I think we all have certain days in our lives that we will never forget. It could be a joyous triumphant one such as the day you met your significant other, our born again experience, or when you achieved a significant goal. But where there is rejoicing, there is also mourning. We all also remember days that were difficult such as losing a loved one or a job, or a bad break-up. This is what makes up our human experience. As much as we wish at times to live in a perfect world, until Jesus returns this will not be possible. We live in an imperfect, fallen world so it only makes sense. But the question I want to ask is this:
How then do we cope? How do we respond? What can we do about it? Does God even care when bad things happen…since He allowed it to happen?
I may not have all the answers, but I want to share with you one of these days that happened in my life that I’ll never forget: THE DAY I LOST MY INNOCENCE
As far back as I can remember, I knew that there was something different about me. I was well aware that I wasn’t like other little boys. Most boys would gladly choose to wrestle, play basketball, or any other activity that required yelling, running, the outdoors, or rough-housing. Not me! I’d prefer to stay inside, alone so I could read, play my gameboy, practice music or magic tricks. I didn’t really ever feel like I fit in with other boys. I didn’t know how to function or relate within team sport contexts, so I didn’t. I was too shy and introverted.
But even within this type of scenario, I did have one guy friend. I guess you could say we were best friends. I mean, we were all the time hanging at each other’s house growing up. In a lot of ways, we were opposites(I think that’s why it worked well). He had traits that I didn’t have so, at times, it did feel like a comparison battle. But we still enjoyed each other and spent a lot of time together. I guess I did know that I fit in with him at least.
I remember one particular night when I slept over at his house. That night, he introduced me to pornography. Thankfully, this didn’t become a habit later, but nonetheless, a door was cracked open. A door that later in the night would widely be opened. We usually would stay up very late playing Nintendo. This night though, things were different. It was still late but we ended up playing Truth or Dare instead. As you can imagine, as curiosity increased, so did the sexual experimentation. On this night, I lost a sense of my innocence. Though this never again happened between us, the damage was already done. Things that should not have been awakened were now. And so all of this only fed my internal on-going wrestle with being attracted to my own gender. This of course made things even more difficult to not sexualize other males. Since I didn’t know how to deal with this, I did what I thought was best. I tried to ignore it and not think about it. Doing this caused my friendships with other guys to suffer tremendously. I was afraid and full of shame so I put up walls constantly. I thought that if I ever chanced getting close to another male friend again, that the scenario would repeat itself. I didn’t want that so I kept all guys at a distance. By my own doing, this only made things worse because now I was cutting myself off of what I actually needed: male friendship. This is what I needed to grow in. I longed to be known and to know other men around me. But I didn’t know how to connect to get that and I didn’t think other men wanted that of me. I thought I had no value.
I could tell you countless stories of how I didn’t know how to enter into the “world of men” from all of this and the rejection that I received all along the way. About the pain of never feeling included and the shame of experiencing no attraction toward girls. But that’s not what this is all about.
What this is really about is the truth that no matter what you may have lost in your life, God is still able to restore and redeem. It might not look like what you imagine but He still has a plan that is good. He still can heal wounds of our past. But to do so, you have to give Him the depths of yourself and talk to Him about those most painful things. I promise, He will come. Sometimes He uses His presence and power, other times He uses people. Next week, I’ll share a tangible outworking of God’s goodness and how He used three individuals in my life. Know that there is always hope in God and that He will never disappoint.
“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” 1 Peter 1:6-7
We all have scars that tell our story. Though at times we may want to hide them, it’s a piece of who we are that we can never get rid of. But where there are wounds, God can heal and restore. So what once revealed something negative, now can show the glory of Christ and His work in a life.
LEAVE A COMMENT – SHARE YOUR STORY
Is there anything that you are avoiding dealing with or not letting God help you walk through? Are you able to still see God’s goodness even through difficult times? What scars tell of the glory of Christ in your life?