OneByOne http://www.faithwebsites.com/oneby1/index.cfm jwinter777@aol.
com What We Do We are a denominational ministry that exists to educate and equip churches to minister to those who desire freedom from unwanted same-sex attraction, sexual addiction, and the effects of sexual abuse. We do not provide support groups instead, we refer individuals and families to support groups, counselors, and conferences. !ne"y!ne has a growing #hurch $etwor% - a list of churches who are willing to be safe places for you to come and share your struggle and journey. &hese churches provide a contact person who will tal% with you and welcome you to their church. !ur goal is to encourage churches to start their own support and prayer groups on site at their church. 'erhaps you would li%e to start one of these groups or %now of someone who would be able and willing( )f so, please call *+7-,--./70 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to serve you. 1o not hesitate to call and %eep in touch with us. We love you and pray for you2 http344www.faithwebsites.com4oneby54what-we-do.cfm Testimony - Brad Brad Grammer 6eventeen years ago, my life came to a crossroad. )n my mind, ) could either commit suicide or give 7od one more chance to change my life and bring it meaning. 'rior to coming to this crossroad, ) had struggled with my sexual identity as well as depression and anxiety. 8y earliest recollections of being attracted to men is when ) was six years old. ) remember fantasi9ing about growing up to be a woman and marrying a man. 6pecific males came to my mind as ) considered the %ind of man ) would marry. &hey were all muscular, handsome and confident. :ater in life, ) learned that these same-sex attractions were manifestations from unresolved emotional and spiritual issues in my life. &he decision ) came to, at the crossroad, was that ) would commit my life to #hrist and follow ;im. ) had grown up in the #hurch but only at the age of twenty did ) really understand that #hrist died for my sins and that only through ;is sacrifice could ) receive eternal life. )n addition, ) began to understand the sanctification 1
process, whereby sins could dissipate and wea%nesses could be transformed into strengths. ;owever, when it came to my sexuality, ) had no idea how this was going to change. )n fact, ) didn<t really thin% there was a possibility of changing my sexual desires. ) made a commitment to celibacy, choosing to live with these same-sex desires the rest of my life. ) was not connected with ministries helping individuals transition out of homosexuality, and going to counseling was a scary prospect. 6o ) focused my energies on growing in my relationship with #hrist. 7od had specific plans for me. ;e brought men into my life that loved me and modeled for me what it meant to be both godly and intimate, without any hint of homosexuality. &hrough my close relationships with these men over a period of ten years, 7od brought up the unresolved issues in me that needed to be addressed. =lthough there was no ministry around at that time to aid me in my journey, 7od did the same wor% in my life through relationships, a process analogous to many ex-gay ministries today. &he "ody of #hrist became the instrument for healing in my life. &he result was a complete change in my sexual desires from homosexuality to heterosexuality. &oday ) am married and have two sons. >or the #hurch to ma%e a decision to bless same-sex unions or ordain practicing homosexuals is to communicate to me, and individuals li%e me, that the transformation in my life did not happen and that ) am obviously in an unhealthy state of denial. =s ) mentioned above, ) did not even %now that it would be possible to change my sexual orientation, but 7od transformed even this area of my life2 &o allow for same-sex unions and ordination of practicing homosexuals in the #hurch is to prevent the opportunity for individuals to even consider that a change is possible. ) was an outcast once because ) had homosexual desires. )f the church changes its standards, ) would return to being an outcast in the #hurch again because my experience would be invalidated. We need to turn to the truth of 6cripture and believe that ?With 7od, all things are possible? @8atthew 5-30.A. :et us %eep our hope in 7od alone and remain faithful to what ;e has made clear in 6cripture in regards to sexuality. Brad Grammer is director of an Exodus referral ministry in Indianapolis and a member of the OneByOne Speakers Bureau. http344www.faithwebsites.com4oneby54text//B+.C5.gif http344www.faithwebsites.com4oneby54testimony-brad.cfm Testimony - Ky e Ky e!s "tory ) have been a #hristian all my lifeDthatEs 0, years. 6ince ) believe 6cripture, ) %now that homosexuality is sin. Fou may be wondering, ?;ow does a #hristian end up gay(? )Eve wrestled with that question most of my life. &here are 2
several good boo%s and organi9ations which could explain better than ) G ) couldnEt possibly generali9e and condense the ?homosexual struggle? into this short paper. ) can, however, share briefly from my experience. 8y parents divorced when ) was four. ) remember all the times my father hit me or hit someone else in my family. ;e had been having an affair and finally chose to leave us for the other woman @who eventually divorced himA. ) remember saying to myself, ?) will never be li%e him.? &hat statement contained deep implications. =s a four-year-old, ) couldnEt separate infidelity and abuse from the appropriate, 7odly aspects of what it means to be a man. ) had equated my father and his sin with masculinity. =s a result ) rejected it all. )n the following years there were no strong 7odly male role models who too% the time to draw me out and explore the hurt and emptiness that my father had left. 8y mother remarried a #hristian man. ;e was very quiet and introspective. =s a little boy ) translated that to mean that he didnEt want meD that ) wasnEt interesting enough, or maybe ) was too dirty. 'erhaps ) thought that whatever ) did to push away my first father was too much for my second. =s it turned out, he loved me a great deal, and he still does. ;e just didnEt %now how to reach me. ) attended a #hristian liberal arts college, which included both good and bad experiences. =lthough things are a little different now, at that time homosexuality was not openly discussed in classrooms, chapels or anything sponsored by the college. )n fact, the only place ) heard anything about homosexuality was from friends and other students. Hsually, the opinions ranged from disgust to hatred. ) felt alienated there was no place for somebody li%e me who struggled with ?that.? "y the time ) graduated ) had reached a point where ) thought ) would explode. =ll my feelings had been bound up for so long. ) was unable to express anger appropriately. ) found myself pushing formerly close friends away. ) had my first homosexual experience one summer during my college years. )t was exhilarating and nauseating all at the same time. !n one hand, ) felt accepted and cared for, but on the other hand ) %new it was wrong and destructive. ) had made the decision to sin, but ) felt as though ) was a slave to my emotions. ) had a taste of what ) thought love was and it was li%e sweet poison to my spirit. = couple of people told me about 8alachi. ) told 7od that this had to be it. ) had fought so long what seemed to be insurmountable, that ) was ready to give in if this didnEt wor%. =fter graduation ) moved to Iochester and contacted representatives of the 8alachi 8inistry. ) began counseling and within a couple of months, ) started attending the wee%ly support group. &he chief purpose of the 8inistry is to encourage, teach, and foster growth in a real relationship with Jesus #hrist. ) recently have been experiencing first hand the transforming power of the ;oly 6pirit. >or this ) am grateful to "righton 3
'resbyterian #hurch, of which ) am now a member, and to everyone associated with the 8alachi 8inistry, but most especially to 7od who was and is faithful to complete the good wor% ;e started in all of us. &hrough 7odEs strength and the leading of the ;oly 6pirit ) have been able to share my struggle with my parents. &han%fully, they both received the information well. With 7odEs grace ) hope to be able to continue to sort through parts of my childhood and more recent events, to decide what to hold on to and what to let go. "efore ) close ) need to ma%e a couple of points.
>irst, ) strenuously need to ma%e the point that ) never chose the homosexual orientation. &here were many abusive situations, misconceptions, and confusion growing up which helped set me on a trac% which ) believe would have destroyed me. 6econd, ) did choose to sin, whether it felt li%e ) had a choice or not. &hird, people who struggle with homosexuality are a group of people whose voices are rarely heard. We seem to be caught between two radical opinions3 the radical gay agenda and the equally radical condemnation of homosexuals, those who believe we deserve to die. @We all have fallen short of the glory of 7od and so we all deserve death. We all need to depend on 7odEs mercy.A )n between, there are also some more conservative, yet equally alienating points of view which are based on ignorance and4or embarrassment. ) am ta%ing advantage of this opportunity to say that ) reject the radical gay agenda which see%s special rights and privileges to people in the gay lifestyle. ) consider homosexuality sin and sic%ness. &herefore, ) thin% it would be a mista%e to accommodate it. ) also feel betrayed by fellow #hristians who reject the biblical perspective on this issue and for one reason or another have decided to declare homosexuality not only legitimate but pleasing to 7od. &hose who would hold this view devalue #hristians who earnestly see% truth and deliverance from the :ord. 1onEt ignore us. 8y fourth and most important point is than%s to 7odEs grace, JesusE redemption and the transforming power of the ;oly 6pirit, the weight of any oppressionDin this case, homosexualityDcan be lifted. &here is hope2
) am still tempted sometimes to return to the homosexual lifestyle. 8y hope is in the :ord. ) sometimes fall. 8y hope is in the :ord. ) was depressed, beaten and hopeless, but my hope is in the :ord. ) was dead and filthy in sin, but the :ord washed me and redeemed me and my life is in ;is hands. Kyle is a member of the Malachi Ministry and an active member of Bri hton !resbyterian "hurch. http344www.faithwebsites.com4oneby54testimony-%yle.cfm 4
Testimony - #$is De%es$s #$is!s "tory 8y name is :uis. ) grew up in $ew For% #ity. ) came from a dysfunctional, bro%en family. ) was the youngest of five children and the only boy. =s a child ) always said ) would never be li%e my father. ) saw the way he hurt my mother as a result of having many women on the side. ;e was a womani9er. &his really put a spirit of anger within me. ) did not %now that by professing that statement3 K) will never be li%e my fatherL that my life would be changed and more damaged than ) expected. ) grew up in the ghetto with my Junior ;igh 6chool friends. ) felt safe around them, even though they did drugs and got into trouble. )n spite of their bad decisions, they protected me. ) had a friend die on top of me as a result of gun shots as we hung out in the city-par%s. &his was the scariest part of my childhood, but ) believe it made me strong to the bad things of life. ) had a pretty good life considering ) had one parent who did the job of two. ) never did drugs, robbed anyone or was abused sexually. ) was a pretty good %id with anger issues. ) had a lot of hate, and ) was trying to figure out who ) was. =t 5B, ) had my first girl friend in Junior ;igh 6chool. ) was with her all the way through the end of high school. &his was serious. ) was in love. Hnfortunately, she bro%e off our relationship. ) felt the pain, and such a bro%en heart. ) was angry, and hurt by her action and her lac% of trust. &he next day she came over to see me and as%ed me to forgive her and forget what she said, but pride had settled in my spirit. 8y heart wanted to say yes, but my pride said no. ) vowed ) would never be put in that position of vulnerability again. ) went on to ;igh 6chool and dated many girls, but only thought of the one true love ) had lost due to my selfish pride. ) had girls falling in love with me, but ) %ept thin%ing about my first love. &herefore, my relationships did not last. =s a result of all that happened, ) was still vulnerable. =t the age of 5/, ) had my first homosexual experience. ) did not understand why ) had done this and sought help from the #atholic #hurch ) attended. ) went to confess to the priest and he told me to say three Kour fathersL and four Khail 8arysL and never come into this church again. ) became angry at 7od and the #hurch. ) was hurt and scared. ) ended up falling more into homosexual activity in addition to medicating myself with drugs. ) did MB++ worth of cocaine a day. ) did that up through the age of 0-. ) got it free as ) had friends who sold it. ) medicated myself because ) was ashamed of what ) was doing, and ) did not %now how to escape. ) wanted to go bac% to my old girlfriend but felt so dirty that ) thought she would hate me 5
if ) told her about the homosexual sin ) fell into. 6o ) buried myself more in the sin and never told her. ) was in a long term relationship with a man, which was a nightmare. )t was a relationship filled with perversion, drugs and drin%ing. ) was a time bomb waiting to go off. =t the age of 0-, ) cried out to 7od and said, K)f you are real please help me. Nither you are going to %ill me or allow me to live.L ) cursed 7od, screamed and yelled, and was on my %nees crying. ) told him he had five minutes to respond and give me a sign otherwise, ) would never pray to him again. ;e too% three minutes. ) got a phone call from an estranged sister in >lorida. 6he did not %now what ) was going through. 6he said that she was sitting and thin%ing and that ) came into her mind and she wanted to %now if ) wanted to quit my job and move to >lorida and start a new life. 6he %new nothing about me. ) was at the end of my last unemployment chec%. ) as%ed if ) could call her bac%. ) then got on my %nees and as%ed 7od to forgive me for doubting him. ) called her bac% and too% her offer. =t that time my life began to change. 7od became a tangible presence in my time of need. ;e showed up. 'rior to moving to >lorida, ) had never been in a #hristian church. !ne day ) was driving and pulled into a church off of 6eminola "lvd. )t was li%e they were expecting me. ) was late and the service was already in progress. &hey showed me a seat and were very loving to me. =s the pastor was spea%ing he stopped and said, K) have to interrupt my message as ) just received a word of %nowledge, and ) have to be obedient to the :ord.L ;e said, K&here is someone in this church that has recently come from hundreds of miles away and 7od showed up. ;e became real to you.L ;e continued, KFou cried out to 7od as you were dealing with sexual perversion and you were involved in drugs. 7od heard your cry and brought you here. ;e wants you to testify to the congregation to tell them what he did, so please get up and testify now.L ) was scared. ) thought, K&his church is nuts.L ) loo%ed around and started to sha%e and was hoping someone would stand up. $o one did. &here was this sweet old lady next to me and she nudged me and said, K6onny boy, is that you( Fou must be obedient to the :ord.L ) loo%ed at her and thought she must be cra9y. &he pastor was persistent and so was the lady next to me. "y the time she nudged me a third time, ) was drenched in sweat because of my nerves. K7et up and testify2L she said again. >inally, ) responded, and got up. &he pastor as%ed me to go to where he was standing in front of the congregation and tell my story. ) did. )t was the most ama9ing yet scariest thing that happened to me. &al% about fearing the :ord2 = wee% later ) began to go to #alvary =ssembly in !rlando in July of 5--,. ) began a relationship with #hrist. ) also attended an Nxodus group there called KNxchange 8inistryL many years later. &hrough that group, other care groups, and through healthy relationships with men and women my transformation began to happen. ) began to get connected with the church. ) too% part in "ible studies. ) began to serve. ) joined the jail ministry, and alter ministry. ) too% 6
the care pastor training. ) basically allowed 7od to use me in any way he wanted to use me, and ) trusted him for my victory. ) learned that in his presence 7od can do anything. >or me, ) did not need a 50-step program. ) allowed 7odEs anointing to come into my life and change me. ;e too% off my rags and crowned me with his glory. ;e filled those empty places in my life and gave me purpose. ) was set apart for his use that he may be glorified through me and all that he has brought me through. 7od :oves 8e2 >or that ) am forever grateful. #uis $e%esus is a former &e' (orker 'ho came to )lorida in *++,. -e has been a member of "alvary .ssembly for */ years. -e serves in ministry at "alvary and also serves in a local 0ail ministry. #uis has also been involved in Exchan e Ministries1 offerin hope and healin for the sexually 'ounded. http344www.faithwebsites.com4oneby54text//**.C5.jpg http344www.faithwebsites.com4oneby54testimony-luis.cfm Testimony - &ero &ero: 'indin( &ea in( from &omosex$a ity and "ex$a )ddiction by )nonymo$s Nvery son wants his father to be a hero. ) learned that lesson only recently when ) discovered how desperately ) wanted to respect and honor my own father, and how ) wanted those blessings from him in return. >athers play a crucial part of our development, and when that formative responsibility crumbles, children are left to pic% up the bro%en pieces and put them bac% together without %nowing how they all fit. ) was blessed to grow up in a #hristian home. 8y parents were loving and ensured that our family went to church every 6unday, participated in vacation "ible schools, and even had devotions before bedtime. ) loo%ed forward to listening to my mother read from a children<s "ible, and then pray with us every night. &hat was a special time for my brothers and ), and as the spiritual leader of our home, my mother taught us from elementary school how to pray and eventually to accept Jesus into our hearts. 8y father was a believer. ;e would join us sometimes, and he often carried a small "ible in his jac%et poc%et to read while at wor%. &al%ing with him about #hristianity, though, never carried the same authority as it did when ) would as% my mother a question. 8y dad %new the "ible, but ) suspect he always doubted his salvation, or at the very least, questioned #hrist<s ability to redeem him. 8y dad is an extremely intelligent man, with two master<s degrees. ;e can figure his way through an algebra problem, or analy9e a chemical formula without difficulty. =fter enlisting in the military, he traveled to many parts of the world, using his s%ills wherever he was stationed. 6oon after his service 7
ended, he met my mother. &hey married and started a family. While growing up, my dad and brothers and ) would play together, rough house after the nightly news, build cabins, hi%e in the woods, go to movies, and dream about the future. Fet, ) did not trust my father at all. While in the military, my dad suffered a mental brea%down from the stress and had to leave under a medical discharge. &hroughout my childhood, my dad went through several more brea%downs. ;e was diagnosed at the time as a manic-depressant, but whatever clinical definition they assigned to him meant nothing to me--it only meant that sometimes my dad didn<t act very much li%e my dad. ;e would begin to slip into a brea%down every few years. &hey began with a couple of symptoms, and within days would become progressively worse. 8y dad<s brea%downs were characteri9ed by his inability to sit still, laughing too loudly at things that were not really funny, smo%ing continuously, staying up all night, pacing bac% and forth, ma%ing irrational decisions, arguing with his family, and eventually becoming verbally abusive. =s a child, ) was always sensitive to the behavior of others. ) witnessed these battles with mental illness, and they instilled a deep-seated mistrust and fear of my father in me. ) would catch myself watching him for any sign that he might be losing control. ) would count the cigarettes he smo%ed, to ma%e sure they were not increasing in number--a sure sign of his stress level. ) watched his behavior around others, noting any odd or seemingly irrational responses. 8y father ceased to be my dad, and instead became a man whom ) longed to love, but felt detached from. &o ma%e up this parental longing, ) gravitated more toward my mother. We became confidants and shared a lot of the pain as we watched my father<s brea%downs become more frequent. ) felt closer to my mother, and in return she gave me love out of her own pain. 6ometimes a son doesn<t need to %now everything, but my mother told me more about my father than ) ever should have %nown. ) became her emotional support, learning more and more about the man she married that ) %new was my dad, but feeling less and less li%e he was someone ) wanted as a father. =t about seven or eight years of age, ) was exposed to pornography when my dad and ) were hi%ing through he woods near our home, and happened upon a cabin built by some older boys in the neighborhood. &he maga9ines they had collected were dampened by rain, but my dad loo%ed at them and allowed me to loo% too. 6omehow ) %new it was wrong, but it was also fascinating and exciting to see these pictures of na%ed women. :ater in elementary school, someone gave my dad another maga9ine which my brothers and ) found. 8y parents soon learned about our discovery, and rather than ta%e it from us, they gave it to us to %eep. &hey thought it would satisfy 8
our curiosity, and %eep us from wanting to loo% at pornography later, but un%nowingly they were throwing gasoline on a fire. We did not have the emotional foundation to understand the images we saw. )t created a stronger desire to see% out more porn. 6hortly before my parents separated and eventually divorced, my dad and a friend too% my brothers and ) on a camping trip near our home. ) remember it was a beautiful starry night in June, and ) had just turned twelve. 8y brothers had drifted off in their sleeping bags, and ) law awa%e, admiring the stars, and praying to 7od while my dad and his friend sat tal%ing around the campfire. "efore long, the innocence of the night was shattered when ) reali9ed that my dad and his friend were using drugs. ) could not believe what ) was witnessing, and ) prayed that it was just a nightmare. &he pain and fear of my dad<s brea%downs was horrible but justifiable--in my young mind ) reasoned that they were beyond his control. "ut here ) was witnessing a deliberate act that betrayed every confidence ) had in my father. ;e was doing something that ) had learned only ?bad people? did. "efore my eyes, my dad had slipped from being a victim to a villain. With this unstable foundation, ) began see%ing ways to meet my emotional needs from illegitimate sources. ) did not recogni9e my 7od-given need for masculine affirmation, but the inability to trust the very source of it in my life turned my longing to other men and in the process those needs became sexuali9ed. =s my parents< marriage crumbled, ) subconsciously felt the need for a father figure in my life. ) found myself fantasi9ing about other boys in school, and even some of my male teachers. ) discovered gay pornography, and planned ways to snea% a pee% at it whenever we went to a local boo% store or the truc%-stop restaurant near our home that sold it. &hus began the cycles of shame and guilt that have plagued much of my life. =s a #hristian, ) %new 7od did not want this for me. 'ornography was wrong homosexuality was wrong--how could ) love Jesus and allow this sin in my life( ) never identified myself as gay, ) never wanted to wave a rainbow flag, or join the ?lifestyle.? 8y sin was my own, with nobody to tal% to. ) felt close to 7od most of the time, but ) could not reconcile that with my sexual feelings toward other men. >or years, ) felt as if ) was sitting on a fence. !n the one side was the gay lifestyle that ) wanted no part of, yet could not deny my feelings for. !n the other side was a sincere #hristian life that ) imagined ) could follow by giving up any hope of sexual fulfillment. )t seemed a lost battle with intense sadness no matter which choice ) made. 1ating men provided little to reassure me that my feelings were o%ay. &he guilt of my sin became evident, and ) ended several relationships on the basis of my religious convictions. 'eople tell themselves all %inds of lies to justify their actions, but the ;oly 6pirit spea%s to the heart. ;e spo%e to mine, and no matter what momentary happiness ) felt with another man, ) %new the feeling would soon be replaced with that still, small voice whispering in my ear, ?&his is not what ) have planned for you.?
) stopped trying to date men when ) reali9ed that the gay lifestyle could not satisfy my deepest longings. ;omosexuality is the outward symptom of a much deeper inner need. ) desperately yearned to be loved and approved by my father, but to whatever degree he could or could not give that to me, ) pushed him away out of pain and fear. 8y parents loved and cared for my brothers and ) the best way they could, but their own limitations produced heartbrea% and emotional anguish in my life. )t has been difficult to recogni9e their failures. )n many ways, they were loving parents who simply did not reali9e the impact of their behavior. 6exual addiction to pornography became the spiritual battle ground of my life. =cting out with other men became rare, but internet porn was readily available and as close as my home computer. 'ain feeds the cycle of addiction. ) felt lonely, ) loo%ed at porn, ) felt guilty, ) as%ed 7od to forgive me, ) experienced low self-esteem, and as a result ) felt lonelier than ever. 6ometimes boredom would propel me toward porn. ) would not even be thin%ing about it, but three clic%s later on the computer, ) would be in the midst of something ) had no intention of loo%ing at. ) wrestled with temptation. ?7od,? ) prayed, ?Fou have helped me avoid so many sins in my life. Fou have protected me, and )<ve se en how Fou watch over me. Why can<t ) give this addiction over to Fou(? )t becomes a daily battle to ma%e right choices. When we fall, we have to remember that we are not starting over from square one, with no victories to claim as our own. When we fall, we pic% ourselves up and start over exactly where we left off, perhaps a little wiser. !ne 6unday ) read in my church bulletin about a local group for men and women who struggle with unwanted same-sex attraction. ) was a nervous wrec% as ) slipped into the bac% of my first Nxodus group meeting. ) was afraid someone might recogni9e me, or ) would be as%ed to share my shameful past with everyone on my first night. ) have no doubt that 7od lead me to that group, and there ) discovered that opening up to others helped bring a degree of victory to my life for the first time. 7od did, in fact, have something better in mind for me. ) tal%ed with other men and wome n who loved Jesus and struggled with their sexuality just as ) did. >or the first time ) felt a real sense of hope for healing in my life. ) cling to the promise of 'hilippians 53., which states that ;e who began this good wor% will perform it until the day of Jesus #hrist. 7od has since brought a great deal of healing to me, which ) recogni9e when ) ma%e right choices in the face of wrong ones. 1eciding not to glance at that guy jogging down the sidewal%, or go to certain websites is not always easy, but as ) starve the addiction, ) see 7od<s hand at wor% in my life. ) cannot do it without ;im. &oo many times ) tried and failed, promising ) would never loo% at porn again, or ma%ing deals not to flirt with temptation. Nngaging in spiritual warfare forces us to ac%nowledge that the enemy is strong, but that 7od never allows us to be tempted beyond what we can endure. ) hold to ;is promise, even as ) ta%e up my sword and shield daily. &al%ing to a wise #hristian counselor has taught me the value of see%ing out 7odly men for healthy relationships in my life. When we are wea% and lonely, 10
the enemy ta%es advantage of our condition to throw temptation our way. ) too% a lot of courage, but when ) shared my struggle with same-sex attraction and sexual addiction with a #hristian friend, ) discovered a brother who also faces his own daily battle against pornography. We encourage each other, and honestly share our doubts and fears. "y doing so, 7od has strengthened our friendship to a much deeper level. ) am ama9ed to see how 7od can ta%e our sin and shame, and create incredible blessings out of them. !ne of the desires of my heart has always been to marry and start a family someday. ) am richly blessed to be in love with a #hristian woman who %nows the worst things about me, yet loves me anyway. We are all redeemed by ;is grace. 6o many times ) try to put 7od in a box, limiting what ) thin% ;e can do. "ut we serve a 7od who can do immeasurably more than we can as% or even imagine. &here is a deep, abiding joy that comes when we wal% uprightly. ) am far from perfect, but when we trust 7od with even a little, ;e uses it to change us for ;is glory. ) am finding that what ) give up to 7od, comes bac% to me as blessing in the form of my heart<s desire, but even more so as a closer wal% with my ;eavenly >ather. =s my own relationship with my father was strained, so too, ) felt estranged in some ways from 7od. Was ;e on my side( 1id ;e really love me( #ould ) trust ;im( 6hortcomings in my relationship with my dad carried over to shape the ways ) felt toward 7od. !nce ) recogni9ed that, ) repented of my doubts. ) am learning to trust ;im to provide for every aspect of my life, and even though ;e doesn<t always do the things we thin% would benefit us, ;e is always faithful to provide what is best. 7iving my desires and sexual addiction over to 7od doesn<t mean ) am immediately cured of them, but it allows 7od to wor% in my life in ways ) never could have thought possible. ) cannot change my past. Fears of emotional pain, hurt, fear, and mistrust do not disappear overnight. 8y father made some poor choices in his life, and the consequences cost him the respect and admiration of his son. #hoosing to forgive him has not always been easy, but 7od released me from a lot of the pain and heartache. ) am learning what it means to allow 7od to father me, to trust ;im with my deepest doubts, and recogni9e that ;is love brings healing that ) could never find through illegitimate means. ) love my family despite their shortcomings, but it helps to remember that ) am also an adopted son of my >ather 7od. !ne day a few years ago my dad called m e on the phone. ;e was crying and in his grief, he glimpsed how the failures in his life had impacted his family. ;e as%ed for 7od<s forgiveness, and his family<s, and mine. =s 7od wor%s in my life, ) also need to as% ;im to continue to wor% in my father<s life. ;is mercy and grace demonstrate a love beyond our understanding. 7od continues to bind up the hurt and the wounds in my family. ) am than%ful when ;e allows me to see glimpses of the man my father was intended to be. Nvery son needs his father to be a hero. http344www.faithwebsites.com4oneby54testimony-hero.cfm 11