Her Name was Heroin

I grew up in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas. My mom was an Attorney and my dad was an Architect. Life was pretty good for the most part. I took care of my younger sister and got good grades in school, life was pretty good. Everything appeared normal on the outside but my dad was doing his best to keep a secret, he was Bipolar.

Chaos became normal.

Never knowing when he would come home calm or come home screaming, I grew up expecting the unexpected.

The chaos of my home took a toll on my emotions and created a lot of anxiety. I tried to keep things in our home peaceful, I tried to make sure my dad was always happy so he wouldn’t start yelling at my mom and sister, but nothing I did was ever good enough. It wasn’t long before I started drinking to numb the emotional pain I was feeling inside. Shortly after high school I joined the military and moved away from my family. I finished my Bachelor’s degree, met a girl and ended up getting married. Life was going really well until the demon of mental illness crept into my own life.

Up and down and up and down, I could never seem to find a happy medium. I tried my best to keep things under wraps. I was a soldier, soldiers have to keep it together.

I did a pretty good job hiding my emotions until my wife got pregnant. I was excited. I dreamt of they day I would be a father. I wanted to shower my child with the affection and love I had always hoped for, but I never got the chance. My spirit was crushed when my wife told me she didn’t want to keep the baby. I didn’t want her to have an abortion but I loved her and I knew she wasn’t ready, so I agreed to support her.

After she had the abortion, I began to carry a lot of guilt and shame. I felt we made the wrong decision. I couldn’t live with the choice we made and I carried regret with me daily.

The guilt and shame made it harder and harder to control my emotions and the mental illness began to show. I didn’t want people to think I was weak. I didn’t want them to know the real me. I tried to hide it, to suppress my unstable mood swings, but it didn’t work.

Life was slowly starting to spiral out of control and I didn’t know how to manage the chaos.

That’s when I found her…

Heroin.

Oh the euphoric feeling she brought me.

The escape and release I felt when we met face to face. It was just what I needed, a temporary escape from my dreaded reality. My world as I knew it was crumbling to pieces and heroin was the only thing that made me happy.

My marriage was soon over. My family began to disown me. I lost my job and had no idea how to support myself. Life became too much to bear. I felt like a burden to everyone in my world and couldn’t find meaning or purpose in life anymore.

So, I did the only thing I knew to regain control of my life, I tried to end it. But it didn’t work!

“Stupid idiot! How could you not do it right the first time?”

So, I tried again. “I don’t want to be alive, life is meaningless, just let me die! I’ll get it right next time, you watch!”

But the third time didn’t work either.

It was at that point, that I realized I wanted something more. I couldn’t go on living the way I was living anymore. I desired a better life. I desired stability again. Independence. Sobriety. I wanted to be a productive member of society. I longed to feel worthy, needed, loved.

I longed to be married again. To be the father I always wished I had. To share the love I was so eager to give, with a wife and children of my own.

So I tried. I really did. I tried to stay sober. I went to meetings. I was vulnerable and shared the demons in my closet and I learned about myself.

I grew.

I changed.

But the progress didn’t last.

The dark cloud continued to hover and the emotions I had suppressed all my life all began to resurface. The chaos returned and everything I had worked so hard for was slipping through my fingers. I was in a state of panic and I didn’t know what to do.

Amidst the chaos, I could hear her calling my name.

“Chris… Chris… Come back to me, you know you miss me…” — Heroin

Tall, Dark, and Handsome

Tall, dark and handsome. Many women would include these three adjectives on their wish list. Women often swoon over tall, dark and handsome celebrities, they visualize what the tall, dark and handsome fictional character in their latest romance novel really looks like, and they dream about the tall, dark and handsome man they expectantly long for.

Okay, so these three things won’t be on every woman’s wish list. But for most women, tall (read taller than me) is almost always on the list.

You may have read my recent article about weight being an instant disqualifier for most people, but it wasn’t until I had a conversation with a male friend (who is less than 6-feet-tall) that I realized this same bias is used to rule out great men from the pool of potential suitors, just because of their height.

Who was responsible for making these rules of attraction anyway? I mean, just because a guy is tall doesn’t mean he will make a great husband.

This article was originally posted on Single Matters. To read more, click here.

Mama Didn’t Know No Better

Mama didn’t know no better.

She just did what she learnt. She didn’t know.

Her mama had men in and out and in and out, there was always a new man around to call daddy. There was always a new man around to make happy so they didn’t scream at her or beat her.

We was always scared. When the mens was mad, they hit her. When the mens drank the beers, they hit her. When the baby cried, they hit her.

Mama tried to make the mens happy. She only did what she learnt to do. I don’t blame mama.

I don’t blame mama for all the mens that beat on me. I don’t blame mama for all the mens that touched me. I don’t blame mama for all the mens that were mean to me.

Mama just did what she learnt to do.

The light bill always got cut off. We didn’t have no food. Mama tried her best but her check wasn’t enough moneys. We needed to pay the bills, and I loved mama.

So… I did what I had to do to help pay the bills.

When mama brought the mens to the house, I knew what to do. So I did it, I helped mama.

Mama didn’t really care that much about school. I never learnt how to read and write. I didn’t learn much at all. When I got grown, I wanted to have a job. I wanted to have a good life. But it’s hard to find a job when you can’t read and write.

My caseworker was a nice lady, she knew it would be hard for me to get a job so she helped me get a check. I get $700 every month. Mama gets the check, and mama’s got to pay the bills so we don’t have much left.

I don’t want to live with mama anymore. I don’t want them mens around me all the time so I don’t want to live with mama. But I don’t know where else to go. I don’t have no family. I don’t have no friends.

So, I stay on the streets.

On the streets I can hide from the bad mens.

On the streets the bad mens don’t touch me anymore.

On the streets I’m happy.

I like the streets.

Should We Break Up?

“I had gotten used to living in the pit. Not only was I used to living there, but I started decorating. I painted the walls. I hung pictures. I made the pit a comfortable place to live.”

Feeling the trap of not knowing what else to do, she allowed herself to stay in the trenches of an unhealthy relationship. We exchanged stories of decisions made amid the emotional ups-and-downs of relationships past. We shared both laughter and sadness as we compared the similarities in our stories, and our conversation left us both asking why people stay in relationships they know are not healthy for them?

Her words helped shed light on just how much work we will put into maintaining a chaotic environment. When things are out of order, we try to create order. When we feel like we are losing our control, we grasp tighter trying to hold on. When our world starts to look disorganized and messy, we try to make it look more appealing. But sometimes, all of our attempts to organize the chaos are only a temporary solution, prolonging the inevitable.

Relationships, when not done right, can leave a wake of destruction. Internally, the aftermath of heartache, pain, tears, sadness, brokenness, insecurity, self-doubt and unanswered questions begin to decorate the walls of our reality.

For some, it’s easier to try to make the uncomfortable situation more comfortable. It’s easier to live in the chaos rather than face the unknown.

Have you found yourself in the messy pit of a relationship-gone-wrong? If so, here are three questions to ask yourself as you prayerfully consider what to do next:

Do I have a fear of being alone? 

What if I stay single forever?

Fear is one of the enemy’s most-used tactics. The devil knows he can fool many of us with his strategy of overloading us with anxiety and worry. We long to know what lies ahead. This fear of the unknown sometimes drives us to stay in a situation that makes us unhappy because the alternative is much more daunting.

I once heard the following quote: “We fear when we believe our enemies are greater than our God.” Every time we give in and allow fear to drive our decisions, the enemy does a victory lap. I can imagine him now, doing his ‘I-told-you-so’ dance as he says to God: See, I told You. I told You they would be too scared to do something different.

Every time you find yourself hesitant to take the next step, think back to that first day of school, or the first time you jumped into the pool to learn how to swim, or even the first time you rode a rollercoaster. Each foreign thing fills us with panic at first — but once you dive in, you figure out how it works and it is much easier the next time around.

Do I lack faith in the Lord’s provision over my life? 

I’m getting older, what if this is my only chance to have a family?

I am sad to report, I have had countless conversations with singles who believe they will never find love again if the unhappy relationship they are in ends. It breaks my heart every time I hear this.

God is not in the business of intentionally disappointing His children. There are times when He will intervene and change the direction of the course we are headed if it is destructive, but He desires only the best for our lives.

When we are faithful to the Lord’s direction, He WILL bless our faithfulness. There is no doubt about this. You can trust Him with your future. He knows the plans He has for your life. They are His plans. He desires for you to take His hand and follow His lead into this beautiful journey of life He has mapped out for you.

Do I feel broken, inadequate or unworthy of something better? 

But they know all my secrets; no one else will understand everything I’ve been through like they do.

Each relationship takes a little piece of us when we part ways. And the more we connect with someone emotionally, the harder it is to break ties. When we emotionally connect, we create a unique bond that leaves us feeling like no one else will understand or accept us.

For some of you, you’ve heard things like:

“No one will ever love you as much as I do.”

“No one will put up with everything you’ve put me through.”

“You’ll never find anyone as good as me.”

If that is the case, I am so sorry those words have been spoken over you. They are not true! You are a child of God who deserves to be loved, cherished and adored.

When we listen to those negative words, we start to believe they are true. Our self-worth minimizes and we feel unworthy of anything better. Can I tell you something? If you are in a relationship where you are hearing those things, you are worthy of so much more!

As you mediate on the words I’ve shared, I want to leave you with the very powerful words of a Marcus Belmore song, “Loved At All.”

I won your heart/And I let you fall/ And I left you there/ Wondering if you’d been loved at all.

God does not desire for you to live your life wondering if you’ve been loved at all. He loves you. Deeply. More than any human is capable of loving you … and He desires to see you happy.

(This article originally posted at www.SingleMatters.com under the title “Why Do People Stay In Unhealthy Relationships?”)

Interview: Kevin Whitt – “You’re gay, you can’t believe in God.”

Victim of sexual abuse. Gay. Drag Queen. Transsexual prostitute.

Those are the labels once used to define Kevin Whitt.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:

The old has gone and the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Saint. Forgiven. Redeemed. Child of God. Witness. Inspiration. Encourager. Those are the words he is known by now.

I recently had the privilege of hearing Kevin’s testimony in person at the Upper Room Church. His testimony filled me with tears of joy and excitement as I heard about the amazing transformation God had done through Kevin. Fortunately, for me, and for many who will read this, Kevin has allowed me to ask him some very difficult questions. Questions that Christians need to hear the answers to. Questions that only someone who has lived a homosexual lifestyle can answer. I am so happy to have had the opportunity to share more of Kevin with you.

Kevin, thank you for being raw, and transparent. Thank you for answering questions that are so difficult to answer. Thank you for praying and surrendering this interview to the Lord before you responded. Thank you for openly sharing your heart so the body of believers can collectively love the LGBT community in a way that brings honor and glory to the Lord.

 

GayBrandy Coty: It’s no secret the church struggles with how to connect with those who identify as homosexual. In your testimony, you share that all you had been taught by the church was “…gay people are going to hell and their punishment from God was to get AIDS and die.” This radical approach to homosexuality continues to deter those who identify with a homosexual lifestyle away from the church, what advice do you have for Christians to help them be more loving and understanding of those living an alternate lifestyle? 

Kevin Whitt: It has to come from love. Most gay people are very sensitive people. If they feel judged by you in the least bit, they will put up their defense mechanism and you will be shut out. Do not condemn them. Don’t immediately approach them and say “The Bible says homosexuality is a sin.” Guess what, they know. They have heard this their entire life and really don’t care. Don’t use scare tactics and tell them they are doomed to hell, once again, they have heard this before and don’t care. These are the things they have always heard from Christians and it pushes them away. Instead, share God’s love with them and tell them how He has changed your life. Most Christians focus on heaven more than anything else. I prefer to share with people the amazing ways that God changes our lives here on earth. The life of freedom is so amazing, share with them how God can transform and renew our minds. Heaven should not be the focus, if someone is Christian just so they will go to heaven when they die then they came to Christ from a place of fear and fear is a sin. I look at heaven as the icing on the cake, the ultimate gift from God. The fruit of the spirit is Love. Just love them. God will do the rest.

 

Brandy: We talked about the churches approach to teaching on homosexuality by pointing out that it is sin. In your article for Living Hope, you transparently share the following; “I was always taught that homosexuality was a sin… but since I was convinced that I was born gay, I assumed that I must have been created to go to hell. I admit that for most of my life, I asked myself, “If I died today, would I go to hell?” Many reading this can identify with you when you say, “I was born gay.” To those who feel they were born gay, what can you say now as a believer about your then view of being created to go to hell?

Kevin: The answer to this question is very complex. I will say this, we were all born in sin. No one is born gay. I think it is something that manifests within them. It is the effect of many different things that could have happened to them during their childhood. This can happen at a very young age which makes you believe you were born gay but that is a lie from the enemy. All sins separate us from God. Homosexuality, adultery, gluttony, idolatry, the list goes on. As Christians, we should not judge others based on their sins. We all have to choose to live resisting our “natural” inclination to sin and choose God. I do not believe in living a sin conscious life, but living a life with my eyes set on the triune God that I worship. What we fill our minds with is what we become, so if you focus on sin, you will commit more sin. If you focus on the Lord you will sin less. Jesus has the power to change the desires of our heart all we have to do is say YES to Jesus.

 

Brandy: You talk about your gay friends’ reaction to you accepting Christ and say, “When I would speak to my gay friends about God, they thought I was insane. The first thing they said was “You’re gay, you can’t believe in God.” My first reaction to this is anyone can believe God exists but living a life of obedience and surrender to God is a separate thing. Can you help clarify the difference for those who believe in God and are also living a homosexual lifestyle?

Kevin: Well, this is something I always struggled with. After much thought and prayer I feel anyone can “believe” in God. However, there is a big difference in being a “believer” and a “follower”. Christianity calls most of us to believe the Bible is the infallible and inerrant word of God. If we believe what the Bible says then we should not live in sin. The Bible says we are to be a representation of Jesus and the fruit we bear will show where our heart is. I feel that if someone is homosexual and in a committed relationship, but they also know what the Bible says about homosexuality then the Holy Spirit will convict them and they will not be able to live a life of sin for very long. The conviction of the Holy Spirit would cause them to leave that life.

Kevin-in-Drag-2

Brandy: I love your quote “Being macho does not make a man a man.” Ricky Chelette talks a lot about the “sensitive boy,” in his teachings. For the men reading this who relate more to their feminine qualities and feel less masculine in comparison to their peers, do you have any words of wisdom or encouragement for them?

Kevin: My feminity haunted me most of my life and I tried everything to be a masculine man. I dressed like a cowboy, a biker, and everything else you can think of but nothing worked. I decided to use my feminity to my advantage and began dressing in drag and eventually became a transsexual prostitute. After I was saved, I realized God created me a MAN, in His image. God did not create me feminine. The world has decided that there is a very narrow definition of what masculinity is. Those of us who are sensitive are sometimes thought to be feminine and sometimes we adopt things that are generally considered more feminine that masculine. But real masculinity is being able to speak truth, initiate, and enter into the chaos of life to give it direction. I do that, and can do that as a sensitive man, a macho man, or something in between. There is not just one way to be a man. Yes, living in the homosexual lifestyle for over 20 years probably added to my feminity but that’s ok. I am a sensitive man and that’s exactly what God wants me to be. The enemy loves to attack us by twisting things just a little to deceive us. If one day he wants me to be a masculine man then he will make that happen. It no longer bothers me. I am sure there are people that will still judge me based on my outer appearance and that’s fine, because they don’t know my heart. Like Sy Rogers says “It’s just the residue from my past”.

 

LHM

To read Kevin’s full testimony click here – A Drag Queen’s True Transformation

Kevin is available for speaking engagements and can be booked by e-mailing kevinwhitt@yahoo.com

Please consider helping support Kevin in his quest to begin school at Christ for the Nations Institute. 

http://www.gofundme.com/keinwhitt