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Testimony of Guy Hammond

Founder and Executive Director of Strength in Weakness Ministries

 

Growing up in the Church of Christ

 

A few short years ago I couldn't have imagined writing out my "testimony". The very idea of telling others of how I went from living a homosexual lifestyle, to my repentance, to becoming a Christian, to having a family, and eventually starting this ministry; I was way too afraid, much too insecure. Yet here I sit in a Starbucks in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada  drinking my "grande" coffee and doing just that. I promise to not get too "micro" here and keep it on the brief side of things.

 

My dad was a preacher in the Church of Christ. He was an Elder too.  He did that for almost 50 years from one end of Canada to the other. I attended my first church service when I was two weeks old, and I figure that I've been to approximately 6000 church services since then. You would have thought that with all that "church going", I would have learned how to keep my life on the straight and narrow. But somehow, I found a way to mess things up pretty badly.

 

Parents, be careful who you trust around  your kids! 

 

The first event in my life that I'm sure contributed to my sexual identity confusion (it sure didn't help!)  is when I was 8 years old. I was sexually molested by someone which whom my family "trusted." He was in his late teens. He stayed with our family one weekend and my parents invited him to sleep  with me in my room. Afterwards, he threatened me to never tell anyone. It was very confusing, and I felt very ashamed of this and I did not ever speak of it to anyone - including my wife - until I was in my mid 30's.

 

Problems at home

 

Somewhere in my pre teen years things became extremely challenging in my home, between my mom and dad. In spite of "who we were" on Sundays when we went to church, things were pretty screwed up behind the scenes, and no one knew but me. I won't go into "who did what" because I don't want to break confidences and I love my folks. They also have apologized, and I have forgiven them. I figure even the best of us fall and do things we wish we could go back and change. Also, should the day ever come that one of my kids feels the need to share about some of my most regrettable moments (God help me), I hope that they would do so delicately and with compassion.

 

So let me just say this, by the time I was 12 and 13 the problems at home were in full swing. My father was also ill most of the time, so spending time at home was never a good option. My dad was distant and too enveloped in his own problems to do much with me. I felt abandoned and I had no real direction or example to follow on how to be a boy or young man during these incredibly formative years. My grades in school plummeted, I failed the sixth grade, I chose a group of guys to hang out with who were definitely the wrong crowd and that's where I started making some really bad choices for my life.

 

If I could only go back and re-live this one day

 

It was also during this period of time, that a kid I went to school with asked me if I wanted to play a new game he had learned (from whom I have no idea) that involved us playing cards where the loser took off his clothes. Having grown up in an extremely conservative church of Christ home, I wasn't sure what sin was the worse, playing cards that almost guaranteed that the hand of God would reach down from heaven and hurl me into the depths of a fiery hell, or taking off my clothes with some kid in my bedroom.

 

While the hand of God may not have struck me down, a whole new world of sin and dissoluteness that was now open to me certainly did. Needless to say, things went down hill pretty quickly and this kid and I carried on a sinful relationship with each other into our early 20's.

 

I found in this relationship what I thought was the acceptance and love that I craved, but I could not find anywhere else. While I knew that what I was doing was wrong, emotionally I was starving, so I kept going back. People who are emotionally starved will do anything to get those very real needs met. As Sy Rogers has been quoted as saying: "bad love is better than no love at all." [1]

 

I prayed every day that God would forgive and change me. I kept going to church, I got baptized - twice - thinking that what I was doing was so evil that one baptism couldn't possibly be enough to cleanse me of this sin in my life.

 

My secret, double life 

 

On the outside I was a great Christian kid. I was as involved as much as possible at church and the Christian High School I attended. On the outside I did all I could to be popular, funny, accepted, and loved, everything that I wasn't on the inside. In my attempt to be "normal" and like everyone else, I even had a few girlfriends in High School.

 

Between the ages of 19 to 21 I volunteered on a missionary team in Papua New Guinea where I climbed through the jungles and taught people the Bible, worked in a hospital, ran a first aid clinic, you know, regular missionary stuff. That was two amazing years. Also, two years where there was no homosexual contact with anyone. I had hoped that this reprieve would heal me, but not long after returning home, not only was I back to my old ways, but was now crossing lines that I had said I never would.

 

I can't be loved or accepted like this!

 

I was confident that no one could possibly love me if they knew who I really was. I felt like an alien in this heterosexual world. I was different than my friends, and as far as I knew, I must be the only person at church who was like this. It is a very lonely way to live. Everyone who spoke of homosexuality talked about it in terms of it being evil, disgusting and deplorable. In church I was taught that it was an abomination before God, deserving of death and when my friends spoke about it, it was always in terms of a degrading joke. I therefore lived really believing that I must be evil, disgusting, deplorable, an abomination before God, where I deserved to die and that my life was a joke. Not a very good recipe to building a healthy self-esteem.

 

I seriously doubted God's love for me. I knew that I couldn't possibly be saved with this in my life. I was terrified of going to hell, so at night while falling asleep I would pray, beg, plead, cry, and shout, imploring that I would wake up the next morning and be different, straight, hetero, normal, anything but what I was. This was my ritual for years. But 1 Corinthians 6:11 never became my reality.

 

The self destructive and stupid decisions mount

 

So upon my return from Papua New Guinea I was firmly convinced that this was how I was born, certain that change was not possible and confident that God had no intention of healing me to be ‘normal." I felt quite deserted by God and extremely confused as to why this "loving" God would allow me to suffer with such a difficult problem in my life that I had no ability to change, this thing that I loved, this thing that I hated. I then spent the next couple of years indifferent with God and moral limits. I went full out into the homosexual lifestyle.

 

Not only was my life broken, but my heart was too. The more I indulged myself, the more frustrated I felt. There is no doubt that for a while, homosexuality quenched my emotional thirsts, made me feel better and was an answer to some of the problems in my life, but that relief was only momentary and I was left feeling emptier. However, since homosexuality was the only "fix" I had known for so many years, it only made sense to me to continue going to what I was familiar with, and what would make me feel better, even if only temporarily.  (Please read my article entitled "What's So Great about Homosexuality?")

 

God's perfect love

 

Somehow, during these confusing times God lovingly came for me. He sent Godly men who loved me in spite of who I had become. They were not judgmental in their attitudes and saw my sin as equal to any other sin. In them I saw God's love and compassion and made the decision to repent and quit this lifestyle forever. I didn't leave homosexuality because it was so terrible.  I left homosexuality because I found something better. I'm thrilled to tell you that since making that decision in the summer of 1986, I have not participated in any kind of homosexual activity with anyone, whatsoever. I praise and thank God that this life is now decades behind me.

 

Life just keeps getting better

 

It's been mind boggling to me to see how God has blessed that decision and repentance over the years. In 1991 something occurred in my life that I had always dreamed of, always fantasized about, but never believed was EVER going to be a reality in my life; I got married to my wife Cathy. Before getting engaged I felt it important for her to know who I had been and that I was same gender attracted. She still gladly married me and has been nothing but a loving, supportive and Godly influence in my life for the last 18 years. We have also been blessed with four children, two whom we recently adopted. I have also had some amazing, life long friends who have loved me regardless of my weaknesses. And to top it all off, I have been privileged to serve as an Evangelist in the church.  Rarely a day passes when I do not stop, look at my life and stand amazed and overwhelmed at what God has done for someone as sinful and undeserving as me.

 

As a follower of Jesus, I know that I may have not chosen to be same gender attracted, but I do have the freedom in Christ to choose the path of self-denial and obedience to God. It is about making daily choices. Homosexuality used to have control over me - I now have control over it. This is the victory that we can all experience by the help of God. Everything Satan has meant for evil, God can use for good. We are not victims, we are a part of the solution, and that is the purpose of this ministry; to help provide a solution.

 

So welcome to Strength in Weakness Ministries, a place where we can learn to journey together with compassion, respect and humility.

 

Guy Hammond

Founder and Executive Director;

Strength in Weakness Ministries

 



[i] "Rogers, S. (2003). Lessons Learned: Insights for Redeeming the Sexual Generation. Lessons Learned: Insights for Redeeming the Sexual Generation C.D. Series; volume one, Worthy Creations Publications.

 

 

 

 

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