As a youngster, chasing the girls on the playground was something I really enjoyed. I loved the attention I received from them, and being really fast on my feet afforded me a boost of confidence each time I snagged one. I really liked girls and enjoyed spending time with them. They were fun, pretty, and sensitive—words that had often been used to describe me. I guess I related to girls in some way and felt more comfortable being myself around them. I had lots of girlfriends throughout my school years, but never kept one around for very long or allowed them to get too close.
Yes, I liked girls, but the hidden truth was, I also liked boys. I liked boys in a way that my Grandma and the preacher at the church I attended said I shouldn’t.
Anticipation, love, excitement, and gratitude are some of the common words I have heard expressed by people describing how they felt on their wedding day; for me, it was fear. For months I had been praying, meditating on Biblical passages, fasting, and believing that I would attain a passionate desire for my wife. The only hope I had to hold onto was the deep-seated religious belief that as we said our vows, God would supernaturally transform me from gay to straight.
It was a complete disaster! After four tumultuous years of marriage, I walked away from my wife and my flourishing ministry career.
I had lived my whole life caring more about what others thought of me than what I did, blaming God for not changing me, and immersed in self-pity. I lived stuck in a man-made prison for which I unknowingly had the key. The time had come for me to stop hiding from who I was and to come out of the shadows. Through much prayer, therapy, and unconditional support, I was able to leverage myself out from the endless tunnel of self-righteous judgments, shame, and self-hatred; redirecting a new path for myself.
How often do we buy into the lie that says if it’s supposed to happen it will be, or we are a product of fate and there is nothing we can do about changing it? When we do so, we live trapped; trapped in our poverty, trapped in our depression, trapped in our jobs, and trapped in our abusive relationships. We live blinded to the reality that we CAN LIFT the LID off our circumstances and climb out of the box that keeps our life small. What if LIFE is waiting on us?
When Tameka began to put on weight, she never dreamed that she would end up here: 280 pounds, depressed, lonely, and now, diabetic. As she sat alone thinking about the countless times that she had been asked by her friends to attend a Zumba class or join a walking group, she’d laugh it off saying, “I will one day.” Disappointed with herself but determined to make a change, Tameka took responsibility, picked up her cell phone and reached out to LIFT the LID.
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