Last summer, right before I came out of the closet, I was still leading worship every Sunday in church. It was a scary time, because I knew this massive change was coming for me, for my family and for the church, but it was also rich and good. God was meeting me in powerful new ways, and I would often get choked up as the lyrics took on surprising and powerful new meaning and poignancy.

Example: I’ll never forget singing “Multiplied” by NEEDTOBREATHE and having this line just knock me over… “God of mercy, sweet love of mine, I have surrendered to Your design…”

For so many years I had “struggled with same-sex attraction.” I had been taught, and I believed, that I was basically a straight man with a unique temptation. A “normal” human being with a sick little twist. And I hated that part of me. I fought against it with everything I had. For decades.

Can you imagine something as intrinsic to your identity as your sexuality being somehow labeled broken, sick and perverted? Straight friends, try to remember when you first knew you were straight. Can you even separate it out? Is there a “straight” part of you and then “the rest” of you? Imagine being told, and then REALLY BELIEVING, that “you” are OK, but your “straightness” is not. How would that even work? With enough time, prayer and work, could you somehow renounce your straightness? Somehow be you without your straightness?

It took a lot of time and prayer and reading and conversation and really hard work to let go of what I had believed for so long. But thanks be to God, I can finally say I’m healed of my “struggle with same-sex attraction.” I finally accept that I am a perfectly normal gay man. I have surrendered to God’s design for me, and I am finally free.