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The 700 Club

No Longer Fooled by the Illusion of Love

Ed Heath - 700 Club Producer

Accokeek, MD

“The love I got from my family. It was communal love. It was nurturing. But then this secret love was just better. And I wanted to go after that more than I wanted the family love.”

For most of his life, Victor Bell appeared to have it all. He was a football star in high school and college and grew up in a close-knit, church-going family.

Yet from the time he was a small boy, Victor longed to experience what he thought was true love - a fascination that started when he was five watching a soap opera love scene.

He thought, “She's loved. She's getting affection, she's getting care, she's being treated with gentleness, with kindness. I want to feel what she feels. I want to be loved like she's loved.”

To Victor, the love of his family paled in comparison, especially that of his father, a Gulf War Veteran who disciplined him harshly.

He says, “I felt that girls received more affection, they received more consideration. I don't get the hugs that my female cousins get, or the hugs that my sister gets, or the kisses on the forehead. And with boys, I felt we were treated rough. Particularly me.”

Another place Victor didn’t feel loved, was church. He recalls, “I knew who God was. I knew about the cross and Jesus dying, and I knew about Hell. I knew about Heaven. I didn't care.”

Victor started to crave the attention of boys and started experimenting with them. He says, “From the ages of five to eight, I had several sexual encounters with boys my age. I jumped at the chances to be the girl playing house, or the woman playing doctor, or the girl nurse because it was an opportunity for me to reenact the soap opera scene. I have an imagination that creates these atmospheres of what it would be like to be loved like her. They were exciting adventures of discovery.”

Then, when Victor was just nine years old, a friend showed him an X-rated movie. He recalls, “It made me feel like this is what you have to be to produce that kind of reaction from a man. And you'll get more love, or you'll get more affection.”

Throughout middle school, high school, and into college, Victor put his energy into pursuing his growing addiction to sex with women and men.

He recalls, “This was the life now. I'm having sex with a lot of girls. A muscular guy, football player. I'm having sex with men, too. I drink, I smoke, I indulge in these activities to feel good all the time. I still feel empty. The space of emptiness was growing. So, I felt like I kept needing to fill it more with the activities I was indulging in.”

In 2008 Victor graduated from college and got a job as a long-term substitute teacher. He moved back in with his parents, presenting a clean-cut image at home. While on weekends he was pursuing gay-sex parties, and frequenting gay chat rooms for temporary hook-ups.

He says, “I just remember feeling empty a lot. I remember feeling empty – after the acts. But I felt like I could live in the emptiness if I just keep having sex, because I would get to my goal of love.”

For almost three years he chased that illusion of love. Then in January 2011, after he came home drunk from a New Year’s Eve party, his mom made him go to church with them.

When the service was over, the Bishop called Victor by name up to the front and told him four simple words that stuck with him the rest of the day: “Go sin no more.”

Victor says, “I keep hearing, ‘Go sin no more’. So, then I'm mad, like, ‘No!’ That means I can't be gay no more. And I had it out with God. I was arguing with Him like, ‘Leave me alone. I don't want your salvation.' I said, ‘I'm ugly. I'm insecure. I'm not confident. I'm-I'm afraid. I'm angry! You don't know what it's like to be me!’ He said, ‘I love you. I was beaten, I was tortured, and then I was murdered, because I love you.’ I was shocked. I couldn't speak. He said, ‘Give me everything. And I'll give you My love, and you see how it feels.’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He exchanged His love for every dead thing, and it is the greatest experience I have ever experienced and I will never turn back.”

Victor stopped sleeping around and partying and started attending church. He began studying his Bible and learning about the love of God. He says, “His love had snatched me out of the life of lust and perversion. Snatched me out of being a secret homosexual. And I was excited about the Word and I was excited about the things of God.”

That excitement has never faded, and today Victor is married with two beautiful children. He’s never shy to share his story and point people to the pure, unconditional love he found in Jesus. He says, “It’s more exhilarating, it's more fulfilling and more satisfying than anything that I have ever felt and ever have experienced. The weight of His love is something I can't describe. And it is what anchors me, and it-it is what keeps me, it is what brings me joy. It is what fulfills me.”

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