Testimony: Embracing My God-Given Identity

ENC Philippines

June 11, 2021

Disclaimer: This article is a testimony from a someone who has been struggling with homosexuality. The views, opinions, and insights expressed herein are based on the author’s personal experiences and reflections. This testimony also contains some details and themes of sexual abuse that might be sensitive for others. Reader’s discretion is advised.

May this testimony give us wisdom and understanding on the subject. May this also inspire those who are praying and believing for breakthrough in this area. Should you wish to reach out to us or to the author, feel free to send us a message. Thank you.

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I don’t remember when exactly, but my identity crisis started very early.

When I was in elementary, some of my classmates and neighbors bullied me and kept insisting that I was gay. Even though I was only attracted to girls at that time, my identity had a shaky foundation, since a lot of people already labeled me as gay.

“Why can’t you play basketball?”

“Why don’t you fight back? Are you gay?”

“You sound like a girl.”

“Why are you always with girls?”

I received all kinds of taunts regarding my sexuality. Most of these were based on unfair and toxic stereotypes that I believe shouldn’t be said to a young boy. 

When I entered high school, I was finally able to find guy friends and became part of an all-male barkada. But these friends led me to discover pornography, which they said was normal for boys. In a nutshell, I learned some twisted knowledge about sex because of them.

To make matters worse, the head of the pack—who turned out to be homosexual—started abusing me sexually. He was the kind you wouldn’t want to mess with. If you got on his bad side, the entire pack would consider you an outcast. 

Because I didn’t want to be alone and I thought I had nowhere else to go, I just let him do whatever he wanted as long as I could stay with the people I considered friends. That went on for years, until I reached my third year in college.

After some time, I found myself getting attracted to men as well and started getting attention from other homosexuals. I liked the attention and ended up living a promiscuous life until I graduated college.

After graduating, I started reviewing for the board exam. That’s when my whole life changed.

A friend of mine invited me to Victory and introduced me to her friend, who happened to be a small group leader.

He knew my story, yet he welcomed me into his group and treated me the way he treated his other friends. This guy asked me if I’d like to know God more, to which I agreed, and with his guidance, I started learning about God and reading the Bible.

My transformation didn’t happen at once. I still feel attracted to other men every now and then, but I did notice something that happened immediately: I realized that I can actually say “No” to these temptations.

Being able to say no helped me realize that I don’t have to be a slave to my urges. It helped me gain a new perspective and allowed me to win some battles against my fleshly desires.

As I continued to learn more about God and as I spent more time with my newfound brothers in Christ, I began to understand and see the identity God gave me: 

I am a man created in God’s own image.

He fully knows me. He even knows me more than I know myself.

He counts my tears, and He is mindful of me.

I am loved. God loves me so much that He gave His Son, Jesus, to save me from my sins.

This is who I am.

After trying so hard to figure out what I am and after experiencing a lot of hurts along the way, I finally understood that my feelings, my preferences, my struggles, or even my brokenness won’t define my identity.

Just like an artist who defines his masterpiece and sets the value for his creation, God defines our identity and our worth as His most valued creation. No other person—not even ourselves—can define who we are, because it was God who made us according to His own image.

Learning all of these things made a huge difference in my life, but the struggle is far from over.

Despite knowing my true identity in Christ and experiencing His love and grace, I was still looking for additional reassurance. In my mind, I was asking, “Is there even a single homosexual person in the Bible who got saved and experienced transformation?”

I got the answer that I was looking for.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality.

1 Corinthians 6:9

This verse is often quoted whenever gender expression issues arise. Sadly, it is often being used to hurl judgment and condemnation against people who are either struggling with or practicing homosexuality.

But when you keep reading the text, the following sentence actually gives hope:

And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

1 Corinthians 6:11

“And such were some of you.” Past tense.

This provides a solid evidence of hope for those who struggle with homosexuality—or any other struggle—and I still hold on to this. Why?

“But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified” (1 Corinthians 6:11). My past had been washed away for good. I am no longer that person. I have been healed. I have been sanctified and justified. My sins have been erased. My guilt and shame have been removed. And this sanctification process requires daily reliance on God’s power and grace.

When I started this journey, I was doing pretty well. But, without noticing it, I started relying on my own strength again to control my desires until I stumbled and fell again. Frustrated, I prayed and lamented to God: “Do you even have plans of removing this from me? Why do I have to go through this?”

One day, as I was reading a familiar verse, I got my answer.

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

2 Corinthians 12:7–9

This “thorn” that Paul was talking about may be a sickness or something else entirely. But it’s pretty clear that this thorn was hurting Paul and he was pleading with God to remove it.

The same thing is true with my struggle against homosexuality. It hurts, and I’ve been pleading with God to take it away. But God’s answer to me was, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

No one knows, except God Himself, if this struggle will ever end in this lifetime. But God’s grace is sufficient, and this weakness that I have is where God’s power is made perfect.

This weakness allowed me to be used by God to be a witness for Christ.

This weakness stretched my compassion for people who are going through the same thing.

This weakness allows me to help and inspire men and women who experience the same struggle.

I’m not gonna lie. I still pray for God to completely take this struggle away.

To my fellow Christians who are struggling with homosexuality, I pray that yours will be taken away, too. But even while the struggle is still real, I pray that God will meet you with His perfect love and grace. I know it’s hard, but just keep fighting the good fight of the faith, even if the fight seems tiring and pointless sometimes. Remember that you don’t have to fight alone. Walk with other Christians who will pray for you, protect you, and encourage you. Guilt and shame disappear when you walk in the light with others.

Never give up. You have been washed and renewed. Fight until you receive the fullness of your healing when Jesus returns. He will mend our brokenness.

If you’re a Christian who had walked this path but had eventually given up and turned away because of guilt and shame, I want to let you know that you are still loved and accepted by God. It doesn’t matter what you did. Just come back, surrender your desires to Him, and allow Him to continue His transforming work in your life.

Lastly, for those who have been in an endless chase of trying to find out who you are: The chase ends at the beginning of everything.

The emptiness, brokenness, longing, and thirst for love ends in the arms of God—the one who created us, gave us our identity, and made us in His own image.

In Him, you are fully known and fully loved. All you need to do is to draw near to Him.

***

Thank you for reading this article. If you ever need someone to talk to about your struggles or difficulties in life, please know that you can reach out to us. Feel free to message us. We’ll get in touch with you as soon as we can. God bless you.

 

 

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ENC Philippines

Every Nation Campus in the Philippines is a campus organization that empowers students for LIFE—Leadership, Integrity, Faith, and Excellence.

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