Former lesbian Janet Boynes is living proof that despite a past filled with physical and sexual abuse, depression, and failed homosexual relationships, God still offers a way out—in love
There is a dark and destructive lie that the enemy is perpetrating in the world today, a lie that keeps many in bondage and despair, preventing them from becoming all that God has called them to be. While the devil seems to have no shortage of ways to deceive people and drive them ever further into hopelessness, one of his chief tricks is to convince them their sinful lifestyle is, in reality, an integral part of who they are—part of their very DNA.
“You can’t change,” he whispers. “You were born this way, and whether you like it or not this is the way you’ll be until the day you die. You might as well just accept the way you are and make everybody else accept it too.”
Does that line sound familiar? It should, because it dominates our culture today.
Particularly in the area of sexuality it convinces millions of individuals—even many of God’s own people—they were born with an attraction for those of their own sex. And it assures them there is nothing they can do about it.
I’m very familiar with how the enemy works in this area. Even as a born-again, Spirit-filled Christian, I was deceived into believing this lie. It dragged me into living a lesbian lifestyle for many years.
It was only by God’s direct intervention—through the witness, prayer and compassion of some godly men and women—that I was able to find deliverance from the bondage of same-sex attraction and come into true wholeness by the power of the Holy Spirit.
I’m convinced that in this day of increasing confusion and moral chaos, it will take a church filled with God’s Spirit and authority to effectively battle this tidal wave of evil that threatens to sweep an entire generation into destruction.
In short, it’s going to take an army of committed, praying, fasting and warring saints who believe in the power of the blood of Jesus to bring salvation, sanctification and victory to those confused and deceived by the enemy.
I believe emphatically in God’s power to transform even the most hopeless individual because I’ve experienced it so fully in my own life. I know that if Christ can transform me, He can bring that same change to anyone.
There is nowhere Satan can have his way more completely than where sin and confusion reign. That describes perfectly the atmosphere in which I grew up.
As it is with so many people who have struggled with same-sex attraction, one of the major factors that pulled me into the homosexual lifestyle was the pattern of emotional, physical and sexual abuse I witnessed and experienced as a child.
Growing up in a home with seven kids fathered by four men, I repeatedly witnessed my single mother being abused by one of her boyfriends. One of those men began abusing me sexually in my early teens. Those experiences set the pattern for the confusion and despair I would later face.
Though I came to Christ as a young adult, enrolled in a Spirit-filled Bible college, and even got engaged to a man who loved me and was committed to Christ, the unresolved issues from my past still haunted me. They went to the heart of who I was as a person and as a woman. I was vulnerable and a prime target for the enemy to attack me at that unresolved place in my life.
So one night in an unguarded moment, when a woman I worked with initiated a sexual encounter, I went along with it. Of course, I was immediately filled with shame and condemnation. Even though my fiance forgave me, I couldn’t forgive myself, which led me to call off our wedding and isolate myself from those who could truly help me.
At a time when I really needed the security and compassion of the church, as well as mature believers who could stand with me, I made a devastating choice to turn away from God. I had such a strong fear that He had turned His eyes away from me that I never even gave a thought to the possibility there were people who could help me through this and even help me find answers to why I had fallen in the first place.
For the next 14 years I gave myself over to living a lesbian lifestyle, drifting from one unfulfilling relationship to the next and finding nothing but confusion and despair. I can tell you from personal experience that no matter what people living a homosexual lifestyle say about how happy and fulfilled they are, deep inside they know what they are doing is wrong and destructive. For me personally, no matter how hard I tried to justify my sin, I never had a moment of true peace.
Because I’d once known the Lord and His saving power, I knew that only He could rescue me. I’d see people on the bus reading their Bibles, and I’d want to run up to them and say: “Could you please help me? I’m a backslidden Christian, and I don’t know how to get right with the Lord!” I know now that while I had let go of God, there was no way He was going to let go of me. He still loved me, He still wanted me, and even while I was deep in sin He was working behind the scenes to bring me back to Himself.
The Lord made His move very early one morning through a woman I just happened to meet in a grocery store parking lot. She invited me to a women’s Bible study at her church.
It was through the committed, accepting, loving women in this group that the Lord led me back into His arms. They answered my questions, prayed with me, stood with me and helped me in every way they could. They mentored me in spiritual warfare and helped me break the devil’s stronghold over my life. One of the women even invited me into her home to live for a time, where I was able to see how a spiritually and emotionally healthy family lived.
God used these women, their families and their church to reach out to me at just the right time. I really did want Jesus, but I had no idea how to get back to Him. The truth is, these women were my way back—and that is what I want to emphasize to God’s people, to the church.
The only way we can effectively help those bound by homosexuality to find forgiveness and freedom is to be there for them and to reach out in mercy. I can say with certainty that even the most militant gay activists, at their core, are crying for understanding. They want someone just to accept them where they are and not condemn them.
I’m convinced that the active, prayerful, Spirit-anointed compassion of God’s people is the key to bringing deliverance and hope to those caught in the homosexual lifestyle. If someone had confronted me with a judgmental attitude or even a hint of condemnation, I would’ve turned away. You see, I already had enough condemnation boiling deep inside me. What I needed most was an active demonstration of God’s love and mercy breaking into my prison of sin and guilt.
As Christians, we have a call to actively, aggressively reach out to those who are bound by sin and iniquity, and to offer God’s forgiveness and cleansing. That’s the only way our faith can be relevant to this world. Mercy is the sum total of our message.
Janet Boynes, author of Called Out: A Former Lesbian’s Discovery of Freedom (Creation House), ministers around the world in churches and conferences, helping others find freedom in Christ. For more about her ministry, visit janetboynesministries.com.
Read another miraculous testimony from a former lesbian who found freedom from homosexuality at freedom.charismamag.com