I have over 25 journals that chronicle my struggles with temptation and my MANY MANY failures to resist.
Reading over them recently, it seemed like I read the same entry over and over. I experienced so much shame and remorse yet a tenacity to get up and try again and again. Throughout my 17 year struggle with my same-sex attractions, I often worried that maybe I that I had not repented from the heart. I begged Jesus to give me a broken and contrite heart over my sin.
I also tried to figure out, what was it that I TRULY needed and why I ran to the flesh to attempt to satifify my need. The journal entries reveal how I regularly felt dirty, wrong, lost, flawed. Although my spiritual brothers and sisters also struggled with temptations, my same-sex attractions (and failures) always seemed the worse kind of temptation.
Like Paul in Romans chapter seven I did the very thing that I didn’t want to do and it felt like death was at work in my body. But then I would have a “breakthrough”, where I finally understood my problem and in my journal proclaimed a new direction a new freedom only to find myself weeks (or days) later with the same old confession of defeat.
It was a killer battle, the battle to contain and subdue desire especially with the load of shame that I often felt towards myself, the feeling of being so terribly flawed. Plus I lived with fears that the world and the devil had set many traps for me that my flesh would love to fall into.
At Love in Action some of the staff liked to remind us that a definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Little did I understand at the time how insane (and harmful) to contain and subdue my same-sex desires, to conform to heterosexual (and ex-gay) men’s standard of godly living instead of living with integrity.