My Path To Freedom
I am going to write about something that God has impressed on my heart to say. I want to talk about something that has been a struggle in my life for many years. I have never talked about this before and only recently said something to my family (because I had to). After discussing this with my husband and pastor, I really feel like God has put it in my heart to do this; otherwise, I would never even attempt it! I feel like of a “window of grace” (I don’t know how else to put it!) has opened up for me to write about this. I’m slightly terrified to post this, but I’m choosing to look past my fear of feeling “exposed” and be obedient to God.
While preparing to write this post, I was writing down everything that I wanted to say. If you stick with me until the end, you will be a witness to the love, grace, mercy and power of my Savior, Jesus Christ.
This is a very sensitive topic for me, because it’s something that I’ve dealt with personally. God has healed and delivered me in so many ways in this area, and I hope that sharing my testimony will bring light to the subject and help someone else in a similar situation.
There are several verses in the bible that refer to the judgment that will come to those who practice sexual sin. Practice means “to repeat habitually “. I will talk more about this later, but being tempted is not a sin. Jesus was tempted all of the time, and He never sinned! It’s the “practice” of homosexuality that God condemns. (He condemns all sexual activity outside of wedlock.) Of course, if anyone is in a homosexual relationship, God will forgive him or her if they turn away from their sin and ask for forgiveness. He is our Redeemer.
Romans 1:26-27 “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.”
I Corinthians 6:9-10 “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. ”
When I was in my late teens, I became sexually involved with a female friend of mine. Neither of us had ever been involved in a same-sex relationship previously – and never have been since. We did not tell too many people about what was going on, but I’m sure it wasn’t too difficult to figure out for those who knew us well. We spent just about every waking moment together. I pretty much worshiped the ground that she walked on.
My parents just separated, and she was the only person who understood what I was going through. Somehow, she was the only friend I had whose parents were divorced. She understood my pain, and she was the only one I felt like I could talk to.
At this time, I was not a born-again Christian. Leaning on God was not even a thought. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was trying to get from her what only God Himself could have given me. We were so incredibly dependent on each other that there wasn’t much room for anyone else.
Her parents found out what was going on, and they threatened me and blamed me for breaking up their family. I felt so horrible and shameful as it was. Prior to all of this, her family and I got along very well. Her family’s reaction to me made me feel like I was some kind of predator when I really wasn’t. We knew that what we were doing was wrong, though, or we wouldn’t have kept it a secret. A couple of years later, she went her way and I went mine.
Several months later, I started dating a guy whom I would later marry. On the outside it looked like I had moved on and was able to put that relationship behind me. On the inside, I found myself struggling in ways that I never thought I would. Actually, back then I wouldn’t have called it a struggle. I was one of the most liberal people around, and I figured there was no harm in “going with the flow” with whatever came my way.
For example, he would rent porn movies, and I eventually ended up watching them with him. That became a very normal thing for us to do, and somehow it seemed harmless. I would also find porn magazines that he had hidden and, out of curiosity, I would look at them.
I didn’t notice what was slowly happening. I was reprogramming my mind to look at women differently. I started to see women in a sexual way. I was opening myself up to things that would affect me for many years to come. I just didn’t realize it.
He and I got married, and we divorced the following year. I went back to church, because I wanted my life to get back in order. I remember the pastor giving a message on homosexuality, and I sat there feeling angry with him for being so judgmental and narrow-minded.
About six months after I started going back to church, I finally gave my life to Jesus. My life rapidly started to change. Unfortunately, four months later, my ex-husband died of a drug overdose. My whole world, as I knew it, was turned upside down. It was at that time that I learned one thing about God that I will never forget. Even when life seems so unsure, and people let you down, God never changes. He is always faithful. He is always just. His love for us will never fade.
After I became a born-again Christian, I started looking at my life so differently. I knew that if I were ever going to get married again, he would have to be a man who loved God with all of his heart. I soon met my husband, and we married four years later. My life had changed so much since becoming a born-again believer, but there were still so many things from my past that would haunt me.
My spirit had been re-born, but my flesh (my mind, will and emotions) was still programmed to react the same way it did before I was saved. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
I had learned so much about the Bible; yet I was not renewing my mind with it. James 1:22 says, “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.”
I could easily repeat many verses from the bible, but I was not living out that truth by experience. Knowing the Word of God does not do us any good if we don’t put it into practice! I also didn’t realize how important it was to know who I am in Christ.
Certain questions always haunted me, like “How did that happen in the first place?” “How do I prevent myself from feeling that way about somebody again?” “How can I ever have a close friend again without starting to feel something I shouldn’t?” “Am I gay?” “Why can’t I just move on?”
After talking to my pastor about all of this (a few times!), I have realized the difference between temptation and sin. It’s not a sin to be tempted. Jesus was tempted all the time, but He never sinned. This has lifted a huge weight of guilt off of me that never should have been there in the first place.
My pastor once told me that when Satan tempted Jesus, He didn’t ignore it. When Satan tempted Jesus, Jesus did not choose to ignore him and look the other way. Jesus didn’t look away (like He didn’t hear anything) and say, “Wow! Look at those pretty flowers in the field over there!” No, of course He didn’t do that! Jesus would fight back with the Word.
That’s what I have learned how to do. That’s what God has given me (and you) the ability to do when we are up against something that seems bigger than we are. The truth is it may be bigger than we are. It isn’t bigger than God is, though, and that’s why we have to go to Him. He will give you the armor to fight your battles!
God has delivered me in many ways in this area, but I spent many years in incredible bondage. The only way I can think to describe it is in comparison to a panic attack. I’ve never had a panic attack, but I know people who have. The first panic attack is bad enough. But then the fear of having another one is just as bad (if not worse). That’s how I felt concerning all of this. I lived in fear that if I couldn’t figure out why that relationship happened in the first place, how could I prevent myself from feeling that way again?
I lived in fear of people finding out what I did. I lived in fear of people rejecting me if they knew. I lived in fear of getting “too close” to someone, because what if I don’t know what “too close” is until it’s too late?
Since learning who I am in Christ (and who I am not), my life has changed in dramatic ways.
When you know who you are in Christ, it is much easier to begin recognizing and letting go of the lies that we believe about ourselves. These include lies that seem so real we can’t imagine feeling any other way.
If you are a born again believer who is dedicated to following Jesus, your identity now comes from Him! 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here!”
God is still healing my heart. Have I arrived yet? No. As God continues to heal my heart though, I continue to have hope in becoming more and more like the person He created me to be.
Even though I’ve never had another relationship like that with a woman, I lived in fear that I would someday wish I could. Satan knew that, and he took advantage of every opportunity that he could to pump some more fear into me. These are just a couple of ways that I have seen fear creeping into my life because of all of this:
- I had to be very careful about the movies that I watched. (I’m still careful, because there’s a lot of junk out there!) If there was anything “provocative” in a movie, I used to have terrible dreams later that night that I wouldn’t even dare try to describe to you. I would wake up feeling like I did so many horrible things, when I hadn’t really done anything at all. God has since delivered me from all of that, and I hope to write about that specifically, some day soon.
- My friendships were next to none for the longest time. Over the last couple of years, I’ve been able to make some really good friends despite the fear I dealt with. I’m learning that fear is just that…fear. It doesn’t make anything true. Now that I’m rooted and grounded in a life with Jesus, I’m realizing that I don’t need to be afraid anymore. I find my joy in Him. When I’m lonely and feeling unloved…I go to Him!
- I was afraid that if people knew what I have done, they would judge me or would “hit the road” as quickly as they could. This is something that I still deal with at times, but I’m learning that it only matters what God thinks about me, anyhow.
There are very few people in the Christian community who talk about this. It’s not exactly a conversation people want to have over dinner. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t a problem, though. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t women (and men) who are struggling with this and have no idea what to do about it. They love God. They want to feel like they can live a life without this huge “secret” in their lives. Who can they turn to, though?
It can feel so lonely when you don’t know of anyone who understands what you’re going through. It can leave you feeling like something is incredibly wrong with you. Taking the chance of exposing this “secret” can mean losing a friendship.
I do have to say that there is one thing that I have learned since confessing this. When you talk about it, the power it has over you becomes less and less. Satan loves secrets. He loves them, because secrets keep people from being healed. Secrets keep people in bondage. Secrets keep you feeling condemned.
God does not want you living in shame! When you are able to talk to a pastor, counselor, or other Christian individual who will pray with you and believe for your healing, it is brought out into the light.
It may seem incredibly uncomfortable at first (like turning on a light after you’ve been in a dark room). But when it’s brought out into the light, Satan’s grip on you becomes weakened. When your sins are exposed (no matter what they are), God is able to start the healing process.
*I caution you that not every Christian counselor, pastor or other leader understands this issue, and my concern is that someone will confess this to a person who reacts judgmentally or critically. If that happens, please do not give up.
Please pray about whom you will share this information to and wait for God to show you who to talk to. We serve a God who delivers us! I am living proof. I know that I still have some healing to do in this area, but I serve a faithful God who I know will continue to work on my heart as I surrender this to Him.
Thank you, Jesus, for being a healing God! You deliver us and rescue us! You don’t want us to keep things bottled up inside out of fear, and I thank You so much for that. You have not called us to live in fear and shame. I pray that anyone who reads this who is dealing with this issue is able to bring it to You. Please direct them to someone to talk to. I pray that they share everything in their hearts with You and begin the healing process. Thank You, Jesus! In Your name I pray. Amen.
I wish you would have continued on with the scripture in 1 Corinthians 6. It goes on to say this: “11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
Let us not forget that we all sin and are all born bent towards sin. Homosexuality shouldn’t be seen as worse than another sin that God has listed in the Bible.
Let us remember, we have all been washed with the blood of Christ if we believe.
Hi Sky! I understand your concern, which is why I made sure to point out that God condemns all sexual activity outside of wedlock, not just homosexuality. Once we ask forgiveness, give up our own way of life and turn towards Him, we are all washed clean and He remembers our sins no more. I am so thankful for the God that we serve! 🙂
God has lead me to watch to the Shamed video & read your posts! Like He has been telling me ever since you put the video on Facebook & the urgency has really been to the front line. Wow! I am just in awe this is so real & so true just all your blogs are amazing & so helpful. It’s nice to know that I am not the only Christian woman to deal with the things I personally fight with too! I am amazed, you are an amazing woman of God. Praise God He gives us the tools to fight the battle. Thank you so much for shutting your self down & sharing this with us all. I hope to share what God has done & is doing in my life as well just like you are. It’s great.
Thanks, Amberlyn. Isn’t it amazing how encouraging it can be when we realize we’re not the only one? You, also, are an amazing woman of God, Amberlyn, and I am loving watching Him move in your life. 🙂
So you don’t have any feelings for women at all now? I am a Christian, I think I am bi, I still struggle with those ‘feelings’, and that gets me really down ;'( I want to be set free from all those feelings! I pray to my Jesus I will be hetrosexual, and not confused
I have, at times, still struggled with this, but it’s not at all like it was before. I am learning more and more to focus my eyes on Jesus and not my struggles (with anything), because putting too much focus on my struggles just magnifies them. I want Jesus to be magnified, not whatever I’m dealing with at the moment.
One thing that has helped me so much is learning that “feelings” ( of any kind) don’t necessarily define who I am. (They don’t have to, anyhow. :))
I origininally wrote this post in 2010, so some time has gone by since then. I have since written another post that is more where I’m at “today”, and will hopefully be helpful for you! When Healing and Deliverance Comes Slowly
Keep seeking God through all of this, and don’t give up! He loves you so very much.
Isn’t how we feel on the inside our true self, and not the body we have on the outside?
Hi Karen. 🙂 Is your question in reference to gender? (I just wanted to make sure I understood your question correctly.) I believe my “true self” (in reference to gender) is dictated by the female body I have, not by how I may feel on the inside. Our feelings are not always going to be an accurate representation of the truth of who God made us to be.
If this isn’t what you were referencing / asking, let me know. 🙂