Below is an excerpt from ESR student Brent Walsh's devotional for LifeJourney Church on the theme of "Overcoming Our Fear of God's 'Disruption'" and the scripture passage Acts 8:1-4:
I woke up in a Memphis economy hotel with nothing but my wallet, a
pack of cigarettes, and the clothes that were tossed carelessly over a
chair. The morning sun peeked through the crack in the curtain and
specks of dust hovered in the glow. I looked at my watch, pulled myself
up and let my legs drop to the side of the bed. I stared at the dancing
specks for a long moment as my mind replayed the recent events of my
Two weeks prior I had enrolled in an ex-gay ministry called Love in Action. This was my last resort. I thought maybe the experts could
figure out what was wrong with me. The emotional hoops they put me
through, however, were far more traumatic than helpful. It was supposed
to be a two-year residential program, but last night, with little
planning or forethought, I silently slipped out the door of the
residence home and slid into my baby blue Olds Cutlass Supreme. The car
was almost twenty years old, but it was my only friend that night.
The first place I went was a gas station where I bought a pack of
Marlboro Menthols. I was planning my trip back home, back to Illinois
where my family lived. It made sense. I didn’t know anyone in Memphis. I
didn’t have a job or a place to live, so I might as well hit the
highway that night and head north.
But there was uneasiness in my gut when I thought about going back to
Illinois. I wanted to go back home — my heart was hurt and no one could
fix a broken heart like my mother. I pushed myself off the hood of the
car, flicked the butt of the cigarette, and slid back in the driver’s
seat. Instead of the highway, I went in search for a motel.
Leaving the ex-gay ministry was terrifying because my departure was
more than a personal decision about my sexual orientation; it was a
statement about my religious beliefs concerning homosexuality. I had
consciously switched sides from anti-gay to pro-gay. In the war between
“us and them,” I had left “us” and joined “them.”
I called my father from the motel room in Memphis to tell him I had
left the program, but I wasn’t coming home. My hands shook and my heart
thumped like a tennis shoe in a dryer as I hung up the phone.
“Fine.” I stabbed the word in the air, my sacrifice of submission. It
wasn’t pretty, but it was all God was getting. I stepped into the
shower and peeled the paper wrapper off the complimentary bar of soap.
“I guess you’ll have to take care of me.”
“Do you trust me?” God seemed to say from the other side of the shower curtain.
“No,” I answered bitterly. Then I started to cry, my tears getting lost in the flow of hot water down my face. “I don’t know.”
You can read the rest of Brent's devotional here: http://lifejourneychurch.cc/bestill/archives/9861.