I’ll begin my story by saying Its not necessarily one of deliverance. I still battle the same fleshly desires I did before I came to know Christ, but I have been delivered from the bondage. That being said my testimony is not one of radical transformation, but one where a good good Father stepped in and showed grace and mercy to a troubled twelve year old who just wanted to be loved.
So a little background, I’ve grown up in a Christian home, practically born in church. I was baptized around the age of seven and could be found either raising my hand or at the alter during every single alter call until I was about eight. On the outside I could be found professing my Christian faith, but in reality I considered myself an atheist and only maintained this outward “holiness” to please those around me, I thought it was the right thing to do.
Meanwhile I found myself increasingly unhappy. At the age of three I self harmed for the first time, this eventually would escalate into an addiction to cutting. At three years old I also started to deal with major depression. This ended up stealing most of the joy of childhood from me and only got increasingly worse as the years went on. Growing up I always felt “different” from the other kids. It wasn’t until puberty and finally hearing terminology used that I understood exactly what it was though.
Around the age of nine I remember being told what “a homosexual is” and that “God hates them and their going to hell”. In this moment my stomach lurched as I realized this term described how I felt. I was exclusively attracted to girls. Any slight hope that God might exist and desire to truly become a Christian died that day. I spent the next year dealing with suicidal thoughts for the first time, and the year after that cutting for the first time.
In November of 2011 at barely 12 years old I decided I’d had enough. I had sat in the corner of my room crying countless times begging a God I was pretty sure didn’t exist and pretty sure if He did, hated me to “take these attractions away. Just make me straight and I’ll know you’re real.”
After months of nothing I couldn’t handle the pain anymore. I picked up my blade and was about to dig it into my neck when an image of my Dad crying over my dead body flashed into my mind, I dropped the blade in horror and promised myself I’d go through with it another day.
At this point I lost the ability to love anyone but my Dad, brother, and the girl I liked at the time. I hated everyone and everything else, myself most of all. To be “gay” in my mind was the worst thing I could be. What would my parents say? Telling them wasn’t even an option.
In 2012 at the age of twelve I attempted suicide three times. I started cutting just to pass time. I isolated myself and shut everyone out of my life. By June I had decided that I wasn’t going to live to see my 13th birthday. I had it all planned out, I’d wait till it was late or my parents had left the house and I’d take literally every medication we had in our house and cut worse than I ever had (at this point I always nearly passed out from blood loss whenever I cut).
Three days before the set date of my death (sometime between June 20th and 30th 2012) I attended a missions outreach about an hour from my church because I was heavily involved in my youth group. My youth pastor asked me to pray us into the service and I just smiled to myself as I thought:
“this is the last time I have to fake it.”
As service started, I was really distracted as I thought about all the final details of my plan, but the song “How He Loves” came on and caught my attention. At first, I was just enjoying the sound of the music, but then I realized when I’m dead there will be no music, no anything. The draw was no more pain and no more faking, but I hadn’t really thought about how much I truthfully did want to live I just wanted the pain and guilt and shame to end. I just whispered, “God if you’re real, and you love me show me through this service, or else I have nothing worth living for and its over in three days.”
The rest of the service freedom from depression was mentioned multiple times; during a drama that was performed suicide and self-harm were referenced. And during a dance that was done freedom from suicide thoughts was prayed for (in 12 years I had never even heard these things mentioned once at church). Then word for word every negative thought going through my mind was spoken against during the sermon.
On my knees as we sat there listening, I made Jesus my Lord. I ran out of the service and almost threw up I was so scared by the overwhelming reality that God was real and I had almost killed myself. That was only the beginning of all God would do in my life though. I still didn’t know what my same sex attraction meant for my walk, I was also hopelessly addicted to self-harm and severely depressed.
Over the next year God began to strip down all the walls I’d build and begin to heal my heart. After much pleading with God and urging of the Holy Spirit I self-harmed the last time on May 20th, 2013. Depression was still a struggle, but I had hope because of Jesus. I still battled self-hatred and denial because of my same sex attraction. I also wasn’t sure how God could love me because of what I’d heard other Christians say but I found from my own experience he didn’t seem to just love me, he seemed to like being around me, he wouldn’t leave me alone.
In July of 2014 I finally shared my struggle with same sex attraction with my family. I knew I could never have a relationship with a girl because my relationship with God is more important but to disclose that I was same sex oriented lifted a thousand tons off my shoulders. Slowly over the next year I “Came Out” (for lack of better terms) to my youth pastor and close friends. Which brings us to today. I have been 100% free from depression for nearly a month now (I haven’t had this long without depression since before I was three).
It’s been 2 years since I last cut, that’s not to brag on me because in my own strength I’d be dead right now, it’s 100% the mercy and grace of God. Same sex attraction is still a part of my daily life, but because I serve a great God I don’t have to bow down to it anymore. I don’t know what my future holds. I can’t see myself ever marrying a man, but I trust that even if I am to pursue a life of celibacy God will see me through it. At sixteen I definitely don’t have it all figured out, but I’m glad I serve a God who does. 🙂