Hey, brothers! Maybe this question has been an easier one for you all, but it’s one I’ve asked myself quite a bit. Especially during times like tonight when I wonder if I’ve experienced ANY healing.
I know that sometimes God chooses to heal physically and/or emotionally in an instant. I also know that sometimes He chooses to wait, and patience is not really my thing!
I like to think that my thoughts are organized, but for some reason whenever I open my mouth or start typing, it comes out more like spaghetti…
So, I decided to break down my current thoughts into four questions.
1. Am I really broken?
Well, this one gets a definite YES. And it doesn’t feel like “normal” sexual brokenness. I’ve definitely typed specific keywords in searches for porn. I’ve definitely fantasized about a specific gender. The way my body’s organs react to other guys kind of seals the verdict.
Why have I asked myself so many times whether I’m really attracted to men?
I know I’m constantly trying to figure out if I actually know my own self, but come on! Where’s the trust? It’s like if I ask it often enough, I might realize that I’ve been lying to myself all along!
Nah, I’m certain of it.
2. How exactly am I broken?
So, I’ve decided I definitely struggle with SSA. But I’ve learned (or am learning) that it can be dangerous to lump my brokenness into a one-word description. I mean, I also feel broken in my relationship with my dad, feelings of inferiority to other guys, difficulty overcoming bodily shame, not being content with the way God made me, and dealing with instances of verbal abuse in childhood.
Same-sex attraction may be the most obvious symptom of my brokenness, but it’s not the only one.
Complete healing may look like uncovering a series of several different changes — and not just by starting to be attracted to women!
3. Is God able to heal me?
Here’s where faith comes in. Can I possibly put all hope of redemption in the finished work of Christ? I know He forgives me for who I was, but do I believe He’s the one who is able to heal me in a real and complete physical way?
I’m convinced that God is working in me. He has already worked through my reading of His Word, through church and friends I’ve found there. He’s used books, blogs, etc.
For me, it seems healing is a very gradual process; for others, healing may be instantaneous!
God IS in the heart-changing business. I still have faith that if it is His will, He can and will heal me in ways I never could have imagined!
4. Do I even want healing?
This is THE question I ultimately find myself needing to answer. Do I really want complete healing, or am I satisfied being a lifelong “struggler”?
Is the self-pity I’ve surrounded myself with for so long too hard to leave?
If this were a life-threatening, cancerous disease and a doctor were offering me a cure, I’m pretty sure I’d muster up some desire for healing!
So, then, why is it so hard to brush off the spiritual and emotional wounds that God wants to heal?
May God give me a prodigal-like courage and desire to keep getting out of my pig sty and the strength to keep running to the Father.
May He give me more faith so that I can with the centurion proclaim: “Lord, I am not worthy to have You come under my roof. But just say the word…”
Father, You know me better than I know myself. You know the myriad of ways I’m broken. Continue to show me how I can surrender to Your plans for healing in my life. And please don’t let it be in vain, Lord. Let me be a tool used by Your hand in the many lives that need redemption. For Your glory and Yours alone. Amen.
Do you struggle with a willingness to accept God’s healing? In what areas have you found the most healing for your brokenness, and how did this supernatural healing come about?
* Photo courtesy chunwoo, Creative Commons.
I have a difficult time letting go. The biggest reason I have a difficult time letting go is because I can’t let go what it’s attached to. Do I want to be healed from same sex desire? An easy yes. Do I want to stop masturbating? Still a yes but not an easy yes. But often, the culture of Christianity tells me that the only way to be free of same sex desire is to get rid of all relationships. Both the world and the culture of Christianity reduce all relationships to sexual ones so while I was married and I felt lonely, I was told to go sleep with my wife because somehow, sex was supposed to be the cure for my loneliness. We eventually got divorced because sex was the only love we had.
Basically, I’m looking for a healthy alternative. Using a food analogy, it’s like being hungry but all I find in the fridge is cardboard. I try to stock up on meats and vegetables but all the world offers is cardboard and the culture of Christianity doesn’t offer anything better.
I’m lonely, even when I’m surrounded by very friendly people. I don’t even know what true friendship looks like. But when I go looking for true friendship, I find that everyone is either one way or the other. They either want sex or they live an austere life and either way, there is no love.
If signs and wonders, such as healing, is a foretaste of our hope to come; why would our healing look like the present bodies and not the resurrected ones? I would much rather move towards an orientation more towards the resurrected hope of Jesus. I am ok if my homosexuality passes away and my desires are still oriented towards Jesus. This is something I already know and by the grace of God will know in the hope of glory. I guess I just don’t get it anymore to see becoming a heterosexual as being healed if it is something that will pass away. If he is to heal the brokeness that we are, my hope is that it may point to the good news of Him and his Kingdom come/to come.
Marque- I love you. And I love this post. Write more please. Your thoughts are always so heartfelt and powerful. I have wrestled with the same thought process landing on the same final question- do I really want to change? My friend John shared something with me many years ago- “you’ll never change until the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of making the change.” How true that is. Thank you for sharing your words, Marque. And seriously- write way more. You have great wisdom, brother.
Thanks man your too kind! 🙂 That IS a good quote! I’ll see what I can do abt writing a bit more often…
Great post. I have asked myself and continue to ask myself the same question. Like the others, it would be a yes, but a very shaky one. Since I had no male attention growing up and peers bullied and name called at me, I long for male connection albeit in the wrong ways. I don’t know how to figure it out. I know God wants another life for me, but to carry it out is a desperate move on my part. The pull of attachments is so great, I don’t feel at times I can get released from them. The momentary pleasure is nice, but it leaves me empty, lonely and very vulnerable; like open open game for the next person who wants to use me or me allowing myself to be used…again. The struggle is endless, but I do have a glimmer of hope in the Lord and moments of grace he gives to me. And so it goes,
Blessings to you. Keeping posting.
Do you struggle with a willingness to accept God’s healing? I don’t think so, it’s more that I struggle with a willingness to leave behind what he’s healed me from. The healing I always need is a cleansing of my conscience that I’m not just that guy who wants to satisfy this body. When I’m in my right mind it’s Jesus I want and my heart’s all in with him. But when that something within wants to look and lust, even when I don’t, the fight brings me face to face with who I am in myself apart from Christ. I’m not feeling broken just human. I always need healing and reminding I’m not just that, but in Christ I’m more than that. Maybe healing means there’s no longer the fight, but till then looking for strength for the fight, and mercy and grace when I fail.
Such a poignant and pivotal question. I have the feeling many gay people or SSA people or however they identify would NOT want God’s healing touch. It gets to being comfortable after a while. A comfortable discomfort of sorts. I myself have stocked so much of my identity in my sexuality — who would I then become if God instantly zapped me void of any sexual struggle or longing? I think I land somewhere in the middle now — not necessarily wanting “healing” in the form of total heterosexuality, but also not blaming God for making me this way. This struggle keeps me grounded in Him, forces me to rely on Him daily when perhaps otherwise I would not. I’m so grateful for this “thorn in the flesh,” but of course I long to grow and continue this process of healing that feels less like a zap and more like a climb. A healthy, invigorating, maddening, revitalizing sort of climb all at once.
Good thoughts Tom! I understand what you’re saying. I don’t want to assume that an instant and complete change from ssa to osa is the “ultimate healing” for everyone. Fortunately, God knows what the healing process looks like for each individual!
This has been weighing on me very recently, so this definitely spoke to my heart. I shared it with a friend. 🙂
Cool! I’m glad you were encouraged, and hopefully your friend was too. Isn’t God good like that? I love it when I’m thinking about something, and He sends something to confirm it! Keep pressing on Joshua!
That is such a beautiful prayer, CM. I will use it daily.
A man I met dealing with SSA told me he felt a lot of his issue was “feeling special” and not wanting to give that up. I sometimes wonder the same thing. Maybe the whole SSA issue, as real as it may be for me, is also a way to be unique and avoid living life on life’s terms.
That is part of it for me. Of course, Christ has made us all unique, so taking every thought captive is important here again.
I resonate with that! If I lose my SSA, I lose my uniqueness, and I lose so much of my identity. That terrifies me. Such a wake-up call, though, that my identity needs to be rooted in my Savior and not my humanity. Thanks Sam!
“Healing” is difficult to think about for me. Mainly because I have no clue what it would mean. Swapping homosexual feelings for heterosexual ones? I honestly wouldn’t call that healing because the root problem is still exactly the same: sin. And, yeah, I really do struggle with not wanting some kinds of healing, in a way. If I was straight, I don’t think I’d be as spiritually mature or have as good friendships as I have. And I wouldn’t want to give those up. But if “healing” means learning to follow and glorify God in the midst of my struggles? Yes, definitely, I want that. And, honestly, I think that’s the more Biblical way to look at things. There are so many examples of people who struggled with sin—and God didn’t take away the struggle. Instead they learned (or failed to learn, in some cases) to follow God through what they were going through.
[…] How Badly Do I Want Healing? (Your Other Brothers) – Targeted to Christians who struggle with same-sex attraction, this article is relevant to all of us. “Do I really want complete healing, or am I satisfied being a lifelong ‘struggler’? Is the self-pity I’ve surrounded myself with for so long too hard to leave?” […]
Well, when I became addicted to gay porn, I really sought the Lord to end my addiction.
He answered me by showing me that porn was not really my problem, but the symptom of my SSA. I needed to work on SSA before I could change my dependence on porn to medicate (forget) my problems. I consider this supernatural leading. The Lord led me to different websites with resources for men with SSA and thus began my journey into manhood.
I have read books, made friends with other men with SSA, shared my past with many (non-SSA) Christians, and attended an experiential weekend for SSA men. I believe God has helped me and guided my healing process all along the way. He has been patient with me as well in this process!
Today, I’m more confident, I accept and enjoy my male body, feel that I belong in the world of men and I am closer than ever before to Jesus.
As my self-esteem grew, I found my SSA became weaker and to my surprise, my OSA became stronger.
My SSA isn’t gone entirely and may never be. In fact, I find that when things challenge me emotionally, I may find myself dealing with things again that I thought were finished. Now they are a signpost that I have something that needs to be dealt with. In this sense, SSA is my constant teacher.
I experienced the very same supernatural leading.
Wow, what a testimony and you ask a lot of questions! I do struggle with a willingness for healing at times. I certainly do when it comes to masturbation and using porn. I am all about healing though. It is the focus of my calling and why I am becoming a counselor. It is why I pray for people and ask the Holy Spirit to minister to others. I have experienced instantaneously healing through the laying on of hands and personal prayer, and have seen it done in others. Of course the healing isn’t for all of me, but a part of me. I have gained healing over time for forgiveness though and for my PTSD and previous sexual abuse. I have been healed greatly from rejection and my shame for sure. I received my greatest lumps of healing through a men’s ministry here in Denver, especially for how the embraced me to heal my self-hatred and fear of judgment from other men, especially for my SSA, lack of interest in “manly” activities and a feeling of inferiority to other men. Some of the healing came from life, from God directly and from other people helping and being a conduit for God. I have really come to love the process of healing, like a balm that connects me with God and helps me be more intimate with others. I strive to share and pray for healing in others through the healing I have experienced. I think it has also helped me be a more compassionate and loving person. Thanks for your post!
I have tried to deny being attracted to men pretty much since I realized that I was. I still struggle with the whole “do I want to be healed” thing. Yes, obviously I do, but I don’t know if I really want to step out and fight for healing. I get comfortable and settled where I am at, but at the same time there are desires and things that I want that seem like it would only come from healing, like getting married and having a family. There has definitely been healing in my identity as a Son of God that people in my life have helped build up in me. I have also read and studied a lot on biblical masculinity and God’s call for manhood. The book by John Eldredge, Fathered by God, really brought a lot of clarity to where so many wounds came from. I am still praying and seeking out healing from a lot of them, but understanding what wounds you have and the healing that you need definitely brings some healing in itself.
Eldredge’s work has helped me as well. His new book on prayer has also been useful in battling the wounds and the wounder.
I really appreciated this incredible posting, C. Marque. What a thought-provoking and heart-wrenching topic you chose to write about here!
How Badly Do I Want Healing?
If I may; before any of us can even attempt to honestly ask this internal question of ourselves, I think we have to back-up and answer a different question, first…
What, exactly, does biblical “healing” look like for the same-sex attracted, homosexual-offender? And more specifically, what does that “healing” look like for me?
We, as individuals, could literally go a thousand different directions from here, in pursuit of this topic! And if you’re quick to catch it in your own spirit—what I’m doing here—then my new question above should immediately also provoke even deeper, personal questions, inside of each of us.
For me, some of those other inspired questions are,
How does God actually define “homosexual sin”?
What is actually “sin” and what isn’t, with regard to my “SSA” issues?
And as C. Marque so aptly pointed out,
If SSA is only the symptom of deeper human brokenness, then what are the “real” issues that I need to identify and deal with, beneath my SSA?
I say these are deeper, personal questions, because we all must answer such questions for ourselves, within our personal relationship and dialogue with our Lord.
But that first question I asked… That one should lead us all to the same biblical answer. We might all have to apply that answer to our lives differently, as created individuals… But the answer itself should be the same, if it is the biblical answer to the question!
I’m not going to attempt to provide that answer here. But rather, I am going to try and provide us with some clues to lead us in the right direction.
First of all, if we approach homosexuality as a condition in need of “healing,” have we blindly or foolishly abandoned the biblical concept of sin that God himself attaches to it?
What I mean to say is, as our hearts cry out to God for “healing,” let us not too quickly nor easily ignore the fact of the utter “sinfulness” of “our sin,” as we seek God’s solutions for dealing with it.
And let us always keep in mind that the “solution” for sin itself was already provided to those of us who have believed, through our Lord Jesus’ sacrificial and completed work upon the cross.
Too often within our human, post-modern, world-induced ideology of homosexuality, people (and to our own disadvantage, Christians) approach this topic from a perspective that fails to continue to see it for what it is… Our familiar sin!
And what I mean by that, is this: Jesus “healed” people from sicknesses and physical afflictions. Jesus “died” to “deliver” believers from sin… And what believer does not still struggle with familiar sins in their lives? That [the freedom from sin’s temptations and human struggles with it] is a foolish and false concept that I simply do not find displayed anywhere in Scripture!
So then, WHY are we so quick and foolish to apply this foolish concept to the “sin” of homosexuality, somehow convincing ourselves that this ellusive “healing” we seek will free any of us from our current struggles with it?
I simply don’t buy into this satanic deception, my brothers!
No! If you ask me, I believe that most of us (if not all of us) are destined to “struggle” with the temptations toward our “familiar sins,” for the rest of our earthly lives, just as every believer in Jesus Christ is also destined to struggle with the temptations toward their own familiar sins. Homosexual sin does not get some sort of a free pass, there!
Am I saying that, in Christ, we should expect that our struggles will always be so intense?
No, what I am suggesting is that perhaps our focus should be more on knowing and truly believing in the sufficiency of God’s grace, as a concept of saying “No!” to sin, rather than in chasing after some biblically-false perception of a “healing” from “sin” that was never provided.
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ!
– Titus 2:11-13 (emphasis, mine)
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
– 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 (emphasis, mine)
Godspeed, my other brothers!
Dean, do you have a blog or website? Because you have such an interesting perspective, and I love how you bring Scripture into it.
[…] Hey brothers! A while back, I shared a post asking, “How badly do I want healing?” […]
Thanks for your post! Yes, I am broken in my SSA. I was created to be a hetero-exclusive male by God, but I chose early on to solidify my feelings and desires through masturbation and some unfortunate male encounters with my college roommate. But, I have confessed everything to my wife and God is miraculously healing my mind. I will most likely die with SSA, but greater victory is my goal. Am I broken sexually even though I have had amazing sex with my wife for 38 years? Yes, I am broken and I thank God because this “thorn in my flesh” keeps me on track. Has my SSA become somewhat of a blessing? In some ways, yes, because I am closer to Jesus and a better man today because I have fought my SSA all my life. The battle has driven me to His cross. So, in some ways I am thankful, but wished I had never had this issue. The battle is real-as you men who know Jesus realize.