"I struggle with Homosexuality"- "It's all good man, I'm still your friend, we are on the same TEAM" (Part 2)

Hello, I am currently discussing the need for those who struggle with homosexuality to share with their fellow brothers and sisters in the Church the burden of same sex attraction that is in their life.  I know it can be risky and extremely scary. I think sharing this part of our lives is one of the bravest actions a Christian can do in today's American society.  We have a lot of fears and feelings of shame that come along with telling others our deep dark secrets, especially if it has to do with being attracted to them.

But I will keep on encouraging that we need to share.  We need to get out of the dark. Forget the damn "closet!" There exist sins in and out of "the closet."  We need to let the light shine in our sinful hearts in order to experience the grace and justice of the New Kingdom of Christ.  Here is a friend of mine that I love a lot. His name is Sith.  (and yes, like the star wars guy)

"It was probably sometime during my second year of undergrad Richard broke the news to me. Though the exact date escapes me, the scene is still very vivid in my mind. We were on our way to help out a friend. I was driving and he was in the passenger seat. During the ride, our conversation began with a rather strange tone, but from my friendship with Richard, I never really put anything past him as a topic of conversation. Somehow, the conversation progressed to the issue of homosexuality with me sharing my experience and understanding. In hindsight, I realize Richard wanted to help me navigate through this issue in such a way I came to the topic myself.

After I shared, I remember Richard getting a bit nervous and uncomfortable, he proceeded to warn me he was going to share something very personal about himself. So I braced myself. To say the least, I was very surprised. Though I had come from a culture where same sex attraction was very common and accepted, it was difficult for me to accept a friend of mine could actually be dealing with this issue.  However, my friendship with Richard had progressed to such a level that I deeply cared for him and would not leave him. If anything, his vulnerability brought us closer and has taught me so much about others and myself.

God has used Richard to transform my view on homosexuality. I have come to understand the depths of its roots within one's identity, and how it can play out day to day. During the beginning stages of my journey with Richard in this healing process, my ideas of homosexuality were so flawed. He had to teach me quite a bit. Shamefully, I did not realize how encompassing this struggle was to Richard until he related it to me personally with my attraction to women. He then made me imagine it being a man every time I found myself attracted to a women. For some reason, I had never processed the issue like that before. I remember that realization so clearly. The Holy Spirit had opened my eyes to see a bit more clearly into Richard’s life and those that struggle with this in the church."

Sith is an amazing friend.  As crap was hitting the ceiling in my life, Sith was standing there helping me as much as he can.  Hugging me, spending time with me, listening to me as I was full of rage towards my other Christian brothers.  Sith is another example that God puts people in our lives to love us and walk with us as we struggle to be more like Christ. 

As much as Sith is a great friend, in the beginning it was quite hard for me to feel completely safe with him.  He couldn't understand my attraction towards men and the deep intimacy I desired from them, especially the friends I was attracted to (in future blog post I will explain this).  As time went on, Sith started to learn a lot more about attraction to the same sex and what that means and he started to understand the healthiness in my male friendships, especially the ones that I was attracted to.  Thanks to other friends and a professor at Biola, Sith was able to trust me and finally understood the deep need for male intimacy that is in my life.  Now I feel like Sith is an advocate for me, not a gay ally, but a Christian brother. 

Please, if you struggle with Homosexuality, share with your friends.  It might take a while for them to understand you, but with prayer, patience, and perseverance (I guess we call that sanctification), your friends can understand, however, not all of them will and that can be extremely tough and painful. 

And if your friend shares with you that they struggle with homosexuality, don't freak out, they just find beauty in the same sex.  Learn what that means.  Let go of your assumptions and start all over and hear your friends heart out.  Even if they are attracted to you, that just means they want to know you more intimately than the average person and that is a gift!