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Recent email to my Sister-In-Law

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  • bondtk
    The past few weeks I ve had some hurtful discussion with my sister-in-law. Mostly due to the fact that whenever I m invited over for a gathering, I m told the
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 4, 2010
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      The past few weeks I've had some hurtful discussion with my sister-in-law. Mostly due to the fact that whenever I'm invited over for a gathering, I'm told the day before or the day of and expected to drop my plans which results in a comment such as, "Here's another example of your friends taking priority over your family." Which is completely not true. I have been invited to numerous cookouts/birthday parties etc. which are usually planned weeks in advance so to then invite me the day before a family function just doesn't seem fair. But of course the whole gay thing is the underlying current. I'm going to post part of an email I just sent my sister-in-law. By reading it you will likely be able to tell where I am in all of this. I know the issues, the problems, the easy "fixes" having been a Christian my entire life (since I was 10) and been a Christian school teacher and on staff of a very conservative Baptist Church for 10 years. But despite where I am right now, I haven't "thrown in the towel" either. But the things I wrote in this email are true. I see this cicular thing going on which just grows and grows. They avoid me, I lean on my friends which in turn makes them avoid me even more. Anyway, feel free to offer some advice.

      "I know we've had discussions concerning how I seem to be pulling away, but trust me, I'm not nor am I trying to. But being in the situation I am now shows me even more so how difficult it can be for people in my position to overcome because there seems to develop this vicious circle. I do sometimes feel like you all have pulled away from me and although you may not agree with me on that, I believe there is some truth to it. So the more I seem to pull away from you (by your observation) the more I feel you pull away from me (by my observation) which in turn makes me lean more on the people you all don't want me to hang with which in turn makes you all avoid being around me especially if there's the possibility of one of my friends also being around. So the problem perpetuates until it gets out of control on both sides. Yes, I have gay friends. They are the people who have given me furniture, money, food, clothes, hugs, and words of encouragement so naturally these are the folks I lean on a lot. [Remember, my church asked me never to come through the doors again] I don't feel my family has turned their back on me--maybe they want to--but when I weigh actions of hope and encouragement I'm afraid the scale tips one way. You can't blame me for that. I still don't agree with any agenda nor my inward feelings and would NEVER flaunt those to anyone. I am very cautious to protect my family from all my ills. I know you look at me (as you've stated before) as "woe is me" and are probably tired of hearing about my problems as much as I'm tired of going through them. But the fact is this is not something that goes away overnight. To shun me only makes matters worse. When I go for weeks without hearing from Mark, Gina, and you guys (I call mom and dad weekly or they might be on this list too) I'm left thinking I'm on my own. It may not be reality in your eyes but I can only base things on what I see. So although you don't approve of the friends I have, in a way these friends have kept me from much more that could have been. Most of my friends are very conservative republicans and some claim to be Christians the same as I know I am with a serious problem. To hear their stories mostly all the same is tragic and sad to me. I've not met one person who is happy with their same sex attractions. It's a weight that is usually the result of some kind of past sexual molestation by family members or friends. And now they are left to deal with the outcome. But all folks see is the dirty aspect of it and not the root of the problem. It takes considerable effort to do so I've found and most people don't have the time nor want to make the effort for the long haul. And then these circles of rejection (or even perceived) and seemingly further setback results when people just give up and feel that to be around their loved ones/friends is to condone their actions. I don't agree with that and never will. I would never expect nor want anyone to condone anything. Yes, Gilbert is my best friend--read into that anything you'd like, but his story is by far the worst yet he is the most kind and helpful person I know (not without fault). I wish he could know my family since he has no family here and his family life has been very difficult. Most don't get to hear him cry like I do about his past or how he misses his mama. He's a human being with hurts just like me. I'm almost embarrassed when I try to explain he can't even go to a restaurant with me because my family doesn't want to be around him. It's just horrible and frankly wrong in my opinion. He knows you all don't want to be around him and it is very hard for me to explain to him. He is very hurt by that and that in turn hurts me not knowing what to say. I mean Jesus met with the woman at the well despite what she was involved with. No, He wasn't her best friend but he was cordial enough to speak with her despite her sin. Maybe it isn't the same situation but one can draw similar parallels. Again I'm placed in a very difficult situation to be all to all people. I don't expect everyone to understand and I don't want to be a burden on people of feel like I'm weighing people down. It is not all about me as you've said before. I try to stay busy so I can try not to focus on not having my children and the rest of the fall-out of my own admission. I will NEVER understand how Kiffani and many others turned away from someone who they should have activelly pursued full force. I have and am creating a thicker skin to avoid any more pain which is different for me and probably why you say I've changed. It's real. I don't know all the ins and outs of why I feel the way I do but I can tell you that an 7/8 year old boy doesn't ask for this. Kiffani chooses to not believe this, but who would know it better than the person who lived through it.

      I'm not sure why I've rambled on in this message other than to point out the circular effect that we all seem to be caught in. It's hard to break."
    • Thom Hunter
      Hey there, You really are in a tough situation with your family.  I can sympathize, though it is with my children that the distance still remains.  And that
      Message 2 of 4 , Aug 4, 2010
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        Hey there,
        You really are in a tough situation with your family.  I can sympathize, though it is with my children that the distance still remains.  And that is primarily, I think, because the opportunity to display repentance to them has been lacking, not to mention they were hurt deeper than anyone.

        One of the harder things I've had to learn is that a lot of people are never going to embrace this issue as one they need to understand or adapt to.  I have come to accept that, realizing they probably have issues of their own that take their energy and attention.  So, hard as it is, many times we just have to pardon their ignorance or what looks like an uncaring attitude and do the best we can under the circumstances to maintain the relationship.  It may be that they will never come to care for your friends or even to accept them as being important to you.  It's possible that, from their perspective, accepting them would seem like they have become enablers for you, making it harder for you to free yourself.

        I was sexually-abused at the age of 8.  It was also hard for me to understand how people could seem a bit callous about it, or not recognize the deep affliction it caused me, leading me to develop differently than I would have.  I finally had to accept the fact that those who have never been abused may never understand it.  In an odd sort of way, they just seemed to want to say "get over it."  Yet, I always knew that if one of their children was abused, they would want to kill the perpetrator.

        We have some knowledge and some experienced that are foreign to members of our family, so foreign that it may make it hard for them to sometimes show their love in the way we need it.

        I'm not sure how to offer advice on this.  I do know that I have had to just turn some relationships over to God and quit working on them or letting them work on me.  He knows who needs to be in my life . . . and He knows that stress and sorrow are not good things for people who struggle.

        I do know that the cycle is not good for you . . . and probably does make you more dependent on your gay friends, which strengthens those relationships, some of which may not necessarily be good for you, particularly if they are not struggling against the lifestyle.  It may be hard for your family to take you seriously when so many things about you look otherwise.

        Your sister-in-law is not being very caring.  I think sometimes what we have to do is just respond as lovingly as we can, show our best and not give them other things on which to attack us.  We could all use a little less talking about and little more genuine attention.  I'd just think through the things that bother her and try to minimize them in relation to her. She's not likely to change.

        Thomhttp://thom-signsofastruggle.blogspot.com/



        --- On Wed, 8/4/10, bondtk <bondtk@...> wrote:

        From: bondtk <bondtk@...>
        Subject: [ExGDBd] Recent email to my Sister-In-Law
        To: exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Wednesday, August 4, 2010, 8:11 PM
















         









        The past few weeks I've had some hurtful discussion with my sister-in-law. Mostly due to the fact that whenever I'm invited over for a gathering, I'm told the day before or the day of and expected to drop my plans which results in a comment such as, "Here's another example of your friends taking priority over your family." Which is completely not true. I have been invited to numerous cookouts/birthday parties etc. which are usually planned weeks in advance so to then invite me the day before a family function just doesn't seem fair. But of course the whole gay thing is the underlying current. I'm going to post part of an email I just sent my sister-in-law. By reading it you will likely be able to tell where I am in all of this. I know the issues, the problems, the easy "fixes" having been a Christian my entire life (since I was 10) and been a Christian school teacher and on staff of a very conservative Baptist Church for 10 years. But despite where
        I am right now, I haven't "thrown in the towel" either. But the things I wrote in this email are true. I see this cicular thing going on which just grows and grows. They avoid me, I lean on my friends which in turn makes them avoid me even more. Anyway, feel free to offer some advice.



        "I know we've had discussions concerning how I seem to be pulling away, but trust me, I'm not nor am I trying to. But being in the situation I am now shows me even more so how difficult it can be for people in my position to overcome because there seems to develop this vicious circle. I do sometimes feel like you all have pulled away from me and although you may not agree with me on that, I believe there is some truth to it. So the more I seem to pull away from you (by your observation) the more I feel you pull away from me (by my observation) which in turn makes me lean more on the people you all don't want me to hang with which in turn makes you all avoid being around me especially if there's the possibility of one of my friends also being around. So the problem perpetuates until it gets out of control on both sides. Yes, I have gay friends. They are the people who have given me furniture, money, food, clothes, hugs, and words of encouragement so
        naturally these are the folks I lean on a lot. [Remember, my church asked me never to come through the doors again] I don't feel my family has turned their back on me--maybe they want to--but when I weigh actions of hope and encouragement I'm afraid the scale tips one way. You can't blame me for that. I still don't agree with any agenda nor my inward feelings and would NEVER flaunt those to anyone. I am very cautious to protect my family from all my ills. I know you look at me (as you've stated before) as "woe is me" and are probably tired of hearing about my problems as much as I'm tired of going through them. But the fact is this is not something that goes away overnight. To shun me only makes matters worse. When I go for weeks without hearing from Mark, Gina, and you guys (I call mom and dad weekly or they might be on this list too) I'm left thinking I'm on my own. It may not be reality in your eyes but I can only base things on what I see. So
        although you don't approve of the friends I have, in a way these friends have kept me from much more that could have been. Most of my friends are very conservative republicans and some claim to be Christians the same as I know I am with a serious problem. To hear their stories mostly all the same is tragic and sad to me. I've not met one person who is happy with their same sex attractions. It's a weight that is usually the result of some kind of past sexual molestation by family members or friends. And now they are left to deal with the outcome. But all folks see is the dirty aspect of it and not the root of the problem. It takes considerable effort to do so I've found and most people don't have the time nor want to make the effort for the long haul. And then these circles of rejection (or even perceived) and seemingly further setback results when people just give up and feel that to be around their loved ones/friends is to condone their actions. I
        don't agree with that and never will. I would never expect nor want anyone to condone anything. Yes, Gilbert is my best friend--read into that anything you'd like, but his story is by far the worst yet he is the most kind and helpful person I know (not without fault). I wish he could know my family since he has no family here and his family life has been very difficult. Most don't get to hear him cry like I do about his past or how he misses his mama. He's a human being with hurts just like me. I'm almost embarrassed when I try to explain he can't even go to a restaurant with me because my family doesn't want to be around him. It's just horrible and frankly wrong in my opinion. He knows you all don't want to be around him and it is very hard for me to explain to him. He is very hurt by that and that in turn hurts me not knowing what to say. I mean Jesus met with the woman at the well despite what she was involved with. No, He wasn't her best friend but
        he was cordial enough to speak with her despite her sin. Maybe it isn't the same situation but one can draw similar parallels. Again I'm placed in a very difficult situation to be all to all people. I don't expect everyone to understand and I don't want to be a burden on people of feel like I'm weighing people down. It is not all about me as you've said before. I try to stay busy so I can try not to focus on not having my children and the rest of the fall-out of my own admission. I will NEVER understand how Kiffani and many others turned away from someone who they should have activelly pursued full force. I have and am creating a thicker skin to avoid any more pain which is different for me and probably why you say I've changed. It's real. I don't know all the ins and outs of why I feel the way I do but I can tell you that an 7/8 year old boy doesn't ask for this. Kiffani chooses to not believe this, but who would know it better than the person who
        lived through it.



        I'm not sure why I've rambled on in this message other than to point out the circular effect that we all seem to be caught in. It's hard to break."






























        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Anthony
        Hi there bondtk, The main thought I got from reading your post is Jesus saying to some church members that they tithe their mustard seeds, but neglect the
        Message 3 of 4 , Aug 5, 2010
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          Hi there bondtk,

          The main thought I got from reading your post is Jesus saying to some church members that they tithe their mustard seeds, but neglect the weightier matters of the law, such as love and mercy.

          I am inclined to assess trees by their fruit and I prefer to search for evidence of those weightier matters far more than for seed tithing. Church affiliation, church attendance, Bible study, profession – all these mean very little to me in comparison to love and mercy.

          I advise tempering the love and mercy shown you by your gay friends because it is human nature to have compassion for someone who is like oneself. Know what I mean?

          What seems most important to me is that you find yourself in the company of folks who extend to you the weightier matters of the law. If, in all honestly, you essentially only find it among your gay friends, I cannot advise you to sever such relationships at the present time.

          We need to be loved. We MUST be loved.

          BUT, I have a prayer and a hope for you. Please consider laboring like a madman in the search for folks who will truly love you JUST AS YOU ARE while also being entirely unlike you with respect to sexuality. I would love for you to find a man like the following:

          http://www.gaytostraight.org/StoriesofChange.asp#Personal_Testimonies

          and scroll down to Sam's Story. I would love for you to find a "Sargeant Balderidge" of whom the man who once was homosexual wrote, "To him, I was his son."

          Again, I repeat my main point. I evaluate a person's spirituality by his heartfelt living out of the weightier matters of the law. I am not saying this person or that person is not a Christian, but spirituality does lie on a continuum. Some folks are more sanctified than others.

          Such Christians are out there. I know Jesus longs for you to seek them out and abide with them. And when they become available to you (I speak of those who truly love while with respect to SSA, they are quite unlike you), my hope is that you wean yourself away from strong relationships with gay-affirming folks, not because you ought not love them and appreciate them, but only because God would have you healed.

          Will you pray to have a new kind of relationship? A man without SSA and who truly loves you?


          Take care, my friend…

          Tony
          --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, "bondtk" <bondtk@...> wrote:
          >
          > The past few weeks I've had some hurtful discussion with my sister-in-law. Mostly due to the fact that whenever I'm invited over for a gathering, I'm told the day before or the day of and expected to drop my plans which results in a comment such as, "Here's another example of your friends taking priority over your family." Which is completely not true. I have been invited to numerous cookouts/birthday parties etc. which are usually planned weeks in advance so to then invite me the day before a family function just doesn't seem fair. But of course the whole gay thing is the underlying current. I'm going to post part of an email I just sent my sister-in-law. By reading it you will likely be able to tell where I am in all of this. I know the issues, the problems, the easy "fixes" having been a Christian my entire life (since I was 10) and been a Christian school teacher and on staff of a very conservative Baptist Church for 10 years. But despite where I am right now, I haven't "thrown in the towel" either. But the things I wrote in this email are true. I see this cicular thing going on which just grows and grows. They avoid me, I lean on my friends which in turn makes them avoid me even more. Anyway, feel free to offer some advice.
          >
          > "I know we've had discussions concerning how I seem to be pulling away, but trust me, I'm not nor am I trying to. But being in the situation I am now shows me even more so how difficult it can be for people in my position to overcome because there seems to develop this vicious circle. I do sometimes feel like you all have pulled away from me and although you may not agree with me on that, I believe there is some truth to it. So the more I seem to pull away from you (by your observation) the more I feel you pull away from me (by my observation) which in turn makes me lean more on the people you all don't want me to hang with which in turn makes you all avoid being around me especially if there's the possibility of one of my friends also being around. So the problem perpetuates until it gets out of control on both sides. Yes, I have gay friends. They are the people who have given me furniture, money, food, clothes, hugs, and words of encouragement so naturally these are the folks I lean on a lot. [Remember, my church asked me never to come through the doors again] I don't feel my family has turned their back on me--maybe they want to--but when I weigh actions of hope and encouragement I'm afraid the scale tips one way. You can't blame me for that. I still don't agree with any agenda nor my inward feelings and would NEVER flaunt those to anyone. I am very cautious to protect my family from all my ills. I know you look at me (as you've stated before) as "woe is me" and are probably tired of hearing about my problems as much as I'm tired of going through them. But the fact is this is not something that goes away overnight. To shun me only makes matters worse. When I go for weeks without hearing from Mark, Gina, and you guys (I call mom and dad weekly or they might be on this list too) I'm left thinking I'm on my own. It may not be reality in your eyes but I can only base things on what I see. So although you don't approve of the friends I have, in a way these friends have kept me from much more that could have been. Most of my friends are very conservative republicans and some claim to be Christians the same as I know I am with a serious problem. To hear their stories mostly all the same is tragic and sad to me. I've not met one person who is happy with their same sex attractions. It's a weight that is usually the result of some kind of past sexual molestation by family members or friends. And now they are left to deal with the outcome. But all folks see is the dirty aspect of it and not the root of the problem. It takes considerable effort to do so I've found and most people don't have the time nor want to make the effort for the long haul. And then these circles of rejection (or even perceived) and seemingly further setback results when people just give up and feel that to be around their loved ones/friends is to condone their actions. I don't agree with that and never will. I would never expect nor want anyone to condone anything. Yes, Gilbert is my best friend--read into that anything you'd like, but his story is by far the worst yet he is the most kind and helpful person I know (not without fault). I wish he could know my family since he has no family here and his family life has been very difficult. Most don't get to hear him cry like I do about his past or how he misses his mama. He's a human being with hurts just like me. I'm almost embarrassed when I try to explain he can't even go to a restaurant with me because my family doesn't want to be around him. It's just horrible and frankly wrong in my opinion. He knows you all don't want to be around him and it is very hard for me to explain to him. He is very hurt by that and that in turn hurts me not knowing what to say. I mean Jesus met with the woman at the well despite what she was involved with. No, He wasn't her best friend but he was cordial enough to speak with her despite her sin. Maybe it isn't the same situation but one can draw similar parallels. Again I'm placed in a very difficult situation to be all to all people. I don't expect everyone to understand and I don't want to be a burden on people of feel like I'm weighing people down. It is not all about me as you've said before. I try to stay busy so I can try not to focus on not having my children and the rest of the fall-out of my own admission. I will NEVER understand how Kiffani and many others turned away from someone who they should have activelly pursued full force. I have and am creating a thicker skin to avoid any more pain which is different for me and probably why you say I've changed. It's real. I don't know all the ins and outs of why I feel the way I do but I can tell you that an 7/8 year old boy doesn't ask for this. Kiffani chooses to not believe this, but who would know it better than the person who lived through it.
          >
          > I'm not sure why I've rambled on in this message other than to point out the circular effect that we all seem to be caught in. It's hard to break."
          >
        • Cris
          Hi, I ve read some of your previous posts and didn t respond because some of the other members on this board did so with wisdom and said what needed to be
          Message 4 of 4 , Aug 8, 2010
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            Hi,

            I've read some of your previous posts and didn't respond because some of the other members on this board did so with wisdom and said what needed to be said. However, I am going to respond to this post for various reasons.

            I understand how difficult it can be to deal with family and the relationship dynamics. Let's face it, many of the issues we all face have been a direct result of those relationships or lack thereof.

            You stated that you've been a Christian since you were 10 years old. I've often thought how different my life might have been if I had had a real encounter with Jesus Christ when I was that age. I waited until I was 35 to give my life to Christ. I am now 41.

            My first question to you is what is your relationship with Jesus like? Many people I have met do not have the revelation that the Bible is a book of relationship. When we approach it with this mindset or attitude, it becomes something totally different. Many of us have struggled and continue to struggle with the same "issues" or sin because we don't have the revelation of our position in Christ....we haven't renewed our mind with the Word and we don't set aside time to develop our relationship with the Lord.

            I can honestly tell you that when I am devoting adequate time in the Word and spending time listening to the Holy Spirit and praying, I am prepared and equipped to deal with the issues of life....family matters and everything else in between. But when I don't put the Lord first, I find that it's easy to revert back to old ways of coping, old ways of thinking, and old ways of behaving. When I can spend time with the Lord, I am able to receive what I need....I'm able to receive the Father's unconditional love.....which is something I never experienced from my family.

            I used to lean on my gay friends, too. I loved them. They were, in a sense, the family that I never had. But as I began to mature in my walk with the Lord, He began to speak to me about cutting the ties with them because my friendship with them was actually causing me to stay anchored to my past. The Lord wanted to give me new friends, friends that were anchored in Him and friends that had good boundaries. But I couldn't embrace my new friends until I was willing to give up the old ones. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done...letting them go. But I knew in my heart that it was the right thing to do, not only for me but for them, also. By trusting God in this situation and by leaning on Him instead of my friends, He was able to move on my obedience and begin a healing in my life I don't believe I would have experienced if I had chosen to maintain the friendships.

            For a season, I didn't speak with them at all but I have since talked with them off and on. However, my relationship is not the same as it was. I am able to tell them about the love of Christ without having the dependency there. They don't understand why I gave everything up to follow Jesus (I moved, left my job, my friends, my old life)but they respect me.

            When I made the decision to follow the Lord, I knew my life was never going to be the same again, ever. As mentioned above, I was radical with my approach to freedom...that is what the Holy Spirit was directing me to do and I received confirmation before stepping out. The Lord had asked me if I was willing to do whatever it took to be free and maintain that freedom. My answer was, "Yes!"

            My second question to you: Are you willing to do whatever it takes to be free?

            Moving on....you said that your church told you to never come back. Have you actively been trying to find another church? Have you been asking the Holy Spirit to show you where to go? Are you a born-again Christian? I ask this simply because many people think they are okay with God but they've never received Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. They have all the do's and don'ts down but they have no relationship with God, only legalism and the law.

            So, if you are not in a church....a bible preaching, Holy Spirit filled church, then you are a sitting duck for the enemy, the devil and you are easy pickings. Fear of rejection and judgment are often tools the the enemy will use against us. God will give you the strength you need to go where you need to go if you'll just ask Him for it and trust Him to give it to you.

            The church I currently attend is the same one I first started going to after I moved. I asked the Lord to show me where to go and He did just that. My pastors had never ministered to someone who was trying to break free of the homosexual identity. All they knew how to do was show me the love of Christ...and that is exactly what I needed. They learned as I learned. And they became a father and mother to me...teaching me, correcting me when I needed it, and loving me. They have held me accountable and that is also something everyone needs, not just those of us who have struggled and are struggling with SSA.

            I never went to counseling or joined an ex-gay group...there are none in my area. What I did do was sit at the Father's feet and learn to listen and practice His presence. I am still doing that and it is exactly where I've received the most healing in my life. He is, after all, the great physician and He knows exactly what we need, when we need it.

            There are not enough fathers and mothers in the church out there that will adopt and raise up sons and daughters to become fathers and mothers. There also are not enough people who will submit to the process and authority or allow those fathers and mothers to correct and redirect. They don't allow it because they have an independent spirit and an orphan mentality. But the bible says that God places the orphans in families. Are you an orphan without a family? If so, you have no umbrella of protection and again, are easy pickings for the devil. You will never reach your full potential and gain a substantial level of victory if you are going it alone and if you are not submitted under a pastor who loves you and has your best interest at heart. Examples of fathers and mothers: Elijah and Elisha, Paul and Timothy, Ruth and Naomi. These are biblical examples of fathers and mothers.

            One more thing about prayer....if you are not praying then you are powerless. The Lord told me a few years ago that the way must always be paved with prayer first. You cannot go somewhere that has not been prepared. Prayer moves the obstacles and hindrances to our progress in Christ, out of the way. It also makes the way smooth for us. Think of it this way: highways must be paved and graded and smoothed out in order for them to be used for efficient transportation. Our lives and destinies are no different when it comes to prayer. Prayer is our lifeline to God. If you aren't praying, I highly recommend you start today. It is a discipline that will yield great fruit in your life, if you take the time to do it.

            As far as family is concerned, I've had to repent for many things and forgive...which I never could have done without the Holy Spirit's help. But now I am free from the sting of the hurts and wounds. Now there is actually compassion where once there was only resentment, anger, and vindictiveness. I learned that I can't change my family. I can't make them love me, accept me, believe in me, encourage me, etc. I can only allow the Holy Spirit to change me as I pray for them.

            I haven't seen or heard from my father in almost 15 years. I had to lay that relationship down because I was trying to make it work but it was never reciprocated. My mother and I have a very distant relationship and I have to be prayed up when I see her because she has the classic controlling, manipulative, personality traits. I have had to set strict boundaries with her but I am learning how to walk in love at the same time. I love my parents but I have had to let go of any expectations concerning all the unmet needs in my life in regards to them. My parents didn't give me what I needed when I was a child and they certainly can't do it now. They can't give me what they don't have. So, I have to go to God because He is the only one who can give me what I need and fill the voids.

            Why am I telling you all this? Because I know what the journey has been like. I know what I've had to do in order to gain lasting victory and I'm hoping that by sharing this with you, that it will also help you to gain victory in your life.

            We are all a work in progress and each of our lives is unique in the way God speaks to us. The healing process is also unique to each person. What one needs is not necessarily what another person needs. However, we all need the unconditional love of God because that is what draws us to Him in the first place and it is what will keep us there for the long-haul.

            If you are to gain any level of lasting victory in your life, you are gong to have to be persistent and determined, no matter what anyone else thinks or does. You are going to have to seek and inquire of the Lord if you want the winning strategy for your life and situation. The Bible specifically says that if we will inquire of the Lord in all that we do, He will direct our paths. Remember, each and every situation is subject to change because God knows the plans and purposes He has for us and they are for good and not for evil, they are to prosper us and give us a good end Jer. 29:11. You can not expect to get different results if you are not changing the way you do things or changing the way you think.

            I could go on and on but I believe this is enough to chew on and think about.

            I'm praying for you!

            In Christ Jesus,
            Cris








            --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, "bondtk" <bondtk@...> wrote:
            >
            > The past few weeks I've had some hurtful discussion with my sister-in-law. Mostly due to the fact that whenever I'm invited over for a gathering, I'm told the day before or the day of and expected to drop my plans which results in a comment such as, "Here's another example of your friends taking priority over your family." Which is completely not true. I have been invited to numerous cookouts/birthday parties etc. which are usually planned weeks in advance so to then invite me the day before a family function just doesn't seem fair. But of course the whole gay thing is the underlying current. I'm going to post part of an email I just sent my sister-in-law. By reading it you will likely be able to tell where I am in all of this. I know the issues, the problems, the easy "fixes" having been a Christian my entire life (since I was 10) and been a Christian school teacher and on staff of a very conservative Baptist Church for 10 years. But despite where I am right now, I haven't "thrown in the towel" either. But the things I wrote in this email are true. I see this cicular thing going on which just grows and grows. They avoid me, I lean on my friends which in turn makes them avoid me even more. Anyway, feel free to offer some advice.
            >
            > "I know we've had discussions concerning how I seem to be pulling away, but trust me, I'm not nor am I trying to. But being in the situation I am now shows me even more so how difficult it can be for people in my position to overcome because there seems to develop this vicious circle. I do sometimes feel like you all have pulled away from me and although you may not agree with me on that, I believe there is some truth to it. So the more I seem to pull away from you (by your observation) the more I feel you pull away from me (by my observation) which in turn makes me lean more on the people you all don't want me to hang with which in turn makes you all avoid being around me especially if there's the possibility of one of my friends also being around. So the problem perpetuates until it gets out of control on both sides. Yes, I have gay friends. They are the people who have given me furniture, money, food, clothes, hugs, and words of encouragement so naturally these are the folks I lean on a lot. [Remember, my church asked me never to come through the doors again] I don't feel my family has turned their back on me--maybe they want to--but when I weigh actions of hope and encouragement I'm afraid the scale tips one way. You can't blame me for that. I still don't agree with any agenda nor my inward feelings and would NEVER flaunt those to anyone. I am very cautious to protect my family from all my ills. I know you look at me (as you've stated before) as "woe is me" and are probably tired of hearing about my problems as much as I'm tired of going through them. But the fact is this is not something that goes away overnight. To shun me only makes matters worse. When I go for weeks without hearing from Mark, Gina, and you guys (I call mom and dad weekly or they might be on this list too) I'm left thinking I'm on my own. It may not be reality in your eyes but I can only base things on what I see. So although you don't approve of the friends I have, in a way these friends have kept me from much more that could have been. Most of my friends are very conservative republicans and some claim to be Christians the same as I know I am with a serious problem. To hear their stories mostly all the same is tragic and sad to me. I've not met one person who is happy with their same sex attractions. It's a weight that is usually the result of some kind of past sexual molestation by family members or friends. And now they are left to deal with the outcome. But all folks see is the dirty aspect of it and not the root of the problem. It takes considerable effort to do so I've found and most people don't have the time nor want to make the effort for the long haul. And then these circles of rejection (or even perceived) and seemingly further setback results when people just give up and feel that to be around their loved ones/friends is to condone their actions. I don't agree with that and never will. I would never expect nor want anyone to condone anything. Yes, Gilbert is my best friend--read into that anything you'd like, but his story is by far the worst yet he is the most kind and helpful person I know (not without fault). I wish he could know my family since he has no family here and his family life has been very difficult. Most don't get to hear him cry like I do about his past or how he misses his mama. He's a human being with hurts just like me. I'm almost embarrassed when I try to explain he can't even go to a restaurant with me because my family doesn't want to be around him. It's just horrible and frankly wrong in my opinion. He knows you all don't want to be around him and it is very hard for me to explain to him. He is very hurt by that and that in turn hurts me not knowing what to say. I mean Jesus met with the woman at the well despite what she was involved with. No, He wasn't her best friend but he was cordial enough to speak with her despite her sin. Maybe it isn't the same situation but one can draw similar parallels. Again I'm placed in a very difficult situation to be all to all people. I don't expect everyone to understand and I don't want to be a burden on people of feel like I'm weighing people down. It is not all about me as you've said before. I try to stay busy so I can try not to focus on not having my children and the rest of the fall-out of my own admission. I will NEVER understand how Kiffani and many others turned away from someone who they should have activelly pursued full force. I have and am creating a thicker skin to avoid any more pain which is different for me and probably why you say I've changed. It's real. I don't know all the ins and outs of why I feel the way I do but I can tell you that an 7/8 year old boy doesn't ask for this. Kiffani chooses to not believe this, but who would know it better than the person who lived through it.
            >
            > I'm not sure why I've rambled on in this message other than to point out the circular effect that we all seem to be caught in. It's hard to break."
            >
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