Sunday, December 23, 2012

Forgiven Much

Like so many people, in my early teens I thought I knew everything.

In elementary school I’d been molested by a female teacher, which greatly skewed my views of love and self-worth.  At home, I regularly witnessed the cruelty of my mother’s marriage.  By the time I was 14 I’d wrongfully concluded that all men were scum, and decided I was going to champion the cause of the female lovelorn.

Today I shake my head in disbelief that I’d ever absorbed such a notion, but there it is.

The glorious, redemptive truth is that God delivered me from homosexuality.  I’m living proof that men and women can be completely rescued from the wreck of their choices.  In Christ, sinful, damaged lives can be totally healed and restored.

What sticks most prominently in my memory of those dark years (from age 12 to 20) is the truth that “the gifts of God are without repentance.”  In other words, the Seer gifting over my life remained in operation throughout and revealed itself sharply in gay bars.  In the spirit realm I’d see distorted, effeminate beings literally sitting inside the men  and hairy, Neanderthal-looking beasts inside the women.  Even in my rebellion I couldn’t deny the disgust I felt, so I just ignored it.  Though God was attempting to rescue me even then, I didn’t want to be rescued.  I was awash in corrosive emotions and felt like I was getting acceptance and approval out of homosexual indulgences.  Though I never truly received either of those things, I wasn’t ready to abandon my delusion.

“He who has been forgiven much, loves much.”  That’s so true with me.

Pride and the constant onslaught of rejection kept me from seeing God’s outstretched hand of deliverance and love; in fact, I viewed them as “protections” to my soul instead of the deadly enemies they were.  I chose delusion and deception over deliverance, and kept those choices hidden from my mother.  I was bereft of any true knowledge of self and self-worth but, in my heart’s depths, I knew God was chasing me.

Life was awful back then.

I had two or three relationships and thought love was in them, but it wasn’t.  Nothing is honest or real in any avenue of sin, and the further down death’s path I went, the more I hated myself.  The integrity of God planted in me when I gave myself to Him at age nine never left my heart.  Holy Spirit in me would simply shake off the dirt of my sinful choices and keep on convicting me.  Daddy was calling to His girl and, though I turned a deaf ear for years, He kept calling.  He kept showing me things in the spirit, He kept dropping truth into my soul every time I visited my mother (she probably knew more about my lifestyle than I realized); He kept convicting my choices.

He is aptly named the Hound of Heaven.  Thank you, Jesus.

The last relationship I had before returning to God lasted about four years.  I found out later that my mother had prayerfully lamented my backslidden state the entire time, and one day the cup of her faithful supplications tipped over onto my sinful life.  All at once, the veil was lifted from my eyes.  I had a violent encounter with the girl I was with... it left her bleeding.  I saw the scope of my dreadful, lifeless state.  I saw the hateful spirit inside of her, and my own wretched condition.  That day my heart was changed - so were my choices.  I remember resolving to run as far away from that so-called life as possible; I wanted to come back to God.

Although my mother had been praying all that time, I sensed she was a little leery of my blatant transformation.  Though it’s a pretty loose parallel, it reminds me of the disciples earnestly praying for Peter’s release from prison, and then no one believing Rhoda when he knocked at their door.  But I could understand my mom’s feelings; for years, I’d abandoned the righteousness raised in me... she needed to be sure.  Later I learned she simply asked God if there was true repentance in me; He assured her there was.  I thank God for my mother’s prayers; His power through them saved my life.

When I turned 21, I rededicated my life to the Lord and, by His grace, I haven’t looked back.  The experience of those years left me with unmovable faith in God’s ability to save from the guttermost to the uttermost; and I know the power of transforming righteousness released in our lives when we allow His light to illuminate our choices.

Grateful to God,

"... fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
(Romans 12:11b)