No More Hiding – Real Stories for July 2012

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No More Hiding by Melinda Holloway

I became a Christian at the age of eight and I was taught from the Bible that homosexuality was an abomination.  So when I began having same-sex attractions in my early teens, they scared me.  I wondered how I, as a devoted Christian, could be tempted by not just any sin, but THAT sin. God knew about my struggle. But because of my fear of rejection, I would not talk to anyone about my struggle.

After I got married my struggle continued to grow and it encompassed my daily thought life so much so that I came very close to falling physically with a couple of my friends.  I was terrified of jeopardizing my marriage, but I also wished I WOULD be found out so that I could get relief from the enormous burden of juggling what I knew to be sin, and walking out a true Christian life. Being convinced that everyone in my life would abandon me if they knew of my struggle, I resigned myself to this life of secrecy.

But God had much more planned for me than a life of ducking and hiding.  He took me on a spiritual journey that would eventually lead me to a life that I never dreamed possible.  On this journey He used His scriptures as mile-markers for me.  The first verse was Matthew 10:39, “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” He began pruning my righteous pride.

After many months of His pruning of abilities in which I had staked my confidence, I was given a second verse, Psalm 34:18 – “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”   By this time I was definitely crushed in spirit and very humbled.  With my softened heart, God had fertile soil in which he cultivated a deeper understanding of His grace and His unconditional love into my life.

This was necessary to help me take the next step on my journey. My next mile-marker was James 5:16,  “…confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed.” The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” Fully realizing now that God was directing this journey, I eventually told ONE person – which happened to be someone I was struggling with at the time.  I had obeyed, but He still had more for me.

I had not wanted to admit that this secret sin had become an idol in my life. I was holding onto it because it was meeting a deep need for acceptance in my life.  But God wanted to be the one to meet that need.

God strongly encouraged me to tell my husband, parents, pastor, and friends.  He knew that revealing my sin would disarm the Enemy and release the control I had let him have in my life.  Satan had threatened me with my sin by illuminating it from behind and casting a huge shadow in front of me. The magnitude of my sin is all that I saw.  But God knew that when I confessed my sin openly it would be flooded with His light of grace and I would see it as something that indeed could be overcome with His help.

I still hesitated. But God immediately orchestrated events that would help me take the next difficult step.  Within the week a woman visited our small church. We became friends and she soon reluctantly told me that she was trying to walk away from lesbianism.  I was horrified!  I was so afraid that I would get in a situation that I would not be able to control.  I knew I needed accountability, but how could I be accountable if no one knew of my weakness?  I went through a week of anxiety attacks.

My husband asked what was bothering me.  I knew this was it.  I began crying as I told him that I had always struggled with other women.  I couldn’t even say the word homosexuality, but He knew what I meant. He paused for a moment, …and then he hugged me. After holding me for a time he told me that there was also something he had never told me. What he shared was just as huge as what I had shared with him. If he had revealed this at any other time in our marriage I would have been devastated.  But because of the weight of my sin and the relief I experienced by telling him, his sin in my eyes was no different than mine. The scales were balanced. Things were not completely settled that night, but God had opened the door to a healing journey for both of us. Since then we have truly become “one” in our relationship, instead of two separate, struggling parts.

After that night, I had opportunities to tell my pastor, my parents, and some other members of my family. And absolutely NO one rejected me.  My pastor educated himself and then counseled me. My parents wished I had told them of my struggle in my younger days so that they could have helped me.  My friends not only still accepted me, but they surrounded me with love and encouragement.

Since 1998 my revelation, God continues to grow me by leaps and bounds. The most important thing I learned was — to surrender my desires to Him, take Him at His Word and walk out His truths in my life – like the truth found in II Corinthians 5:17 “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.”  Even if I didn’t feel like a new creation sometimes, I walked in that truth and God blessed my obedience.

Surrendering my life to His Lordship was and is the key. And I have experienced the fruit of this surrender in my life.  Where I once struggled with thoughts and temptations EVERYDAY, I rarely have a thought or temptation in that area.  But when I do, God uses it to teach me how He will continue to meet my needs with Himself.  Because 2 Peter 1:3 states that …His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. “

Please do not settle in your life this side of Heaven. God always has more for His children.  Press on in the race He has set before you. Hebrews 12:1 tells us to, “Lay aside every encumbrance and [the] sin which so easily entangles us and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…”

God has abundant life for you.  Where Satan sought to destroy my life, God redeemed it for His purpose.  He is changing me from glory to glory!  I finally understand the very first verse God gave me at the beginning of my journey with Him, Matthew 10:39 – “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” 

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Melinda was one of several who shared a powerful testimony at our recent Exodus Freedom Conference.  She is the Exodus Church Association contact person at Crossroads Church in Hammond, LA where she leads a discipleship ministry called True Freedom for those impacted by homosexuality. 

 

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