Hi Friends. Mikey Likey here. Just settling in from work this evening and reflecting on last nights Praise and Worship /Prayer I attended at a local faith based church here in the city of Claremont, Ca. My testimony, my personal story , of how Jesus freed this 38 year-man from addiction, self-destruction, and also the homosexual lifestyle has been something so precious, and empowering to me since giving my life back and surrendering my all to God in May of this year. You know, after surrendering my complete pain and hurt to God this year, it’s really been a pretty crazy , rapid, sometimes overwhelming Change and Spiritual growth experience for me. I feel that this time, in my surrendering, God heard the authentic cries from my spirits darkest regions, and it’s as if , actually it IS the reason, God has been so powerfully present in all aspects of my life now. I know that He knows, that I am now ready, to fully serve him in all that I do, and that means sharing the truth and boldness that finds sanctuary in my testimony.
I could sit here for hours and think about all the “why’s” and wonders of my journey. Why was I brought up in a household where my world, my mother endured what she did in her faith-walk living in a family structure with the obstacles that , how I viewed it, at times broke her spirit? Why didnt I have a healthy relationship with my father, or my ideal relationship I as a young child imagined it should have been? Why did God make me attracted to men? Why did I not have lustful desires towards women like my cousins who I watched pornography with did? Why did I act “differently” then how I was taught boys should act? Why did no other boys have the crushes on guys as I did, or did they? Why didnt I like sports, or better, why did I hate sports? Why wasn’t I athletically built? Why did I like to secretly play with my sisters barbies and design them clothes when my dad would be off coaching her soccer team? Why did I like arts and crafts, poems, and singing? Why did I have a flare for fun fashion? Why was I born GAY?
As if my same sex attraction didnt confuse, sadden and scare me enough in it’s own complexity, I found out in my teen years I had an addictive personality with a taste for a lot of things un-satisfyingly delicious. My addictive personality manifested into full blown forms of addiction. In my teen years, I grew up in the Rave Techno music scene. I found that the culture was so welcoming to the misfits of society- the loners, the freaks, the weirdos, the free spirited, the hippies, the unique, the gay, ME! In addition to it’s open doors, the Rave seen also introduced and enticed me to a new world of hallucinogenic drugs like acid (LSD), mushrooms, and ecstacy (MDMA). And my taste for the forbidden only got worse. My years following High-school discovered the demon of addiction in the form of meth. What started as a bump here and there turned into a waged out spiritual and mental war powered by crystal meth and the not-so- beautiful disaster it spews from its glass pipe. That addiction had a threshold over me for about 5 to 6 years until lifes circumstances led me to a point of surrender and God delivered me from that hold in 2005.
From 2005 til this year 2018, nothing really changed. Sure I was delivered from the meth, and I gave God all the glory, but I also made a false commitment. My spirit did not thrive, my addiction only transferred from the meth to marijuana and my biggest demon, since the meth monster, Alcohol. I never felt bad or convicted much, until later, about smoking pot, but the alcohol really took me for a loop. Looking back, I see that my overcoming to such a strong poison as meth, only allowed satan to trick my thought process into not realizing the true torment and despair in alcohol. In May, my month of ultimate surrender, and the point in which Gods promised Michael returned , alcoholism had brought me to the point of throwing up blood, yellowed eyes, deteriorating nail beds, trouble breathing, and off heartbeats. I was literally at a place being okay with thought of losing my life to alcoholism, my life didnt see any hope or future, and I was in pain. I was lonely. I wasn’t finding happiness in my hookups with men anymore. I was tired of seeing my self as a 50 year old gay man visiting the WeHo bars every weekend only to be outshined by the younger flesh in the lifestyle. I had never found true love. I never knew love. I never even had a serious relationship. I hated myself. I hated wearing 2 faces. I hated having to pretend to be the always happy-go-lucky lush at my job. I was tired of always singing and uplifting others when inside I was so spiritually dead. It wasnt me, it was so fake, and no one even realised, except God.
So, in May, God happened. I cant explain exactly what, but I know, that God knew, that IT was time. So I surrendered. To me, and to my story, that surrender meant leaving the alcohol, and any substances that altered my mind, behind me. I wanted to seek HIM more. I wanted to read His word more and I wanted to remember what I would be reading and I didnt want any substances to cloud or jog my memory, it’s so good now to soak it all in. My surrender also meant leaving the life of a homosexual man and sexually hooking up with men behind me. The cross before me, the world behind me. Now, my surrender does not mean I’ve turned my back on my LGBTQ community, friends, and family. I am just at a place where I’m choosing to not act on my own personal lustful and Immoral temptations, such I do not need to go into detail, but for me, yes, ugly and immoral. Call it celibate if you need to tag an identity to it, I identify now as a Man of Christ. I do not judge or preach against anyone, especially my gay family. How could I? I am that heart, I was just so broken at one point in time , that now I just want to share the hope and love I found in Jesus Christ with anyone who may be broken or hurt, for any reason. And in sharing my hope, I am also not trying to change anyone. People may say, in fact, that I’ve changed. And guess what? I have. And for the better. How can anyone close to me not see the change? In my giving my life back and proclaiming Gods victory. In my weight loss journey since May, down over 65 lbs. In my recovery from alcohol-now over 6 months alcohol free, literally delivered overnight. In my personal goals such as going back to school in January, getting my licence , and learning to play the guitar for #praiseandworship. So, it’s not that I’m trying to make anyone change, rather, I want to share how Gods love changed me so beautifully inward in Hope’s others who seek Him, will find what I have in Christ.
And now, my journey, growing strong in God and totally realizing his calling on my life, finds me in a season on strengthening my testimony as it will be my weapon, my shield, reflecting Gods light in modern day real-life spiritual warfare. Before May, I NEVER told a group of Faith believers (outside of my family), my battle with homosexuality. Sure, I shared my battle with addiction to drugs and alcohol with them. I also shared my battles of depression, hurt, and low self esteem with believers. Those were easy things for me to open up to as I’ve heard others in church countless times sharing these same struggles. But boy oh boy was it hard to share my struggle with homosexuality in church. First most, I NEVER heard any other member in church , especially another male in my age range openly express any struggle with SSA that I struggled with. I felt convicted in my own heart enough through Gods word and Gods conviction , the last thing I needed to hear from the church was that I was following Satan and destined to go to Hell. It’s TRUE what they say, a church is supposed to be like a hospital where hurt and spiritually broken people go to seek help from ones who understand their pain or can help bring them to a resolution, restoration, healing. But imagine being broken, and you, knowing your body, know you have symptoms that seem dire so you finally decide to seek medical attention. Now imagine going to seek medical attention, and before evaluating, talking to you, taking your bio or cat scan, running any tests or giving any counsel, the doctor tells you straight out the gate “You’re going to die”. What would you do? Some might choose to get a second opinion, whereas as sadly, others may take the doctors word , go home thinking they’re destined to die, and never return to a hospital again. Well, that’s how it was with me expressing my struggle. Until I finally came back to Christ to get the Ultimate authority’s verdict over of my life. And guess what, With Him, that verdict is eternal lasting life.
And now, having found that new life, God has placed my seed at a church in Claremont. This Curch was introduced to me through a cousin of mine who invited me to come check out a 9 week study course that the church was hosting back in May called Alpha. Through this 9 week study, which for me was more like a holy ghost fueled rubber banded rocket journey into the unknown of pure truth and holiness of my new walk with God. In those 9 weeks I mustered up the strength to fully open up and be transparent with this group who are now more of a spiritual family to me. On the 9th and final night of the study, God spoke to me and I trusted him to lead me into sharing my journey. My true testimony, everything from the hurt, addiction and poor lifestyles was shared that night, and another wall inside of me was broken down. That night propelled me into proclaiming my victory for now i am an overcomer through Christ. The connection with the church now finds me committing to tuesday night praise and prayer worship. That’s where i was last night, in that state of praise and worship. Spoken words by a leader of the church prompted the spirit in me to give my testimony to the group , the adults and elders whom weren’t in the Alpha session but are a part of the churches flock. I had not shared my story and testimony with them and it was time. I released again years of hurt and pain but the release was so quenching and filling. The members placed hands upon me, and I felt the presence of the holy spirit as well as the Fathers as anointing over my life as I asked them to pray that I find the words to express Gods agape love to others in need of hope and redemption without coming from a place of hypocriticism or mis understanding. I thank God for planting my seed to spiritually grow with this family. I feel as if the seed to an amazing strong oak has been planted. I feel the roots will be my new foundation in my new life with Christ and the fertilizer that’s been scattered is that of leven (as was mentioned last night ) which will cause a strong and powerful rising. And with the growth and strength of this mighty oak, seasons will come, and the leaves, seeds, and fruits of my testimony and labor will prosper and drift from the tree, scattering its hope amongst the lost who seek refuge in its branches and find hope and compassion in the extension of the oaks branches, for they know that God has given new life and strength i what was once a mess of tangled wilted branches.
This is why it is so important to me to share my true testimony. This is why last night was so important for me. I am learning now, the power God shines through my testimony. My testimony will be vital and key in others unlocking lies and false truths they may find and see in themselves. Every step I take in opening up and sharing my testimony is another foot in my purpose and steps in my walk with Christ. Now is my time to strengthen my story, my realization of the Truth. This is me finding strength, in my testimony, from BROKEN TO CHOSEN. Stay blessed and prayed up. -Mikey Likey