Monday, September 12, 2011


Its been awhile! I am still alive! :) My summer went really well! Things continue to improve in the social department although slowly at times but still I am thankful. I am definitely getting much closer to a few people which is great. I still have alot I want to improve but things are getting better slowly and I am very thankful for that!

I had a rather silly little thing happen in the last week that suddenly made me think on all I missed by having SSA growing up. I was at a BBQ recently and one of the people there was talking about his teenage son and all the girls he was starting to be interested in and suddenly adding as friends on his Facebook. Everyone there was like "oh looks like he is a "normal" teenage boy and he is starting to notice girls". They made several jokes and laughed about his new found interest in girls. Several people joked saying "oh we all know what that was like growing up" I just laughed along pretending that was my experience growing up as well. I was not really upset by this or anything it just made me think how unlike my own life was compared to everyone else at the barbecue. I just felt sort of like an outsider pretending I too had those feelings growing up and understood perfectly what they were all laughing and smiling about as they reminisced about their own teenage years and when they first started noticing the opposite sex. Several people shared about their dating adventures with the opposite sex growing up and I really did not have much to add and just sort of smiled and nodded and pretended I understood what a "normal" teenage experience was.

Was just interesting thats all. Sometimes its hard to relate when you feel so different and your teenage years where so unlike what most people would call "normal". But I still had alot of fun and I was glad I was invited to the cookout! It was just a momentary thing where I suddenly felt different but it soon passed and I had a good time again. I said a quick prayer just telling God about my hurts growing up and how I felt different and then let it pass. Unlike the past where I would have dwelt on my differences the whole time I let it pass and was able to have fun again! :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Out of a Far Country Review

I just finished reading "Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son's Journey to God. A Broken Mother's Search for Hope" by Christopher Yuan and his mother Angela. It is a very powerful modern day prodigal son story! It would be a great book for anyone to read IMO not just those struggling with homosexuality that really shows God's love, grace, and mercy.

I don't directly relate with all of Chris' story since I was a Christian from a young age. But I still related to alot of his story and it was amazing to see this journey that he was on and how God used his struggles with drugs and homosexuality to bring both him and his mother to the point where they realized their only hope was Jesus!

I was really moved by this story and was cheering Christopher and his mother on as I read it! The writing style was very unique one chapter would be from Christopher's perspective and the next from his mother Angela's and we got to often see both perspectives of the same events. I really felt like I got to know both him and his mother as I read their stories.

Angela's unending faithfulness in prayer and love for her son was pretty amazing. It made me really question my own prayer life and inspires me to try and do a better job spending time with the Lord in prayer. Time and time again Christopher pushed her away but she just kept on praying and reaching out to him because of her love for him and her wanting him to find Jesus's love as she had.

Through the whole book what Christopher was searching for was love and acceptance. "But when I stepped into the gay community I was exposed to a world of outcasts who had come together and become family. They stood up for one another, supported one another. They laughed with me, cried with me, and accepted me for who I was-gay" Its really what we all are searching for I think, love and acceptance. If only the church would do a better job of providing this support and love for the SSA struggler. I think things are slowly improving but there is a long way to go.

This book to me was really a love story of Gods love for Christopher and showed how God is willing to chase us to the ends of the earth if he has to in order for us to realize His love for us. No matter where he ran, God kept chasing him whether to bath houses, gay clubs, drug dens, or prison. Really brought me to tears several times reading it and seeing how God would not give up. Through the whole book you could just see how God was there for Christopher even on his darkest days in a lonely prison cell. I loved the story how another prisoner in the past had written "If your bored, read Jeremiah 29:11" on the roof of the metal bunk of his prison bed.
Here is that verse:
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

After reading that verse he wrote in the book that "...the world would be happy for me to be locked away for good. And yet God was saying something completely different. He wanted to be a part of my life-no matter who I was or what I had done. He didn't see me as a criminal. He didn't see me as a felon. He didn't see me as a number. But rather, he saw me-and he saw hope." Christopher had finally found the acceptance he had always been searching for! Not from man but from his creator! Gods love is so amazing!!

I also found it amazing that God uses Christopher's struggle with homosexuality to in effect save his mother too. From reading this book I think it is doubtful that she would have humbled herself and sought after God if not for this struggle in Christopher's life that shattered her "perfect" world and dreams for her son. She likely would have continued to try and keep up appearances that everything in her life was just fine rather then admit she was a sinner in need of a savior. One of my favorite lines in the book was when she wrote "I no longer had to be perfect. My Father in heaven loved me anyway. It was all I could do to keep from shouting, "I'm a sinner!, I'm a sinner!, I'm a sinner!" Love that so much!! Its pretty amazing how God uses our very struggles and weaknesses to draw us to him. We can never know His full plan and why he allows us to struggle with certain things. Really makes me think about my own struggles with SSA. Who knows where I would be without them? God has a plan for me and will continue to use my struggles to draw me to him and be a testimony of His love for even me with my sins and all and His love for all sinners.

One of my favorite chapters was the one titled "Holy Sexuality". Its a great chapter for those like me who struggle with same sex attractions. It talked about how the goal is not heterosexuality but instead holy sexuality. Like Christopher for a very long time in my life I thought God saw me as an abomination and that in order for him to be pleased with me I had to change my attractions somehow and become straight. I am finally learning over the past year that is not true at all. All God wants is for me to trust him and do my best to obey. Like Christopher said in the book "God never said, "Be heterosexual for I am heterosexual." He said, "Be Holy for I am holy." I also loved his view that marriage could one day be possible since we don't have to be attracted to ALL women which is very overwhelming for the SSA individual but just to one. I too could see that happening one day possibly for me and it gives me hope. If it never happens I am sure God will provide for me in my single life to even if at times there are struggles of loneliness. After all as this quote so perfectly says "Change is not the absence of struggles change is the freedom to choose holiness in the midst of our struggles."

Anyways this is by far one of the best books I have read on homosexuality and Gods love for the SSA struggler, you should consider reading it! It goes so far beyond just that one issue though. This book gives hope to all sinners and prodigals no matter what they struggle with that God loves them and wants nothing more then for them to surrender and admit they need him. He is ready to accept us with open arms even with all the dirt and filth and sins and everything that we struggle with just like the prodigal sons father did in the Bible when he finally came home.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Love this song by Lisa Gungor.

Maybe someday things really will finally be okay?


Monday, May 30, 2011

Wandering Thoughts for May 30th, 2011

1. Hey everyone! Long time no blog! Hope everyone from the US is having a Happy Memorial Day! Just wanted to post because its been so long. Things are pretty good here overall I suppose. Still going to my small group every week etc.... Its still been good and I am getting alot out of the meetings and the sharing we do. It is nice to feel accepted yet still I have trouble getting closer as I wish for. I have not really talked about any issues regarding SSA and myself much since the day I shared. I still find it incredibly hard to talk about and get emotional when I do. I guess I have alot of wounds still to deal with. But its good as they have not brought it up much really. I know they accept me where I am and love me which is cool so maybe there is nothing else to be said about my struggles with SSA for the time being? I appreciate all the advice many of you gave me in my last post. It was and is very helpful to me. I have to realize I may never be able to connect with others completely how I hope to but I am going to keep trying of least. I do know that I am showing more of my real self very slowly when I go to the small group so that is good. Of least I am making progress although its slow for me. Even with my struggles in the open with my small group I often feel I am not important enough for others to care about or that I am a bother or something and that if I share how I am really feeling at times when I am down or feeling lonely they will be annoyed or think I am to much trouble. Have to work on that as I know its probably not true and likely it is from years of low self esteem and shame.

2. I just got the book "Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son's Journey to God. A Broken Mother's Search for Hope" by Christopher Yuan and his mother Angela Yuan. I plan to write a review for it here when I am done reading it so check back for that! Looking forward to reading it!

3. I really love this video that I saw posted over on Dave's blog Its titled "The Church is Your Family: Reflections for Singles & Those Struggling with Homosexuality." It is a talk given by professor Matt Jenson at Biola University. Its all about how the church has to be family for those who are single or struggling with homosexuality and not act like singleness is a disease or something that should be looked down on. Really good stuff you should watch it! Its something the church really has to work on I think just providing a family like atmosphere for those who don't have families of their own because of their brokenness or for other reasons. That means more then just meeting Sunday mornings!! Check out the video below:

OK that's it for now. Just wanted to post a few small updates so you know I am still alive. :)


Friday, April 15, 2011

Shattered Walls

Sorry for not posting about my big night of sharing sooner. Ok here it goes.

Ok so that night I was sort of hoping my small group leader had forgotten that I had asked to share that night lol. But he emailed me a few hours before the meeting to ask if I still wanted to share so I was like oh man this is it I am really sharing. I was now in panic mode a bit and was like wow this is really happening. I then just spent a few quite moments with God telling him I am going to obey and do this even though it is very scary and that I trust Him that its for my good.

So I get to my small group and I am a nervous wreck. I just say hi to everyone and try to act normal. We sang a worship song after everyone was settled and I could not really even focus on it. Not sure what song it was. Then the leader asked if so and so wanted to share. I thought it was going to be me but no someone else wanted to share something too. So while she shared I was hoping that the time would run out or something and I would not have time to share lol. It was a cool story but I could not focus to much on it as I was to nervous about me sharing very shortly.

After she was done sharing the leader was like "AJ did you want to share something?" Gulp here it is! I replied softly yea and got written notes out of my pocket that I had written to read to the group since I knew I would never be able to be coherent and explain everything right without writing it down. Everyone seemed excited I was sharing as I am a pretty quiet guy and they have been interested in knowing more about me.

I got pretty emotional right away. Before I even started sharing. I told them how hard it was for me to share this but that I felt God wanted me too. And that I have never told anyone else about this struggle I have. So the first 2 paragraphs were about my history and about this being really hard for me to talk about and something that I have never shared and has filled me with shame. So I got through those and then got to childhood stuff and how I have always been sensitive and shy and had not many male friends and could not connect with guys and have had a lonely childhood.

Then I got to paragraph 3. This was the big one where SSA was mentioned and me having to say the words that I have kept hidden from everyone my entire life. I broke down again and they passed me the tissues :).

I recovered and said the words that I have dreaded saying my whole life it seems. I was like "I struggle with SSA and have since I was 12 or 13. I quickly glanced up to see if anyone had a horrified expression or whatever. But all I saw was love, care, and concern on their faces. So I continued and read the whole story. I told about all the pain and confusion I had growing up. The overwhelming shame and guilt. The wondering if God could love me or if I could even be a Christian and struggle with this. The loneliness. Everything. I threw it all out there. Of course I got emotional many other times while reading it.

And then the last page or so was about the ways God is working in my life and I told them all about that too!! And how I know God never abandoned me and how he gave me courage to share tonight and the truth I am learning about how much he loves me and how he choose me even knowing I would struggle with this. I mentioned getting support online from fellow SSA strugglers and how God used them to help me realize I am not a unique sinner beyond His love but just a sinner like everyone.

I then ended it saying I am sharing this because I want to be real for the first time in my life and hope to gain freedom by sharing. And that I would love to be able to count on them for support and prayers when I am feeling down. That I want to let them in and learn to love them better as Christ loves us and that I want to accept their love and not hide my struggles anymore.

Anyways to say there was a good reaction to my story would be an understatement! After I was done reading everyone just was sort of sitting in stunned silence for a few seconds. I saw several people where crying themselves at my story. Anyways then they all came over to me and hugged me one by one. Even the guys. I was afraid they would not do that once they knew but they hugged me longer then before they knew!! And it was so amazing and it was like God was hugging me when they all showed me Christ’s love like that.

Needless to say the rest of the meeting was about me. So we all talked and they asked me questions and they told me they love me and it has no effect on how they feel about me. One person even cried and apologized to me for the way the church treats people with this struggle and how its not right. I was like wow its not your fault but I appreciated her doing that and caring so much!

And one of the guys was like I love you even more now that you were so vulnerable and shared your story. That was a pretty crazy thing to hear. I am sure I teared up yet again lol. In my story I had mentioned I had pretty much accepted that I wont be healed of this the way I hoped and the leader after told me not to give up hope and just getting this in the open is a huge thing and God rewards those who take risks. He agreed with me though that its likely I will of least struggle with temptations for it even if I do someday experience some healing much like an alcoholic still struggles with being tempted to alcohol.

They all said how brave I was to share this and how inspiring it was to see someone be so vulnerable and honest. The leader said this is what Christian community is all about and that I was an amazing example to others in the group about being real and honest and vulnerable. Was so funny to hear him say that since my whole life I have been the opposite of real. And now suddenly I was an example to others on how to be real! Wow how one night can change everything.

After all that they then all prayed for me and laid hands on me and just spoke Gods love to me and how I am not a mistake. It was very healing and amazing!

Later that night afterwards several of the people from my group texted me later and thanked me again for being so vulnerable and real and said how proud they were of me and how my story actually encouraged them! And how it showed them that maybe they have to be more honest with the group about their own struggles. It challenged them to be more vulnerable and real. I was like wow who knew my own story could affect others who have totally different struggles? I guess thats why God asks us to share and be real so we can encourage one another on our journeys. Glad I finally obeyed God and did what He wanted. It was the scariest night of my life but also among the best too as I felt Gods love for me through his people.

I admit that several times since sharing I have felt rather weird or exposed you could say knowing that a rather large group of people know about me now. But I think that’s just Satan trying to make me feel shame again so I have been shaking it off. I know God is proud of me for sharing and it was the right thing to do! I am finally free with this group of people which feels amazing. No need to hide anymore they know all about me now and still love me not the same but MORE!! Satan had me convinced for so long they would judge and reject me. The truth was the opposite happened. He really is a master liar and deceiver. Thankful God broke through my shame and allowed me to see the truth!! And also amazed that my own story challenged and encouraged others who have totally different struggles.

So ya I dont know whats next but hopefully I become closer with them through this and learn to be honest when I am feeling down and get rid of the "everything is fine" mentality that I had for so long and just learn to be real. Its still a process as already at church when I saw them and they asked how I was I immediately went back to "Im fine" but I did manage to catch myself and said more after that. It does feel weird to be known struggles and all and I felt rather weird at church when I saw them wondering what they think about me. But those feelings passed quickly and so far its been great to be real. Will keep you all updated on things!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Looking Back Moving Forward

Wow guys I just realized a couple of days ago was the one year anniversary of my blog. The last year has been so incredible. I have had more growth this year then in many of the years before it combined. A year ago I was a lonely, confused, and hurting person filled with so much shame I could barely stand never mind move forward with my life. God found me at my weakest point and broke through my intense shame and low self worth to begin to show me His true love for me. He used many of you guys to help me more than you will ever know. Without your support, encouragement, prayers and advice I would still be in that place. I really do love you guys and thank you for responding to a hurting stranger with Christ's love.

I have poured out my soul on this blog and often the posts have been incredibly raw. Sometimes I want to go back and delete them after the fact but then decided to leave them up in case some day another hurting person finds them and they are a help in some way like others blogs have helped me so much.

In the last year I have grown so much. My confidence has grown. I actually go to social events and manage to enjoy them even though I am still quiet but even going is something I never used to do. I shared with a couple of family members about my struggles with SSA after much help and encouragement from several of you who kept pushing me and encouraging me and gave me tons of advice. My relationship with these family members is so much better now that I have shared this and we are more open and honest then ever before and it is so much deeper!

Then I joined a small group at church which is another thing that has always filled me with fear since I always assumed I would have to wear a mask and not share my real struggle. Still I went (after much encouragement from you all) and it has been so amazing for me. To see that these other Christians have very real struggles that they have to deal with has been such a help to me. They have hurts and pains just like me. It may be a different struggle but me having this does not make me worst then them. We all have something to deal with. Seeing them be so vulnerable and real has given me courage!

And moving forward there is another very HUGE thing happening in the near future. I am sharing with my small group about my struggles. The date is already set and I told the leader I want to share my whole story to the group so there is no backing out! I will be sharing next week and this is a pretty scary thing but something I know God wants for me. He has been with me every step of the way on this journey and He won't abandon me now. I know that I will get some freedom after sharing and can finally let them in to see the real me that I always have hidden both the good, and the hurt and pain, everything. Basically I will finally be showing my humanness and weakness and need for a savior and not be pretending I have no problems and "everything is fine". Its great to finally be joining the human race lol. :) Also me being vulnerable with this group will help me to get closer to them as well and show them I trust them. I am hoping it also gives others in the group courage to share struggles that they have and have been ashamed to share.

I will be sharing both my pain growing up with this struggle, my hurts, rejections, feelings of being "less than" other guys and wondering if God could even love me because of this. And also the incredible ways God is working in my life now and how he led me to a group of strangers with the same struggles who showed me the truth of Gods love and how he has used them to encourage and change me. I also will share about my renewed love and thankfulness to Him for how he rescued me from my prison of shame and lies that Satan had been convincing me where the truth about myself. I am going to share how I learned I am worth something to God and loved by Him how I am now. And that I know he won't abandon me on this journey as I move forward even though it will be hard and lonely at times.

Anyways a year ago I never would have dreamed I would be doing this. I never would have even considered going to a small group never minding sharing my biggest secret that has filled me with shame for most of my life! That just shows the power of Gods love and how he can change a scared and shame filled person into a brave person as for me this is a pretty brave thing to do! I know God is giving me the courage to do this as on my own I never would be able to.

Anyways the last year has been the most painful and also the best year of my life because it was the year God finally got through to me and showed me my worth as his Child. I am tearing up as I write this thinking about all I went through this year and how much courage it took and how out of character it was for me. God truly was with me all the way and gave me the courage to do it. Thank you so much those who have commented, emailed, chatted, messaged, talked, and become friends with me for the encouragement and support you have given me. I can never repay you for it.

Praying this year is even more amazing and filled with more growth for both me and you all too! A huge step will be happening next week for me so I have a feeling everything is going to be different pretty quick! I am going to get messy and show people the real me the hurts and pains and the good stuff too. :) I of course would appreciate prayers that it goes well when I share with my group.

Love you guys,


Friday, March 11, 2011

Pray the Gay Away?

Earlier in the week the documentary "Pray the Gay away?" hosted by Lisa Ling aired on Oprah's network OWN. Its worth watching and gives all sides to the debate on whether its possible to be Christian and gay. I feel overall it was pretty fair in its handling of exodus and those who choose not to act on their attractions. I was afraid it would be edited in a negative light and look down on those who choose not to embrace the gay lifestyle despite their attractions. Worth watching if for no other reason then to see what its like when one struggles with this and the way it makes you question your faith at times and look for answers.

The episode is now online at! Here is the link to watch the full episode: Pray the Gay Away? Full Episode

Also after this episode aired they had a special with host Gayle King where she interviewed Lisa Ling and got updates from many of the people that appeared in her documentary "Pray the Gay Away?"

Here is the link to watch the special that featured discussions on the documentary "Pray the Gay Away?" and updates from people who were interviewed in it: Pray the Gay Away? The Conversation Continues...