[Guest Post by Brenda Rodgers – I appreciate her honesty on a topic that is super sensitive. I know she’s not the only one who’s broken up with someone only to find out that their ex turned gay. I hope you are encouraged by her honesty.]
I found out a year after the four year facade.
Overlooking over the railing on the second floor of the mall, right outside of J. Crew, I heard the words on the other end of my cell phone. A friend was telling me my ex-boyfriend was gay.
Even though that was the not-so-secret-secret in my mind, a stabbing piercing went through my chest.
I called him.
We hadn’t talked for a year, but I called him anyway.
I said I knew. He laughed the nervous laugh. I asked him why he used me like he did. He rattled off some stuff with twisting words that only the enemy would use. There was no “I’m sorry.”
I was calm.
I was collected.
I was very matter-of-fact.
And I spoke truth.
“You know Jesus”, I said. “You know truth. I encourage you to get some counseling”.
Then I prayed for him. Honest, tear-stained, mourning prayers. At the end of the day he was a soul. A soul in turmoil.
During those days following the revelation, thoughts flooded through me in a way that I couldn’t even decipher reality from fantasy.
See, me and this boy? We met in the second grade. We grew up together. He was my best friend. We went to church together.
When we were dating.
There were red flags. There were even rumors. And, believe it or not, we talked about them. My heart broke for the boy whose father abandoned him. Whose life was lived behind murmurs and gossip. So I chose love instead. I chose to believe him. I chose to not be another one to abandon him.
When a girl learns that her Christian boyfriend is gay, you can imagine the effects it leaves on her psyche.
The enemy wasn’t done. He wanted me to stay in bondage, tormented in my head over the questions. He wanted to use the questions to paralyze my future relationships. He wanted to destroy me.
Instead, I chose, and continue to choose, truth. You see, even today these feelings rear their ugly little head, poking around the corners of my mind. I have to slay them.
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
What’s wrong with me?
That sums up what I felt.
I came to a place of admitting that yes, I am a broken woman who exhibited some dangerous codependent behaviors. Behaviors that could have easily changed my life forever. Behaviors with deep roots that extend far into my past.
But God built my identity on something firmer than mere choices I make in life. His grace was holding me, protecting me in so many ways, and His grace reminds me that my identity does not correlate to my brokenness.
Why did he use me?
I was used. I do not know if it was intentional or not. I want to think it wasn’t intentional, but I was used so that my ex-boyfriend could “figure it out”. There is no doubt about it. I was wronged.
But just as I am broken woman in need of a Savior, so is my ex-boyfriend. He is broken, too. He is in need of a Savior. Jesus forgave. So I must forgive.
There’s nothing more to say.
It’s not easy. And it hasn’t been a one-stop “I forgive you” and then move on. But today I can completely say I have forgiven him. Not because I don’t wish life had been different, but because I feel empathy. I know what brokenness is like.
Why didn’t I just trust God?
For me, being in this relationship was a sin. Why? Because the Holy Spirit continually pricked my soul and told me something wasn’t right.
But I was scared. I was broken. I wanted affirmation. I wanted attention. And so I ignored His voice. I made the security of a person an idol instead of allowing God to be my only security.
If I hadn’t heard His voice, of course it would not have been a sin. But I did, and I blatantly ignored Him.
I have repented and asked God to forgive me for not trusting Him.
How could they let this happen to me?
My first response was to find someone to blame. My friends. My parents. How could they watch this happen? And yes, in some ways they did watch it happen by not being direct with me and their concerns.
However, there is no one to blame. We all could have handled the relationship differently. And the bottom line is that I am the one who knew I was outside of God’s will. I have to take responsibility for my actions.
Brenda is a wife, new mom, and self-proclaimed “recovering single”. Her passion is mentoring young women to live abundant lives surrendered to Jesus. She wrote the eBook Fall for Him: 25 Challenges from a Recovering Single, and she blogs at www.BrendaHRodgers.com.
[Photo: fer tapia, Creative Commons]