I was born and raised in Northern California, in an area where Christianity wasn’t very prevalent. I didn’t go to church growing up and for the most part, I didn’t think religion was something I needed in my life.
During high school, I felt empty. I had few close friends and felt like I wasn’t worth getting to know. After high school, I went to college in North Carolina. While there, I abused alcohol to make me happy and gain the attention of others. I idolized my friendships and relied on them for my happiness. Unfortunately, some of those friendships started to fizzle and when that happened I didn’t know who I was without them and felt very little purpose. I was also constantly comparing myself to everyone and felt worthless because I felt like I could never could live up other people’s accomplishments. Depression and anxiety soon sank in and I felt hopeless.
When I came back over winter break, I entered a state of manic euphoria and had illogical thoughts spinning out of control. After days without sleep, I became delusional and entered psychosis. I then spent 2 incredibly confusing and traumatic weeks in a psychiatric hospital to treat my bipolar disorder.
When I got home, I was invited to church and I started to attend regularly. One night I was in the car with a friend and she talked to me about having a relationship with God. I told her I didn’t need God as I believed I was a good enough person and I felt like I had recovered just fine from the hospital by my own power. I couldn’t admit the aching emptiness of my heart though or the fear I felt in the hospital, of the blood curdling screams of people in the night, or my helplessness and incredible loneliness in a place that felt like a prison. I wanted people to think I was such an awesome person for my inner strength and didn’t want to attribute anything to God.
Another thing that made me weary, was that around this time I was having homosexual thoughts, to the point of falling in love. I never physically acted on my feelings but I binge watched sexually explicit shows to fill my empty heart. I wanted sex and a relationship so badly. I thought that it was the missing key to true happiness.
In fall of 2015, I moved to Columbus and got plugged in with Young Life college at Ohio State. There, I was met with incredible love and acceptance from a group of girls and I desperately wanted to understand where their joy came from. I then went on a retreat and the gospel finally grabbed my heart. I was chasing things that would ultimately never satisfy me or make me genuinely happy. I started to understand my incredible brokenness and realized that Jesus was the only one who could fulfill my deepest needs.
Despite this understanding, I didn’t know if homosexuality was a sin because of different denominations that supported it. I was so scared but I cried out to God. After a few weeks, God revealed to me that it was a sin. However, he gave me a supernatural sense of peace and love and I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
Soon after coming to Christ, my same-sex feelings greatly diminished. I still don’t know if I will ever fall in love with a man. But as my love for Jesus has grown, I no longer crave sex or a relationship because I have been fulfilled and healed in so many ways by my savior. Today, I am thankful for that struggle because it taught me how to humble myself and trust that God’s plans are better than mine. A few months after, I landed in the hospital again for 10 days. During that time, I drew so much closer to God and he brought me so much more healing and clarity than any therapist ever has or ever will. He also gave me supernatural peace to comfort and spread the gospel with my distressed roommate and filled me with joy to dance like an idiot in my room.
Last summer, I joined H20. Before coming, I was so ashamed, especially about my sexuality, that I hid it from almost everyone. However at H20, I was so loved and welcomed that I started to open up. I have started to understand more what it means to walk in freedom and now I love telling my story and sharing with people the amazing things God has done in my life. Despite my growth, I am still incredibly broken. Among many things, I seek validation from others and still struggle a lot with comparison. I am learning that I need him every hour to restore me, not just for a ticket out of Hell. He is our only true and lasting hope in this world and I thank God every day that I have finally found what I had been searching so long for…And that is a slice of my life.