For many years, Jeanette Howard was a lesbian. After she became a believer, God began to show her that He had a different plan for her life. Although she tried to resume her lesbian lifestyle, she felt uncomfortable and out of place in it. What was once so appealing to her was now hollow.
In her book Out of Egypt, she said God brought her to a point of decision. She began to hear Him say, "I know that you believe this is all you have. But I have something better. I have the best for you."
God didn't tell her what the best was, but she understood that in receiving Him, she had to turn her back on lesbianism. She was frightened. "Won't I actually be rejecting myself and my friends?" Jeanette asked. To give up her lesbian identity seemed impossible, yet she knew it was the only decision she could make.
"God," she whispered half hoping God wouldn't hear, "I don't want to play games with you. If I make this commitment and give myself to you one hundred per cent, I need you to keep your half of the bargain. I need you to be there for me." She paused then took the step of faith. "Okay, God, I'm yours."
At that moment her heart felt as though it had been ripped from her body. Then she sensed a hand resting on her chest. Slowly the pain transformed into a comforting warmth. Tears welled up in her eyes and trickled down her cheeks, soaking her pillow.
In the following weeks, she sensed God carrying her through the painful "loss" of her old life. At times she even forgot the pain, she was so overcome with the joy of the Lord.
At a women's retreat, God exposed false labels behind which many women had hidden. One woman shared that God had changed her "name" from Stubborn to Persevering One.
"What about me, God?" Jeanette begged. "What new name do you have for me?"
"You have believed a lie," God revealed. "But I am going to change your name. From now on you will know yourself as Woman."
His words pierced her. Woman! Years of confusion and anguish fell away as she embraced that elusive identity. God had touched her at the very center of her being.
She looked at the sea of female faces at the retreat. Something had changed. She no longer stood apart. For the first time in her life, these women seemed accessible to her-sisters in the Lord. It was an amazing feat on God's part!
Dear Father, I praise You for knowing what truth will set each one free.
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32).
Please pray for the preparation leading up to our next Come to the Fire council meeting. Our next meeting will be a time of planning for 2012.