Today I want to share with you the story of my temporary descent into deep sin. It involves secular entertainment (music, tv, film etc), as well as certain examples of CCM, all of which gradually led me away from God and into homosexual sin.
The background information of my story begins in September 2000, and carries on up until a few short months ago.
I was a senior at an all-girls' Catholic boarding school. I had gotten saved nearly a year earlier, and I was reading the Bible almost every day. But I often found it hard to concentrate. Sometimes, a schoolmate would randomly interrupt me to ask to borrow something or some other trivial thing. Most of the girls in my dorm listened to rock, pop or hip hop music, and this often disturbed my readings.
I decided to counter this with some CCM. I had a few 4HIM CDs, which I felt and still feel are fairly well-rooted in the Word, but at that point they seemed a bit, well, boring. I received a CCM catalog in the mail, and one CD caught my eye.
The girl on the cover had a sensual, defiant, pouty expression on her face, and the description of the album had a blurb reading, 'If you like Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera, you'll love this!' I bought it, and it was a pleasant distraction from the daily grind (warning sign).
The singer was only 14 years old, but the CD insert had pictures of her heavily made up and glamorized. She posed with a flower in her hand, a symbol of innocence, yet she was being promoted as 'sexy' and 'cool'. Her vocal talent is questionable, but the beats were catchy (carnal) and the synthesisers and background instrumentation were appealing.
At best, she vaguely sang about God, but on one of the CD's interludes, titled 'My name is', she simply repeated her name to a background of hypnotic beats for 15 seconds. I've changed her name, but it ran thus:
My name is Jenny Joy Smith (echo 'Jenny Joy Smith') My name is Jenny Smith (echo 'Jenny Joy Smith') My name is Jenny Smith Jenny Smith
It was bizarre, but since it was so short, I shrugged it off.
I soon bought other CDs, similar, but less overtly sexual. However, I began to focus on listening and singing to the songs, rather than spending time with God in silence. ("Be still, and know that I am God.") I even wrote a few songs of my own, complete with music - one of which was one of the most heart-wrenching tunes I've ever heard. The song made me sad, though the lyrics were about a girl crying out to God and meeting Jesus in a powerful vision.
I slipped back into listening to secular music so easily. I had it on during much of the day; I often tuned in first thing in the morning (now I tune into God first thing in the morning; "Seek ye first the kingdom of God..") I listened to a late-night radio show dealing with the 'love life' problems of callers (mostly unmarried or adulterous, many my age <18> or younger).
The songs between calls had lyrics all about sexual-romantic love, with music to match. I became dependent on the show; I couldn't fall asleep without listening to it, or watching a concert video of a now-defunct boyband (which led me to lust and fantasise about one of the members).
I bought some of my old favorite CDs, and soon my Bible reading, church attendance and prayer were down to dangerously minimal levels. I often listened to music as a form of escape - from other people, from homework, and yes, from God. I was so caught up in cares of the world, I didn't 'have time' for God.
I thought I must be okay, since it wasn't hardcore rock or rap or overtly satanic. I learned the hard way that if it isn't focused on God, it's focused on the devil - whether deliberately or by de facto.
Then Satan decided I was ready for a bigger, more sinister trap.
I met K, a young woman in the grade below me. She was living in school temporarily while her parents were away on vacation. When I met her, she was wearing a bright rainbow-striped jacket, sporting a boyish haircut, and her overall demeanor defiantly said 'Lesbian'. She was friends with one of my younger friends, and so we became an automatic trio.
I could see the pain in her eyes, behind the hardness she had cultivated. I felt sure she was gay, but didn't mention it. I don't remember how it came up, but she followed something she'd said with a pause and then the words, "By the way, this is my way of telling you 'I'm gay.'" It was a challenge; she knew I was a Christian, and she gauged my reaction, which was to blush and stammer, "Oh, okay then..Um, I mean some Christians say that..I'm not really sure where I stand on.. um..anyway." We changed the topic out of mutual embarassment.
In the following days, I became fast friends with her. We did have an in-depth discussion/debate while sitting outside our rooms in the hall, and a few others sat down to listen and laugh at our banter. K (who also features in my main testimony) aggressively defended her sister's Wiccan beliefs, and her own sympathy and interest in them. She said something offensive to me, and I stood up, declaring, "I had no idea you could be such a b*tch." (Yes, I had also lapsed into swearing by this point.) There was an awkward lull, followed by nervous laughter. Someone cracked a joke, and I sat down again.
Soon, K and I began to hold long talks alone together in her room (danger sign). Never having met an out lesbian before, I was fascinated (more danger), and I recalled my pre-Christian ponderings of possible bisexual orientation (major danger).
Very soon, we were mutually infatuated with one another. My fear of possible latent homosexual drives led me to dwell on the possibility, analysing every word and action too deeply. The more I thought about it and analysed my past gay attractions, the more it seemed to 'make sense.'
My attraction to her, by God's grace, did not entirely overpower my desire to see her meet the Lord. My baptism was coming up in a month's time, and I prayed fervently for K (one of the few things in those days which really brought me to my knees). God was willing and able to work through me despite my imminent sin, and for that I am eternally grateful. However, that said, I was increasingly attracted to her. My curiousity led me to believe that I desired her, and indeed, we did develop a strong emotional codependence.
We spent less and less time with other friends and more and more time with each other. Our talks led late into the night, and both our academic work and our health suffered. After a night of many words, spoken and unspoken, and after days of 'testing the waters' with reciprocal flirting, I had a sense that this night would determine the direction of our relationship. Part of me wanted to literally flee (I later realised that this was the Holy Spirit urging me to flee temptation, as advised in the Bible). Part of me was rooted to the spot with nerves, and a third part of me was eager to determine my 'orientation' with a sexual experience. She did not pressure me, nor did I pressure her; we were mutually lustbound.
I reached a point at which I felt I had to say something or do something or burst. I asked her, in the line of conversation, whether she was a 'lights-on' person or a 'lights-off' person during sexual activity. She paused, then said, 'Lights-off.' I turned off the literal light as well as the light of God and fell into awkward carnal sin. Even as we sinned, I felt fear and revulsion. I also felt something leave me; but I felt strangely compelled to continue. Neither of us felt any measurable enjoyment, but we convinced ourselves and one another that we did.
When I eventually dressed and returned to my room, I looked in the mirror above my sink. I was terrified that I would see a demon looking back at me. I stared deeply into my own eyes, afraid I'd see a change.
Apart from my look of fear, I seemed the same. I had a restless sleep after agonizing over what we had done.
The next day, I felt awkward to say the least. I was afraid that someone would confront me with the rumors which had been circulated about me and K long before that night. I especially feared that B, my friend who had been instrumental in leading me to the Lord, would sense a change in me. I laughed with her about the rumors, after foolishly bringing them to her attention. I denied them; she saw through me, but never confronted me about it.
K and I avoided each other all day, but after school, she came to my room to talk. We were each unsure what the other was thinking. Somehow, we decided to engage in our sin again. Soon after, we both became very ill. I'm talking swollen glands, fever, chills, nausea, exhaustion, sinus problems, headaches, restlessness - you name it. Quarantined from lessons, we spent most of our waking hours in one another's rooms. Our caretakers thought nothing of it.
Through it all, God let K see Himself in me in some way. She asked me similar questions to the ones I had asked B shortly before receiving Christ. I continued to pray for K, and God prepared her heart.
Even though they lived in a different city, both B and K were present at my baptism. At the end of the service, K accepted Jesus. We were not free to discuss the implications of the event on our 'relationship', because B was there, and besides, K was too preoccupied jubilating in Christ. I gave her the 'bad news' that now Satan was going to pull out all the stops to get her away from God (oh if only I had listened to my own Godly wisdom), and that prayer, Bible reading and Christian fellowship were vital to her spiritual growth (at which Satan's minions must have laughed, "What a hypocrite!")
We carried on in our confused sin, both loving it and hating it. At some point we told B what she and most of the other girls at school already knew. I had done extensive reading of the Bible's so-called 'gay-bashing' passages, and had also sought the opinion of other Christians on the subject (mistake - "Let God be true, and every man a liar"!). I had come to the tenuous conclusion that maybe K and I weren't breaking God's heart, maybe, and that we loved each other, maybe, and that our love was a gift from God, maybe. Through all this, K and I went to (separate) churches, prayed, praised God etc., and He still was with each of us in some way. He can not change and can not lie; when He says, "I will never leave you nor forsake you," He means it!
Christmas vacation came and went. K and I tried to 'make love' upon my return, but we were simply going through the motions. Over the vacation,
I had prayed fervently for God to give me an unmistakable sign if our 'love' was wrong. I told Him what a coward I was, and that if one of us had to dump the other, K needed to dump me. He honored my earnest prayer. After a restless night for K (but oddly not for me), she awoke feeling nauseated. We spent the day together in public, barely speaking. She bought a card to apologise to her mother for staying out all night and lying about where she was going. I walked her to the train station so she could go home. We said nothing. I had a feeling that something was about to happen. She turned to me and said, "You know what I'm about to say, don't you."
I shook my head; I couldn't speak. I knew the gist of it, but not what her exact words would be. She said tearfully, "I can't see you anymore. My parents don't approve and I've gotta respect that." "Okay", I choked. Inside, I heard God's voice: "This is My sign to you." I felt the weight of my sin - our sin - and as we both cried, she boarded her train. "Don't cry about me, okay? It's not worth it," I pleaded.
I walked around town in a daze. Her parents? What had they to do with it? So many questions, so much pain. I felt crushed, as if something inside me had pulled a string attached to the inside of the top of my skull and the inside of the soles of my feet, until I was crumpled like an accordion.
On the following Monday, when school started again, B, K and I all sat down and talked. K and I shared the joy of being reconciled to God. We felt a little sad, but the greater part of our shame and sadness was gone, and we laughed and talked like 'just friends.' Sadly, this was not to last.
As the first month apart went on, we maintained and even strengthened our co-dependency. If we weren't talking together in the common area, we were on the phone to each other or sending phone messages. We talked about how we had had positive experiences during our relationship, and how that was confusing to us. ("God is not the author of confusion.") She told me she had no intention of becoming celibate or trying to 'go straight' with God's help, which was enough to shake my tenuous desire to do so.
Our intensity of feeling led to jealousy and melancholy. She let me know that she 'wanted me back', and I admitted the same. We each prayed independently for God's guidance. I prayed for God to take those feelings away if that was His will. They got stronger. And stronger. And stronger. So did hers.
I prayed for a sign. I said to God, "If it's okay with you that we get back together, K will come to my room today without me asking her to, and while here, she will try to kiss me." She came to my room. We hugged, cried a little. The hug went on too long, and I felt desire stirring, as well as apprehension. She kissed my cheek, then my ear. I joked, "Are you trying to tell me something?" She replied, "You tell me." I asked her, "Are you totally sure this is okay?" "95%. You?"
"Not sure," I sighed. We let go. But within the hour, we did kiss. When we broke apart, she looked crestfallen. My joy gave way to terror - was God convicting her of sin? The kiss had felt so right to me! I quickly apologised to her. We sat in silence, staring at the floor. Then she looked at me, studying me. "What? I can't read minds. Or faces." She kissed me and laughed, "Can you read actions?" And so, just like that, we were back together. This time, Satan's deception included small signs and wonders, perversions of God's signs which further convinced us that God blessed our unholy union.
Our sin led us to further the lie that gay relationships are okay with God. Other people were either supportive or indifferent; her parents accepted me and treated me almost as a daughter-in-law; and worst of all, B gradually became infatuated with K. Neither of us knew at the time that B had often questioned her 'orientation.' Being a virgin with almost no sexual experience of any degree (she'd only ever kissed before), she had no reference point for her gay feelings.
Eventually, during my summer absence, B and K became involved, and K dumped me. I again decided to give up my gay lifestyle, and for a while I was reconciled to God. Yet I maintained contact with both K and B, I wasn't attending church, I didn't read the Bible regularly, and I soon left home (where I was socially isolated) for college, where the vast majority of students is 'open-minded' and 'experimental'.
The only 'friends' I made there were queer (gay, bi or transexual), or at least queer-friendly. I joined the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Society when I should have been joining the Christian Union or a Bible study group and finding a church family to hold me accountable. I was one of only two or three regular female members, and God arranged circumstances so as to prevent me from becoming involved with either of them.
Fast-forwarding - I had one more gay encounter, consisting of a few kisses. Thankfully, it went no further (God showed me His hand in this.)
Since then, I have not had any sexual contact with any person, and a few months after my last encounter, I finally submitted to God's will in the matter. I prayed, "Lord, if the gay lifestyle is always sinful, please help me to change. Please help me to become celibate, and/or give me a healthy attraction to men. I used to love men, and I've never really stopped. Please heal me if it is Your will."
Within an hour of my prayer, I was destroying my 'pride' paraphanalia - anything with a rainbow on it, issues of a lesbian magazine I'd bought, gay books, gay writings, gay anything. I even got rid of my secular CDs and books. I also raided my wardrobe, removing all immodest or dark clothing (by dark I mean gothic-punk style stuff, not dark colors.) The next time I had access to a computer, I canceled my account at gay.com.
I didn't tell any of my LGBT 'friends' about my decision for Christ, but in the following weeks, I ran into all of them while in town or on campus. All but 2 ignored me; many looked me directly in the eye and said nothing, just walked past. I had begun to pray, to read and love God's Word, and to search for a church home. Some even seemed to recoil from me a little bit. I was not very lonely or disappointed; rather I was glad that they could sense God's presence in me!
Of the two that did continue to speak to me, one was a gay male friend whom had always stood by me, no matter what others thought of me. While not sharing my beliefs, he did respect them, and God allowed me to witness to him on several occasions. He said he disliked the way I had of 'making him feel guilty without even trying' (praise God for conviction of sin!), yet he still sought my friendship. The other, the president of the LGBT society, said hello to me on my last day of term; she was at a distance, walking past with friends, and she had dark sunglasses on. Perhaps she felt 'safe' talking to me under those circumstances.
Praise God, most of my lustful feelings for females have gone. I have begun to dream of a possible future husband, always reminding myself that it's up to God whether or not He intends for me to marry. Either way, I will be content with the greatest lover of all - a Lover of my soul, Who will never cheat or lie or leave me. I continue to pray for B and K; I speak to K occasionally online, but currently have no contact with B. Both at last report (from themselves) were still unsure about what God thinks about homosexual relationships, but both also seek the heart of God, and I trust that in time they too will find the truth about the matter.
I acknowledge that gay attractions are most likely not a choice, but gay RELATIONSHIPS always are. Just as people must refrain from adultery, fornication, pedophilic acts, bestial acts, acts of sexual violence, lust, lustful masturbation, incest, prostitution and every other sexual sin, people must refrain from homosexual activity. I invited those evils into my life by my tolerance of and pleasure in worldly things, including secular music, ungodly examples of CCM, television and so on, as well as my failure to root myself in the truth of God. I know now that if we build upon the Rock, we shall weather every storm. "Proclaiming themselves wise, they became fools.." "Let any man who thinks he standeth take heed, lest he fall.." "Like a dog unto his vomit, so a fool turneth again to his folly." I realise that believers must be grounded in the Word of God (I only read the KJV); we must praise God for His glory and to remind everyone (ourselves included) that He is Lord and Almighty Judge; that we must take His.
Thank you for allowing me to share this with you.