MATTHEW GRECH

Why do I have to play sports to fit in with my friends? Why do people make jokes about me being gay? What can I do to prove my friends wrong? These are some of the questions I asked myself as I faced an emotionally tormenting upbringing.

 

My Dad and older brother liked football. It wasn’t for me. I was a creative. I heard music in my spirit. I longed to find someone who would understand the beauty of my universe. As a teenager, some girls made jokes about me being gay.  I never told my parents or my siblings about this. It was too embarrassing. My ‘friends’ probably picked up on the fact that I was fascinated by a young footballer whom I found to be extremely handsome.

Lost in my fantasy world, I quickly realised this became a real struggle. I began to find guys attractive. I retreated into a world of loneliness, shame, intimidation, and frustration. I tried to be in a relationship with a girl, but I had deep insecurity. Trying to be with a guy was the only solution that came to mind. I tried it, and it felt pleasing to my flesh and emotions. Yet, deep down I knew I didn’t really want it for myself. I wanted to get married, have a wife, and raise children. I hid my romantic life from my family, because I felt it was disgraceful and abnormal. I wondered what my future would look like. 

“If they saw me, they would mock me.” How I only wish I knew Jesus back then.

Most everyone at school played football and I had a phobia of it. Some merciless guys would often play forcefully at the expense of their victims. I was sensitive, and seeing someone get injured made me despise it. I spent breaks in isolation, hidden behind the football grounds. There I immersed myself in lustful thinking and behaviour to numb the shame I felt. It brought me such safety and relief to be away from everyone. I tried my best to remain unseen. 


“If they saw me, they would mock me.” How I only wish I knew Jesus back then.


Aged 19, I made friends with a kind woman who shared Jesus with me. She warned me about some new age beliefs I had developed, and invited me to a prayer gathering. I went, and was completely amazed at the way these Christians worshiped God, and loved one another. I felt accepted. I felt loved. I felt special. They expressed such intimacy with the God they worshiped. It was hard to resist. The pastor publicly located me, and said: “I sense that God wants to tell you that He really loves you.” 


That’s it! I fell in love. “If God loves me, then I want to get to know Him.” I bought my first bible, was convicted of personal sin, and left homosexuality. I felt empowered and comforted by the Holy Spirit. With a deep sense of alignment with my life purpose and destiny, in Jesus I was found, and I found myself. 


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Matthew’s transformation