Growing up I was the oldest of 4, raised in Central Maine in a low income, typical dysfunctional family. Alcohol
played a large role in my early childhood; both my parents drank heavily, as did my mom's dad. My maternal grandparents assumed
a large portion of the raising of us children for a number of years.
My parents were 15 and 19 at my birth and wanted a boy as their first child, consequently they only had boys
names ready when I came into the world. Most of my childhood I heard that I was supposed to be a boy that my parents had no
girls names picked out when I was born. I am sure they did not realize the emotional damage that was causing in my young life,
the mixed messages I heard were that girls were no good and that I was not wanted since I was a girl.
I tried desperately to be the little boy I thought my parents wanted me to be. When my brother was born I hated
him, I just knew that my parents would never love me because I was not a boy, and now they had a son. I took on a feeling
that no matter what I did or tried, it would never be good enough; after all I was only a girl.
It seemed that my parents didn't love me or want me and that I could do nothing right, nothing I did pleased
them. I began to feel lonely, left out, unloved and unwanted. I felt that absolutely no-one accepted me, not my family, and
not the others in school. I felt that I somehow was so very different from anyone I knew. I wanted to be like the little boys
and tried very hard to be like them. They didn't want me around, nor did the little girls.
At a very young age I learned to be sexually active, not by choice, I was abused by many men before I reached
12 years of age, and was raped twice before I was 17. My entire concept of sex was distorted and twisted. I honestly felt
that the only thing I as a girl was good for was for men to have sex with me. Because of the sexual abuse I looked at everyone
sexually. I thought about teachers and wondered what they were like in bed, both male and female, but found myself thinking
more and more about the females and what they would do in a sexual act with me
I think I was in the fifth or sixth
grade when I began to wonder if maybe I was a boy, and that God made a mistake and put me in a girl's body, and began to believe
that was the truth. With that being "my truth" I began to masturbate and fantasize about women. In my fantasies I was in control
and I was the one with the power; no one could hurt me and I was in control of my pleasure and my body.
I began to drink at every opportunity. At 17 a psychiatrist told me that I was fast becoming an alcoholic. I
ran away from home, dropped out of high school and became very sexually promiscuous. The more sexually involved I got, the
more I hated myself and wanted to drown the pain. Emotionally, it felt very much like a never-ending roller coaster, with
no way off. I wanted women and yet was continually at that point involved with men letting them abuse and take advantage of
me. I felt they were interested in me only in having sex with me.
I had been raised in church, a very strict fundamental church, and
heard God's Word taught and preached. I knew what sin was and the consequences of living in sin would be. I didn't and couldn't
believe that God cared about me. If God cared then why did everything hurt and why had He created me with the wrong body.
Why was I stuck? Why was I confused? Why was I losing control in every area of my life?
By the age of 21, I was married and divorced twice, and had given birth to two children. I was disillusioned
with men, with sex, with the church and with life in general. I began to experiment with lesbianism and found it to be pleasurable.
I thought it was what I was looking for. I yielded to my lesbian desires and left my third husband for a woman. I lived in
"Gay Bars", constantly trying to find that perfect love, that would make everything OK., and was involved in several lesbian
relationships; non of them monogamous.
I had become entirely convinced that I did not fit in to the male world because of my body, nor did I fit in
the female world because of my belief that I was a man. Men had become a threat to me; they were either going to hurt me,
or they were nothing more than sexual competition. Women became sexual challenges, conquests for me.
In 1980 my addictions were so life dominating that I relinquished custody of my children to my parents and began
the revolving door of alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers along with lesbian relationships one after an other. In less
than 10 years I managed to be admitted to 12 alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers including Teen Challenge for 18 months,
and had as many lesbian lovers.
I was introduced to LIFE Ministries in 1985 and received counseling for a brief time
from Joanne Highly, the Co-Founder of the ministry. I wasn't ready at that time to give up my quest for what I thought was
"real happiness" Also I wasn't convinced that God could or would love me. I played games with God and with those who tried
to get me real help from God. I hung around long enough to see that people were getting free from homosexuality and lesbianism
and they were happy. I continued playing games going in and out of church, relationships and drug centers for 4 more years.
The despair and anguished only worsened for me.
On Feb. 21st, 1989 I had reached a point of total desperation. I planned my suicide and was ready to carry it
out that night. My plan was to get drunk and back my car into a snow bank and just sit there until I died. It was a cold and
very calculated decision; I felt there were no other options left for me. You see, for every ounce of pleasure that I was
receiving from my life of sin, I received a pound of pain. That day the pain was so heavy and so unbearable I wanted to put
an end to it once and for all. I dared God to show me that He cared. My prayer was something to the effect that God had one
shot to show me He could love me, and that I could be helped like the people I saw at LIFE, and if He couldn't do that then
I would die. It was that simple in my mind. I went to church, with my lover, I planned this to be my last time to see my kids
and my last night on this planet. God in His infinite mercy anointed the pastor's wife to deal with me and my sin directly
in the service that night. God virtually turned an entire service around to touch my life and soul.
For the first
time in my entire life I heard, in my ears and my soul, that Satan was going to destroy me. I found out that the very essence
of my being; that part of me that makes me who God created me to be, was about to be destroyed ...and that God loved ME. He
did not love what I had become, or what I was doing, but He LOVED ME. I believed for the very first time that there was hope
for me, that I could be set free and have what I wanted so desperately, perfect love, God's love for me, and real peace. I
wanted Jesus to set me free. He had heard my prayer and answered in a very dynamic and drastic way. I repented and trusted
Christ as my savior that night. People prayed with and for me for complete and total deliverance.
The next several months were a struggle with desires and temptations. But God was faithful and kept me by His
power and mercy and grace. I followed the instructions of the pastor and his wife and LIFE Ministries as I found my deliverance
to be real and complete. I found that my Love for God was undeniable and real. I began to grow spiritually and emotionally.
I began to see myself as a heterosexual woman, as a complete person in Christ, as a child of God, and as loved by God. Everything
about me was changing. The way I dressed, the way I walked, the way I viewed myself and others, the way I felt, and the way
I saw life.
When Jesus touches a heart and soul, that person cannot stay the same. "He whom the Son has set free is free
indeed." Jesus had touched my heart and soul and I was no longer the same. As II Cor.5:17 says, I had become a new creature
in Christ and the old things were passing away, and new things were happening in my life. I thank God that I am not that person
anymore that I am becoming more who God created to me to be.
My first real evidence of growth came when I was able to spend time
with a man and not look at him as a threat to me, or as sexual competition, he was simply a man who loved the Lord and loved
me because of the Lord in my life. I was comfortable with him, and with my new way of viewing men. I began to pray for women
when I would begin to have lustful thoughts I would pray for their salvation or a blessing in their lives. I learned to love
a female with pure love and see her as Christ saw her, and could be comfortable with women without feeling unnatural desires
I began to want a mate, so I prayed for a husband. I prayed specifically for the type of man I wanted God to
put in my life. I wanted a man who would know all my past and love me in spite of it. I wanted a man who was a spiritual leader
and would be strong enough to direct me back to God if I faltered. I wanted a man who would share the vision for the lost
and those in bondage to addiction and lesbianism as I felt God wanted to use me in the ministry. I wanted a man who could
love me beyond anything I could hope for. I prayed very specifically for the type of man I wanted God to give me as a partner
and husband in my life.
In Dec. 1989 I regained custody of my two, now teenage, children. In June 1990 my daughter's best friend lost
her mom to cancer. My daughter and this friend decided to match up their single parents. July 1990 I met the man who would
become my husband. We shared testimonies and talked for hours about God and what He was doing in our lives. I shared every
aspect of my life with him and he knew everything there was to know about my past. Over a few months we fell in love and in
April 1991, the 21st I became the wife of a Baptist preacher, who, by the way, met every criteria I had given God for what
I wanted in a husband.
Shortly after we were married I began to learn about forgiveness the Biblical way and the necessity for it,
if I was going to grow any further spiritually. At the point that I was able to grasp the reality of forgiveness in my heart
for those who had hurt me, I was then able to love my husband in a new and deeper way that I cannot even begin to explain.
The purity of our love and the depth of God's love were just so overwhelming that I felt innocent and more free than I could
imagine a person could.
I found that I had a love for my parents and wanted the Lord to heal the hurts and restore a relationship with
them. I trusted God to help me to let go of the hurts and try to allow my parents to love me in whatever way they were capable
of. Today I am friends with my parents and accept them for who they are, and they accept me for who I am in Christ. God has
restored to me my family, and given me a new life in Him.
I am a totally fulfilled heterosexual female. I am not talking sexually fulfilled, though that is nice, I am
talking about being fulfilled and complete as a person. God did not make a mistake when He created me as a female; I am exactly
who and how God wanted me to be. I am thankful that I am who I am and that God had and has a plan for my life in which the
hurts of my past can be used to help others. I can be and am content in being a female with all the qualities of a child of
God and am continuing to grow in His grace in that area of my life.
The Lord has taught me about commitment
and love. I never knew what it was to be committed to another person, or even how to love another person. In the time that
I have been walking in the truth of who I am in Him, I have learned a great deal about what it is to truly love and to be
totally committed to the one you love. Beyond the commitment to another person, I am learning about my commitment to God,
and living for Him. Truly if my commitment to Christ is healthy then my commitment to the one I love is healthier.