I grew up in a church-going family with an older brother and an identical twin sister.  Despite attending religious school for 12 years, I did not have a personal relationship with God.  My parents’ marriage was troubled from the beginning, and my father was absent. I held a lot of anger inside towards my father. I also saw my mother as weak, passive, and a victim for not standing up for herself. I vowed never to be like her—emotionally and financially dependent on a man. That vow profoundly impacted my relationships and my view of myself as a woman, because I put a wall between my mother and myself, rejecting everything feminine, both the good and the bad. I believed that it was not safe or advisable to be a woman. My violent encounters with my brother after school, and exposure to pornography confirmed this belief.

In high school and college I was involved in several long-term, emotionally-dependent, sexual relationships with men. I was searching for the love, affirmation,         acceptance, identity, and worth that I had never received from my father. He wasn’t around to bless me as his daughter, and say, “You are beautiful, you are acceptable.” These relationships left me empty and unfulfilled.

In college I began to question my sexuality, and my senior year I entered a lesbian relationship. I felt like this is what I had been looking for my whole life! This woman would accept me and love me! Except she didn’t – she dumped me after a month. I was devastated, but God used this situation to bring me to the end of myself.

Although I attended church regularly, it didn’t impact my sexual behavior – until my struggle with lesbianism. For the first time, I wrestled with guilt, shame, and condemnation. I was torn. I knew that my lesbian relationship was “wrong”, but it felt “right.” The deficit of feminine love caused by my rejection of my mother cried out to be filled in the arms of a woman.

About a month after my break-up my identical twin sister (who’s never struggled with same-gender attraction) invited me to a Christian conference, where I attended a workshop on sexual wholeness. I gave my life to Christ and repented

of my lesbian relationship when I saw how I had been deceived into thinking that lesbianism was God’s best for me because it felt so right. After accepting Jesus Christ I knew I needed help to overcome my   distorted patterns of relating.

I struggled spiritually and emotionally in shame and silence for about two years until I could join Living Waters, a teaching and discipleship group that helps the relationally and sexually broken find healing and freedom. Living Waters changed my life! I began to understand the impact of my childhood, and the damage of my own idolatry. I could be real about my own brokenness. I received truth about my identity in Christ—that I am a beloved, precious, beautiful, and cherished daughter of the King! I also came to accept my femininity as a gift from Him.

As a result of God’s healing work, He called me to pursue a Masters Degree in Counseling from Regent University. I graduated in 2006 and was licensed as a professional mental health counselor in New York in 2010. As I look back, I can see not only the faithfulness of God and His hand upon my life, but the fruit of a life submitted to His healing. I have wonderful, healthy friendships, and I am closer to my family. In the fall of 2004, I met my husband Garry. We were married in 2007, and now have two sons. Our marriage is an outward reflection of an internal reality. Being with Garry is about so much more than not being with a woman. God truly has restored my femininity and sexuality. I’m forever grateful!      (Eph 3:20-21).