Article by Joshua Kaina
In October of 2017, I had a breakthrough. God had completely healed my heart and delivered me from the sexual brokenness that fueled a lifelong battle with gender dysphoria. I was now confident in my sonship as a child of God for the first time ever. I thought that was a miracle, I didn't know that walking this out daily would take an even greater miracle!
I wasn’t prepared for the barrage of temptations, loneliness and memories that were looming during the holiday season. Being born again meant that the old me had died and I wasn’t expecting to go through a painful process of grief and loss for the next two years. The old Josh loved holiday parties, the booze, the dancing, singing and the search for romantic connections. Yet, here I was at the winter of 2017, sober, celibate and in pursuit of holiness. It could have been a disaster, but I made it through and not by my own strength.
If you are in a season of transition as the year closes or find yourself vulnerable to the heightened feelings of loneliness I want to offer you 3 tips that helped me continue in sexual integrity.
#1 Remember that you have a comforter.
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” - John 14:26
My dad told me something simple but profound one day. He told me to talk to the Holy Spirit like He was my friend, as if He was someone next to me. This changed my prayer life and instead of "praying in King James", I prayed like Josh LOL!
I developed a relationship with the Holy Spirit that sustained me (and continues to) through some of my darkest days. I talk to Him all the time! The Holy Spirit is not an accessory to God, a mere goose bump or cool breeze, He IS the Spirit of God! He is the one that raised Jesus to life and He lives in every faithful follower of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit guides us to the truth and brings conviction when we start to go off track. Get to know the person of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit will bear fruit in your life like perseverance and self-control - something we all need!
#2 Run to the throne room
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” - Hebrews 4:16
The first Christmas and New years as a baby Christian was rough. It was the first time I celebrated apart from my best friend of 10 years. I missed him, I missed my old apartment, I was lonely and wanted to download a hook-up app I used in the past so I could find someone nearby who wanted to “hangout”. I was grieving the loss of my old-self, the life I lived, the friendships and companionship. I was free of gender dysphoria but still had same sex attractions, and I still had a strong sex drive. Jesus didn’t take these things away but He provided a way out and the way out was to run to Him - not from Him. Oftentimes, when we have defiling thoughts or temptations, we feel ashamed and unworthy. If not checked, these feelings of guilt, condemnation or shame can cause us to move away from God and the enemy of our soul would love that. Remember how the prodigal son, after spending his inheritance foolishly, made his way back home? When the Father saw him on that prodigal road he ran out with a ring and robe. What amazing grace!
This is our Father’s heart. He gives grace that we don’t deserve and His kindness leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). Run to Him in prayer, He is a good Father. He will strengthen you in your time of need.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” - James 5:16
2017 was pre-pandemic and gathering wasn’t an issue. However, don’t forsake it - especially in the days we are living in. Find safe ways to gather according to your faith and the faith of those around you. I don’t believe that I could have made it through the first few years without my church family. They were as close to Jesus in the flesh that I could get. I also had regular bible studies with my immediate family and it was in those intimate settings that I began to open up more and more with my struggles. Like I stated above, the enemy wants us to isolate and hide our struggles in shame. Instead, we must confess to our brothers and sisters In Christ so that they can cover us in prayers. There are times that we will need the laying on of hands or the comforting hug of the family of God to get us through life’s challenges. I know many people who backslid, falling deeper in addictions or brokenness because they were isolated. Find a local church or small group study if you don’t have one. We need each other.
There are so many other important keys, principles or tips that can help us in our walk but I hope these help you. You are more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus.