Years ago, I wrote this personal post to help others who are struggling to think through fighting temptation, and how to recover from failure.
1 Corinthians 10:12 – “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” As they say, pride comes before the fall.
I had a failure the same day that I was fighting the temptations and thinking about the blog post I was going to write about resisting temptation. My failure was not with actual crossdressing, and it was not with crossdressing fiction. I am thankful that God turned me away from those two most serious failures and most deep addictions from my past. But I did have another kind of failure, and that was looking at crossdressing pictures on the internet. Though it’s less addictive, in some ways it seems even more perverted of an activity. I hate that I did it.
I’ll tell you the story of what happened. It started with a dream. In the dream I was trying to put on a bra. I used to have crossdressing dreams all the time, and they were and in some ways still are my bane. But thankfully they continue to get rarer over time. They still come at times, but just not so often.This particular dream messed me up a bit once I woke up and started my day. It made me very prone to temptation. In dreams like this, I have nice feelings about crossdressing, and then upon waking up, I desire to reproduce those feelings by actually crossdressing like I did in the dream.
So in this case, my desire upon waking up was to put on a bra. I was home alone. I decided to think through the dream logically. I remembered that bras are just fabric, and I shouldn’t be so obsessed with them. I remembered that I didn’t have breasts, and a bra didn’t make sense for me to wear, nor would I look good in it. The temptation was easily dismissed. I no longer even wanted to do it. The deception of the dream passed, and I was completely fine and ready to start my day without thinking about crossdressing.
(On the rare occasions that I get crossdressing desires these days, this is what it is like. They are easy to deal with. I know many of you have much more difficult times facing temptation and it’s really hard to resist. Because I have resisted crossdressing for so long, rarely do I have crossdressing desires, and when I have them, they are weak like this, and they are easy to dismiss. I wish it was as easy for you guys, but I can give you the hope that it gets easier with time.)
I did a lot of work during the day, but then had some time alone again in the afternoon. Temptations returned. Again, they were easy to deal with. And it was at this point that I thought about writing a blog post about dealing with temptation, to show you all my thought patterns, so as to help all of you resist temptations as well. I liked the idea, and I took some time just to rest and lay on my bed and think about what I would write.
But the more I thought about what I would write, the more I thought about crossdressing and giving in. I again went through the reality checks, knowing that I would look stupid and had many reasons for not wanting to give in. But this time, the desire did not go away. But I still resisted. I just made myself go and do something else. And actually that worked fine.
But then I got tired of work, and wanted to procrastinate. And this is where things went bad, and it was just really stupid, and didn’t need to happen. I did not at all have an overwhelming temptation that I just felt I had to give in to. Nothing of the kind. I was just bored and not wanting to work, and I looked up on google a specific crossdresser I used to pray for in the past. I used to pray that God would help him get out of his addiction. I wanted to see how he was doing and if he had changed. Sounds really spiritual and good right? Well it was just a stupid rationalization. And once I get in the zone of google searching and anything related to crossdressing, I quickly get into old habits and go down a wrong path. So I ended up looking at pictures of other crossdressers as well which ended in masturbation.
There was an aspect of my mind just being kind of not there. I have spent so many hundreds of hours in earlier years of google searching and sinning with crossdressing stuff online. It was a major addiction. And so as soon as I let myself do one little search, I got into that old zone, completely forgetting about all other aspects of my life and how much most of me would not want to be giving in again. It really makes me upset because there was no reason for this failure to happen. I wasn’t really that weak that day. I had no trouble resisting earlier temptations, even when I had partially wanted to give in. I was feeling strong earlier in that day. It kind of just happened. It really feels like a fluke and makes me angry.
On the other hand, there was a moment while on the computer in which I knew what I was doing was wrong, and I kept going anyway. I used the really stupid logic of – “well I’m here already doing this, might as well keep doing it since I failed either way.” It’s so stupid. That’s like saying – “Since I accidentally ate some dog shit, I might as well eat some more and really make myself sick.” You see there is more than one sin going on in what I was doing. The basic sin was looking at crossdressing pictures online. The deeper sin, and more serious sin, was a willful rebellion against God at the point of conviction. At some point in the process, I was convicted that I was doing wrong, I had a brief moment of reality while in the absent-minded sinning zone, and I chose to ignore that conviction and keep going. That’s the scary deeper sin which I repent of now more seriously.
So that is that. It’s been about 17 months since my last failure like this. 17 months of doing really well and enjoying life, only to go back to this now. It’s disappointing to me, certainly, and probably disappointing to many of you.
Some skeptics might say that this is proof that I’ve been suppressing crossdressing, and I might as well give up. To me it is only further confirmation of how great my life was without this. I don’t need it nor want it. This fluke is not going to deter me from my path. I have not been suppressing anything. I’ve never denied that the desires are still there to some extent. But as I’ve been saying, they are greatly reduced from what they once were. And that is not from me burying crossdressing thoughts within, but just from choosing not to give in to the behavior, and slowly learning to not even want it. Even though I failed that time this past week, 99% of my being still does not want crossdressing in my life.
When I try really hard to not give in to crossdressing, non-Christians reading on this website might think that I’m driven by guilt and fear, and I’ve heard some say that I believe I’m going to hell if I crossdress because God will punish me. That’s a non-Christian belief. I’m not striving for perfection because somehow I think I need to be perfect on my own merits. And for me it’s not a choice between being perfect in regards to crossdressing versus giving in fully to crossdressing. No. Not at all. I’m grateful to be saved by the blood of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I’m completely forgiven for these sins I committed this past week. I’m under God’s grace. I strive for perfection, but even though I do not attain it, I keep on choosing to aim for it. And I don’t do this out of fear of God smiting me, and I don’t do it to try to earn God’s pleasure. God takes pleasure in me because of Jesus representing me, and because I am his child. I strive to get crossdressing (and other sins) out of my life in response to God’s grace, to show my gratitude and thanksgiving. And I strive to get crossdressing out of my life because I know that God’s design for life is better than my own, and that the only path towards flourishing abundant life is in following God’s will.
Usually after failures in the past, I would have trouble wallowing in depression and guilt. But this time, I think I’m more appreciative of God’s grace than I used to be. I don’t feel very depressed, just a little depressed. And I’ve already given my guilt over to God for this sin and it is no longer holding me down. Wallowing in depression for a Christian about past sins, is really about pride. It’s about wanting to earn our own salvation, and being disappointed in ourselves that we couldn’t do it. That kind of depression is about wanting to take pride in our own integrity and achievements, rather than taking pride in Jesus our perfect savior. But the Gospel is about realizing that we can’t do it on our own, and treasuring God’s free grace. Why should I wallow in depression and guilt when I am forgiven? If I really believe that my status before God has not changed, than I have nothing to be depressed about. All I have to be depressed about is how all of you might see me differently. But I shouldn’t be caught up in that. It doesn’t matter what other people think. It only matters that I know and treasure God’s love for me and his presence in my life.
There is another practical reason I am not so depressed after this failure. In previous years, every failure was a reminder that crossdressing still held me in bondage. I just kept giving in, after only resisting for weeks or months. So every failure made me feel like a pathetic follower of Jesus. Every failure made me wonder if I would ever be able to beat this sin. But now I don’t have that same feeling. I know this was just a dumb quick failure, from not keeping my guard up around google, and not dealing appropriately enough with my bad dream. I know that crossdressing still doesn’t have a hold on me anymore. I know that I don’t have to be hopeless and in despair about resisting crossdressing. Resisting crossdressing is easy. God has given me the power of freewill, and I don’t have to give in. That’s easy to say, but harder to believe in your heart. I believe it with all my being, and I’m not afraid to get back up out of the gutter and get back to living the life God has intended for me, a life without crossdressing. I’m not afraid, and I’m excited to start fresh again.
My biggest disappointment is breaking my streak. But in the scheme of things that doesn’t really matter at all. I wanted to keep a big streak of success in order to give others hope, but that’s probably more about my own pride anyway. The real story is that life is better without crossdressing, and that God doesn’t want us to crossdress, and so it doesn’t matter whether I have a streak or not. It just matters that I try to live every day to the fullest for God. Some days we do better than others, and on the days we do worse, we can rest in God’s grace.
Please take my blog post as a good reminder to stay vigilant, and avoid google whenever you are home alone! And please see this post as an example of how I think we can deal with failure in a healthy way. We mess up. We confess our failure to God and others. We treasure God’s forgiveness and take joy in Jesus. We analyze what happened so that the same failure doesn’t happen again. We rest in grace, and allow God to pick us back up. We enjoy living life again without wallowing in the past mistakes.