counseling) I started to feel like one of the guys. I learned to open up and be close them. I started doing some of the same things (like informal sports and stuff) as them. I learned to talk with a few of them about struggles such as SSA and other spiritual struggles. Thus, I made the closest friends I've ever had in my life.

So now, when I get longings for other guys, I have come to realize that sex or romance isn't even what I really want. Even if God were to somehow reveal that homosexual behavior was OK now, I wouldn't want to. What I want is to be accepted as a man, to be affirmed by other men (plural), and to be a part of their (plural) lives as they are part of mine. I think this desire is God-given and has nothing to do with homosexuality.

I have always had some sexual feelings for girls/women, but they became significantly stronger when I worked on healing with other men. Ironically, I didn't really try to make this happen - it just did.

What troubles me about your latest post is that while we are certainly to depend only on Jesus, it is not biblical that he be "the only man in your life." The Bible frequently speaks of the need for Christians to build each other up, confess their sins to each other, and in general experience fellowship. As a man, you need this kind of thing from other men in your life. All men do, even the straighest of straight men. While I don't suspect it would possibly make you never lonely again, you need to learn to fellowship with other men. You might be surprised how healing it can be.

Of course, you don't want any relationships that have the danger of becoming sexual. There's any easy solution for that - only try to do this sort of thing with straight men who wouldn't be romantically interested in you anyway. Of course, talking about struggles like SSA will probably be extremely difficult at first, but it gets easier once you have friends who support you.

I would like to affirm you for making your relationship with Jesus the top priority in this struggle. I feel you do have a heart for him. It also takes a lot of man to handle painful experiences like rejection that you've had to go through.

I also affirm your thoughts to not identify yourself as a homosexual. Labels like "homosexual" and "gay" do not help at all in learning not to feel different from other men. You're not gay, you just struggle with SSA feelings. I define "gay" as embracing those feelings. It is also a good idea not to devote too much of your attention and effort to SSA itself. Instead, work on healing, gaining fellowship with others, and relating to God. He may bless you with change as He did me, although I certainly can't know if that will ever happen.

Blessings in working through your struggle to find your identity in Christ and to live for him.

Jim Jordan said...

It's funny how exactly alike we all really are. When we find Jesus and realize how powerful his love is for us, then all bets are off. Lies and half-truths won't do. There's also that fact that loneliness goes away. Having Jesus first in my life has also enriched my relationships with others, believers and non. He is the living Lord. Amen.

MR said...

Brandon,

Jesus is far better than any other man. He can meet that need, so we don't need a boyfriend. As neo said, we do need other male friends, they should just not be boyfriends, or more important than Jesus.

I am writing a series of posts on my blog to tell the stories of some non-sexual friendships I have had with other guys. These friendships have been a great blessing to me, but they take consitent loving outreach for them to succeed.

Brandon said...

Thanks everyone for your responses.

Jennypo, I hope you'll let Jesus do the same for you. Let Him lead you and He'll take you places more greater than you could ever imagine. :)

Neo/MR, I think there was a bit of a misunderstanding. I didn't mean that I was giving up trying to make friends or that I don't want or need any male friends in my life. Far from it. I've made a lot of male friends over the last year or so and I'm thankful for all of them. They're a huge blessing in my life. And I'm going to keep trying to make more friends. What I meant in this post was that I'm done looking for a homosexual relationship. I've put to rest the notion of wanting a boyfriend or letting some other guy be more important to me than Jesus. I'd rather those feelings or wanting for another man be directed toward Christ, rather than toward a sinful relationship. It's like I'm married to Jesus now. He's my man. Yes, I can and will have male friends, but Jesus is the one I want to give my life to. He's the one I want to follow. He's the one I want to belong to. So, it's not that I'm saying I don't need or want any male friends, just that I'm letting Jesus satisfy those desires in me to want to be with another man in the intimate/romantic sense.

I hope that makes more sense or clarifies things.

ewe said...

Brandon, i see this post as you talking to yourself. You are gay. Please accept yourself and love yourself the way god created you. I am sure you will be much happier and able to move forward. Now i do happen to believe Jesus was also an openly gay man and put to death for it. He is not telling you if he is able after this much time to deny who you are.

Brandon said...

Ewe,

I wasn't talking to myself, but expressing the love I feel for Jesus. The conversation in this post is one I've had with Jesus. You can take that however you will.

As for being happy, I don't know if I've ever been any happier than I am right now. And I'm not denying who I am. I'm finally accepting the fact that I belong to Christ. You seem to imply that God made me gay. I really don't believe that. Even if I were born gay, I don't think these feelings are from God. I've never been happy trying to accept them. I'm sorry if that bothers you.

As for your belief that Jesus was an openly gay man, I see absolutely nothing in scripture to back this up. Forgive me when I say I think you have a serious misunderstanding of who Jesus is.

shawn said...

Hey Brandon,

Great post! Your insight about the lies Satan whispers to us is so important to understand because believing those lies takes our eyes off the way in which God actually created us.

"Gen 1:27... in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."

The Enemy wants to deceive us into believing our identity is wrapped up in what we do (or want to do) vs. being rooted in God's purpose in creating us as males.

I'm so glad you heard that sermon and responded in the way you did!

Brandon said...

Thanks, Shawn.

ewe said...

you are crazy.
1. do you love me?
2.yes but you should have died not me is your response you think jesus is thinking. It is you who wrote it and think it. Jesus died 2000 years ago and you are contributing to the manipulation throughout the 2 millenia.
3. you say you are afraid and feel alone.
4.cultish response. guilt beyond comprehension. evil talk. If someone spoke to their child that way, they would be reported to DYFS. A sick reinforcement made by yourself that Jesus received your punishment. Hey you were not around when he walked this earth. Come back to reality Brandon. You are sounding like you are on the verge of psychosis and i do not care if the masses say it is ok for you to be in a delusion. It isn't.
5.who the hell wants someone around them who says i died for your punishment. No wonder you say you are happy and sad, humbled and broken. they are completely opposite emotions. You are confused with this logic and really do not accept it because it is nonsensical.
6. Sick thinking does not abandon you, you have to abandon it.
7.a dead man cannot satisfy you physically. You are gay in a culture that hates you. Now grow up, stand tall and start loving yourself. You do not need other guys to accept you. You need to stop comparing yourself to other guys that are not like you. Get yourself out of the pity pot. You feel good there because of your self esteem. work on that.
8.this is you talking to yourself. see the strength brandon. read it again.
9.here is your guilt. it is called ego meant to detain, deter and avoid. some people call it the devil. it is just another part of you that is into sabotage and ruining a successful personhood... you again.
10.if you past is about sucking dick, i am gonna slap you upside the head. that is the most rediculous thing to feel bad about. do it again with someone who loves you back this next time.
You are giving yourself confusion and hardship with this inner conversation crediting one side to a different entity other than yourself.

the rest of your monologue is not you, it has been what is told to you. Jesus is the man for me. Puleeze. you will be alone if you feel that way because you are talking about a person who is no longer living in the physical form.
why in the hell do you think you deserve the punishment jesus got. You think you deserve to be crucified on a cross with nails. GROW UP.
Your affirmation you are receiving is from yourself. the man you are. THE GAY MAN THAT YOU ARE.

You are in pain about your sexual orientation and there is no need to be. If you are older than 21, you need to start accepting yourself for who you are the way you feel and i don't mean dropping out of life for Jesus either. That is denying yourself to yourself all by yourself at your own will.
Listen, i want to tell you that you are beautiful inside as a gay man. If you need a stranger like me to tell you that then fine i will. You are are perfect the way you are. But....
you are lying to yourself when you say you need no one but jesus. Why would a man living today want to compare to an arab jew over 2000 years ago and if that is your expectations then you need to start thinking for yourself instead of what you are hearing from whoever you are listening to. get away from them as fast as possible. You need to be loved by a man and start a real relationship. Start telling yourself that until you are ready and it will happen.
Adam and Eve is not real. that is a story, an analogy. It is something to begin with. It is not that simple. you need to realize that there is no Satan, only your ego. God is not uncaring or unfair to you. you do that fine by yourself.
If you are not going to think of yourself as a sexual being then you have given up. oh yes brandon, you are in denial and that is all it continues to be. Whatever you do sexually SHOULD NEVER HAD RULED YOUR LIFE IN THE FIRST PLACE. YOU PUT THAT ON YOURSELF BY YOURSELF BECAUSE OF YOUR OWN SHAME. It is unnecessary. grow up.
ther is pornography in your life because you cannot allow yourself to be in a relationship with a man which is what you really want so like every gay and straight man out there, you probably are jerking off which is completely normal too. jeepers you are emotionally draining with all this silly self hating crap. Would you please expand your mind a little. this marriage to christ is simplistic and just another way for you to avoid yourself. and if you continue to avoid yourself, do you really think you are gonna achieve any sense of peace within? Good luck. I want you to think outside the box please. This is a box you are in. If you think putting down yourself for you inate sexual orientation and for natural thoughts from the fountain of yourself is wrong then please see a secular therapist. In the meantime, look in the mirror and tell yourself that you love the gay man you see. I am not going to proofread this. i am exhausted and meant this as a gift to you. somthing that perhaps is different from what you are hearing. my main point is that you are wonderful as a gay man. that's all. that's everything. that is what all else will come out of once you feel that is just fine.

Brandon said...

Ewe,

I've read what you had to say, and I appreciate your concerns and insight. But in this case, I couldn't disagree with you more. And as I said before, I think you have a serious misunderstanding of who Jesus is and what I was trying to say.

I hope not to offend you, but I'll ask you not to comment on my blog anymore. I don't appreciate being called crazy because I have a personal relationship with the Savior of mankind, and I particular do not like your use of language.

As I said, I appreciate your concerns, but I just don't think you understand.

ewe said...

you also and everyone else you seem to surround yourself with has a serious misunderstanding of the manipulated facts about a man named Jesus who was here over 2000 years ago Brandon. Try playing the game "telephone" and see how warped the original message becomes in a group of 10 people at the same time. Yet you cannot even entertain the idea that the life of Jesus has been so manipulated to control the masses like dumb sheep who follow without question. If you want to sit in ignorance that is just fine with me. There are plenty of people like you all over the world Brandon but don't you dare think your one rendition of Christ spoon fed to you and accepted without question is anything more than your attempt to hijack what you think goodness is. You are immature. You are crazy in your thinking and that is the reason you ask me not to comment. You prefer your "see no evil hear no evil" outlook on life. Anyone with an ounce of intelligent thinking unto themselves know your next step is to censor my comments so you can continue in your delusion. So lastly from one older faggot to a younger one, i say fuck you. grow up. You are a danger to all gay youth who struggle to find love and acceptance within themselves and you are an enemy because you join the ignorant religious fundamentalists at their side with your denial and low self esteem and your approval and participation in the twist on the christian message. That statement is a gift from me to you as well. You just don't know it. Maybe your priest will set you free Brandon. Go back for some more abuse you silly tart. Open your eyes and WAKE UP!!!

Brandon said...

Ewe, nobody is forcing you to read my blog. I am not forcing anyone to believe what I believe. I think people should be allowed to believe whatever they want. I have my own ideas about right and wrong, but I don't force them on anybody.

You are obviously upset about what I write about. If that's true, then please stop reading my blog.

And for future referance, the next time you cuss at me or insult me, it'll be the last time you'll ever be allowed to comment on my blog. I don't mind you saying your peace, but there's just certain language I won't tolerate. Sorry. Keep out the profanities and insults and you can say what you like.

Oh, and about questioning, believe me, I've done my fair share of that. I questioned a lot of things concerning my faith and what I've been taught. But through all my questioning I've come to believe as I do.

I am interested in your view of Christianity. Who do you say Christ is/was? What do you believe?

ewe said...

I am that i am. i was born as i am just as you were just as jesus was so long ago. You would not even accept Jesus the way he was Brandon. Jesus was a loudmouthed rebel troublemaker darlin and if you think that using a four letter word bothers anyone other than the lower middle class you are mistaken. Because frankly speaking, the rich and the poor do not give a shit about the word fuck. Take your blinders off. My use of swear words is meant to accentuate my sentiment not insult you. Thats your trip Brandon. yours alone. stop transferring your garbage onto me. You write a blog thinking that is not seen by people who struggle with their orientation and need an outlet that a polar opposite to your approach. You feel bad about who you are Brandon. You use a book to explain everything away and you think that others are not subjected to this silliness simply because you have a blog one must log onto. This is not your living quarters here. This is the whole world out here and if you cannot handle people who think you are completely misguided then too bad. You need to censor go ahead. Stop talking about it like some scolding parent and grow up. Your blog is about your sexuality. Your created it. You feel bad about who you are. I just came upon it and feel the need to call you on your silly outlook on it by explaining it away and using Jesus of all entities to somehow cleanse you of a self imposed stain which does not exist. People like you really are more annoying to me than i am to you. You have no reason to feel your homosexuality is anything but a special gift and yet you ruin the happiness of others because you cannot accept yourself. I see one glimmer of hope with your statement of receiving my opinions but it is laced in christianity. Not everyone thinks that way brandon. Are you gonna just live with tunnel vision from here on out?

Brandon said...

Ewe, if I'm so annoying to you, then stop reading my blog. I'll repeat again, no one is twisting your arm to read what I have to say. If you don't like what I have to say, then just stop reading. I'm not out to make you or anyone else unhappy in life. You make yourself unhappy. Rather than reading my blog, which you obviously don't like, you could be doing something else that you would enjoy. Just a thought.

ewe said...

i do both brandon. Your sentiments are annoying to those that think differently than you and more importantly it is because of your ignorant thoughts that are anti gay and attack homosexual people, that you must occasionally be monitored. You see sweety, you are dangerous to a free secular society and now you are able to come out of the confines of your religious halls and infect the rest of us with your dialogue. that is the reason i read your blogs and other hate groups as well. But not to worry, I do use the internet for research and my personal fullfillment as well. You do not and never have had the power to control that either. You see, to be perfectly honest, i simply just do not like you, not because i you effect me personally but because if you continue on this road your dogma that you impress on others as strictly as your own will soon become a mission in your life and for that you must be addressed. I would prefer you to be stopped. Actually i think this world would be better off without you and your low self esteem. You can join Jerry Falwell in hell for all i care. I am concerned for those that might be reading this anonymously who agree with me but might not have the confidence to tell you how evil you are through your misguided mind control pushing fairy tales from centuries ago.

ewe said...

OK Brandon. I am going to exit this blog and will sincerely try never to visit it again. I want to say to you that i have said some mean things to you and did not mean it to insult you but to get your attention. If i hurt your feelings in any way at all, i am sorry. I want you to be a happy person and i do not have anything against you. You have done absolutely nothing to me except express your opinion. You know how i feel about your opinion and the fact i think it is not really your own but that is either here nor there. If you feel that way and accept that line of thinking as your own i suppose it is true to conclude that you have incorporated these religious tenets as your own. You are anti gay whether you admit it or not and it is obvious that through your own pain you are actually effecting other people. I simply reacted to how your words effected me. Although i consider your train of thought horribly misguided, you do have the right as you have said to express your opinion. I do not compare you to jerry fallwell. I said that in anger and i do not wish you off the face of the earth. I do not even know you. I said that in anger. I do hope though that you always are confronted by people for pushing a heterosexual agenda that is detrimental to your own self.

ewe said...

i have returned because i realized i fucking care. oh how fucking cheezy but it's true.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Brandon.

I am delighted that you are listening to the Holy Spirit. When you are a spokesman of the truth, representatives of lies will try to shout you down and drown you out. But the gates of hell cannot prevail against the church. One's words reveal what is in his heart. Give people a keyboard and five minutes and you can see what's in their hearts as you read what fills their pages. I hope these attacks against you have redoubled your resolve to follow the path of sanctification that the Lord has laid out for you. I am praying for you, brother.

Your big bro in OC,
--C