The Life Testimony of Romeo J. Cabrera
Written by: Sun Moon Star Maglajos
A Man Struggling to Be Loved
I am a man changed and redeemed by Jesus’ love and grace. Glory and honor belong to God alone forever. This is my story.
I was once a part of the LGBT community. Yes, I was gay. Back then, I thought that there was no one who loved me, and this belief caused me to be so immersed in the world. I became addicted to vices like alcohol-drinking, cigarette-smoking, and lust. I had friends with whom I did many of these things.
Because of this lifestyle, I became the family’s black sheep. I wasn’t able to finish my studies. I lied to my family, telling them that I was already graduating and that I only had to complete my thesis. In reality, I just spent their money going to GenSan with friends and indulging in my vices. I seemed to be happy on the outside, but whenever I was alone, sadness took over. That was my cycle.
When I was a child, I knew that I was male. But my mother died when I was 6 years old, and that loss made me long for love. I didn’t have guidance from my father because he was busy with work; he carried the heavy responsibility of raising us. It was during those times that I began seeing myself as a girl. I enjoyed games that were meant for girls. I also wore female clothes, and I enjoyed mimicking beauty pageant candidates. I didn’t realize that I started losing who I really was. I became confused and indeed, I became gay.
A Man Struggling with Identity
At first, I kept my struggle hidden, but in my 2nd year of high school, I finally came out and admitted that I was gay.
Like most of the LGBTQs, I struggled with fear. What would be my family’s reaction if they found out? But when I honestly told my father about being gay, he did not react negatively. My whole family accepted my new identity. Since then, I felt freedom! I was finally able to express myself in a way I wanted. I could finally do what I wanted, such as expressing my attraction to the same sex and being free from denial. I fully embraced who I thought I was.
I became a drunkard, and I flirted often and a lot with other males. I made decisions for myself without asking my father because I thought this was what freedom looked like. As I continued in that lifestyle, I became a people pleaser. I enjoyed having people’s attention. I did everything that would make them appreciate me, even if I had to lower my dignity to fill the void in my heart. I covered my pain and longing for a mother. I was enslaved for years and entangled in lust. I couldn’t sleep without alcohol, and I never stayed at home. I started failing in my academics because of my vices.
Eventually, I realized that the happiness I had wouldn’t last. It could never satisfy the deepest longing of my heart.
A Man Pursued by God
One day, a missionary friend of my grandmother’s sister from Japan visited Malita, where I lived. They needed more people to attend the meeting so they took me in. This is where my life changed.
On that day, I received Jesus into my life, and I started my journey with Him. I started to cultivate my intimacy with Jesus through reading His word, prayer, worship, and attending church gatherings and fellowships. I became the first one to be saved in our family, and I later brought my older sister with me to church. But after 3 years, the missionary returned to Japan and left us behind.
I was 16 years old during that time, and unfortunately, my faith grew cold when the missionary left. I backslid and reverted to my old ways. Despite it all, inner convictions nudged me to return to God. I couldn’t even sleep because of them.
I decided to attend a gathering in Malita called “Fresh Fire,” and it was there that I finally surrendered everything to the Lord.
The Cost of Following Jesus
A life surrendered to Jesus means denying myself, taking up my cross, and following Him. Truly, there is a price to be paid, and for me, that was to leave my old life behind in exchange for the life that Jesus offered through His death and resurrection.
One of the things I chose to let go of was my dance troop. I used to be a popular dancer in our town, but when I followed Jesus, I quit my dance troop and turned my back on fame. I left the dance troop to focus on serving the Lord. I realized that because I chose Jesus, I had to turn my back on some things and at times people, too. It was not easy, but Jesus was worth it.
I also left my vices, but I struggled the most to let go of alcohol. But praise God! His grace delivered me from the vices! I have now been living my life, free from all the addictions that I once had. Furthermore, God helped me end the same-sex relationships I was involved in, consequently saving me from these wrong relationships.
The Fulfillment of Following Jesus
Romeo gives his first public testimony as a man changed by God
All I needed was LOVE, and I failed to find that in my friends, in popularity, in vices, and in other worldly things. When I encountered Jesus, I experienced the real love of the Father. He showed me that I was someone valuable to Him and that I didn’t have to work for His love.
He already loved me.
He loved me even when I was a sinner, despite my filth and unworthiness. That kind of love was something that I didn’t receive from the world.
In the end, the love of God transformed me. He didn’t just fix my life. Instead, He gave me a brand new one, totally free from the pains and guilt of my past! He gave me true freedom, giving me my true identity. He affirmed me in my true identity that I am a man of God, created for a purpose, and equipped for a special assignment in His Kingdom.
Romeo sharing God’s Word in their church, The Jesus Is Lord Ministries International, Malita, Davao Occidental.
Romeo serving in an outreach.
Romeo’s Spiritual Family.
Today, by God’s grace, I am a youth leader in our local church, The Jesus Is Lord Ministries International, Malita, Davao Occidental. God blessed me with a wonderful spiritual family, and He has given me spiritual parents who lovingly guide me to walk with the Lord. I am currently a mentor, and my heart is to reach out to more LGBTQ individuals so that they can be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”