Thursday, 30 September 2010
Isn't it amazing the journey we take with God. I mean I know I'm not there yet. I don't have all the answers or anything close to it, but what a flipping journey I've been on, and how incredibly God has moved in my life.
I worry that I'm sitting on some fence - but the fact is that while I do need to make some adjustments in my life, I have come an incredibly long way. I don't know if all my entries give it full justice but I can recall where I was at at each of those messages and I realise that God has and is doing a great work in me.
These last few years have been a proper adventure and I want to step into the next phase. I'm not sure how that's gonna look or feel but it's gonna be good.
Lord I'm ready. Let's go!
The thing I so often get wrong is that I think it's all about me.
An easy mistake to make I suppose. I mean, it's my life, so why wouldn't it be about me?
I've made alot of mistakes recently. Nothing that won'y fix. But I've been living a bit of a double life but not on purpose and I don't think it's been entirely negative but I do need to make some decisions and at some point settle down on one side of the fence. The correct side.
I suppose it's been about knowing in my knower that God is Good, that He loves me. You know I could say those words for years before I fully understood what they meant. Or maybe I never will fully understand, but before I could grasp their truth and believe them for myself.
I've been learning alot recently about the fact that no matter what I've done, no matter, how I feel, no matter anything, God loves me, accepts me and calls me His child. He forgives my sin and is eagerly awaiting me drawing closer to Him.
You see, I know all that. I'm convinced of all that. It has changed the way I view myself and the world around me. I have a passion for the Church, to see it become what God destined it to be - a glorious bride for Christ. THE Glorious Bride for Christ.
Yet I sit on the fence because I so often feel let down by those in my local expression of the Church who I call my friends. I wonder whether this is just the fruit of my SSA struggles because I always feel like folk don't want to be as close to me as I do to them. As a result I find myself turning to the net. Sometmes I make friends who are in a similar boat, and that can be encouraging. But sometimes I end up in those places I end up when I'm feeling sorry for myself. You know the ones?
The hypocrisy frustrates me. I can be encouraging a friend to keep up the good fight and to not settle for less than the best in their life and walk with God. I can encourage them not to compromise while in another tab I've got some video onthat just isn't helpful.
I know there's a problem here and I need to sort it out. My heart is captured by the love and Grace of God but there;s something that I'm just struggling to let go of.
I think it partly comes back to this real hunger and desire for physical contact but do you know what? GOD IS MORE THAN ENOUGH!
If I hold onto this fact then things will change. WHen I feel satisfied and confident in my walk with Him then my relationships with other people need not matter. I should be free to enjoy them for what they are - and to understand that other people and the way they behave is often down to them and not me. So somebody doesn't want to hug me or stands me up for the 5th time. They've clearly got their own issues they need to work through with God.
THe fact is that I AM working through my issues and I'm growing day by day. I worry that I'm sitting o the fence but every day I have is gifted back to Him. I steal some of it back for my own selfish desires at times but I'm learning.
I'm rambling aren't I.
In my home group last night we talked about Psalm 139. It's a scripture I keep hanging on my bedroom wall. I read it too sometimes and occasionally pray it back to God, thanking Him for what it says about Him and me.
It says He knit me together in my Mother's womb. It says that before any of the days of this earth, He knew all about me. It says that He ordained my days. Apparently the hebrew for 'ordained' translates as being squeezed into shape. Isn't that amazing. God uses my days to squeeze me into shape - the shape HE has in mind. So many of the challenges and difficult times I've faced are used by Him to squeeze me into shape. You know when a potter is making something out of clay he has to squeeze it into shape - gently and firmly but His hands have to be in contact with the clay. I feel a bit ridiculous saying this - it's like one of those cheesy emails, but if every day challenges or not are part of God squeezing me into shape then how's that for that physical touch. Every day is a hug from God. I'm a bit embarrassed by that statement but kind of encouraged too. God cares about me so much to have His hands on my life every single day. Even those days when I feel like I'm sitting on the fence.
But I can't sit on the fence forever. Whatever shape I'm going to turn out, it's gonna be as an instrumet for God's purpose so I'd better pull up my socks and get on with it.
You see I started thinking I was a bit selfish - worrying that it was all about me. I ended up realising it's all about Him. But in some way He makes it all about me again. But in the end it's all about His Glory.
I hope I'm making sense.
Saturday, 6 March 2010
I've spent the last few years convinced that I had to give up everything good in my life. I was certain that I had to sell my home - or at the very lest, not live there. I moved out and stayed with friends twice. I had a dog - a long time ambition of mine - who died within a year of me getting him. I just felt, due to a range of circumstances that whenever something nice or good happened to me, it would be taken away and I felt taht I perhaps had to give it up altogether.
It is a long term ambition of mine to go and live in India for a time - to go and share what God has done for me with those who need to know God too. It seems like a million miles away but I thought this losing things or giving things up was part of God's journey for me to get there.
The thing is... It was kind of right - but not in a way I had understood until not so long ago.
There's been a bit of a sense of me punishing myself for the past few years. Ever since I opened up to my friends it's kind of like the man they all knew and loved disappeared. I lost all my confidence in myself and spent most of my time doing stuff I didn't want to do and then beating myself up for it. I was blessed that each one of my friends stood by me as they saw me sade away. They continued to love me despite the fact that I was no longer the person they knew. They watched and supported me as I moved out my home - and back again - and out again - and back again.
They supported my decisions though they had their reservations. They allowed me to take that journey.
What has happened that changes all this? I fell in love. With a man. Well I say that - but what do I know? I realised that the feelings I had for this guy were deep rooted. I had always known they were there - but knowing how much I wanted this guy in my life, I never shared with anyone. Until Christmas time when it all came to a head. In the new year I told him and it seemed like that was the end of that.
I was prescribed anti depressants. I thought I would sell up and move back to my parents. I really didn't know how life was going to pan out any more. It seemed like more of the same. Every good thing in my life was fading away.
Doesn't sound too great - but do you know what? God met me at this point where I was at the lowest I had been in a long time and he helped me realise that he didn't want me to give up everything that was good. He just wanted to be in first place. I had placed men and this guy in a place that is reserved for God alone. God met me in that moment and it was amazing. I surrendered my heart to him again and life has changed immeasurably since. Within 2 days I was sharing and dicipling others. I was full of joy and back pretty much to the guy I had left behind over 3 years before. It really doens't make any natural sense. The amazing thing is that the feelings I had for this friend have gone. We've got our friendship back on track and it's set to be better than it ever was before.
I can't say that I no longer have homosexual feelings - and I don't want them to go away fully. I don't want to act on them but I do want that constant reminder that God comes first.
I don't know what life holds now but the prospects of a heterosexual relationship don't seem so crazy. I'll see how it goes. The main thing is to keep God in first place. To enjoy the Word, and to continue to put that relationship beofre any other.
I am so astounded by God's grace, that I can sin and sin and sin yet when He looks at me He sees His Son. He loves me so much that He has made a way for me to enter His very throne room. I can approach God as a righteous man because of Christ's sacrifice. I don't need to allow my sin to bring me down or control me or keep me away from Him. His grace is awesome and I want to spend the rest of my days worshipping Him. I could sance and sing and whoop with excitement at that prospect.
I'm back home - accepting that I am who God has made me to be. I have a home where I can welcome folk in. I can love them and care fore them and feed them and laugh with them. I can share God's love with them.
It's all about Him.
I wrote a song a few years ago (well some lyrics - I'm as musical as a doorstop) but my friend kindly put it to music and although it never made it beyond our luving rooms it has found a new depth of meaning for me now.
I'm going boldly to the Throne of Grace
Because Mercy is waiting there to meet me.
And I'm gonna worship Jesus.
He's my King and I will praise Him.
He knows my situations.
He understands all my needs.
The High Priest who took temptations victory.
The Sacrifice who gave His life for me
Is without sin.
I'm holding on to Him.
I can't guarantee that I will continue to blog. I hope that I will as I've got lots I want to share. But I hope that now there will be a change. I intend that it isn't about me any longer, but that it's about my awesome God and King. My High Priest, my Lover, my Friend. It's not about who I am any longer. I am who God made me to be. I love that me. It's about Him and putting Him where he belongs. If I continue to remember that then I believe that homosexuality will not separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus!
37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Monday, 1 March 2010
I can't imagine many folk are reading this these days - It's been a while. Anyway I was trying to decide whether or not to remove my ramblings but for the moment have decided to leave them as they are.
I hit a change in my life you see... and all the stuff that was going on, well it's still a challenge, but it just seems so distant now. I really do feel filled with hope that I will find the freedom to live my life the wway I believe God intended, but I am so grateful for the challenges I have faced over these past few years.
Everything came to a head at Christmas time, bringing me to a point where I had to make a decision - and that decision was to surrender to God like never before. At that point I found such a release emotionally and spiritually - like never before. I feel like I have found myself again - and I like me. For over 3 years that was not a statement I could make. Praise God.
I thank God for His incredible, overwhelming and wonderful grace. I thank Him that He has chosen to use my weaknesses and challenges to draw me and keep me close to Him. I thank Him that only through Him, can one be literally be lifted from the pits of despair and placed in a situation of genuine peace and hope- despite one's difficulties.
Thank You God!
Sunday, 8 March 2009
It's been a while since I blogged and alot has happened in that time but I thought I'd take the chance to share how things are going. A while back, when chattin with some friends they mentioned that I often turn to folk in a crisis but also need to start sharing when things are going well and I am doing well. I want to be honest and real in my relationships but need to acknowledge that good stuff happens.Perhaps I should start to include some of the other stuff too. God is doing great stuff with me, sometimes it seems like I’m stuck in the fire but gradually I’m comin out the other side, refined.
I really appreciate my friends and how I have come to the point where I can tell them pretty much anything about me. I appreciate that because I really benefit from the encouragement and support I get from others. Some folk seem to be able to carry on regardless, but me, at the moment I need to know I have some folk beside me.
For the last 6 weeks I have managed to remain pornography and masturbation free. This is a tremendous success as far as I am concerned. I have managed this before, but there has always been a bit of skirting round the edges which, by and large, I have managed to avoid now. I don’t think I can be so naïve as to say that I won’t be challenged again – infact there has still been challenge through these 6 weeks, but my outlook has changed.
It would now seem to be a tremendous waste to start mucking about again.
What has been a hallmark of the change has been that I have not struggled nearly so much with unwanted bodily functions’. I hope this does not feel like too much information but I think it points out 2 things – 1) That the absolute grace of God is on me to help me beat this once and for all. 2) My mind is in a different place – My mind, spirit and body seem to be working together. There is no conflict such as before. What an amazing place I find this to be.
This is not to say that I have not had my challenges. I still am finding it difficult to draw the lines of relationship – and to relate properly to other guys. I still battle to know and grasp other’s perceptions of me and this can get me depressed and confused. However when these challenges have come along I have been able to deal with them. Infact – especially with times where I have maybe asked to speak with one friend in particular about how I am feeling, by the time I’ve had the chance to do so things have usually much improved and I’ve been able to get more of a God perspective on things. One reason for this is the decision to keep praising despite how I feel. This was very much something that came out of reading about self leadership in Courageous leadership by Bill Hybels.
So! Things are on the up!
I’ve been challenged about how people perceive me and last week faced what I found to be quite a challenging rejection. But God spoke to me about this a few days later. This is pretty much what He said:
You need to start taking responsibility – moving in your gifting – and let God do the rest.
Your heart needs to be soft before God – forget how much you feel people think about you or not – what people’s opinions are. Do everything unto God. Keep yourself accountable in this. Keep a glad heart – thankfulness before God. Your frustration in life is not what others actually think of you but what you know you could be but are failing to achieve. The judgements you feel come from others are actually your own judgements, projected onto others. Change what you can, trust God to change the things that are out with your power and learn to accept the rest is the way God made you and should be loved and not despised. Where others do reject you or criticize you, weigh it and move on – either making adjustments or recognising that their rejection is their loss, not yours.
So that is what I am going to attempt. My friends have pretty much been saying these things to me for like years, and I’ve not managed to hear them. You wouldn’t begin to know how much the small encouragements from friends mean to me – and how they provoke me on to a greater walk with God.
So that's the current state of play. Things are pretty good. Challenging but good. I hope that in some way this can encourage some of you folk out there. Life with God isn't easy but I wouldn't miss it for the world!
Monday, 28 April 2008
I had a really powerful time with God last night. I don't really know what happened. I know that God was doing something deep down but to be honest I couldn't say what. I have not cried like that for quite some time - I mean I will usually cry at most things but this was the deep kind of crying that feels like it comes from deep inside you. I couldn't stop it - or I didn't want to... because to just for that moment have that reassurance that God is infact still in control was greatly needed.
Life is looking a bit uncertain up ahead and there are going to be lots of changes. I sometimes doubt that I'm ready for it all but I need to just run with it. I don't know where I'll end up or what will happen but I am laying my life down at the cross - or at least I'm trying to - I am struggling to let go fully - but it is the only way that I can fully move out of this mess and see God for who he really is - a loving and merciful God who has planned out my days.
I must say that I'm scared. I'm stepping inch by inch into the unknown...
I hope I don't sound like I'm speaking in riddles... it's just where I'm at just now - stuck between 2 camps. The ball has started to roll and there isn't really a way of stopping it. Do I keep trying to keep pushing it back or do I let go and trust that God is gonna keep me safe.
The only way for me to really feel good about myself, and the only way to see the back of my struggles is to come to the end of myself and let God take over.
Thursday, 31 January 2008
It is late. I'm due to get up again in about 6 1/2 hours, but I think I've just had a bit of a revelation and I wanted to get it up here quick smart. It would be good to hear what some of you guys think about this.
First of all let me explain that I've been getting to know this girl. She's pretty amazing. But I've been swithering between getting to know her better and keeping my distance. When I am up I enjoy getting to know her and find it pretty easy to contemplate a potential relationship. When I am down I am terrified of the thought and draw into myself.
This is what just struck me:
When I am in sin and self-centredness I find it difficult to believe I have anything to give - I look to men to fulfil me, to give me what I lack, and my relationships with men to give me my strength and security.
When I am walking closely with the Lord I find my fulfilment in Him. My strength and security comes from Him. I find it much easier to comprehend being able to give myself to a woman.
Do you see the difference?
When I seek men I am looking for what I can get - What I should be finding in God. When I seek God, I find I have a capacity to give - and can contemplate being able to give myself to a woman - because in a marriage we should seek to bless the other. My homosexual desires are rooted in my own selfishness, stubbornness and pride. By refusing to look to God, in some way I am emasculating myself, therefore wish to try and reclaim some of this from other men.
I look to men to provide me with what I can only get from God. Because men cannot provide what I should get from God I continue to feel hungry and therefore fall into lust - selfish desire for physical intimacy. When my strength is in God I find freedom from this need for intimacy from other men and can therefore contemplate being the kind of husband I believe God has called me to be.
I'm not about to rush out and propose - but I do think I'm on to something here. I think I need to let this sink in. These are exciting times. Praise God!