For most of my life I held onto a secret that I thought would make my whole world come crashing down if anyone ever found out. That secret was my attraction to the same sex. The realization sprung on me in middle school and after many days of thinking this was just a phase, I found myself still stuck with this secret. Around that same time in middle school I was involved with Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and even though I grew up knowing about God and Jesus and Devil, I didn’t really think I needed a savior. With this newfound dilemma though, I didn’t know who else I could turn to but God.
I “surrendered my life to Christ” one night at the alter of a church that was hosting their annual fall festival. I thought all my problems would go away, but they didn’t. I found myself trying to fix myself. I did away with all the things that I was involved with that didn’t seem masculine enough. I dropped orchestra, dance, choir and art club only to sign up for the freshman football team in high school. I do believe in my heart that I accepted the life Christ wanted for me, but I faltered because results weren’t coming quick enough.
I continued to walk the hallways of high school keeping this secret, trying to mask it in all the ways I knew how. Sometimes that meant leaving behind things I once enjoyed, partaking in things I didn’t particularly enjoy and sometimes that meant lying to the people I cared about. They say hindsight is 20/20 and even though I was battling to keep this secret, God was working in me and pulling me towards Him. His desires became mine and I slowly began to find my identity in who God created me to be.
College was a super significant time for me. I joined Cru as a freshman and got to know some really cool people who were dedicated to being disciples of Jesus. And it was all fun and laughs until one night where I was asked to share about something I had been hiding from the world.
That night I shared my deepest, darkest secret for the first time ever, and guess what? My world didn’t come tumbling down.
Since then, I had more opportunities to share, more opportunities to open up, to risk being rejected, to continue to hide, to practice being open and vulnerable, to test God’s promises and see Him come through. I’ve done things I’ve never thought I’ve done before, things I thought would kill me due to psychological or emotional stress. Yet, here I stand, a testament to God’s faithfulness. I’m unlearning and re-learning a lot of things. I have a better grasp on grace, became a little more unapologetic and picked up some of those activities I used to love. Occasionally, I mess up, get caught up in the lies and bury myself into darkness, but with God and community I have always found myself getting back up and pressing forward.
Now I’m on staff with the organization that dared me to bring my secret to the light and I hope I’m able to help other college students do the same. And in all this, to God be the glory because this is the story God gave me.