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.