2016 was one of the best years of my life! I had a job that I loved, and the pay was great. My struggle with hooking up was at an all-time low, and I was making so much progress, boosting my confidence in my spiritual life. Although I couldn’t be an official leader at my church, I somehow made my own small group, and we all formed a special bond.

My company allowed me to follow my faith and didn’t mind my listening to worship music and sermons that fed me spiritually. Though my boss wasn’t a believer in Christ, he did allow me the freedom to work in peace, and whenever I had the opportunity to share my faith, I did. God definitely used me at that company to make an impact on each employee’s life.

Outside of work, I could rely on a great group of friends, and they could rely on me at any time! They knew about my SSA, and I was pretty honest about what I went through, including any temptations to hook up again.

With one text or phone call, I was there for my friends, and they were there for me! Because they knew about my sexuality, it felt like we were family, and we loved each other greatly.

Within my small group of friends, I made a best friend I could count on anytime. I disciplined him in the faith, showing him how to find balance in both spiritual things and reality. We hung out every day, and we were very intentional in building up each other in the Lord.

We saw the potential in one another.

I used my past and my sexuality as a stepping stone to disciple him in ways he could grow in the Lord. Not only that, I gave him a glimpse of my worldview of struggling with SSA. We went to a gay pride parade, passing out tracks for an event, and I took him to my home town where I grew up.

He was like a brother to me, maybe even more. He was my Jonathan to my David.

Why is it whenever we get so comfortable with our good lives, there’s always something that shakes things up?

Everything in my life that year was going great, yet God would soon show me something else up His sleeve.

In the latter part of 2016, my boss informed me that I’d be laid off. My boss knew my value to the company and my heart, and he tried his best to keep me on. Luckily, he kept me part-time at first, but this was a huge pay cut to live on.

With the financial stress coming upon me, I could feel my temptation for hooking up growing again. Though I could sense it, I told myself that I could handle it and that God would surely take care of these temptations. I told my friends about my temptations but made them no big deal.

My friends were great, especially my best friend, encouraging me to look for another job. I kept them updated with my SSA and the different jobs I applied for. While I looked for other work, they all prayed for me and told me God would get me a new job right away.

With all my friends’ words of encouragement and prayer, I felt pretty secure that other jobs would come soon and that my friends were in it for the long haul. I thought my struggle was actually a blessing with my friends around.

I thought God would show His glory during that season, showing me that we shouldn’t worry about our earthly trials like job losses or temptations like hooking up, because He would take care of us and meet our needs.

As I was about to be laid off, I told myself this would be a great opportunity to further disciple my best friend and share what God had been showing me. I knew this would be a great opportunity to build our friendship even more and further secure our friendship.

Despite all my best intentions for a godly perspective, I didn’t understand how this season would affect me for a couple of months and how I’d view God in the future. I would wrestle with the idea of the goodness of God, my temptations for hooking up would build even more, my group of friends would diminish, and my best friend would intentionally leave me.

Woe to me that I didn’t prepare for what was yet to come.

Even in the midst of trials, do you believe everything will be all right? Do you have a hard time having a godly perspective during trials? How do you handle loss of finances and loss of friends?

About the Author

  • As my mom always taught me, “Something will come up,” or “Everything will work out for the best.”
    Sometimes things just happen without cause and you just have to believe that they work out for the best in the end.
    We may not like the end result(s), but we have to look up to God and trust in Him and that He allows these things to happen for a purpose and sometimes it’s of our own damnation or curse we have brought on ourselves!

    • Yeah. Sometimes we reap what we sown. But of course, things will turn out for the better! It’s in those not-so-good seasons we need to remember not to waste what God is teaching us, which I will talk about at the end my this series.

  • This account is remarkably similar to my own life-journey over the past two years, Matthew… Especially the theme of everything going so well, followed by a healthy dose of the ground being pulled out from beneath our feet, all the way to that ultimate kick in the nuts when our best friends intentionally abandon us.
    Any chance I could get a personal update on the next couple of chapters to this story, before you post them?
    If your journey through this continues to be so similar to my own, then the following points both answer your questions, and also predict where this particular journey also brought you:

    1. I am facing an overwhelming inability to trust people.
    2. I am overwhelmed by a chronic attack of discouragement.
    3. I find that I am also inwardly angry at God (He is, of course, well aware of this… so I might as well just admit it).
    4. I am at a loss to know how to get past the deep personal hurt that I still feel inside.
    5. I don’t know what truth is anymore… Truth in love; truth in friendship; truth in Christian living and theology… I don’t even know how to recognize God’s voice amid the disturbing din of my own thoughts constantly attacking me, any longer.
    6. I’ve forgotten how to “hope.”

    In short, I feel completely lost, and the smiles I wear at church are just for show these days. Sometimes, it’s all I can do to breathe. But I hold to the promise that God has not, not will he ever abandon me.
    “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
    – Proverb 13:12

    • Unfortunately, sorry man. I want it to be a surprise to my readers, including you! Haha. You’re gonna have to wait until these post are out and about. But I will get to what God has taught me through this trial that I went through, and I will hit on the points you asked! Don’t worry, I’ll get there. I just need to tell how I got there! Be patient man!

      • Wasn’t so much looking for an early reveal of the story as I was a nudge in the right direction from someone who’s been there, Matt. Just sayin!
        If this site is all about the authors telling their stories, rather than the community of helping each other, then perhaps I’ve missed the intent of it all. But thanks.

  • My wife is leaving me after 19 years of marriage. At first I was shocked about this (this has been unfolding the last few week). Then I got super angry. I wanted to go to a gay bar and just hook up with the first guy I saw. I didn’t. I wanted to view a thousand hours of gay porn amd masturbate till I was blue in the face. I didn’t. Why?
    How would this serve God’s greater glory? I would be acting like a spoiled child. I wouldn’t be trusting in God, who literally brought me back from the dead and into faith.
    It is hard, trusting in the unseen God. My brothers at YOB were a BIG encouragement to me and helped me stand back up. God provided the help I needed to remain true to Him and His word in this hour of darkness.
    I will overcome, but only if I rely on His strength.

    • Man……This hurts my heart….
      I’m so sorry to hear that your wife is leaving you, and that your going through all of this. In these upcoming blog post, especially at the end, I hope in some way my writings will encourage you to keep going in the faith. I’ll definitely be praying for you man.

  • Hey Matthew! Your story telling remains excellent; you are so good at keeping us in suspense, wondering what is on the next page. In the midst of trials, I do not always honor God with my strong faith and hope, though I eventually come around to seeing things His way. He is so patient. Several years back I left the financial security of a long time job in clinical social work. I didn’t have another sure position to step into but was banking on a good reputation and God’s support. My wife and I felt this was the right decision, though it was quite risky. Well, after several months of unsuccessful interviews and too many “We are sorry, but” letters from different county departments, I realized that my reputation may not have been as sparkling as I imagined. But I was also quite surprised at how well we were handling the pressure and the financial difficulties. Car bills and other pressing money matters were building steadily. This wasn’t a bad type of pride; it was just an awareness that we were actually maturing and truly believing in God’s direction and goodness, when there was much “evidence” to the contrary all about us. Well, after another couple of months or so, all of that maturity and steady calm in the midst of a storm almost vanished, and I began to panic. I have never been an anxious man, depression is my favored drink, but I began to lose sleep. We did lose some “friendships” during this time, but only because it became clear just how shallow the relationships actually were. And we gained fewer, but very solid new friends, who were so supportive when we were sinking a bit. Our Godly perspective eventually returned as we saw God’s faithfulness in return for our fear and doubt. And the whole experiece of struggling against doubt and stumbling as we tried to trust was very important, as we would be faced with a much graver challenge in the next two years: our son who was a marathon runner and in excellent health nearly died with a mysterious chronic illness that “came out of the blue”. I think the smaller financial storm prepared us to trust God even with our son’s very life. Matthew, I am always eager to read the next part of your story. Thanks again for sharing with us.

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