|Alan Chambers' 1998 intro to Bridges Across||
|From: AlanMedia <AlanMedia aol.com>
Date: Sun, 15 Mar 1998 16:27:35 EST
In December of 1995 I really began sensing that I needed to switch churches. My 500 member congregation had slowly lost all of its singles to marriage or larger single's groups. Additionally, the Lord was really providing a lot of speaking engagements and I felt that He was wanting me to be in a different church with more visibility and resources for ministry. I moved to a 5,000 member church and immediately felt at home. I became very involved in leadership and the leaders became very interested in my ministry to people looking to overcome homosexuality.
I became involved in a small fellowship group on Thursdays with some new friends. I think it was the first night that I noticed Leslie. She did not notice me. It later became apparent that she noticed but didn't want anything to do with me. My response (typical) was to snub her back. The whole time I was trying to get her to laugh at my jokes, remarks, to the whole group. I became very well liked and very well laughed at by the group, yet she never seemed to join in. I was certain that she hated me.
Six months later I was invited to go on a 3 day boating/fishing trip with some of the leaders in that group. She happened to be casually dating one of them and was also going. There were 2 boats and she happened to be on mine. It didn't take too long before we were best friends. And she told me that she had been friends with a guy who was so much like me and took so much energy and later had a falling out with him, that she had chosen to not like me. I laughed. She said that she knew we wouldn't just have been acquaintances, we would have to be best friends. She didn't know if she had the time. Yet, in one weekend of fishing we hit it off.
After a few months of being friends I developed a crush. She knew it and didn't return the feelings. We stayed close friends, meanwhile I was falling in love and praying she would too. (this was November 96) By January 1997 I had gone to work for her boss, Orel Hershiser of the Cleveland Indians. I became his assistant, Leslie had been their nanny for 5 years. After 2 weeks Orel told her we were destined to get married...she stood her ground.
On Feb 21, 1997, thirty of us went out for my birthday. It was that night that her feelings began to change. She spent the rest of the weekend in bed sick.
After that she began dropping subtle hints and I was catching on but staying guarded. After all, I mistook kindness before. To make a long story short, we ended up going on a date March 10, 1997 and at dinner I asked her when we were getting married. Her reply was, "January 3, 1998 is a Saturday".
Leslie and I were married this past January 3rd. Happy, fulfilled, blessed, excited for each new day, spin-around-wildly and madly in love don't even come close to how awesome it is. God really knew what He was doing in putting us together.
Leslie shares my excitement for ministry related to Exodus. She has a huge heart for the lost and hurting. My focus is on the church and youth. We make a great team.
Marriage certainly didn't fix my struggles. But I wasn't looking for it to. Marriage is a benefit to the healing that has taken place in my life. I used to struggle with how to refer to myself; homosexually orientated, ex-gay, fighter - I believe God simply wants me to know that I am His. My title as God sees it is Son, heir, beloved and yes heterosexual. I accept those labels!
---Granted this is quick...please feel free to send it back for typos---
Little Secrets: Alan Chambers' story
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