My life as a homosexual was pretty chaotic. There were certainly some high points when I was living in sexuality and bartending at a gay bar, but for the most part, the lows were extremely low, and there were many of them. The more I continued to live in homosexuality and identify as a gay man, the more unstable my life became.
I was using a lot of alcohol, sex and other types of distractions in order to just cope with life. I would say that my life was going out of control. I experienced a lot of depression and anxiety. I had a desire not to commit suicide, but to just not exist.
Eventually, I got to a point where the euphoria of coming out, leaving Bible college, finding my first gay bar, and feeling like I had finally found my people started to lift. It was almost two years in, and I was starting to feel hollow. My desire had always been to find Mr. Right and settle down. When that didn't happen, and I was with countless numbers of guys, it was anything but what I had signed up for. I realized there was no hope or joy. There was nothing in it for me.
I grew up going to church, but had experienced some negative aspects. Even as an adult, I have at times. But I started to have a desire to rediscover God in a way that was very different
from what I used to know. The desire didn’t have anything to do with wanting to change my sexuality. (At that point, it felt immutable.) All I knew was I needed to turn the reins over to somebody else.
The journey was painful, but good. I started to go to different conferences annually. Those were transformational. I learned from people who were dealing with some of the same issues, and it gave me insight into how some of them had developed in my own life. I wasn’t told exactly how it happened, but it helped me put the dots together and realize, "Oh, this makes a lot of sense."
Books and tapes were also pivotal for me. They really gave me hope for what I was beginning to pursue and were a big part of what brought the change. Counseling also played a crucial part. I was on a pretty desperate journey but was able to find solid, legitimate support that helped me determine my sexuality in a way that lined up with my faith and desires.
I've been happily married almost 11 years now to my wife, Melissa. Today I sometimes say, "I wouldn't trade my worst day today for my best day then." It's true. There's so much stability, love, and growth in my life now, and there has been for a long time. I'm so thankful.