Laurie Jeanís Story

It can be very hard thing to explain who you once were and where you are now. Sexual abuse, neglect, harassment, a lack of bonding with parents whether intentional or not, may play a role in forming those of us who struggle with same sex attraction. Our perception of our environment shapes us. Sometimes our perception may be wrong, but it is ours and we need to deal with the consequences of what we perceive.

About the age of sixteen I became aware of an attraction to the same sex. I had no way of dealing with this at the time and no one to talk to. My friends and I did play a dating game with boys and held hands with them at the monthly coffee shop at church. We swapped boys each month doing nothing more than holding hands. I was not attracted to them. To me it was just a game and nice to be accepted by them. My friends did not believe me when I told them I was a lesbian. Feelings continued to grow but I still had no one to help.

However I became a committed Christian at 17yrs and in the excitement of my new faith those feelings of same sex attractiveness faded for a time. I was even attracted towards a couple of young men. But during the following years whilst in college and the beginning of full time work these lesbian tendencies returned. After much struggling I succumbed and entered into a lesbian relationship.

I had been introduced to a young lesbian who was living in a back room, sleeping on a stretcher in a house with a man who often propositioned her. It was not a good environment and I wanted to rescue her. We became lovers and moved in together for six months. During this time my faith remained but, I was stranded between two worlds. My friends at church who knew of my plight offered me love, acceptance and much prayer.

One of the turning points in my life was when I was a leader at a camp. The Director knew of my living situation and asked to have a chat with me one night. She explained that she would always care for me and accept me no matter what decision I made about my life. It was this show of acceptance that I was really longing for and she was reflecting Christís love in her statement. I know it was her prayers and that of my Christian friends that were soon answered.

In the beginning of 1976 I was offered a job at the Uniting Church Office in Brisbane as an offset printer. The Director of the camp had recommended me for the position. As I had wanted to serve God full time for quite a long time I grabbed the opportunity, left my partner and moved back with my parents. I understood that I could not serve my God fully if my primary focus was elsewhere. In only a few short weeks at a youth conference I met John, my husband.

He talked with me for three hours whilst we set up the stage for a musical production. I only very faintly remember the day and do not remember him but later that week I remember him taking my photo. I did not find him attractive at the time. A couple of months later at a party we talked again and we were soon seeing each other regularly. He was kind, easy to talk to and accepting of my past. He became my closest friend and within six months we were married!

The issues that caused me to have a lesbian orientation had not been addressed and so our marriage was "interesting" at times. But Johnís love is deep and he gave me the space I needed to work through things. One of the most important things at this time was my determination to be free from all the hurts and wrong perceptions that had caused me to look towards another person fulfilling needs only God my Father could.

It has taken many years of allowing God to bring healing to past hurts and misperceptions. Ministries like "Living Waters" and Exodus, a very patient counselor in addition to much prayer and have been essential ingredients for healing.

Today, 33 years on I head up "Sanctuary International" ministry on the Sunshine Coast (a member ministry of EXODUS) in Queensland. I have two sons and Iím still happily married. We have worked through much together but God has been faithful and enabled us who made a "lifelong" commitment to continue to honour each other.

This journey is not over. God continues to enable me to face fears I may have, but knowing I am a "child of GodĒ and that my God will never let me go, keeps me in His care. Even though I may still struggle occasionallyÖ I am still His and this is where my identity now is, not focusing on the past but focusing on my future with Him.