Allow me to describe one of the scariest moments of my entire life. It came right after my friend asked me this question:
“Do you also have a problem with, you know… looking at stuff on the internet?”
After staring out the window of the restaurant for what felt like an eternity, I answered by lowering my head and nodding yes.
The scary part of this moment wasn’t the question, nor was it in having to answer it. No, the fear came because I knew the moment I finally opened up and was honest about this ONE struggle, I’d have to be honest about ALL of them. I knew from that moment on my life was no longer going to be full of secrets, but rather honesty.
And THAT was terrifying.
My friend asked this question right after I opened up to her about my struggle with homosexuality. At that point I thought I had confessed everything to her, but she knew there was more to the story. Much more. Admitting to my struggle with pornography also led me to admit my addiction with masturbation. (Even writing this down is scary.)
But by opening up and admitting to these struggles, I was entering into a world I had never been in before: an honest one. I had ALWAYS lied about my struggles because my struggles never matched my reputation. I was always known as the goody-two-shoes church girl who did everything right. Little did everyone know, I was living a secret life. And I was spending more time in that one.
Looking back on it now, I have discovered the reasons for my addictions and lies: fear. I was scared to death of who I thought I was. Struggling with homosexuality while being a Christian was terrifying, for many reasons. I feared being condemned, being hated, or being disowned.
What I realize now is that the origins of my fears were actually lies:
Lie #1: I will be condemned for being gay.
Lie #2: God will hate me because of my addictions.
Lie #3: I’ve fallen too far to be saved.
This is where the fear lies.
All these lies caused a cycle of fear to constantly run through my mind. Believing the lie caused me to be afraid, and that fear kept me believing those lies. It was an endless cycle. Until…
…I faced those fears. I made the choice to finally face my fears head on, take a risk, and trust someone with honesty. I chose truth over lies. Courage over fear. And it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I challenge you to face your fears and choose something better. It doesn’t have to be as scary as you think it will be; many of us have been right where you are now, and none of us want you to face your fears alone.