When I was at youth camp, in grade 5, I had leaders lay hands on me, pray and prophecy over me, and I was baptized in the holy spirit and began speaking in tongues.

I became passionate about God, and had a desire to read the bible and pray. At the age of 16 I  took a course at TAFE to study website design.

My time at TAFE was not pleasant. I was the good little Christian boy and became the subject of a lot of jokes; and the bullying began. I was told I deserved it, and that I was no good. It escalated to the point of almost daily sexual abuse.

One day I told my parents what was happening, and I pulled out of my course. That same night I contacted head of senior school at Hillcrest Christian College and was accepted in to the school. My time at Hillcrest was amazing; I was motivated, studious and had a lot of energy. God's hand was at work over my life and I finished year twelve with one of the highest marks of my year level.

However, what I had been through had blinded me to my Heavenly Father’s blessing upon my life. Although I performed admirably in my high school years, I had so much anxiety, I became depressed …. I blamed myself for everything bad that had happened to me. The biggest issue was that I didn't feel like a man, and I figured if I had the prettiest girl at my side, people would think I was a man, so I chased girl after girl, hurting so many in the process, and the guilt weighed heavily upon my shoulders, pushing me down in a never-ending spiral of depression.

I had been helping at EPIC Youth at the time, and through something the youth pastor said I realised I had been searching for fulfilment in the wrong places, my manhood didn't come from the girl I had by my side, but by my identity in Christ. God began to work in a big way after this. Within a week I was offered a job that was perfect for what I was studying, earning more money than I ever had, and I now have an amazing girlfriend I have been with for over three years now.

All it took to change was for me to shift my way of thinking, to place my identity in Christ, and not in people’s perception of me. I still struggle with what happened, and sometimes I go back to blaming myself, but God is revealing to me every day that transformation is a process, a day-by-day thing, and to keep making that choice.

Posted in March 2015

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