DREW BERRYESSA

DREW BERRYESSA

No one there was trying to coerce me into changing
my behavior, but they helped me pursue a healthy heart and lifestyle.
— DREW BERRYESSA

I lived in what felt like a secret prison of hopelessness and helplessness. I was addicted to pornography and masturbation, and I had a really hard time making friends. I also dealt with same-sex attraction and felt extremely internally conflicted and frustrated about it. I had no idea what to do with my struggles.

       At my lowest point, I was in despair and had no hope that things could change. I started to believe that gay love was better than no love at all, and I entered into a gay relationship. For a few months it felt fulfilling, but then I quickly realized it wasn’t what others had made it out to be.

       Realizing that even that relationship wouldn’t meet my heart’s desire or satisfy me, I considered suicide. I saw no way forward, but I didn’t go through with it.

       I wanted to have a family someday, to be married to a woman, and have kids although I honestly didn’t think it would be possible for me. And I always had a deep feeling that same-sex attraction was not what was best for me. I struggled to reconcile my feelings and my faith. These were the two main motivators for me to pursue change.

       There were many things that helped my process, including an album of a worship leader who shared his story of coming out of homosexuality. It was the first time I’d ever heard a testimony like it, and it gave me hope. There were also books of others’ stories of leaving homosexual lifestyles that encouraged me.

       I then joined a program that offered specific counseling and pastoral care for people who struggled with their sexuality. No one there was trying to coerce me into changing my behavior, but they helped me pursue a healthy heart and lifestyle, which then led me to change my behavior, as well. The people there encouraged me and helped me see who I really was. That meant letting go of the ways the rejection, abuse, and struggle had affected my view of myself.

       Now I have been married for almost 15 years to my wife, and I am the father of three beautiful daughters. Those are two roles that I never thought I would be able to have. I now get to experience them every single day, and it’s amazing.

       I have an immense number of healthy, supportive friendships, and I have had reconciliation with each of my family members whom I felt isolated from in the past. I’m happy, successful, and excited about life.

       I'm looking forward to watching my own daughters grow and eventually get married and to being a grandpa. I'm looking forward, on a really immediate level, to my youngest going to school next year so that my wife can be freed up a little bit more. Those are all the sweet little mundane things about family life that I never would have had the opportunity to look forward to had this not happened in my life.

CHRISTOPHER SIMS

CHRISTOPHER SIMS

LIZ  FLAHERTY

LIZ FLAHERTY

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