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But  God!

by Ted Drummond*  1999

Self-pity is often plagues those that appear different or abnormal, and self-pity, if left to rot in the soul, is destructive. 

Here's a perfect setting for developing self-pity: I was conceived just before my father left for China/Burma/India during W. W. II. When he returned, due to the death of his father, I was a little over one year old. Dad had fought in Asia, proud that he had a son at home waiting for him, but was hurt and disappointed that I took a while to warm up to him. And we never really warmed up—very similar to Homer and his dad in the film, October Sky. Dad never touched me.
Poor little me!

When I was around eight or nine, I began to be attracted to the male figure, and, being an artist by birth, I started drawing nude males. My parents were just converted about that same time, so my artistic tendencies—especially my interest in the male figure—were soundly squelched. My mother often chided me with, “You should be out there playing football with the boys instead of all this silly drawing,” I hated football, basketball, baseball! I was clumsy and uncoordinated. Poor little me!

Being a very sensitive person, I quickly realized that I had to act and talk a certain way in order to please people, especially my parents. So I began to commit the worst crime against my person—dividing it into the real me inside, which I always lied about or covered up, and the public me. As I grew older, I was more and more confused. I knew I was different, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. My self-pity turned into self-accusation, which quickly turned into depressions that plagued me until I was over 40 years old.

Oh, I had girl friends because that was the thing to do. But since I wasn’t attracted to them sexually, they felt safe with me. My parents chalked up this “good behavior” to “spirituality.” And, I never really acted out any of my homosexual feelings or dreams, except to sketch a younger, willing male cousin in the nude. Plus, without the temptations that abound in our society now, I had little to tempt me away from “doing the right things.”

But God! By His grace He had other plans for me, including ridding myself of self-pity. I almost made it to university on an art scholarship but ended up at a Bible College for four years instead. That was my salvation! I know now that had I gone to art school I would be dead either from drugs or AIDS—definitely a lost cause for God’s work! In college God graciously showed me that art was good, but teaching others—especially the Scriptures—was better.

In college I came to grips with my homosexual orientation. While I was glad to identify, that in itself seemed to heighten the pain and the temptations. I often cried out to God to change me or kill me. I began to hate who I was inside, because I realized that NO one would love me if they knew who I really was inside. Playing the game, always masquerading, pretending to be hetero gets painful. I just couldn’t understand why God made me the way I was. And, knowing what I was, why didn’t He protect me from temptations that sought to destroy me? I encountered some really deep, suicidal depressions as a result.

Through it all God showed me that depression is inward anger turned against one's self. The ultimate is being so angry with yourself and hating yourself so much that you kill yourself—suicide. I've been there!

My first sexual experience beyond masturbation was in college when I was sexually assaulted by my freshmen roommate, who was immediately expelled for doing it.

What hurt the most was that I really enjoyed it, yet at the same time felt violated and dirty. It was physical, which I craved, but not an ounce of love or rightness about it. That experience, however, opened the door for a mild homosexual relationship over the next two years with a guy who has become a life-long friend. All the while both of us knew everything we did was wrong, so we covered it up, felt guilty, and I got depressed, of course!

Trying to be a hetero, the only acceptable way in the 60's, I met and married a wonderful girl, who has been a faithful wife for 33 years now. Her love and semi-acceptance of me, even after I revealed who I really was down inside, have kept me from going off the deep end. Oh, I’ve struggled! I still struggle! I will always struggle with my handicap, but God — He is always victorious.

For the first two or three years of marriage things quieted down on the homosexual front, especially during the birth of our first son and seminary. My wife and I did everything “right”—went to seminary, then to the mission field for 20 years, raised three absolutely perfectly wonderful, straight sons, who are all believers and serving the Lord along with their superb wives. This year we finally hit the pinnacle of parenthood and our middle son gave us our first grandson.

While pastoring a large congregation in mid-America, the temptation to "come out" and find the homosexual love that I craved became very strong. I would be on the verge of saying, "You hate homosexuals? Well, you are looking at one!" But God would never allow me to "come out," except to a few close friends, my wife, and my sons. I know He lets some do that, and I envy their transparency, their privilege of being "one" person. But, God! God knows what is best for each of us and He is able to create a different pattern for each of our lives.

After 25 years of frustration and heavy, heavy ministry demands, I felt like retiring. But God asked us to come up here to start a new church, in New England. We just can’t figure out God, can we? I would have given up on me years ago!

When we hit the mission field in the early 70's, my wife and I were both very young and trying to be so perfect. I tried for 18 years to have good sex with my wife, until she revealed how much she disliked sex. That was a bomb shell! It seemed that I just couldn’t function anymore. That’s when the homosexual temptations really hit me hard. And my attractions for the Asian males around me grew and grew over the 12 years we served there. A fire was burning inside of me that almost killed me several times. But God!

My wife has often suspected  that I am sinning homosexually, so I avoid confiding in her. Coupled with that, society has begun to "open up" and provided me with opportunities to go deeper and deeper in my homosexual explorations—loving the physical pleasure more than I care to admit, but hating the fact that I knew God hated it. And every time I had an “affair,” God disciplined me quite severely--because He LOVES me! Do I serve myself or serve God? So I would “repent;” He would pick me up, dust me off, and, amazingly, send me off to continue ministering!

I know one of the main things that has kept me from leaving my wife, or really getting into the homosexual world, has been my love and commitment to Christ. Though He’s put me on a long leash, He always jerks it up tight when I come to the end of it. I just can’t turn my back on Him or stop serving Him. I could leave my wife, but then I know I couldn’t serve Christ. I can’t commit adultery by being intimate with others besides my wife and then go on serving Christ.

So I must remain celibate without physical love. My flesh cries out, “That’s not fair! You’re physical; you have needs!” But God is holy and asks us to be holy. And you can’t redefine holiness for the homosexual adulterer any differently than you can for the heterosexual adulterer. Sexual holiness means physical intimacy is reserved only for the heterosexual marriage. I have one, but void of any physical. Man, could I ever wallow in self-pity there!

I have studied counseling, taught counseling, and have done tons of counseling in my career. One thing I have concluded from all of it is that the mind is the male’s biggest sexual organ. There are so many verses of Scripture that tell us how important it is for Christ to be in control of our minds, such as Romans 12:1, 2. And even though I know that, when I get depressed, over-tired, under-exercised, my mind will take control of my thoughts, intentions and eventually my actions—despite my disgust. If I so much as entertain one wrong thought, I'm on the slippery slide away from Christ's control.

My greatest weapon against self-pity is finally realizing that I was born with a homosexual handicap, just like some people are born with Down's syndrome, or an enlarged heart, or a tendency toward substance abuse. Jesus told His disciples once that the blind handicapped man was born that way to display God’s glory. Wow! Human theology just can’t figure that one out—nor can I. But by faith, I know it’s true!

I have learned over the years of struggling, failing, and yielding to Christ, that no one, even myself, can overcome my handicap except Christ in me. And He loves me! He loved me knowing everything I that was going to be and do, some of which I haven’t even done yet! As Romans 8 tells us, nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. What an assurance that has been to me over the years! That’s amazing; and that’s what keeps me going.

What a wonderful gift the GLOW community is. I could have avoided a lot of pain and temptation in my past, had I had access to this community—especially their prayers! We are a Body, and when one member hurts they all hurt. When one rejoices they all rejoice. We bring honor to Him in our handicaps, and will some day all stand before His Throne —glorified! I can’t wait!

Also what a wonderful gift the GLOW community is. I could have avoided a lot of pain and temptation in my past, had I had access to this community — especially their prayers! We are a Body, and when one member hurts they all hurt. When one rejoices they all rejoice. We bring honor to Him in our handicaps and will some day all stand before His Throne — glorified! I can’t wait!

*Ted Drummond is a pseudonym

Note: We believe that, besides celibacy, Bible-believing SSA Christians also have the option of heterosexual marriage, if it is in God's plans. It is not necessary to become heterosexual in order to be attracted to one woman and have a satisfying marriage.

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04 Oct 2009 02:48 PM