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Finding God Sufficient;
a female story

from Dr. Merton Strommen

Date Unknown

I was born and grew up in West Philadelphia. My mother was an extremely self absorbed person. I never remember her telling me she loved me as a child. I really had no one to confide in or to talk to about growing up. I was very alone. So after I discovered books when I was seven or eight years old, I entered a wonderful fantasy world—but, sadly, an unrealistic one. Books attended to my emotional needs.

Other than times I spent with my grandmother, who attended a Church of God in Christ, I attended a Presbyterian church until my teens.

I grew into a very shy and tall teenager who had crushes on boys in junior high. But boys were not attracted to me at that time, and I was not popular or part of the “in crowd.” I never enjoyed kissing or petting after I received my first kiss (very disappointing) at age 16. It just did not compare with what I had vicariously experienced between the pages of the novels I devoured. I remained a virgin, unlike many of my peers, until I was in my 20’s.

In college, when I discovered that men were attracted to me, I used them for whatever I could get from them —(gifts, material things). I was disdainful, disrespectful and manipulative toward men from my very first relationship with them. I did not hate them, but I could see no use for them.

Something was awakened in me at age 18 when I made eye contact with a very obvious lesbian who worked at a drug store near my home. I made many trips to that store just to flirt with her. She never spoke to me —just gazed at me. I was in love!

I left home at the age of 20 while a sophomore in college. Finally I was free to do all I had realized in my fantasy life. I sought out a very well known woman who was also rumored to be a lesbian. I was introduced to her, and she seduced me the same evening I met her. I had my first physical experience. She was a very controlling woman, beautiful, and about 20 years my senior. She was a very classy lady who also claimed to be a witch or psychic. I had a relationship with her for about three years. I never lived with her, but I ate dinner at her house daily (at her insistence). She was a well-known fund-raiser for political events, and I modeled or worked for her in many other ways. We had a closet relationship while I maintained relationships with men. By this time I was also a social drinker. My life was a round of paid-for vacations, beautiful clothes, and adoring boyfriends. But I was searching for something better, so I became involved with the fellow who later became my husband. He represented a stable life. He lived with and cared for his Christian mother and two younger brothers. I was a regular guest at their house for Sunday dinner and became good friends with his mother, Mary. She was a great Christian woman who lived simply and laughed at my many experiences.

I became sexually active with this man, not to my sexual enjoyment, but because I liked him. My daughter was conceived in his living room while his mother slept upstairs. Later I married him, but I hated married life including his touch in bed. Therefore, I left him when my daughter was 2 years old. I acquired a good job and bought a nice house. I made sure my daughter kept in touch with her father, and Mary kept her while I worked. How she loved her “Nana.” By now I was drinking heavily. When my husband decided to divorce me, (we had been separated for eight years) my daughter was 10. I sold my house and left Philadelphia and the surface respectability I had maintained because of not wanting to embarrass my mother. I moved to Detroit where I completed my college degree and lived openly as a lesbian in the gay part of town, —finally free of my mother and her social circle. I began to manipulate women in all my relationships just as I had manipulated men. I seduced many unsuspecting housewives and younger women. On the surface I was a nice woman who was raising a kid and had a good job making good money. But I was a closet alcoholic. I drank heavily in an effort to cover up my guilt and not face up to my sin. Through it all the Lord protected me even though I disgraced his name. I know now how much he loves me.

I came to Minnesota to be with a woman with whom I had lived for seven years in Detroit. However, the relationship ended, and I found myself all alone in this cold and snowy place. I was as low as I had ever been. In my loneliness, I began attending a gay church to seek a partner. The Lord, bless Him, did not allow this! But I did go to Pride Institute, a program for gays to stop drinking. I never took a drink after that time. I was totally delivered from alcohol! In treatment, however, I began to have doubts about my lesbian lifestyle because of the unhappiness I observed in others and the comments I heard from them. “Maybe this is not what God wants for me,” I mused.

When I left this program, however, I got involved with another woman, and our relationship lasted about two years. Finally I told her to go her own way, and I began a spiritual journey. I still did not condemn homosexual behavior. I just felt that the Lord did not want this for me! I was not involved in any lesbian relationship for over two years, but I never talked with anyone about this part of my life. At this time I was attending Bible Study Fellowship.

One night the Lord spoke to me! I had a super natural visitation with the FATHER while I was in my own bed. He audibly told me to repent. For the first time I realized that homosexual behavior was sin. I must do a complete about face—turn around all the way. Repent! I was born again that night. I had a new Master. I called all my gay friends and informed them that I was not to talk with them. I became a fanatic for Jesus, becoming enmeshed in the Word, and witnessing to whomever would listen. The Lord raised up a 70 year old woman who discipled me and held me accountable.

But my healing was not complete. About four years after becoming a believer, I began to witness to an unbelieving co-worker who was ten years my junior. In the process of my witnessing to her, she became attracted to me, and she told me this. I resisted, I rebuked, but I finally fell and became sexually involved with her. This was a most devastating blow to my soul and spirit. I felt terrible guilt, shame and unbearable pain because I had grieved the Holy Spirit so much!

I was torn and battered, but as in Zechariah 3:2, I was “snatched like a burning stick from the fire.” God led me to contact Eagles’ Wings Ministry where I began to get the help I so sorely needed. Because I sought help, I have learned how to have healthy relationships and how to let God meet my underlying needs. I love him so, and now I am walking in the freedom He had for me all along!