“How did I get here?” That’s the question that keeps coming to me in prayer.  The answer has been the same every time: Because God does not tire of being generous to us.  A few weeks ago, I made a road trip to Montana with some of my closest friends.  During that trip, we went skiing at Showdown Resort, which happens to be the ski resort that St. John Paul II went skiing at back in the 70’s with one of his closest friends, Monsignor Joseph Gluszek.  This was before John Paul II was Pope, back when he was still Cardinal Karol Wojtyla.  As I was skiing down the mountain (ok, falling down the mountain) I was thinking about how my life right now does not look too different from what Karol Wojtya’s life looked like before he was declared a saint.  His life, and mine too, looked like good friends and good memories. 

When I think about my story, there was a long and lonely chapter where I thought that same-sex attraction was the roadblock to my happiness.  Until I ‘fixed’ this part of my life, I could never be in friendship with God, or in proper friendship with others.  I bought into the lie that I couldn’t come before my Father as a broken man, that I had to come with something worth presenting. Only then would we get to be friends.  So, for a long time, I didn’t hand my struggle with SSA over to the Lord.  I also didn’t share it with anyone I knew.  I figured that people had enough on their plates, they didn’t need my problems on top of all that. This was a lonely way to live! It’s also not very sustainable, and after a long time of fighting with God, I finally paused and decided to listen to what He thought.  He very clearly asked me the same question He asked the blind man in the Gospel of Mark, “What do you want me to do for you?”  

I had to think about that question for a while. I wanted to be seen; I wanted connection; I wanted friendship, with God and other people.  I still didn’t think I could have those things until I fixed the SSA thing.  So, I prayed: God, please take this attraction away from me, so that I can be seen!  What a backwards way of thinking: Please take this thing away that I won’t share with you so I can be seen by you. God is very patient though, and he saw through my question.  God has a way of doing that. He can see “Take this attraction from me!” and correctly understand that the request is simply “Can anyone see me?”   The answer is yes, God sees us and wants friendship with us, and He shows us how to do that with others by being friends with us first. 

I am convinced that we don’t ask enough from the Lord.  We trick ourselves into thinking we have enough and are not worth receiving more. Therefore, we ask for the minimum.  I asked God to take the smallest piece of me away, my same sex attraction, but God, in His generosity wanted to give all He had to me.   At the end of our ski trip, we had dinner at a friend’s parents’ home.  As the ten of us gathered around the table, it looked a lot like what I imagine Jesus’s disciples did together, or maybe two priests after their own ski trip.  We ate, we prayed, we laughed and shared stories about how bad at skiing some of us were.  Most importantly, we saw each other as we were: imperfect individuals.  It’s easier to see others when others can also see you.  I still struggle with unwanted attractions, but as I sat at this table and asked myself “How did I get here?”, I realized it is because God is generous, and He is never done being generous. 

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The opinions and experiences expressed in each blog entry in “The Upper Room” belong solely to the original authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of Courage International, Inc. Some entries have been edited for length and clarity.