The following is a life story of a young man who has been involved in the Sight Ministry in Nashville, TN. For more information contact:
The Sight Ministry
PO Box 140808
Nasvhille, TN 37214
“From Lust to Divine Love and a Little of the In Between and the Now…”
My name is Bradley. I am 26 years old and I come from a small town in West Tennessee where I was raised in a very strict Christian home. I always knew of the love of God from what I read in my Bible and from what I heard every Wednesday and Sunday in church. . .I’m sure many of you had similar upbringings. It has taken me until now to appreciate this gift as I never seemed to grasp the concept of God’s love and only half believed the teachings I was so readily given.
Early on I found myself needy and it seemed I had a hole in my soul. One would think with how regularly I attended church and was part of the community I would have most certainly found the one and only thing that can fill this void. But, sadly, I never found it during this season of my life. As I grew older I began realizing that there was something different about me. Something inside me told me it was wrong and I felt a deep sense of shame. I didn’t understand where it came from nor did I even know what it was inside me, but I knew it was something strong. I cried many nights and prayed for God to change me. Eventually the truth of what I was becoming was revealed when I began to act out in different ways from other teenagers and I began having my first sexual relations with other boys and men and having false amorous feelings for them. I confused lust with love for a very long time because even though I didn’t realize it I had not allowed the love of God to capture me.
I was a hardheaded and rebellious teenager during the 90’s. I can remember MTV strongly encouraging all homosexuals to come out of the closet. . .and so I came out when I was only 15 years old. The backlash from my family and my church was severe. A deacon’s wife even asked me to not come back to church. Even though I self-created this I felt I was being persecuted and attacked so I retaliated. I turned my back against God and I became a practitioner of witch craft and never wanted to hear the word God or Christ again. My life got crazier from that point on.
I could no longer get along with my parents and I left for college. I was very arrogant and flamboyant and I dared someone to look at me in a wrong way. I was always angry and hateful things continually spewed from my mouth. I was suspended from college. I spent my time trolling the gay bars looking for men. Eventually I fell into drugs.
Before long I was a bitter and lonely cocaine addict. It was then that I thought I got my big break. A “modeling” scout from California filled my head with dreams of being a “model.” I ended up becoming a star alright but I never dreamed it would be a porn star. I ended up getting involved in the sex industry. Before I knew it I was in five different films and my face was plastered on the internet. At the time I felt good and my ego was greatly inflated by what I was doing. Until I came home.
At home people treated me differently and I fell into a deep state of depression. I attempted suicide and nearly succeeded. When I awoke the first words out of my mouth were curses against God for not allowing me to die.
Soon after that I tested positive for HIV. I hit an even deeper state of depression. I felt life was over. My emotions were so numb I couldn’t even cry. Without God to guide me I did the only thing I knew to do. I ran to hide in the gay underworld. I spent my nights and days drinking heavily, doing large amounts of cocaine, popping pills and engaging in wild and anonymous sex with so many partners I have no way of counting.
Eventually, I began noticing a strange pull deep inside of my heart from somewhere. I had a sense that this hole in my heart could be filled but I ignored it and I continued to indulge in all of the tools of my flesh since that was all I knew. My life belonged to the darkness and that’s where I stayed for seven years.
Then one day I awoke and found myself in a blood soaked bed. The blood was from my own face. I walked to the mirror and looked at my reflection and was so shocked at what I saw I cried out in horror. I was covered in blood. My eyes were sunken in and bloodshot and my frail 112 lb body looked like a living skeleton. At that moment I dropped to my knees in tears and I prayed and I prayed harder than I have ever prayed in my entire life for deliverance from this self imposed hell in which I had become lost.
God answered! He simply said, “Wait.” I became strangely still and then I felt calmness come over me. The LORD spoke and said, “Call your Mother now, she knows your suffering. . . ask for help.” So I called my Mother. We were not on good terms because I had mistreated my family so horribly with my own selfishness and headstrong desire to live my lifestyle as I saw fit. I was living a self-absorbed life of hedonism and debauchery. When my Mother answered the phone she was surprisingly warm and told me she knew that I needed help but she was waiting for my call.
And I did get help. I was taken to a Christian-based rehab facility in Nashville where I not only dealt with my addiction but I dealt with my own demons and rebuilt my relationship with God. For the first time in my life He filled me with love, empathy, sympathy and most importantly I felt I belonged.
I left the rehab facility with Christ as my Savior and my very best friend Who would be faithful to guide me. I did not relapse into that hedonistic lifestyle. However, I will be honest and tell you that I continued to struggle with homosexual temptations and experienced failures along the journey. I am no longer being controlled by my temptations and there is a voice inside of me that reminds me of the futility of embracing such a dark lifestyle. For me it was full of misery, anger, stress, sickness, and addiction. Those things always scare me and bring me to a place where I cry out to the LORD for strength and for truth. I may always struggle with this at some level but I know one thing, God loves me wholeheartedly and will be there with me during every struggle.
Now that I’ve shared with you my struggles with sin and the transition out of it, I want to share some very good news. I have been HIV positive since I was 18 years old. I am currently on no medications. I have fallen into AIDS status twice in my life and my body miraculously healed and fought off the infection each time. According to what doctors are telling me this is not the norm. They are interested in studying my blood for genetic markers to see where this amazing ability my blood seems to have to fight the disease comes from. I don’t need their answer to know this, it’s clear to me. . . God has done this for me and this is only one of the great miracles He has brought to my life and I thank Him and praise Him often for it.
I pray my story may touch one life and bring encouragement to who ever might read what the LORD has done in me.