My Journey to Sexual and Relational Wholeness
Up until three and half years ago, my life revolved around Marriage Equality and Gay Rights issues. I hated Christians because I thought a hateful God had rejected me. I couldn’t stand His intolerant, critical people. For 50 years I believed that I was born a lesbian. For me being gay was more than a lifestyle, it defined who I was.
Growing up, the landscape of my home life was explosive and chaotic. My father was a walking time bomb and I was often the target of his rage. My mother was distant and cold. Both of my parents physically abused and sexually molested me well into my teen years. In addition, they made it understood that I was not who they wanted because I was born a girl; this deeply disappointed my parents and I felt complete rejection early on in life. That rejection of me as girl drove me to prove to my parents I was faster, stronger and smarter than any boy could be. I longed for their acceptance.
By 11 I had my first girlfriend and my parents separated. I lived with my mother, and my father stopped the sexual violations. I wanted nothing to do with men. My only exposure to them either involved violence or being used by them for their pleasure and most often in a violent manner. My mother became more aggressive in her behavior towards me. I hated home, I hated my family. I spent as much time away from them as possible. I started partying with college aged people and seeking out relationships with older women. These women were emotionally available; something my mother never had been for me. They genuinely accepted me as one of their own.
As a young adult, I tried to be involved in a few churches, yet each time I revealed my struggle I encountered one of two responses. I was shunned and asked to leave, or I was told I had demons and prayed for but with no change. I abandoned Christianity for good and immersed myself in the gay community for the next 20 plus years. My politics aligned with those to the far-left, and I passionately fought on the front lines for gay rights. On a personal level I sought peace by aligning myself by practicing Buddhism, Shamanism and seriously considered converting to Judaism, yet peace evaded me. Over the course of time I had several meaningless encounters with women and two long-term relationships with women significantly older than me.
In 2006 I had a car accident in which I sustained a traumatic head injury that would change the course of my life. I lost the ability to read or write, my job, and resigned myself to a life filled with doctor’s appointments and 31 medications daily. This of course put a strain on my relationship with my long-term partner and it slowly began to unravel. I was lost and felt as if my soul had been murdered. I desperately wanted peace and yet saw my life as meaningless. In 2008 during the Jewish High holidays I sat in temple one night and cried out to God, that if He was there I needed His help.
Within a month I reconnected with one of my friends from my young adulthood. In February of 2009 I visited my friend in East Texas. During that stay she asked me some very key questions like if you are a proponent of marriage equality, why aren’t you married? Gulp, I don’t know. What is it that you want or need most in your life? I answered peace. To that, she responded by sharing John 14:26 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” That verse penetrated my heart and spirit. I was desperate and my life had been stripped of meaning, I had no peace of mind, and I felt completely alone and had no reason to continue living; could Jesus and the Christian God possibly be the source of life and peace?
Toward the end of the visit my friend woke me up on Sunday morning and informed me we were going to church. We arrived 45 min. early. With that she said, “Let’s have Sunday school.” She opened her bible and read me first Corinthians 6:9-11: you know the one that states “that homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” I had seen that on many signs at gay rights rallies held by hateful people who spewed unkind words my way. My immediate response was, yeah here it comes you know the part where once again I will be rejected by God and one of His people. However, as she read verse 11, “Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God,” something shifted inside of me. I wanted the life and peace the Bible and God were offering me in that moment, I surrendered and asked Jesus into my heart. I quickly realized that my lifestyle did not please God. I knew the decision would most likely cost me my long-term relationship with my partner and many friends. In that moment all that mattered was the peace and life He was offering me.
When I returned to Seattle, my partner had changed all the locks on the doors of our home and refused to speak with me. In an instant I was homeless. I stayed with friends and tried to plot a course for my life. In the midst of all of this, God seemed to impress on my heart to move to East Texas… I on the other hand was less than enthusiastic about the idea. My conversations with God on the matter went something like this: “Are you kidding me? East Texas is the polar opposite of Seattle and who I am. I will hate it; there are no mountains and the people all go to church and want nothing to do with gay people!” Despite my best arguments God made it evident that this indeed was His plan for the next step in my life.
Once I arrived in Texas my friend kept telling me I needed to go to church, and my attitude was, “NO WAY, those church people don’t want a lesbian to walk through their doors.” Amazingly enough God directed me to a church that simply loved people and wanted them to discover who they were in Christ. I spent several months slowly acclimating to church culture. Soon I was volunteering and establishing a relationship with the staff. My pastors met with me and shared that they had never walked beside someone coming out of the lifestyle and would help me find the others to walk beside me. I told God He could have a year to show me if this Christian thing was for me, and in no way would I be abandoning being a gay person, because it was who I was. Since that time, God has graciously healed my mind and body; I no longer take any medications and am presently employed full time at my church. He has directed me to Living Hope Ministries, where I have learned about my true identity and found tools for sexual and relational wholeness.
God did not wave a magic wand over me and caused me to go from gay to straight. I have had to take an honest and hard look at my life and what the word of God has to say in terms of sexuality. This has been an intense process for me. In the midst of the process God has healed my father wounds and taught me how to relate to men and women in a healthy way. I am currently in counseling and dealing with my abuse issues. I have discovered, while I may not have a choice about being gay I do have a choice as to whether, I will live a life that honors God and identify as His child.
Since, I have embraced my faith I have found indescribable inner peace. I am on a journey to resolve my faith and sexuality and as a result, I have discovered that we each are created in the image of God and He desires for each of us to engage in relationship with Him. True “change” is about being made new in the image of Christ and discovering who God has made us each to be.
Thank you for joining my journey.
Your thoughts and comments are all ways welcome