In 2008, I began my journey out of a lesbian relationship. God had been deeply convicting me that my partner had taken His rightful place in my heart and that I needed to decide who was Lord in my life. God, in His mercy, made it easier for me by having my partner leave me. In that place of abandonment, I had to decide. Do I look for another partner, or do I choose God? I chose God. Now the work would begin of renewing my mind from the previous seven years of lies from the devil and the world about my identity. Who was I? I didn’t know anymore. My identity was a mystery to me.
Although I felt like an outsider, I had never stopped going to church. As I carefully tried to be part of the Body of Christ again and shared bits of my story, fellow believers asked, “How did this happen to you?” I couldn’t explain it. I didn’t understand how I had come to be in the condition I was in. I knew the journey of my life events, but I didn’t understand the psychological or emotional undercurrents of those events that had brought me to this point in my life.
I began seeing a Christian counselor, and I attended Leanne Payne’s Pastoral Care Ministry Conferences, but the most helpful resource turned out to be a program called Living Waters. Living Waters is a 20-week inner-healing program for the sexually and relationally broken. In Living Waters, I learned about events in my early childhood—nothing earth shaking, just subtle things—that set me up to hunger for feminine touch and connection. You see, I was the middle child in my family. Psychologists sometimes refer to the middle child as “the lost child” where no one pays much attention to you. It plays out that as your legitimate need for love from your same-sex parent doesn’t get met, you seek other ways to meet the need yourself. You become needy, like you want to be the center of attention. This was me to a “T”. People thought I was fine because I was popular and loud and was the center of conversations, but the source of that striving was a lost, hurting heart.
I hid my pain and tried to push it down for years until, in my late 30’s, the pain resurfaced. At the same time, the pro-gay movement was gaining momentum. I began to entertain the thought of being close to a woman. Cognitively, I was in a battle with myself thinking it was a bad idea, but my emotions were driving me in this direction.
Fast forward to my partner leaving me. I entered the Living Waters Program, and through the large group teachings accompanied by healing prayer in my small group, God Himself met me and filled the void in my heart with His love. I couldn’t go back and relive the early years of my life, but God is all-sufficient for the needs we have. When we ask Him, He comes and fills every gap, every hole, and all of the pain He takes away and sends to the cross. No longer in pain, I could then begin to love myself and discover who I was, my true identity.
Today I help others find healing and reconnect to God through the ministry of Outpost. I lead a group called Elijah Company, a group for parents and friends who have loved ones identifying as gay or struggling with same sex-attractions. When parents first come, they feel shame and fear, not knowing who they can talk to about their situation. They are grieving because of the loss they feel as their loved ones have distanced themselves from them. When they come to Elijah Company, they find a safe place to talk about their pain and receive comfort from the group. They share their stories with each other and encourage one another to trust Jesus with their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
After being in Elijah Company, most parents testify that their faith has grown exponentially as a result of their crying out to God and seeking His face daily for their loved one. What at first seemed like a painful and hopeless situation slowly turns into faith and trust that we have a loving Father. We have been together for so long now that some of our original parents are now sharing in their churches what God has done for their families. They are giving hope to others in their churches and offering a safe place to come.
I chuckle when I think of one of my grandsons: he insists on learning the hard way. He reminds me of myself! Having been a prodigal daughter, I can testify to the goodness and faithfulness of God. He has led me faithfully on this journey of the restoration of my heart.