Coming Out of The Closet_ Again

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					Coming Out of The Closet, Again
                By
           Brodey Bowers
                                                                                          2




“Seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened to you.”
                                                           -Jesus Christ


To our Precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you for giving me this story to tell,
and for placing the people in my life who have helped to shape, form, and bring me into
the light of your Glory! Forever will I be your servant, forever will I be free.
                                                                   -Brodey
                                                                                        3




                                      Contents


Introduction………………………………..............................................................4
Forward by Barry Bowers………………..………………………………………..8
Chapter 1.……………………………...................................................................12
Chapter 2.……………………………...................................................................18
Chapter 3.……………………………...................................................................28
Chapter 4.……………………………...................................................................36
Chapter 5.……………………………...................................................................47
Chapter 6.……………………………...................................................................60
Chapter 7.……………………………...................................................................71
Chapter 8.……………………………...................................................................79
Chapter 9.……………………………...................................................................90
Chapter 10.…………………………….................................................................95
Chapter 11.……………………………...............................................................104
Chapter 12.……………………………...............................................................112
Chapter 13.……………………………...............................................................116
Chapter 14.……………………………...............................................................127
Chapter 15.……………………………...............................................................139
                                                                                                 4




                                      Introduction



        It began on March 7th, 2010 when I decided that my life had finally come to a
point that I was no longer willing or able to accept the way I was living and felt I needed
to make a change. I found myself walking along a wide and destructive path, alone, and
in a very dark place. I just ended a relationship with a man who I thought I had loved
very much, yet realized I was only taking advantage of the love and life that he
continually tried to give me; it was time to let him go.
        This man, who I’ll refer to as Jake, is someone that just 2 ½ years earlier I
thought would be my lifelong love and partner until the day I died. I can remember the
look on his face when I told him it was over, for good. He just sat there on the bed,
motionless, as if the life had been sucked out of him. I remember being incredibly
emotional that night. I had no clue what I was going to do and was so afraid of being
alone. I felt like I had taken one giant step in the right direction to finally facing my life
and the evil that had had a grip on me for so long.
        It was a Thursday night when we had the talk and after Jake decided to leave for
North Carolina to spend some time with a friend. I, on the other hand, had determined
that I needed to head out to the bars and begin experiencing this newfound freedom. I
had also wanted to be sure I had made the right decision which, after my weekend of
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partying, I concluded I had.
        Jake only knew a portion of what I was struggling with at the time. I had
confessed to him about a year before the break up that I had been unfaithful to him while
I was away on business, which was the truth. However, he did not know the fullness of
the other issues I was struggling with.
        It would not be until 6 months later that I would realize the full impact of my
decision to end the relationship with Jake. There were some very turbulent moments
following the break up that brought me into a new place in my life. Nothing in my life up
to that point had prepared me for the days that lied ahead.
        I was motivated to write this story after completing a journey that took me all
throughout our great nation and into the heart of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I
determined to set aside all of my addictions and unhealthy behaviors during the trip in
order to allow God to reveal to me who He was and how He wanted to use my life. I
knew something needed to change in my life and it was time that I found out just who
Jesus was, and what He had for my life.
        What follows is the journey of a young boy coping and healing from sexual
abuse, emotional abuse, substance abuse, sexual confusion, and much more. It is the
journey of a young man who was given a second chance at life, and in the process found
Jesus. Or, rather, Jesus found him. It is about the freedom that can only come when we
lay down our lives for the sake of Christ. It is about believing the when we seek Him
with all our heart we will find Him, and all He has to offer for our lives. It is about
proclaiming victory and true freedom in the Lord and taking back all that has been
robbed, stolen, and destroyed.
        My hope is that you will be able to come to understand a few truths by the time
you complete this book:
Coming out of the closet , as a gay man or woman, is a difficult place to be in life. My
                                                                                              6




    aim is to shine light on the emotional turmoil I faced in dealing with my own sins,
    and help to bring forth more compassion for a community of people who are
    desperately needing the love of Jesus.
We may never fully know what a person is dealing with, or how the Lord may be trying
    to use their life, but the goal is simple: Focus on changing our own lives, and it will
    have an impact on the lives of those around us,
The Lord is alive, He encounters us, speaks to us, and is calling us to come into
    alignment with His plan for our lives.
Jesus will change your life, if you are willing to let Him do it.
        I pray that those of you who read the words that are written within the pages of
this book receive deeper revelation of the transformational power of our Lord. And, that
you find it within yourselves to lay down your lives, pick up His cross, and take the
journey to the hill of salvation.
        I pray that you are able to walk in the freedom that comes from expelling the
darkest secrets of your life from the darkness and into His transforming light. I pray that
you experience the Love of our Lord in a new way, and that we begin to learn to love
ourselves unconditionally so that we may get on with the business of loving our
neighbors the same.
        I ask this in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Thank you for setting me free
Father, thank you for giving us the most precious gift in your Son. I will forever fight for
your glory, your name, and to set your children free.
                                                                                        7




             Struggling with Sexual, Substance, or Other Addictions?


Please contact a local pastor, or licensed/trained professional in your community for
help with your concerns. I am not a professional counselor and the following story is
only an account of my personal experience and victory overcoming my struggles with
addiction. While I would love to say that my way to recovery would work for everyone, I
believe each of us needs to consult a professional who has had experience helping others
overcome these addictions in order to help you understand your particular
circumstances. There are many more resources available to you, but these are just a few
that I have utilized for my own recovery and path to success. For more resources on
these topics please visit: www.saa-recovery.org, www.aacc.net,
www.exodusinternation.org.
                                                                                             8




                                        Foreword


        I want to start by simply stating and believing in my heart “THAT JESUS IS
AMAZING”…!! Actually, there are no earthly words that can adequately describe or
reveal the full measure of what the Lord has placed within my spirit concerning all the
wondrous things he has done in the life of my son Brodey, and within my family. In the
twenty-five plus years that I have been in a relationship with Jesus Christ I have never
seen God move more powerfully in a person’s life than what I have seen and experienced
in the life of my son. What the Lord did in Brodey’s life seemed to come at just the right
time, and the fullness of its impact on our family and the Body of Believing Christians as
a whole has yet to be fully realized.
        Prior to this life transforming change Brodey and I had not had a close
relationship as father and son mostly because of the separation we had experience when
his mom and I went through a divorce when he was only two years old. It was a month
after his mom and I became separated that the Lord used him even at that tender age, to
draw me closer to heaven myself. I had not seen my four children from this marriage
since our initial break up, and on that fateful weekend when time had been scheduled for
me to be with them he was the first one I picked up at the babysitters home.
        When I arrived he was taking a nap and when the sitter had told him that I was
here to pick him up I could here his feet hit the floor immediately and he ran and jumped
                                                                                               9




into my arms. When I saw how much he had changed in just that one short month I knew
that it was time for me to change my life. Since he has committed his heart to
encountering God, and to seeking a much needed change in his life we have virtually
spoken every day since he left for his God seeking journey across the country nearly one
year ago.
        He has now come beside our ministry efforts in Binghamton, NY and is playing a
vital role in partnering with others to advance the Kingdom of God within our
community. There is no earthly explanation for what has transpired. There are no man
made formulas, programs or institutions that can rationalize what the Lord has done
because it was not of this earth, it was truly heaven sent.
        For most of the twenty-five years I have been following and seeking God I have
ministered a great deal to men because I was in need of accountability myself, and having
been through the painful process of divorce I became more acutely aware of the
brokenness of families and specifically with fathers. In all the years I have been
ministering in this capacity I have never seen the Lord expedite the level of spiritual
maturity that I have seen take place within Brodey. During his fifty-five day journey
across the country and even up to this very moment, the Lord has continually revealed
biblical truths to him that many believers in Jesus Christ who have professed their faith
for decades have yet to understand or grasp hold of.
        At this very moment I could easily write a book about all that he and I have
experienced together, but the real purpose of Brodey’s book and of his story is not to
condemn or judge others for the way they have lived and are living their lives, but to
express to you with all his heart that it was the living, active, and unconditionally loving
God that turned him around one hundred and eighty degrees into the arms of Jesus Christ.
        If there is one thing I regret the most during the years that he was growing up
was intentionally letting him know how very much I have always loved him, and how he
                                                                                         10




has always brought great joy into my life. He is an amazing human being who I am proud
to call my son, my best friend, and a true brother in Christ Jesus.
        My prayer for you as you take this journey with him is that regardless of your
current position and season in life you will truly come to know the person of Jesus Christ
because it will be in your encounters with him that you will find peace, freedom and joy
such as you have never known before. I know, and so now does my son, that God is more
then able to finish the unique work He had started in you.


I love you Brodey, all of you, forever and ever amen.


Dad


                                     Barry D Bowers
  Director of Public Square and Its All About Jesus Ministries and author of the book:
“My Life is an Open Book: from the darkness of divorce into the light of God’s truth”
11
                                                                                         12




                                         Chapter 1




        It was day 32 of my journey when my Dad and I had an intense conversation
about my ongoing struggle with my flesh and lustful thoughts. During our discussion
that morning my father suggested that I ask the Lord to take me back to the time when
sexual sin was first introduced into my life.
        He said, “Just allow the Lord to reveal the truth to you and ask Him to help you
understand all that took place in your life.”
        I had agreed with my father that it would be beneficial for me to do so, so as soon
as I got off the phone I asked the Lord to take me back. Not only did I want him to take
me back, but I asked him to reveal to me His truth, and where He was during those
traumatic times in my life. On my drive through the Redwood Forest and California
coastline, the Lord began His work answering my prayer.
        He took me back to when I was about 5 years old. That is where it all began for
me. The Lord opened my eyes to seeing myself in several situations in which I had been
taken advantage of sexually during those years of my life. I had visualized in my mind
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being back in those places where I had been sexually abused. Not only was I visualizing
the scene playing out, but the Lord was also revealing to me the truth about the demonic
activity that was raging all around my life.
        The Lord took me back to the first time I could recall being abused. I was sitting
on the floor in a living room, I recalled the weather that day, what the carpet looked like,
what was on television; it was as if I were sitting there myself watching the scene play
out as an adult. Not only did the Lord help me to recall this moment in my life, but He
also showed me the spiritual activity that was taking place around me. That day was the
day the spirit of perversion was introduced into my life, and would be the beginning of
several years of sexual confusion and perversion. In fact, my life was influenced so
much by sexual sin, that I cannot recall very many memories of my past without there
being some sort of sexual perversion involved.
        I continued recalling more memories and situations that resulted from my abuse
during the course of the day. I remembered coming home from school, in first grade, and
being mesmerized by the idea of gratifying myself. While most kids that age were going
outside and playing with their friends or getting in trouble, I would get off the school bus
and many times go straight to my bedroom or the bathroom. I would do this
compulsively, feverishly, sometimes lasting hours. There were times that, because the
behavior was compulsive, it would cause me to chafe and I would develop sores on my
genitalia because of my attempts to reach completion. I recall being embarrassed about
how much I was engaging in this behavior, and I became an expert at hiding it from
everyone. Being a part of such a large single-parent family (there were five of us
growing up in our home) I was able to fly under the radar pretty easily.
        It was around age 11 when I began to feel ashamed of my behaviors and made an
attempt to stop for good. Or, at least, until I was old enough to reach completion.
Between the ages of 6 and 11 years old I had been exposed to sexual activities on
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numerous occasions. Due to the amount of exposure during my youth, I began to desire
sexual activity with others at a very young age.
        I was 13 years old when I moved down south with my mother and siblings. As
my mom was preparing us for the move I recalled a sense of excitement about the
opportunity, though there was a significant deal of turmoil between she and my dad. My
father did not feel it was a good idea for us to be relocated down south, and my mother
obviously disagreed. I found myself in the middle of a heated battle and got caught being
influenced by the evil that was being used as fuel. At one point I recall being so angry at
my dad for wanting to keep us from moving I can remember speaking some incredibly
hateful words to him about how I felt. I have since apologized, but at that age I had no
idea what he was trying to protect me from. I was honestly excited because I felt like I
would be moving away from all the things of my past, which were full of a lot of
traumatic memories. I don’t think I fully understood this to be the reason why I was so
excited at the time, but see it now to have been the case.
        Thirteen years old is an age that I’m sure many of us would like to erase from our
minds. In fact, I’d like to erase many of my earlier teenage years as I went through some
serious changes and major identity crises. I had been accustomed to being a popular kid
in New York, but moving to North Carolina brought on a whole new set of challenges I
was not prepared to face. While I thought I was escaping a life of sexual abuse and
shame, I had no idea the door would be opening for a new journey full of insecurities and
a world that was much different than the world I had come from.
        I became afraid to make friends and meet new people. As a younger boy, I had
been incredibly active and involved in school and sports. But, as I grew into adolescence
I became more fearful of social involvement because I was unsure as to how these
“southern people” would judge me. I understand that it’s normal for kids going through
adolescence to face insecurities as we try to find out who we are and begin to realize that
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our bodies and hormones are changing. Simply put, our lives are in a heightened state of
change.
          I was also beginning to realize that things were different for me in another sense .
I didn’t think like most of the other boys in school. I was always more of a sensitive,
tender-hearted kind of kid. I liked sports, but I was not the “macho” kind who liked to
rough house and do the “typical” boy-like activities. I was more interested in music,
dance, and drama. I, of course, was afraid to express these things because at this point in
my life I had been called “faggot,” “pussy,” “sissy,” and many others on numerous
occasions. I started to believe and see I was different from the other boys and started to
recall how I knew there was something different, it seemed, in them than what was going
on in me, but at that age I had no idea how to describe it.
          As the transition and acclamation to a new school, new friends, and an entirely
new life was taking place, I began to resort to the compulsive sexual behaviors of my
past. I did not realize it at the time, but it was becoming a way for me to deal with the
stress. I would come home from school and act out almost everyday. I remember
beginning to think about boys around the time I was 13, and this became something that
would get me aroused to the point of reaching completion. I recall having guy friends
when I was younger that I would fantasize about and sometimes I would even try to pass
hints to them that I was interested in sexual activity when we were hanging out.
          I really wanted to get their attention and wanted them to accept me. I realize now
that it was because sexual behaviors were the only way I could get another mans attention
up to that point in my life. Which makes sense as a majority of the sexual abuse that took
place in my life had been at the hands of older teenagers who I looked up to. I was only
trying to seek acceptance and love from these guys. To add to that, since the move I had
developed a great deal of insecurity with myself.
          The Lord was revealing so much to me that day as I was driving. From my first
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encounter with sexual sin up and through my adolescent years. I was have revelations of
the moments when I was influenced by evil and the moments that I allowed sin to
pervade my life. The Lord went on to reveal to me many more revelations about my
childhood that day.
        I recall feeling very overwhelmed emotionally that day. I remember trying to
call someone that I felt would lift me up and encourage me, you know, pull me out of the
depths of the emotional trench I was in. However, after realizing that nobody would be
suitable for the job, I just began speaking to Jesus. The work he did within me on the
side of a mountain, while driving just outside of Redding, CA that evening will forever
be etched in my mind.
        I was flooded with emotion as the Lord continued to shine light on the darkness
of my past that day. Prior to this experience with the Lord I had been trying to deal with
and heal from the abuse for several years. I had gone back to many of the abusive
moments and, at many times, sought deeper understanding to how those events had
shaped my life as an adult. I had talked about the abuse with family members, friends,
sought counseling, yet nothing seemed to be the answer. I began to realize that day the
significance of allowing the Lord to get involved with the counseling process.
        Driving along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean, amid such massive trees and
beautiful scenery, I was overwhelmed with emotion. For the first 28 years of my life I
had been lost, trying to find an answer to life’s questions. I was beginning to realize the
reality in the life I had lived. I think deep down inside of me I wanted to know the truth ,
but never fully understood what the reality of finding it would do for my life. I recall
stepping outside of my car and taking a picture of one of those massive redwood trees.
The sheer magnitude of those trees completely trump my human-self. You could fit 10 of
me just on one side of those trees, and we’d still not be able to wrap around it completely.
        I was in awe of the magnitude of our God that day. How could I possibly believe
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that my problems were too challenging for Him to overcome? Isn’t it the Lord who
teaches us that with faith even as small as a mustard seed we could move mountains? Up
to that point in my life, all of the issues resulting from my abuse had seem like rows and
rows of Mount Everest’s. I had never been able to successfully scale them before, let
alone move them. Throughout the remaining hours of that day the Lord opened me up to
experience the most memorable and significant spiritual and personal growth in my entire
life.
        Before I explain the work the Lord did on me during my time that day I want to
catch you up with the circumstances going on in and around me that day, which lead to
this encounter with the Lord. I would ask that you join me as I attempt to take you on a
journey through my life from the perspective of my relationships, my addictions, and the
revelation His Truth. Hold on, as it gets a little rocky from here, but I can promise the
ending of this story is a happy one!
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                                          Chapter 2




        It was right around the time we had moved to North Carolina that I had begun to
start developing an interest in dating girls. As I mentioned in the previous chapter there
were many things that were running through my mind, from many confusing
perspectives, but I naturally tried to be like the other boys and started seeking
relationships with my female peers.
        It was while I was in NY visiting my dad the summer following the move down
south that I found my first “real” girlfriend. It was with a girl who I had met at our
church, and I thought she was hot, confident, and most importantly, she liked me! She
had been more involved with boys in the past, and had more experience with kissing and
other types of big person-like behaviors. That didn’t seem to bother me, as I was
beginning to develop a curiosity about these things myself.
        Samantha and I would hang out nearly everyday. I really liked her and had
feelings for her, but due to a lot my insecurities (which I did not realize at the time) I felt
like I was not “man” enough for her. I can recall one time in particular that we were
                                                                                           19




hanging out and I believe she wanted me to kiss her, but I was so afraid I couldn’t do it.
        She said I was a prude, and that was essentially the beginning of the decline of
the relationship. It was my first bout with rejection from a female, and the beginning of a
developing insecurity with other women.
        I went back home to North Carolina after that summer feeling more confused
than ever. At this point in time, the only experience I had with sex and affection was
with the men who abused me, and rejection from the one girl I had really begun to like. I
met a girl who attended my middle school in the eighth grade, and I began to develop
feelings for her. She was beautiful, had an authentic southern accent, and seemed as
though she was interested in me. We began to “go together” and dated for about a year.
During the course of that relationship we experimented with many things sexually.
        Not only did we try things sexually, but we also had a fairly interesting
relationship emotionally. She had cheated on me with another guy, who was the same
age as us and went to same school, over that next summer, while I was visiting my dad in
NY. I did not realize that she had cheated on me until I got back to North Carolina and
everyone knew about it and told me. The guy she cheated on me with was much more
masculine, and was much more popular than I. That was quite a blow. At the time I was
certainly what I believed to be “in love” with this girl. I would do special things for her,
go out of my way to treat her well, and she cheated on me. It wasn’t even so much the
idea that she cheated on me because I got over that fairly quickly.
        However, it was who she cheated on me with. This guy was someone that
intimidated me, and made me look like nothing of what a real “man” should look like.
He was the definition of a “guys-guy,” something and someone I did not relate to. I, of
course, did not realize any of that during that time of my life. In fact, I blocked out that
memory and completely internalized it until the moment I just wrote these very words.
        I had forgotten about how “devastating” that event was in my life. It was
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certainly another blow to my man-hood. I am amazed how the Lord never stops
revealing truths in our lives, and even more sickened at how the enemy has woven such a
web of deception.
           I started to believe the deceptions and lies satan was speaking into my life, about
who he was trying to get me to believe I was. Was I not manly enough? Was there
something wrong with me? These were all questions that were going through my head.
           The unfortunate thing about it was that I was completely oblivious to what was
really taking place. I started believing I was not man enough for girls. After all, I had
been interested in two beautiful girls and rejected by them both. I was 14 years old at the
time, so of course I was not making the connections and was only hearing the voice of
deception coming from the enemy‘s camp. I ventured on after that relationship into High
School which was, I’m sure many of you can agree, a very scary place to go.
           Leading up to high school I had been trying to determine, as most adolescents do,
who I was becoming. I was at a phase of my life when I was beginning to try and
determine why I sensed a difference within me, in relation to the other guys I saw around
me. Why did I generally gravitate towards girls as friends? Was it because I felt we had
more in common than I did with guys? My best friends, even to this day, have all been
women.
           Why did I enjoy musicals and the theater so much? Why didn’t I have a deep
desire to go off and punch someone, or tackle someone? Why did I always feel like the
odd guy out in the locker room? What was happening to me? These, and many other
questions were constantly running through my head. Numerous times throughout my
childhood did I feel like I was not like all the other boys, and by the time I had entered
into high school I was really confused about this “manliness” that I had apparently been
lacking.
           Of course, it appeared that all of my confusion was in relation to the
                                                                                           21




stereotypical, societal, and cultural norms around me. God did not play a very large role
in my life at the time, so comparing myself to Jesus or some of the men written about in
the bible were not relatable comparisons for me at the time (unfortunately).
        I had also begun to have sexual feelings that were stirring in and around me. I
had mentioned in the previous chapter about relationships with girls that I had
encountered in those days, but there were also occasions when I had strong sexual desires
towards men. At that age I could not fully understand the feelings I was having towards
my male friends. All I could comprehend was that I had these newfound sexual feelings
and they were being directed at the boys that would come over and hang out with me, my
teachers, and other male figures in my life.
        Many times I just brushed these thoughts off and chalked them up to the changes
I was going through, but there were times when I would be so overcome by these sexual
feelings that I truly felt that I wanted to act out on them. I would try to entice my friends
through subtle hints. We’d be wrestling around, or just joking about things, but deep
down I really felt that I wanted to take it to another level. I never fully understood what
was happening to me, and in reality, who could expect a 13 or 14 year old to understand
these things?
        I did not have a large group of friends, and wasn’t a part of any particular clique.
As I made my way into High School I did, however, begin to make some connections
with people and began developing closer relationships. I was very involved in the
marching band and felt that I had found a home there. At least I was not constantly
surrounded by guys who were trying to outdo one another and prove their masculinity.
Mind you, there were those guys, but they weren’t as prominent in the marching band as
they were, say, in the athletic arenas. I guess that goes without needing to be said.
        As I was preparing to enter into high school I recall having such anxiety about
going to another school. I didn’t know what was going to happen. Would the older guys
                                                                                              22




pick on me about the feelings I was having? Would people be able to tell? Would I be
alone? I had many questions and a whole lot of panic.
        One thing I realized when I actually started school was that there were a whole
lot of other people feeling the same anxiety about the unknown that I was. I was
generally more drawn to people who I could sense needed attention, those who seemed as
though they were on the outside. This could be the reason why I was drawn to marching
band. For all of us band geeks, that was meant as a joke (you really do get picked on a
lot for being in the marching band!).
        I loved marching band. It was my saving grace through high school. It allowed
me to begin finding confidence in myself again, something I had lost over the many years
since the move south. I found my strength in leadership and taking on roles within the
band that allowed me to help others. I was still struggling with my sexual thoughts, but I
had finally found something I was good at, being a leader. While I was flourishing in my
leadership capacity, I had managed to somehow put all of my insecurities on the
backburner and begin to find who I was (at least who I thought I was at the time).
        I attempted to date several girls, with little success. It wasn’t because I did not
want to be with girls, but more so because the relationship just didn’t work for one reason
or another. It wasn’t until I began developing a major crush on a girl when I was in 10th
grade that I began to feel like all of my life’s events were culminating on the response I
would get from her. Now, in all fairness to that girl, there was nothing particularly
different about her or anything she could have done differently to impact the situation.
And in reality, the revelation about her being the end all be all for my life is certainly one
in hindsight (and likely over-dramatized). I firmly believe that had it not been this girl
involved, it would have manifested itself with someone else.
        Anyway, I found myself head over heels in love with this girl and did not know
how to express it. I was very nervous about being hurt, as I had been rejected by a few
                                                                                             23




other girls up to this point and I wasn’t sure how I would respond if she rejected me too.
As I mentioned, I had been dealing with these feelings of sexual confusion that had been
going on for some time, but at this point in my life I just didn’t want to pay any attention
to them. Behind the positive, happy-go-lucky exterior, I was beginning to find a darker
side of life.
         Sexual sin had begun to manifest itself in the form of pornography and internet
chat rooms with other guys. I was beginning to find approval from men in these chat
rooms in relation to my looks, personality, and quite frankly they were seeming to be
interested in listening to the things I was saying, and that just felt good. Meanwhile, I
was searching for this same feeling from women, but was having a hard time finding it.
         I had this major crush and, at the time, it felt like it was all or nothing for me. I
really liked this girl, I thought she was beautiful, I wanted her to want me. Unfortunately,
when I expressed my feelings to her she explained to me that she did not feel the same
about me. That crushed me. Not only did she not have the same feelings for me, but she
began dating the same guy that my girlfriend in middle school cheated on me with. The
masculine, “mans-man” guy. The guy that I felt I could not ever be, and the guy that I
had been racking my brain trying to figure out why I wasn’t like him for the better part of
my adolescent life.
         I was at a crossroads. Even as I write these words, just over 10 years later, I am
still realizing the fullness of the impact these relationships have had on my life. I am not
writing about these people to place blame on them, but yet to help illustrate the course
my life has taken that led me to a decision that took my down a dark road for the better
part of a decade.
         After that rejection, I was 16 years old at the time, I really started to isolate
myself from girls. I began getting on the internet and chatting with guys more regularly.
I knew that there were a lot of things available on the internet, but I had no idea how
                                                                                               24




much trouble I could get myself into. The even scarier part, looking back on that time in
my life, was that I had mastered the art of hiding the deepest darkest secrets in my life. I
knew exactly how to manipulate my feelings, my actions, and anything I told anyone to
keep those secrets hidden.
           It began with countless hours of chatting with gay guys on the internet. I recall
one summer hacking into my dad’s computer (which he thought he had locked down
tight, but I was smarter than that) and finding chat sites with gay people. At this point I
had been questioning myself for a long time. I wasn’t sure who I was or if I was gay, but
I know that people had called me a “faggot”, a “queer”, and “gay” numerous times in my
life. I knew that I was different than a lot of boys. I knew I had questions and I guess I
figured the gay chat room was exactly the place for me to go to find them.
           Little did I know, the gay chat room was no place for a young boy like myself to
be looking for answers about the questions I had. Of course, at the time I was engaging
in all of these behaviors I wasn’t understanding all I am writing here now. I was just
curious.
           I recall meeting another boy my age online in one of these chat rooms, who I
immediately connected with. I cannot recall how we met, or what the conversation was
about, but I know I felt excited about meeting him. I was so excited that I even went out
to the kitchen where my mom and some of my family was sitting and proclaimed my
excitement in meeting this boy. Someone asked me if I was gay, and I confidently
proclaimed my answer, “NO!” I guess my apparent excitement for meeting this guy on
the internet had manifested itself into something more than even I realized. Was I gay?
           I left the kitchen that evening feeling quite upset about that interaction, went back
into my room, and realized I could not let people know how I was feeling. I think that
was the first time I started truly believing that maybe I was gay.
           As I continued to chat with guys online I began to realize there were a lot of
                                                                                          25




things I was unaware of. I remember being introduced to pornographic sites by guys in
these chat rooms. I was sent pictures of naked guys and I even had pictures of myself on
line that I had been sending to them.
        I was only 16 years old, mind you. I was unaware that what was taking place
was illegal. All I knew was that I had this raging curiosity, raging sexual hormones, and
the only way that I knew to deal with it was to indulge in it. And, indulge is exactly what
I did. I began getting more bold about the guys I met. It was only months after I first
started talking to guys on the internet that I met my first “hook up.” I was 16, he was 28.
I don’t even believe I had my drivers license yet, and had to get my mom to drop me off
at the movie theater.
        I think I just told her I was going to the movies with some friends and that their
parents would bring me home. Instead, I met this guy and we went to see the movie
8mm, which was a movie about the underground pornography industry. Great date
movie, especially for someone who was 28 taking someone who was 16 (please note the
sarcasm in that statement).
        Anyhow, that guy invited me to go to the mountains with him one weekend and
teach me how to ski. I had just been skiing with my friend and her church group a few
weeks before and I was excited about that idea. At this time, I knew there were sexual
feelings, but I hadn’t experienced any sexual activity with men apart from those who
abused me when I was younger. I ended up planning a trip to the North Carolina
mountains and set it all up so I could go. I told a lie to my mom about going with a
friend and we were able to make it happen.
        That weekend was my first sexual experience with another man, consensually. I
remember being so confused and feeling so guilty about doing it. I know now that he
took advantage of my innocence, but at the time I felt as though it was just as much
something that I wanted to happen. I had no concept of what kind of damage that event
                                                                                           26




would do to my life. That event was the beginning of many years of sexual encounters
and it gave satan the opening to come into my life and continue speaking his evil lies and
deceptions.
        I was driven deeper into sin over the course of that year and even began dating a
guy. I recall having such conflicting feelings about my sexuality during that year and the
years to follow. I didn’t fully understand what was going on with me, but I knew I was
sexually drawn to men. And, to add to all my confusion, I was trying to find out “who”
and “what” I was.
        I had been saved when I was 13 years old at a Promise Keepers event in Buffalo,
NY with my Dad. I wasn’t sure what was happening to me, but I felt there was a
connection to God at that time in my life and I wanted to find out more. Unfortunately it
wasn’t until I was 16 years old when I began attending a church in NC with a good friend
of mine. However, that influence did not last very long as I realized she wasn’t very
popular, and at that point in my life, it was more important what others thought of me
than being a devoted follower of Christ. Though my walk with the Lord had been at the
pace of molasses moving up a hill in July, I did find myself continuing to excel in school
and in marching band, something I had found I was good at.
        To add to more of my confusion, I began dating a girl my junior year, someone I
had become great friends with over the course of the years after I had moved to North
Carolina. She was someone I had met when I first moved to NC, and we had been
friends longer than most of the people I knew there. She was, and I believe still is, one of
the most open minded, beautiful, and down to earth people I have ever met. She made
me feel very confident in myself and I fell in love with her.
        We did began to have sexual relations fairly early on in the relationship, and I
believe we both deeply enjoyed it. However, I was still struggling with the sexual draw
towards men that I was trying to sort through. I was engaging in compulsive behaviors
                                                                                           27




again, and being influenced by all types of pornography. I also continued engaging in
provocative conversations with many men online (old and young). I was in such a
difficult and confusing place because I really thought I loved this girl. There were so
many conflicting feelings that I was battling with. I was enjoying our relationship, the
sex was great, and I was “in love.” On the other hand, there was this dark secret I was
keeping from everyone. I remember expressing my feelings about men to her on a few
occasions, but I had not fully realized the wholeness of what I was dealing with. So,
trying to explain it to my girlfriend was quite difficult if you could imagine.    I ended
up hurting my girlfriend and best friend very badly my senior year when I broke up with
her due to the confusion about my sexuality. I was, at 18 years old, completely indulging
in my lustful sins and I did not care who was hurt in the process, including myself. I
have since asked her for forgiveness, but I know that the pain I caused her runs deep.
        It was hard for me to comprehend everything that was going on during the last
semester of my senior year. Not only did I end an almost 2 year relationship with my
best friend, but I also came out of the closet to most of my friends and family.
                                                                                         28




                                        Chapter 3




        “Coming out of the closet” is such an interesting phrase for describing what that
process was like in my life. By the time I decided to go public with my sexual
orientation I had gone through so many different thought processes in my head. Dating
back from my adolescent years, when I was quite insecure about my sexuality and just
beginning to explore the gay scene, I found that there was always a conflicting spirit that
resided within me. I can recall feeling an overwhelming sense of guilt when I would
engage in any sort of sexual activity. I would typically feel this even more intensely
when I was engaging in sexually behaviors with men, more so than I would feel when it
was with a woman.
        At the time I felt as though it was due to the societal norms placed on being gay
and how I had never truly been understood by most guys anyhow, so how could they
possibly understand? Why would I not feel the same sense of guilt after begin with a
woman? I believe there is something to be said about the impact society has on a man or
woman feeling guilt about being a homosexual. Why is there no guilt felt when one
                                                                                            29




engages in heterosexual sexual behaviors? Could it be possibly due to the fact that
promiscuity in our culture has become accepted, when homosexuality (at least at the time
I was “coming out“) was unacceptable?
        Have we created another class for certain sins? I believe that we have, and the
impact of our doing so has pushed people engaging in this certain class of sins away from
the Lord rather than bringing them closer to Him. Now, hear me out, living in sin is
going to inherently push people away from God. However, we all fall short of the glory
of God, and I don’t see us protesting and picketing about other aspects of ones sin life.
Why do we do this for homosexuality when we don’t do it for other sins? I do not have
the answers to these questions. However, having an answer to them is not the point or
purpose in mentioning them. However, I mention these questions because I believe that
it would be worth it to all of us to consider these questions as I continue on with the story.
        Coming out was not just simply a statement, and cannot be qualified as simply a
choice one makes. It is important to understand that there are many years of pain and
suffering that one goes through before they make the decision to accept and proclaim
their sexual orientation. I am not claiming to be an expert, but from my own experience
it was a painful, sobering, and sometimes depressing experience. In fact, most of my
adolescent and young adult life years were spent in great emotional turmoil over these
sexual thoughts and feelings. I was constantly worried about what others thought about
me, insecure around others, and had no idea what my family would say to me if they ever
found out I was gay.
        It honestly took me getting to a point in my life when I began to focus more
about my own well-being and happiness in life, when I was able to openly proclaim that I
was gay. For some, this takes place at a very young age, and for others this may never be
a proclamation they are able to state openly, but live the life “in the closet.” In the closet,
for those of you who may not know, would be defined by me as engaging in homosexual
                                                                                             30




behaviors and activities, but constantly living in fear of someone finding out. Thus,
never outwardly proclaiming themselves to be living a homosexual lifestyle.
        I believe it is important to understand the heartache, pain, and long suffering that
one typically endures to bring them to a point when they are able to outwardly live a
homosexual lifestyle. In my own journey I experienced these feelings and it took me
many years to become “at peace” living within the confines of who I thought I was, a gay
man.
        The first one I “came out” to was my best friend at the time, the same girl I had
dated just prior to my decision to “come out.“ I decided to then share it with my little
brother, who was 13 or 14 at the time. Now, the reason why I told him was because he
happened to come across some of the homosexual pornography that I had been cruising
on the internet and he asked me openly if I had been looking at it. I explained to him that
it was me, and that I was gay. I told him that it would be ok for him to share the news
with my mom (figured it would be easier that way), and he did. I recall my mom being
upset when I finally answered her question “are you gay?” with a “yes!” I did not want
to make anyone upset, but I felt at the time it was what I needed to do to be happy in my
life.
        Pretty soon after I told my mom, the rest of my family found out as well. My
family was loving and supportive for the most part, but I do not believe any of them
wanted this for my life. I purposely chose not to tell my father when I first came out, and
actually never told him myself.
        You see, since my parents had been divorced my mother and father grew apart
and I did not know my dad very well during those years. My dad had been a faithful
Christian for the better part of 15 years at that point in my life and I was fairly sure I
knew what his response was going to be. After all what parent would want this for their
child’s life? And, he is the same dad who brought me to Lord when I was 13.
                                                                                             31




        He eventually found out through someone in the family, and decided to take a
trip from New York to North Carolina to discuss the issue with me face to face. At the
time I was not the happiest camper, and it wasn’t until years later that I was able to
understand why my father made that journey. However, at the time he really wanted to
let me know that he was concerned about my lifestyle decision. Though I know that he
meant well, I believe where I was in my life at the time it was not at all received as he
had intended.
        I recall listening to my father speak about the “choice” I was making, and all the
other reasons why it was not a good choice for me, including biblical scripture to support
his message. I was so angry at my father that night. I felt that he had not been a very
integral part of my life up to this point and I could not understand why he had a right to
disapprove of my lifestyle. Instead of being closer to the Lord that night, I found myself
in a place completely opposite from where my father intended me to be. I was left
feeling so rejected by God and could not understand why God would not approve of me
being gay. After all, it was not like I had a choice in the matter.
        Well, that was what I believed at least. I could not control how I felt and who I
was sexually attracted to. It just happened that I liked guys and my dad did not, “he can
never understand” I would say to myself. A few days later I wrote he and my step-
mother a very hurtful email indicating my anger towards them and God for not
understanding where I was in life and why I had made this decision.
        As I said in the previous chapter, coming out of the closet was not simply a
“choice,” but a life altering decision. It was, in my experience, a process that I had to go
through in order to better understand my identity. I had to get on with my life and begin
finding real happiness. I was through with all of the confusion and emotional turmoil I
had been facing throughout the better part of my childhood. I had openly begun to accept
the fact that I was gay, and found myself entering into a whole new world as I entered
                                                                                              32




into college. I was finally free, and ready to step into the life I was beginning to create
for myself.
        Prior to my fathers visit, and during my first few weeks in college, I met a guy. I
had moved on campus a couple of weeks before the start of the first semester, and met
him during marching band training camp. It was the first gay guy I had met face to face
and not on the internet. I had decided to “come out” to some people, a small group of
friends, during my first semester. However, I was not fully out and still going through a
bit of questioning. Thus, I kept that secret hidden as best as I could from most people.
        I dated this guy for a few weeks and we interacted sexually, but I began to feel
very insecure. I had never honestly tried to seriously date a guy before (the high school
incident lasted a total of 2 weeks) so it was new for me, and this guy did not quite
understand that I needed to be handled a little more gently. And, honestly, I did not
realize at all how I needed to be handled. I am unsure as to how the relationship ended,
but it did and I was pretty satisfied with that. However, that relationship left it’s mark on
me. This time I walked away feeling like I was not good looking enough, didn’t own the
right clothes, and in general did not find myself appealing to anyone.
        Looking back on that relationship, I find it interesting how this issue with
insecurity was rising up again, but this time with a man. Of course, I did not make the
same connection I am making now. I realize now that I was trying use relationships to
cover up the deeper emotional issues that needed to be addressed. It was another layer of
deception, a deeper layer, that was drawing me deeper into sin. In any case, following
the end of this relationship I became obsessed with my looks.
        I recall loosing nearly 50 pounds my freshman year. I was borderline anorexic,
eating only a minimal amount of food to get me by, but not enough to balance out my
caloric output. I was working out 7 days a week, and sometimes two times a day. No
matter how much weight I lost, I never felt like I was good looking enough. I went out
                                                                                               33




and bought a lot of new clothes, because that would help me look better (sarcasm). In
fact, I think most of my excess student loan money, and debt, from my freshmen year
went to buying new clothes. All because I did not feel like I had any clothes or the looks
that would be appealing to guys.
        It was 2002, during my sophomore year, when I began questioning my
compulsive sexual behaviors. I was in a relationship with a guy and I was having a hard
time enjoying the sexual part of the relationship. I even remember talking to him about
the issue I was struggling with in relation to my sexual addiction, though I had no clue to
fullness of the issue at that point in my life. In fact, I believe that this was the first time I
had any revelation about any addictive sexual behaviors. I began to wonder if maybe
there was something unusual or wrong about my use of pornography, as it was now
beginning to prohibit my partner and I from having enjoyable and satisfying sexual
relations. It was not a serious enough revelation to prompt me to make a change, but
something inside of me was pointing to my behaviors as not being healthy. I ignored that
revelation for the most part and continued pushing on with my life, without exploring the
issues any deeper than a few thoughts and some conversation.
        I continued increase my frequency of drinking during that year and dabbled in
pot even more as well. On the outside, and to anyone who would have known me at the
time, everything was looking great. I had a recently gotten a job working for the
company I had worked for since I was in high school. I had found an apartment to live in
off-campus, and was verging on a perfect 4.0 GPA in school.
        It was during this period of my life that I realized I could do anything I set my
mind to. Amidst the internal chaos I was dealing with, I was taking more classes than
most of my peers, working 25-30 hours a week, and taking on extracurricular
assignments, all while maintaining that nearly perfect GPA. Who would think anything
was wrong with me? While I was completely unaware of it, I found myself developing
                                                                                            34




even better techniques at hiding my feelings and emotions from everyone around me. So
much so that I was beginning to hide them from myself as well.
        My junior year was challenging for me, as this was the year that the more
detrimental issues of my life began to surface from my childhood. I began dating another
guy my junior year, and it wasn’t until this relationship that I realized that maybe I had a
problem dealing with my sexual behaviors. However, I still didn’t fully understand or
take the time to recognize exactly what was actually causing me to have the thoughts and
feelings I was having in regard to those issues. Instead, I began to develop a deep
resentment for my partner for not “loving” me as much as he loved his dog, his best
friend, and everything else more than me.
        Up to this point in my life I knew that I had an issue with compulsive
masturbation and I knew that I was addicted to pornography. I knew that I placed sex on
the top of my priority list in life, and realized it was not always the same with others.
There were times when I thought that there was something seriously wrong with me. I
continued to internalize all of these issues because I did not at all know how to process
my feelings. I continued to look to my partner to give me the satisfaction of loving me
and helping me to deal with these issues, but there was no way (looking back) that he was
going to be able to do that.
        Over the course of the nearly three years that I was in this relationship there were
many revelations about my life, including my first real encounter with the Lord. I
finished up my degree requirements a semester early, after nearly killing myself with
demanding course loads and extracurricular activities. I began to become dependent on
prescription drugs at the time, Adderoll and Ambien were my favorites. I needed the
Adderoll, which is a drug prescribed for ADHD, to keep me up and help me get through
my 40 hour a week job and all the coursework I had to do. I needed the Ambien to help
me fall asleep because I was too wired from taking the Adderoll.
                                                                                         35




         I was playing with my life and death could have been the result, but I didn’t
really care. I just needed to get through, and finish school. Achieving the goal was more
important to me than how I did it. My graduation day turned out to be a culmination of
years of exhausting hard work, too many drugs, partying, a series of detrimental
relationships, sexual issues I had no idea how to explain to anyone, emotional turmoil and
pain from years of abuse (both sexually and verbally), and an outpouring of love from my
family that brought me to my knees and caused a river of tears to flow endlessly for many
hours.
                                                                                              36




                                         Chapter 4




         It was sometime in early December of 2003 when I finally graduated with my
degree in psychology, go figure right?! I remember that day vividly. I often times look
back on that day and still receive revelations about the state of my life both at that time
and where I am now. As I stated earlier, I had worked to the point of exhaustion and
drug dependence to achieve this milestone in my life. I was the first in my immediate
family to have gone to college and I felt I had something to prove. It wasn’t until several
years after my graduation did I realize the fullness of exactly all that I was trying to
prove.
         It was my graduation day when, for the first time in my life, the love of my
family was poured into my life. That day was highly emotional for me, much in part to
the fact that I had never felt my family cared so much for me than I did that day.
Unfortunately, I have had a difficult time letting go of the past and moving on to the
future. I was holding on to a lot of unrealized emotional pain directed towards my
family, and that day the love of God (unbeknownst to me) broke through and broke me
down.
         I recall the revelation I had about forgiveness. It took me a while to understand
                                                                                            37




why I was so emotional that day, but I think something I read recently sums it up pretty
nicely: if you have not truly forgiven in your heart than you are still holding on to
bitterness, anger, resentment, and emotional pain that is negatively impacting your life. I
have had to, over the course of this journey in my life, come to terms with the pain that
had been inflicted upon me by my family, friends, and those people who said they cared
about me, but hurt me. I have had to realize that regardless of whether they intentionally
hurt me, or did not realize they were causing me pain, I had to let them go.
        Forgiveness is a powerful gift that the Lord has given to all of us who call on His
name. My prayer for you right now is that you come to open your heart to understanding
the power that forgiveness will have you in your life, and the lives of those around you.
It was out of bitterness, spite, and pride that I chose to go off to college. I was certainly
going to prove to everyone that I was worth something. And, I nearly killed myself
trying to prove that.
        At not one time during my college experience did I realize the fullness of what
was motivating me. I had only felt that I was solely motivated to make something of
myself, and I do believe that was a big driving force for me. I did not want to follow in
the footsteps of my older siblings and parents who had failed to make something more of
their lives (at least that was my thought at the time, I feel entirely different today). I was
determined not to “screw up” like I was watching everyone around me do.
        Nope. I was going to be the successful one that everyone could be proud of. I
would call home and give everyone the good news and bask in their statements about
how proud of me they were. I don’t recall ever talking about much that was bothering me
because I wanted everyone to see me as the good kid. Meanwhile, as much as I didn’t
even realize it, I was dying inside all throughout my college years. I was engaged in sin,
and it continued to get worse day by day. During the course of my last year in college I
found myself doing things and engaging in activities that many of you may not ever
                                                                                            38




know exists (at least I pray you never know!).
        I was being unfaithful to my partner at the time. I began to realize that the spirit
of perversion had pervaded nearly ever aspect of our society. If there was a sexual
thought in my mind, I could find a place to engage in it pretty much anywhere an
everywhere I went. I could not fully understand why all this was happening or even why
I was engaging in these activities, but I know it was something that drove a lot of my
decisions. I can even remember feeling so incredibly convicted about all the times I
would “act out,” but it was not enough to keep me from doing it.
        Up to the day of my graduation I had never felt a true acceptance from my
family, and I desperately wanted to show them how much I was worth. I had always felt
on the outside of what was going on all around me growing up. I had older siblings that
seemed to be winning all of the attention from my mom. My dad was 10 hours away and,
honestly, I really wanted very little to do with him for most of my teenage and young
adult life. He certainly wasn’t going to understand what I was going through, he couldn’t
even understand or accept that I was gay. I did not know my siblings as friends because
they were off doing their own thing. I lived a life of isolation from my family and I was
content with that, so I thought.
        I was about to be 22 years old, had just graduated, realized for the first time that
my family actually loved and paid attention to me, and was in the midst of a relationship
that was uncovering a lot of serious sexual issues. I was ready to start reconciling with
my dad, and the rest of my family for that matter. It was a process that started slowly
through college, but one that I was sure that I wanted to continue at this point in my life.
Not only was I experiencing all of these newfound realities about my life, but I began to
fall into a pretty serious feeling of depression. Which, for me, was the first time I had
ever felt depressed.
        I was scared of this newfound emotion. Maybe I had been depressed before, but
                                                                                            39




this was the first time I had to come face to face with the reality of my depression. What
was I going to do now? I just finished working my butt off and being busy non-stop, now
I had no clue what to do next with my life. That brings us to my visit to Binghamton, NY
in March of 2004 with my older sister to surprise our dad for his 50th birthday. I do not
even know what compelled us to go up there for this event, as there were so many years
that we did not even call our dad on his birthday.
           In any event, over the course of that long weekend I recall being touched by the
Lord. It was the first time in my life that I felt the presence of God and He woke me up
while I was sleeping on my dad’s couch. It was early in the morning and I started to
think about how selfish I had been in my life. I began to reflect on my life and I felt like
something needed to change. I am unsure as to how everything played out following that
trip, but I began to make changes immediately when I got home.
           I remember telling my partner at the time that I could no longer be with him
because I did not believe I was gay. I started attending a church. I even began looking
into a business venture with a girl who has since become one of my best friends. I recall
being swept away by the Lord, completely. I quit smoking cigarettes and pot, and was
ready to make this change “stick.” I was pretty naïve and immature, but I was certainly
on fire.
           In February of 2004 I was offered a position to promote within the company I
had been working for since I was 16. The money was great, I loved my job at the time so
I decided to go for it. I had been working all through college to keep my grades up so
that I could get into a good grad school and get my PhD, but I was burnt out and needed a
change of pace. So, I was relocated to Fayetteville, NC to begin my first real job as an
assistant manager. I was so excited about the opportunity, but had no idea how that
decision was going to shape the course of my life for a long time. Recall, I was on fire
for the Lord before the promotion and I was on fire when I moved to Fayetteville to take
                                                                                             40




on the job.
        I recall sitting out in my car before going in to work praying to the Lord and
reading my bible. I would do this daily just to get prepared before starting my shift for
the day. I would talk to some of my co-workers and employees about my faith and made
some great connections. I found a church and attended a few times, was journaling, and
felt there was a lot of progress being made in my life spiritually. However, with all the
progress that was being made, I had not had a real revelation about the sexual issues in
my life. I was trying to be a “good” Christian. I read my bible, went to church, prayed (a
lot), and was journaling nearly everyday.
        Unfortunately, I did not recognize or realize the reality behind spiritual warfare.
I was being attacked full on by the enemy and I had on no armor, with a wooden fork for
my sword. I did not have many friends around me who were walking the spiritual walk, I
did not have the best relationship with my dad at the time, and most of the rest of my
family was not actively walking with the Lord either. I had one friend who was trying to
help me out, but my immaturity and lack of fellowship with other believers was my
pitfall, I believe. I recall falling into a deeper state of depression. Nobody who was close
to me really understood what I was trying to overcome, and I was not at all trying to
explain because I needed people to see me as the “good” Christian.
        In all reality, I had no clue what I was going through. I continued to fall into
darker sexual sin, and this is the time in my life when I began to discover public locations
that were a breeding ground for perversion of all sorts. I remember asking the Lord to
make me feel so convicted about what I was doing that my heart would explode if I tried
to do the things I did not want to do. Obviously, it did not happen.
        As I continued engaging in this sexual sin, I began to fall back into believing it
was because I was gay and that this entire spiritual walk was crashing down around me
because nobody understood what I was going through. I must be gay, I thought. It is
                                                                                             41




who I am, I was certain. I tried when I was a younger boy to convince myself that I
wasn’t gay, but that attempt was thwarted many times. My flesh was too strong for my
spirit.
          I was really only trying to be a good example of what a Christian should be like.
I was listening to everyone who I thought were good Christians, listening to the church
pastor, reading the Word, praying, journaling, everything. Everything and everyone
around me continued to tell me I should not be gay, but I could not reconcile in my heart
that to be the truth.
          These were some serious feelings I was having and I could not control them. It
wasn’t like I was out searching for these feelings, they just happened to be within me.
“Why would God cause me to feel this way,” I would often think to myself. “Why am I
sexually attracted to men if I’m not made to be gay?” “Why can’t I control these
feelings, if the Word of God and the church tell me I should not be this way, then WHY
DO I FEEL THIS WAY?” I had so many questions and it seemed nobody gave me the
answer I wanted to hear.
          The answer, in my opinion at the time, was within me. I was gay, for sure. I
recall being in my bed one night while in my apartment and sensed there were demons
dancing around me and taunting me. I had never experienced this before, I was scared
out of my mind. I was so scared that I honestly for the first time in my life experienced
the thought and feeling of wanting to kill myself.
It was that night in my bedroom, in 2004, that I cried out to the Lord and told Him that I
could not go on living like this and that I couldn’t walk with Him anymore. I walked
away from my relationship with God at that moment and did not look back.
          There is a scripture that, when I read it for the first time recently, comes to mind
about what I feel now was taking place in my life. Luke 11:24-26:
          “When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest
                                                                                           42




        and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it
        arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes
        seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the
        final condition of that man is worse than the first.”
        The enemy had come back into my house, and it was that night when my
“condition” began to worsen, praise God that it was not my final condition!
        After that night I began the process of getting to know myself and coming to
terms with accepting who I “was created to be“. I contacted my ex-partner, the one who I
was dating when I graduated college, and explained to him that I missed him. We
reconnected and began to date again.
        At the time, I was so lost. I had been drawing deeper into sexual sin, was
cruising for sex in anonymous places, cruising the internet, and beginning to try and find
the answer for a way out. I believe, in my mind, I felt that getting back into that
relationship would help me overcome the issues I was facing. At the time I was much
more secure with myself and understood how to handle my partner more effectively
without falling into the same issues I had before.
        I realize now that I was only trying to run and hide from my addiction. I did not
know then how I was treating the situation, I truly thought I would be able to be happy
again and move on with the relationship. We ended up moving in together a few months
after we started dating again and I got another promotion. The relationship lasted for a
while after we reconnected. Unfortunately, I continued to engage and fall deeper into my
sexual addiction. I was keeping a lot of secrets from him and telling a lot of lies.
        I realized, after several months of this behavior, that something needed to change
yet again. Emotionally I was so withdrawn from the relationship. I did not want to even
speak to him. I can recall several nights just laying on the couch not saying a word to
each other. I was incredibly unhappy. It seemed that the only time that we would talk
                                                                                            43




was when we were taking Adderoll and smoking pot (which was pretty often at this point
in my life). I am not even sure what brought me to the point, but I recall breaking up
with him pretty late at night pretty much out of the blue. I walked upstairs to the
bedroom, woke him up, and told him I was done. We both cried and I left. I drove all
night. The sad thing was, and this really should have been a sign to me, I was out
cruising for sex all night. I didn’t want to deal with my pain. I didn’t want to face the
fact that I was in a really bad place. I just wanted to find someone to have sex with
because that was certainly going to solve all my issues (I hope you are picking up on the
sarcasm by now).
        I was certain that breaking up with my partner at the time was the right move for
me to make. In fact, looking back on it, I should have never even called him back after
we broke up the first time. He was, and I believe still is, an incredible guy. I hope and
pray that he has forgiven me for how I hurt him, but I realize that I was not at all a good
guy at that point in my life.
        After the break up I decided to move back to Raleigh, NC where my family and
my current job were located. I found an apartment for myself and began to set out on yet
another journey to discover who I was and why I was so unhappy with everything that
was going on around me, and in me. It was really the first real phase of a process that I
am still going through today. That part of my life brought me back closer to my siblings
and mother. I was ready to take some time away and focus on my work and finding
happiness. I don’t even think I knew what happiness was, but I wanted it!
        I was working a new position within the same company and was working on
getting my self promoted to run my own store. I had to be to work at 330am and was
trying hard to impress those within the organization to show them what I was capable of.
I worked a lot of hours and completely immersed myself in my work. I can even recall
working some 17, 18, even 20 hour days sometimes. All this for the sake of getting
                                                                                            44




things done and because I was becoming addicted to my work. It was certainly worth it
in my mind. I would go to work at 330am, come home at 2 or 3pm and smoke pot nearly
everyday. Of course, nobody really knew I was doing this except some of my friends and
family who were close to me. It was my way of coping with the long hours and hard
work. I figured it wouldn’t cause much harm, it certainly wasn’t impacting my work
performance so what was the harm?
        During this time of my life I was seriously trying to find answers about why I
was feeling so unhappy. I can recall spending a lot of hours on the internet trying to talk
to other gay guys and find some people to hang out with. I needed some friends, but in
the back of my mind all I really wanted was to find someone to fall in love with and help
solve my unhappiness problem. In my mind I had just not found the right person yet, and
when I did, all these other issues will go away. After all, the issues were about sex and
sex was what I was lacking, so once I found someone who could please me sexually I
wouldn’t need all the pornography and I wouldn’t have to cruise for it.
        I went out on dates and met quite a few great guys, but none that really clicked
with me at that time. I needed something more than just a nice guy, I needed a savior.
Someone who could save me from my life. Someone who would be able to help pull me
out of the state of my life at the time I was in.
        Then, along came my most recent partner, Jake. Now, there are many things that
could be said about Jake, but one thing that I know to be true to this very day is that he is
so full of love that all he wanted to do was love me more than I had ever been loved
before. I sensed this mans love for my life and he was just what I was looking for at the
time in my life that he came along. I even felt that the Lord had brought him into my life
for a reason, and that God was working in our relationship. Boy, do I now know how
true that feeling was!
        When we first started dating things were great. We restrained from having any
                                                                                             45




sort of sexual relations for a few weeks, and we were proud of that! After all, being able
to meet someone in the gay community (for me anyhow) and not have sex with them the
first night you meet was certainly a milestone. We felt that we were meant to be together
and that we wanted to keep the sex sacred and important.
        The relationship started out strong and I felt my sexual desires to cruise and be
unfaithful had gone away. I had finally found the guy I was looking for. I even
remember telling him about how I honestly did not want to be unfaithful to him because
of how I had felt in my previous relationship. We worked at our relationship and within a
few months we were living together. To both of us, things were going well, and we were
in love. Well, over the course of the nearly 3 years that he and I were together I was
unfaithful to him. I wondered if I truly loved him if I continuously desired to be with
other men sexually. How could this be love? Was I treating him the way that he
deserved to be treated?
        I had a lot of questions and was dealing with a lot of problems in my own
personal life. I felt I could not continue to talk about these issues with him anymore
because I was not doing anything to get help for them. I did, at one point, try to seek
counseling for my sexual and drug addictions as well as dealing with the abuse I suffered
as a child. It lasted about 6 months, until I began going through a stressful time at work
again and I just simply walked away from the counseling and fell right back into the drug
use and sexual issues.
        In March of 2010 I made the decision to break off the relationship with my
partner of nearly 3 years. It was not a decision I made lightly. I felt in my heart that I
needed to free him from me, and I from him. It had become an unhealthy relationship
and one that became more about the dependence we both had on each other than it was
about each of us getting the healing we both desperately needed in our lives.
        I also believe that a driving force in the decision for me was the fact that my flesh
                                                                                             46




was crying out for freedom to be promiscuous and free from the bonds of the
relationship. It was, after all, not fair to be desiring in my heart something I could not
have and I was one of the most selfish people I knew at this time in my life. As much as
I can sit here and write that this was about setting my partner free from me, it was
definitely more about me and what I needed for myself than it was about him.
        I had no idea what the consequences would be for either one of us in making that
decision for the relationship, but I knew in my heart it was the right decision to make and
so I made it clear that this was my choice and I needed for us to both move on. Jake left
my house that night and ended up traveling to some friends down south and we both had
the weekend to decide what would be the next steps. I ended up scheduling a night out
with a few friends of mine in Richmond for that weekend. I hadn’t really been out and
wanted to see what the gay scene was like. At the conclusion of that weekend I had
realized that I made the right decision for myself. I had such a blast going out and having
this newfound freedom again. I knew that Jake was having a difficult time with the
decision, but I had to move on and step into my new life.
        Ok, so it seems that I’ve made this look like it’s only been about the sex and
freedom, but there were other driving forces behind this decision for me. I was
emotionally depressed, miserable, and unhappy. At this period of time in my life I felt
that sex was the only way to make me happy. Just as I was feeling when I met Jake
nearly 3 years before this weekend, I just felt that he wasn’t the one for me anymore. I
was back in that place in my mind that was constantly desiring more sexually.
        It had nothing to do with Jake, it had nothing to do with my emotions, it had
everything to do with the addiction and the bondage of sin I was indulging myself in. Of
course, when I made the decision to break off the relationship with him I had no clue
what was about to unfold in my life. Nothing that I had gone through up to this point in
my life could have prepared me to face what was to come.
                                                                                            47




                                         Chapter 5




        It was three days after I made the decision to end the relationship with Jake and a
typical Monday at work. As usual there was a lot going on in the office. I generally
worked from the office on Monday’s to get myself prepared for the week, and would be
out on the road the other 3 or 4 days of the week. Monday’s were usually packed with
conference calls, catching up on emails, and seeing how everyone faired over the
weekend.
        At this point in my career I was on the fast track to success, the golden ladder,
the golden child. I had been employed with the same company for nearly 12 years, minus
the year I took off from working to focus on getting acclimated to college. I had been
newly promoted into a role which found me managing and leading a multi-million dollar
pharmacy operation about a year prior to the events I am about to unfold for you. I was
well respected, passionate about my work, and loved having the ability to bring a level of
positive energy into the organization.
        I was serving on several committees to help improve the organization as well as
attempting to bring about change and improvements to my own area of responsibility. In
my eyes, I was actively living the life of a very successful 28 year old guy. I was proud
                                                                                              48




of my success at work. However, during the previous few years leading up to this new
assignment I had begun to realize that things desperately needed to change in my life. I
was beginning to see that I had wrapped myself up completely in my work. It was during
the year I was in this new role I began to try and unravel my life and build it back up
again.
          I wanted to find a balance between my work, and my personal life. That was a
challenge because, as I had learned about myself over the last 28 years, I was not what
one would have referred to a balanced individual. I’ve always been an extremely
passionate guy, it’s all or nothing with me! However, I realized that my passion was
turning into addiction and that I was running from the realities of my life. I was hiding
from everything that had been plaguing me for so many years by becoming addicted to
my work. I had gotten promoted into this role and made a commitment to myself that I
was going to focus on me, in a healthy way this time. It took me a long time to realize
that I needed to do that (the healthy part that is), and it’s something that even to this day I
am focusing on. Finding a good, healthy balance in my life (which starts and ends with
Jesus).
          So here it was, a Monday morning, and I was sitting in the VP’s office listening
on a conference call when I received a text message from Jake. He had come home
Sunday afternoon and we talked about the relationship and I communicated to him my
thoughts on the end of the relationship. I was under the impression that he was going to
be packing up some of his things and heading back down south to stay with the friends he
had been staying with that morning.
          Well, the text message he had sent to me that morning made me slightly
uncomfortable due to the verbiage that was used. I cannot even recall what he said
exactly, but something told me to get out of the office and call him. So, I left the office
and called him immediately to see what was going on. It sounded as if he were driving
                                                                                                49




so I asked him how he was doing. He indicated to me that he was doing ok and he even
went along with my hunch that he was driving. I asked him to call me when he arrived at
his destination because I was worried about him. He agreed and I hung up the phone.
Well, approximately 3 minutes later I received another text message from him and he
indicated to me that he had just cut his wrists and was in the shower, in my house.
           I took no time to react. Something inside of me told me he had seriously just did
what he said he did. I immediately left the office and called 911. I don’t even remember
how fast I was driving, but I flew home. I called my mom and I can remember telling her
that I wasn’t sure if Jake was dead or alive, but I wanted to let her know what was
happening. I pulled into my driveway, opened the garage door and flew into the
bathroom located downstairs. Sure enough, I found Jake unconscious in the garden tub in
my master bathroom. I ran to the linen closet and grabbed as many towels as I could and
ran to him. I took the towels and wrapped them around his wrists.
           He really did a number on himself, as I can recall seeing the arteries gushing and
literally squirting blood all over the shower walls and bathroom floor. As I was trying to
hold his wrists, not sure if he was dead or alive, he came out of his unconsciousness and
started to fight me. I have never seen so much hatred and anger come from anybody in
my life.
           I truly believe he wanted to die that day. The knife that he used was still in the
bathtub and as he was fighting me I quickly took the knife out of the tub. I wasn’t sure at
that point if he would have reached for that and tried to stab me with it. Even as I write
these words today the imagery that I have tried so hard to get out of my mind is
permanently implanted there. (I cannot tell you the number of days I’ve lost and
sleepless nights I’ve had due to this imagery.)
           I am not sure how much time had passed before the paramedics and police
showed up to my house, but it seemed like an eternity. Mind you, I was still not sure if
                                                                                            50




he was going to live or die during this whole ordeal. In my angst, and inpatience with the
police and paramedics, I left the bathroom to check to see if they had arrived. I noticed
that the police cruiser had arrived so I quickly ran back to Jake and continued to hold his
wrists to prevent him from bleeding to death. Well, after a few seconds I realized that
nobody was coming in to the house. I began to scream, unlike any scream I’ve ever
heard come from myself before.
        I was yelling, “HELP! COME IN THE HOUSE! HE IS DYING! PLEASE!!
HELP ME!”
        I was so frightened that if I got up and left his presence that he may die. I did not
know how I was going to deal with that. I eventually got back up and ran out the front
door and the police officer began to yell at me.
        “Why didn’t you come outside when we got here”, he said “We can’t come in to
your house unless you let us in.”
         Honestly, I did not care what he was saying, I just wanted someone to come in
and help me keep Jake from dying.
        So the paramedics came in along with the police officers and told me I had to
leave the bathroom. Those were some of the longest moments of the entire event. I had
no idea at this point if he was dead or alive. Since the moment I had walked away from
him to get the police officers and paramedics I was told I needed to keep out so the
professionals could do their job.
        I remember asking over and over again “Is he dead or alive, can someone just tell
me if he’s dead or alive?”
        My adrenaline was pumping so hard that I could not even breath, and my mouth
was completely parched. I just sat there thinking about what I would do if he died.
While I was sitting in my dining room I could hear and see the paramedics pull him out
of the bathtub and drag him across the floor out into the kitchen. I was still unsure as to
                                                                                              51




whether he was dead or alive at this point and all I could see when they pulled him out
into the kitchen were his feet. They were completely white, all of his blood had drained
out of them. This, for sure, was not what I needed to see. I stood up and could see a trail
of blood that had been created when they dragged him out of the bathtub into the kitchen.
        Was he dead? Is he going to live? I had no idea what was happening, and I had
no idea what I was going to do after this. I could not even think about what I would need
to do, I was too focused on the situation at hand. I remember when they left the house I
felt a little better because it seemed as though he was slightly conscious, but I was still
unsure as to whether he was going to live or die. As soon as he was taken to the hospital
I immediately began calling people to find out who was going to be able to come up and
take care of him.
        In all the years we were together I never knew his family, and only met an aunt
and uncle one time. Pretty sad, but true. I eventually got in touch with some friends of
ours that were going to help him out. I just knew in my heart that I could not see him
after what I had just gone through. It was a life changing journey that began for me that
day. I believe It was the real wake-up call that I needed, and I thought that this was it for
me.
        I called a lot of people that day and I praise the Lord for the friends and family
that I have in my life. I think that had it not been for the support, love, and
encouragement of the people in my life who stood by me and listened on that day I have
no idea where I would be today. I decided to clean up the blood from the house and then
pack up a small bag of things and headed down to North Carolina to be with my family.
It took me a few days to really process what had just happened, and it took me many
more months to see the impact that it had on my life.
        I needed those few days just to get over the initial shock of what had happened. I
recall being in my younger brothers shower one morning and I just broke down and
                                                                                              52




began crying, weeping. I had just come to terms with the fact that I would never be able
to be with Jake again. Honestly, I loved that man very much. I was so lost and had no
clue what I was doing when I broke up with him, and after he tried to take his own life, I
was faced with the reality that he had a lot of pain that he hadn’t dealt with either. Even
though I thought I was making the best decision when I broke up with him I had to deal
with a pretty immediate consequence of that choice.
        As you can probably imagine from what you’ve read up to this point, I have
really struggled with making healthy choices in my life. This circumstance,
unfortunately, was no different than any other. I recall the days, weeks, and months after
this took place.
        I would say to myself, “I really want to deal with this the right way,” and “I
really need to work on my relationship with God.”
        And, in my heart, I believed all of what I would say out loud about those things.
I even went several weeks, possibly even a couple of months, without engaging in
smoking pot or resorting to acting out sexually. I honestly wanted to step away from all
those “unhealthy” things. I wanted to focus on reviving relationships in my life that I had
lost touch with due to my selfishness and self-centered way of looking at life. I had faced
the reality of death and I did not want to be in a place in my life, ever, that I would regret
not getting to know the people who meant to most to me. My father, my mother, my
siblings, my nephews, my nieces, and my closest friends.
        I remember the conversations I had with my dad during this period of time and I
really felt that something shifted in our relationship. It was the first time that I really
wanted to engage in dialogue with him, and I believe it was the first time I sensed he was
open to listening to me talk about my life in a very real & raw way. I made a
commitment to connect with all my family members more regularly. I came to find the
love of my mother to mean something very special to me. She was always there for me,
                                                                                            53




but this time it was different. I think this situation shifted something within her as well.
All in all, I felt like I was getting closer to everyone in my life that I had kept at a
distance. Was I perfect at this? Absolutely not, but it was the first time in my life that I
had to, and wanted to, lean on my family for emotional support. It was so awesome to
know that they were willing to come beside me and be there for me during the tough
times.
         Through the course of the next few months I learned a lot about myself. I
realized how difficult it was to give up addictions and the desires of my flesh. Even
though I wanted to desperately deal with the pain that this situation caused, I continued to
resort to acting out sexually. In fact, my sexual behavior became even more dire and I
found myself in situations that were even more life-threatening than ever before.
         I was cruising the internet, being far more promiscuous than I had ever thought I
could be, and I did not care if I lived or I died doing it. It’s amazing how dirty and
disgusting our flesh will let us go if we allow it. I was also inadvertently finding myself
hurting guys that I came to care about deeply. I just couldn’t control myself, so it
seemed. I recall fooling around with people I just wanted to be friends with and leading
them on to believe that I wanted more than just sex. It is not a time of my life I am at all
proud of, and I pray that those who I hurt will be able to forgive me for the way that I
treated and mislead them.
         It was a week that Jake was in the hospital following the suicide attempt, and
after he was released he had come back to my house to pick up some of his things and
found a used condom in the trash can. Well, as you can imagine (and rightfully so), he
was upset about that. After that, I can tell you that I was in for the ride of my life. I
began receiving hateful text messages, phone calls, and emails from Jake indicating how
horrible of a person I was. It seemed that every time that we spoke I would have to listen
to how everything that had happened was all my fault and that I ruined his life. Honestly,
                                                                                            54




I even feel like I believed him most of the time.
        Even though on the outside I would talk about how I knew the fact that he tried
to take his own life was really his issue, I somehow internalized it and felt that it was
God’s way of punishing me for being unfaithful to him. I couldn’t find it in my heart to
forgive myself for the way that I treated him in that relationship.
        I continued to recall what I had been taught during my brief walks with the Lord
that we “reap what we sow.” Boy, was I reaping! I felt that because I sowed evil and sin
into that relationship, I was reaping all of God’s wrath. I know now that to not be the
truth, but it was the force and thought process working within me to keep me separated
from my relationship with God. During the months following the break up Jake
continually asked me for money and I was submitting to his requests because I felt that he
was going to seriously hurt me if I did not. There were a lot of times when he threatened
to send emails to my co-workers that would “air out” all of my dirty laundry. I was also
worried that he was capable of killing me, and I didn’t want to go down that path.
        Essentially, I was living my life in a constant state of fear and anxiety. I was
looking at everything around me and worrying about dying, and waiting for something
terrible to happen to me that would turn my world upside down. Though I found myself
indulging further into my sin and addictions during the months that followed the break
up, I also desperately wanted to begin setting a new and healthier course in my life. I ran
a 10k in March, a few short weeks after the break up, and I realized that this was
something I could do for myself that was positive and healthy.
        So, I decided to sing up to run a full marathon in November. Was I crazy for
thinking I could do something that was this challenging? Something that would require
an actual commitment and more self-discipline, heart, and hard work than I had ever been
able to prove I could do? I thought so. I knew that I needed to do something for my life
that would be completely life-altering and life-changing. I needed to do something, I felt,
                                                                                          55




that would require me to actually set a goal and work hard at accomplishing it.
Everything in my life, up to this point, had been fairly easy and required little self-
discipline or delayed gratification.
        Some may define their lives by the education they have worked so hard to
receive and the career they have worked so hard to develop. Unfortunately, or
fortunately depending on how you look at it, I did not find any sort of lasting satisfaction
in those accomplishments in my life. I needed something more, something bigger.
Hence, the marathon. During the course of my training I had also made a conscious
decision to quit smoking cigarettes, which had been an addiction in my life since I was 19
years old. When I made the decision to let that addiction go in July I began feeling
incredibly empowered to do anything! I had so much to be proud of and I knew that I
was making better choices in my life.
        Work was going great, I was certainly making my mark in my new role. I had
begun to make friends and was traveling a ton, which had always been a passion of mine.
On the surface, my life was going great! I was the poster child for a successful young
adult and I was living my life to the fullest. Except one thing, I was becoming more and
more depressed and falling deeper and deeper into my sexual addiction, alcohol use, and
continued to smoke pot almost everyday. What was wrong with me?
        Deep inside of me I realized that something had to radically change. How was it
that I could be achieving so much success in my career and everyone around me be
praising all the accomplishments of my life, yet inside I was just waiting to die. I got to a
point one night, while high from smoking pot and taking anti-anxiety medication (quite
the mix, I know) that I found myself sitting on a bench in front of my bathroom mirror.
If anyone would have walked into my house during the course of the 45 minutes I was in
my bathroom it would have been likely that I would be writing this book from a state
hospital right now.
                                                                                            56




        If you can picture it, I had just come out of the shower and looked at myself in
the mirror for the first time, I think, in my life. I made contact with my eyes. I didn’t
even recognize who I was looking at. I was scared and afraid of who was looking back at
me. What was wrong with me? Why didn’t I love the guy I was looking at? Why was it
that every time I looked at myself in the mirror before did I not really look at this person I
was looking at in that moment? Where had I gone? What had I done to cause myself to
get to this point in my life?
        There were so many questions that night. I sat on a bench in front of my mirror
that night and I had a serious conversation, with myself. Whether I was high on drugs or
not, that conversation had a major impact on me. I realized there was something special
about the guy looking back at me. I realized that night that I was not a horrible person. I
realized that I was not ugly. I realized that I could be, and was actually a good guy. I
wanted to know more about who this person was that I was looking at.
        Anyhow, it was the last week of August and I was in Minneapolis, MN for work,
greatly anticipating my upcoming vacation to Milwaukee, WI the week after. It was on
that business trip to Minneapolis that I came face to face with the reality of my sexual
addiction.
        I had gone out one night to the local gay bar. I was having an awesome time
enjoying this newfound freedom. I had only really gone out to the bars by myself a few
times before, but during this trip I realized that I had the courage to do this. Well, I met a
guy as I was leaving the bar my last night in the city. I invited him back to my hotel. We
did a lot of fooling around and eventually we went to sleep. Upon waking up the next
morning we began talking and I realized that, through his full disclosure, that he had been
addicted to methamphetamines and some other “hardcore” drugs. I was scared. I had
just had unprotected sex with this complete stranger who I had just found out was a drug
addict, what did I just contract? The gravity of that situation lingered with me during my
                                                                                            57




5 ½ hour drive to Milwaukee that day. I began thinking that something really needed to
change this time, seriously.
        Seriously. How many times had I said that before? I felt this way before, what
was going to be different now? So many times in my life I told myself something
“seriously” needed to change, and I tried to change. I failed over, and over, and over, and
over again. Why should I believe this time is going to be different?
        I was on my way to spend time with one of my best friends in the whole world,
the best place for me to be at that moment. I arrived there with something different in my
heart, but I just didn’t know what it was. Up to this point I had been looking for that
“thing” or person to make my life different. I was looking for something to change my
life again. I was in that same state of mind I was in when I met Jake for the first time,
and when I had gone back to my partner when I was living in Fayetteville.
        I had a similar resolve to make this change, but I was still looking for the answer
in all the wrong places. My friend and I went out to a local gay bar one of the first nights
I was in town. I was going to be in town for the week and I was hoping to find a guy to
spend time with. That seemed to be a pattern for me when I was traveling about the
country. I just did not want to be alone and I was hoping that there would be someone,
somewhere that would be the answer to the many issues in my life. Well, as we were out
one night I believed that I found him.
        Let’s call him Conner. I met him at the bar and immediately felt a connection to
him. He was a very good looking guy, younger than me, but held himself with a great
deal of maturity. We danced and had a good time that night, and eventually we
exchanged numbers. He and I continued to text back and forth that night and then
planned on getting together the following night.
        We went out that night and I began to develop some serious feelings for him. He
was incredible, good looking, had a great personality, all the things I was looking for.
                                                                                            58




We spent the night together almost every night that I was in town, but we did not have
sex. This was important to me for many reasons, but namely because I wanted things to
be different with Conner than anyone else that I had ever met before.
           I had also just had an encounter with a guy that could have given me HIV, or
some other serious disease and I was scared, really scared. But, for me it was more about
wanting to be faithful to this guy I had just met. It was about coming to grips with the
reality of my life and wanting to “seriously” make a change, for good. I deleted all of my
online “hook-up” accounts during the course of that week and I made a pact with myself
that when I returned to my home in Richmond I would begin the process of getting help
for my addictions. I was ready to make a change.
           At the conclusion of my time in Milwaukee I had planned on heading to
Columbia, SC to attend one of my best friends weddings. This was a friend I had known
for nearly 10 years and I was really excited to be able to be there for her at such an
important time in her life. And, I was really going through a lot of emotional “stuff’ at
that point in my life and being with such a dear friend for such a great occasion was great
timing for me.
           Well, it was during my connecting flight from Detroit, MI to Columbia that I had
a life changing experience. I did not know at the time the significance of the prayer I
cried out to God on that flight, but as I write this today I can confidently tell you that He
heard and answered that and many more prayers after this flight.
           During the course of the take off out of Detroit into Columbia I began to have a
panic attack and I honestly thought I was going to have a heart attack or die in a horrible
crash. In the moments that I was feeling death close in all around me, and as the anxiety
I was feeling began to invade every part of my life, I cried a prayer out to the Lord:
           “God,” I said, “what is it going to take to change my life and why haven’t I done
it yet?”
                                                                                             59




        I did not want to die like this and I certainly did not want to live the way I was
living any longer. What was it going to take to change my life? I had no clue. I had
been trying for years to figure out the answer to that question. I cried out to God in my
fear and desperation of dying and being sick and tired of feeling anxious all the time.
        I asked the Lord a question on my flight that day in early September, and I felt
for the first time in six years that He and I had made some sort of connection. My
anxiety subsided and I arrived safely in Columbia. I had an awesome time partying and
celebrating my best friends wedding, and headed back home to Richmond on Sunday
morning after being gone for over two weeks. I had no idea what was in store for me
upon my return, but I knew I was ready to make some “serious” changes.
                                                                                         60




                                       Chapter 6




        I returned back to Richmond on Sunday evening, and knew I had Monday off
from work. It would be my last official day off before returning back on Tuesday from
the nearly two week vacation I had just been on. It was Monday and I was ready to begin
finding out more about the help available in my area the sexual addiction. I logged on to
my lap top and began looking up information for a local SAA meeting, Sex Addicts
Anonymous. I found the website and noticed that they held meetings at 7pm on Monday
nights. It was Monday. I needed to go. I was scared, real scared.
        Was I going to have the strength to make that all-important step and go to the
meeting or would I let myself down again, as I have done so many times in the past? I
had noticed a phone number that was available to call to find out more information about
the meeting, so I entered that number into my personal cell phone. Once I had the
number entered in my cell phone I became even more anxious. What if I called this
number and someone answered? I may actually need to talk to someone about this,
“seriously.” As I had the phone number for this meeting logged into my personal cell
phone I decided that procrastination was the best option for me at that time. You know, I
was practicing the all too familiar avoidance behavior I was accustom to.
                                                                                             61




         As I was procrastinating and pacing around my house, full of anxiety, I decided
to check for email and any information that may have been sent to me through my work
cell phone. I noticed there were a few missed text messages from my boss and a couple
co-workers reading something like “are you ok?”, “is everything all right?’ ,”I got the
message about the email, I hope you are ok?”
         Of course, I responded, “I’m great! Everything is wonderful! Thanks for
asking!”
         I was curious about the statement in relation to the email, so I decided to log on
to my work email and check out what this message we referencing. I began to get a little
anxious because I recalled what Jake had been threatening me about for the last several
months. So, I logged on to my work email and immediately saw that he had sent an
email.
         The contents of that letter were revealing. I believe in my heart that the intent
behind the email was to ruin my life. Jake, after nearly 6 months since the break up, was
still hurting. I believe he just wanted, and needed, for me to feel the pain that I had
caused him. Though I realize that the pain he was suffering was not entirely a result of
my actions, I did understand how he was hurting.
         Understandable. It was purely actions prompted by the evil in both our lives at
the time that caused that email to be sent to the Vice President of the company I was
working for, my boss, and several other people I was working with. I can remember,
vividly, falling to the floor in disarray that morning. I was completely and utterly numb,
and being flooded with a plethora of emotions. My heart was pounding nearly out of my
chest. The adrenaline running through me took me back to the moments when I was
standing over Jakes near-lifeless body in the bathtub, with blood gushing out of his arms
all over again. I began to feel my life crashing in all around me. I knew, at that moment,
I had to make a choice.
                                                                                            62




        I recall making a phone call to my boss, a few co-workers, family, and friends
that morning. There were so many thoughts running through my head and I had no clue
how I was going to respond to this. Could I bounce back? What would I have to do to
get back on my feet at work? Should I just give in and walk away? But, what about all
those years I’ve spent building my reputation?
        I began to get angry. I was angry at Jake for sending that email. How could he?!
Then I began to get angry at myself. Why did I get myself into such a deep, dark place
that someone could even write such a letter about me? How did this happen? What was I
going to do? My life was seriously about to change, but how?
        I made a choice that morning. I was going to seriously try to do the right thing. I
had made a commitment the week before that I was going to make a change and I
realized, that afternoon, that no matter what I was going to make a serious effort to do
just that. So, I put on my running shoes and left my house to go for a run. I needed to
clear my head and think through the events that had just unfolded. I needed to sort
through all of those questions and find some answers. I drove 10 minutes to my favorite
running spot, got out of my car, stretched, and began to run. While I was running I began
to have clarity about the situation. I can recall hearing this voice speaking to me about
the situation I found myself in that day.
        I kept hearing, “leave your job Brodey,” it went on to say, “you have always
been passionate about leadership, and you know that the behaviors that have brought you
to this point in your life were not that of a great leader.”
        I began to understand where this conversation was going and kept hearing more.
        “Brodey, when you are in a leadership position integrity is of the utmost
importance. You have not been living a life worthy of the position you have obtained.
You have lost your integrity. You have lost your credibility. You cannot continue on
this path of destruction and you cannot go back to your job. This has brought you here,
                                                                                           63




and you have to make a choice now.”
        I had no idea who or what this “voice” was that I kept hearing. All I know is that
during the course of my run that afternoon I began to feel an overwhelming sense of
peace wash over me, and I started to realize that the only reasonable solution to my
problem was that I would need to resign from my job. I returned back to my home that
afternoon and was able to speak in more detail to my boss. I discussed with him how I
was feeling about the situation, but wanted more clarity as to how my company was
going to respond.
        For the most part, the letter that was written had only disclosed (in a high level of
detail) my personal life and the behaviors that were unhealthy to me personally.
However, there was a situation that had occurred in October of 2009 that resulted in me
being charged with a misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia drug charge.
        The details of that story are not important to document here, but let’s just say that
Jake and I were experimenting with illegal drugs at the time and I found myself in a
situation where Jake was having (what we thought at the time) an overdose and I needed
to contact the paramedics. They found the pot in my house, and that is the short version
of the story. Needless to say, I was engaging in behaviors (no surprise at this point in the
story) that resulted in me officially becoming a criminal.
        Well, it happened that being in a position of authority and influence and catching
a drug charge did not really go hand in hand. The outcome may have been different had I
made my employer aware of the situation when it took place, but I was too scared to tell
them at the time. In any case, I had no idea what my company was going to do about the
situation now that they had been made aware of it.
        It is important for me to mention that the company was extremely gracious
during this period of my life. The focus, from their perspective, was all about my well-
being and I received several phone calls during the days following from prominent
                                                                                            64




people within the company. The calls were all encouraging and up-lifting, and during a
very vulnerable time in my life that meant the world to me.
        Anyhow, that night I decided to attend the SAA meeting that I was researching
when I found out about the letter. As I mentioned earlier, I was serious about making the
changes and going to this meeting would be a better choice than going out and getting
plastered, which was definitely on the forefront of my mind (believe me!).
        I walked into the meeting that night, shaking like a leaf. I had no idea what I was
walking into. All I knew was that I needed help and I had just received a serious wake up
call, and if this wasn’t going to change me nothing would. I returned home that night
feeling like I had made some good choices that day. I can recall having a conversation
with a co-worker after the meeting and I believe it was the first time I realized I had
prayed three days before on that flight from Detroit to Columbia, “What was it going to
take to change my life, and why haven’t I done it yet?”
        Did God just answer my prayer? I recall thinking about the idea of doors being
opened for me, and how the series of events that had unfolded that day were seemingly
too coincidental. How could it be that I had cried out to God, felt a sense of peace come
over me for the first time in 6 years after crying out, and then 3 days later I was faced
with an opportunity to walk away from the only job that I had held my entire life. Would
I have ever been able to walk away from my six-figure, comfortable, successful job with
my own strength? Probably not.
        This was surely God’s work unfolding right before my very own eyes. The
series of events that follow this fateful day on September 6th, 2010 would become a
series of events that would change the entire course of my life, eternally. I made the
decision to leave my job the following morning and during the course of that week I
made my resignation official. I was feeling led to believe that I would have been
terminated for the drug charge I received in 2009, but I did not feel the need to stick
                                                                                              65




around to find out. I was ready to start the process of finding a new path in my life and
start out on a new journey, but to where?
        I recall sitting in my house during the days that followed my resignation, lonely,
scared, not sure where I was going, but knowing I was going somewhere. I began
working on putting together a resume and searching for my next job, both activities
which were novel to me. I was excited and anxious at the same time. I was, in my mind,
in the process of redefining who I was going to become. I continued to run daily and
attended the SAA meetings as often as they were in session. I wanted to continue making
decisions for myself that were positive and wanted to ensure the behaviors and actions I
chose moving forward were conducive to my complete recovery.
        It was a few days after I resigned from my job that I began to hear that voice
speaking to me again. At the time, I still wasn’t sure what that “voice” was, but I knew
that it was giving me good advice and moving me in the right direction so I chose to
continue to listen to it. I would really hear the voice clearly during my runs, and this is
exactly how I heard it again.
        I was on a run one morning and began to sense the voice speaking to me about
taking a journey across the country. It was something I had always wanted to do and I
found myself in a perfect position to take advantage of such an opportunity. I had never
had the opportunity to take a long period of time away from my life to even consider
taking such a journey. It really began to resonate with me, so I began searching for
someone to come travel with me.
        Initially I felt I would just take a few weeks to drive out to the Pacific Ocean and
back home. I immediately contacted one of my best spiritual friends, the one I had met
while I was in college. She had just returned from Hungary a few months prior and was
also in the process of seeking more for her life. She indicated to me at the time that she
would love to join me, and it was seeming like it was possible that she would come
                                                                                          66




along.
         So, with the idea and a friend to come along for the ride, I decided to start
making mental preparations to take the trip across the country. I was so excited! I had
always wanted to take this trip and I was now seriously beginning to think about the idea
of preparing to do it. I contacted several people in my family for advice and received
mixed responses. Some encouraged me, and others felt it was not the most responsible
idea. Both of these thoughts were generally how I felt about the trip myself at that time.
I didn’t want to be irresponsible, but I was also having a hard time finding passion to do
anything but take this trip. As the days progressed I continued to think through the idea,
and one day while I was running I had an encounter with that “voice” again, but this time
it was different.
         I began my run that morning with my mind racing full of thoughts about taking
this trip. Well, it was about 15 minutes into my run that I began to hear that voice again,
but this time it appeared that the voice was coming from Jesus. It was as if He was
running right next to me! It was actually quite amazing how he presented himself, but I
knew it was Him. It was the first time in my life that I recognized the voice of the Lord,
and it was incredible. I began to hear him speak to me about this journey. He spoke to
me about taking 40 days out of my life to make it purposeful, to make this journey a
spiritual one. He began showing me His heart for me to visit ministries and other
spiritual movements that were taking place all over the country. I felt led to plan out
stops in each of the big cities I would travel through.
         It was after this run that I believed God was calling me to take this journey.
After all, it had only been a few days since I walked away from my job and felt leaving
my job was God answering a prayer. I began to realize He had opened the door for me to
walk away from my job in order to take this journey and seek a deeper intimacy with
Him.
                                                                                            67




        Ever since the suicide attempt I had been sensing that I needed to reconnect with
the Lord, but I just wasn’t getting to the place that I needed to be. And, as I was
beginning to hear His voice speaking to me, I was realizing that I wasn’t getting to a
place in my life that He wanted me to get to either. He was speaking to me about this trip
that day. He was showing me that He wanted me to come back to Him and fall in love
with Him again.
        After I finished my run that day I immediately called my dad and told him about
this encounter I had just experienced with Jesus. At the time I still wasn’t absolutely
certain that it was God, but I was pretty sure, enough to believe that it was Him. I felt the
concept of taking this trip and the passion I had in my heart to go was certainly confirmed
by the Lord on that run. I asked my dad to help me plan out my trip and for him to call
his friends across the country to see what was happening within the faith community.
        I wanted to have a different purpose everyday, and I even named this journey “40
Days of Purpose--Cross Country.” My dad came into agreement with me about this trip
and said he would work on finding out what was taking place for me. I then called my
friend who I thought may be coming with me, and explained the idea to her as well. I
even went as far as putting together an “event” for my trip on Face book (how 21st
century of me, right?!). I wanted to get my friends involved in this trip and see if they
could help me find things to do everyday. It was after that run that I made a commitment
to myself and to God that I would take this trip, no matter what happened.
        My 19 year old brother Drew wrote me a letter in response to my decision to take
the journey that encouraged me greatly, here is some of what he wrote:
        “I just want you to know, that this trip is going to be so blessed for you. Just
        keep seeking Jesus and you will find him. Open yourself to Him and the Holy
        Spirit and be discerning of the deceptions that the enemy has placed in the world,
        there are many. …If you do nothing but seek after the one true God your life will
                                                                                            68




         be radically changed…I know that a lot of things are confusing and that it is
         hard to wrap our minds around all that Jesus is and what He has done. But in
         all honesty, we are not here to wrap our minds around stuff like that because we
         can’t. We are here to become professional lovers of Jesus and to develop a
         relationship with Him first. Everything else will follow after that. Set your focus
         on higher things and pursue the Lord with all that intensity in your spirit. I
         assure you will not walk away from this the same person…”
         Profoundly wise words of encouragement from a man who has become one of
my best friends. Words that set me on a course of discovery and revelation of who Jesus
really is.
         The next day I went out and started to purchase supplies for my trip. I had
planned that I would leave Richmond on September 21st, and I would be camping most of
my way across the country. I did not want to spend all of the money in my bank account
on this trip and I figured camping would be more cost-effective.
         It was over the course of the next few days that I was informed that my friend I
had been planning to join me on this trip was not going to be available to come. The idea
of me taking this trip, across the country for 40 days, by myself, was quite scary. It was
frightening for several reasons, but the one that continued to resonate within me was the
fact that I was on this journey of recovering from a sex addiction that found pleasure on
the road, in hotels, and in isolated and anonymous situations. I began to wonder if I
should really take this trip solo.
         During the days between my resignation and the time I would leave Richmond
for this trip, I continued to attend SAA meetings. I started to make some good
connections and I was feeling more confident in my ability to recover from the addiction.
However, I was still focused on my recovery being a completed work done in my life,
and I wanted to be sure that I would not fall back into the addiction, especially while I
                                                                                            69




was on this trip.
        I planned a meeting with a man who had been in recovery for over 17 years on
the Saturday before I headed out on my journey. I knew that the Lord had called me to
take this trip, but I wanted to be sure that I was purposeful in protecting myself from
falling to the addiction again. Meeting with this guy was the best thing I could think to
do. I wanted to be sure I had a plan, and had made some connections with other
recovering addicts who I could reach out to while I was on the road.
        During that meeting this man indicated to me that it is typically recommended
that people recovering from this type of addiction enter into a period of celibacy. Me, be
celibate? I did not really think I needed to cut off all acts of sexual behavior in my life, I
could at least keep my self-satisfaction, right? He indicated to me that I should attempt to
keep from any sort of sexual satisfaction, and I made a commitment to abstain for the 3
days that followed our meeting
        I took a trip down to North Carolina that weekend to visit with a few of my
siblings and mother before I headed out across the country. I returned to Richmond on
Monday, and while I was in bed that night I had another experience within the spiritual
realm that was very reminiscent of what I had experienced 6 years prior in Fayetteville,
NC.
        I began to feel as though there was something in my room, spirits, taunting me. I
began to feel a wide array of emotions that night, hate, anger, rage, all very bad emotions.
I then began to cry out to the Lord to bind those spirits and for Him to provide me with
His supernatural peace and love. I thank God for my father and for that prayer he had
shared with me earlier in the week. I felt a sense of peace come over me that night, but
also realized that there was more to this whole celibacy process than I had previously
thought. The next morning I woke up and went about preparing for my trip, keeping that
uneasy experience in the back of my mind.
                                                                                         70




        It was September 21st and I realized I would be one day late in leaving
Richmond, but over the course of that day I made a commitment to God. I would attempt
to fast and abstain from any sort of sexual activity on this 40 day, purpose driven journey.
I was making a commitment to begin a process to change my thought process and a series
of behaviors that had controlled me since I had been 6 years old. This was certainly
going to be quite the trip and I was ready for all that God had in store for my life!
                                                                                          71




                                        Chapter 7




        On Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010 I left my home in Richmond, VA to set
out on a 40 day journey to seek a new path for my life. I had made a commitment to God
to set aside my own desires and my life for 40 days to give Him an opportunity to show
me all He wanted me to see. That first night I spent with two of my aunts, and some of
my cousins in New York. That was a great night, and the next day I arrived at my father
and step-mothers home in Binghamton, NY. I decided to begin my journey with my dad
because I really wanted to get the journey started out on the right foot spiritually, and my
father was one of the most spiritual men I had ever known.
        Though we had our differences over the years, I was beginning to understand
through my own revelation and relationship that was developing with the Lord, why my
father was so passionate about God. I began to understand the love that my dad had for
me, and I really needed to get to know my father on a more personal level, something I
had never done before in all the 28 years I was alive. I knew that I would be able to get
myself in the right place spiritually in this atmosphere and that my dad would be able to
mentor me along my journey, so starting out here was only fitting.
        I began to get into the Word of God more intensely during my stay in NY. It was
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an entirely different experience reading the Bible than I had ever had before. The words
seemed to be coming out of the page, right at me, piercing my heart. I was falling in love
with this man, Jesus Christ, and beginning to understand who He was. I made a decision
to begin reading the gospels first, and wanted to get through each of them on this journey.
I would sit on a nice, cozy chair in my dad’s house and begin to read and get to know all
about Jesus. It was amazing the revelations I was having even during these first few days
of my journey.
        I recall having a dream one night while sleeping on the couch (I like to think of
the couch in my fathers home as truly anointed). In the dream I was in my house in
Richmond, along with my dad, step-mom, and younger brother. I was selling my home
and my house was exceptionally clean and prepared for a sale. My step-mother and I
began to walk around the house and eventually began to descend into the basement of my
home, a basement that in reality does not exist.
        As we entered the basement I noticed that it was a complete mess, there was trash
everywhere, junk piled on top of other junk. I remember saying to my step-mom “I
cannot believe I am trying to sell my home and I completely forgot to clean out my
basement! This is so disgusting!” Julie, my Step-mom, proceeded to walk into the center
of the room and lifted up a blanket that had been laying on a pile of junk. When she
lifted it up, I noticed hundreds of ants scattering all about. I immediately took off my
shoe and began to squash them. I focused in on three distinctly ugly ants. They were
much larger than the small ones and they were red. I was able to squash two of the
biggest ones, but there was one that looked me right in the face and ran in the opposite
direction. This ant looked unique in relation to the other ones, it was much uglier and I
sensed a strong evil presence about it.
        I woke up after that ant ran away from me and began to realize what the Lord had
just revealed to me through that dream. He helped me to see how satan had set up camp,
                                                                                          73




or fort, in the foundation of my life. The enemy had invaded my life, through sin that
was introduced to me at a very young age, and he set up his fort. All of the junk that was
in my basement was representative of all of the things I had been piling on top of the
enemy, and my sin, to keep it safe.       Through my dream, the Lord was helping me to
begin uncovering the truth in my life about why I had been struggling with my addictions
and allowing sin to have it’s control over my life. It was after having this dream and the
revelation about what it meant, that I began to realize how the Lord desired to take me on
a journey to cleanse me from my unrepentant sin. I was beginning to believe that the
Lord desired to present me with the truth about who He originally created me to be, but
first the covers of deception needed to be removed.
        As I was still committed to completing the marathon I signed up to run in
November, I realized I would need to find places to run while on my journey. So, I found
a park and decided to go for a run. My run that day was the first of many runs that I
would find myself being personally coached and trained by Holy Spirit. I had come to
the park with my father and step-mom that morning. They chose to walk, while I ran.
The loop was 6 miles long and when I started to run I realized it was going to be a tough
running day for me.
        I got about a mile and a half into the run when I started to sense the Lord
speaking to me. However, I also realized there was a lot of heaviness in my spirit. I was
being attacked spiritually and I was struggling with doubt about whether I could finish
the run that day or not. I began hearing the voice of the Lord speaking to me,
encouraging me to keep pushing through. He spoke to me and said “I know you better
than yourself, Brodey. You can do this today.” That truly encouraged me enough to get
me past the attacks and allowed me to push forward.
        I was struggling to finish the short 6 mile run that day, and I was getting close to
the finish line when I heard the Lord say “I want you to keep going.”       “Really?” I
                                                                                            74




asked.
         I thought to myself, “I can’t keep going, I’m not capable today.”
         The Lord continued to speak to me about continuing to run, and He even told me
which direction He wanted me to go. I continued to try and negotiate, but eventually I
decided that I would do it. However, instead of running in the direction that I felt led to
run, I decided to run in the opposite direction because I thought I would be able to find
my dad and step-mom, then I would just walk with them.
         So, in my stubbornness, I decided I would compromise and keep running, but
only until I found them. Well, I began running and could not find them anywhere. I
eventually ended up back at the very location where I decided to make the compromise
with the Lord and, behold, there were my parents.
         The Lord taught me an important lesson that day about trust and obedience: trust
in what the Lord asks you to do and be obedient to His voice, for He will not lead you
astray. It was due to my own desire to gratify my flesh, and my own thought process of
believing I would be able to shorten the run by going my own way, that I ended up
running much farther than I would have had to run if I had only listened to the voice of
the Lord in the first place. I was beginning to realize that the Lord wanted to use this
journey to personally teach me a few lessons about how to navigate through life, fully
submitted to Him. It just get’s more interesting as the story goes, and it won’t ever stop.
Amen!
         It was Sunday night and I would be leaving Binghamton the next morning for
Milwaukee, WI. I had experienced some incredible dreams, encounters with God, and
some amazing fellowship with other believers while I was in town. I was feeling ready to
head out, though I was still slightly anxious about taking this journey by myself.
However, I began feeling ever more confident in the presence of the Lord to keep me
comforted and safe from myself.
                                                                                             75




        It was my final night in NY, while reading the gospel of Matthew, when I came
across a few scriptures that began to change my perspective on a significant area of my
life, my sexuality. Matthew 19:12 reads:
        “For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that
        way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of
        heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”
        I began to think about the journey I took 6 years ago in my faith. I remember
believing that if I were to ever walk away from my sexuality that I would have to be
celibate and give my life wholly to God. This scripture, one that some would not think
could cause someone to feel convicted about living a homosexual lifestyle, began to
convict me. I even recall asking my dad what a eunuch was, I had no idea. Matthew 24
& 25, which referenced the end days and the “weeping and gnashing of teeth,” also
caused me to think differently as well.
        It was that night when I began sensing a new reality as to why I was on this trip.
I had decided I would begin journaling over the course of my 40 day journey to capture
all that God wanted me to learn. Here is what I wrote in my journal that night:
        “The Lord is speaking to me about the urgency, importance, and eternal severity
        placed on this journey. I am constantly thinking about that which used to define
        me and seeking the Lord as of this very moment to help me understand why every
        time I feel His presence in my life I feel convicted of my sexuality. Lord, I pray
        you shed light on this for me and give me the strength to walk in your light and
        purpose everyday.”
        I went to sleep that night with those thoughts on my mind and that prayer lifted
up. The next morning, the day I was to set out to head west, I saw the most beautiful,
majestic image I had ever seen in my life. What I saw in my dream woke me up that
morning at 5am and would be an image that would completely change the course of my
                                                                                           76




journey across the country, and my life.
        I saw “Corinthians 6.” It was on fire, and in the most beautiful hand-writing I
had ever seen. It was, for certain, a word given to me from God. There was no doubt in
my mind that he wanted me to read that scripture. I had never read Corinthians before
and, in fact, I did not even realize that there were two epistles written to that church body.
So, I quickly got up, opened my bible and turned to 1 Corinthians 6. Below are the
Words I read that morning, Words that have changed my life forever:
        “Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers
        and sisters. Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of
        God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor
        adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor the
        drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And
        that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you
        were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
        ‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say--but not everything is beneficial. ‘I
        have the right to do anything:’--but I will not be mastered by anything. You say,
        ‘Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them
        both.’ The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord,
        and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and
        he will raise us also. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ
        himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a
        prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute
        is one with her in body? For it is said, ‘The two will become one flesh.’ But
        whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. Flee from sexual
        immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever
        sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are
                                                                                            77




        temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?
        You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with
        your bodies.”
And, 2 Corinthians 6:
        “As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he
        says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped
        you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”
        Up to this point in my life there had been many days I spent in turmoil over my
life. Not all of the issues in my life were bad, and not all of the bad issues in my life had
anything to do with my sexuality. In fact, I would argue that the lifestyle was just a small
fraction of my life and that the other issues in my life were the driving force behind my
“issues.”
        It just so happened that the Lord wanted me to know His truth in relation to the
lifestyle I was living and I believe He has called me to share that truth. The Lord shared
with me that his desire and will for my life was far greater than the way I was living.
That morning, on my drive out west toward Milwaukee, WI I came into agreement with
the Word of God and The Truth and began the journey of redefining my life as a child of
the Most High God.
        I would begin the journey of “denying myself and taking up my cross to follow
Jesus (Mat 16:24).” The remainder of this story is the about my cross-country journey
through the heart of America, and into the heart of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I
ask that you come join me as I share with you all that the Lord has done in my life to
bring me to a place of freedom, joy, and a new life full of hope and promise.
                                                                                            78




                                         Chapter 8




        I decided that the first day of my trip would be the longest drive for me. I wanted
to get out to Milwaukee where my friend was, and I didn’t think there was too much that
interested me in any of the states that fell in between Wisconsin and New York. I was in
a for a 13 hour drive, but I was prepared for the journey. A few Christian CD’s, Holy
Spirit, and I was all set. I was on fire for the Lord and worshipped nearly all 13 hours,
minus some phone calls. It was the quickest 13 hour trip I’d ever taken, seriously. I had
a sense of anticipation, excitement, and a supernatural peace about taking this journey
alone. Because, after all, I had realized that I was not going to be alone at all!
        I arrived in Milwaukee around 8pm and my friend and I decided that we would
go out to a local restaurant for dinner. I was exhausted and not much in the mood for
going out like we were accustom to doing when we got together. Besides, I wanted to
bring her up to speed on what had taken place during the last few days while I was in NY.
        My friend was extremely supportive and excited about the recent change that had
been taking place in my life. Though I do think she was probably a little perplexed about
the sudden shift in my mentality, especially since just a few weeks prior her and I were
partying nearly every night. In any case, we had a great discussion that night and went
                                                                                            79




back to her place to crash after a long day of traveling. Over the course of the next few
days, as you can see from my journal entry below, I began to find myself coming to grips
with this new truth about my life:
        “…I began feeling down about what the Lord has been impressing on my heart
        over these past few days. I wouldn’t really define it as struggling so much as I
        would refer to it as “deep thought and conviction” on my heart. This is not
        coming from anyone of the earth, but straight from the Father. I am trying to
        understand these feelings of conviction more fully and why, or what, they mean
        to me. I feel the way I do today as I did when my walk with the Lord came to an
        abrupt end 6 years ago, and I fear for that angst, despair, and depression that is
        waiting to take over in my life again.”
        I was certainly feeling the pressure and weight of what had just been revealed to
me begin coming down all over. I was scared and afraid because I knew how I felt when
I turned from the Lord during my brief walk in 2004, and it was not a good place in my
life. I was beginning to understand the commitment I was being called to make in my
life, and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to accept this change.
                 “I am trying…maybe that is my issue--what am I trying to do here? Am I
        striving for something? I am not sure what I am feeling at the moment, but I
        know it’s not necessarily all God’s doing. I feel as thought I am amidst a
        battle…not even a battle, but a WAR for my life! The devil wants me back, but I
        REFUSE & REBUKE him! The Lord said--wait, My Lord said--we ask and we
        shall receive--Lord, I ask for you to help me in this WAR. I ask that you be my
        commander in chief and that I be obedient to your commands. I refuse to let evil
        penetrate my soul again and I feel he is knocking at my door loud and
        persistently right now. I ONLY desire to be in the arms of My Father!!”
        I only desired to be in the arms of my Father. Even to this day, as I sit at my
                                                                                             80




dad’s kitchen table writing this book and reflecting on the journey I’ve just returned
from, the words that I read in my journal pierce my heart. I was, for so many years in my
life, lost. There were so many things going on all around me and within me that I had
never taken the time to stop and listen to God. I was beginning to realize he had been
chasing me down and, now that I’d finally given him an ear to hear, he was speaking to
me so clearly. The difference? I was now ready to listen and take action.
        Milwaukee was the first city I planned to visit churches and ministries. My
father and I sat down prior to my departure from New York and researched a ministry for
each of the larger cities that I would be journeying through along my route. I was led by
the Holy Spirit to make a decision as to which of the ministries I would visit, but my dad
helped to point out some of the places that he had heard of as well. In any case, I was
ready to be obedient to what the Lord had called me to do on this trip, which was to visit
ministries and churches all along my travel route. I felt the Lord had given me a message
to share with those that I had contact with, and that was found in 2 Corinthians 6, “The
time is now.”
        This was a task far outside of my comfort zone, and one at the onset of my
journey, I was quite unsure of as to why the Lord had placed it on my heart. Over the
course of the 15 years I had been saved I believe I attended church maybe a total of 1
year (with much of that time not being consecutively). Thus, church was not a place I
was familiar or comfortable with. In fact, it was quite the contrary. In my opinion the
state of the church was broken, and it was doing a poor job representing unconditional
love or the heart of Jesus. Especially when it came to the particular subject matter of my
life.
        In light of this, I was nervous about the task, but more than willing to step into
what the Lord had placed on my heart. It was my final full day in Milwaukee and the
Lord began to speak to me more clearly about my purpose for the calling he had given
                                                                                               81




me.
         “Today began with a long 2 ½ hour run that proved to be yet another spiritual
         journey          for me. The Lord was speaking to me today and revealed to me
         the understanding, well at least a little clearer anyhow, of what he must have
         been feeling on his walk to the cross. In fact, I felt the Spirit ask me to “take a
         journey with him along the path…” I literally attempted to take one step and
         was so overwhelmed by the emotions that I had to immediately step away. It was
         truly indescribable how that felt, but I sit here tonight desiring to feel more of
         that in order for me to apply it to the purpose the Lord has for my life. Anyhow,
         after that interaction and experience I continued to run and came across a small
         bible church. I felt the Lord speaking to me to walk into that church. I wasn’t
         given a whole lot of other direction so I continued to run until I felt I needed to
         stop and turn around. I ran all the way out to a little park called Pioneer Park in
         the historic district of a small subdivision outside the city. So I headed back
         toward the church and wound up going in and introducing myself to a very nice
         lady. I was a little nervous, but said that I felt the Lord speaking to me to give
         the church a message and possibly pray with the pastor. The woman proceeded
         to explain how he was too tied up at the moment.”
         Too tied up? I began to realize why the Lord had spoken to me about visiting
that church.
         “I was not sure exactly what the significance was of visiting that church, but it
         did teach me a few things 1) to be obedient to the Lord at all times, 2) it gave me
         more confidence for what I needed to do tonight.”
         I had planned to visit a larger ministry, World Outreach Ministries1, that night


1
    http://www.worldoutreachbtc.org/
                                                                                            82




and I was feeling quite anxious about doing so. I had no real reason to visit these places
other than I felt the Lord was speaking to me about it and I had a message to share. I did
not know what, or who, I was going to run into while I was out doing this and the fear of
the unknown had begun to grip me. Visiting that little bible church certainly gave me
more confidence to do this. I realized that there was a bigger purpose for what I was
doing, and the Lord was going to be telling me a story about His Church. A story that I
would have to share when I returned home in November. At the time, I had no clue what
the story was, or that there was even going to be a story. I was just trying to be obedient.
         “Tonight I was supposed to go to a certain ministry, but after an interesting
         phone call with them yesterday I was unsure if this was the place the Lord
         wanted me to visit. So, I began to search for another ministry. However, after a
         few attempts at searching with no results, I felt I really needed to go to the
         ministry I had originally planned to visit. I am so glad that I did! It was an
         amazing night being in the fellowship of the Lord with other authentic Christians.
         I truly felt that the Lord was working in this place. …I learned a lot tonight, but
         most importantly that it is clear to see and hear when the Lord is pleased with
         what is going on in a place. I was so nervous at first, but I very quickly found
         comfort and peach within me there.”
         I had a revelation about open doors that day. This ministry had been completely
open to welcoming me into their fellowship. Even though I was not somebody they
knew, they embraced me and treated me as one of their own. This was what the Lord
wanted me to see, a church that was willing to keep it’s doors open and embrace someone
off the street.
         Unlike the church I had visited earlier in the day, which turned me away, this was
a place that the Lord was pleased with. I was certain of that in my spirit. That night I
was able to sit in on two classes. The first was on Kingdom thinking, and the second
                                                                                             83




class was the first in a series of teachings on how to study your bible. The Lord taught
me about confirmation that night too. I felt that I was doing what He had called me to do
and the series of events that unfolded while in Milwaukee had just confirmed for me that
I needed to continue listening to the Lord and doing His work.
        Of course, I needed to address the situation with Conner. During the time that
passed from when I left Milwaukee there had been some significant changes in my life,
obviously. I did not want to hurt him, but I knew that I somehow needed to communicate
to him what had taken place in my life. At this point in my journey I had not come to a
complete understanding myself, but I knew that the Lord had revealed a truth to me that
was undeniable. I was just not sure how I would accept this myself, let alone this guy
who I had been showing an interest in over the last few weeks.
        That was a difficult conversation for me to have, and I’m not sure that I
completely explained what was going on with me, but I am positive that I let him know
that God had revealed some things to me that I needed to work through. He is, and
always will be, a very special man in my life. It was, in large part, because of this man
that I had begun to set out on a course to change my life. I have a great deal of love and
respect for him, and pray that one day the truth will be revealed to him as it has been to
me. In any case, whether this happens or not, I am sure there will always been a
connection between the two of us and I thank the Lord for him.
        My time in Milwaukee was fruitful and it served to get me ready for the
remainder of the days on my journey. It was eight days into my journey and this is the
revelation I was beginning to have:
        “It’s really amazing how different I feel today than even a week ago. I know
        there is a fear inside of me…Actually, there is not a fear anymore. My life has
        changed forever and I could not be more grateful.”
        The Lord changed my life and I was ready for Him to continue to engulf me in
                                                                                           84




all He was. The desires of my heart were to be in his arms, and I believe that is what He
desired as well. I left Milwaukee full of excitement and anticipation, ready for what God
wanted me to see next. I was planning on my first night camping, and this would be the
first time I had ever done that solo.     The drive to George Wyth State Park in
Waterloo, IA was beautiful and quite picturesque. Seeing the farm land and the rolling
hills of Wisconsin, and the endless cornfields dotted all along the way transitioned me
into a new place of the journey. I knew that this was going to be a trip to remember, but
the reality of all that I was beginning to embark on had started to take hold that day.
        While I was feeling a great deal of anticipation and joy, I was at the same time
being overwhelmed by a sense of loneliness and depression. It was a remnant feeling
from my time in Milwaukee and the continual revelation about all the Lord was showing
me about my life. It was also a spirit that had dominion over my life for so many years.
I arrived at my campsite that night, set up my camp, went grocery shopping, then settled
in for the evening.
        “Wow, my first night ever camping solo! I honestly can’t believe I am here,
        sitting at a picnic table with my fire, my lantern, and nature. At this moment I am
        so incredibly overwhelmed by the Spirit for the first time today…I really enjoyed
        the drive in today, even though I took a few wrong turns, it was breathtaking.
        Seeing the rolling plains and truly feeling the wind “come sweeping” down them
        was awesome…I was nervous about doing this on my own when this trip began,
        but I am actually very thrilled to be out here by myself. I even had a little
        raccoon come to greet me tonight!”
        I received a phone call from a friend I had met in Binghamton before I left to
begin my trip. That phone call helped to pull me out of the “funk” that I was in that day.
        “She taught me something important tonight. Don’t always expect to have
        yourself in those “high” places. It’s important to remain firmly rooted in the
                                                                                           85




           Word, and remember that it is not always about the “emotional high,” but
           keeping yourself planted. She also spoke about the teachings of Paul, and shared
           about the verse that speaks of taking authority over every thought--as this can be
           a window to the evil one trying to edge his way in.”
           As I began to set myself up in my tent that night, I realized that I was much more
comfortable than I thought I would be. Camping by yourself, having never done it
before, is certainly an experience in growing up. I would highly encourage anyone who
gets the opportunity to do it to do so. It makes you come to terms with all of your own
issues pretty quickly, and eliminates the ability to place blame on anyone else. For
example, when you put the tent up backwards and have to take it down and put it back up
again, you are really the only one to blame…and you just have to deal with it. And, as
I’m sure some of you can relate, arguing with yourself just doesn’t get very far very
quickly.
           Needless to say, throughout that first night I found myself reading in the Word a
lot and taking comfort in the presence of the Lord being with me. I slept peacefully and
had no anxiety, which for me was a change from just a few days before. I was ready to
do more of this, I felt like I grew so much that night!
           The next morning I woke up and headed south to Cedar Rapids, IA where my
next planned ministry stop, River of Life Ministries2, was located. I called this ministry
the day before and they told me they would have time to allow me to speak with the
pastor that next day. I was excited about the prospect of being able to sit face to face
with a pastor and share my journey with him. It would be the first time I would be able
to sit down and share what the Lord was doing in my life since I had left Virginia. I did
not know what to expect that morning, but I was eager to get to the church.


2
    www.riveroflife.org
                                                                                             86




        “I was driving to the church and on my way I noticed a sign for a ‘learning
        center’ that was reminiscent of a state or national park road sign, and I felt the
        Spirit leading me to take that exit. So, I did. I was driving and happened to pass
        through a quaint little town with a small church. I felt the Lord speak to me
        about visiting that church, but, as I had done several times before, I just kept
        driving not sure if that was God speaking to me or just me making it up. So, I
        kept looking for the learning center. Once it dawned on me that I was meant to
        get off that exit to visit that church I turned around and went back. I pulled into
        the parking lot, but didn’t see any cars. So, got out and went to the front
        entrance. Surprised, I noticed the door was open, so I walked in.”
        Why was I surprised that the doors were open? Maybe it is because I did not
expect anyone to be there or available. This concept of open doors was beginning to
weigh on my heart as the days passed and I was hoping to find more churches with open
doors. This happened to be one, so yes, I was slightly surprised.
        “The woman sitting in the administrative office introduced herself to me. She
        welcomed me with a little hesitation, but mostly she was awesome. Earlier in the
        day I realized I brought too much ‘stuff’ with me and wanted to download some
        of it (coffee pot, bicycle, an excess cooler), and the Lord placed it on my heart to
        give it to someone who needed it. Anyhow, I asked this lady if she knew anyone
        who needed any of those items, but she didn’t. I’m not sure if my visit there had
        any impact, but that wasn’t my purpose for stopping. Who knows what it was
        apart from being obedient to Him. I left this church feeling good and ready for
        my next stop. Again, I wasn’t sure why I was going there and, in fact, I walked
        through the front doors and proclaimed that very thing. ‘I have no idea why I am
        here, God just told me visit!’ The receptionist had a vague idea of who I was and
        I was there (due to my phone call the day before). Nonetheless, I was able to
                                                                                          87




        meet with the pastor, who was willing to sit with me and hear my story. This was
        really the first time anyone took the time to actually talk to me face to face. I was
        so greatful for that blessing of time spent with him. I believe the Lord used that
        interaction to help validate the purpose of my journey and the significance of the
        scripture placed on my heart.”
        I spoke with the pastor about the recent revelation God had given me about my
sexuality and what the Lord had been doing in my life. The timing of that conversation
could not have been more significant. The pastor was discussing with me the sensitivity
and concern the local church community was experiencing in trying to resolve how to
reach out and minister to the homosexual community.
        Gay marriage had been passed in Iowa a couple years before and the church was
grappling with how to reach out to this community. We were able to discuss this a little
more in depth and I shared my thoughts on the perception that I had, having lived that
lifestyle for 10 years of my life. Though I was still working through the process of
understanding what was going on in my life in relation to my sexuality, I believed that
the Lord had given me an opportunity to share my thoughts with the faith community.
        It was the first time I realized that there was some significance to what was
taking place in my life. I realized there was a need to share this story with others.
Though I was not sure how the Lord was going to use me, I wanted to be obedient. After
all, this was not my story to share, but the story He gave me and the truth that He
revealed.
        I arrived at Union Grove State Park in southeastern, South Dakota late that
evening and set up my camp. It was my second night camping and I was beginning to
find some efficiencies to the process. I was ready to head out to the Badlands the next
day, the first stop on my journey where I would be staying more than one night. I had
read up on the park and was especially excited to get there.
                                                                                                88




        On the journey up to Union Grove, I had my first compelling encounter with the
Lord. It was also my first time engaging in serious form of spiritual warfare. Here is
what I wrote in my journal that night, once I had arrived at the park.
        “I had a pretty unrestful sleep last night. I had some disturbing dreams and
        woke up numerous times throughout the night. Anyhow, I woke up this morning
        and began getting my things together so I could get on the road earlier rather
        than later. I really felt a spirit of negativity, frustration, and fear residing over
        me that morning for some reason. I decided to make a pot of coffee and sit with
        the Lord and absorb some of the Word before heading out. I began feeling the
        enemy shooting his daggers and arrows at me. I had a great moment of prayer
        with the Lord and he came to my rescue. I simply asked Him, never mind, it was
        not simple. It was my heart, my life, my everything poured into that prayer. It
        was my anger and hatred of the evil that was trying to attack me and it was my
        overwhelming desire to be delivered from the enemy’s thwarts. In that moment I
        had recalled Jesus saying to a demon possessed child, “come out of him, who do
        you say you are?” And the spirit replied Legion, and then he fled. Legion,
        thousands. This, I have realized is far bigger than myself to combat on my own.
        I asked the Lord to cloak me in his garments and protect me, to bind the evil from
        my heart and my mind. This prayer and this battle continued most of the day
        today. Until, until the Lord came down from the heavens and wrapped His hand
        around my heart and immediately answered the prayers I was calling out to Him
        for. I was asking the Lord to guide me, to deliver me, to use me.”
        I was driving on I-90 somewhere in South Dakota when I felt the hand of the
Lord embrace my heart that afternoon. I had never felt His presence so strongly. I had,
up to this point, sensed His presence near me and around me, but this was a completely
different experience. It was as though He actually had my physical heart in His hand.
                                                                                           89




        I began to weep uncontrollably for the first time in my life. The Lord was
cleansing my heart and I was crying out for His help. I begun to realize that this was a
journey I could not take on my own. I realized how many years of my life I had been
trying to fight this fight in my own strength. That afternoon the Lord revealed to me how
much stronger I was with His help. And, quite frankly, I realized during the 45 minutes I
sat in my car weeping that there was no way I could do this without Him by my side.
        After that encounter with the Lord, even after all that had happened up to this
point, I began to understand how “alive” our God truly is. He was not something that I
read about or prayed to, yet He was a living, breathing creation who stood right by my
side. He revealed Himself as my comforter, my protector, and my lover that day.
        I arrived at the Badlands early in the evening, set up my campsite, and settled in
for a few days of rest & relaxation. I was eagerly anticipating my time in the park as my
first impressions were incredible! I settled in to bed that night and prepared for the days
to come. I had just encountered God in the most amazing way, and I thought that would
be enough to sustain me for the remainder of my journey. He was alive, He was with me.
That would have been enough for me, for sure. However, it was just the beginning!/
                                                                                             90




                                         Chapter 9


        I planned to stay a couple of nights in the badlands and I was glad I would finally
have the opportunity to set up camp and stay in one place for more than one night.
Setting up and tearing down camp everyday is a task that can certainly be overwhelming,
especially if you do not have the experience doing it very often. It was during my first
night in the badlands that I began to grapple with the idea that I may possibly be going
crazy. I just felt the Lord grab my heart, I was weeping uncontrollably, I was telling
people God was speaking to me, and I continued to hear voices. I had just lived through
several traumatic and was still standing to talk about it, how could I possible be in this
place right now?!
        “My lantern is fading and I know if anyone reads this journal one day they are
        going to have two thoughts, 1) Brodey is crazy and/or was crazy and we should
        have gotten him help a lot sooner, OR, 2) They will see that I love the Lord so
        much that I burst into spontaneous prayer and thanksgiving for all the Lord has
        done in my life.”
        Was I going crazy? It certainly seemed like I was, but for some reason I felt as
though something very real was taking place. I was still trying to understand what was
taking place within me, but I knew something significant was going on. I decided I
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would continue to keep an open mind and allow my heart to be open to receiving
anything that God had for me. After all, I had spent so many years trying to understand
and get help for a lot of the personal issues in my life and it seemed that what was taking
place now was working. Why would I want to change that?
        It was during my stay here that I began to come face to face with my anxiety and
fears of death. I had been trying to give my extra bicycle to anyone I could find to give it
to, but continued to run into people who did not need or want it (maybe I should have just
waited on the Lord to show me, right?!). There was a young guy who was camping near
my site and I went to ask him if he wanted it. I noticed he had a pickup truck which
would allow him a way to take the bike and I figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask. When I
approached him I suddenly felt a spirit of fear come over me as I noticed that his
demeanor was slightly “off ,” but I could not discern why. After speaking with him and
not being able to give him my bike, I began to notice he was staring at me.
        I believe he may have been under the influence of some type of drug, but I
cannot say for certain. In any case, I was certainly getting a bad vibe from this guy. Here
I was trying to be nice, and now this guy wants to kill me. I suddenly began thinking
about all the reasons as to why I was afraid of taking this trip by myself and suddenly all
my pre-trip fears and anxieties came rushing back to the forefront of my mind. I tried not
to dwell on any of them, but it was too difficult and I was being invaded with fear. That
night served to be another amazing encounter with the Lord.
        “Last night I began to feel evil closing in all around me, and trying to frighten
        me and give me anxiety. The enemy loves telling me lies about how I am going to
        die! The Lord tells us that to “live is Christ, and to die is gain,” and I kept
        reminding myself of that very quote all night. I asked the Lord to help me fend
        off the evil in my tent and I felt as though he came to me and began to place upon
        my chest His arm. I felt Him laying His hands on my chest and assuring me
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        everything would be fine. I then sensed that he called several angels down to
        surround my tent and I sensed them surrounding me with arms locked.”
        That night was a powerful demonstration of the Lord’s comfort manifesting itself
to me, in a very real way. My anxiety subsided as soon as I felt His presence enter my
tent and I was able to sleep peacefully. After that night, I realized that I had been given a
power from the Lord to bind evil spirits that would attempt to come against me. I grew in
my faith and trust in Lord that night. All of the fears of death that had invaded my
thought process for so many years, and especially during the past several months since
the suicide attempt, began to fade away. I realized in my tent that night there was no
reason for me to fear.
        The Word of God began coming to life on my heart and in my mind. The Lord
directed me to read Isaiah 51:12-13 and I believe it sums up the encounter I had with Him
that night:
        “I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mere mortals,
        human beings who are but grass, that you forget the Lord your maker, who
        stretches out the heavens and who lays the foundations of the earth, that you live
        in constant terror every day, because of the wrath of the oppressor, who is bent
        on destruction? For where is the wrath of the oppressor?”
        I was believing what I was reading and the Lord was confirming the power we
have in the Holy Spirit through His very own encounters with me. There would be only
one other instance on my journey in which I would be faced with a fear of death, and I
immediately knew it was not of the Lord. Satan no longer had that stronghold in my life,
victory was the Lord‘s!
        Following these action-packed days full of spiritual revelation and insight into
my life, it was the final full day at the park and I decided I would go for a run. I realized
there were not any specific running trails, but the park was fairly quiet that Sunday
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morning, and running on the park roads seemed to be a safe bet. I planned to run about 6
miles that day, however the Lord had another idea for my run that day. And, based on
my previous running encounters with the Lord, I learned that being obedient to Him was
always in my best interest.
        “I ended up going for a 14 mile run today and truly sensed the presence of the
        Lord and several angels with me. They represented Power, Strength, and
        Victory. It was quite the run. I was planning on only running 6 miles, but I was
        totally swept away in the Spirit and was thoroughly enjoying my worship time
        today. It was all rather amazing. I was singing and running and praising the
        Lord everywhere. I could feel God’s presence everywhere and felt as though we
        were all in unison as we worshipped Him together. I allowed myself to continue
        running until I felt the Lord tell me to stop, and the location I stopped was
        absolutely beautiful. I found a place on the rocks to sit and thank God for
        allowing me that opportunity.”
        The Lord continued to provide me with more revelation during this run. I began
to realize during this season of my walk with the Lord running was providing Him a
platform to get through to me on levels that I had yet to experience in other ways. I
believe there was so much going on in my life and mind that it was only when I
physically pushed my flesh to a point of submission, that I was able to hear God’s voice
and receive instruction from Him.
        I was truly “beating my body and making it a slave” (1 Cor 9:27) without even
realizing the scriptural significance to it. Not only was the Lord speaking to me clearly
during this particular run, but I experienced creation crying out and worshipping for the
first time in my life. It was unlike anything I had ever felt in my life. As I was singing
and running it seemed as though the rocks and the grass and the animals I saw were
signing right along with me. I felt that all of creation was crying out for the Lord to come
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home, and it gave me a sense that I needed to respond back to creation in my worship.
        I continued to cry out, “He is coming home, He is coming home,“ and much of
my worship that morning was with creation. It was, without a doubt, truly majestic. The
Lord also continued my teaching and training during the run that day. This time it was a
teaching on exhaustion and the power we have been given to deflect the arrows and
daggers of the enemy.
        “My run back to camp was more challenging and I believe it was a teaching
        moment for me. 1)Exhaustion and pushing yourself to the point that your entire
        being is stressed opens the door for the enemy to come waltzing in if you‘re not
        on guard. 2)I also learned the power the Lord has imparted to all His children
        and defend ourselves from any evil spirits that may try to enter into our spiritual
        atmosphere.”
        I began to realize, especially after all that I encountered on my way to the park
and during my stay there, that the Lord was trying to reach me. I began to understand
that it was He who was speaking to me all along. The fact that I was beginning to realize
that maybe I wasn’t crazy and maybe this was God began to excite me on a supernatural
level. God was trying to capture my attention and He was aiding me in making tangible
changes in my life, a first for me! I left the Badlands National Park full of insight and
revelation and began heading west, toward Yellowstone National Park.
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                                        Chapter 10




        Before reaching Yellowstone I decided to stop and sleep overnight a few miles
outside of the park. I arrived in Cody, WY on October 4th, after a lengthy ten hour
driving day. Cody, a small & beautiful mountain town, was a perfect place for me to get
a hotel room and prepare myself for an extended stay in our nations largest national park.
        I needed to do some laundry and was eager to eat some junk food, or any food
that I did not have to prepare myself for that matter (as cooking is not something I at all
delight in). I had been camping for nearly a week at this point and a nice cozy motel
room, with a hot shower and comfy bed was the perfect remedy for the night. After
ordering a pizza and taking a long, hot shower, I hopped into bed and began to journal.
        “Today was quite a challenging day for me. First, I was struggling to wrap my
        mind around why someone very important in my life can’t seem to respond to
        what I thought was a nice text message. It really drew me into a depressed state
        of mind and opened the door for the enemy to try and attack me. And, attack he
        did! For the better part of a few hours today I really under the influence of the
        spirit of depression. I was excited in the fact that I was able to identify what was
        troubling me and claim victory today! I told the Lord to throw everything He’s
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         got at me to ready me for this battle and I believe He has been holding to my
         request…I do not fully grasp the magnitude of the commitment I made to Him
         tonight, but I have promised that I will do everything in my power to help win
         this war for His Kingdom! …The serious nature of the journey I am on has fallen
         upon my heart at this very moment. My life must change and I must trust in the
         Lord to purify me so that I can stand up and serve as a witness that it is possible
         to be freed from the slavery that is sexual immorality!”
         I was beginning to realize that this journey was becoming something bigger and
more important for my life than I had expected. Even though I had realized at the onset
of my trip that it was going to have eternal significance in my life, the Lord was
clarifying his purpose and call on my life. “I must trust in the Lord…to be freed from the
slavery that is sexual immorality.” I believe the journey to understand how to fully trust
in the Lord, as well as a journey of understanding the fullness of the commitment that I
have made to Him is one that I will be on until the day I die.
         It was during another run, this time while in Cody, that the Lord continued my
spiritual education. This time He was speaking to me about healing. Well, it was a week
prior to arriving in Cody when I realized that my knee no longer had any pain. It had
been hurting me badly off and on since running a 10k race back in March and I was
asking the Lord to heal it so that I could continue to train and successfully run the
marathon I had committed to in November.
         During my run the Lord started to speak to me, “Did I not heal your knee
Brodey? Why do you run as if you are in pain? Do you not have faith my ability to
heal?”
         I responded, “I suppose I do not have faith in your ability to heal if I am running
as though I am in pain, I must believe I am in pain.”
         It was at that moment the Lord began teaching me about faith, and my need to
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increase my faith and trust in Him. After my conversation with the Lord, I felt an
increase in my desire to believe in Him with all my strength, my soul, and every cell in
my body. He revealed to me how His gifts are given to all of us, but that I was so
focused on what I could see and feel that I was unable to receive all that He wanted me to
receive. The Lord also revealed to me the critical spirit I had toward His ability to
perform miracles. I realized that day I needed to seek repentance for not believing and
being critical of His gifts. Essentially, I had placed God in a box, and that was no place
for Him to be.
        With clean clothes, a clean body, bear spray, and newfound revelation from the
Lord, I was ready to head to Yellowstone. It was my first night camping at the park and
the Lord continued to provide me with more revelation about my life. I had been
struggling to make a fire that night and there were two young guys who were camping in
the adjacent lot. They invited me over to sit with them at their fire, so I did. There were
a lot of emotions that came out during the course of the 12 hours following this
invitation.
        “I was invited by two guys to sit with them at their fire (as my attempt at making
        one last night was a complete failure). So, I agreed and chilled with them for a
        little bit and drank a beer. It was nice to socialize with some people again as it
        seems like it’s been a little while. I slept fairly well last night, but woke up too
        early for my liking. I guess that’s what happens when you fall asleep at 8:30pm!
        I went to bed last night feeling unsure about not talking more about the real
        reason behind my journey with these guys. It was really eye opening how
        stressed out and frustrated I was getting at myself when I couldn’t make that fire.
        I think it was heightened even more, well, completely, because those guys were
        there. It made me feel like I wasn’t ‘manly’ and I really think that is what caused
        me to get frustrated. I woke up this morning feeling convicted again and feeling
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        like I should have talked more about the Lord and my journey…I think I put way
        too much pressure on myself now that I think of it.”
        I began to recognize feelings of inadequacy that I had not felt since I was a young
child. I recalled feeling frustrated and embarrassed that night because I was not able to
make that fire. Not only was I failing at making the fire, but there were two guys who
were about my age who were sitting at their fire enjoying the night. A flood of emotions
welled up inside me when they approached me and offered to help. I accepted their help,
but it really made me feel like I was worthless as a man.
        As I mentioned earlier, I struggled connecting with other guys throughout most
of my life. I was not like other boys growing up, and I often times felt inadequate when
comparing myself to them. I never quite understood why I could not connect with them
in a social setting, but I was certainly able to work with them and effectively lead people
of all sorts, including men, rather effectively. The Lord was revealing to me that these
were feelings He wanted me to lay at His feet. As well, I felt through this experience the
Lord was able to teach me more about obedience.
        “My entire day today was consumed by trying to thwart those feelings that I
        struggled with last night. I spent hours today at a geyser in the park because I
        felt the Lord was telling me to sit and be patient. Up until this point, I honestly
        felt he was going to make that geyser shoot up into the air, something it hadn’t
        done since 2005! I went through a lot of seeking today to understand why I felt I
        just needed to sit there.”
        I was certainly ready for something exciting to happen. A quick fix for the bad
day I was having up to this point. A bad day that had been spurred on by these feelings
of inadequacy and imperfection. I realize now that I was always looking for a quick fix
to my emotional problems and the Lord wanted to show me the value in being patient and
waiting on Him. “I just needed to sit there“…Why?
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        “Apart from my honest belief that I thought the Lord would erupt this thing
        (which was me being selfish), I even thought, at one point, if I tried hard enough
        I could conjure up the ability to make it erupt on my own. I thought about
        patience and obedience that day, a lot. I prayed a lot. I spoke with God all day
        asking for Him to help me understand why I was there. I learned a lot about that
        sitting there today. I learned that obedience is all encompassing. It is love. I
        realized that in the past I have not practiced obedience, ever. Even as I write
        these words I am recognizing that I have never had a need to be obedient in
        many ways, apart from work and following the law (which I obviously was not
        entirely obedient about). I realized that being obedient to the Lord means
        sacrificing everything that I want, and all that my flesh desires and offering all of
        who I am and who I will be up to Him. It means having a strong will and desire
        to do all of that because I realize, for the first time in my life, the depth for which
        my Father truly loves me. I also realized that being obedient is probably the
        biggest challenge in our society. I am in a place in my life where I have the
        opportunity to sit here for hours and seek the Lord. I have no TV, no cell phone,
        no internet, just me, time, and the Lord. Oh yeah, and no job, no kids, and no
        spouse. I realized today that I must learn to be obedient and patient to God’s will
        at every cost…I also realize that I must grow in my self-confidence in many ways.
        I strongly desire to speak to others about the changes I face and the glory of what
        the Lord is doing in my life, but I feel like a newborn baby.”
        I continued to receive more revelation from the Lord while at the park. I was
completely void of any and all distractions while there. I began to realize my flesh had
been suppressed for a little over two weeks at this point in my journey and my
commitment to stay completely celibate from all sexual behavior was becoming more
challenging.
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        “I haven’t spoken much about my journey of complete and total sexual celibacy
        in here and I’m feeling a need to just allow myself some time to get out of me
        whatever feelings I have about that tonight. These past few days have proven to
        be ever increasingly tempting. I woke up the other morning feeling especially
        tempted to relieve myself. Let’s just say I prayed for a very long time that
        morning for the Lord to lead me not into temptation. I have committed to Him
        that I would overcome my fleshly desires, to surrender it all, my life. Yet, that
        morning I had all I could do to keep from giving in to my flesh. As I write these
        words I feel the Lord is teaching me another lesson. I am not quite ready to
        place scripture with this, but I’m realizing that wherever the Lord is, right behind
        me stands evil. …So, I made it past that urge, but I felt down and depressed for a
        while. I had opened the door for evil to walk in and it did without any hesitation.
        I’ve been doing fairly well through the remaining hours of the days, but when I
        get frustrated, or when I’m tired, or when I see something or someone that
        triggers the past thoughts, it perpetuates and I’m finding myself getting bogged
        down by the evil cloud of darkness that is trying to take me back. It hits me that
        I’m being influenced by evil at that point and I immediately begin to ask for
        God’s help to deliver me. It is tiring and exhausting to hold back all that is
        trying to capture me again, but I will forever stand firm in my commitment to my
        Father. I will not back down, and I will not retreat. It is, however, important for
        me to recognized and stay focused on the love my Father is surrounding me with.
        I have been so accustom to negativity and evil all my life that I feel my flesh
        constantly seeking that out.”
        I was beginning to realize that it was as though I was constantly seeking out the
negative in situations. Even as I was writing in my journal that day I realized that my
flesh lived in the negative, and was constantly pulling me in the direction that was away
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from all that was good. My flesh truly is against all that my spirit desires. I also began
realizing that my sexual behaviors were being used to serve as an avoidance, or pacifier,
of those negative feelings. When I chose to not indulge in the activities of my flesh that I
had given in to for nearly my entire life, feelings of depression and darkness began to
manifest themselves.
        I hadn’t made a complete connection at this point in my trip, but I was beginning
to see how one bad behavior was pacifying another. Hence, the cycle of my addiction
was being revealed right before my very own eyes. My relationship with the Lord was
deepening through this process and I realized that He was revealing more truth about my
life. I undoubtedly began falling more in love with Him. I was learning to rely on Him
more to deliver me from the evil cycles and influences that were so present in my life. I
had been having several dreams, but the dream I had that night was quite spectacular.
        “I had a dream about several people who were very close to my heart. I dreamt
        that I was getting married to someone, and I believe it was a man, but can’t say
        who. However, I bought a wedding dress for the occasion and did not even think
        about it when I made the purchase. It wasn’t until I got home and was getting
        ready to show a family member of mine what I had just bought did I realize it
        was a dress. I am wondering if this is symbolic of becoming the bride of Christ?
        And, when I made the purchase I was joyful and happy, but it was when I
        presented it to a non-believer in my family that I actually realized how silly that
        must have looked.”
        I did not write how it could represent faith, but in my mind I felt as a new
believer, faith was the only substance I could hold onto. I was so incredibly full of joy
and excitement in the Lord. A joy and excitement that a non-believer could not truly
comprehend because it was indescribable and incomparable to anything one can
experience outside of revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ.
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         It also reminded me of what I would hear from Christians who had been walking
with the Lord for many years, “Oh, you are just on fire Brodey, be mindful of the days
that lie ahead, you know, when you lose that fire.” I remembered hearing that a few
times during my previous walks with the Lord, and also during this time of my life, and I
have to say that it burns me up to hear that every time someone mentions that to me.
         Why do we, as Christians, speak so negatively to those who are on fire for God?
Is it because we are no longer on fire and we feel that is the way our Christian journey is
supposed to work? Do we believe that we should lose that fire, or should we rather be
encouraging one another to grow in our faith and fuel each others fire?
         The excitement that I felt in my dream when I realized I was getting married was
pure and it was of God. However, when I encountered a non-believer it was difficult for
me to share those feelings with them, even though I yearned to do so. I believe, in my
heart, that the Lord wants the body of believers to encourage and spur each other on,
fueling and re-fueling our fires in fellowship with one another. I began to realize during
my time in Yellowstone that the Lord wanted us to be on the increase, and to live glory to
glory.
         “No matter what happens during the course of the day, I always end it on a
         positive note--feeling like something was learned or accomplished. I’ve seen
         some absolutely amazing sites up to this point. I continue to see God’s
         magnificent presence everywhere I go and am so amazed and joyful when I see
         what He has created. I have been thinking to myself that if I am getting so
         overwhelmed by his creation now, I can only imagine what His Kingdom will
         look like and be like to experience. I believe the Lord visited with me tonight. I
         was sitting by my fire and asking Him to come to me and I felt him arrive
         because the anxiety I was feeling subsided. It was quite the ‘real deal.’ He gave
         me some words of encouragement and reaffirmed the importance of what I am
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        doing right now…He told me that I need to continue to grow stronger in my
        knowledge of Him and His word--to sharpen my sword. He told me to stay
        strong because the devil would do anything in his power to stop me. He also
        indicated there were many people in His Kingdom cheering for me and rejoicing
        in my victory. He also reaffirmed his command for me to remain sexually pure
        for the next year. That encounter helped fuel my fire so much!”
        There are people in heaven cheering for us! Ask God for a vision of your home,
your real home, and to see all those cheering for your victory there. I am positive that
Heaven rejoices every time one of His children return back home.
        I packed up my things the next morning and began my journey north to Montana.
The journey to Yellowstone had proven to be a magnificent one. I had a lot of time to
reflect on the changes that were beginning to take hold in my life, as well as a lot of time
to give to the Lord. I started to realize that what the Lord says about “asking, seeking,
and knocking” was coming to life. I was certainly asking Him a lot, seeking a lot, and
there was not a door in my way that I wouldn’t knock on. The Lord is faithful, His Word
is true, and I was certainly ready to discover more about Him and about myself.
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                                        Chapter 11




        My next stop was Missoula, MT, a small town near the border of Washington
state. I wanted to get a room that night to freshen up and had a weeks worth of laundry to
clean, and I really wanted some real food, so I ordered another pizza. I also knew that I
needed to run 20 miles the next morning so getting some good rest and loading up on
carbs was right up my alley for that night. My training was non-existent while in
Yellowstone mostly because there were no showers, but also because I was at over 7,000
feet elevation and I was struggling to breath just walking.
        I knew that I needed to knock out that 20 mile run while in Missoula otherwise
my hopes for running the marathon were going to be dwindling. My confidence was on
the line. Note to all marathon trainee‘s, stay where you are! Trying to find places to run
those kind of distances in towns, cities, and parks I was unfamiliar with was not the
easiest or most efficient process.
        I went to sleep fairly early that night and woke up a little after 7am to start my
run. I asked the Lord to help me run the distance I needed that day, and I was putting a
lot of faith in Him because I was not certain I had mapped out enough mileage. I had
come to a decision that morning that if I were not able to run at least 18 miles then I
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would just run the half-marathon. This was not something I took lightly as making the
commitment to run the marathon in the first place was more about being able to set a goal
and accomplish it than it was about the actual run itself. So, I was determined to make
that run worth all I could.
        It was the single most challenging run I had ever completed, up to that point in
my life. I wanted to quit on numerous occasions, but kept pushing through. When all
was said and done I ran 21 miles, and was feeling great about it. I would be running the
marathon in November, for sure.
        During my run I had several encounters with the Lord. He came beside me again
as my personal trainer, but also as encourager and teacher. I recall being completely
tired, about to give up, crying out to the Lord,
        “Please heal my legs, you know how badly I need to finish this today! Lord,
please send me a taxi! Lord, why won’t you help me, I am in so much pain! Lord, I
cannot believe you are not helping me. You know I am doing this for you!”
        I had so many emotions flowing through me and I was trying to understand why
the Lord was allowing me to feel so much pain that day. I recall thinking about Jesus
during his 40 days in the wilderness, and when Abraham crossed the desert. At one point
I wondered if the Lord had helped them through that journey, and I even got angry with
God. Wondering, why wouldn’t he help me? He must have helped them, right?
        Well, the Lord provided me with revelation that resonates with me to this very
day. First, the emphasis was on Jesus and Abraham completing the tasks at hand, not on
how the Lord was helping them. And, in fact, maybe those journeys were extremely
difficult for them to finish. Maybe the pain they felt was a lot worse than what I had been
experiencing during my run. I would venture to say going without food for 40 days is an
extremely painful burden to carry, as I cannot seem to make it past 2 days without giving
in. Not to mention the countless other experiences Jesus had during His 40 days in the
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wilderness. I obviously needed a reality check…and the Lord was more than willing to
provide me with one.
        Secondly, I realized that I needed to be cautious of doubting the strength and
power that resides within me through Christ. I may have made the decision to run that
day, but it was due to the strength given to me by the Lord that I was able to finish 21
miles. I had one choice to make which would prove pivotal to my success; I would either
keep pressing on or give up. I made the choice that would allow the Lord to give me the
victory that day. However, had I given up and not allowed the Lord to show me the
strength He has given me, I could have allowed the enemy to come in with His
condemning, accusatory voice. Which, as many of us can agree, is nothing more than
lies and hate thrown up on us to make us believe we are worthless.
        Both of these revelations have had a profound effect on my spiritual walk since
that day. I realize that I have a choice in all things I do, I could give up right now and
stop what I am doing, for the Lord is not forcing me into submission. Yet, my desire to
submit to the Lord and His will for my life is birthed out of the Love He first gave to me,
and the love I desire to give Him in return. We all have many choices for our life, but I
believe that our only reason for living, and the most important choice we will ever make,
is to choose Him and His love for our lives. Once we’ve made that decision, and submit
ourselves to His will for our lives, the Lord starts to take over and we begin to walk in
His Way for us, which has already been designed. From that point on the challenge
becomes learning to make all our remaining choices less about us, and more about being
obedient to His prompting and leading.
        Needless to say I slept like a baby that night, and even had an amazing dream. In
my dream I kept saying “1st Kings 3, 1st Kings 3.” So much so that when I woke I had to
check out what 1 Kings 3 was. I hadn’t fully realized it was a book in the Old Testament,
but had made an assumption it was a scripture. As I began to read the chapter I realized I
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needed more clarity on the message.
        So, I sent a text message to my dad asking him to give me a call to help bring
insight into what the Lord may have been trying to tell me through that passage. He
indicated to me that maybe the Lord was asking me what I desired for Him to give to me,
just as the Lord has asked King Solomon. There is a lot that I’m willing to share about
my life and this journey, but the answer to that question will remain something very
special and sacred between the Lord and I.         My time in Missoula was certainly
another chapter of deeper healing, revelation, and insight into my life. It was also the
first time I had fallen to the desires of my flesh on the entire journey. I realized that, even
though I did not feel I sinned with my mind or heart during the process of gratifying my
flesh, it opened a door for the enemy to come back into that area of my life.
        I left Missoula and began the next leg of my trip, which would take me to the
northernmost part of Montana, and then into Spokane, WA. I had planned on camping
out at Glacier National Park, but the weather was rainy, cold, and not worth the trouble to
get out my gear. Thus, I decided to drive 10 hours to get to Spokane instead of setting up
camp. That next morning I had another battle with my flesh.
        “I am unsure as to where I am going today. I really desire for you to be near to
        me today as I woke up this morning and felt attacked. I am so angry Father and
        I need you to help me understand that I will be victorious over the enemy. I am
        giving today totally to you and will go wherever you lead me. I pray that I am
        able to follow courageously. Thank you for always being here for me and for
        showing me grace. I hate how weak my flesh is Lord. I hate how the enemy
        takes advantage of that weakness at all costs. I am so thankful that I have You in
        my life…”
        When I asked the Lord to guide and lead me that day I had no clue that as soon as
I wrote those words I would hear Him give me an answer. He told me to go visit Healing
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Rooms Ministry,3 which I had planned on visiting in Spokane.
        You see, I arrived a day earlier into Spokane than I had planned and I was not
going to visit the ministry because the healing rooms were closed that day, and I assumed
the ministry would have been closed too. Well, when the Lord told me to go, I was not
going to argue. As was customary during all of my visits to the ministries, I was quite
nervous. I was especially nervous about visiting this ministry because I did not know
what, or who, I was going to encounter. In my mind I was hoping they would be closed
that day, and then I would be able to just go on and do whatever I wanted to do that day.
        I plugged the address into my GPS and headed to downtown Spokane. I found a
side street parking space, which happened to be right across from a mental institution and
in a not so good area of town. This was all certainly helping to calm my fears (yes, that
was my sarcasm again). Well, I couldn’t really see the ministry when I parked so I
prayed, got out of my car, and walked up the street. Once I rounded the corner I saw the
ministry, but there was a police officer sitting in his cruiser right out in front. You can
imagine this really helped to calm me down (yes, that‘s right). In fact, I continued
walking for a few minutes acting as if I wasn’t going to visit the building. I’m sure this
looked very unsuspicious in the eyes of the police officer, especially when I felt
convicted and awkwardly turned in the direction of the building and began to approach it.
        I knew the healing rooms were closed that day, and here I was walking up to this
building with a cop car sitting out front, looking nervous and awkward. It was
completely the power of the Holy Spirit that compelled me to continue approaching the
front entrance. I arrived at the doors and found them to be locked, and just when I
thought I was off the hook, this woman seemingly appears out of nowhere to tell me they
are closed that day. I briefly explain that I am from out of town and why I am here, and


3
    www.healingrooms.com
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she decides to let me in. She begins to show me around and I ask her if she knows of any
campgrounds in the area that would be close to the city, as I had no place planned to
sleep that night as of that moment. She did not know, but after a few minutes into the
tour she asks me if I would be interested in staying at her place.
        Her husband was one of the leaders of the ministry and she was a seemingly nice
lady. I hesitated at first, as I was not accustom to these types of things happening. I
began to feel the Spirit leading me to do this, so I accepted her request and planned on
meeting her back at the ministry after she got off of work. She gave me a book that
explained more about the ministry and how it came back to life, so I accepted it and read
it in it’s entirety that afternoon in a small park located downtown.
        It is truly an amazing story and I realized that I would be spending the evening
with one of the men who were in that book. I had two thoughts on my way back to the
ministry that afternoon: 1) How crazy is this, I am really going to be spending an
evening with two complete strangers who have opened their home for me, and 2) How
awesome is God! I asked him to guide and direct me today and He came through in a
huge way! I was more excited than nervous, anticipating all that the Lord would have in
store for this divine appointment.
        “Wow! I am really sitting here waiting to go follow someone home to spend the
        night with other followers and believers. I asked for the Lord to guide me today
        and I truly believe he did just that. The woman gave me a book to read and I
        read it all today. I am so excited about this journey and am so incredibly
        thankful that the Lord has given me such an opportunity. Wow! I can’t even
        begin to describe how the words of that book spoke to me. It seems the Lord is
        guiding me into every encounter. I feel so incredibly blessed to be sitting where I
        am right now!”
        I was incredibly blessed by my time with this amazing couple. The Lord
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certainly used them to speak life into me, as well as continuing to confirm the
significance of this journey for my life. It was the first time in my life I had anything
prophetically spoken over my life, as well as the first time I had ever been welcomed into
a strangers home in such a loving and comfortable way. My hope in Christian’s was
being restored as the Lord was introducing me to people who were living vessels of His
love.
        The next morning I had the opportunity to experience the healing rooms and even
prayed with the team that morning prior to opening. The Lord continued to speak to me
prophetically through some of the ministry leaders, and some of the words I received that
day have been confirmed over and over again in my life since. I also learned about the
baptism of the Holy Spirit during my time there, and believe it was during my time there
when I received that gift from the Lord.
        After two amazing days in Spokane, and unforgettable experiences with the
Lord, it was time for me to move on to the next leg of my journey. I left Spokane late in
the afternoon, and found myself camping at a site located in Lake Roosevelt National
Park that night. I was the only camper there, seriously. I had plenty of time to write all
that the Lord had done in me through my stay in Spokane.
        “What an absolutely awesome day today was! I cannot even begin to describe
        what all I encountered today, but I certainly felt the presence of the Lord all day
        and want to thank Him for that today! I am currently sitting by my campfire and
        looking at the stars while listening to a montage of animal noises around me. I
        am seeking the Lord to bind the spirit of fear that has been trying to rise up in
        me, and He is providing me the comfort I need at this very moment. Everything
        seems scarier in the dark…now that I wrote that I can assure you the Lord had a
        plan for me to be here tonight. Fear is a stronghold the devil has on my life and
        has used it in a multitude of ways to hold me back. It is so quiet out here and the
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        mood is so intense, yet so peaceful…So my morning started (sort of) at 3:23am
        when I woke up with the Lord asking me to fill 3 jugs of water from Medical
        Lake. Really? At 3:23am? I couldn’t honestly find a way to go out at that time,
        but I was sure to get the 3 jugs before I left. I am unsure as to how or what the
        Lord will do with that water, but I will continue to pray the He will show me
        when the time is right. I got up around 6:30am and hopped in the shower. I
        knew I was going to the healing rooms today so I wanted to call my dad before I
        went for whatever inspiration I could get from him. I had no idea what to expect.
        So, I arrived and we started out the morning in the “war room” (an amazing
        prayer room) just spending a good part of an hour seeking the Lord and drawing
        near to him. I felt the Lord, during that time, come to me, pick up my body (as it
        felt limp in his arms) and walk me over to His altar. He layer me down before
        Him and I looked up waiting, and fully desiring for Him to do as he pleased. All
        I could see were tears rolling down His face. I believe He said that now was not
        the time for what I had desired Him to do. Even as I was having that experience
        it did not seem or feel significant until I recalled what had happened later in the
        day. Today was the first time I had ever been prophesied to, or at least it was the
        first time I knew that someone was prophesying over me and I could understand
        it.”
        The Lord was preparing me for what was to come. My time in Missoula and
Spokane were full of spiritual revelation, and the spiritual battle for my soul was gaining
full speed. I had experienced the weakness of my flesh, and at the same time had
incredible revelations about the strength of my spirit. The Word says “the spirit is
willing, but the body is weak,” and the meaning of that verse was coming to life, in me!
                                                                                          112




                                        Chapter 12




        The next stop on the trip was Seattle, WA. One of my best friends decided she
would fly out and visit me while I was there and it was great to have someone so special
spend a few days with me. We hadn’t had much of an opportunity to talk while I was on
the road and I was excited about being able to share with her all that had taken place with
me over the course of the last few weeks. I did not really know how she would receive
the information about the transformation in my life, but she was definitely one of my
strongest supporters in life and I knew she needed to know.
        Over the course of the days she spent with me on the journey we were able to see
the city, and traveled out to the Northwestern most point in the US, then traveled back
south to Portland, OR. It was certainly a time of reflection for me, as I was able to
recount all that had taken place over the course of the journey.
        I cannot say there were any major spiritual encounters over the course of my time
in the Pacific Northwest, but my love for the Lord continued to deepen and I wanted to
share that with everyone who was close to me in my life. I realize that my zeal for the
Lord is not always going to be shared, but I needed to be delivered from feeling shame
for wanting to share what was taking place in my life. I am so blessed to have the friends
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I have in my life and their ability to love me unconditionally has been, to me, a gift from
God through all of my life’s challenges and struggles. My friend was only loving,
supportive, and encouraging to me throughout our entire time together.
        I have learned a valuable lesson about sharing my faith with those who I love in
my life. Simply put, I’ve realized that they know and understand the life I have chosen to
live, and that it is because of the love of Jesus Christ. I have had the opportunity to share
more details about what God has done in my life, but I never allow our differences come
in between the love I have for them.       Why should I? God chose to love me even in
my worst condition, and He loves me exactly the same today as He did then. I am on a
journey of learning to love others the way that Jesus did, and that is my number one
priority with those I love, regardless of their spiritual beliefs. My prayer is that they, too,
will receive a revelation of the love of Jesus because I’m sure that will change them
forever…it’s the only thing that will change any of us in the right direction. He is truly
the only Way!
        After dropping my friend at the airport in Portland, I found a place to crash for
the night. I got settled into my room that night and began receiving more revelation
about myself and my spiritual walk. It was as if during the course of time I was with my
friend I had taken a break from the Lord and I sensed that night it was not the best
decision for me to make.
        Upon getting settled into my room I began to realize there was somebody in the
room adjacent to mine and I was not discerning positive things were taking place. I heard
this individual praying and singing, but could not understand what I was hearing (it was
certainly loud enough for me to hear without any strain). I felt it was someone praying
who was affiliated with a different religion.
        I had a revelation about our Christian walk while listening to this man pray and
sing. The Lord was speaking to me about our lack of dedication and commitment to
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prayer and serving him. He was showing me how the religions of the world were
dedicated and committed to praying daily, and many were dedicated to praying several
times during the day. However, we as Christians would give the Lord time when it was
convenient for us and our lack of commitment and servitude to Him was lukewarm at
best.
        That night I also found myself being overwhelmed by a strong sense of
temptation to indulge in my flesh. I fell twice during my stay in that hotel. I lost the
battle to my flesh that night, and again in the morning. I realized after my stay in that
hotel that there was more taking place within me than I was able to see with my own two
eyes.
        I knew that I was weak, but I had been learning how to find strength all along my
journey. How was it that I could have fallen so easily in such a short period of time? I
was beginning to feel like things were spiraling out of control, but I continued to seek the
Lord. I could hear that condemning voice again that was trying to separate me from all
that the Lord had for me, but I refused to let the enemy take back anymore ground in my
life. Instead, it seemed that every time I fell to my flesh it would only make me hate
enemy even more and I began to realize there was a warrior spirit rising up within me. It
wouldn’t be until a week later that I got to a point where I openly admitted to my father
that I was struggling with this issue of self-gratification.
        I went on to spend the next few days with my Uncle and Aunt in Packwood, WA.
I had never met them before and this was my first opportunity to spend any time with
them. It was a truly blessed few days and I thank God for allowing me to meet them on
the course of this trip. They encouraged me and lifted my spirits to a new level. During
my stay there I went on a tour of Mt. Rainer, took a death-defying trip up through a
logging trail behind their house in a little white Toyota pick-up truck, attended a night of
ministry where my Uncle played his auto-harp and mountain banjo while signing, and
                                                                                            115




just talked about how the Lord was working in our lives.
        It was during my stay there that I began to value the importance of getting to
know more about my extended family. Here was an entire part of my family I had never
known before, and now I would know and love them forever! I know this will not be the
last time I have the opportunity to spend time with them, and I left their place eager to
take more journeys of getting to know even more of the family I had never had the
opportunity to meet before.
        I left Packwood and headed south toward the Oregon coastline. I arrived on the
coast at Astoria, and began to discover some of the most beautiful coastline in our
country. All along route 101 I took in all the beauty of the rocky coastline and the blue-
green pacific ocean. I had never seen anything like it in my life and I certainly took my
time enjoying more of God’s beautiful creation. I arrived just south of Newport, OR at a
small state park where I set up my camp. This would serve to be the final night camping
on my journey, though I did not know it at the time. I woke up and went for a run that
morning on the beach, something I had always wanted to do. The Pacific ocean was so
peaceful that morning. And, there was a sense as though I was running along the ocean
that I had come to know in my native state of North Carolina, though I was on the other
side of the country.
        It was an amazing leg of my journey and I could feel the Lord preparing me for
an amazing trip back east. I left Newport after my run and headed toward Crater Lake
National Park, and then on to Medford, OR. I found a hotel in Medford, and planned my
final trip heading west, which would be toward the Redwood Forest in California. The
next day would serve to bring about a series of profound revelation and an encounter with
the Lord that would change the course of my life, forever.
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                                        Chapter 13




        As my journey moved westward I began to cherish the bond that my father and I
were developing, and I was realizing that he was not the man I had once thought he was.
Growing up was certainly difficult without my father, and there were several moments in
my life when I had to come to terms with the fact that I just did not have a dad.
        Though it was hard, it certainly shaped who I am as a man today and there is no
reason for me to dwell on what could have been. I have always thought about how
interesting it was that I did not grow up with my father, yet I was able to identify and see
so much of myself in him. One would think that we are a product of our environments,
but I would beg to differ. Maybe we are a product of that which is spoken about us and
into our lives?
        I say this because there were quite a few times in my life when my mother would
tell me how much I was like my dad. It seemed to be that every time I would want to
have a deep conversation or try to philosophize with her I would be compared to him. I
realize that she did not mean any harm in making the comparison of me to my dad, but
those words had an impact on my life.
        You see, my mother and my father did not have the best relationship during my
                                                                                            117




youth. Divorce took it’s toll on all of us. There never seemed to be much peace around
the house, and if there were any conversation involving my father, it was likely that the
conversation was not the most positive.
        My mom, after all, had to raise all 5 of her children on her own. Whether that
was her choice or a result of my father being a bad husband and father, or just a failed
marriage, the answer to that question did not matter to me. I realize today that it had to
be the single most difficult thing my mother could have ever done. She completely
sacrificed her life for her children. And, to this day, not one of us can dispute that.
        My father, to be completely honest, was not always the best dad and we have
been able to discuss the fact that there are things he wishes he could have done
differently. I am positive that my mother feels the same about the way that she raised us
kids as well. The fact: My dad was not the “best” dad and my mom was not the “best”
mom. Divorce sucks, nobody wins. Maybe that is why God hates it?
        I have since had to seek forgiveness from both of my parents for placing
unrealistic expectations on them, and not taking time to hear both sides of their stories
before judging them for their “lack-of” skills in parenting me. Besides, I’ve come to
know my real Father now, and with Him I have learned to let go of all of the past
thoughts, feelings, and emotions I had held onto in relation to my family and place them
at His feet.
        So, as you can see, being compared to my father was not the best comparison as I
was a young boy. Unfortunately, the voice that I was being influenced by was the one
that spoke about most of the bad things my dad did during the course of the 10 year
relationship between he and my mother. It was rare that my mom spoke positively about
my dad, though she never kept us away from him, the words spoken about my father had
a lasting impact on my impression of who he was. And, those words had an impact on
who I became as an adult.
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        Just as the words “faggot“ and “queer“ had a lasting impression, so did the
comparison to my father. All of this had been spoken into my life so many times that I
soon became to believe that it was just who “I am.” The truth behind this reality reminds
me of what is said in James 3:5-7:
        “…the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider
        what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a
        world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the
        whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell…it is a restless
        evil, full of deadly poison.”
        I believe that it is important that we all come to terms with certain realities in life
at one point or another. I am fairly certain that coming to terms with the realities of who
we are is a lifelong journey that is continuous for most us. However, somewhere along
that journey I believe it is necessary to stop and reflect on all that has shaped and molded
us into the person we are today. I have seen this to be true in my own life, and the lives
of so many people. Too often I would simply brush my emotions under a rug and just
“suck it up.”
        Over the course of this journey I began to come to terms with the emotions I
brushed under the rug for so many years. My father and I began to reconcile and were
becoming great friends. My mother and I were also speaking everyday and becoming
closer friends. I was learning the truth about who both my parents were, about who I
was, and about the life I was always intended to live before sin had distorted it.
        I was getting to know my mother and my father, and I was beginning to find a
new love for both of them equally. I was trying to move past the door to evil that was
opened since the divorce and move past the addictions and sin that I had been living with
since I was a young boy. I was beginning to realize that my life was a result of the
choices I had made, and I was realizing that regardless of the circumstances of my life in
                                                                                             119




the past, I had an opportunity to control the direction I took in the future.
        With all of those thoughts running through my mind, I found myself in a very
dark and scary place the morning of my deliverance. As I mentioned earlier, I had been
struggling with my flesh and had finally come to my breaking point with it. I was
frustrated, angry, and ready to know the truth about the behaviors that had controlled my
life. I called my dad and just let it all out, explaining to him in detail just what I had
been up against over the previous few weeks.
        That morning my father came to my rescue and displayed such wisdom,
compassion, love and strength to me that set me on the course for my healing that day.
He told me to ask the Lord to take me back to the very first time that sexual sin was
introduced into my life. That is exactly what I did. I asked the Lord to reveal to me all
the truths about why that sin was allowed into my life, what the truth was in regard to my
behavioral issues, and I asked him to deliver me from it all.
        On October 16, 25 days after I had left my home in Richmond, VA I prayed to
the Lord:
        “Father, I ask that you bind any doubt in my mind in relation to the deliverance
        of my sexuality and sexual issues permanently in hell. I am tired of it’s constant
        attacks, but I will not stop putting it in it’s rightful place until you have delivered
        me from it.”
        Seven days later, on October 23, I had an encounter and experience with the Lord
that I will never forget. I was driving through the mountains of northern California,
about 40 miles outside of Redding when the Lord met me in a powerful, and life
transforming way. Here is the account of my deliverance as documented just a day later:
        “Well, on my way in to town the Holy Spirit caught hold of me and took me for a
        ride. I feel like the Lord opened up my entire self to experience the release of the
        pain and emotional evil that had plagued me since I was a kid. I believe it
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        started because I told the Lord, Jesus, that I wanted to talk. On my journey of
        trying to figure out exactly what to talk about with Him, the Lord began
        revealing the evil that had been taking up residence within me for so long.”
        I began to realize at that moment I was feeling all of the emotions that had been
within me for so long, but had yet to be realized until that evening:
        “I began to feel all of the emotions that were within me come out of me: rage,
        hate, anger, sorrow, despair, pain, unhappiness, loneliness, frustration, sadness,
        depression, isolation--all of it came pouring out in my car. I feel like the Lord
        completely freed me from those feelings. I learned a lot from that experience, but
        most importantly I learned that I could NEVER comprehend the absoluteness of
        the LOVE our Father displayed to us on the day He gave us His only Son! And,
        not only did He give His only Son, but He allowed and watched His Son bare all
        the burdens of sin for us to be Free! He has freed us and we will never fully
        understand the price that was paid as it was the greatest price that ever was or
        will ever be! Thank you for loving us THAT much God!!”
        For the first time in my life I had opened myself up to feeling those emotions. I
realized during that encounter with the Lord that I had been impacted by those emotions
for most of my life, but never understood them. I kept them under a rug, in a closet,
anywhere I did not have to see or deal with them. These were the emotions that were
driving my behaviors, my choices, my feelings, my everything. This was the evil that
had plagued my life for so long, but I never had the eyes to see it. The Lord removed the
scales from my eyes and allowed my heart to feel the fullness of all I had been running
from since my childhood. I felt incredibly overwhelmed that night, but sensed freedom
was lurking around the bend.
        The experience I had that night reminded me of the dream I had in NY about my
house with the basement. It was as if all of the “stuff” in my basement was covering up
                                                                                          121




those emotions. I realized that I had never truly allowed myself to feel the pain that was
caused by the sin in my life. I never understood it enough to feel it, quite honestly.
There had been so many attempts in my life to overcome the abuse and pain I suffered as
a young boy. I talked about it with my family and closest friends, and paid psychologists
to help me overcome it. I tried drugs, alcohol, sex, relationships, anything that I thought
would make me as numb as possible, I tried it. It was not until I found myself in this
place in my life, where I was ready to ask and give it all to the Lord to deal with, was he
able to help me.
        It was as if the Lord wanted me to feel that pain, but simultaneously He knew
that as soon as I felt it He would take it away. He was crying out for me to give it all to
Him. To lay my burdens upon His feet and to replace them with all that He had for me.
It was an entirely new sense of living after that day. I felt like I was a new person,
though renewed is probably a better word to describe it. It was as if there had been a
mountain of emotion inside of me and an overwhelming heaviness to my spirit and my
soul. That night, on that mountain, I had a new sense of freedom and a lightness to my
spirit, my soul, and my body. The Lord had taken his cleansing process to an entirely
new level. Construction was underway for His temple to be built and I was feeling the
foundation being poured that night.
        Just hours after my experience on the mountain side, the enemy was engaging me
in full-on assault. I arrived in Redding, CA at approximately 8:30pm with no place to
sleep planned out that night. I had been driving all day and was ready to find a warm bed
and some good food. It took me over an hour to find a place to sleep and I had to pay
over $100 to sleep in my room that night. I was completely fine with the expense at the
point I made the decision to stay there.
        I was beginning to get frustrated and I could sense the enemy wanted me to get
frustrated, so I decided to pray before I headed to the hotel I had booked. I asked the
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Lord to bring me peace and comfort, and to protect me from any attacks the enemy.
         As I arrived at the hotel I noticed that it was quite a nice place, and I was pleased
being that I did just spend quite a sum of money to sleep there. I began to speak with the
two employees at the front desk, with still somewhat of a heavy spirit of frustration and
stress. However, as we began talking I learned that one of the employees was a student at
the school associated with the Bethel School of Ministry4, the very ministry that I was in
town to visit.
         He was an answer to my prayer to the Lord prior to heading to the hotel. His
spirit and enthusiasm uplifted me and set me on my way excited about what the Lord
would have in store for the next few days of my journey. I woke up fairly early the next
morning, talked to my mother and father, cleaned up, and headed over to the healing
rooms. It was Saturday and, as was customary for me on this journey, I had no idea what
to expect when I arrived at the church.
         I pulled up to the campus and had to find a parking space. Now, this was more
like it! I felt like I was going to a sporting event, not to a church. It seemed like half of
the town was here, as many cars as were in the parking lot. I walked inside and
immediate realized I was not in a typical church. There was a coffee shop located in the
main lobby and it was full of people fellowshipping. I believe the diversity of the entire
human race seemed to be represented in this church. I was really getting excited, and was
already sensing that this was a place full of the presence of the Holy Spirit.
         As I walked over to the healing rooms I was completely unsure as to what I
needed to do. A woman, full of the presence of God and a beautiful spirit, approached
me and I explained to her why I was here and she immediately gave me the run down of
the place, and how it operated. She ushered me into a room called “The Encounter


4
    http://www.ibethel.org/school-of-ministry
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Room,” which if you can imagine a place full of worship, dancing, painting, healing, and
diversity unlike any place I‘d ever been before, it was like heaven on earth.
        As I walked into this room I saw young girls dancing, women painting,
worshippers were singing and playing music, people were crying, singing praises,
laughing. There was such a freedom to be who the Lord had created you to be in that
place. I immediately walked in and found a seat near the front. Within seconds I felt as
though I had been transported into another realm, the heavenly type.
        Over the course of the couple hours I was in that room I encountered the Lord,
and several believers who uplifted and encouraged me. I met a woman and was able to
share a portion of my testimony with her and my plans for the remainder of my journey.
She indicated to me that she knew someone who would be in Kansas City that I may be
able to stay with when I was out there.
        I met another guy, about my age, who had been struggling with some heavy
spiritual thoughts that day and the Lord had brought us together that afternoon to go on a
treasure hunt. Yes, a treasure hunt. I had never actually been on one of those before, nor
had I even heard of what it was until that morning when the lady who gave me the run
down on the church told me they would be conducting one later that afternoon. It was the
Lord’s will for this guy and myself to connect and take part in this hunt for treasure, and I
was willing to obey.
        It was that afternoon, during the preparation for the treasure hunt, that the Lord
revealed to me the gift of prophecy. We were praying for the guy who had joined me on
the trip, when all of a sudden I saw his heart right before my eyes. I began to pray for
him out loud and speak what I was seeing about his heart. After praying for him, I began
praying for another woman and I started to see all sorts of images about her that I felt I
needed to pray for her. I spoke these things out loud to her and she began to cry. I did
the same for another young girl.
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           I did not know what was happening, nor was I ready to understand it all fully at
that moment. However, I did realize that afternoon that the Lord was beginning to reveal
more to me about the gifts of the Spirit. It would not be until I arrive in Kansas City that
I begin to truly understand how the Lord was working in my life through this gift.
           In any case, while I was in Redding I had the opportunity to attend several
ministry events and listen to a few sermons. During the Sunday morning service I heard
a message about honoring the past movements of God & revivals upon our land. What
spoke to me during this message was how a lot of the past movements of God have been
dispelled by the leaders of those movements falling into sin or temptation. He referenced
what Jesus spoke about in Luke 11:24-26 which states:
           “When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest
           and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it
           arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes
           seven other spirits more wicked than itself and they go in and live there. And the
           final condition of that man is worse than the first.”
           This was a scripture I had referenced many times during my journey, and it was a
message that I had held firmly since the Lord had been cleansing my house. Hearing the
message that Sunday morning confirmed two things for me: 1) The Lord was speaking to
me about the deliverance I had experienced two days prior on that mountain side; 2) The
call He had placed on my life to be pure was one he intended for me to take seriously and
to keep.
           That night I heard the Pastor’s son give a message. He spoke about three things
that confirmed, even more, what the Lord was speaking to me. The first bullet point was
this, “we have a responsibility to sustain a breakthrough.” I had just received a major
breakthrough, and my entire journey up to this point was a series of breakthrough after
breakthrough. I have the responsibility to maintain what the Lord has given to me, both
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in the spiritual and the natural.
        The second point he made was that we must take ownership of the idea that we
are the ones called to set and maintain a standard. It was on this point that I began to
realize that the Lord was calling me to set a standard for Him. We are called to be
followers of Christ, and He says we have the mind of Christ. Therefore, I was thinking, I
need to be someone who sets a standard for who Christ was, and is. I need to live a
righteous, pure, and holy life full of love and compassion, which only comes through the
grace, mercy, and blood of Jesus himself.
        I also felt the Lord speaking to me about setting a standard for my life that today
will be the worst day of the rest of my life. This standard, in my opinion, should be that
the Lord is continually on the increase and that we are right there with Him! I had
committed in my heart that day that I would not allow anyone to tell me that I should
brace for the “bad days” ahead. I believe that if the Lord tells us to rejoice even in our
suffering, and that we should remain full of His joy, than that is how I would aspire to
live my life.
        The final point that I took away from that message was that we must train those
who come behind us. It is a simple point, really, but one that has given me the courage to
write this book as well as speak openly about the journey of my life, and the journey the
Lord has taken me on. As it was spoken in Revelation 12:11:
        “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their
        testimony.”
        I am no spiritual expert, teacher, or can I say that I have any authority to teach.
However, I have taken the call seriously that we must train those who come behind us.
And, in my opinion, whether that journey has been 2 days long or 25 years long, teaching
and learning never ceases. It is the spirit of God in a man or woman that we should
desire to listen for, not by any other means, right?
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        I decided to stay in Redding for a total of 5 full days, being my longest stop on
the journey. I attended a men’s purity meeting during my final night in town and was
given an opportunity to share a brief version of my testimony with a room full of men,
young and old. I thank the young man who I met at the church who gave me the insight
to attend that meeting. It was that night when I believe the Lord began giving me more
courage to talk about the details of my testimony more openly and honestly with
complete strangers.
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                                        Chapter 14




         I had easily lost track of time during my stay in Redding and realized I was
quickly running out of time as I needed to be back to Richmond for the marathon which
had been scheduled for November 13th. Over the course of 3 days I traveled from
Redding, CA to Kansas City, MO. I found a place to sleep just outside of Salt Lake City,
UT, where I woke up to snow on the ground. The next day was another 11 hour drive to
Colby, KS where I found a place to sleep. After a night of semi-peaceful sleep I began
my journey into Kansas City.
         I was full of great anticipation as I had heard so much about the International
House of Prayer5, the ministry I would be visiting there. I had made a connection with a
woman who had found a place for me to sleep during the couple of days that I would be
staying there and I was excited about the opportunity to fellowship with other believers
again!
         I arrived at the ministry immediately headed to the prayer room, a room set aside
for prayer and worship 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The room was something unlike


5
    www.ihop.org
                                                                                            128




anything I could have imagined. It is difficult to compare these different “rooms” that I
was able to visit on my different stops other than saying that I was able to experience the
diversity of God. It was an experience in and of itself to be able to encounter the Lord in
these different ministries. Seeing the different dimensions and aspects to how He is
working in our country was a true blessing by itself, one I am extremely thankful to have
been blessed by.
        Anyhow, I would be meeting the woman I had spoken with about the
arrangements for my room & board in the prayer room that evening. We met up around
dinner time and eventually headed back to her home to eat and fellowship. I was able to
share my testimony during dinner, and I also began sensing a deep spiritual connection
with one of the dinner guests that was there that night. It was all quite new for me, but
within the first hour of me being at this house I began to hear the Lord speaking to me
about this woman.
        Over the course of the hours that followed I had sensed the Lord gave me a
strong spirit of revelation about her life. He asked me to write her a letter and give it to
her before I left the city. I allowed the Lord to speak to me through that letter however
He deemed necessary. It was definitely a first time experience for me, writing
prophetically, but I sensed the Lord was just calling me into obedience once again. All I
knew was that I was being connected with this beautiful woman in a way I had not
experienced in my entire life. What was going on with me? Why was I having this sense
of deep connection with this woman? I mean, she was absolutely beautiful and someone
that made me slightly nervous (in a good way).
        I wanted to be obedient to the Lord so I wrote her a letter the first night I was
there. I cannot recall what I said in that letter, but I do remember feeling very anxious
about giving it to her. Was this really what God wanted me to say to this girl? I didn’t
want to give her the letter right away, so I held on to it until I felt peace about it.
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        That next morning I woke up and had breakfast with a few of the people I had
met the night before, along with another guy who came over as well. This girl, let’s call
her Tiffany, and this guy ,and I all stayed at the house for a few hours and just talked. It
was during that morning discussion that I felt the Lord speaking to me about a truth that I
hold near and dear to my heart today: “Before anyone knew who I was, I was!”
        I began to realize that my entire journey was based on experiencing God, and He
was continuing to confirm what He was doing in my life through His Word, His children,
and various other modes of communicating (billboards seemed to be a favorite of His,
especially through the flat lands of Kansas and Colorado).
        Before anyone knew who I was, I was. It was a revelation of truth that the Lord
wanted me to understand. I believe He wanted me to understand that He can do all
things, and that there are too many of us searching for something to happen in our lives. I
had learned about SOZO, and transformational healing, books, etc. all along my journey.
As I would share with people my story they would ask me if I had heard of these things.
Most of the time I had never heard of them until they asked me.
        The Lord was revealing His truth to me, through Him. I did not need for anyone,
or any book, or any man made process to help me find the Lord. He wanted me, I wanted
Him, that is all it took. I believe in our intellectual, knowledge filled, technological
culture today we are all looking for “something” to help us make sense of what is going
on around us. For sure, these are all great tools to facilitate better understanding.
        However, I believe the Lord is calling all of us to take what is rightfully ours--
Freedom in Him! “For if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed!” Why do we still
continue to be bound up, searching for deliverance? I am of the belief the deliverance
comes when the Lord has prepared us to experience the what we need to in order to allow
the process to be complete. Too often, I believe, we find ourselves trying to make a
square peg fit into a round hole and just need to learn to wait upon the Lord. Freedom is
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always available in Him!
        It was during my prayer time that morning when the Lord was speaking to me
about that very point. I was journaling a prayer to the Lord, as I had become accustom to
doing, when he spoke to me very clearly about freedom. I was becoming overwhelmed
by the spirit of prophecy because I could not shake the images I continued to receive
about Tiffany, and several other people I had encountered along my journey. I was
frustrated because all I wanted to do was get close to the Lord that afternoon. Here is
what I wrote while sitting in the prayer room:
        “Lord, I am seeking you at this moment for peace. I am not sure what is going
        on with me right now, but I am asking for you to come to me today and let me be
        one with you and you with me. These past few days have been very powerful and
        I ask that you bind up any evil spirits that are trying to grab a hold of me today.
        Set me free today Lord, so that I may be able to draw nearer to you. I desire
        your presence so badly right now Lord. You said that you want to dwell in me
        and you want me to abide in you. I am asking for you to come and rest with me
        today Jesus. Let me block out any and all images and thoughts, but those of your
        face, your heart, your mind, and let me hear your voice. Let me hear you more
        clearly now than ever before. Let your Holy Spirit be my comfort today. Let’s
        get lost in our love together Jesus…Reveal to me what I need to do to draw
        nearer to you. Reveal and purge from my heart whatever it is that is holding me
        back. I want to know Lord so that I may be set free forever. Reveal the truth to
        me what is trying to keep me from you today…I need to just be set free--”
As I wrote those words, I heard the Lord speak to me and wrote this:
        “Stop trying to be free, JUST BE FREE!”
        I immediately heeded what the Lord had just convicted me about, stood up,
raised my hands to the heavens, and began to praise the Lord. I stepped into my freedom
                                                                                            131




that day. I realized, at that moment, what the Lord had been saying to me about being
free. I did not need to look for it, or do anything for it, because I already had it. Our
salvation is our freedom, in Christ we are free.   I began moving in freedom that
afternoon and I have not looked back. I was going to maintain this breakthrough and set
a new standard for myself. Freedom will be mine, for the Lord has already given it to
me. And, what the Lord has given to me He has intended for me to have for all of
eternity! Amen!
        Later that night I attended a night service with Tiffany. That was amazing. The
worship was awesome and I was truly feeling a newfound freedom in my spirit to
worship and praise the Lord that night. The message was compelling, one on the bride of
Christ. There was a lot to the message, but I was quite distracted that evening. Tiffany
was sitting next to me, and all I could think about was this beautiful woman. The Lord
began to download some seriously heavy images into my spirit that night. Tiffany left
and I had some time to sit with the Lord and journal. It was about 11:30pm and here is
what I wrote after my night of freedom and revelation about this woman:
        “Well, today has been quite a day. It’s after 11pm and I am in pure awe of God.
        The day started out with a great conversation with some new friends. Tiffany has
        been on my mind a lot since I arrived here last night. It’s actually quite amazing
        how time has gone by today. It does not even feel like it’s as late as it is. I have
        been literally lost in the spirit all day today. I am looking around in amazement
        at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in this place. I have had so many thoughts
        running through my mind today it’s been kind of crazy. I felt the Lord speaking
        to me about a revolution into the heart of the country, something like Woodstock.
        I also felt like he was speaking to me a lot about Tiffany. I saw a lot of love
        symbols and I feel like He’s brought us together for an important purpose. I
        have a year to pray about it, but I know she is important in my life. It’s quite
                                                                                           132




        amazing how powerful the connection is. She is absolutely gorgeous, and has a
        certain fire about her that is very powerful. It’s so amazing how I am paying
        attention to these things now only 5 ½ weeks after I left on this trip. I NEVER
        thought any of this would ever happen in my life…”
        I was beginning to feel emotions toward a woman I never thought I would feel.
Thinking about it that night, I had not given myself the opportunity to feel them. I had
made a choice to accept my sexual preference when I was 18 and never looked back. It
was beginning to dawn on me that I had the ability to feel for a woman, and that was
quite a revelation. Maybe I would not have to be a “eunuch” for the rest of my days?
        “This thought process about Tiffany really began to take me back to when I was
        younger and I feel there is more revelation yet to come about these feelings for
        me in my life. I had been sexually abused by a woman as well, and I know there
        is something about that affecting me now too. It is like, at this very moment (it is
        so weird!), my attraction towards men is rapidly fading away. I am seeing
        women in a whole new way. This is just striking me tonight for the first time. I
        believe the Lord is completely restoring me back to the way He originally
        intended for me to be.”
        Since my time in Kansas City Tiffany and I have drawn closer together. As is
typical with most things in life, I do not yet fully understand the reasons why the Lord
has brought us together. But, I will say this, she is certainly one amazing woman of God
and I am so blessed that the Lord has brought her into my life. I am fairly certain that the
Lord has much bigger plans for our lives than either one of us realize at this moment, but
as to the details, I will leave them up to the Lord to work out. I just knew I wanted to get
to know more about this special person the Lord has introduced me to.
        Here I was, laying on a row of chairs in the prayer room that night, completely
blown away by the Lord. Yes, I could actually be more blown away by Him than I
                                                                                          133




thought leading up to my time in Kansas City! I was reminded of what Paul wrote to the
Romans that night (Rom 12:2):
        “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by
        the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what
        God’s will is--His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
        The Word continued to come to life, right before my very eyes! How could I
deny what was taking place in my life? The Lord was revealing His truth to me, and He
continued to confirm them over and over again. At some time during my short stay in
Kansas City the Lord shifted something in my spirit. He continued to shock and amaze
me at every junction on this journey, and I fully expect that shock and awe will be the
adjectives used to describe the remaining days of my life!
        As I left Kansas City the reality of my trip coming to a close was beginning to hit
me like a ton of bricks. I still had a few more stops, but I was getting closer to home. It
was October 30th, and I was on a short trip down to Branson, MO to stay the night with
some good friends of my fathers.
        During my time there I was truly blessed, and I had another opportunity to hear a
close friend of my dad’s tell me more about him. I was beginning to formulate a different
opinion of my dad during my journey, and the conversations that took place in reference
to him were continuing to help me understand this man even better. I was realizing that
we had a lot in common in regard to our passion, enthusiasm, and zeal for the Lord.
        I left Branson and headed to Nashville, TN where I stayed a couple of nights with
one of my dearest friends. She had just given birth to a new baby girl a few weeks prior
to me dropping in, and it was such a blessing to be able to be with her during this special
time in her life. She felt led to have me meet with her pastor, and I felt honored to have
the opportunity to do that.
        I would say that the biggest revelation came from being able to share and recall
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all that had taken place with my friend. We did a lot of talking, and honestly it was the
first time in over a month that I had a chance to just mellow out and reflect. I also began
to reflect on who my father was becoming to me, and what I wrote in my journal tells the
story better than I could now:
         “I was just thinking about my dad and how difficult this life has been for him. I
         was thinking about how strong his faith has been in the Lord all of these years.
         Here I am, so full of energy and excitement (which I plan on maintaining), but I
         can easily get discouraged at the slightest “bump” in the road. I have come to
         know my dad in a completely new and exciting way. For 28 years I have been
         without a true father, and on this journey I have found 2. It is absolutely
         amazing how the Lord works and I am so thankful for my dad and all he has
         given to me in this life. The best gift I believe you can ever give anyone in this
         life is the gift of prayer…and my dad has certainly prayed a lot of prayers for my
         life!”
         While in Nashville I had the opportunity to meet with an absolutely amazing
worship team, Strand of Three6. They had spent a lot of time with my dad and his
ministry in NY and were in Nashville recording a new album. We met for coffee on the
east side of the city and we shared stories and testimonies.
         I praise the Lord for all the amazing worshippers and groups I had the chance to
meet while I was on this journey. I have had the pleasure of discovering music on a
whole new level while driving for hours and hours. Some have been very popular
worshippers, while others have provided me the opportunity to see them in the beginning
phases of their careers. I am truly excited about the new sounds the Lord is releasing
onto the earth.


6
    http://www.reverbnation.com/strandofthree
                                                                                            135




         Anyhow, I left Nashville and headed toward Boone, NC to spend the evening
with another one of my best friends. It was such a blessing to be able to see each of the
women in my life who have stood beside me in friendship and love during the course of
my journey. It started in Milwaukee, then Seattle, Nashville, and now my final friend
stop in Boone! I believe each of these women have been brought into my life through the
grace of God and each has had an impact in changing my life and helping me to become
the man I am today.
         After a short stay in Boone, I began my trek down to Fort Mill, SC where I
would be spending a few days with my younger brother Drew. He and I had begun to
develop a closer friendship and relationship over the course of my journey, and I was
excited about being with him for a few days.
         Drew is currently attending Morningstar School of Ministry7 and I had grown in
my affection for the ministry he was studying with. Through the course of my life the
books written by his ministry director had encouraged and motivated me to draw nearer
to the Lord. So, being at this ministry was very exciting for me! The Lord was certainly
moving powerfully during my time at the school.
         “The first day of worship was amazing! The day started out with prayer for a
         visitation with the Lord. Later on I just wondered why I was asking for an
         encounter or visitation from the Lord? I feel like I should rather be praying for
         something to happen in my own life so that we may be free to visit with the Lord
         whenever we want. I feel He is just waiting for us to turn to Him completely.
         Anyhow, we then all proceeded to worship and that was absolutely incredible! I
         felt as though the Lord opened up the heavens and poured out His love. At one
         point I felt as though I was sitting in the throne room with a lot of people and


7
    http://www.morningstarministries.org
                                                                                       136




         Jesus was teaching us. He kept saying ‘Before you knew my name, I was.’ I
         began feeling like he wanted me to share that message with the students. I
         became extremely nervous, but felt an overwhelming sense of conviction for not
         being obedient so I asked for the mic and I shared that message. Man, what a
         morning! Everyone kept saying how awesome the worship was, and I completely
         agreed, it was AMAZING! The successive days of worship all mimicked this day
         and I began to witness as numerous students were beginning to be released from
         the darkness within themselves and watching a flood of freedom take hold. I
         recall one night that we broke out in spontaneous worship for almost two hours.
         I was beginning to experience a newfound freedom myself that night. I love to
         sing and dance, and I began openly signing and not really caring what anyone
         but the Lord thought! It was amazing. Another night we had about 7 or 8
         students hanging out, sitting around sharing our testimonies--and the detail and
         freedom that came from sharing our deepest, darkest secrets was amazing. I was
         getting so excited that we were mutilating strongholds the enemy has had on our
         lives for so long. We stepped into a realm we hadn’t walked in before and I
         loved watching the enemy run. The entire time in Fort Mill was so precious!”
         My brother and I had awesome conversations during my stay with him, and I
have drawn closer to him now than any other time in my life. I thank the Lord for
bringing us closer together. I left Fort Mill to head up and visit with my family in
Raleigh, NC. It was November 8th, and my marathon was quickly approaching. I had
made a decision to move back to NY to spend more time developing a deeper
relationship with the Lord, and my dad. I was worried about how this decision may
effect my mother, and I was on my way to spend a few days with her to ensure I was able
to tell her face to face.
         My mother and I had never had a very close relationship, but she has always been
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there for me when I’ve needed her. The problem with that was for most of my life I have
not needed my mom. She was certainly the provider for me for many years and took care
of my basic needs, and for that I am incredibly thankful.
        However, sitting down with my mom to have a deep emotional discussion has
not always been my strong point. I knew I needed to be with my father for a period of
time in my life, and based on the relationship my mom and dad had most of my life, I
knew this would be difficult for my mother to accept. In any case, I needed to do this for
me.
        So, after spending most of my journey thinking about how to present this to my
mom without making her feel like I did not love or appreciate her, I was sitting in her
computer room one night ready to spill my guts. The conversation went much better than
I had thought. My mom, it appeared, was just concerned with my well-being and she
wanted me to know she loved me. Surprisingly, the only discussion we had was in
reference to my mom wanting to be sure that she never kept me away from my father.
        I was certainly relieved. I had waited to tell anyone else about my decision to
move back up north until I had the opportunity to speak to my mom about it first. So, I
spent the next day or two communicating the reasons why I wanted to head back up north
to be with my dad to the rest of my family and everyone spoke words of encouragement
to me and indicated they just wanted me to be happy.
        I have learned that there is no magic equation to the dynamics of family. I have
spent a large portion of my life trying to analyze and solve problems that have existed
within my own life, and my family. What I have come to understand is that all I can do is
focus on my own well-being, listen to what God wants for my life, and be obedient to
that.
        Will making decisions for God cause others to be uncomfortable or even bring
about persecution in our lives? Yes. I am sure that the Lord would love for all of us to
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live perfect lives, with no issues, happy and peaceful until the day we die in the flesh.
Unfortunately, as we all know, we do not live in a world where that is possible.
        That is, in my opinion, why I believe Jesus warned us in Luke 21:14-19:
        “But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend
        yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries
        will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents,
        brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men
        will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will parish. By
        standing firm you will gain life.”
        I have one thing to say about that, and that is how blessed and grateful I am that I
have the family I do have. I love them for their diversity, their love, and for the
encouragement and support the bring to my life.
                                                                                        139




                                        Chapter 15




        I ventured back home to Richmond, VA on November 11th. Two days out from
my marathon and I had really been struggling with being alone. Though I had been on
this amazing spiritual journey for well over a month, and I was alone through it all, being
back home and alone brought about a new challenge. I felt as though the Lord was
continuing to refine me during my stay. The temptations of my old life, and past
addictions, were flooding back into my mind. I hadn’t had to face these feelings for the
past few months, but I realized they were still fresh in my flesh.
        The enemy was trying to invade my thought life and, quite honestly, he was
succeeding. I began to experience a sense of doubt about being able to complete the
marathon, doubt in regard to living a pure life, and doubted even my decision to move
back to NY. There were so many emotions, thoughts, and revelations I had during the
short 7 day stay while I was in Richmond. I took a break from journaling once I got back
home, and picked back up a couple of days after my marathon.
        “Well, it’s been several days since I’ve written in here and I woke up this
        morning at 5:50am with the Lord really speaking to me. It’s a little after 6am
        now and I am really tired, but I do feel that I should be writing in here. I should
                                                                                          140




        not have gone this long without journaling, as this process has allowed me the
        time to understand and reflect on all the Lord has been doing in my life.
        Anyhow, my marathon has come and gone. I DID IT!!! It was seriously the
        hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but I found strength to push through to
        the end, and was able to claim VICTORY!”
        It took me a little over 6 hours to complete the race, but it was one of the most
important experiences and life lessons I could have ever chosen to engage in for myself.
        “That journey was filled with lessons from the Lord that, even at this very
        moment, will continue to teach me for years. I did it. There were so many times
        during that race when I wanted to give up and go home. I had gotten sick the
        night before, my knee seemed to give out somewhere around mile 11, but I kept
        pushing through. I felt as though I was completely alone, and as much as I tried
        to connect with the Lord, I could not feel Him anywhere. I know that He was
        with me, but I feel like He wanted me to learn a life lesson from that race. He
        wanted to show me how strong I really am. I learned that no matter what may
        come my way I can defeat it and be victorious!”
        I was continuously reminding about what Paul wrote in Philippians 4:13, “I can
do everything through Him who gives me strength.” I had a revelation that day that, even
though I did not feel the presence of the Lord running with me, I am strong in and with
Him. He had been preparing me for that day, for that test, and He knew I would be
victorious. Me, on the other hand, I needed to go through the agony of completing that
race to find the treasure the Lord had for me that day.
        “I was not mentally prepared to walk most of that race. I truly believe it would
        have been easier for me to run, as walking made the time go by SO SLOWLY! I
        recall being near mile marker 18 and really wanting to quit. My dad and a
        friend had joined me around mile 16 and I was so frustrated at that point. ‘How
                                                                                              141




        could I be here,’ I thought to myself. ‘I don’t need anyone’s help.’ I just kept
        getting more frustrated and it seemed as though the people who were there to
        support and encourage me were becoming like salt placed on my open wounds. I
        was so frustrated with myself, and those negative thoughts were being projected
        onto them.”
        The enemy had been engaging me in a battle for several days leading me up to
this point. I was caught completely off guard and unprepared for the attacks that were
coming against me. I was operating in my flesh and I could not seem to draw near to the
Lord during that race.
        I believe the Lord’s desire was to begin unveiling more within my heart that was
connected to this world. I had people, behaviors, “stuff” in this world that my heart
longed for. The Lord was showing me that He wanted all of me. I was beginning to let
go of the desires of my flesh, the addictions, and all of the emotional pain deep within
and place it all at His feet. I was so excited to have been able to finish that race, but I
walked away from that day realizing there was more healing and deliverance that the
Lord wanted to work on with me. I was open and ready to receive all that the Lord
wanted to do in and around me over the coming days, weeks, and months!
        Wow, I have just been on the most amazing ride of my life! I am a huge roller
coaster enthusiast, but I will promise you that nothing compares to this, nothing! I have
seen the spirit of death manifest itself in my hands, I left the only job I had ever had and
my entire career , was delivered from a life full of sin, and set out to seek all that God had
in store for me. Who would have ever thought I would be sitting here today writing a
story about my life? And, that it would be a happy story? Only Him!
        I do not claim to be any authority on God, quite the opposite in fact. The more I
draw nearer to the Lord, the less I seem to understand with my own logic. All I know is
that I was someone living in deep bondage to my flesh, engaging in sin, and was seeking
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something in my life that would answer the many questions I had about my existence. I
believe in the depth of my heart and soul that each of us has been called to be “world-
changers,” and that the Lord has big plans for all our lives.
        If there were anything I could offer as advice to anyone after this phase in my life
it would be this: Seek Him because you will find Him. He is a living God who is jealous
for your return to Him. He has created all of us for a purpose, and he desperately yearns
for His people to connect with Him in a very personal and intimate way.
        I pray that those of you who have received this book, which I would like to add
was not a mistake, will give time to find out the answer to this very important question:
Where will I go if I die tomorrow? We are not made to change anyone, just to seek a
deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
        My father wrote me a letter on February 8th of 2001 and placed it in his personal
bible that he handed to me as he left my college from the “talk” about my lifestyle choice.
I wanted to include this in here for two reasons. First, while my dad and I have had our
differences over the years in relation to my sexuality, he has always loved me and has
always spoken the truth to me (unfortunately I did not always receive it as being in love,
but I know his heart and his love for me much better now). This letter is an example of
that love he has showered me with.
        I also believe this letter is a testimony to how the enemy can distort the truth and
the love that is shared. What I mean is simply this, though the words written to me in the
letter my dad wrote me nearly 10 years ago were words of love, life and encouragement, I
did not receive them that way. I was living in sin and I did not want me to see the truth
and was living under a cloud of deception that prohibited me from receiving the love
from my father.
        “Brodey…I love you!! The Lord has led me to leave with you this precious gift
        [His Bible]. I say precious because of the many hours and tears I have poured
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        into it’s pages. It has served me well ever since I first purchased it back in 1986.
        That is when I first surrendered my heart to Christ. It wasn’t until 1994 that I
        was able to surrender my life to him who has saved my from the everlasting fire.
        It has been a tough struggle ever since that day, but the rewards are far greater
        than anything I could have ever imagined in my life. Placing this book into .
        your hands now I feel is a sign to both of us that another season of change is
        upon you and I. Outside of my unconditional love for you, and my very life, there
        is no greater gift than this. For within it’s pages lies the mysteries of our
        existences. It answers the questions, why am I here, what is my purpose, and
        where am I going? Jesus himself said, seek and you will find, knock and the door
        will be opened to you. It is my sincerest hope and prayer that you may have the
        desire to do just that. I leave this gift with you as a symbol that states I am
        passing the torch to you now. I don’t know how many years, days, or minutes I
        may have left on this earth, but now I am confident in knowing that God has
        blessed me with a son who can carry the banner for me. Like King David, you
        are the youngest of our children from your mother and I. In you I can see a very
        special anointing and gifting upon your life within your spirit. Do not let the
        offenses committed against you in the past deceive you into believing that you are
        something that you are not in the present. I truly believe that if you fully commit
        yourself to seeking God on this matter, that you will be set free. And, if the Son
        of God has set you free, than you are free indeed!”
        It is truly amazing to see how our words can have such a profound impact on our
lives. It was nearly 10 years after my father wrote this letter that the he received the
answer to his prayers. The fact of the matter is that my father believed the Lord would
answer his prayers, and the Lord was faithful in doing so, in His time, His perfect time.
Don’t give up praying for those you love!
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         My journal entries officially ended on November 15th and it was the official
ending of my “40 Days of Purpose” journey. In total, I ended up on this journey for 51
days. I got in my car on November 20th, packed up whatever I could fit into my 4-door
sedan, and drove to my fathers home in Binghamton, NY.
         It was three days after my arrival that I would find myself on the street corner of
a public auction, bidding for a historic theater on behalf of Public Square Ministries8 with
all the money I had in my bank account.
         I guess the journey hasn’t ended, it’s just gotten way more exciting! I have
begun the process of “coming out of the closet again.“ This time, I am proclaiming to be
a follower of the Way of our Lord, Jesus Christ. No longer will I be bound by the ways
of this world, and I pray that the Lord continues to purify and strengthen me to be worthy
of the calling He has placed on my life.
         I am so incredibly thankful that the Lord has begun to transform me into a
mighty warrior for His army, for such a time as this. I pray that the next installment in
this series of life-changing journey’s will be one full of even more encounters with the
Lord. I pray that all of you who have blessed me in reading this story, and those of you
have played a role in my life’s journey so far, will sense an increase in the Lord’s
presence, love, power, and blessing in your life!
         Until next time…




8
    www.publicsquareministries.org

				
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