Jeff's Journey
Coming Out for Christians
Introduction: Some of the folks who share their stories with me are still not
out and thus do not want their name mentioned in a public forum.  Jeff (Not
their real name) is  part of a support network that I help with.  Here is his
story ....

Testimony:

Well I grew up in a very different family. My Dad was a pastor and my Mom
stayed at home and home-schooled all ten (yes 10) of us kids. Bless their
hearts, their intentions were noble. Trying to keep us unspotted and free
from worldly influences, they simply had no clue they were raising a gay son!

I accepted Christ at an early age. It was understandable I guess, thankfully
my parents went to great lengths to introduce me to Christ, but left the
decision up to me. Still even as a young boy, I knew I was different than the
other boys. Girls didn't mean the same thing to me as they did to the boys,
and I never could quite figure out what it was that kept the boys so interested
in the typical "male" things.

As I grew to be a teenager, I knew something was VERY different (and
therefore wrong) about me. I had begun to actually hear sermons about
homosexuality happening in our country. I heard that they were lost men and
women who had so completely rejected Christ that they were lost to all
normal interests. Well, then I couldn't be that! I love the Lord, and had seen
time and again Him at work in my heart. I only wanted to be used by him and
live a life that pleased Him. I couldn't be GAY! That was...well impossible. I
had to be "Struggling" or "Under Attack" or any other label that I heard from
various speakers or seminars.

When I was eighteen I left home and began traveling as a musician with a
revival team. The Lord began to really deepen my life in Him at that point.
Away from my family for the first time in my life I began to realize I could no
longer answer a question about faith with "Well, WE believe." I had no
Pastor Dad to quote. What was it I did believe? The Lord was so faithful to
me in that time, teaching me what it really was to develop a relationship with
Him on a very personal level.

Being away from my family also gave me the opportunity to begin getting
counseling for my apparent "Struggles." I went through several counselors
and heard a variety of things ranging from: "
As long as you are putting God
first in your life, everything will makes sense and you will head in a
direction God want you to be in.
" to: "Ok we are sitting in this car until God
reveals to you WHY you like this.
" Ya...that last one was a blast let me tell
you. I thought the news papers would read "Two Men Died of Dehydration
and Idiocy" in the next day’s paper.

Still, most of the counseling was helpful for developing a walk with God and
after a few years, I left for a small conservative (VERY conservative)
Christian College. While there I quickly began to realize my attractions were
not going away. All my friends were meeting girls and falling in love, starting
new lives together, and it simply made me more aware of my own feelings.

It was then, that I actually looked myself in the mirror and said "I am gay."
Realizing that I had been hiding it and denying it my whole life. That
revelation made my whole world collapse. I began to contemplate suicide
and it completely took over my thoughts. It was literally all I thought about. My
grades of course plummeted and I hid my inner turmoil with LOTS of
activities, and a plastic smile.

I had just about worked up enough courage to do it (I had of course planned
it all out) and God stepped in. On a Wednesday night church service, the
preacher suddenly stopped his sermon and said "I feel very strongly
someone here is contemplating suicide, and I need to tell you God loves
you." That got my attention. He spent the rest of his sermon talking how
nothing was wasted with God and there was a purpose for my life that in
God's hands would be significant. He went on and on, and the following
Sunday morning..and Sunday night the same thing happened. Ok ok! I hear
you loud and clear!

Well, I have continued to struggle with what exactly it is that I do believe, but I
am growing in understanding and fellowship with God and allowing Him to
BE God in my life. I continued to go to counseling a few more times over the
following years, but ultimately I found that God can deal with me directly, not
through some counselor who, try as hard as they might, have no real
empathy for my situation.

This past year I found out that several of my friends from school are now out
of the closet. Had we only known I think there would have been a lot less
trouble in our lives and we could have supported each other. Still God
knows best and we are growing in God together.