It’s funny how questions have a way of penetrating all sorts of defenses put up by the human psyche. One of the greatest forms of debate is based on asking questions (that would be the Socratic form of debate…FYI). It was one question that broke my back and finally brought me to the feet of Jesus. Yet here in this moment I am confronted with one question still. “Do you regret leaving the ‘lifestyle’?”
It’s tempting to dismiss this question for fear of appearing sacrilegious. What if I was to say that I did regret coming back to the Lord? What would people think of me? The consequences to the answer of this question have the potential to decimate any hopes of any happiness left to acquire. Nevertheless, it’s a question that has come to my attention by several of my friends and it’s a question I have sat down and thought of thoroughly. Why ‘thoroughly’ you may ask. After all, if this is something genuine, shouldn’t the answer be clear?
If there is one thing that I have learned through my struggles is this: You have to be honest with yourself. You cannot accept a notion, or feeling, or even a doctrine based on what other people may want. Being honest with yourself means searching out answers to questions, and above all not being afraid to ask them. Of course, this also means you have to be prepared to deal with what you find. I thought of this question thoroughly because I want to make sure that I am being honest with myself. In other words, If I truly regret coming to the Lord, I must be honest and admit it. However, If I truly desire to be where I am now, than it must be because I truly desire it. Not because of some notion to appease a religious circle. I hope what I am saying makes sense so far. If not, please keep reading, I think it will.
So, do I regret leaving the gay lifestyle and coming to the Lord? If I am honest, I have to say that the decision to return to my savior is a decision that was made with great costs. I have made many enemies because I have decided to leave the gay lifestyle. Even some who claimed to be close friends of mine. This decision also cost me a relationship that I valued greatly. Even still in the midst of these it has brought me face to face with many hidden pains and insecurities that I wish I didn’t have to deal with. At times, the pain of regrets, failures, and lack of understanding can seem unbearable. Yes there is pain in this path. It would be so much easier for me to just drop everything, stop fighting, and jump right back where I came from…
So another question comes forth. Why don’t I? And it is in this question that I find my transparency. I don’t jump back into the lifestyle, not because I’m afraid of offending religious people. Pft, please, I’ve been there done that (I’m actually quite good at offending religious people). It’s not for fear of some punishment (I did not fear it before; I definitely would not fear it now). It’s not to keep a good face or whatever it’s called these days. If I’m honest; which I believe with all my heart I am, I have to say, that I don’t go back to the lifestyle because I genuinely do not regret my decision in leaving it.
I would not lie to you; this is definitely not a bed of roses…..well maybe the ones with thorns…big thorns. But where I am now, is so hard to explain in a post. I look at days like adventures. Every day is a different struggle (this may sound bad but it’s not). I feel God’s power everyday fighting in me, for me, and for glory. I learn so much about His plan for me. How He loves me. How He has always loved me even when I was not looking for Him, even when I mess up now. God has shown me, that what He wants is me, all of me. He wants my failures, my weaknesses, my strengths, my desires, my laughs, my cries, my all. I can’t begin to describe the feeling that I get, waking up and knowing that God wants me. And even if I get fat, or if I actually keep my workout goals, He’s still going to want me. Even when I’m old, even when I ask dumb questions, He still wants me. I see what He’s created me for. He’s shown me the deceit of the lifestyle (ooh I’m sure I made some people mad now). I see the pain it has cost me and many people I know…or knew. Some have resorted to taking life in their own hands…by ending it. Why, would they do such a thing if the lifestyle was so great and so enjoyable?
I’m tired of the lie that keeps being chucked in my face, “this is who you are”. No, its not. I have many struggles, but these don’t define who I am. God tells me that I am precious, fearfully and wonderfully made. That lifestyle tells me that sexuality defines who I am. When you live a life based on your sexuality, appeal, and/or need for intimacy, you live a life that eventually will drop you in the midst of an empty bottomless hole. Always seeking that which you think you almost have, only to find out, you don’t have it at all.
At any rate, as I sit here I genuinely say, I do not regret in the slightest bit leaving the lifestyle. Not one bit. However, I do regret the pain I have caused those whom have genuinely loved me. I wish in many ways I could take back so much. I wish I would have made the decision to come to the Lord before I had the opportunity to cause such pains. This, I regret more than anything.
I say this to you who may struggle, are curious or are flat out in the lifestyle, I would desire all of you to stay away from it. Ultimately however, this is a realization everyone has to come to on their own accord. I can tell you till I’m blue in the face, how awesome it is to walk with the Lord. If this would bring you to Him, trust me I would tell you till my face was not only blue but purple with pink dots. But at the end of the day, this is something you have to search out for yourself. When God brought me back, He brought me through much trial, searching, questions, and more searching….and more searching. I hope that for you it may be different. That you may run to the Lord and avoid one day looking back and saying ‘I wish I would have done that sooner’.
Juan Castillo Jr.
- Holding Onto Hope (randythomas.co)
- In the beginning there was me and I walked alone (hihfaf.wordpress.com)
- Thursday Evening of Exodus Freedom Conference 2012 – Hope Harris (randythomas.co)