When I was 10, I had my first crush - except that it was an attraction towards a girl and not a guy. Deep down, I knew that acting upon my same-sex attractions was a sin. I had come from a Christian home and I had experienced God in different areas of my life and so, it was even harder for me to reconcile my struggle with following Jesus. Yet, speaking about the struggle with sexual sins seemed unheard of - a taboo. Over the years, I prayed that God would take these same-sex attractions away but they continued.

I had many questions - if God loved me, how could He allow this? If He was all-powerful and if nothing is impossible for Him, why didn’t He cause this struggle to disappear instantly? Was I part of a flawed design? I grew tired and frustrated with questions that didn’t seem to have an answer.

I was angry at God and the church. His word started to feel like a rulebook, and following God like a ritual. I craved freedom, to be able to do things my own way, on my own terms. It felt like there was no reward in following God. I stopped seeking God as I felt tired and frustrated, and it felt like there was no hope in sight. Drinking, same-sex relationships, and self-harm became comforts to cope with my inner turmoil. But nothing and no one could satisfy.

God brought friends and mentors to listen without condemnation, to pray for me, to love me at my worst. One day in late 2017 I was overwhelmed by God’s Love – His incomparable love that loves us just as we are, His everlasting love that pursues us endlessly, His love that can bring light to the darkest places so that we no longer have to live in the shadows of sin, shame, and condemnation. I finally knew what it meant to be a lost sheep and a prodigal, know the love of our Father who like the good shepherd would leave everything to pursue the lost one, and when we return to Him, embrace us with joy (Luke 15). I decided to choose Jesus that day. A relationship with Jesus instead of a religion. I still struggle with same-sex attractions but I pursue purity because I love God and want to honor Him. I believe that Jesus continues to work in me as I choose Him daily. I believe that He wants us all to live a life of abundance in Him. There is joy, hope, and freedom in choosing Jesus.