My Challenge

August 25th, 2015

I was  born with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Muscular Dystrophy is a disease that causes the muscles in your body primarily your legs; to become weak. Most people with this disease stop walking around age 12-14 and I’m 18.

God has kept his hands on me allowing me to still keep walking. I struggle with doing many things and I know of so many simple things that I cannot do such as bend down, climb things, etc. Sometimes it gets to me and I just break down and cry.

I’ve been asking for a healing and I’m patiently waiting for God to allow me to receive such a blessing. I’ve had complications my whole life due to being born this way. I know God has made me this way and I don’t fault him because he is the creator.

I just don’t believe that I’m to suffer and struggle and keep this disease inside my body. Growing up I come from a family with drug abuse. My dad was in and out of my life and my mom was the one who took care of me. I’m so tired of struggling and I know God doesn’t give us battles that we can’t overcome but I’m just about beat.

I’m 18 and I’m going into manhood and I’m afraid because I feel like there’s so many things that I don’t know; partially because I didn’t have my father teach me what it is to be a man. My heart just hurts so bad, I try to look at the positive things but there’s not so many positive things that have happened in my life but more negatives.

I’ve been praying all on my own but I want people to know what Im struggling with. I keep asking why I havent been healed but I believe I will be healed. Maybe its me being selfish wanting the healing now I dont know. I keep telling myself

“Everything will be okay, everything happens for a reason.”

My reminder is the tattoo I have on my arm. It reads

“It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect”

It’s Psalm 18:32. I’m lost and I feel like my disease is just a burden because it keeps me from doing so many things and I just want it all to be different.

My Conversion Story

August 23rd, 2015

I was born and raised in the Episcopal Church. At age twelve, however, I began to question the tradition and values of the church, and began to hate being made to go there every week by my Mom.

When I was fourteen, my best friend Emily took me to a nondenominational church service. It profoundly affected me and for a short while I was fine with God, but the incident was forgotten with the passage of time- But my hatred for the episcopal church continued to fester.

At sixteen, I decided to reject the church completely and became a Wiccan. It was a religion that made sense to me. Ironically, my three best friends in high school were all Christians. One friend, Monica, took a particular interest in my new religious beliefs and was determined to make me a Christian. She constantly took me to her youth group, where other members of her church asked me to explain why I believed what I believed.

Toward the end of my Junior year, Monica began talking about her church’s summer camp. I tried to distract her from the subject but she was stubborn as a mule. When I told her it cost too much, she told me to apply for a scholarship. Begrudgingly, I applied in hopes of getting her off of my case.

I found out later that I got a full ride.

I packed up my things and headed out to the camp.

On the bus ride there we sat together, occasionally talking but mostly reading, eating, or watching the movie playing on screen. When the four hours were up, we all gathered our luggage and began to find our way to our cabins.

The camp theme was “Making All Things New”, and the camp itself was a lot of fun. They divided everyone into teams to compete against one another in various competitions. From eating 32 scoops of ice cream, to scavenger hunts, and even organizing a flash mob (which I choreographed, by the way.). It brought out the best in everyone. The food was amazing, too. The only downside to me were the religious aspects- including nightly worship services.

The last night of camp everyone gathered in the hall for the last church service before returning home in the morning. The pastor preached about Manasseh, the evil he did, and how God forgave him. I still had yet to be shaken from my faith.

Near the end of the service, the pastor had all the counselors and staff come up toward the front by the stage to pray over everyone. While standing in line, Monica told me that I had a choice to make, and that nobody but me could make it. It disarmed me so completely that I was quiet until she moved ahead of me in the prayer line. When that happened I was on my own and froze for a minute before hesitantly approaching the person who was supposed to pray for me. Without warning, she wrapped me into a fierce hug and started praying.

I couldn’t hear what she said (the band was still playing right by us), but it struck me like nothing had before that this person who I didn’t even know cared so deeply about me. It broke down my walls and I started to cry.

In that moment, I accepted Christ as my Lord and savior.

I was passed on down the line, and when I reached the end put my hands in the air in worship. When we gathered outside for s’mores afterward, I excitedly told Monica what had happened to me, and when we got back to our cabin she gave me my first bible. To top all of it off, our team won the last competition and were the camp champions.

I became a Christian on June 1, 2012.

It was the camp that changed my life, and I have never been the same since.

My name is Robert. I’m a recovering crystal meth addict with one hell of a story to tell. The first 25 years of my life were dreadful. I wanted nothing more than to die some screwed up death because the enemy had me convinced that my purpose had came and gone, like ashes on an empty street on a foggy day.

I discovered a once a month tradition that was perfect for what I was striving for. I called it, survival records. I would manipulate a doctor for a bottle of 60 20mg Adderalls, and see how quick I could chew up every pill and survive. Basically a once a month suicide attempt that I will admit is just too much fun. Crazy? Absolutely. I put up some crazy numbers.

One time I blew through all of them in around 12 hours, and then swallowed 20 Effexors in one gulp. I was found dead in a gutter. When I came to it, I was in an ambulance starring straight up with a bunch of EMTs looking at me. I was hooked up to all sorts of different medical machinery. I asked what was going on. Before he answered my question, he starts talking to them. I got mad and asked again.

He said I had a seizure, a concussion, and a small fracture in my head. All that was on my mind was I had some different pills left at the house and I wanted to keep going. I demanded they pulled over and let me go. That’s when they told me about the death part. Quite honestly, I didn’t give a damn whatsoever. All I wanted was more pills. I argued with those guys the whole ride there. I actually was just fine at first, but the next day, I ended up in the ICU for serotonin syndrome from those Effexors. Long story short, I was out of there within a few days.

This gambit continued into 2014, containing too many screwed up stories, such as the one above, to tell in one testimony. Throughout the craziness, I would scream and yell at God demanding that He killed me. I would call Him names, obnoxiously express how much better meth and pills were than weed, and I even spent a formal half hour session denouncing Him, telling Him to send me to hell. I did tell Him one time that if He gave me a moment where I knew for a fact He was real, I would MAYBE give up crystal meth. God knew my desire for an epic story to be told, and I’ll skip to the one that was indeed the grand finale to all the evil I had built up inside me.

On July 19th, 2014, I chewed up 45 20mg Adderalls in 3 hours, and then I chewed up 4 grams of Methamphetamine in one gulp. I spent 2 days strapped up in the ICU put under with an anesthetic used for surgeries. Off and on, the drugs would override that and send me into episodes of body spasms that were so fast, my body looked like a giant blur. My skin turned a rich red, a shot sweat in all directions all over the doctors that were dealing with me.

I would scream at them so fast, I sounded like I was speaking in tongues. My skin stretched outward around my eyes that were completely blood shot, blacked out with the pupils that were spinning around. My kidneys, liver, and everything literally down to the bone was completely failed, and poisoned with speed. The next part is the face of the card, but let me say, I cannot think of a more demonic experience that has happened with drugs. Amphetamines of all kinds are the devil’s drugs. Straight up.

Thanks to God’s everlasting grace, to me, all of that felt like 10 seconds of white flashes. When I woke up, I got a split second overhead view of myself. My eyes were white as snow, and the brown could be seen. I was paralyzed from head to toe. I tried to talk, but I felt myself choking on a breathing tube.

I was convinced for a good 15 minutes or so that I would spend the rest of my life doing nothing but thinking and looking around. This really sat with me. It gave me time to think. I remembered the overdose, so I was fully aware that I had brought it onto myself. Talk about feeling like a failure, I just one by one started thinking about all the opportunities I had to get it right and do something, but were gone thanks to my addiction.

A lot of “if only” statements came to mind. I thought about my family, what would they think when they saw me? Would they cry? I would go crazy if that were to happen, but luckily everybody was exempt from the whole thing. But still, I felt very vulnerable, scared, sad, and flat out hopeless.

I remembered one time I was living with a dope man. He had told me a story of a young man who did that drug for over 20 years and is now to far gone. That statement had applied to me. All of the sudden, alarms went off around my bed, and a huge team of doctors rushed to me from both sides. I felt myself starting to sink.

This next part is a moment so intimate, it brings me to tears at times. I felt a set of hands to grab onto. My spirit started to rise. My body flat lined, and I could hear the doctors giving up. In the flesh, I was dead, but in the spirit, I was fully alive and knew for a fact I would be just fine regardless. Those hands were the hands of Christ, and that moment we had together is one that brings me to tears at times.

It was the most intimate experience of my life, much more intimate than any human could ever provide. When I got to the ceiling, with my body still flat lined, my fingers twitched twice, and that split second, my eyes opened back up, and EVERYTHING in my body was completely back to normal. I was medically cleared to leave about a week later.

This experience proves beyond any reasonable doubt that there is indeed a Higher Power. To say I’m wrong is to call me a complete superhuman for pulling that off. But come on. Surviving that on my own strength? People have to be either crazy or stupid to believe that.

I know that the One and Only Higher Power is our Almighty God, but as for now, proof of at least A Higher Power is enough for me to get started because God kept me alive for one hell of a mission to spread His Word and save many from eternal separation from God.

So far, I’ve written one book titled “Intellectual Principles of our Heavenly Father” (available on amazon.com), but I plan on writing many more. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, I will prosper. I never knew that before, but after that experience, I know for a fact. God is real. I held His hands.

I began indulging in Internet pornography and self-gratification at the age of about 14. This began an ever increasing addiction to sexual sin that would last about 7 years. I tried so many times to defeat this sin on my own but could never make it. I knew full well that sexual sin is spiritual poison and I would under no circumstances inherit the kingdom of god if I were to die in this condition also being that we are living in the last days and the Lord well be returning soon.

So as time went on the conviction and guilt continued to build up inside of me but I just couldn’t break free. It was like I was chained to it and did not posses the key to break these powerful bonds as I had been trying to under my own strength and abilities.

Until one night after trying to again overcome on my own and failing I finally came to the realization that I would not be able to defeat these sins on my own. I fell to my knees practically in tears and basically asked god for truly the first time for help in overcoming my demonic strongholds. I seriously then when downstairs got back on the internet and within I’d say less that 10 min had found Setting Captives Free Ministry and was in the process of signing up for The Way of Purity course.

As soon as I started the first lesson I nearly broke out in tears because I knew Jesus had answered my prayer and I was bound to soon be free. This course opened my eyes to many truths that I had been previously missing. Such as being motivated by the glory of god as a primary goal when seeking freedom. As well as radical amputation, accountability, true repentance and confession all of which I had been lacking. Initially I did struggle had to take the course over a second time.

It was about halfway through this second time that I noticed big changes. Such as the urge to gratify my flesh and the burning desire to view porn begin to diminish to the point where now I can go multiple days without even being aroused at all and hardly ever have to do battle with fantasizing about porn all the time like i used to. God was delivering me from the evil spirits that had for so long been inside and controlling my thoughts and actions.

This was the work of god there is no way I began overcoming these sins on my own it was him ministering his word to me though these lessons and my obedience to them that lead to breakthrough. That was the major turning point and since then I am free from these sins that had for so long held me captive. So this captive is free.

I now feel like I will be able to help others who are in bondage to these sins and have already found the Lord placing people in my path with the same struggles that I once had to help them find freedom in Christ as well so i’m looking forward to that. I feel as if there is even more I could do to serve god maybe become a mentor for this ministry or even start my own we will see. I firstly want to thank The Lord Jesus whom I love and for my mentor Bill as well as all the other people involved with this ministry. Gods hands are truly all over it.

If you are someone struggling with these sins and read this testimony feel free to get in touch with me at caw14 at pct dot edu

Thanks

After my professional 1 exam, I went for a trip with my friends. We drove all the way down from Penang to Perak lastly to KL which is the capital of Malaysia. Travelling under the scorching sun made me dehydrated and I suffered from sore throat. So I bought some lozenges and the symptom relieved. Nonetheless, when I went to gym within Ossoto recreation center, I suddenly had high fever, my eyes were red and hot. Moreover, my sore throat was aggravated.

There was no pharmacy and I didn’t want to trouble my friend to bring me to the hospital since we paid to enjoy the facilities here. I was too ill until I almost passed out. Then I immediately called my Dad and asked him to pray for me. After the prayer, I felt better and went to take my dinner. I took some porridge and plain hot water. Then I felt sleepy and nausea.

I went to the washroom and started to pray to the Lord. I pleaded for God’s healing power to flow in me. I asked for Jesus precious blood to cleanse all my sickness away. Then I started to have continuous hiccups that lasted for six and a half hours from 9pm to 3.30 am. Saliva kept building up in my mouth and I have to spit it out from time to time. It was really inconvenient because I could not sleep at all though I desperately needed to rest.

However I was healed when I woke up at 5.00am to catch the flight back to my hometown. Praise and glory into the Lord. Matthew 7:7  Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. As long as we have faith as small as mustard seed, God will listen to our prayer. Amen

I grew up in a church that was more concerned with legalism than with having a personal relationship with the Lord. I was more scared of him than anything, afraid that one sin would equal hell. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. So I more or less learned the basics, and filled the pew for 20 years, more content with daydreaming than anything else. Being scared ends up in resentment. So I never really cared about the Lord, and lived by the mantra of ‘I’m a good person, so I’ll do whatever I want.’ To me, the Lord was more of a fairy tale, because I couldn’t see his goodnes much in the church around me.

My mother was very strict and didn’t give me any freedom. She treated me like a small child into my late teens and I couldn’t wait to break free. so at 20 I moved away and tested my newfound freedom in any way. Sex, drinking, drugs. I was living carefree. I ended up having an abortion, and later convinced myself God hated me.

Fast forward ten years and I was addicted to amphetamines and pain pills. I was having delusions of leaving my husband for someone I thought I had a psychic connection with. The particular guy didn’t know. I just knew in my heart we were meant to be together. I had convinced myself we had known in a previous life. (He was an old high school friend that I didn’t even have contact with.) I was also constantly fighting with multiple voices in my head. Sometimes it was hard to distinguish who the real me was.

I would have moments of lucidity, but I had way more delusional moments. In a lucid moment I evaluated my life. I had two children and a husband who loved me dearly. And I was living the lonely secret life of a functioning addict. I tried on my own to quit a hundred times. It never lasted over a day at a time, and every time I took a pill I would think,

‘I hate myself.’

Living a secret life is so incredibly lonely. You’re one person on the outside, but inside there is a non-stop struggle.

I don’t even remember how I got to the point where I realized I couldn’t do it alone. I felt so lost and so broken. I had wasted so much of my children’s lives so far, and I couldn’t remember any of it. So I prayed and repented, and told the Lord to please take over my life. I didn’t want to be in control anymore. And he did! Praise him! And he has even let me forgive myself of my past! (The drugs had always made me keep my past in the forefront of my mind, tormenting me daily).

I still have temptations from time to time, and I’m learning just how sneaky the devil can be. But I have been lifted from my delusions and addictions. In his mercy he has transformed me into a new creature. I am filled with this peace and love that i never even knew was possible! I never was aware that we could actually have a real relationship with our Father. I had no idea that I had been so spiritually oppressed.

Our Father is so, so good. I never understood the term ‘born again’ until I experienced it myself. The old me died, and I have become what he intended me to be all along. I see him in everything. I hunger to read more of the Word every single day. And now I want to spend the rest of my time on earth helping others in similar situations. Friend, if he can forgive me, he can (and wants) to forgive you too! Just admit to him that you don’t want to be in control anymore. He will guide, guard, and protect you. He’s waiting. Let him in. What better guidance can we receive than from He who is perfect?

I hope to meet you in heaven!

My Story: Binge Drinking

July 25th, 2015

I made the decision today, to stop binge drinking/ partying. I’m 27… And should have made this decision a long time ago. Let me tell you how I got here….

I grew up in an extremely Christian home like an…I’ve never heard my parents say a bad word, Christian home. We went to a small church for my entire upbringing…. And if the doors were open, we were there. I loved it though… As I got older, I became so involved in our extremely small youth group. I knew what it was to feel Gods presence, to know He was real and listening to me… Just a nobody. I lead worship at church for a few years even.

My parents were very strict growing up. I couldn’t go hang out like a lot of other kids were doing bc there might be “bad things” going on there. I got married at 19… Just a baby… And I’m  still married to him, the love of my life. I went from living under my parents roof… To being married and being able to make my own decisions about who I wanted to be!!! I had never felt so much freedom…. Heck if I wanted to hand a band poster on my wall… My parents weren’t going to be able to tell me to take it down.

I had tasted alcohol before.. But never fully got the effect of being drunk because I always had to go home. Well when I got married, I began to experiment with it. And there were several nights of partying involved… I couldn’t get enough… Until one night where I should have died.

I drank so much… Puked in Waffle House… And was barely conscious. The next day was thanksgiving..,, with the inlaws… And man they can cook. But I didn’t get to enjoy that.. Bc I was puking out of my mouth and nose….after that night, I made the decision to no longer drink. I was scared. It lasted for about 6 months…, and then I fell back into the se habits, until present day…. Like as in today.

I’m making the decision to stop drinking again. I’ve compromised my health… And missed so many things because of either a party. Or I was too hungover from a party. I would often tell God that just this one last party and then I’m going to stop… But that didn’t work.

Today… I came home after work and broke down crying and praying for Gods mercy and forgiveness. I never thought I had a problem because I don’t drink everyday….. Just on the weekends… But a lot… And this has gone on for too long.

My husband is still a musician, so I will still be in compromising situations… But I’m asking any of you reading this to please pray that I can remain strong. Last night he played and I had a single beer… And the rest water, I woke up so proud of the fact that I could go to work and not be hungover or regret my decisions from the previous night.

I eventually want to have kids and want to be around for them. I am praying for my husband too. He also grew up in a similar background as me. He has kind of turned away from God… I pray that God will heal both of our hearts and ask that you pray for us also.. This isn’t going to be an easy thing for me.., but I needed to write it all out.. So that it becomes real. 7/24/15…. The start of a new life.

Undo

July 22nd, 2015

Hi.

Since I’m not really good at writing, I’ll just type whatever what’s in my head. I really think sharing this to others would be helpful for me…

Recently I have been struggling with a lot (of sins). I have been very complacent with my studies which I clearly know God wanted me to get rid of. I was doing a lot of things I, a Christian should not do, I was being a hypocrite and my faith was getting worse. What disappoints me (with myself) the most is, every time, I am fully aware that I am doing what is against God’s will yet I still commit them. I’d always feel guilty after and ask Him for mercy and forgiveness. Being Him, a loving God, He gives me comfort and forgives me for my trespasses. And I’d feel very grateful for that, yet after awhile, I’d go back to my old sinful life again.

I hate myself for not glorifying Him with my actions and I am ashamed. It breaks my heart that I can’t even have a proper quiet time with Him because I feel like I have no right to talk to Him and a face to face Him. I really want to make myself right with Him.

Awhile ago, when I was preparing for an examination, my heart felt heavy and i couldn’t breathe properly. I know i wanted to cry. I needed Him. Because I can’t do anything at that time, given that the exam will start in just a few minutes and at the same time realizing how I don’t deserve to pass the exam because of what I have been doing, I searched for songs in my phone that would maybe help me cry to release my feelings.

I listened to ‘Who am I’ and heard just the lines that says how God is faithful to me (us) even though I am the littlest of all little so, I felt all the more guilty. After taking the exam, I felt really down and I just wanted to talk to Him. I wanted Him to speak to me or even scold me.

I knew there should be something. I was desperate. I’ve read my devotion this morning again, but I can’t seem to relate so I searched for others texts with the same date. In ODB, I’ve read something with the passage in Psalm 32.  It made me tear up because It reminded me that God listens. And he forgives those who confess their guilt.

Another passage that’s also found in Psalms says that He is near to those who have a broken heart. And after reading all those, I scanned through my playlist again and found this song that I haven’t really listened to and it’s entitled “Undo” by the Rush of Fools … and this is the ultimate cry of my heart:

I’ve been here before
Now, here I am again
Standing at the door
Praying You’ll let me back in

To label me
A prodigal would be
Only scratching the surface
Of who I’ve been known to be

Turn me around, pick me up
Undo what I’ve become
Bring me back to the place
Of forgiveness and grace
I need You, I need Your help
I can’t do this myself
You’re the only one
Who can undo what I’ve become

I focused on the score
But I could never win
Trying to ignore
A life of hiding my sin

To label me
A hypocrite would be
Only scratching the surface
Of who I’ve been known to be

Turn me around, pick me up
Undo what I’ve become
Bring me back to the place
Of forgiveness and grace
I need You, I need Your help
I can’t do this myself
You’re the only one
Who can undo what I’ve become

Make every step lead me back to
The sovereign way that You

Turn me around, pick me up
Undo what I’ve become
Bring me back to the place
Of forgiveness and grace
I need You, I need Your help
I can’t do this myself
You’re the only one who can undo
You are the only one who can undo
You’re the only one who can undo
What I’ve become

I am ‘under reconstruction’ right now. I want to fully commit my life to Him, renew my ways and just trust in Him that His will may be done in my life. Our God is the God of deliverance. He will deliver us from every form of evil if we would just make Him the center of our lives. He will heal us from whatever disease we have may it be a physical or a spiritual one.

How God Changed a “Good Deeds Only” Christian Child to Faith Alone Born Again Christian Child

Ever since I was small, I loved God and Jesus, I always wanted to please them. I was raised in a Trinitarian Pentecostal Christian family. I liked going to church, I loved offering tithe, I was around 4 or 5 years old by this time. I was very inspired about Jesus, however I didnt personally know him, i only knew him in the Bible.

Around ages of 8-9 and 10, I started reading the Bible. I read a few stories of David, Samuel, Samson, Moses, Joshua and the three patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob). When I read further in Deuteronomy, I saw the 10commandments, they said do not lie yet I lied several times, do not steal yet i once stole a pencil in my school, too many do nots i was frustrated. I kept asking God and crying to him how can I keep His Law perfectly. Everytime I failed. I thought that God would hate me if I didn’t do enough good deeds, perhaps my salvation depended on good deeds.

I was imperfect like any human being and still am. I was angry at God, I kept telling him:

“Don’t you see? Every law of yours I can’t keep perfectly! How much good should i do to earn your love!? Just kill me! All Christians probably can keep your laws perfectly than me”

By this time I was much disappointed. I kept asking myself

“How good is good enough to earn God’s forgiveness?”

But after several months, the Holy Spirit told me to read the Gospels. I started reading by order, starting in Matthew all the way to John (it took me another several months to finish).

After some quiet self reflection, by the ages of 12 or 13, I understood its not my good deeds that reassure me my forgiveness but rather by Christ’s sacrifice alone. This is how I personally knew Christ. I love him more now than in the past. Sunday School always taught about faith alone, but since I was young I didn’t understand what was being said to me. I thank God he has let me truly know Christ through my guilt of sin/admitting imperfection, reading the Gospels to understand that he died for me, and accept him as My Lord & Saviour.

My forgiveness is through faith in Christ’s sacrifice alone. Good deeds are nothing but filthy rugs that shrivel up and sweeped a way by our sins just like how prophet Isaiah used to say (Isaiah 64:6). God has always loved me, he never hated me for imperfection, he wanted me to see my “good deeds only” theory is wrong, only faith alone is where my  salvation stands. I am justified by faith in Christ, not by the Law.

God has done so much for me. I praise Him. He has helped in tough times, he is my Hope, my King, my Messiah. Holy, Holy, Holy is His Name.

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. :)