Terri, Trials and Homosexuality

I grew up with three brothers. Two older, one younger. My dad was an alcoholic with a terrible temper and a tendency toward being extremely physically and emotionally abusive. He also was a womanizer. My mom was a good lady, trying the best she could, often on the receiving end of my dads abuse.

I was a tomboy to the hilt. I hated being a girl. My brothers would never include me in their activities because girls weren’t allowed. They were very abusive towards me. My dad always called me every foul name in the book that was a derogatory slam on females. I constantly begged God to make me a boy. Maybe then I’d be acceptable to my dad and brothers.

When I was 10 years old, my mom finally decided that she’d taken enough abuse from my dad, and we left one day while he was at work. I was so glad! I had been so afraid of him for so long, that I was happy to be leaving.

I had wanted a sister so badly, and still cried almost every night for many years over the death of my 10 day old sister when I was four. I was so sick of being the only girl. I was ostracized so often because of my gender.

As I grew up, I remember having a healthy attraction to boys. And it seemed that I never lacked for boy friends. Having three brothers, there was always a fair amount of boys to choose from among my brothers friends. But I also started to notice more and more as I grew up, that my attraction for other girls also grew. I don’t recall even thinking of the subject of homosexuality as possibly referring to me and the way I felt/thought about other girls, until junior high. Even though I continued to be attracted to guys, still my attraction for other girls grew to the point where I began to picture myself with a particular one now and then, in a romantic way.

By the time I was in about tenth grade, I started thinking to myself, I’m a homosexual. It was very confusing, because I still really liked the guys, and dated a good deal. I remember spending the weekend with a girl friend from school, who also was very tomboyish. We got to wrestling on the bed one day, and right in the middle of our tussle, we both just sort of stopped and looked at each other while in the others embrace, and I know that she was feeling the same electric charge running though her that I was. I think it was just about that time that her mom called us from the other room. I am not sure what would have happened if she hadn’t interrupted us, but we both acted sort of strange toward the other for the rest of the day. It scared me. I don’t recall that we even mentioned it, but I know it affected us both.

By the time I was a junior in high school, though I was still very actively dating guys, I started hanging around a gal much older than me who had been out of high school for about 10 yrs. I don’t think that she was gay, but I believe that she must have struggled with it. We started spending a lot of time together, and it was the highlight of my week the times I got to be with her. My folks were worried that she was a lesbian, and they did not want me to spend so much time with her. I grew to love her very much, and hated to be apart from her. I began to practically live for the times I could go out with her. I also was pretty emotionally dependent upon her, though I did not recognize this at the time. But, one day, she just quit coming over and calling. I waited and waited, but did not hear from her. I finally mustered the courage to go over to her house, and ask her why she dropped out of the picture. She simply said, “I just got tired of caring so much.” I was devastated!

My brothers and I had been very big party animals up to this point. But thankfully, my mom started attending a Christian Bible study group, and ended up giving her life to the Lord. Shortly thereafter, two of my brothers and I all ended up getting saved as well. This was at the end of my senior year. I had a steady boy friend that continued to see me after we graduated from High School. We ended up getting married my first year of college. I was 18 years old and he was 20. It wasn’t long before I found out that he was seeing another woman. By the time we had only been married for about 8-9 months, he left. I was so devastated! I was very much in love with the Lord, and yet was so young in the faith. I could not believe that the Lord would allow me to go through such a traumatic thing.

I continued to walk with the Lord, allowing Him to heal my heart. Though from time to time I would be attracted to another woman, I would put the thought out of my mind as quickly as I could. Being a Christian, I knew that homosexuality was a sin, and therefore wanted no part of it. I grew in the Lord, and joined a Christian halfway house ministry. I first joined in at the bottom level as a disciple, and before it was all said and done, I was the leader of the woman’s house our ministry ran.

By the time I was 20, I started dating a much older man who had three children. I was quite adamant about never dating someone who was not a Christian. He claimed to be, going to the church I attended. I fell very much in love with him. He asked me to marry him, and I was so shocked that someone so much older and wiser would actually want to marry me. I had a very low opinion of myself. I prayed and fasted, truly wanting the Lords will for us. We did get married. I was 20 years old, he was almost 39, and the children who would be living with us full time, were 9, 11, and 12. Two girls and a boy. I got pregnant right away, and in 1976, we had our daughter, Jennifer.

Things were just not working out too well for us, and to my shock and horror, once again my husband left. My little girl was only 2 months old by this time. I cannot begin to explain the anguish that filled my heart. It all just caused me to cling to the Lord all the more. I grew closer and closer to the Lord, deciding to just pour myself into Him. I ended up attending Youth With A Mission in Tyler, TX. when Jen was 2 yrs old.

I was still in love with my husband, and prayed for him often. I began to believe that the Lord wanted to put our marriage back together. Though I had had no contact with him for two years, I began to believe for a miraculous healing for us. God did honor that request, and by the time my time at Y.W.A.M. was over, my husband and I did reunite. We moved to Fla. to live. All this time, the Lord was still very much a part of my life. I was ecstatic over the healing of our marriage, but it was short lived. After being back together for about two years, he sought a divorce. This time, much to my shame and humiliation, he had a sheriff serve me papers at the house while he was at work. The papers stated that our daughter and I had to be out of the house by thus and such date, because the house was legally in his name. Once again I was extremely devastated.

I ended up moving back to the mountains of NC to be by my folks. My dad gave me a nice piece of property in the mountains where they lived. My daughter was about four years old by this time. I was so broken and wounded, that I just wanted to be alone with the Lord and lick my wounds. I just concentrated on Him and my little girl.

By the time Jen was about 9 years old, I met a man who was a Christian, and he had a little boy one year older than Jen. We dated and it wasn’t too awfully long before we fell in love and got married. I did not do it lightly or without much prayer and consideration. I was so afraid that I simply could not survive another broken relationship. But, he was so in love with me and promised he’d never leave me. We did get married, when I was 30 and he 35. Michael was on a kidney dialysis machine, and had been for five years. He had no functioning kidneys, and was on a kidney donor waiting list. He’d already been given one, and it failed, almost costing him his life. One day, he did get the long awaited phone call, and they had a kidney waiting for him. He was in surgery for 9 hrs. with 5 surgeons working on him. All seemed to go well, and within a few weeks, he was able to come home.

During our first year, he underwent one kidney transplant, and several hip prosthesis transplants. The hips just kept dislocating or rejecting, one after another. All the surgery and all the pain and anti rejection meds took their toll, and Mike just flipped out one day, and left. I came home from the store one day, and all his belongings were gone. There was nothing left but a note that said he could not take it anymore. I had no idea it was coming. The floor just seemed to drop out from underneath me. I called my mom, but was unable to do anything but cry uncontrollably.

It is difficult enough to weather one broken marriage, but to weather three, really four, if you count the two times I tried with my daughters daddy; it is just too much. God held me tightly and I praise His name that He did, because I was coming apart at the seams. I simply could not believe that all three of my husbands walked out. Talk about having a rejection complex!

Almost right after that, my folks and daughter and I moved up to Alaska. I knew that I was to go, and was glad for a chance to start over. I wanted to get out of the town where all three of my marriages had taken place. It was an tremendous source of shame to me that all my marriages failed so miserably. I longed to start over fresh someplace where no one knew of my failures.

Once in Alaska, I had pretty much decided that I was just going to live the rest of my life without a significant other. I’d had it with men. I came to the dismal conclusion that it just was not meant to be for me. I was not about to try again. I knew my heart simply could not take another failed relationship. This does not mean that I opted to delve into lesbianism. That could not be further from the truth. I was determined to just continue walking with the Lord, serving Him for the rest of my days as a single woman.

I became quite active in my church, teaching and disciplining others in the Christian walk. And though I’d sworn to myself that I would not ever date again, I met a nice guy and started seeing him. He went to my church and was so sweet. In time he fell in love with me, but though I loved him dearly, I was not in love with him. Instead, much to my horror, I realized that I was beginning to experience strong feelings and a strong attraction for a woman that I met on the job. And though I’d experienced attractions for women off and on ever since childhood, I’d always been able to dismiss them or ignore them. Try as I might, I could not do so this time.

The feelings, attractions and emotions began to grow in intensity, to the point that I not only could not ignore them, but I was literally consumed with them every moment. I had no idea what to do or where to turn for help. I called out to God, literally begging Him to take it away. I’d never in all my life come across anything so intense and maddening. I began to loathe myself. It grew increasingly difficult to go to the Father, because I felt so vile and dirty. Up till that time I’d always felt at liberty to go to my church family for help with whatever trials I faced. But not this time, not with this. As I stated earlier, I was a teacher in the church, supposedly one of the mature Christians, how could I tell them that I was in love with a woman? I also knew that the man who was at that time my Pastor, would do more harm than good, probably excommunicating me from the church. I began to see a Christian Psychologists. I wanted to go to someone who would agree with me that lesbianism was sin, but who would also help me deal with it. I also began to do something that I had not done since before giving my life to the Lord in High School; drink.

I was so hideously distraught over my struggle, and at a loss as to how to effectively deal with it, that I wanted to escape, and somehow deaden to pain and torment. I was coming apart at the seams, not understanding for a minute what was taking place and why. I got angry with the Lord, feeling as though He forsook and abandoned me. I simply could not understand why He was allowing this to beset me. I wasn’t out there partying and fooling around, but was instead serving Him! So why this horrible battle? I would like to interject at this point that in retrospect I believe what was taking place was in answer to my own fervent prayers.Those that I’d prayed for years prior to that time in my life: God please do whatever it takes to make me the woman of God that YOU want me to be. I believe that in His faithfulness He was just allowing this (not causing it, mind you) to come to the surface, that I might finally face those issues and deal with them once and for all, having run from them all my life, burying them, pretending they were not there. He’d always known they were there, needing to be faced and dealt with in order to receive healing that was needed. It was just my time to deal with them.

The story is too long to go into at length, but suffice it to say that I became deeply involved. Over the course of about eight years, I had several relationships, the longest of which lasted about four years, that being with the only woman I ever lived with. And though my struggle intensified, actually to the point of addiction, it was the desperate cry of my heart to be set free from that terrible bondage that I found myself in. I longed with all my heart for healing and restoration, and to serve the Lord in the integrity that I once had.

During all this time I never stopped attending church, never stopped praying, crying out to God for help and forgiveness. So many times I almost gave up the fight, almost succumbing to the often surfacing desire to end it all by taking my life. Our God is a faithful, covenant keeping God, to be sure, and He heard the desperate cry of my heart. He broke the chains that had me bound, and I am now walking in freedom and restoration. He IS able. And contrary to what the world and even, many Christians may say; God can heal the homosexual. With God nothing is impossible.

I have been free from the sin of homosexuality for 4 1/2 yrs. now, and though it is a process, as is walking in newness of life for every Christian, regardless of their weakness, I am growing further and further from the desires/temptations for other women, and God has restored, and is yet restoring, my femininity.

Having been married, I have seen the perspective from both sides of the fence. It is alarmingly sad, yet in my opinion indicative that these are the last days, that there is a multitude of people, women in particular, who are “jumping the fence” from heterosexual relationships to homosexual ones. The more and more that marriages of today are disintegrating, the more and more that people are looking for other ways to meet their emotional needs. It is unfortunate, because it is a nasty ploy used by the enemy of our souls. And from experience I can safely say that they will not find the fulfillment that they are looking for in same sex relationships. Oh, to be sure there is fulfillment up to a point, all temptation has its delusive glamour, yet the key word here is delusive. The pleasures are short lived and always end up in bondage and worse pain than before. It is a nasty, heart rending situation that one soon finds themselves in.

I did want to give God the glory due His name, and to hold out hope to anyone out there who may be dealing with this issue. Contrary to popular opinion, the church is full of people who deal with this issue in their own life. Two of my lovers, the longest relationships that I had, were also Christians in my church. One of which was married with two children. The church needs to be educated on the subject so that they are capable of reaching out as God would have us do, and begin to stop ignoring and running from the subject, and to reach out and minister life and freedom to those who want it.

Not everyone who is gay wants to be. There is a way out, and I want to spend the rest of my life telling people about it.

~ Terri