Some days I find myself wishing for someone who can understand me and everything I'm going through. Someone who has been where I am, made it through somehow, and can look at my life and give me the knowledge I need to survive.

I'm not talking just about same-sex attraction. Even though it's a part of the things I face, it's the least of my worries right now. Life itself, and all its pieces, just seems to have loomed up and threatened to swallow me whole... and I have no idea which direction to run for cover.

I think that for me, that was one of the hardest things when I initially realized I was attracted to guys. I had no role models, knew no one who had walked in my shoes... could find no one I to ask for advice on how to live the gospel while facing my own personal brand of life... and the result was that I felt utterly and completely alone. It probably didn't help that I didn't feel I could even tell anyone about the issues I faced, so no one knew, and they couldn't help even if they had the resources.

I've never found anyone who truly understands me... or anyone who seems able to understand even most of what's happening. Counselors and therapists listen kindly, then express a mixture of pity, shock, and concern when they realize what's actually happening in my mind (much of which I don't/can't share here). Priesthood leaders tell me that they're sure I can do it. Even family members look at me with blank expressions when I try to explain myself.

But I've realized two things. First, the Lord honestly and truly understands what I'm facing - all of it - and is able to be there for me every step of the way. Second, I don't need one person who understands everything about my life (I'm not sure I'll ever find one)... I just need different people who understand different pieces and can help me get through those areas of life. People who understand my concerns about work, others about dreams, others about long-term professional plans, others about dating and ssa, others about Church service, others about depression and illness... and as I find people who understand me and can help me in each of those facets, life as a whole gets better. It's not even that I ask them for advice. I'm awful at that. Just knowing that someone understands, and has been there, and has seen success, inspires me to make that story apply to me.

I guess that's one reason why I started (Gay) Mormon Guy. If I had known that there were thousands... or even one faithful member who had fought the same battle, and was winning, that would have been enough to give me hope to move forward. As it was, without a support group or anyone who knew, I'm grateful that somehow I made it this far. I was supported by God and His angels. That's proof enough for me that God is involved in my life. It makes me think of Elisha standing on the mountaintop, preparing to go to battle alone with his servant.

And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?

And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.

And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire
(2 Kings 6:15-17).

The Lord really does care about me. I've felt His hand in my life so many times when I wasn't worthy or deserving of it... and it has been enough to help me become a better man.

I'll extend the offer I've made before. I'm not by any means a perfect friend. I don't have most of the answers and can only speak from my own experience. But if you need someone who understands, contact me (my gmail address is afriendtotalk2 ). I'll listen and do what I can.
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