Mending the I(dent)ity (A personal testimony)
Mending the I(dent)ity (A personal testimony)
One of SAYCONNECT’s young contributing writers shares a personal testimony…
“I had the privilege of having Vernon in my Creative Writing elective at WYI last year, and have been so encouraged by his enthusiasm to communicate his thoughts through writing and to eagerly receive and respond to feedback. I know that Vernon has devoted a great amount of time and effort into what he is sharing here, and am proud of him for going deep to express these thoughts from his perspective to share with you now.”
– Aleen Bradley (Blog Contributor)
“I think my co-worker’s a lesbian.”
As my friends and I spent an evening on the computer, that statement was said in a way that made me extremely uncomfortable. He didn’t have a clue about my battle with sexual identity.
It does not roll off the tongue very well: for me to say that I am “ex-gay” means that I either sound delusional or have nothing to do with same-sex attraction anymore. It is not a holistic representation of who I am, nor do I want it to be how others see me.
At times, it’s a struggle to bring to God my feelings of being lost and alone. More often than not, I just want my same-sex attraction back; at least then I knew what I was dealing with. There are times of pride over seizing the “ex-gay” label that I so dislike; but the need to be able to communicate who I am to believers and nonbelievers still remains.
Amidst the conflict, God is constantly reminding me of where I need to find my true identity: in Jesus. I didn’t need to run around wondering if I was a “bisexual,” “gay Christian,” or “heterosexual trying to shove the homosexuality out of me.” A testimony in Andrew Marin’s book, Love is an Orientation, explains the answer to all of the wondering very simply and powerfully: “The opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality. It’s wholeness.”
Wholeness. That is what God wants for all of us. But it can be difficult to fully grasp it for our lives when any of us alter God’s Word. Whether deliberate or not, the wholeness God graciously wants to lavish on all of us has often been substituted by what looks to be “whole(mess).”
My friend was not leading me towards God’s wholeness by the way he expressed his approach to people who experience same-sex attraction. I, on the other hand, was not leading him towards God’s wholeness by changing my attitude by taking on a victim mentality.
I often wonder why God would choose me to be healed after six years of same-sex attraction when there are people who have gone to their grave with that longing. But I began to ponder: had God healed me of my same-sex attraction any earlier in my relationship with Him, it would not have been as glorifying to His name. And perhaps I was not ready for the fruit He planned to happen in my personal journey had not come to fullness yet.
God has already given us ultimate healing through His sacrificial love in Jesus. Moreover, God does not heal people because we do not want to feel pain and suffering; God heals because He wants to show how much He loves us. God restores the lives of broken people because of His immense love for His creation. If I am truly interested in the things of God, then I should trust and praise Him with my very life at every stage of His plan for it.
It is far too often in our lives that our past scars and present hurts can easily have a louder voice than God Himself. We may not always believe we can truly be whole. For a lot of people, being clumped into a social categorization of “not straight” means a lot more than just being of a different bent. Sometimes, what God promises just does not seem as real to us as what the world is delivering.
We need God for every step in our daily lives to teach and remind us that our circumstances do not define us; He does. There is always something or someone that is ready and willing to convince us otherwise, and wholeness is more than just following God or receiving His blessing for our lives. God wants to transform our thinking to see ourselves as He has always seen us. Wholeness is an identity, not a cover-up.
Wherever you may be in your relationship with God, I pray that you will put on the identity of wholeness. He will gladly clothe you with a love the imperfect world can never give. His intentions for us are good, even if it means living in certain tensions.
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