20130202-115132.jpgRecently I’ve taken up mountain biking. It’s scary, but fun. I ride with a great deal of trepidation. On one of my last rides, with my well experienced friend Rex, he shared some words that were very profound that have stuck with me that I believe apply to us all on this journey out of homosexuality into following the Lord.

We were riding through the woods at break neck speeds, narrowly missing trees on the left and the right, as we rode the narrow trails through the trees. My eyes, wearing no glasses, were blurred from the speed of the wind dispersing the moisture in my eyes. Peeks, jumps, dips, rocks, roots, and narrow wobbly bridges with creeks below, would all challenge me as fear rose up with in me. Rex was ahead, moving swiftly with ease, while I struggled to stay on the bike. I was scared that I was going to get hurt, hit by a tree or fall off and get hurt even worse. Rex said to me, “If you’re not getting hurt, then you’re not doing it right.”

This journey involves not only struggle, but hurt and pain. Those of us that come out of homosexuality avoid conflict and pain like the plague. It is one of the biggest roots to this issue. We see charismatic men with great courage and strength, and we envy them. Filled with fear, we recoil from the challenge, started in childhood that has followed us into adulthood—boys in men’s bodies.

Like Rex being an experienced biker, riding swiftly with ease, I’ve been on this journey from homosexuality for a long time. I know that sometimes when I write, speak, or give counsel, I can and do trigger others’ fears. I’m not really trying to offend or hurt. I know, though, that my being so public and especially believing that all others should be too, at least to their spouse, family, and close friends (based on James 5:13-16), that I can be a stumbling block or sword to the heart that can trigger to the core. Men, and women I’m sure, think I’m crazy and flat out wrong as they are filled with fear and think only of the pain that would be caused by admitting their struggle, falls and secrets of the past. What good is pain after all?

One of my last fall’s to looking at inappropriate material online, if not the last, my wife said something to me that I’ll never forget. It’s the thing that led me to write a $500 check to my accountability partner with no date that said in the note section, “inappropriate material.” Julie has always shown me grace and given me mercy. Countless times over the last 17 years, she’d catch me looking at something I shouldn’t or early in our marriage doing even worse. When I was at my worst was when she was at her best, leaning on the Lord in her times with Him. I was growing but still struggling, still giving allowance for occasional falls to inappropriate material. This last time, I confessed to her having looked at inappropriate material. She said to me, “It is what it is.” OUCH!! That hurt to the core. Those words haunted me! I struggled with those words so bad. These words led me to write the check, which I’m thankful for. A couple of days later, I said to Julie that those words hurt. She said, “You know, I really didn’t think through what I said or that it would hurt you, but if that pain can be used to stop you, then good.” Wow. That’s wisdom. That pain, those words, were used to help me.

Often times when I share I get comments back from guys that lead secret lives. My words trigger them, causing pain. Am I trying to hurt them? Of course not. I don’t want to hurt anyone. Like my wife said, “if that pain can be used to stop you, then good.” If the pain of my words can be used to motivate you to change your life, even better. While I will always recoil from pain, I have learned to not run from it. Instead, I have learned that the Lord uses pain in our lives as a chisel to help shape us into them men and women He’s raising us up to be. Don’t run from pain, face it head on, and you’ll find the freedom you so desperately seek. 20130202-115039.jpg

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6 thoughts on “Facing Our Fears

  1. Loved this! Really great reminder & encouragement for me. Fear used to dictate my entire life, and I would not take the risk of reaching out to someone in friendship because I was terrified of people rejecting me. Since I wouldn’t reach out, it was as if I was assuming every person would reject me. I never gave anyone the chance to accept me. I lived in total fear of rejection.

    McKrae, I’m so glad you’ve pointed out to me and reminded me that not everyone will reject me. Some people will accept me. But I have to take the first step — I have to make myself vulnerable and put myself out there. I cannot be afraid of the pain of rejection. Yes, people WILL reject me. But I must move past the pain, and I must not allow that pain to dictate my life and cause me to be locked in fear.

    I still greatly struggle with fear of rejection. But I am doing scary things & taking risks to try to overcome this fear. I’m not going to live my life in fear. One thing I’m doing is attending a local youth group, and that is incredibly frightening for me. But I’m trusting God, and I am proud of myself for tackling this fear.

    To make progress, I must experience pain and face my fears head-on. Otherwise I will stay stuck in the “safe” lonely zone.

  2. This is something I’ve been learning too and that has been very helpful even though its not easy. Last night I felt like there was something that was still holding me back in this struggle but I didn’t know what it was. I prayed and journaled about it and as I was doing that, I felt like God kept bringing to mind my best friend from college who basically just walked out of my life and doesn’t want much to do with me any more. It was probably the hardest thing I’ve had to go through because I had never had a friend like him before who I could always count on and who understood a lot of my feelings when others didn’t. It’s been a year since he left, and for the most part I had healed from it or so I thought. But last night God showed me that I had never fully dealt with the pain from that. I just distracted myself from it or chose not to think about it. But not last night…I went for a walk downtown and went by all the places we used to go. I would think about the memories in those places and then released them to God. I revisited a lot of memories and didn’t try to suppress any pain that I felt from them because of how badly I was missing him. But when I was done remembering, thinking about, and releasing all the stuff I have been trying not to think about this past year, there was a peace about the whole thing. It wasn’t easy to revisit all that stuff, but it was necessary and good to. “Thank you God for bringing more healing!”

  3. This is very good mckrae. I believe Running from pain and challenges is the biggest obstacle for overcoming temptations. This blog has challenged me even more.

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