By Ronald McCray
Ronald McCray lived as a gay-identified man for six years and didn’t think he could ever change.
Like many in the LGBT community, I used to ask myself can God change me? More specifically, I wanted to know if He — God, the Creator of the Universe, possessing all power in heaven and in earth — could take away my attractions for the same sex. I prayed and prayed to that end asking God to remove these seemingly innate desires, but there was no change.
Although I was raised in the church, the reality of my same-sex attraction caused me to question my Christian identity. I questioned whether or not I'd ever experience a change of affections, as if that was the only issue I faced as a sinner in need of redemption from my sin nature. I questioned if I'd ever experience marriage, a family?
All I knew was I had these attractions that I didn't ask for. If God could change a gay-identified person, I had not seen any examples. That is, until years later, God would shift the very foundations of my life and reveal Himself to me in a way that was undeniable. He told me He'd make me the change I desired to see. I lived my life as a gay-identified man for six years.
Gay marriage wasn't recognized as an institution at that time, but, even if it was, I don't think I could've gone that far. I did, however, want to be loved by a man. And sometimes I thought I had found love. However, for one reason or another, the relationships never lasted very long. Once lust was fulfilled, it was on to the next one. My understanding of love was me giving my body away. The more of myself I gave, the more of myself I lost. I had become addicted to sex.
Sex was the hit I needed to convince myself that I am worth something to someone, even if it was just for a few moments. I held on to the hope that I'd find love that would satisfy the emptiness I was feeling inside. I couldn't deny the void I felt within. But I couldn't explain it.
The clubs, the parties, the men — none of it could fulfill me in the way I longed for. My heart was crying out for something deeper than the shallow experiences of the one-night stands, something more consistent than the frequent relationship changes, and something of more value than the desire of being wanted by men I didn't know.
One night, my friends and I were in a packed club. The music was blasting, sweaty bodies were touching, and there were beaming lights piercing through the rising steam. I was in my element. While I was out on the dance floor, I heard a voice in my head say to me 'I have so much more for you.'
"So much more??" What could be better than a life without limits? I had the freedom to love whomever I wanted and however I chose to. A life where I was my own god and lived life according to my own rules. In reality, this life I lived was a big lie. It is a fantasy world for someone who lives as if God doesn't exist, and as if His Word isn't the final authority for all mankind, or worse yet, that He won't return to judge the world in righteousness and according to the deeds done with and in our bodies.
The God who created the heavens and the earth was issuing a divine invitation for me to forsake all I had ever known for a life in covenant with Him, which was far greater than anything I could ever imagine.
He wanted me to understand that I would gain more in Him than anything this world could ever offer me. All I had to do was surrender my life to Him. But to surrender would mean I had to surrender my gay identity. Moreover, I had to turn from everything God calls "sin" to a life He calls "holy". Deep inside, I didn't want to be gay. Yet, I couldn't imagine what life would look like if I gave it up and would forsake everything I knew in exchange for a life I had not known in following Jesus.
I had gained so much in my gay identity. I was loved by many, accepted in a community of people whom I could relate to, and I gained status. However, in all of this, I lost what was most valuable to me — my faith and the reverence I had for God. I lost close connections with family. I lost all attraction for women.
What I had gained by choosing sin over Christ couldn't compare to the immeasurable blessings I'd have by saying 'yes' to Jesus and walking away from this life. And one day, I said 'yes' to Jesus and He changed my life. Jesus transformed my life after being filled with the gift of the Holy Ghost on October 18th, 2009 (Acts 2:38).
In my heart, I knew I was changed. But there were times I questioned my salvation in light of my temptations. I learned that I am not defined by my temptations — I am defined by what God says about me in His word. Now my life has changed in more ways than I could have imagined.
If the church would have told me God was okay with my homosexuality, it would have robbed me of everything God had in store for my life. I have seen the marvellous light of Christ. Why is the light of Christ so marvellous? Because when you've lived in darkness, that's all you know. The splendour of His light and love pierced through the shadows I once lived in and has illuminated a new path for me to walk upon. Had the Church affirmed my homosexual identity and told me God was okay with it, I would have missed everything God had for me.•
This article appeared in the Christian Post.