Articles

Hope and Healing for the Sexually Broken
by Kim Jones

I Always Knew
Starting in kindergarten, I knew something was wrong. It started with a crush on my female teacher. In early elementary school, I began to notice a need to sit close to certain girls in class accompanied by a desire to hold their hand. These emotional desires twisted into sexual desires in high school and culminated in college with a sexually active relationship with another woman.

Multiple Root Causes
Unfortunately, my struggle cannot be traced to just one or even two causes. As with others with this struggle, my childhood was fraught with dysfunction that fueled the fire of my misplaced desires.

The first years 2 ½ years of my life were pivotal in setting the stage for my struggle. My biological father left my mother prior to my birth. Mom, my older sister and I alternated living with my grandparents and with a friend of hers for those 2 ½ years. We would live in one place long enough for me to bond with either my grandmother or my mom’s friend, then, I would be ripped from that relationship only to bond and be separated from another. Eventually, this cycle of bonding and ripping ended when my mom remarried when I was 2 ½.

My step-dad was a rageaholic alcoholic. I was barraged daily with statements such as “you can’t you get anything right,” “dumb ass,” “I can’t stand the sight of you.” More than the verbal abuse, the most harmful aspect of our relationship was his conditional love. In school and athletics, if I was first place, I received the prize of his loving words. Otherwise, I was shamed with his rebukes. He never affirmed me as a little girl or blessed me in any way as I entered puberty and began to grow into a young women. He was verbally abusive to mom and had a low opinion of women in general.

My parents said I love you and hugged us on birthdays, major holidays, and after a superior report card or a winning basketball game. I don’t remember every being read a bedtime story, being rocked, or sitting on their laps.

Multiple Resulting Issues
I suffocated daily under shame and self-hatred. I had significant amounts of body shame because of dad’s verbal comments about our bodies. One of my major struggles has been simply accepting my humanity with all of its bodily functions. Of course, I had significant gender shame which manifested by rejecting my femininity early on and taking on the tomboy. Like my dad, I saw women as weak & stupid; therefore, why would I want to be a woman? I was absolutely convinced men were smarter than women were.

Fear of abandonment pervaded my life. Even worse, I lacked a sense of being or a sense of personhood. I only felt “solid inside” when I was in an enmeshed relationship with a woman. I felt a gaping hole in my soul, which felt empty and full of darkness at the same time. Though same-sex attraction (SSA) was wrapped in the tentacles of these and other issues, the core issue driving my inappropriate desire for girls and later women was the deficit of my mother’s love. This deficit left me desperate for a mother’s love and touch and extremely vulnerable for any touch that came close.

Healing is Multifaceted
I shared several multiple causes and multiple resulting issues because SSA is not a single issue I dealt with (nor for anyone with this struggle.). I learned early on that, strictly speaking, there is no such thing as healing from SSA. Freedom from SSA occurs as the underlying issues are healed. I learned not to pray for healing or deliverance from my SSA, but for healing of the underlying issues. As I did, I began to develop a solid sense of being, receive God’s forgiveness in a transformative way, forgive others who deeply wounded me, and walk in a level of self-acceptance that included a joy in my femininity. I rejected inner vows and fought hard to replace lies I believed about God, self and others with the truth of God’s word.

In order to receive specific education and healing, I pursued multiple avenues that included a support group, Pastoral Care Ministries (PCM) conferences, the Living Waters course, a Christian counselor, and healing prayer (healing of memories). In addition to these specialized services, healthy relationships in the body of Christ was (and still is) an essential part of my healing. I consistently journaled “who I am in Christ” scriptures to help replace the lies I believed about myself with God’s truth.

The Power of the Cross and the Reality of the Holy Spirit
A significant part of my healing can best be described in this quote from Leanne Payne: “As we learn about the process of healing within the soul, we often find that the power to feel the pain is itself a vital part of the healing. . . . The sufferer has repressed this heretofore and denied it precisely because it was so painful. But now he has to get it up and out He needs to understand that, if he will stand in the cross and hurt, there is a place for it to go, an end to the pain” (Restoring the Christian Soul through Healing Prayer, pg 103). I learned that I could take my pain to the cross and release it there.

As I released my suffering at the cross, I needed something (Someone) to fill those places in me where this mother figure had become an idol – I needed the Holy Spirit to fill those places. I memorized the following quote from Leanne Payne: “Another lives in me. My spirit is one with His. That is my whole place. All else is raging around me and within me, but I can stand now, confident, and watch as God heals this part of me that is so wounded” (Restoring the Christian Soul through Healing Prayer, pg. 71). The experiential reality of the Holy Spirit living within me was essential in my healing process.

The Faithfulness of God
Mine was a slow process of healing. It was years of consistent incremental growth. It was years of saying “yes” to God when He would offer me another piece to the puzzle. God has given me a new foundation – I have an abiding sense of His presence within me. My mother deficits are still triggered occasionally but I am no longer tempted to act on those impulses. My heart no longer desires idolatrous relationships with women. Although my healing journey seemed unbearably painful at times, I experienced God’s faithfulness and His mercy every step of the way.

Resources from Kim
Manual and free downloads: www.newconnectionsmanual.com
Teaching “Sense of Being” (Oct 2012): www.soulhealingkc.com

Recommended Ministries
Ministries of Pastoral Care: ministriesofpastoralcare.com/
Restored Hope Network: www.restoredhopenetwork.org//

Recommended Books
The Broken Image by Leanne Payne
Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son's Journey to God. A Broken Mother's Search for Hope by Christopher Yuan, Angela Yuan
Restoring the Christian Soul through Healing Prayer by Leanne Payne
The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor's Journey into Christian Faith by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield