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Surrender

Have you ever had to cry out for surrender because the world had you up against the ropes?   A time where part of you wants to move forward and yet deep down inside you know that you have nothing left to give? 

Surrender

In the second part of my story I start to talk about deeply personal events from last years that nearly broke me and had me call out for surrender.  With nothing left to lose this was my cry for help.

Light My path

Thank you Lord for carrying me to this time and space.  Despite my hate, my stubbornness, my rage, my fear and all my doubts; you have been patiently waiting. 

No matter how many horrible decisions I have made, the pain that I have caused, the lies that I have told and the falsehoods that I have perpetuated; you have always loved me… and always will.

For decades of my life I thought I was a seeker.  I was seeking the right spiritual path, the right job, the right partner, the right home, the right anything that would make me feel whole, feel worthy, feel loved and accepted.

As I sit here now in a Starbuck’s Café and reflect back on the first 42 years of my life I can see that I haven’t been seeking anything. 

I’ve Been Running

I’ve been running from the truth that you placed in me as a young boy.  You gave me your purpose for my life when you told me that I would help heal your church. 

Who am I to help heal your church?  I’m worthless.  I’m a sinner.  I’m an abomination.  I’m a dirty homosexual who struggles with my mental health and can’t control my disgusting same-sex impulses. 

I don’t have a theology degree. I went to business school not bible school.  I work in advertising and marketing.  I let money, social status, ‘cool’ and the length of commute define the path that I take.

Your church is about community and teaching people how to love themselves, love each other and live a life of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. 

You’ve Got The Wrong Guy

You’ve got the wrong guy!  I’m not allowed to love and I’m not worthy of being loved.  In this life I’m condemned to hustling to prove myself and one where I equate sex with love… because as a homosexual that’s all your church sees me as… a man who has sex with other men.

For years I cried out to you to take away my shameful and disgusting feelings.  I begged you to change me, make me whole, clean and acceptable for your church.  Time and time again I allowed family members and church leaders to pray with me as I said “Jesus make me your slave.  I give you my entire life, my entire being”.  You didn’t answer any of my cries to be changed.  You simply left me broken. 

Unanswered Prayers

How could you give me a mission to help heal your church and then not even heal me?

When you didn’t answer my prayers I was forced to take things into my own hands.  I had to put on my own suit of armour.  I couldn’t let anybody know that I was broken and ashamed.  I had to prove to the world and to myself that “I’m great”

After a lifetime of acting and pretending like everything was okay I collapsed. 

The years of internalizing the lies I had learned as a child, holding onto an unbearable load of shame, guilt and fear and having an inner war with the mission you gave me was too much.  I couldn’t keep up the act any longer. 

I wanted an out.  I needed an out.  I hit bottom.

I had nothing else to give.  I was at the end of my rope.  I thought I wanted to end my life.

Exhausted, terrified, powerless I called out to you once again.

I Surrender

This time I knew that I had nothing left in myself to give.  I couldn’t run any longer.  I had to surrender.

Part of me believed that your light inside of me almost went out.  What I now know for sure is that it was always shining bright.  Just like the sun is always out above the clouds on a rainy day, your light inside of me cannot be dimmed. 

The lies I believed about myself, my addictions, my damaging thoughts and the masks I wore to hide who I really am are the clouds that were dimming your light in me.

As these clouds begin to lift I’m finally ready to listen to your call.  I’m here to help heal your church.  Thank you for helping me to unlearn the isolation from your loving guidance.  I am no longer under attack and can now see that you are the one who has always protected me.

Abuse Of Your Name

For far too long the church has abused your name and used man made interpretations of your message of love and acceptance to exclude, marginalize, denigrate and kill LGBTQ people (these messages almost killed me).

Help me to have compassion and forgiveness for those church leaders who feel the need to manipulate your word to exclude, separate and promote fear.  Help them to know that as they turn away others from your church they are really turning their backs on themselves and on you.

All of your children are worthy of being loved and of being in a committed and loving relationship.  Each of your children is born creative, resourceful, guiltless and whole.  We are 100% responsible for choosing our thoughts.  In every moment we have the power to choose between love and fear.  You love us all unconditionally.  

A Place Of Love For All People

Thank you for guiding me to help rebuild your church into an inclusive and affirming space for ALL people.  A place where all can learn to love you, love ourselves and love each other in an uplifting and healthy way. 

A place where we can share our hopes, dreams and passions, while trusting each other so that we can be open, vulnerable and trusting to share our fears and insecurities. A place where we can attract based on love instead of promoting fear, separation and hate.

As I start this journey thank you for the compassion and grace for my stumbles, missteps, imperfections, getting things wrong and getting defensive. 

Surrender My Fears

I have so many fears that I need to look beyond as I move down this path:

  • Fear of being honest about some of my struggles
  • Fear of what people I work with or know might think
  • Fear of the impact that sharing might have on my family
  • Being able to open up to some of my grief and loss
  • Taking off my many masks and showing the world who you actually created me to be

Surrender To Love

Lord, I give all of these fears over to you.  I know they are illusions.  These are the things that I have allowed to rule my entire life.  Today I choose differently.  Today I choose love.

Lord, thank you for giving me this purpose.  Thank you for directing my path.  Thank you for introducing me to the right people.  Thank you for giving me the right words to use.  And thank you for helping me to approach your work with love as I learn to fully love myself in the process.

Guide me forward Lord.

James Share Your Story Voice Mental Health Recovery Spirituality Faith LGBTQ Sex Addiction Inner Child Trauma Bible Purpose Homosexuality Leadership Spirituality Rating
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Reflection Questions

Thank you so much for listening to part of my personal story today.  If you’re willing I want to hear part of yours.

  • Has God/Your Inner Knowing/Or A Higher Power ever whispered a message to you, urged you to create something or help someone?
  • What fears get in the way of you doing what you know you were created to do?
  • If you could change your life by changing one belief you have about yourself (or that others have about you) what would that belief be?

I love hearing from you and would love to journey this path forward together. 

Reach out on IG @MyLightShinesBright or check out our get involved section where you can find space to actually add your voice and share part of your story.

James Share Your Story Voice Mental Health Recovery Spirituality Faith LGBTQ Sex Addiction Inner Child Trauma Bible Purpose Homosexuality Leadership Spirituality Rating

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