Coming Out

Coming Out : A testimony of Grace

“Hi, my name is Yiskah* and this is my confession.

Often homosexuality does not come as a conscious choice. It is a consequence of experiences, strong emotions, needs and dire straits we live through and endure, some of which we might not even consciously be aware of.

What I write, I write out of love, out of the need I see for this and the nudge I sense regarding the topic. All my life I have felt this urge, this urge to be accepted, this urge to be loved, to be hugged, to simply “be”….just who I am. And throughout my life, this natural urge has been violated – sometimes consciously.

I remember these moments of sweetness, with my father and mother, where I felt completely safe and loved. I remember the awe of who I am, as I recognized it, as a little girl. I still remember all that. All I had to do was look at my parents and I found affirmation of being wanted, of being accepted and loved. I could just be ‘me’ and that made me a hero already, in their eyes, in Gods eyes.

As I grew up things changed. I felt the need to earn the love I yearned for. Why, I am not sure but I did…and sometimes still get confused and do. I felt insufficient the way I was, felt insecure of who I was. As a teenager I looked for something most likely to guarantee such affirmation: a boyfriend. Somehow I never ended up with one though. Instead I found affirmation in adults…many of them men. It was just natural and easy for me to socialize with men and boys. I had wanted to be a boy for some years of my life and it somehow just came natural and at ease and that made me feel at home; it uncomplicated my life to some extent. I was so not into all that girly stuff, I wanted to be a hero (like in many books I read), wanted to be looked up to, acknowledged, praised for the good I did, celebrated and yet I didn’t want to push others towards finding me that way. I lived up to the highest standards I could set myself (even though I often failed), I became the best friend I was looking for, myself, I became the help others needed, the shoulder to cry on, the strong fortress and protector, the one who’d understand. Yet my own heart remained empty and longing.

I longed for all I became… a friend, someone to affirm and protect me, someone to love me and hold me and allow me just to ‘be’. Sure I had my family, but we all know teenage years complicate matters at times. So while I became what I myself needed, inside of my soul I withdrew…I became alienated from others (though it wasn’t showing much) and from myself (which only at times I recognized).

Experiencing 10 years of bullying in school and sexual abuse from adult male acquaintances did not help the matter. It merely reinforced the thought that I had to look out for myself. I was convinced by now that the only way to survive was to be in control as much as I could.

Throughout my teenage years there had been this attraction to certain women; women that seemed strong enough for me to just ‘be’ when I was with them. They seemed gentle and yet strong, sensitive yet not girly. I tried being close to them but it never occurred to me (it wasn’t that common in the 90’s) that I might be attracted to the same sex. In my last year of school two classmates had their ‘coming out’ and I was confronted with such an option for the first time. I remember the first time I longed to be close to a woman in that way. It was scary yet contained the strongest surge of longing I had ever known.

In the years that followed I had first homosexual contact with another woman. In her arms I felt safe, I felt accepted, I could cry and hurt and yet be considered strong and not lose face. I got to know lust and love. And most of the times they were intertwined in a way that made them inseparable. The lust I experienced was true, was rough edged yet sensitive, strong yet vulnerable and all of the time it was a strong physical reaction of longing and need.

The true satisfaction I found was in the love, not in the lust. The arms that held me, the close proximity and safety I experienced when being with the person I loved. The knowing even when the lust subsided the emotional safety experienced was existent and in vulnerability my soul tied to hers’.

My ‘coming out’ was a violent struggle... I had it in a time of not being in a relationship, it cut away the bond I had always experienced as a security and had had with my parents. It was confrontational and many words were said that were meant to hurt and to build a safety wall around me.

And once these walls were up, I would cower and seek refuge the only place I found left, in the community of others that understood – the homosexual community.

From the beginning my faith in God and my love for women seemed to repel each other. I desired to reconcile them, but to be honest, always failed and in the end the lust-love-bonds I experienced were stronger. Struggles would arise and then subside like tides crashing against the coastline. Sometimes I found the tear and wear of them close to unbearable, at other times I was able to push these feelings aside and laugh them off.

At some stage – I was not in a relationship – my personal needs for a refuge and a creator, that had some direction and hope for me, got me ended up in a church again. Finding the living God in the midst of my needs enabled me to cut loose from my lust-love-bonds and I started walking the path of a Pentecostal Christian. Some few months into it all, I backslid and returned to my lesbian life; clearer than ever I felt the incompatibility of my faith and my feelings for a woman.

To be honest, like most times, the relationship didn’t last. However I ended up in another relationship and that looked very much like a life-changing one. I truly loved her; I loved her as much as I lusted for her. I wanted to marry her….this seemed to be the one.

It was no church that pulled me back to God…it was no people…it was God.

Somehow the desire to be affirmed, to be vulnerable and not be strong, to be who I am, to get to know who I am, to fill that hole of longing and drawing emptiness, made me realise: I didn’t want to live without my woman, but I couldn’t live without God. Crazy as that might sound.

I ended up in turmoil of emotions, struggling this out. When I decided to walk the rest of my days down the paths of God it was not a decision based on a condition I set, it was surrender. I couldn’t help but recognize that a life without God was without the essence of what I needed to truly live. I surrendered not knowing if God would ever change my affections for women to a desiring of the opposite sex. It didn’t matter at the time. I had found love…love without lust.

Lust had always been the strongest motivation and the love that I had in the relationships kept the lust alive and addictive while creating the delusion that I was safe and could just ‘be’.

Now I had found a love that was gentle and specific, yet not lustful and addictive. It didn’t enslave me to the pornography I knew involved; it didn’t leave me empty and not wholly fulfilled after its best shots. I had found faith – a faith still vulnerable, tentative and yet quickly becoming an urge voluntary, yet necessary just like the air we breathe.

It was a struggle for many months, changing addictive patterns and habits due to a change in my mind and spirit. My soul didn’t always want to obey… I had many moments of failure in the process but I decided to stick with it for my own sake.

What happened in a process that took 10 months is not easily described sufficiently in words. In short: my sexual attraction to women got changed to one for men. Not due to conditioning (If you have been there, you know that will never work if you are honest), but due to God’s divine intervention. I was no longer a lesbian. I wasn’t even bisexual. I was now a heterosexual woman. This was a scary path; it was painful and most of all, it was unknown to me.

The church I joined was unable to walk the path of healing and mourning with me that followed my decision to split up with the woman I considered the love of my life. They were unable to see the hurting heart beyond the bright shining outside screaming ‘sin’. It was thus a lonely path...one with many well meaning people around that prayed and taught me to change habits and re-calibrate my life, that decided to accept the woman, they saw as sinful, in their midst and love her none the less.

I decided to stick with my decision, and it’s been more than 12 years since. I had nothing more to lose. I decided to cling to Christ, rather than the people. I did not trust the church people fully; I decided to trust God instead. I became strong, wilful and determined. A Christian with direction and hope, determination and knowledge and I succeeded in doing so. Lust got replaced by religiousness at first and throughout the years is slowly changing to authentic and vulnerable yet love-motivated faith.

I only recently discovered some causes that I addressed in my first paragraph as unconscious dire straits. I was sexually abused for many years as a child (- my parents didn’t know). Such experiences cause a need for control over one’s own life and let a survival mode set in. Working through such trauma is never easy as it illuminates parts of a picture to clear to bear, that suddenly explains paths chosen subconsciously – such as homosexuality.

Homosexuality is often not a conscious choice. It is a survival mode that kicks in due to some possibly even illogical reason. It is a yearning for love and a discovery of lust-love-bonds that are stronger than one’s will and ability to stay away. Homosexuality is always at least partially connected to pornography. It is a silent yet abundantly loud cry for the need to be accepted, to be affirmed, to be celebrated for who you were created to be, to be protected and loved. Either way, it IS a choice… one that we can choose to stick with (no matter under which conscious or unconscious circumstances it was made or not) or we can choose to leave as lifestyle. We are not victims in our decision-making.

Homosexuality is not the root-cause but the fruit. The fruit of a broken society, of broken people (even when they come from good and solid homes) pretending to be independent, to be in control and pretending most of all to be happy and being lord over their own lives.

Living a homosexual lifestyle is not compatible with the Bible – no matter how you try to turn and twist it. Yet it doesn’t eradicate the deep and inherent longing for a Saviour and unconditional love.

I say I have been healed of homosexuality because I no longer desire what I lusted for then…the idea or even pictures of women don’t turn me on and the causes of my subconscious decision to choose a lesbian life have found healing through Christ. I know many who considered themselves homosexuals and now no longer do – due to God’s intervention and healing power. I also know a few who earnestly desire to be released from their homosexual desires by God but have unto this day not been. Why I cannot say.

One thing I know: We all yearn for acceptance, for true unconditional affirmation and love, for a place we can consider the safest place on earth where we can just ‘be’ as raw as we are, as sore as we are, as vulnerable and broken and crippled as our souls are and yet not fear.

There is only one place to find it: at Jesus feet, in surrender and rendering control to Him. It is a decision of immense trust, a decision of sacrifice and it feels like walking on water many times again and again. Yet there is nothing that can compare and it is SO worth it.
May you experience this love and dare to take the first step.
Yishka*.”

*For privacy purposes, names in this article have been changed. Please contact me if you would like to get in touch with the author.”

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