Saturday, January 23, 2010

Issues of Life: Testimony of a Former Gay

Testimony of a Former Gay Who Turned to the Lord

     Have you ever been in awe at how the Lord works to change people? Awe, because truly the Lord's ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts or plans for us is higher than our thoughts and plans. I've heard of this testimony before in 2004 when we were vacationing in Brisbane, Australia, at City Harvest church. Pastor Sy Rogers was the guest speaker. Wearing a 3-piece suit, he unconsciously flaunted his hand while he spoke. But he said, "Change doesn't happen overnight; it is a process". 

     This testimony was taken from the Link-Zone page titled 'Sexual and Relational Wholeness', 2008. I had taken the liberty to shorten it and paraphrased some of the statements.

"The Man in the Mirror"         by Sinclair 'Sy' Rogers

     Three years before my wedding, I was lost in the pursuit of my identity, desperately seeking love and acceptance. I was a transsexual (that's what my psychiatrist told me)-- a physical man trapped in the wrong body. Obsessed with the desire to change my outward gender, I convinced myself that sex-change surgery was necessary for me to lead a fulfilled life. 

     Watching movies as a child, I noticed that the girl was always the object of the hero's attention and affection. My heart wanted to be like that and years later, I lived my childhood fantasy and became 'like a woman' in the hope of being truly loved at last. 

     The first half of my life was an emotional concentration camp. My alcoholic mother was killed in a car wreck when I was 4. Prior to that, I was sexually molested by a family 'friend'. After Mom's death, I was separated from my Dad for a year. In school, I was routinely ridiculed, rejected and physically abused due to my effeminate mannerisms, continually labeled a homosexual and a failure as a man. A few years later, I eventually involved myself in the gay scene and felt a sense of relief; I felt accepted and understood at last, a place to belong. I surrounded myself with others who would reaffirm and reinforce the gay life.

     Stationed in Hawaii, I totally pursued darkness immersing in Honolulu's gay scene. I got involved in minor prostitution, drug abuse, and dangerous street life. But I began to grow weary of the lifestyle. Behind the facade of acceptance and promise of love, I saw unhappy, cynical, and desperate people. Most of my gay friends say they were born gay and couldn't change. Some believed God had created them homosexuals. Two of my closest friends attended 'gay church' which openly welcomes homosexuals and interprets the Bible to portray God blesses monogamous homosexual relationships. I wasn't interested in God at that time but I liked the idea that God approved homosexuality. Eventually, my two gay friends were the first couple to be 'married' in the state of Hawaii. I was one of the best men in their wedding.

     In 1977, I completed my tour of active duty and returned to my hometown. A few months later, I received a letter from my gay friends from Hawaii saying their marriage was over, that they turned away from homosexuality and identity and are now Christians and that the teachings of the gay church was not true. I thought, "What traitors!"

     My own journey out of gay life began when I attempted to become a woman through sex change surgery. Though I did not get the surgery, I was on hormone therapy and lived as a woman for about a year and a half. Realizing that I hadn't managed my life very well on my own, I finally began sincerely seeking after God. I turned to the Bible knowing I'd find the answer there. 

     Isaiah 1:18-20 "'Come now, and let us reason together,' says the Lord. 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land. But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.'"

     As I read the scripture, I broke. Bitterness, guilt and shame for the lost years of my life poured out as I wept at the foot of my bed. I admitted my failure and guilt before God and cried out to Him, "God, I cannot change what I am, but I'm willing to be changed. I know You have the power. Make me the man You want me to be".

     As I prayed my life into His hands, the 'old me' died and the 'new me' was born. What had happened to me? I wasn't sure, but it felt good--peaceful, clean, forgiven. That was January 1980. I'm confident that God would be with me now to help me begin living a decidedly new life.

     It wasn't easy. I did have a lot of struggles but perseverance paid off. Today, I very much enjoy the opportunity to live beyond my past. Since 1982, a husband and a father. It isn't proof that I'm not gay, but it is evidence of a life I never thought possible. 

     In over a decade of living this challenging yet satisfying new life, I've had a unique opportunity to travel the world and minister to the sexually broken, many in the 'process of recovery'.

     One evening, while I was preparing for bed, the Lord spoke to my heart saying, "Look in the mirror. Tell me what you see".  I looked for a moment and said, "I see a new creation!" 

     He said, "Yes, but look again." So I did and said, "I see a child of the King, a servant of Jesus, and beauty from the ashes of my old life." Yet I knew these weren't the answers He was looking for.

     I looked in the mirror again. "What do you see, My son?"

     At last I understood, "I see that man, the man in the mirror---is me!!"

     Check out Pastor Sy Rogers Communication Ministry website.


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