TESTIMONY – JAMES HUMPHRIES
There is a belief out in the wider community that a person is born a homosexual. I do not believe in this viewpoint, however my story is that I once lived and believed it. To believe this view is to believe your identity is founded in your sexuality.
This is my story..................
There were several incidents that occurred in my life that led me to believe I was homosexual.
In my early pubescent years, I was sexually abused and this catapulted me into a world of forbidden desire., Attraction to men. When my father found out he went ballistic and tried to choke me. This led me to reject an important role model in my life. This led to issues of rejection, fear and inferiority.
To counteract the wild emotions and protect myself I developed dual identities. The good boy vs the gay persona, needless to say they were at war within....
In keeping with the good boy persona, I attended church and at the age of 22 married driven by a desire to be normal and a hope that marriage would heal the forbidden attraction to men, BUT I was wrong. The hidden roots of my homosexual desire were not healed, and during the marriage I had lots of anonymous encounters. Needless to say the marriage failed and I lost everything, my home, my children, and my identity. The marriage seemed to compound the years of frustration, rejection and shame.
I tried desperately to find healing in the church community but did not find it. Needless to say I left the church community and embraced the homosexual “gay community” because they offered me significance, identity and acceptance. The very thing I found lacking in the church community.
I was deeply entrenched in gay scene chasing love and acceptance. Part of the journey was that I became a drag queen performing in various bars around Oxford St. Whilst performing I found a level of acceptance I had not previously known. When I was not performing I frequented the bath houses and bars, drinking, gambling and looking for ‘Mr Right.’ The opportunities for anonymous sex was available. During this time, I was diagnosed with HIV – another cross to bear.
What was the turning point for me? What happened to make me turn my back on the very scene that accepted me and courageously turn back to the community that rejected me?
I recall that I became unhappy with the homosexual life style as it was killing me. I was performing one night in the drag show I regularly performed on a Sunday evening. The compere started calling it church on Sunday. Something inside me reacted to this statement and I recalled the teachings of my Sunday school teacher; John 3: 16. God loved me...So I began a search to see if it was possible to return and find my way back to God.
I need to point out no one spoke to me at any time about returning to God. My search took me to the Gay Community Church and various gay friendly Churches, all of which I could not settle down in. They were dry and had no life. They did not have what I was seeking. So I began watching various tele evangelists and Christian programs.
Unknown to me at the time I was stirred and began to search, my daughter was looking for me, her father. I believe in 2005 September father’s day – she had asked the pastor of her church to pray with her. Six months later, I walked into City Church which was a satellite plant of the church my daughter attended. I made a decision that day to accept Jesus again and to believe change was possible. Not fully understanding the battle that was to come.
I went through the waters of baptism and no longer identified myself as homosexual. I shut the door on Oxford Street and the homosexual lifestyle.
After my baptism I attended a church course known as ENCOUNTER Weekend. It was a confronting and empowering weekend where I was able to face fears of the past, forgive and receive ministry.
However, a single weekend could not erase a life time of accumulated emotional baggage and I needed to be equipped for the journey ahead. Something my church could not provide. It was at this point I remembered The Ministry of Living Waters. I searched them out on the internet but it took me six months to make contact. (I had prepared an email but did not send it). When I finally made contact I enrolled in the 26 week course and so continued my ongoing healing journey.
Through prayer and empowerment of the Holy Spirit, the journey away from homosexuality continues.
As I submit to Jesus and acknowledge my need and the power of the cross on a daily basis I am able to have confidence that the work he has begun will be finished (Phil1:6). What this requires from me is courage to acknowledge I cannot change myself, it is as I respond to God's word that the transformation is possible.
Psalm 107: 10-16 sums up my journey – I rebelled – I cried to him – He brought me out of darkness – broke my chains – and I give thanks to the Lord.
In closing I want to share what I call my 3D principle.
- Decide and acknowledge I need a Saviour
- Determine to believe change is possible through Jesus death and resurrection.
- Dare to believe and accept that change can be outworked in your life.
My conviction that change is possible … IT TAKES COURAGE TO BELIEVE.