|Posted on January 5, 2016 at 2:50 PM|
Written By: Ben Newman
Written Originally for www.peoplecanchange.com (Dec. 2003)
The answers are very individual, depending on where we started, how actively we have worked at change, and how long it has been since we began the process.
When we talk about change, we are talking about change in sexual identity, change in sexual behavior, and change in sexual desire, but also, at a deeper level, change in our spiritual, emotional and social lives.
When people ask, "Are you saying you are no longer attracted to men?" most of us would answer:
"Attracted, yes, but not sexually. We no longer desire to have sex with other men. Our desires have changed. What we find attractive or appealing is masculinity itself, in ourselves and other men. What we desire -- and now have in our lives -- is brotherhood with other men. We don't want to be involved with them sexually or romantically. In fact, that kind of relationship would subvert the good, healthy, fulfilling brotherhood that we now enjoy instead."
When people ask, "So are you sexually attracted to women now?" most of us would answer:
"Yes, much more so than we used to be. It's usually a particular attraction to a particular woman, but we do relate to women now in a much more opposite-sex, man-to-woman, heterosexual way. We find now that this kind of relating affirms our masculinity, where it used to feel like it would engulf us in the feminine."
Paul contrasts his experience with a former male lover to his experience with his fiance now:
"I recognize now, although I couldn't see it when I was living homosexually, that my homosexual relationships always had a huge piece missing. I didn't feel whole or complete with men. I was always lacking, wanting something more from them than they could give me. With my fiance now, the best way to describe how I feel about our relationship is that we 'fit.' Physically, emotionally, spiritually, she fits. She complements the areas why I'm lacking, and I complement her, like a lock and key. And as I grow to love her more, my desire for her physically just keeps increasing. It's easy to see myself as both a companion and lover to her for the rest of my life.
"That's completely different from my former relationship with my boyfriend Jim. As I grew to love him more, I grew to desire him (sexually) less. I now know why: I started to love him normally, as a brother, instead of as a lover. I had a tremendous, growing love for him. I adored him. I still do. He's one of the most loving, caring, humble men I have ever met. But our relationship was changing to one where we were companions, not lovers. And that is absolutely consistent with what I saw in other relationships. After awhile, they would become great friends but stop having sex with each other. They would start to go outside the relationship for sex. In 12 years in the gay world, I never met a gay couple that was entirely monogamous. One in the couple has always gone outside the relationship for sex, if not both. Always."
Most of us found that we began to experience profound change once we took the focus off of our sexual orientation and placed it instead on healing with other men (especially our fathers and peers), within ourselves, and with G-d. As we grew into a more "healed," more mature masculinity, romantic interest in the opposite sex usually began to emerge indirectly, almost as a byproduct of strengthening our identities as men.
"When I think carefully about the therapeutic work I did in those years, I see clearly that it wasn't about switching the gender of my sexual preference. It was about escaping the bondage of some deeper problems - anxiety, shame and fear. For most of my life, I had been overwhelmed by anxiety when I was in the presence of strong and intelligent men. I had been oppressed by intense shame because I felt my body was so inadequate. And I had been crippled by a fear of exposing my deepest emotions.
"The work I did in those years was to make choices that gradually freed me from the bondage of these deeper problems. Tremendous rewards followed - fulfilling friendships with other men, better health and greater confidence with my body and emotional freedom and power. Yes, my sexual orientation changed too. But in my life today, heterosexuality is like salt in the cookie dough - it's an important element, but it's not the main ingredient. You see, my struggle hasn't really been about going 'straight.' It has been about getting free."
Here are some of the areas where many of us have experienced the most change:
1. From turmoil to peace, and from darkness into light.
This is perhaps where most of us feel the most significant change in our lives. We are no longer torn apart by conflicting desires and values, sexual obsession and/or unrequited longing for male affirmation and affection. We no longer feel lost in spiritual darkness, plagued by thoughts of self-destruction. We are at peace.
2. From shame and self-hate to self-acceptance and self-nurturing.
Another profound area of change. We have come to love and accept ourselves as we are, free of shame and free of fear that others would reject us if they knew our secrets.
3. From repression to fulfillment. From isolation and secrecy to rich friendships full of honest disclosure and mutual support. From lust to brotherly love.
Instead of repressing our feelings, or indulging them in self-destructive ways, we have learned to fulfill them in healthy, self-nurturing ways that create a brotherly bond with other men. Now, instead of lusting after men as sexual partners, we identify with them as brothers.
All of us report that we have never had so many good friendships, and certainly not with other heterosexual men with whom we feel connected as equals and with whom we can be our true selves in complete honesty. These are the healthiest friendships of our lives.
4. From rebellion against G-d to love for him and joyful submission to his Divine will.
To no longer be fighting against G-d, but to seek him out as a trusted friend and companion who we know wants us to experience real, lasting joy has brought much greater peace into our lives!
5. From fear and rejection of heterosexual men ("heterophobia") to identification with them literally as our fellow men.
Rather than always panicking at being with heterosexual men, we typically now can be in the company of men, with a sense of peace, wholeness and joy, and we look forward to their company. We feel much more bonded, connected and affirmed as men.
6. From a feeling of being genderless or never being "man enough" to a sense of pride, joy and wholeness in our manhood.
7. From distressful sexual behavior or desires, sometimes even obsessively or addictively, to a healthy "sexual sobriety" that brings peace and an enhanced spiritual and emotional life.
We are not "white knuckling" abstinence from homosexual desires. We have withdrawn from the lust and done the underlying personal work so that doing so has brought peace and wholeness.
8. From disconnection from our feelings and escape into fantasy to understanding and embracing our feelings and the competence to deal with them in nurturing ways.
9. From identity as a gay or bisexual man to identity as a son of G-d and a man among men.
Our sexuality no longer defines our identity; rather, for most of us, it is our spirituality, complemented by our strong gender identity as men like other heterosexual men, that most strongly establishes our sense of identity now.
10. From identifying with women as our sisters to recognizing them as sexual beings and the true opposite sex from us, then developing romantic interest in and even sexual fulfillment with particular women.
Admittedly, none of us has become a womanizing playboy. (But neither would we want to. What merit would there be in simply trading one obsession for another?) But the more healed we have become as men, the more we have found romantic interest in women beginning to grow. Usually, each of us experienced this as attraction to just one particular woman, not to women generally. That is just fine with us - even preferable! Our desire for wife and family can be fulfilled perfectly well if our heterosexuality is experienced and expressed with just one woman. (We've also learned that this trait can be very appealing to our wives and girlfriends!)
Does this mean none of us will ever again have a homosexual thought? That we will never feel tempted by past memories? Not necessarily. But that doesn't mean we haven't changed - only that we are still human. When some of us do have moments where we feel the pull of homosexuality, we know it is a symptom of not taking care of our emotional and spiritual lives, of feeling disconnected from our brothers, from G-d and from our own sense of inner strength and manhood. We nurture our bonds with good men, we reach out to G-d, we reconnect with our masculine power, and the lust is quickly replaced by spiritual love.
To quote the author Richard Bach: "Here is a test to see if your [work] in life is finished: If you're alive, it isn't."
And so, the journey continues. The difference is, now it is a journey of peace, light, self-acceptance and self-nurturing, fulfillment, brotherly love, heterosexual family life, and love of G-d.
|Posted on January 5, 2016 at 2:05 PM|
Written By David, An Israeli JONAH Struggler (posted Nov. 2007)
"That's the key here: healing SSA is a progress from compulsion and a sense of weakness, to a mature sense of competence and self-mastery as a man."
Here's a brief attempt at an Intro for Beginners:
1. "I think I'm gay and..."
You are not gay. There is no such thing. Decades of scientific research have not come up with ANY evidence tosupport the idea that gays are "born that way", or that homosexual attractions are inborn.
You have been lied to.
Those of you who follow the news from Israel - and maybe have a personal connection here - already are familiar with the gross, ideologically motivated distortions of the truth about Israel by the media and other liberal strongholds such as universities.
The same thing has been done to promote the pro-gay agenda.
For many, a first step in the process is cutting through the media stardust and getting at the truth: there is no genetic basis for homosexuality, you do not have to live with this forever, it is not an immutable part of your makeup.
If you don't take the time to really work this out - the lies of the pro-gay propaganda machine will close around you like a shackle, preventing you from growing, healing, and living the life YOU choose to lead.
2. What is this term "SSA"? Doesn't it just mean I'm gay?
We use the term SSA - Same-Sex Attraction - to describe our drives and behaviors.
It's not an identity. It's a behavior that we wish to change.
More accurately: it's a symptom.
In most cases, sexual attraction to one's own sex is a maladapted, unhealthy response to trauma, or to events that block or sidetrack normal development. Studies (ironically, some of them conducted by gay organizations!) have shown clearly that the majority of men who feel same-sex attractions share certain traumatic experiences or dysfunctional family situations. The most common are:
- Dysfunctional parental relationships - missed bond with father, abusive or distant father, smothering or emotionally enmeshed mother, narcissistic/manipulative father or mother... Often dysfunctional parents come in pairs!
- Childhood or teenage sexual abuse
- Peer wounds, especially during puberty: exclusion (particularly from one's gender group), ridicule, abuse
- Other experiences that lead to a mindset of inferiority or inadequacy compared to others - especially to other men.
To cope with these traumas/challenges, our minds have "hijacked" sex and pressed it into service to fill another emotional need, or cover a wound.
Another way of saying it is: we have sexualized that which we feel is lacking in us (yearning for love, approval, and acceptance from men), or created a comforting sexualized escape from the perceived threat of heterosexuality (smothering mother, being a "good little boy").
This isn't an identity.
And it's not just a normal variation on human sexuality.
It's a compulsive behavior, with many points in common with other compulsive behaviors.
For example, bulimics and anorexics have done something similar - they have taken the normal urge to eat, and the normal pleasure of eating, and invested them with additional meanings in an unhealthy way - turning these normal drives into self-damaging behaviors.
If you have spent any time around the gay "community" you may have seen this - the vast majority of "out and proud" homosexuals drift through short-term relationships and anonymous sex, constantly pursuing the "dream lover" that will fill their unmet needs. This pattern is clearly compulsive, and can lead to self-destructive behavior.
3. Can you just quickly show me how to control my urges so I can get married?
It is not possible to simply control the surface behavior. This is like "sticking your finger in the dyke" - the pressure just builds until it blows up.
We said that SSA is similar to other compulsive/addictive behaviors. Well, the healing path is similar, too: it is necessary to uncover the underlying, unmet needs - the meaning that you have invested in your SSA feelings - and to resolve them.
This can mean grieving past abuse, or missed opportunities to bond with one's father.
It also has a positive element - after identifying where your path of growth was blocked, it is possible to build other, more healthy ways to meet your emotional needs. It is possible to learn healthy, appropriate ways to interact and feel intimate with both men and women.
By this process - introspection and healing past wounds, and building a healthier self-image and way of being - we heal the underlying causes of our SSA.
In most instances, people who do this feel the force of the same-sex attractions diminish, and feel heterosexual attractions grow.
The pace of your healing depends on your own personal story. A young person dealing with minor doubts about his masculinity will handle things differently than someone seriously traumatized by a dysfunctional background.
4. So I can get rid of these feelings?
Well... let's go back to that bulimic, or look at recovered alcoholics and drug users.
They have built a balanced view of life - and a healthier view of themselves and others.
But at times of stress in life - the old, broken "solutions" often suggest themselves. The classic example is the guy who hasn't had a
cigarette in years, but asks for one during a stressful time.
Similarly, healing for us means being free to choose - and live - the lives that we want, and that we feel are right and holy.But in some
cases and situations these feelings may crop up.
If the wounds are deep, healing means being able to live your life - despite occasional pains from the past.
Healing means that when the broken non-solution of SSA suggests itself, you will have other, healthier behaviors - and reasons for living - with
which to answer that momentary impulse.
And the truth is that adults must do this all the time - countering many unproductive impulses, attaining self-mastery.
That's the key here: healing SSA is a progress from compulsion and a sense of weakness, to a mature sense of competence and self-mastery as a
|Posted on April 20, 2015 at 3:25 PM|
You are worth something! Don't let anybody tell you you are a good-for-nothing! Your potential is way beyond what you might possibly imagine! God gave you passions and emotions for a reason. Find out what you are passionate about - and go for it! Don't be scared to accept challenges on the way - they only help you grow. Whatever your life experiences may have been - you are loved so much by God He sent His only Son to die for YOU! Let that love fill your heart, grow in you and bear rich fruit. Pass it on to others. God told Adam it was not good for him to be alone. Neither is it for us. Seek the company of others. Life is not about following somebody else's plans, but the one God has set out for you by the way He designed you! Learning and growing does not simply mean passing on traditions and learning things others experienced by heart (that is how our school system works), but helping light the fire in us that brought forth all cultural and technical development. You are never too old to study and grow, neither do you lack the talent for it. All it takes is for you to fell the love - His love - and accept this adventure called life!
|Posted on April 20, 2015 at 2:05 PM|
Why is the only condition we have on someone who wants to join Homosexuals Anonymous the will to be free? Because without it everything else would be futile. You have to know what you want and you have to really want it. You need a passion to go for your goal, no matter what. If there are no emotions involved and you try to reach a goal simply through a change of cognitive thinking patterns, or because someone else wants you to and you have not the slightest wish to do so, this only become negative stress for you. It is all about how you see and evaluate this goal of being free of same-sex attractions and the way that leads to that. For some it is a drag, a pain in the butt. For others the same tools are an exciting challenge.
Think about it.
|Posted on April 8, 2015 at 3:30 PM|
It seems to be common to bash reparative therapy of same-sex attractions. Even ex-gay leaders seem to go on a distance - while carefully choosing their words in order not to look like they want to put those down who do it. Yet they do get away from it and somehow I tend to think that they are still under shock of what had happened with and to Exodus and now reject anything and everything Exodus did in order not to be seen in the same light as them. Thus they do not use any of RT's methods and try to stay on the safe side by only using spiritual means.
So how about it - yes or no?
Let's first talk about what it is. Something needs to be "repaired" because it is "broken" or because there is some sort of loss or lack. That can be the lack of love from the same-sex parent in childhood for example. Therapy would now try to fill that lack and meet the legitimate need for same-sex affirmation and love through healthy male bondings. Instead of simply calling same-sex acts sinful, RT tries to work on their causes and help the individuals use their current resources to meet their present needs. Other issues might be the affirmation of exisiting heterosexual tendencies in the individual and working on gender identity issues (like what being a real man is all about - something most men struggle with I'd say).
Both Homosexuals Anonymous and Jason International approves of the underlying ideas and the methods of reparative therapy. That does not mean every therapist who applies them is a good one or that those ideas and/or methods should not be evaluated or improved. Of course they should.
However, we do NOT believe that the mixture of psychology and pastoral care is dangerous per se.
The human being as we see him/her in the Bible is an entity of body, psyche and soul. Each counselor, pastor, priest, or therapist should have at least some basic knowledge of those three. And it exactly that order the counselee needs to be checked - no matter if you do psychotherapy, pastoral care or whatever else. Is there a physical problem (make sure the counselee has a medical check-up!)? Are there emotional, psychological or mental problems or disorders (know some about their causes and symptoms and make sure the counselee gets proper help by a psychotherapist or psychiatrist)? In that context you need to see the indivdual's personal history and family background too. For some personality disorders it takes the unpacking of the past - like through psychoanalysis. Are there spiritual problems? If so which and how can they be addressed?
Those three parts - body, psyche and soul - can never seen separately. They always form one unit. However, you need to find out where the problem lies. If someone has a broken tooth you can pray till you're blue in the face, it would not help. God stressed that point: Adam had the perfect relationship with Him in the beginning, yet God said it was not good for him to be alone and made him a helper.
Even if you only focus on one part (like the spiritual one) you absolutly need to have a basic knowledge of the rest, else you are of little help and end up nowhere fast. You cannot base your programs only on one of those three parts and think this is a valid approach. It would be a very narrow and most likely very unhealthy one, as it could add shame and guilt to the already existing problems (if the counselee still makes no progress and feels like a total failure because you did not see his real problem and he thinks it is his fault).
Both Homosexuals Anonymous and Jason International do not offer psychotherapy. We have support groups and offer free Christian counseling and pastoral care. However, you will find the above ideas approached in our program with information to further help. Our basic concept is to not only look on where the issues are and how to address them best, but also to focus on what resources the individual has now, how he or she can use them best and how to make him or her strong - in all three parts ("resilience"). We are result-oriented, that is also the only condition we have for those who want to take part in our programs is the will to be free. If someone does not have that and only wants to whine and pity himself because he then does not need to take over responsibility and become active, but can stay the focus of attention and get pitied - then he or she better stays at home or leaves our group.
Let's stick with what works and not run for the hills because some fell or gay activists try to force a discussion upon us that is not ours. Don't get chicken and back off. We have a mighty enemy - so we better learn how to get our fists up and fight!
Munich, April 8th 2015
|Posted on January 18, 2015 at 9:45 AM|
I guess we’ve all been there. When we faced sexual temptation and fell, we were not the ones to blame of course. “It came over us”, “it was stronger than me”, “I tried but I could not resist”. We are talking about that like kiddies that were unable to resist something big and dangerous over our heads, when we were just too weak in our faith and our will to stand up to temptation. It even gets worse when we blame some program designed to help us. Or some counselor, pastor or brother or sister in Christ for our own inability. On a spiritual basis, Jesus died for us on the Cross so temptation has no power over us anymore. On a more personal and practical basis, it is what it is: We were just too chicken to confront temptation. Giving in was so much easier.
When it happened, let’s face it like real men/women though. No need to play the blame game. At best we can find out under what circumstances we are most prone to fall so we might discern a pattern behind it and prevent future falls. Spiritually, we confess, repent – and move on with our lives. No beating ourselves up, no whining that “we will never make it”. Most especially though no giving up and creating a new theology and worldview that allows us to be weak and even celebrates that.
That is simply pathetic – and we know it.
Nothing “came over us” but ourselves – our biggest enemy.
|Posted on December 23, 2014 at 8:20 AM|
We do not ask anything from those who contact us at Jason and Homosexuals Anonymous but the will to be free. This will is not just an abstract, intellectual thing. It is a will that shows itself in a motivation that keeps you going no matter how hard it is and how long it will be.
However, we are N-O-T another psychotherapy group. If you goal is not freedom, but to keep on whining so others might pity you, go somewhere else. This is for real dudes.
Some guys though seem to be afraid that by acting like a man they might finally become one. So they spend the rest of their lives pitying themselves and going from one psychotherapy to another, constantly whining how hard life is, that nobody loves and/or understands them and how much they hurt. Well, let me tell you one thing: this is real life. You can spend the rest of your days throwing a pity part – or picking up the fight.
If you choose to whine and blame the whole world for your “pain”, do not come to us. You waste your own and our time and energy. It is not the program’s fault, nor the therapist’s, the group’s, your parents’, or anybody else’s but yourself. Your are grown up. Accept responsibility for your life. Some people completely reject any tool that might help them gain freedom – because they might not be able to whine anymore. They will tell you they want to change, but they don’t. They are big babies and need to be treated as such. Unless you force them to get up their butts (like by withdrawing any material or other support for their lives) they will not do a thing to move one step ahead.
Sounds hard – but actually it is for their own best. This group is for real men and women, those who know what they want and seek appropriate help to go and get it. Those who will overcome their fears and go for that one goal – no matter what.
Remember that there is no courage without fear. Cowardice, laziness and self-pity, however, will never get you anywhere.
|Posted on October 10, 2014 at 1:25 PM|
FLIGHT FROM PAIN:
JOURNEY INTO AND OUT OF TRANSEXUALITY THROUGH CHRIST
Bio: Susan T. is the youngest of three girls born and still resides in the eastside of Vancouver, British Columbia. Gender Identity Confusion began when she was a toddler, continuing even when she made Jesus Saviour of her life in 1980. In the early 90's she enrolled in Another Chance Ministries (Marjorie Hopper - Director) as Steve. During this programme, Jesus became Lord of her life and with the power of God beside her began her healing journey. Susan was a pastor for a short time, volunteered in various committees such as Another Chance Ministries. She has been helping in many organizations such as 100 Huntley Street, Vancouver Challenge (Teen Challenge), and various street missions. She is an itinerate evangelist (Phillippines, Indonesia, Canada, Caribbean) and itinerate worship leader.
After taking a sabbatical from ex-gay ministry she began being connected with Exodus Global Alliance in Canada and she is now being used by the Lord to show that though going through the journey to understand Gender Identity Confusion and walk in truth of who she is may come through overcoming some painful steps, it is worth it. And now walks in freedom.
I accepted the Lord as Saviour in July 1980 @ 16 yrs old. He knew where I was but He was waiting for me to see Him. Though born a girl, most of my childhood was filled with my mother implying that I was not a typical Japanese girl & didn't belong. I didn't like what girls were supposed to like, etc. This started my self identification as "I must be a boy" starting in toddler ages. Meanwhile there was always a nagging feeling that my father was missing out because he didn't have a son. The words I chose to embrace from my mother were, “if you were a boy,” etc. or “you're just like your father.” I tried to ignore the words & feelings given from my mother.
When I was 5 our family, except for my dad, went on a trip to Japan from Canada.
At that time people who were in the plane’s boarding area could see their loved ones waiting for takeoff. I remember seeing my father hanging his head and looking so lonely. It was then that I decided that I was going to be the son he never had. I was sad to go but relieved too because there was some molestation happening. But the trip to Japan confirmed that I wasn't feminine. I did not fit in.
When we returned home to Canada, I kept getting worse because the Canadian families I was exposed to (next-door neighbours, TV, etc.) all regularly said “I love you” to each other but my family did not. I did not realize that in the Japanese culture they say I love you by providing for you, taking care of family members, etc. I didn’t understand so I felt totally unloved by my real family. By the age of eight I came very close to stabbing myself a few times but, even though I was a Buddhist, I heard God say ``don`t do it.”
At age 10 (March 11, 1974), I was raped. At this point disassociation started occurring. While the rape was happening to me the sensation was akin to me going out of my body and the experience was happening to someone else. This started my coping
mechanism for flight from pain. I`m a boy -- all that ugly stuff happening to me is because of that body on the outside. As a result at the age of 12 I contemplated more heavily the thought of suicide. I remember I was in my bedroom, placed a knife to my stomach and just as I was about to plunge The Spirit spoke to me and said He loved me which made me stop.
When I was thirteen, CKVU (Channel 13) began airing soft-core porn (geared more for men with sexuality from a man`s perspective) after midnight, starting a 25 year habit for me. At this time I was aspiring to be a male rock singer like BTO and The Guess Who which led me to have long hair. Nobody suspected my problem because I didn`t look butch. My father and I started having physical fights (but we are pretty good father & daughter now). And my mother began blaming me for the problems between her and Dad. I began to look into the Occult.
The Lord really protected me at this time – any relationships with women didn`t last when I told them I was becoming a male (straight or lesbian). On the other hand, men interested in me were all dedicated Christian boys but even during the date I was preoccupied with finding them good Christian women because I saw me dating a male as being a homosexual and I wasn`t a homosexual.
During this time every rejection I felt, every time I wasn't included in group activities, every failure, etc. I accounted to being a failure as a female. I began internally calling myself Steve while still answering to Sue. I decided to be the male. I decided to pursue a normal family where I would be the husband to a normal wife with kids.
I pursued relationships with normal women but they were short-lived because I felt as a Christian I loved them too much to be deceptive (I told them I wasn't physically a male). The lesbians didn't want me because I told them I was pursuing a sex-change operation. The lesbians were all after me until I told them I was having the operation to become a man. The local lesbian (women's) club advised me that I could attend their meetings only until I had my operation. Also my Father in Heaven kept reminding me if I really loved these women I wouldn't lead them to do anything that would jeopardize their relationship with Him. So my love for these people was bitter-sweet cause deep down I knew He was saying truth.
After a while I notified my sisters and sought out my general practitioner. The doctor said she would approve the operation and that I needed to get further approval from a psychiatrist at a Gender Dysphoria Clinic. I had already been passing as a male for a long time even without the hormones. (You had to be living as a male at that time for one year). My non-Christian friends were calling me Steve. I was a rock'n roll musician so having long hair was a norm.
During this time I started going to Christian Life Assembly. I wanted to stop the pain by becoming a male but I also didn't want to lose my relationship with the Lord. After seeing the doctor many times and getting ready to go to the clinic, the time for disclosure was at hand. We were in the chapel and I exclaimed to some of the congregation, “Don't call me Sue, call me Steve. Sue will be no more.” Thank God for a pastor who was growing in the Lord. He began speaking life to me. A conversation I remember is when I stated I felt inferior because I wasn't a pastor, he stated that he thought I had gone farther because I was the first Christian in my family. At this point many of my friends in the church began to really minister to me.
Many of my guy friends took me aside and let me still be one of the guys but I'm sure they prayed for me every day. I got together with 3 guys and we prayed with each other.
My Christian friends also let me know about their own personal struggles so I didn't feel like they treated me as inferior or like a project. By their actions my friends began to instill in me a desire to know The Truth and to live in the Truth. The truth is always the truth no matter how much we try to lie to ourselves. No matter how deceived we are in our gender we can never run away from what came out originally.
My prayer now became ‘Lord Change Me to who You want me to be.’ Either I believe that God will do it or I don't believe in God at all. Either God is Truth (and all His decisions) or He is a liar. My pastor who was humble enough to admit that his 12 pastor staff didn't have the resources to “fix” me referred me to Another Chance Ministries with Marjorie Hopper. Because she was also a struggler of trans-gender issues Marjorie knew better than to call me a lesbian. But I was perplexed as to why I was put in this ex-gay ministry when my being attracted to women was quite heterosexual because I thought of myself as a male. I was indignant when she insisted I join the woman's group instead of the men’s group. I kept wondering what I was doing there. But this was the hand of God.
My small group leader Ruth took the brunt of my “I don't belong in this women’s group” mentality and patiently started talking to me. Ruth never had lesbian issues but she ministered to me better than someone who had been in the lifestyle. She ministered God. As we went through the 32 week programme, she did not put me in a box but uniquely asked the Lord to speak to me. I stayed in the women's group. It would be another 3 years (I was a small group leader) when Marjorie associated me with the L word.
The road to Wholeness in Christ means a break from the flight from pain. When we receive Christ we are broken vessels. As we continue to grow in Him, He takes these broken pieces and makes an object for His pleasure as He heals the pieces. In order to create the object the pieces have to be moved -- they have to submit to the Potter even if it means they go through the fire again. Most importantly they don't react in the same way they did before. As we desire the Lord to set us free we must realize that whatever coping mechanisms we used for our suffering must be submitted to Christ. Continuous surrender. Wholeness in Christ means to give God the final say. He is the only One who can be our all in all. He has big shoulders and just as a raging wound may have to hurt for awhile to properly heal The Lord is with us to walk us through but walking through is imperative. He may do things like corner us to uncomfortable situations to help us get set free.
This began the journey of discovering the lies I believed about myself, lies I believed about others, the damaging effect of labels, inner vows, the importance of understanding inter-cultural practices and communication between generations, the importance of being a team player, that no business is new business (1st Cor. 10:13) – the thought that no one can minister to me because no one has gone through what I went through – is a lie.
BE PATIENT – BE WILLING TO CHANGE IN GOD'S TIME – NOT YOURS.
I am no longer a transsexual and have no desire to be a man. I am happy as the female I was born to be.
(Susan's testimony - used with permission).
|Posted on October 9, 2014 at 11:45 AM|
People with unwanted same-sex attractions or sexual problems in general often focus on living a sexually clean and pure life. They make sure all triggers are eliminated and when they hold one another accountable, they would usually bring up all those moments they failed – in thought or actions. Then again, they wonder why they never make any progress, why there is no victory in their struggle.
So what’s wrong with that picture?
In short: A problem will not go away by suppressing it and legitimate needs are not met by ignoring them. Or in other words: You can’t just run away from the bad – you need to run towards the good too.
Yes, we need a good foundation – which means eliminating all triggers in and from our lives. That includes things and people that either arouse us sexually in an inappropriate way or lead us astray so we won’t reach our goal. Contrary to what some might believe, this will not be a mere behavioral change – it can and will have consequences on many different areas of our lives.
However, living a pure and chaste life is a means to a goal – never the goal itself! Even healthy sexuality in a monogamous heterosexual marriage serves a function – it is for the good of the spouses and for procreation of children.
Yes, a celibate life is possible – but it should never stop at not doing something. That sexual energy can and must be used another way so it can bear rich fruit. For some that means increased creativity and socializing, as well as coming up with many ideas on how to do things differently. Find out for yourself what it means to you.
Sexual activity can also numb legitimate needs for a while – like the need for socializing, relationship, affirmation, etc. It can serve as a misguided way to deal with a gender identity disorder. And it can serve as a painkiller to deal with past hurts or unmet family needs (like the love and appreciation of the same-sex parent).
So just cutting down on inappropriate sexual activity and thoughts won’t cut it. Sex does not heal – neither does the elimination thereof.
Besides, if we spend all our energy and time on focusing on what not to do and think, we are reaching the opposite. If I tell you over and over again not to think of a rose elephant – what are you thinking of? Right, even if you haven’t done so for all of your life.
What then is the “good” we are supposed to run towards?
It includes: Working on one’s male/female identity, finding a purpose and meaning in life, living a physically, mentally and spiritually healthy life, finding out about our God-given passions and gifts and using them for His glory, working on our relationships to family members and men and women in general, becoming stress- and frustration-resistant, learning to focus on a goal and going for it no matter what, and finally: dreaming & acting big. Our lives are too short for anything less.
So stop merely avoiding things by trying not to do or think something. Don’t put yourself down forever and ever if you fall, but rather stand up again, find out why it happened and do better from now on. Stop living in the past but look into your future instead. Don’t put the blame on others or on circumstances beyond your reach. Don’t throw a big pity-party. Accept full responsibility for your life and live it to the fullest!
Life is an incredible adventure. No, it might not be easy street – but ever so much worth being lived!
|Posted on September 18, 2014 at 10:20 AM|
Message from one of our online members:
"To be honest, there is no true joy or pure love found in the LGBT world... only a false sense of security while engaging in everything that GOD despises and that which is endangering your very soul and physical health. I had never experienced true, pure love & joy in my life until I was rescued by CHRIST and taken out of that sinful world..... lifestyle??? More like a death-style!!!"
(used with permission)