The year was 1995. I had just broken up with my boyfriend of one year and I was deeply depressed. I was graduating from Texas A&M University At Galveston in a few months and I was done with life, school, love and everything. My parents gave me a $1500 check for graduation. Which was always funny to me, because over the years they had written me checks in the amount of about $70,000 for my degree. I think that was their way of saying “We love ya, and this is the last check! Enjoy. We are going on vacation.”
I graduated in December. I was still living with my ex. I was going out every night and spending money like crazy. Somehow the car and the amazing job that were supposed to be mine right after college never made their way to my doorstep. It was a mutual decision not to let go o our apartment, because neither one of us could afford another one. And after all we were the modern gay couple who weren’t a couple, but could still be friends. It worked for Joseph, but for me it was continued emotional torture. I didn’t know how to shut off my emotions as easily as he did. He broke up with me, so I was still the jilted lover looking for any signs of “He still loves me”. Several situations arose that I took full advantage of. I wanted back in his life. I was lonely, afraid and let’s be honest, horny at times. I still hadn’t made my big decision to return to Jesus yet, but it wouldn’t be much longer.
God had orchestrated the break up I know. Joseph broke up with me while my dad was visiting and my father was the only one there to console me after the breakup. It wasn’t my choice of people to have around. After all my dad was a staunch Christian who had always taught me that homosexuality was wrong. As I look back now, I am so glad it was my dad that was there. It was God’s way of keeping me safe. And although my dad didn’t agree with my dating choices, he did understand real hurt and helped me get through.
So when the graduation money ran out and I didn’t want to roll out of bed, Joseph came to me one morning and said, “Matty I think you might be clinically depressed.” It was all I could do not to say “You’re damn right I am. I don’t have a job. I am broke. And you broke up with me at a really bad time. My family doesn’t agree with the way I live my life. I am lost and I have a hangover. Yeah! I might be depressed.”
Instead of all that I agreed with him and we began to research what I could do. At that time UTMB offered state run medical care and counseling. I decided to go to a doctor to see if he could recommend a counselor for me. This is the funny part. My very first appointment was with an MD on staff. I had to see him before he would recommend a counselor. SO there I was: depressed, angry, low self esteem, confused about whether or not I wanted to be gay and a whole host of other emotions. I walked into the examining room and in walks “that guy”. The Dr. that they had chosen to see me was a 20 something, 6.5 ft tall, college athlete, carved out of cream cheese, built like a brick outhouse, gorgeous man with great hair. I remember being even more depressed after sitting there staring at him for a few minutes. This guy was a hottie. I didn’t want to tell him my problems. I wanted to see if he was free on Saturday night. But alas, it was the great irony of God that this man whom I esteemed to be one day, calmed me down. He listened to my struggles and my plight. He gave me comfort and a recommendation to see an amazing counselor who helped me through the last few months of living with Joseph in that seaside apartment in Galveston.
There were so many occasions where I came close to leaving homosexuality behind my friends. I was in and out of the closet more times that Lady Gaga at the Oscars. Each time I tried to escape, the hand of God was there: providing, loving, daring me to step just a little closer to him. I look back at my journals now and know the hand of God was always in my life. He always kept watch over me. He keeps watch over my friends currently celebrating their gay lives. He is the same God today, as he was to me so many years ago. That is why as parents or friends of gay men and women, pray is not our last resort, it is the first defense against the enemy’s plan for your sons, your daughters and your friends. Prayer is a privilege to call to the God of heaven for change, for revelation and so He, not you, can show your loved ones that there is another path for their lives. Proverbs 3:5&6 says it best. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths. The enemy is a created being. God is the creator. Today, let’s stop putting more faith in satan and what we see in our kid’s lives and realign our faith to the Father and to Jesus Christ.