Monday, December 3, 2007

The Essence of a Woman

My sister is leading a group of women in her church through a series of books intended to help each women come to know their Creator in a more intimate way and thereby helping them to live a life of abundance and blessing as they glorify their God in Christ more. She sent me a daily reading from one of the books that they are currently reading. I think it speaks so wonderfully to a woman's spirit that I wanted others to benefit from it. One place that this group has used to get some benficail books is from the following website. Any of these books can help you to better understand who you are and why God brought you to this earth.

you may need to paste the URL into your address line in one continuous line in order for it to redirect you to the site.

Daily Reading from - "The Ransomed Heart" Ministry

When we speak about the essence of a woman – her beauty – we don’t mean “the perfect figure.” The beauty of a woman is first a soulish beauty. We know – it’s a harder jump to make. We’ve lived so long under the pressure to be beautiful. But stay with the thought for a moment, because it will really help. The beauty of a woman is first a soulful beauty. And yes, as we live it out, own it, inhabit our beauty, we do become more lovely. More alluring. As the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote, “Self flashes off frame and face.” Our true self becomes reflected in our appearance. But it flows from the inside out.

The essence of a woman is Beauty. She is meant to be the incarnation – our experience in human form – of a Captivating God. A Godwho invites us.

“You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride;
you have stolen my heart
with one glance of your eyes,
with one jewel of your necklace.
You are a garden fountain,
a well of flowing water
streaming down from Lebanon.” (Songs 4:9, 15)

Beauty is what the world longs to experience from a woman. We know that – somewhere down deep, we know it to be true. Most of our shame comes from this knowing and feeling that we have failed here. So hear this: Beauty is an essence that dwells inevery woman. It was given to her by God. It was given to you.

Surely you would agree that God is nothing if not beautiful.

All around us God’s creation shouts of his beauty and his goodness. The way snow creates a silhouette of lace on a barren tree, the rays of sun streaming forth from a billowing cloud, the sound of a brook trickling over smooth stones, the form of a woman’s body and the face of a child anticipating the arrival of the ice cream truck all speak of God’s good heart if we will have but the eyes to see. The coming of spring after a hard winter is almost too glorious for a soul to bear. God’s beauty is lavished on the world.

Beauty may be the most powerful thing on earth. Beauty speaks. Beauty invites. Beauty nourishes. Beauty comforts. Beauty inspires. Beauty is transcendent. Beauty draws us to God.

A woman in her glory, a woman of beauty, is a woman who is not striving to become beautiful or worthy or enough. She knows in her quiet centre where God dwells that He finds her beautiful, has deemed her worthy and in him, she is enough. In fact, the only thing getting in the way of our being fully captivating and enjoyed is our hiding and striving.

So Jesus says, “I will quiet you with My love” (Zephaniah 3:17). A woman of true beauty is a woman who in the depths of her soul is at rest; trusting God because she has come to know Him to be worthy of her trust. She exudes a sense of calm; a sense of rest; and invites those around her to rest as well. She speaks comfort; that all is well; that all will be well. A woman of true beauty offers others the grace to be and the room to become. In her presence, one can release the tight sigh that so often grips our hearts, and breathe in the truth that God loves us and he is good.

This is why we must keep asking. Ask Jesus to show you your beauty. Ask him what he thinks of you as a woman. His words to us let us rest. And unveil our beauty. (Captivating , 130-132)

From The Ransomed Heart, by John Eldredge, reading 336 Ransomed Heart Ministries

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I recently received a phone message from a friend of mine who needed to talk to me, right away. I sensed the distress in her voice so I called back immediately knowing that I didn't really have the time in that moment to get into a long call but that I could schedule something in the near future to help her out.

As my friend, let's call her Martha, was telling me that a close friend of hers had just told her that she is gay. This really sent Martha for a loop because she never saw any signs at all that sent her antenna up about anything. In fact Martha and her friend had had many discussions about this issue because there is another mutual friend who's mother is a lesbian. Also Martha's friend had just been to a meeting where I was able to share my story about Jesus pursuing me, healing me, changing me, and calling me out of that life style.

We set up a time to meet for lunch a few days later. My friend Martha processes things by talking through them thus she needed to meet me in person. We talked over several aspects of what was concerning Martha about this new disclosure from her friend. At one point in the discussion Martha mentioned that her friend did here me share my story. I asked what her friends response was. Martha said that she did not believe me. I responded, "what do you mean that she doesn't believe me." Martha said that this other mutual friend whose mother is also a lesbian, also is married and has five children so my story does not have any creditability.

We continued talking and then prayed but from the point that Martha stated that her friend does not believe me, I was no longer able to fully give my attention to Martha. In the back of my mind I was carrying on another conversation altogether like this, "what do you mean she doesn't believe me, she doesn't even know me, how can she say that so casually, what about all those years that I spent in process, doing the hard work of change with the Lord, did that mean nothing?" and on and on it went. In fact, after we prayed, and separated, my mind continued to dwell on this unbelief from Martha's friend.

The Lord knows me so well. He knew that it would be good to speak to me, to give me some perspective so that I would continue to trust Him, and that He would take some scripture and make it completely real for me, that I in turn can use it in the future to benefit others. I was doing my bible study lesson on Tuesday morning. We were studying Jesus' miracles at the beginning of His ministry. That days' study was focusing on Matt 8:28-34. This is where Jesus meets a demon possed man who is actually possessed by many demons named "Legion." Well, after a short discussion with the demons, Jesus casts them out into a herd of pigs. The pigs then run off a cliff and die. The towns people come out and see all that has occurred and they say to Jesus, "depart from our region."

This is such a curious response by the towns people. Here Jesus healed some demon possessed men. In Mark it says that the towns people observed "one man who had been demon possessed sitting down, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had "legion." This man Jesus had such great compassion on. He was completely healed and "in his right mind." It says that the towns people became frightened. Why would this be. Here is the Son of God, working miracles beyond belief, and these people see it first hand, know it to be true and they become frightened. You would think that these people would say to Jesus, can you help me, I have this or that, but they don't. So what are we to take from this passage. The point that the Lord was showing me is that all of what He does is Righteous and True. He is able but not all will welcome His power to heal and to save. These towns people are not unlike many who witness the healing of someone by Jesus' power and reject what they see because it will involve a cost and their lives will be changed. Change is always unknown. Sometimes the unknown is harder to desire because the life we live is familiar and there is a comfort in the familiar.

The towns people wanted the life that they currently had over the life that they could have with Jesus. For them the cost was to high. My friend Martha's friend was discounting my story of healing and change not because it isn't true but because she is not ready to have her life changed. For her, for now, the cost is to high, and the desire to have her current life is highly prized. Interestingly enough Martha's friend is already a Christian. I don't know this woman personally but I trust my friend Martha's judgement of her position with the Lord. Why would a believer want something that is not from the Lord? That is a good question and one that we all must take into account in an active life with Jesus.

Jesus constantly has us taking stock of our lives, and by His Spirit, causing us to look at new areas of our lives that are not of Him. They are areas that are so familiar to us. Perhaps we've carried an area of sin for years without success of change and say to ourselves, "I just can't fight it any longer." I don't know. What I do know is that for now, Martha's friend is not ready for the Lord to bring healing to this area of her life. Perhaps the thought of doing the hard work with Christ is just to much and she has no fight left in her. For now, Martha's friend has a choice. It was no accident that she has heard my story. Jesus is pursuing her and calling her to change. He loves her and does not want to see her move farther into an area of sin. Sin is so debilitating. But He will allow her to walk the road that she sees as best. He will not leave her or forsake her. He will be there, when she is ready to ask for help. It is so sad that the pain of restoration will be much greater the longer she waits.

One of my favorite verses in scripture is 2 Cor 5:17 "Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature, the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."

and another is from Col 3:9-11 "Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him--a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all and in all."

The Lord richly bless you all.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


I just read the greatest book. It is called "What a Difference a Daddy Makes" written by Dr. Kevin Leman. It was such a blessing to read this book. There were so many parts that ministered to my little girls heart that did not manifest in the life between me and my Daddy.

I will share with you a number of sentences from the book in hope that it will encourage you to get this book and read it for yourself. You will find it truly a blessing. This book is actually written to Dads and the best way to relate to their daughters but I believe that this will be a book of healing for many of us.

"In all my years of practice and of speaking to literally missions of people through radio and TV and at seminars, one fact has impressed me as much as anything else: Fathers leave an indelible imprint on the lives of their daughters."

"A woman's relationship with her father, more than any other relationship, is going to affect her relationship with all other males in her life.... There's not a single relationship that isn't indelibly stamped---for good or for ill---by the man known as Daddy."

"By understanding the father-daughter bond, you'll be able to help repair a damaged heart or strengthen the blessings of a healthy relationship."

"The father-daughter relationship is the key to every woman's aching heart. It's the genesis of every grown woman's sighs. It's also, unfortunately, the missing ingredient in many lost souls."

"That evidence shows that a father's relationship to his daughter is one of the key determinants in a woman's ability to enjoy a successful life and marriage."

"....Well, daddies treat kids differently; they provide a necessary complement to a mother's loving care."

"The connection between self-esteem and a father's love is well established. One study found that the perception of a father's unconditional regard was significantly related to a daughter's self-esteem..."

"You can divide most women into two camps. One camp is Miss Trust. The other is Mistrust. That one s makes all the difference in the world. The extra s is provided by the father, and it creates one of the richest inheritances that a son-in-law can received from his wife's father."

"it's my belief that these young women confuse abandonment and love because that's how their dad "love" them. They want to believe their dads cared for them, even if their fathers were distant."

"If you want to raise a well-adjusted daughter, don't run her into exhaustion in a vain effort at helping her finally prove herself. Prove your love. Prove your commitment. Prove your affection. That's what builds healthy kids."

".... a father's ability or inability to handle authority will greatly affect his child's ability to come to grips with the establishment---including God."

"I've realized that I can make my daughter's lives go much more smoothly by helping them to see that for most of us, life serves up ten helpings of reality for every one helping of bliss. Marriage is about service even more than it is about romance."

"A good father will keep moving toward his developing daughter, and he'll be prepared to talk to her about modesty, which has become a lost virtue."

" involved, affirming, and open father can steer his daughter around promiscuity."

If any one of these quotes above has touched you, get the book, read it, and ask God to minister to those hurt places, those hidden places, those places of unmet need.

Malachi 4:2 But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Karl an answer to prayer

First a little background.

I first met Karl when I started with Applied Materials. He remembers meeting me but I don't remember meeting him. I started in the department that he was already working in. He was one of many guys in the department. I was one of only two females to enter the department. He soon transferred to Phoenix to become a Field service Engineer.

As I grow in my career, I became an expert on a new tool called an RIE Etcher. Because it takes the field engineers a long time to game a high level of expertise the company would regularly send out factory techs to go help in the field. Thus I was sent to Phoenix on two separate trips of three weeks each to work on these tools. During both of my visits Karl took the time to ask me to lunch on a few occasions. I appreciated his asking me to lunch but beyond that I had no interest in him. Also at this point in my life I was actively going to the gay bars when I got off from work. I did think that he was a bit weird. At this point in my life I really had no social skills and could really only talk to others if they had something that I needed (like info or data for my projects, etc.) So I always wondered what he wanted.

As time progressed I move into an engineering role supporting the same tool that I used to work on in Final Test. I would design test equipment to test the sub assemblies of the tool. On a few occasions Karl stopped in to say hi. He had been promoted to a Manager and had to come to the corporate office for meetings. He would always stop by to say hello. Again I would always wonder what the heck he wanted. I just couldn't comprehend talking to someone just to be social. He was a mystery.

In time I also became a Field Service Manager. I was Karl's counterpart located in the Santa Clara Ca Field Office and my territory covered the bay area, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. Being counterparts gave me an opportunity to work on projects where Karl and I would be contributing to the same project. I gained a respect for him as a business man.

After making my decision to leave the life style:

Jesus had asked me to follow Him out of the life style and continue to walk with Him in a new life. For me this was an easy choice to make but the most difficult to follow through on. I knew that I could not continue to live without Him in my life. I did have one request that I prayed and asked Him to respond to. I was desperately afraid of being alone would he please bring to me a husband and teach me how to love and trust him. I also made a commitment at the time I prayed that I would not marry any man that did not have an active life with Jesus and that he would be a baptized believer in Jesus. This was the minimum.

Well life apart from my lover was very difficult. Each day I had to make a purposeful decision to look to Jesus to sustain me, renew my mind, keep me moving forward, and keep giving me hope. I continued to work, go to church, read the bible, and pray. I continued to create relationships with folks at church. In fact, I became part of a home group. This group of people became an extended family for me. We met in the home of the leaders of the group and we would open the bible together, study it, pray about our needs, and have a meal together. This really helped me to have a stabilizing place in my life. I was able to share my struggles freely and to be prayed for, encouraged, and challenged.

The company I worked for had started a new division for a new product. It was a leading edge technology and needed experienced people for many different roles to make the product successful. The company often drew from experienced folks from within other divisions to ensure the success of a new product. Thus Karl applied for and was hired as the Technical Support Managers position. He had to relocate from Phoenix back to Santa Clara.

Once Karl had relocated it didn't take long to learn that He was in the hot seat for this new product. With my experience in the company I knew that this new position would chew Karl up and spit him out unless he found a way to have other things of value in his life besides just work. He worked like a dog, 12-14 hour days 6 and 7 days per week. We would run into each other occasionally and catch up on our work lives. I shared with him on one occasion that I had a softball game over at the mission fields.

One night as we were playing he happened to show up to watch the game. We all went out for beer and food after the game. This became a regular thing for him and he ended up coming to watch several of my games. After a time, I called and invited him to lunch. We enjoyed each others company. By this time in my life God had already changed me so much. I now had some social skills and was able to enjoy Karl's company.

To my self I thought, Lord if this is the man that you want me to marry then you will have to get him to church and you will have to ensure that he is walking with you. I knew that I could drive this issue with Karl, invite him to church and push my faith upon him. I knew from our discussions that he was a spiritual man but not that he was walking with Jesus and a baptised believer. Thus I always kept a certain distance between us.

Then one day, Karl showed up at the church that I was attending. Green Valley Christian Church. It was a smalled church located on the east side of San Jose. The pastor was Jim Crain. Karl began attending regularly. After a short period of time and several of Jim's great sermon's it didn't take Karl long to figure out that he needed to be baptized as an adult. He needed to begin actively pursuing a relationship with Jesus. I think it may have been about 2-3 months and Karl knew he needed to be baptized. Once this happened then I no longer kept a distance between Karl and myself. I also drew comfort from the fact that I had nothing directly to do with his drawing nearer to the Lord and being baptized.

Taking a pause:

Now both Karl and I were not young pups at this point in our lives. I was 27 and he was 30 when he moved back to CA. Neither of us grew up in Christian homes with parents who actively followed God. We both drank, did drugs, had sex outside of marriage, etc, etc, etc. By the time you are close to 30 you no longer just follow your hormones and get involved with another person. It just takes to much of a tole on your life. So even though we had feelings for each other neither of us were about to get the cart in front of the horse.

The Story Resumes:

After Karl's baptism we began seeing each other regularly and exclusively. It didn't take either of us very long to realize that we were either going to get married or we needed to stop seeing each other so regularly. Up to this point we had not even held hands much less done anything else. We both knew that we needed to share our dirty laundry to see if we could bare each others baggage. Thus we both took an opportunity to share about our pasts. Once we did that we took about a two week break from each other and then met again. Each of us needed to make a decision could we cope with each others past.

We came back together and discussed each others past. It was a long discussion but in the end we both decided that even with both of our pasts we were both willing to take a chance at a life time relationship together. Now Karl did not ask me to marry him at this point but we both knew that the stage was set and the road was cleared.

I wish I could say at this point that I was overwhelmed with love for this man and the joy of the Lord was gushing out of me. That was not the case. I was still operating from a survival mode from having come out of my gay relationship only a year prior. I had absolutely no experience in being in a relationship with some one and not throwing myself sexually at them first (whether it was a man or woman). I was very reserved in our relationship and so was Karl. Could I really trust this man, I didn't know.

We made plans to go back to the mid west to meet each others parents. This was during the summer of 1987. His Dad and step mom lived in Winona MN and my folks lived in Oconomowoc WI. We were able to make plans to visit both during a single trip because they lived only four hours apart. We visited Karl's first. While there Karl asked his best friend from his growing up years to be his best man. We also spent a full day shopping for wedding rings. It was on this day that we really began to know each other. Karl likes to dance around a subject like a plane circling an airport waiting for the go ahead to land. I like to hit things head on. Thus by the end of the day, after returning to his father's house we had one of our first confrontations.

Karl was coming up the stairs and I was coming down thus we met about in the middle of this very skinny stairway to the loft. In my exasperation I said to Karl, "I don't know why we have even bothered to look at rings, you have not even asked me to marry you!" We passed each other and a few minutes later Karl came to me and asked me to marry him. I was not happy, why could he not address this issue straight up? Now after 19 years of marriage I have grown to really appreciate how my husband makes decision. He is very good about gathering information, getting different perspectives and then only after great consideration making a decision. He has also learn from me. Some times things need to be addressed head on and gathering more info will not really change the outcome. Together we complement one another and we've both grown as a husband and wife together.

So on August 20, 1988 Karl and I walked the isle. We became Mr & Mrs. Karl Thorne. As you may have read from my other post our marriage did not start without troubles and challenges. I had two moral failures, one before getting married and one just after getting married. God was still at work, changing me, reworking me, healing me. There was much more to do. It was satan's desire to see our marriage fail. It could have. It has stood the rocky beginning. Both of us were determined not allow divorce be an option although I don't think either of us knew how to prevent it. Thus we both continued forward even in the face of great pain from my choices. Now after the fact we can both see how God has used those difficulties in our lives to strengthen our relationship to Him and to one another. Those sinful choices were mine alone but I did not have to bear them alone. It says in 1st John 1:9 that if we confess our sins, that God is faithful to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. He has been faithful to do that.

Karl has been and continues to be a faithful husband. He is a devoted father to our children, loves God, is involved with our church, and is patient with me. We are both learning how to be Godly people. This family that God has blessed us with is where we get to practice daily being selfless and gain control over being selfish. I am thankful to God for Karl. Today I know that there is no other man that I could imagine being with. He has walked with me all these years. He has been patient to wait upon the Lord while the Lord worked changes in me. I am still learning how to love my husband as God has intended. I still have much to learn but I've also come so far. God is so good.

thanks for listening.

Friday, September 7, 2007

A Lifes Perspective

I know that I said I was going to write about how I met and married Karl but another theme has been rumbling around in my head. I will do that but I first need to write about my life's perspective.

Now that I've been out of the life style for even longer than I was in it, I do have a different perspective on this whole issue of gay, not gay, born that way, behaviorally that way, etc. It may help many of you come to grips with your struggle if you could see into my life and get some perspective. That is my hope is to give you some perspective. Also to perhaps redefine the discussion a bit. Gay or not gay, heterosexual or homosexual, really does not help us to know who we are. The issue is not those mentioned above but walking with Jesus or not walking with Jesus. If you ask me who I am I would tell you that I am a child of the King, and not only a child but a most precious daughter of the Most High God, an Ambassador for Christ in all ways and times. This is really who I know myself to be. It has taken me time to understand who I am but I am a ways down the path now and know that I will continue to be defined by my God.

Being defined by ones sex partner(s) is very limiting. Just like defining yourself based upon any physical characteristic is limiting, such as being a disabled person, or being an athlete, etc. When I was growing up it was all about Ethnicity. There was a great platform for a person who was black, who was German, who was Italian, etc. But for me, I am 5th or 6th generation American, no great history of cultural background. I had no great platform to draw from that told the world I am __________ and watch out cause I'm coming. I very much felt like a vanilla wafer. Just a plain jane. No black power, no rich Italian history with great food, lots of aunts and uncles, etc, no great brats cooked on the grill with wonderful sauerkraut or better yet corned beef on St. Patty's day with a little green beer. The luck of the Irish be with you now (said with that beautiful Irish accent).

It took God a while to get me connected with my real history. Rich and deep and steeped in knowing Him and His ways. Early in my marriage, because I grew up with out any religion, we were roman catholic in name only, I longed to know more of God and more about Him. I just couldn't read enough, fast enough of His word. It was such a foreign world to me. I did not grow up knowing any bible stories like many children do. I worked it out with my husband to take a year off and go to bible school. That year made many profound things happen in my life but for now the one that I want to share is who am I. I was no longer a gay woman, lesbian, etc. I was now married, working, and growing in Christ but still not knowing who I was. My studies had me reading and being taught much of the Old Testament. My husband loves to tell the story of how I didn't know that the Jews of today are the descendants of the Israelites mentioned all throughout the Old Testament. He thought that this was pretty common knowledge but I was totally unaware of this.

One day I was reading in the Old Testament and God opened my mind to the understanding of who the Jews are. They are His chosen people. Called out of the Ur of the Chaldean's to a land flowing with milk and honey. They were a people who were given the oracles of God, ladened with the promises of God, the temple service, and seeing the divine glory of God (Romans 9:4). What did this have to do with me. Well as I continued to study His Word and see His plan of salvation that He has had in place since He made Adam and Eve, God showed me how I fit into this wonderful plan. I was desired by Him, to be in relationship with Him. The Jews were given the plan of salvation but some of the parts were still hidden until Christ came. God's plan of salvation and blessing never stopped with the Jews but was always intended for all people everywhere. It says in Romans 10:9-12 ...that anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord (Jesus) will be saved. God connected me with my history, my rich culture, my purpose in life. I was no longer a vanilla cookie but a Child of His, loved and pursued long before I was ever knit together in the secret place in my mothers body.

All of this backdrop is important for you to see the details of what I mention below. These details of time incidents are best understood in the broader context of who I am.

1964-7 I have a distinct memory of being baby sat. While the sitter was there I longed to be in her arms and perticularly to open her sweater. I was very drawn to her but do not know why. I also remember dreaming about her as well. I don't know my exact age but this was in our first house so it must be prior to 1968.

1971 I have a distinct memory of longing to be held by my sisters girlfriends as I watched my sister interact with her girlfriends. I'm around 11 years old.

1970-1972 lots of inappropriate sexual contact with several boys (whom I always played sports with and just hung around with). Some of these boys were older, some the same age, and some a bit younger. Also during this time frame I was introduced to pornography books and read several of them and pieces of many others. I'm 10 - 12 years old

1973-74 Sexually abused by an extended family member. I'm 13-14 years old.

1974-78 I become sexually active with several boys. I needed to understand what this whole sex thing was about since my parents had not taught me anything about sex other than to not get pregnant. I very quickly learned that sex outside of relationship was of no value. I also learned that boys only wanted me for my body and could not meet any of my inner needs, nor did they want to. Also during this time my longings to have closer relationships with woman was growing but I did not know how to do this so I just struggled in silence. I also have a strong memory of a time where I really longed to be held by a particular woman gym teacher. I would volunteer for anything that she would want to demonstrate to the class so that she was giving me attention, either directly or indirectly. Also during this time there was another woman gym teacher who was very overweight and all my peers called her a lesbian. I didn't know what this meant but I knew it wasn't good.

1978-1981 I attended college these years and got heavily into drinking and drugs. For me my "rights of passage" into adulthood were: having my own liquor bar in my apartment, drinking coffee, and having a boyfriend whom I had sex with regularly (unprotected I might add).

1979-80 This is the year that I met my cousin Lewis as and adult gay man. The family all knew about him. We happened to have a family gathering in Franklin Indiana. Lewis and I went to a movie together near Indianapolis. Then he invited me to go to a bar for a little party life. I was game and we went. This was my first gay bar experience and it was from this event that I put the connections together in my head that what I must be feeling inside regarding woman is that I am a lesbian. Now this didn't happen immediately but by the time I graduated college, I knew that I was headed to the gay capital of the world, San Francisco. I knew that I could confirm my new identity and become a gay woman with all it's hopes and desires and promises. Even though I didn't believe this to be OK from a society standpoint, I had no moral teaching on why, if this meets my inner needs, it was wrong.

1981 Entered the gay life style lock, stock, and barrel. Had my first couple of sexual experiences with women. Very enticed by the freedom I felt to be fully understood, and set about to find my perfect mate.

1981-83 Met the first person that I have ever loved outside of my family. After being in relationship with her a short period of time, told her that I loved her. I had very strong emotional feelings for her. These were very new feelings, ones that I had never experienced with any other person including my family. This relationship did not work out over time. We could not meet each others needs, going to the bars and drinking and drugs were our main ways of spending time together. We also played softball together, again with lots of beer. I wasn't one to mess around if something didn't work and didn't seem to be able to be fixed, thus I ended our relationship and had her move out. During this time I also was an employee of Applied Materials. I was hired by them just out of college and that is how I got to San Jose. I worked at Applied my whole work life until 1993 when I became a full time stay at home mom with my first two boys. At no time did I ever compromise who I was at work with my social life. Work came first. I was continually being promoted every 1 - 2 years my whole time working at Applied.

1984-87 Met the woman that I talk about in "My Story"
With this woman, I'll call her Sally, I really believed that this was it. I had found my life partner. Little did I know that it would be through this woman and her belief in Jesus that would eventually lead me to Him as well. This was not my only exposure to Him. Before this woman would be in relationship with me I was with another woman and it was her family that loved on me even though I was in a sexual relationship with their daughter. A relationship that was not approved of, but rather than rejecting me, they invited me into their lives and made me a part of their family. They never hid the Truth from me, they answered my questions about God for me. I was very antagonistic towards this whole God stuff. It was very foreign to me. Never once did they return my anger or antagonism, they just answered my questions the best they could and loved me up. It was through these two social situations that Jesus revealed Himself to me. I did not get it yet but Jesus was in hot pursuit of me.

1984 By the end of 1984 my life was a disaster. Emotionally I was falling down a huge whole of probably depression although I was never diagnosed or even went to a doc. I just medicated myself with beer, liquor, and crank or cocaine. Food was also another area that I used to medicate myself. By this time in my life my athletic body was a bit pudgy as I was the heaviest I had ever been (160 - 170 on my 5'6" frame). I went home to WI in December of 1994. Sally would not get involved with me, yet continued to be my friend and mess with me sexually by enticing me with her feminine ways. I left on a flight for WI for two weeks. On that flight I read the Late Great Planet Earth. This was given to me by the other woman's family along with another book, More than a Carpenter. As I read the LGPE book it opened my mind to the possibility of there really being a God and that He was somehow involved in this world but did not change my perspective that I was fully in control of my life.

I was so depressed by the time that I got home that I spent a week on the couch with beer and snack food, gaining ever more weight. The second week I spent at a small family reunion on my Uncles farm. My aunt and uncle were walking with Jesus, their eldest daughter was home from bible college with her soon to be husband (graduating as a pastor). My other aunt and uncle were there who were evangelists sharing Jesus with anyone who would listen, and my other uncle was there who was also walking with Jesus. During this time I had every occasion to ask any question I wanted. For one week I was in this incubator as Jesus worked through my family to reveal Himself to me through them. I didn't understand this at the time. Then my uncle's oldest daughter comes to my room one night and hands me a book by Josh McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict. She challenged me to something, I don't even remember what her challenge was, just that finger pointing toward me and the word challenge. She left the book and I just thought, man you need some help.

Well God being God and knowing me like He does, He knew I could not just let that book lie there on the table, so I opened it and started reading. It didn't take me but about 50-70 pages to logically understand that to refuse Jesus is not logical or reasonable from an intellectual standpoint. Thus I moved from an intellectual position of not thinking one way or the other about God to knowing that I had no reasonable rational way to deny Him and His existence. Thus on New Years Eve I prayed that little prayer and became a Christian. Now part of my motivation was, if this God is so big and so powerful, then He could help me to have Sally become my life partner. So I left this little gathering of family a gay woman who could not deny God and by definition a Christian (even though I did not know what this really meant or how it would change my life.)

1985 - 87 Upon my return from my trip, I called Sally and set up a lunch apt. I wanted to share the news with her that I was now a Christian. Which previously was a major stumbling block in our being in relationship together. Sally also wanted to get together. When we sat down Sally was intent on talking first but I would not let her. I wanted her to know that I had made the decision to follow Jesus (even though I didn't really know what that meant, I knew that it would mean a lot to Sally). I shared my news and it really caught her off guard. You see Sally had come to lunch to tell me that we could not spend any time together any more because I wan not a Christian and my drinking and drugs were not a good influence on her, etc. So when I told her she went from being somewhat sad to being over joyed that we no did not need to stop being friends. I really had no idea what this choice would mean to her and within a short period of time (a few weeks) she gave herself completely to me and we joined our lives together, just as if we were married, money and all.

Over the course of the next few years we physically loved on each other, our sex life was great, our relationship was close and intimate. We spent almost all our time together as we worked together and played together. I did slow down on my drinking and stopped the drug activity all together. At the same time Jesus was still in hot pursuit of me. Sally showed me how to have a time of prayer and worship of Jesus. I didn't care as long as I was with her. She took me to my first Christian Concerts. I would watch her worship through the songs and just long to have that same relationship with Him. Our world was not perfect. There was tension in our relationship that we both chose to ignore and could usually circumvent some how though a sexual encounter.

During these two years together Jesus was also working on my heart. You can read more detail in "My Story" By then end of these two years we made plans to go to Hawaii. While there it became obvious that we were there for different reasons. Sally went and wanted us to get married. I went in great turmoil because I knew that Jesus was calling me out of the life style and into a fully devoted life to Him. I was heart broken but knew at the same time that to continue in this lesbian life was to deny Him and death. I also knew that to give up my lesbian life and follow Him completely was life. During these two years he healed my hate of my femininity and my fear of rejection. I chose Jesus over Sally. The absolute hardest choice I've ever made and yet so very clear.

1987 - 1988 We come home from Hawaii and separate our lives. Sally takes a job in the state of TX and moves away. I continue to grow in my relationship with Jesus attending church and going to bible studies and just begin to soak up who this God of mine really is and what does it mean in my life. Karl moves from Phoenix, AZ to the Silicon Valley to continue in his career. We already knew each other professionally. We begin doing things together, enjoy one an others company, share our dirty laundry with each other and get married on August 20, 1988. Now is that a birds eye overview.

1988-1990 I have a moral failure prior to getting married. Sally is in town on a business thing, we meet and the connection. The Holy Spirit is prompting me to minimize the time with her but once we are in the car together I push that aside and allow old feelings and lusts to well up inside me. I continue to deny the Holy Spirit and one thing leads to another and we get physically involved and I end up spending the weekend with her. The whole time the Holy Spirit was prompting me to leave until I actually get physically involved, then the promptings stop, even though I knew in my head that I was not going to go back to her, that life didn't work, I was not throwing out Jesus, but felt caught in a trap that I chose to walk into, one that was clearly marked, once in the trap I decided to get my physical pleasure out of it anyway. Then it was home and a full explanation to Karl. We went to our pastor to share the terrible news. He didn't know if he would marry us but my heart was fully repentant and I knew that to prevent this from happening again I could no longer trust myself to be around Sally alone.

Karl and I marry, life is improving since my moral failure with Sally. I'm being promoted at work into a marketing position. This was a big step for me. I was now a really player and decision maker. I went to my first big sales and marketing conference in of all places Hawaii. Karl is also coming to this conference but a bit later than me. I arrive and spent time on the Island one of the smalled islands to do some strategic planning for one of my accounts. I'm feeling really big inside. Flown on the companies dime, with all my expenses cover, spending time with other big wigs way beyond myself, just feeling very full of myself. Now for some time the Lord had been dealing with me about my drinking. You see, I didn't just have an occasional beer or two, I drank to get drunk or didn't drink at all. The only problem was I drank all the time. I just managed it enough to not interfere with work. Well right away the Lord begins leading me not to drink at all and I get into this big head justification with Him that I can drink, just a beer or two, and I'll be fine. So I'm on my way to the pool and sit down with the other sales people and with in a moment there is a nice frosty drink sitting there for me. I didn't even order it. I don't know who did. The Lord tries one more time to say to me resist but I totally refuse Him and sip away. Once that drink touched my lips it was all over. I'm headed for a very big drunk.

My second moral failure. With in a short perioned of time I've now had 3-4 drinks and our group is headed to dinner. We go to dinner and when I arrived several folks are already seated. There is a spot for me to sit, right next to one of my favorite salesman. I had worked on several deals with him and he really treated me with respect. He was married and just had his first baby. He always had new pics and stories whenever he came to the corporate office. I really felt accepted by him. Well with dinner the drinking continues, by now I'm very drunk, but used to drinking lots, so I'm holding my own. We all go back to the hotel and head for the hot tubs. More alcohal. Then it's up to one the the sales folks room to continue the party. More drinking. Finanly I'm done, I say good bye and head to my room. My favorite sales guy escorts me to my room and I'm feeling really great. All this attention, wow. We get to my room and takes my key and opens my door. Then next minute we step inside and there is the moment. He looks at me and I know that he wants me. Man I want to be wanted, even with all the booze, I thought to my self, I not going to refuse this moment of being so wanted even though I know that I will truly regret this moment the next day and that I may have just lost my marriage to Karl. We get involved sexually, it was lousy sex, he finally leaves and I sleep for maybe one hour and it's up for the next round of meetings. I go tothe meetings and leave a few hours into them. I'm so hungover I cannot even think. I didn't care what happened to me. I woke up feeling the most wretched I've ever felt in my life. You see, I had always prided myself on having integrity. That meant that I was never with two people at the same time. So if another did cross my path that I wanted, I would just stop one relationship and start another. God showed me in this moment that not only did I not get what I was chasing after but I also did not have any integrity at all.

Well Karl arrived and we spent the rest of the conference together. I knew that I had to tell him the truth, even though this sales guy tried to convince me otherwise. I knew that if there was any chance of salvaging my marriage it would only happen if I was truthful. Karl had to head for Korea immediately from the conference so I purposed in my heart to share with him what happened upon his return. He arrives home, is crushed by the news, takes the weekend to make a decision, and commits to working on the marriage. We again get into counciling with our pastor and God works a miracle in my life and marriage.

1991 God gives us our first born son, Quinton Edward.

1993 God gives us our second born son, Julian Oliver, and I quit work and become a stay at home mom. Now that I'm home and not distracted with working, caring for the children, and keeping the house up, I have much more time to myself. God begins helping me to meet and be with other moms in the church. I take risks in sharing my past with others in the church while at the same time I am struggling daily with my past. Longings hit me out of the blue, I have fears and feelings of worhtlessness not being connected to a big job, just cleaning house, doing laundry, etc. I am committed to my children and raising them well. I'm reading all kinds of books on parenting. God brgins to me two women, whom I affectionately refer to as my "mother mentors." God continues to love on me, teach me, lead me, and comfort me.

1992-1997 I become the chidren's nursery coordinator. This goes well and the Chidren's Minsitry Staff Leader quits to work in a Christian school. No one on the children's committee that I'm on wants to replace her as a lay leader so I take up the role, someone had to do it. I also had become the leader for the parent participation play group that met at the church twice a week. Not that I really knew anything about children but God was teaching me through the reading of His word and practical help books and other moms whoe were a bit ahead of me.

1997 God gives us our 3rd born son, Connor Andrew.

1994 I go to a conference on being in leadship and being the head of a ministy and get exposed to the idea that God uses people in ways that He has gifted them. I had no heart for children's ministry. I was responding to the fact that no one else was willing and some one had to do it. God used this time in my life to teach me many things, mostly that I can always trust in Him, regardlesss of the circumstances. During this seminar I go to a workship about vision. God calls people into different places for different season. I did not have a vision for chidren's ministry and actually desired to be on the Women's Minsitry Team. I cannot take the children's ministry any further without a vision thus I sense God's leading to step down. During the next few months I'm really struggling because I know the Lord wants me to step down but who will take it up. I feel fully responsible for the chidren's ministry. How can He not bring a leader first so I can hand off this ministry and not have any lags or problems. God continues to lead me to step down and I eventually do but just prior to finishing all my commitments and letter it go God speaks to me.

I'm in my quiet time reading in 2 Kings 20. I'm reading about King Hezekiah and he has just been told by the prophet Isaiah that God was going to end his life. The kings prays and weeps before the Lord and asks Him to extend his life. God sends Isaiah immediately back to the king and says through Isaiah, "I have heard your prayers and seen your tears, I will heal you (2 Kings 20:5)" When I read those words, it was like they were spoke to me right through my body. Not audibly but more like being at a concert and being right in front of the speakers and you can feel the music go right through your body. But not just limited to this physical feeling but beyond it. Like the sound of many rushing waters where all of your senses are bing touched. I looked around the room to see who had spoken those words to me. There was no one. I sat there almost in a state of shock. Why would God say this to me. What did this have to do with my struggle of leaving the children's ministry. So many questions and no answers. What was going on, I didn't know. All I did know is that God spoke those words to me in a very powerful way.

1997 = 2000 Healing from the fear of Abandment Life moves on. I leave childrens' ministry. I'm able to begin participating in the Womens' ministry. My children are growing. My husband is working hard and making good money. We are learning how to live a life in Jesus. Nothing comes of the words that Jesus spoke to me on that morning. I'm discipking other women one on one and seeing their lives changed. God is good. I'm continuing to find freedom from my same sex issues. Struggling less and less and living life more and more before Him. Being an intellectual person I spend a lot of time in my head, thinking about things, pondering things, reading, learning, etc. I had a few question rumbling around in my head that I hae never gotten answers to regarding same sex attractions. I had some good contacts so I called Love In Action to see if I could find answers to my questions. I can't even remember the questions that I had. I called and was passed off to a lady councilor for LIA. I spoke with her for a few minutes and she said that I could have a phone counciling session if I wanted one. I didn't want one, just some answers, but if I needed to set up this appointment I would to get my asnswers. I call back at the appointed time. I don't even remember what propmted her to ask me if I had any mmemories. I recounted a memroy I have from when I was 3 ears old. I know that I was 3 because my older sister was going to her 1st day of K which would have made her 5. I am two years younger. I descirbe for this counclior my memory. I'm standing on the outside of my mother's legs while MB is standing between my moms legs while she brushes MB hair. I'm not happy with this situcation as I wanted to be the one getting the attention from my mother. Now I had told this dream before to others without any feelings connected to this memory. You know when you are with a group of people talking about random things and you say what is your earliest memory and you share those. Well this time as I was recounting this memory for this councilor I was filled with anger and rejection. I had strong feelings of being on the outside while watching MB be on the insdie. Not that MB stole my place but that she had a place that I didn't have, my mothers attention. This moment opened up a whole new life situation for me that I had absolutely no control over. I felt like God had unzipped me during that counciling call. This was the beginning of the longest trial that I have ever had with God that I ended up making the right choices in and the end result was receiving healing from the fear of abandonment. This trial lasted almost two years. For those two years it was like a battle for my life. If I chose wrong it meant getting locked back into the life style. Choosing right meant a new freedom and closer relationship with God and my husband. I will share the fulness of this story in another blog but the end of this trail gave me great freedom and closer realtionship with Him.

2000 - God moves us from CA to MT and gives us our 4th born son Jethro Emmerson.

2004 God gives us the biggest surprise of all our 5th born child, our daughter, and my special gift of further healing, Maylah Rose.

2004-Present. God continues to work and move in my life. I am totally committed to drawing near to Him. I've had opportunities to go into the local high schools and share from my life God's healing and my walk away from the gay life style. My children are growing and doing well. My two oldest know of my background and love me all the same. It has been a long journey but I have found my place in God's community and workings. I continue to be molded by Him for Him. To give you a better persepctive on my place of healings let me share one more little snip it. In my early relationship with my husband, Karl, I would always measure my realtionship with him by my feelings of connection that I had with my women lovers. I felt so emotionally connected to them. I would often wonder if I would ever feel stronger for Karl then I did for these women. Now all these years later, with all the healing, learning, and growing that I've done in Christ, I no longer measure my currently married relationship by my past same sex relationships. In fact then connection that I have with Karl is so much fuller and deeper than I ever could have imagined. In fact I never could have imagined it at all. You cannot know the depth and strength and beauty of a relationship by reading a book but by actually livng it out. It says in the bible that God created them male and female. He told them to go and multiply and subdue the earth. He set in place His system of family by creating the institution of marriage. He said through Adam,

"This is now bone of my bone
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called 'woman,
for she was taken out of man."

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. Genesis 2:23-25.

I'm in the process of becoming one flesh with my husband. I've not totally arrived yet but I can tell you that I no longer measure my relationship with Karl by my past woman lovers but by the very Words of God above.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

In the beginning - A Daily Struggle

It's 2 am in the morning and I am not able to sleep. The kids have just started school for this year and our lives are very full. My biggest struggle these days is getting enough sleep. By the time we get the boys home from soccer practice, youth group, or whatever it's already 9 pm and that doesn't leave much time to get things ready for the next days adventures. I try to get up at 5 am to have my time with Jesus, get breakfast, and then wake the kids. I've always been an early riser but at my age I just don't survive well on 6-7 hours of sleep per night.

After I told Jesus that I would trust Him and follow Him out of the life style I had no idea what that would look or feel like, or be like. I just knew that He meant real life to me. Read "My Story" to get more in site into my coming to that decision. I did ask Jesus to do one thing for me and that was to bring me a husband and to teach me how to love and trust him as well. As for the details of how that all came about, it will have to be another blog update.

I remember in the early days. I was already married and had just started having children. As Karl and I lived and worked in the same area that I had lived as a lesbian I was continually being challenged. Every time we would go to a place that I had been to as a lesbian it would begin in me a struggle. Old memories, old feelings, and old longings would come rushing into my mind. These times would always side track me and what Karl and I were doing and begin to rob me of the new memories that we were creating together. The first couple of times this happened I didn't know what to do so I struggle alone. After a time I decided to share my struggles with Karl. He would listen to me as I would share with him that particular struggle and then we would pray about it. It didn't take but the first time talking and praying with Karl to discover that this was a part of God's plan for me to help me become released from my past. Every time I struggled and shared this with Karl and then prayed I would be immediately released. No more struggle. No more begin blind sided by the past. No more getting lost in my thought life and missing this new moment with my husband and children.

This brings to mind a scripture. James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

The other struggle that I had in the beginning that was more like moment by moment rather than just daily. When you are in the life style, everything is focused upon sex, you develop an very vivid fantasy life where all your thoughts are constantly imagining sexual things. This would go on all the time. Well when you come out of the life style, this fantasy life that you have developed also steals your life from you. Many different things would trigger this but the one that triggered me frequently was the TV commercials. Like a toothpaste commercial where there would be a woman with a beautiful smile. Those would trigger this thought life to begin. I wouldn't be able to think of anything else.

I don't remember how I learned how to battle this. I just knew that every time my fantasy life was triggered, the Holy Spirit gave me a choice. Almost like He held out two choices to me. If I chose to remain in the fantasy life then I would just continue to struggle. If I chose Him, asked for forgiveness and cleansing, I would receive immediate relief. The fantasy life would no longer control me and I could be present with my husband and children.

This also brings to mind a scripture. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The two struggles mentioned above happened all the time in the first several years after walking away from the life style. In fact I can remember one occasion. I was in my living room and I had two children and the battle was intense and I was so so tired of always having to have this battle and I can remember asking the Lord, how long must this go on? When will I be free from this constant onslaught. I receive no answer at that time from the Lord. I just faithfully continued to choose Him rather than my past life.

Then one day my husband and I were in a computer warehouse store looking for some things. We had the two boys with us. Karl was looking for one thing and had both boys and I was looking for something else and separated from him to go to another section to find it. I walked down an isle and turned a corner and there, staring me in the face, was the swimsuit addition for sports illustrate mag. This was a profound moment. Normally I would immediately be triggered into a huge fantasy life, but on this day I was actually repulsed by the picture. This was not a choice but a reaction to the poster. I was actually reacting in a normal way. Not that the poster made me throw up or anything but that I didn't want my two young boys to be exposed to the scantally clad woman with all her parts on display. This was not why we were in a computer store. Well, I was still in my reaction state when the Lord said to me. See my daughter, you are finally free from this constant daily struggle of fantasy life. I almost ran up and down the isles of the store and shouted for joy. I was so overjoyed in that moment. I had chosen Him all those many days, even when I was weary from the battle, even though much of me felt that I would never gain freedom. And here it was. I was free. Now does this mean that I've never had any struggles ever again. No but they no longer plagued me daily. In fact today in 2007 I rarely ever have a struggle, I have no fantasy lesbian sexual life. My thought life, when it is sexual is connected to my husband. Even my dreams, when they are sexual in nature, are connected to my husband. This brings to mind another scripture.

Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual[a] act of worship. 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.

This is what God was doing from the very beginning. He was renewing my mind. He was giving me tools to fight spiritually the unseen part of this battle for freedom in Him. Everything that we do has a spiritual component. In fact, all people are body, soul, and spirit. That is how God made us. In a life apart from God we not only will focus on the body first but will refuse the spirit altogether. In order to grow in the Lord we must see that it is our Spirit life that must be given the highest priority. Not that the soul and body are not important, they are. We must keep the order of priority right. Spirit is first and foremost and that is what we are doing as we read the Word of God, pray, worship, etc. The soul is next and the body is the lowest priority. Even the word of God says not to ignore the body for we are God's dwelling place.

1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

Next up will be, How did I come to marry Karl and what does that have to do with anything.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

God is so Amazing

I had a whole other topic for today but at around 3 am I awoke and so did my husband. As we talked he shared with me that he had found something in his classroom at church that I would be very interested in. He found a "little watchman." I was totally amazed. Even now, I am beside myself, thinking about how much Jesus loves me, knows my needs, and chooses to meet them, even when I have not specifically asked Him to. You may be wondering what has any of this got to do with God and my needs. Read on.

I am the mother of five children. Four boys and one girl. My little Maylah being the youngest. All children come from two parents but believe me they are all very different people. They all go through and grow through developmental stages at different rates and different times. One stage that I have been most challenged by is the night time training of making it dry in undies. This was a huge challenge with my oldest son. By the age of 7 we were getting him up at 11 pm to go potty. Then he would still pee through a large pull up and wet the sheets. I didn't know what to do. Withholding water, etc didn't work. Then I found out about a private company who worked with children to train them to do what they have not naturally learned themselves. This program was very expensive and involved my son sleeping on this pad that was connected to this very loud alarm, called the little watchman. The whole point of the program was to train my son to recognize his need to go potty by waking him up every time he began to wet. This program took us about 3 months and felt like I had a new born again. Every time my son wet, he had to get up, turn off the watchman, go to the bathroom, splash his face with water, finishing going potty, go back to his room, change the pillowcase on the pee pad so the alarm would not ring, change into a new dry t shirt and go back to bed. So every night, not only did Quinton get up but so did I. Finally he began to learn the signal that was telling him he needed to get up and go potty. By the end of the 3rd month he was mostly now able to do that. We quit the program and gave back the little watchman but kept the pee pad.

Next comes son number 2. He trained on his own while I was working with son number one. From the age of 2 my second son has been fully night trained and has never had one accident. Next was my 3rd son. He was yet another challenge. He used to wake up in the middle of the night with night terrors and often times would also wet himself. I don't know if they were connected but we spent about 1-2 years climbing up to his bunk bed and holding, consoling, and praying for him. He never remembered any of this the next day. Some times he would even begin to sleep walk. But by the age of four he also was fully trained and the night time terrors were also gone.

Here we are now with my fourth son. He just turned 7 and is still wearing and wetting pullups. We've again tried all the usual methods like withholding water, getting him up by setting his clock alarm, etc. Again none of this is working. I've been talking with my husband about how we are going to solve this problem. Even though he pulls all his wet bed clothes off his bed and gets them into the laundry, this is getting old for us and for him. I had even just mentioned to my husband a few days again that perhaps I would pay my friends son, who is a techy, to build be a device that I could connect to the old pee pad that I had used with my oldest son. I have the capability to do so my self, being the technical woman that God has made me, but I no longer have the time or the desire to do so.

So when Karl comes home from church, with a little watchman, that he found in his room that he teaches Royal Rangers in, a room that he has used for the last 3 years but one that is not solely dedicated to him, a room that is used by many others at different times for different purposes, I am totally amazed. How could this little watchman have gotten into this room and forgotten about? For one thing, when you no longer needed the program for your child the company took the watchman back and left you with the pee pad only. The program will not work without the watchman.

What has any of this got to do with coming out of the life style? Well if my God is big enough to know not only my needs but also the needs of my children and provide for me a "little watchman" so that I can help my youngest son get command over his night time issues He is a big enough God to work in your life to give you full freedom to come out of the life style. I'm not talking about helping you to choose a different behavior even though that is your part of the process. Jesus is big enough to meet you in those secret places of hurt, in those places where you may have believe a lie about yourself, etc. Jesus knows you, in fact He is pursuing you even now. He knows best how to meet your needs and when to meet them. He will ask you to Trust Him and follow Him. Your part is to do just that, Trust Him and follow Him. You will never regret it and will be deeply blessed in doing so.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:6-7)

1And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:19)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Random Thoughts

I've been musing lately about things from my past. The things that God has done for me or lead me through that have been a great benefit to me. One thing that stands out is how God has helped me to relate to both sexes in a beneficial way. The relearning, or perhaps, new learning that has been coming to mind most is how Jesus gave me a safe environment to learn how to have beneficial relationships with women.

I had been attending Green Valley Christian Church and as God lead me out of the life style and into a married relationship, He gave me my vary own incubator to practice being in same sex relationships that were right and a glory to Him. I knew how to view women as an object of meeting my lusts and desires, wants and needs. I also knew how to hate women whom I viewed as weak based upon my own weaknesses and view of my own femininity. Here God placed me smack dab in the middle of a little church with wonderful Godly women.

Just like learning a new sport you have to practice to get good at it. I was in twice a week practices and in some weeks more often. Green Valley had a group of woman that anyone would aspire to spend time with. These were Godly women whom loved God, walked with Him daily, and desired to serve Him. As I shared my story and started to get to know some of these women God allowed me some closer more intimate relationships with a few of them.

For me to be in this environment was very intimidating. I did not know how to give and take in a relationship with women. I didn't understand the blessings that same sex relationships that God intended for us. All I knew is, if I opened myself up to these woman, knowing that what I knew how to do best was un-Godly, I could be taken over by old patterns of behavior and put me and any one of these women in a compromising situation. I did not want that. I just wanted it to all be OK. God did too, but He had some things for me to learn, thus the incubator.

If you knew me at all you would know that I'm a woman who is serious about everything. I tend to live in my head and to focus on achieving an objective in front of me is a natural. Although sometimes I cannot see the forest through the trees. Thus my approach in relating to a few of these Godly women was very straight forward. I told them that I wanted to pursue a relationship with them but needed to be sure that they did not struggle, at all, with same sex attractions. I told them that I could not yet trust myself in our relationship and in fact may try to kiss them at some point. I needed to know that they would help me learn to relate properly and not take advantage of my weaknesses. Now mind you, I did not say this to every single woman that I was in contact with. Only those few that I knew were in a place that I wanted to get to with Jesus. Only those few that I felt safe enough to talk to so openly. Only those few whom I knew I already had some what of an attraction to that could lead to an un-Godly relationship.

Thus over the next few years I had the opportunity and privilege to be with these Godly women. To work on committees with them. To learn how to raise my children with them. To learn how to be married. To meet with them for tea, coffee, and the like. To spend time with them learning God's Holy Word (which is my saving grace even today). To learn to pray with them for myself and others, and the list goes on. These women invited me into their lives and allowed me the opportunity to practice relating to them in a way that glorifies God. I did make mistakes and they continued to love me. What a blessing it has been. To bring this little musing to an end without taking up much more space on this website. I'll summarize the gained learning from this incubator experience. I am now able to see others, particularly women, as gifts from God. All who are given a treasure of gifts and talents by Him. Some women you need to dig a bit to begin to see the wonder of who they are. It is always worth it to dig for you will be blessed by the diamond inside of that rough exterior. Not all women hide who they are. Some are resting in Christ and you can see them immediately. These are those who place their trust in Him and serve Him with their whole heart.

To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy--to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forever. Amen (Jude 24 & 25)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Lessons from the 5th Wheel

In a life with Jesus Christ, nothing is wasted. Your mistakes, frustrations, failures, joys, and successes all are used by Him to conform you more to His image. Not sure what I'm talking about, read on!

My husband and I were given a 5th wheel, 35 feet long and it sleeps 8, which is one more than we have unless you count the dog. The only push was the 5th wheel was sitting in the yard of a house located in Michagan. We thought well the price of gas was more than worth it to get a free traveling motel. We already had the truck that could pull it and it is way better than tent camping with a two year old.

Knowing that in a matter of days we would have that 5th wheel back in Montana we made plans with some friends in CA to meet in OR to reconnect. The site was booked, the dates were set, all we needed to do was to get that 5th wheel here and get it packed for a weeks worth of fun.

I pulled out on a Monday and drove straight thru to WI to visit my Sister MB. My sons Julian, and Jethro were with me as well as my little Maylah girl. We arrived 25 hrs later and MB's pool was ready for use. A few days later I header over to MI to pick up the 5th wheel. My dad came along for the ride. I really had him come along in case there was some problem, I knew that he could fix it.

We arrived at the location of the 5th wheel with no troubles, met the current owners, discussed the best way to hook up and back this beast out of their back yard and get it on the highway. The hookup went smoothly and a little back and forth and we were out of the back yead and ready for our return trip.

Now I have never pulled a 5th wheel, in fact, I've never done anything with a 5th wheel except step inside a few that my friends have owned. Thus I was niavely believeing that all was well and good with this one. Little did I know that a 22 year old 5th wheel does not really travel well.

We arrived back in WI with little trouble. My children then cleaned out the 5th wheel from top to bottom. The following Monday we hooked up and headed for Montana. After a brief visit in Winona MN we head across the US. The winds were up strong that day. I had cracked the upper windows to let the inside of the 5th wheel air out. We happend to stop for gas and the sun was shining just right and I notice the screan moving in the breeze. Not a problem except that I shouldn't have seen the screen behind the windows. When I look a bit closer, I realize that the windows were completely gone. The strong wiinds had pulled them right out of their hardware and sent them flying , somewhere.

Oh well, I thought to myself. I just hope that it doesn't rain. As I continued down the rode I notice that the front side panel doors were not shut and were flapping in the wind. I pulled off at the next exit and discovered that the latches did not work. I pulled some bungies out and bungied the doors closed but with the bungy in the way they no longer sat flush and with the continued wind whipping them around began to rip apart such that the thin metal cover actually flew away from both panels leaving them in very poor condition.

We continued on anyway. We were almost home and headed thru Butte. We had just gone thru the city when the truck no longer had any power to pull and I coasted to the side of the road and called AAA. My transmission was dusted. I called my husband from the Tow shop, rented a car and drove home. We went back 5 days later to pick up the truck and 5th wheel hoping for no more delays. We knew that the 5th wheel needed new tires so we pulled straight into the local tire shop to have them put on. They told us that the main shock and spring on the left side was broken and wondered how we had ever made it from MI to here without major problems. So we paid for the new tires and a new main spring.

We got home, cleaned up a bit more, and loaded the 5th wheel for our trip. The trip was great and the time with old friends was remarkable. Our friends who are avid 5th wheelers showed us how to get the fridge and hot water heater running. We discovered that our sanitation tube was in need of replacement and the back door knob quit working. We hung a cloths line over the back door since we couldn't open it any way and spent a great week of fellowship with dear friends.

All things must come to and end so we packed up and headed back home. We did take a detore to see some more friends who lived in ID. After two days we were ready to head home. Again we packed things up and headed home.

We made it home with weary eyes but did so safely. The next day we moved the truck and 5th wheel to the side of the yard and left it until Wednesday. Wednesday evening my husband said he was going to unhook and block the 5th wheel as he needed the truck for work the next day. A few minutes later my oldest son came in and said that the pins that hold the jack to the crank had sheared off and that dad needed my help. It was quite the problem but with Karl's quick mind he had a solution. We used his truck jack to get the truck unhitched. The problem is that the 5th wheel's jack is in complete need of repair.

And the story will go on. What has this to do with coming out of the life style? Plenty. The challenges that we have faced with this 5th wheel that was supposed to be free has cost us more than we knew. When you give your life to Jesus you may think that all has been handeled and that you will never have a same sex attraction again. This could not be any farther from the truth.

In my life as a believer, I have seen a couple of people touched radically by God and healed and changed of all things in a moment. But more commonly, I've seen God lead the believer thru a path that takes them thru valleys and mountains, trials and successes, as He draws that believer nearer to Himself. This has been the path that He has taken me on. It is about the process as well as the end result, a changed life that fully glorifies Him. So like the 5th wheel, there may still be some things that need addressing. I don't worry about that, I trust in Him and know that He will do in me what is good and perfect when the time is right, His time. To Him be the glory. Amen.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Most Gays Are ?

OK, I've had my little rant about my head musings from all the reading that I do. If you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender and read my last blog you may be a bit put off. That is certainly not my intent so let me take a moment to express who I believe most gays are.

Most gays are regular folks, like you or I, trying to make it in this world and find their place and some one to share it with. Most gays are harding working folks who love to do a good job, who get to work on time, and who pay their taxes. Most gays are trying to connect with others of common interests and do something to better themselves.

My purpose in having this blog is not to be politically correct, not to be politically active, not to be right or wrong. My purpose in having this blog is to be transparent, to allow others to see into my life and perhaps benefit from what they see. I never set out to be gay and I never set out to then be straight. I discovered that I had strong feelings for those of the same sex and didn't know what to do with it. I wandered around until I put my feelings together with what the world said I was, gay, actually lesbian. I moved into that life style. While in the life style I also came face to face with Jesus. He revealed Himself to me in a way that I could relate to. He asked me to trust Him, and I did. I didn't pursue Him, He pursued me. After two years of being gay and being in a relationship with Jesus, He asked me to trust Him enought to follow Him out of the life style, and I did. So, here I am today, married and five children later, loving and trusting Jesus for every aspect of my life. Am I perfect at trusting Him, no. Am I perfect in my obedience to Him, no. Does He continue to love me, unconditionally, yes. Does He continue to pursue me to draw even nearer to Him, yes. So the purpose of my blog is to let you see into my life that you may benefit and see Him as well. I'm not totally sure how to do that. I will make mistakes. I will say some things that will probably upset you, forgive me. Thanks for reading.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen (Eph 3:20-21).

Friday, July 13, 2007

Can you reconcile this?

I've been reading e articles, news, mags, and TV regarding this Homosexual issue. I just can't seem to reconcile the gay communities public media desire to be viewed as wholesome and normal with the public displays put forth in many communities. Am I the only one having this problem?

Think about it. They have said, they lead normal lives and yet the most public display of who they are is the "Gay Pride Parade" held in most large cities. Have you ever seen one of these parades? It is sex on wheels. How can I take the gay community seriously when even in Jerusalem they are forcing the government to have this parade to demonstrate who they are? What is wholesome about this parade? What is nurturing about this parade? What in this parade can help me to see gays as "normal." Why doesn't the gay community have another event that is substantially larger than does demonstrate them as wholesome and normal?

I also think about the push to make public the advancements to our life and culture from gay people. They are always pushing for a Gay Awareness Day, week, or month. Let's see, hmmmmm, What hospital has the gay community started, what food relief effort have they created, what community support shelter have they opened for battered woman or abused and neglected children, etc. This just causes me to wonder what societal help have they, as a community, been?

Then there is this whole idea of gay marriage. You would think that in those places of the world where there is gay marriage that gay people would be flooding the courts to get married, and yet this does not happen. In fact, once the intial wave gets married, the rate of marriage drops off considerably. Sweden has had gay marriage since 1985 and the gay marriage rate is so small it is barely measurable. Even with the small numbers you would think that those that do get married make sure it is a strong commitment and yet, the divorce rate for gays in Sweden is 2-3 times higher than the straight divorce rate. Just kind of makes me wonder why gay marriage is sought after so forcefully and then doesn't result in huge numbers of gays getting married. I just can't reconcile this issue either.

Doesn't make sense to me, but perhaps I'm slow to understand. I'll keep pondering it.

Friday, April 27, 2007

My Story

“There is hope for change and healing available.”

I was born the 2nd of 6 daughters to Fred and Maureen Ryker in the year 1960. My favorite thing to do in life was to play outside. I grew up a tomboy. My mother said that I was climbing trees before I could actually walk. As I grew, my dad taught me how to play football, baseball, and basketball. When we took our family vacations during summer break, I was my Dad’s fishing partner.

I remember growing up I did not really fit in. I was a girl but only wanted to do boy things. Even though playing with the boys was fun, I wasn’t a boy. I just wanted to be tough like them. I didn’t know why, it just seemed to make sense to me. So I played sports with the boys and stayed away from the girls unless there was a fast game of jump rope tag going on. As for having girl friends, I didn’t have any, and didn’t really want any. I wasn’t interested in playing dolls or things like that.

Growing up in a world of boys exposed me to my sexuality earlier than was proper. There were many occasions where I was put in compromising situations due to a lack of parental supervision. I tried to ignore these moments as best I could, so that I could continue having fun playing with the boys out on the ball field. Little did I know how these inappropriate experiences impacted what I believed about myself and about life. One thing that I did decide is that being feminine was a weakness, one that I did not want. So I went about doing everything I could to make myself strong. I also minimized everything about me that was feminine.

In my early teens I was sexually abused by an extended family member. By the age of 15 I knew that there was something different about me. I also knew that boys were to be competed against and not to be trusted. I longed for a place where I was known and accepted for who I was that was also a place where I would not be taken advantage of. To help me cope with the all of these things swirling around inside me I began to drinking alcohol.

I graduated H.S in 1978 and then attended DeVry Institute of Technology, in Chicago, and there began to explore the idea of my being different with the concept of being gay. In the early 80’s the issue of homosexuality was still very much on the fringe of society. It was not discussed at all in the High School’s or College’s. As I turned 19 I had the chance to get together with my older cousin, Lewis. I new him fairly well because every summer his family visited our home for a few days. We met at a family gathering in Franklin Indiana. After seeing a movie together, he asked me to join him for a little party life in Indianapolis. Thus I experienced my first gay bar. That experience with my cousin Lewis made a profound impact upon me. It was from that experience that I decided that I must be is gay. Although during my growing years I never wanted to play with the girls, I was drawn to them. I can remember times, growing up, watching my older sister with her girlfriends and think to myself, I just wish she (my sisters girlfriend) would just hold me. So from that experience, with my cousin, I knew that I needed to explore the idea of me being a lesbian.

In 1981 I graduated with honors with an Engineering Degree. I was headed for my first professional job with a company called Applied Materials located in San Jose, CA, just minutes away from San Francisco. San Francisco was known at that time as the “Gay Capital of the World.” I knew that I could finally develop my new found sexuality.

As soon as I was settled in San Jose I jumped right into the life style. I found others who were gay, located where the gay bars were, and began pursuing a life partner. After making some friends, and many discussions, it became clear to me that “I must have been born gay.” In early 1983 after several girlfriends I was a very discouraged that I hadn’t found my life partner. Then I met Sally (not her real name). Sally was amazing. I was completely taken by her. Sally was beautiful, out going, charismatic, and feminine. The only problem was that she was a Christian and believed that same sex relationships were morally wrong.

We spent much time together, although she was attracted to me could not get involved with me. My life became consumed by her, but we were stuck. That Christmas I went home to WI for two weeks in a very depressed state. The 2nd of those weeks was spent with a small gathering of my extended family, all who were practicing believing Christians. I had the opportunity to ask all the questions that I had about God. They answered my questions the best they could. They told me how much God loves me and desires to be in a relationship with me. They said that my past wrong choices prevented me from being in relationship with God. Then they told me about Jesus, how He died on the cross for me, paying the price for my wrong choices. He was buried and on the 3rd day rose again. They told me I could be reconciled to God by accepting Jesus’ death on the cross on my behalf. .By the end of that week I could no longer logically deny Jesus and I accepted Him as my Lord and Savior. I didn’t understand the fullness of my faith decision and the changes that lay ahead. I did share my faith decision with my family but they never new that I was gay. I left still gay and a brand new Christian. I believed that I could go back to CA and show my friend Sally that you could be both gay and Christian.

Upon returning to CA, I met with Sally for lunch. I shared with her that I became a Christian over the holiday. She was overjoyed, gave in to her same sex attraction to me, and we went about bringing our lives and households together. Thinking that I had finally found my life partner I wanted my immediate family to know about me and my new life. I contacted them and shared the good news. This news was not well received. The warm reception that I was hoping for from them did not materialize.

Over the next two years, as Sally and I continued to be together, things began changing inside of me. God was working upon my heart. The first thing He did was to show me that I was loveable just the way He had created me. There was nothing about me that was not acceptable to him: my hair, my height, my personality, my skin color, and most importantly my femininity. Everything about me was good and loved, by Him.

The 2nd thing He did was to take away my fear of rejection. I couldn’t see it at the time but everything that I did was skewed by this inner fear of rejection. I couldn’t talk to anyone unless I had a specific reason to do so. Thus I was very isolated. My drinking helped to ease that inner fear but it was always there. As God continued to teach me how to love myself and as I learned how to live without the fear of rejection I began to change in how I viewed myself and the world around me. Toward the end of the second year with Sally, we made arrangements to go to Hawaii together. Upon arriving in Hawaii we both noticed that there was a considerable amount of tension between us. You see, Sally wanted us to get married and I knew that I needed to end our relationship. Jesus was asking me to choose which life I wanted more. A life with Him, and continued growth and healing, or a life with Sally. This was the hardest choice I’ve ever made. I picked Jesus over Sally.

Upon returning home, Sally found a new job in another state and we separated our lives. I did ask Jesus one thing before separating from Sally. I was desperately afraid of being alone would He please bring to me a husband and teach me how to love and trust him. He did, and on August 20, 1988 I became Mrs. Karl Thorne. I’ve been successfully married for over 17 years, I am the proud mother of four beautiful boys and one beautiful girl. Of course there is much more to my story. God did not change my same sex desires overnight. But I can confidently say, that today I stand before you with no confusion about who I am and what God has done in my life.

I know that the issue of same sex attraction or homosexuality is very controversial. I know that many of you may even believe that people are born “gay.” I would like to challenge that view. I believe we are born heterosexual and factors in our lives can cause us to make choices that can lead us into a gay life.

I want to take one more moment of your time to share another story from my past that will help you to see why people can believe that they are “born gay.” When I was just a baby my mother was pregnant with my sister Cindy. This pregnancy was very difficult and my mother could not care for me or my older sister. She sent me to a relative’s home for 3 months. So from the tender age of 6 months to 9 months I was in a strange place with strange people. When I was brought home my mothers says that I would not go to her but only to my father. I have no personal memory of this event happening in my life and only know about it because my mother shared these things with me.

What I do know is that I grew up with a fear of rejection, not loving myself as created, and with a fear of abandonment. I don’t have time to share with you the circumstances surrounding the healing of my fear of abandonment but it is the next issue that God has healed in my life. Is it so hard to believe that this event, so early in my life could effect me so much, without any conscious memory? How does a 6 month old child deal with the separation from her mother and her father and everything she knows for such a long period time?

I am not alone in receiving hope, being changed, and being healed. My friend Sally is now also happily married with a child of her own. There are many others. I have here two binders; one with stories of women and the other with stories of men who have also made this dramatic change out of the gay life and back to a straight life.

My whole purpose for being here is to tell you that “there is hope for change and healing available” for those who desire it. There are many organizations all over the United States whose sole purpose is to help people struggling with same sex attractions find freedom, hope, and healing. If you are interested in discussing this further, I would be happy connect with you via email.

Thank you.

Lessons From The Trampoline

Today I was jumping with my 2 1/2 year old daughter on the tramp. We jump on the tramp together for a while and then she wanted to grab my hand and jump. With just one hand it was difficult for us to keep our timing and we couldn't jump very well at all. Then I grabbed her other hand so we held both hands. If we jumped at the same time she could go higher than she ever had jumped on her own. If she jumped a bit before me or a bit after me then I could not keep the momentum to get her up high and we would have to slow down and get our timing together. It was amazing to note that she had to focus her attention on me in order to experiece the greater heights. As she gained confidence in our jumping experience I was able to help her jump higher than ever before and we could go all over the fullness of the tramp and do many other things.

That is how it is in a life with Jesus. When I keep my eyes focussed on Him then I can experience places that I was never able to go on my own and do things that I was never able to do before. If I get ahead of Him or lag behind Him then I'm hindered and I am unable to experiece the fullness of the life that He has for me. You may be wondering if this can be true for you, it can!. There is a verse that says , I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (phil 4:3).

You may have struggled in the past, and on many occassions even asked God to help you be free of your same sex attractions without success. Change is possible, in Christ. Keeping your eyes fixed upon Him and moving with Him are the key. He loves you and desires for you all the fullness of the life that He planned for you from the very beginning. May the Lord richly bless you as you continue to trust in Him.