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I was insecure about my “manliness”

Sam Walker felt the pain of sexual confusion until a friend invited him to NewSpring


Growing up, I was never the “all-boy” little boy.

I never got into any sports, and I hung out with mostly girls. As I stepped into my teenage years, my “lack of manliness” moved from a reality to an insecurity. I saw other guys my age growing into who culture says a man is, and I felt like I fell short.

As I continued through middle school, that insecurity ultimately caused me to doubt my sexuality. I remember having other kids at school ask me if I was gay. Even though I screamed “No, I’m not!” at them, I was struggling with the question in my head constantly.

Pornography is toxic ... but when you’re using it to prove your identity, it hurts even more.

Defending My Sexuality

In the summer of my 8th-grade year, those insecurities all came to clash when I discovered porn on my smart phone.

For so many boys around that age, pornography quickly becomes a terrible addiction. But for me, it was more — it’s how I defended my sexuality. “If I like looking at naked girls on this screen, then I must be straight,” I thought.

Pornography is toxic in and of its essence, but when you’re using it to prove your identity, it hurts even more.

I knew I couldn’t hold it together anymore.

A Friend Steps In

While I was hiding all of this in my heart and trying to still portray myself as the confident kid, I sat beside Kendall Weaver in Social Studies class. We became immediate friends, and before I knew it, she’d invited me to NewSpring with her family.

I had never really been into church, but once the Weaver family took me, I was hooked. I continued to go because of how engaging and fun I thought it was, and after a few months began to attend Fuse, too.​

Every day, Jesus shows me more and more of who He is, and who I am in Him.

On the night of Dec. 5, 2012, in Columbia, I heard a message that caused the insecurities that controlled my life to come to the surface, and in my mind, I couldn't stop coming back to how empty and broken porn had led me to feel.

Without Jesus, all the things we try to fulfill ourselves with will never truly satisfy, the speaker said.

I knew I couldn’t hold it together anymore. During the invitation at the end of the service to ask Jesus into my life, I knew I had to move. That night I experienced the beauty of salvation, and began a relationship with Jesus!

I no longer question my sexuality.

A New Confidence

Every day, Jesus shows me more and more of who He is, and who I am in Him.

Through Fuse Groups, I’ve experienced community with guys who love me and reaffirm who the Lord has equipped and destined me to be as a young man, future husband and father.

Although, just like anyone else, I have to deal with the realities of my past, I no longer question my sexuality. The truth of God's love isn't based on my feelings or past but on the promises of Jesus. I know that he hasn't given me parameters to restrict me but to set me free!

My experience, along with serving in KidSpring, helped me discover my passion for speaking God’s truth into the identity of the next generation, and I’m now studying to be an elementary teacher in college.

My story wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t been introduced to a church where anyone, no matter their mess, can experience Jesus.

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