But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Matthew 6:6

The gay dance clubs, a mirage which soon dries up once the night is over. 

Lost in hopelessness.  Trying to fill a void that could never be filled

There is a spirit of lust that is attached to homosexuality.  It’s a spirit of lust that knows no boundaries and will consume a person until homosexuality becomes their identity.

I was consumed by this very spirit and it brought me into place of darkness filled with lies, deception, emptiness, and boundaries that I thought I would never cross.

I bought into the lie that I was born gay and this is how I was destined to live the rest of my life. 

Though the feelings of same sex attraction started to develop around the age of 12 years old, I didn’t act out on these attractions until after I graduated high school.  After my first sexual experience with a man it was then that I felt that spirit of lust take control over me and the door was open.  Here was a man that I never even met before and he was desiring me and showing a form of intimate love, affection and affirmation.  From that very moment, my identity was taking formation into a sexual identity.  From that very moment, I would enter into a world of sexual perversion, alcohol, and drugs.

At the young age of 20 years old, I felt like I had the world in my hands.  I was earning a yearly salary of around $60,000 a year working in the financial industry.  I had credit cards with limits up to $5,000, a penthouse condo, and driving a 35th anniversary edition convertible Camaro.  I had need of nothing and I had everything I wanted, so I thought.

My weekends were spent at bars and dance clubs in a gay neighborhood called Boys Town in Chicago’s north side.  I would walk into the clubs dressed in an outfit that cost over $300.00 knowing that the night would end with a sexual encounter.  My drink of choice was the long island iced tea, consuming about an average of 5 with the occasional shot of Jägermeister.  As I would make my way up to the bar to order my first drink, I would be overwhelmed with the various scents of men’s colognes and body sprays.  The bass of the dance music would send goose bumps down my body as I would seek out the next guy to dance with.  The flashing strobe lights and laser lights of all colors created a silhouette of guys on the dance floor in which I would soon get lost in myself.  The alcohol and drugs increased the sensation of the bass of the music, the lights which flashed in every color imaginable, and the smell and touch of whatever guy I was dancing with.  By the time the night was over, I was making a choice of which guy, or group of guys, I was going home with. 

I was in the world of the gay lifestyle.  Where sex was just sex.  Drugs and alcohol were the norm at every party.  Soon, weekends weren’t enough. 

I was young and good looking.  I had the choice of whomever I wanted to be with.  There was a sense of control and power that I could have over men with sex.  The feelings of intimidation, fear of rejection and lack of affirmation I felt from men in my earlier years were now numb to the control I had over them with sex. 

The more I fed my flesh with sex, drugs, and alcohol, the more I needed to continue filling the emptiness that grew each day.  Each morning I woke up, I would feel empty and lost.  The smells, the base of the music, the lights, and the excitement of the dance club was a distant memory of a night lost to the sunrise of a new morning.  There were mornings I would wake up, not knowing where I was or whose bed I was in nor how I even got there.  This pattern would continue as with each new sexual encounter with a man wouldn’t be enough. 

The “pride” parades, from the outward appearance, brought a sense of community and acceptance to the sexual lifestyle I was living.  Here, sex with the same gender was celebrated as love.  Nothing was too taboo.  Sex was displayed on most every parade float that would pass by.  Half naked men dancing on floats brought on cheers from the crowd.  The sexual perversion caught my eyes as a next group of people following the float held signs for marriage equality.  Signs which read “Love is Love” – “Marriage Equality For All”- “Only God Can Judge” and “Born Gay and Proud”.

Later, I found myself in a relationship with a guy which lasted for five years.  During this time, I became an advocate for gay rights and marriage equality.  After all, I had become engaged to this man I was living with.  I went against Christians who said that the lifestyle I was living was sinful.  “Only God can judge me” was my reply.  If man and woman could be happy in a marriage, why couldn’t I?  The opposition drove me into a passion to defend my gay lifestyle which had become my identity, it’s who I was.  The opposition drove me to defend my decision to marry the man I thought I loved.  However, beneath the surface, deep down in my soul, I was feeling that something wasn’t right.  Deep down inside of me, I was still left feeling empty and the void in my life had not been filled.  The relationship with this guy was not making me happy.  In fact, my consumption of alcohol had increased to a daily thing.  Maybe I needed something spiritual in my life to open up the inner parts of my soul.  Maybe I would find happiness there.  I was introduced into the spiritual world of tarot cards, stone readings and communication with the spirits beyond this world.  I was introduced to my spirit guide who was to lead me in my decisions and help me to understand who I was in my past life and where I was going in the future. 

Obviously, this wasn’t working because my alcohol consumption increased.  The gay lifestyle had left me in a dark place from which I felt I could never escape.  Sexual encounters with other men increased while I was still involved in this relationship.  I begin to feel like I didn’t know who I was anymore.  The gay identity had consumed me so much that I lost my own identity to it.  I knew there had to be something more to the life I was living.  Unfortunately, my “spirit guide” did not have the answers to that question.

Alcohol and depression soon consumed me.  My identity was lost to the gay lifestyle.  I was left hopeless.  I was left in a place of darkness lost in a gray fog which I could not find my way out of.  I would consume more alcohol to numb myself to the numerous sexual encounters with men.

I knew something had to change because I was headed down the path to hell.  I knew that I would either drink myself to death or come in contact to a deadly sexual disease. 

It was on December 31, 2009 that my mom invited me to a New Year’s Eve service at a church called Jesus House in Bloomington, IL.  I was living in Chicago at the time.  I tried to come up with every excuse in the book not to spend my New Year’s Eve at a church.  Besides, I had partying and drinking to do.  In my reluctance, I decided to attend this New Year’s Eve church service. 

Little did I know, my life would change. 

I sat through the service as Bonnie strummed her guitar singing songs about Jesus and Him being God.  All I knew about Jesus at that time was that He was the son of God and died on a cross for our sins. 

It was that night, something inside of me started to stir up.  Something about myself was being revealed to me.  I knew I needed this Jesus to save me!  He was my only hope in the midst of my confusion, my hopelessness, and my self-destruction.  As I sat there through the worship, the Holy Spirit started to stir in me and I encountered the revelation of Jesus Christ.  I had given my life to Jesus that night and proclaimed Him as my Lord and Savior.  It was through the worship that the Spirit of God moved through me and opened my eyes.  This was my new beginning in life and Jesus was going to lead me through this new life.

Meanwhile, I was still living in my apartment in Chicago.  I declared Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  Now what?  What do I do from here?  And why do I still have these feelings of same sex attractions? 

I had been filled with the Spirit of God.  I had encountered His presence that New Year’s Eve.  I wanted to live right in the sight of God.  I wanted to please Him in all that I did.  So what does this mean about my sexuality?  There were questions that I wanted answers to and I wanted to know the truth and not the opinions of people.

Well, my search started with Google.  Being a new believer, I didn’t know where else to turn to find the questions to my answers.  Maybe the internet would lead me to the truth.

Come to find out, the internet is filled with people’s differing opinions. 

I wanted to know if being gay was a sin.  I wanted to know if God created me this way. 

I wanted to know the truth. 

As a new believer, I did not know where to go in the bible for the answers to this questions.

I came across many opinions across the internet.  There were opinions form the both sides of the issues. 

In my frustration and confusion, I ran into my closet and prayed and prayed.  Asking the Lord what He will have me to do!  Did He create me to be gay?  Is this the life I was destined to live? 

In the midst of my cry out to God and pouring out my soul to Him, I felt a presence of peace.  There was a calmness that came over me.  And in a still small voice I heard, “Don’t look to the right or to the left, this is the way you should go.”   There are no words to describe the encounter I had with the Lord that night in my closet.  I knew that I was not born gay.  It was by the Spirit of God that revealed Himself to me and told me all that I needed to know.  Being gay wasn’t who He created me to be.  In fact, there were deeper issues that were unresolved which He would later continue to burn out of me.

The next morning, I woke up to an eviction notice on my door and my car repossessed.  Not knowing at that time, the Lord was beginning to strip me of everything I had to prepare me for the work He has called me to do.

It wasn’t by the words or opinion of man which told me the lifestyle I was living was wrong.  It was revealed to me by the very Spirit of God.  You see, I had no one to walk me through the process of coming out of the homosexual lifestyle.  I constantly stayed in the word of God, I prayed, and I worshipped Him.  The more I did these things, the more the Lord empowered me with His Holy Spirit to continue on the path He set before me. 

My identity is not in my sexuality.  My identity is in Jesus Christ.  If I am made in the very image of God, then He has created me to be the man He wants me to be.  In the beginning God created them male and female. 

In order for me to continue becoming the man God has created me to be, I had continue to hide God’s word in my heart.  I had to fully understand and comprehend that all things that I have done in my past were forgiven and covered under the blood of Jesus Christ.  It was debt that I could never repay.  All I could do was love Him, obey Him, and worship Him.

You see, I thought I was born gay.  But through Jesus Christ I have been born again.  My mind has been renewed and transformed.  The old Ricky has died and a new Ricky has been risen with Christ.  Jesus has called me out of darkness into His marvelous light. 

I was living a lie.  A lie that the world was telling me who I was.  A lie that leads people down the road of death.  The world is consumed with sexuality, further distancing itself from the God who created them. 

There is an unknown world in the gay lifestyle which is not evident to the world on the surface.  It’s a world filled with a spirit of lust, hopelessness, lost identities and a world which consumes your own identity.

The Lord is a restorer of all good things.  I have been married to a wonderful woman of God since June of 2012, who also has been redeemed from homosexuality.  I stand in awe of her Love for the Lord and His word and how she continues to seek after the Lord to become the woman He created her to be. 

The Lord has brought us two together for a purpose.  When you surrender all to Jesus and allow Him to work in you, He restores all things back to what He originally created them to be.  Together, we share what the Lord Jesus Christ has done in our lives and to declare that there is hope in the Living God to make all things new. 

In Jesus Christ, you can become born again.

In Jesus Christ, you can be transformed and renewed.

In Jesus Christ, there is hope for the hopeless.

In Jesus Christ, every feeling of emptiness will be filled.

In Jesus Christ, we have been given the power and authority to speak out against the lies and deceit of homosexuality.

We have truly come into the kingdom for such a time as this.