How well I remember that day. It would prove to be the most pivotal point in my struggle against homosexuality, but I didn’t know that at the time.
I was a young college student, caught up in a struggle that I had not yet confided to anyone. I was too ashamed. There I was – a lively, young woman, full of life and energy and passion to serve God – and yet inside, I was battling a fierce addiction – and I battled alone because of my fear and shame. This struggle could have been anything, but in my case, it was hidden lusts, homosexual fantasies, and masturbation.
One evening, I was at a missions conference when the speaker issued a call for everyone who wanted to give all of themselves to God to come forward and pray. Of course, I knew that I needed to give all of myself to God, but I didn’t think I had anything to give Him that I had not surrendered already. For some reason, I went forward anyway. As I lay there on my face praying, God sent me a vision.
I was lying prostrate at the foot of the cross, feeling the dirt and the rocks digging into my skin. My hands felt the warm, sticky blood of Jesus. Then, the blood began to wash over me, and I suddenly found myself lying on my face in a throne room.
The throne room was full of light, and the air felt heavy and thick. All I could see, besides the thick, swirling light, were the two feet of the One seated on the throne. I felt as if, in that place, I was seen for all that I was, not what people knew of me, but also all of my dark and dirty secrets. I felt so ashamed, and I felt that I had no right to be in that place. Suddenly, I remembered the blood that had washed over me and brought me there. I had entered by grace. Jesus had paid the price for me.
So I began surrendering all I had. First I gave my body. Then I gave my mind. Then, I felt my heart beating against the floor, and I knew I had to surrender that to God next. It was only then that I truly realized that all of my heart longings for someone who would be committed to me and love me – truly love me – despite my failures – every longing of my heart were fulfilled in one man.
I wept as I saw my Jesus beaten and dying. I realized that my sin had been grievous, that I had deserved every lash of that whip and every drop of my lifeblood should have been drained. Yet, He had come and taken my place. When I was being held and awaiting my punishment, Jesus reached out and voluntarily – not grudgingly – in purest love – took my place.
I finally understood that my heart’s longings had already been fulfilled by this man – and I had scorned His love for so long by looking for fulfillment in other places. This realization hit me hard in the gut. There, before the throne, I began to weep uncontrollably, and in desperation, I tore my heart from my chest. I offered it up in my hands toward the throne, then lay it on the floor in front of me. It was beating, flopping on the cold floor of the throne room.
Suddenly, I feared rejection. I had just given my heart – all I had left – to the One whose total love I had so long scorned and rejected. I dared not look to see how my ultimate offering would be received. I was sure He would reject me, just like I had rejected Him for so many years.
As I lay there, trembling and weeping, believing He would reject my love, I saw the One on the throne stand. I never saw His face, just a man in flowing, white robes approach. He bent down and took my heart in both of His hands – so gently – so lovingly. Then, He cradled it to His chest – embracing my offering and my heart – my love. In that moment, it was as if all of my fear and guilt were washed away, and my tears were turned from tears of despair to wonder. I was overcome by His love – personalized – for me in that moment. While I was still in awe that He had accepted my heart, He came and crouched down in front of me. He began to stroke my hair. I rested my head on his right foot, and I cried and cried.
We spoke, but I cannot remember all we said. Occasionally, He whispered loving words to me, stroking my hair the whole time. I asked Him how I should continue walking with Him. He told me never to forget that moment – never to forget how intensely He loved me – and to never forget or forsake His presence that would always be with me. Then, I asked Him why He had come to me. He told me that people need to know the extent of His love. They need to know it is real and personal. He told me to tell people about His love. Then He told me to sit up. When I did, I was back in the meeting, wiping tears from my eyes.
There comes a point in all of our lives where we must make a choice. We all have vast mental and physical energy that we will channel in some direction or another, but it is our choice. On this pivotal day, I chose to surrender all that I was to God. I took a risk when I made that commitment, but I quickly learned that I was so much safer surrendered to God than to any other passion or pursuit I had ever attempted.
My choice has meant submission to the will of God, but He has given me the strength and desire to do that. I could have never made that choice if I didn’t trust that God was a loving Father with my best interest at heart. He has taken me from a fierce internal battle into a joyful love relationship – where nothing He asks is too much. I believe that was the reason He came to reveal His love to me. He knew I needed to know His love before I would trust Him with all of me. He wants you to know His love. We are able to love and surrender to Him – only because He loved us first!
Romans 8:28 says, “We know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose!” I believed that for me, and I believe it for you. God will work all things for your good when you love Him. I believe He already has a call and purpose for you. All you need do is love Him, and offering freely a life surrendered in obedience is the best act of love you can give Him.
If you don’t think you can offer Him all of you right now, tell Him that. And, if you want to come to a place of deeper love and surrender to Him, ask Him to help you. He will reveal His love to your heart if you ask, and no surrender to Him will be too great. It will be your joy!
“THIS is love. Not that we love Him, but that He loved us and sent His son as an atoning sacrifice!” (1 John 4:10)