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I am thrilled to be a part of the Body of Christ. Though imperfect, I see a tremendous groundswell of truth, compassion, grace, and service, which accurately reflects the heart of Jesus Christ.
Contrast that to 1991, the year I sought support for my struggles with sexuality outside of the four walls and community of my local congregation. I was afraid of being cast out because my story was different. I had no confidence in the church’s ability to treat me kindly or extend grace. I will never know whether my perceptions of them were right or wrong. I simply couldn’t risk what I believed would be my reality if I “came out” to them. So I sought help from Exodus International.
Cross-posted from the Exodus Blog
Twenty-one years ago this month I walked into a local Exodus Member Ministry for help. I was 19 years old and a church kid—a believer in the one, true Christ. I was also 8 or 9 years into my struggle with same-sex attraction. SSA was, at that time, all consuming; likely because I was 19 and my young body raged with hormones I constantly gave into my sexual thoughts. In my teenage years, I gave into a few sexual relationships with guys my age. My daily life was full of fearing God, praying for relief and giving in to overwhelming temptations that I thought I had no power over.
So, when I found out about Exodus I knew I had to check it out. I’ll never forget that fall-like day on September 12, 1991. I remember what I was wearing as I walked through the parking lot of that ministry–a building I’d driven by numerous times in my life with no clue that inside was an answer to a nearly decade old prayer.
The big and burly director of the ministry eventually came out into the lobby and greeted me. A good ole boy of sorts. Corduroy pants, flannel type shirt, suspenders. Certainly no connection to “the issue”, I concluded. Never judge a book by its cover. Sitting in his office a few minutes later, I was scared. However, that day was pivotal for me. I began a real healing journey that wasn’t at all what I’d hoped for or considered.