Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Unmasking Counterfeit Love

Today I get the awesome opportunity to share with you one of THE MOST powerful testimonies that I have ever known - and unlike any that I have ever shared before. Below is the testimony of a friend, Angie, from my high school. Eleven years ago Jesus set her free from homosexuality. Angie lived the homosexual lifestyle during Seminary training. She stayed in the homosexual lifestyle for six years and struggled tremendously with the weight of this sin. She wondered if homosexuality was okay, in spite of what the Word of God said. In Angie’s words, “Homosexuals will tell you that they are born that way, that 2% of the American population is homosexual, that a homosexual cannot help themselves and always had feelings of being gay. Homosexuals will tell you that change is not possible.” But today my friend stands in the grace of God a changed person, and I can’t wait for you to read about it. In sharing all of this today I want you to know that this does not mean that I am full of hate for homosexual individuals. Rather, sharing this today reflects something much deeper – I fear the One True Living God and I love the people that He has created. My heart grieves for those who are chained to the ways of darkness, death, and destruction as I too once was. There is no difference between me or you or any other human on this earth. We have ALL sinned - whether those sins are hidden or on display - and that causes us to fall short of the glory of God. We all need Jesus’ redemption. This testimony is an awesome reflection of that. Angie’s testimony in her own words…

I will not be silent: Unmasking Counterfeit Love

Revelation 12:11
And they overcame him (satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony and they did not love their lives to death. They overcame him by appropriating the VICTORY of the finished work of Jesus Christ!

Each of us wants desperately for someone to love us, for someone to tell us we have worth, to tell us we matter. We are hungry and desperate to feel loved and feel accepted.

Your story and my story may not be that different from one another. I have gone through some things you may never experience and you have gone through things I will never experience. However, each of our stories must be heard, especially when the finished work of Jesus Christ has been applied to it. You must know despite the lie of the enemy that people do walk away from homosexuality and NEVER return.

Many in the homosexual community have said ex-gays do not have value and that each conversion is false only repressing what naturally needs to be expressed. They will also say that we never struggled with homosexuality and that we (who do come out) have always been heterosexual. Nothing could be further from the truth. I know what I have struggled with, what I have been caught in, I know the sin of homosexuality has gripped my life, and I know how this sin has ravaged my life and relationships.

I do not have time to be silent! We are living in a very desperate and dark hour where the sin of homosexuality is devouring many people, theologies, and ideologies across our nation. There are millions that need to hear this message, that are in the valley of decision. You must know that change is possible and millions of people like me do exist. This is only a portion of my testimony of how Christ has set me free, and continues to restore me.

Iowa

I grew up in rural Iowa, of course, on a farm. My family had more cattle on the farm then people in our hometown. My father did not have any boys - only four girls and we all learned how to manage the farm. I grew up a tomboy - loving sports, playing with matchbox cars, beating up the boys, and hating dresses. I loved the outdoors and being part of one of the guys. I excelled in sports throughout high school and college and found great worth in the success I had in sports.

Growing up I always had a boyfriend during high school. In fact, I had one for five years and we often spoke of marriage. He ended up cheating on me and treating me wrongly. I made a vow that I was never going to let a man hurt me again.

Born Again

I became a Christian when I was sixteen, and knew God was calling me to be a pastor, to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was during my junior year of college and well into Seminary that I embraced a homosexual lifestyle. I fell in love with my best friend. I was caught by complete surprise by this attraction to her. She was fun, loving, and passionate, told me I had value (my value was connected to having ‘human’ approval), and we entered into a four-year homosexual relationship. My life started to add up in my mind. I remembered the times I had same sex attractions as a child, I remembered the times that people had told me I was homosexual, I remembered other homosexual experiences with other women and the feelings I had with my best friend seemed to confirm what everyone had spoken into my life. So we entered into a relationship together.

Falling for the Counterfeit

I had found someone that totally accepted me, that loved me unconditionally, that gave me worth. She understood the depths of my heart and we became more and more emotionally enmeshed. It seemed that both of us were made for this type of relationship. My feelings reminded me that I had felt this way for as long as I could remember; that I must be a lesbian.

This new adventure was a counterfeit of love and counterfeit acceptance. A counterfeit that wore the perfect mask that said the perfect things but always left me in disappointment; always left me to clean up the mess- and literally left me hating myself. The adventure was filled with lust, wrong motives, control, codependency and emotional enmeshment. You need to understand how satan will present things to people. He will make things look good, look loving- but behind my partner’s words were emptiness, void, and darkness. Please know that even my words were counterfeit to her as well, and empty just as much as her words were. Her words were never meant to sustain me, and my words could never satisfy her.

It was strange, as our relationship seemed to flourish - and we lavished each other with love - tension grew. Please understand that sin is only pleasurable for a season. We began to fight more and more and tried to control one another. I was left with a dark cloud, with guilt, with pain, with shame, and with depression. It was during the fourth year of seminary, that I spent days in bed, and hours on the internet viewing pornography. I was looking for a quick fix. I was looking for things to numb out the pain.

God Spoke

I would pray for ways out, for someone to find us out, for someone to call me out. No one took a stance - everyone was accepting - even my Christian friends. This acceptance from my friends could not stop the aching inside; the dying-aching feeling inside was consuming me; the sin I had embraced was heavy and crushing me. I thought of ways I could kill myself as the dark cloud around me became more and more suffocating. I thought God had left me, that He did not love me anymore. I knew He had to hate me; I hated me - why would He not hate me. I knew deep down no matter how I justified what was occurring - that I was in the wrong. I could not shake this feeling no matter what I did. The sin became a cancer in my body, it was eating me up.

Out of desperation I cried out to God, and He spoke to me. God told me this day you will either choose Jesus or choose your sin! I knew that was my moment, that another moment like this one would not occur and out of brokenness and longing for freedom I chose Christ. I had tried to get myself out of this situation - but nothing in Angie Sandquist could set me free. I needed One greater that could break the chains, and open up the prison cell that kept me in homosexuality. I cried out to One greater than me- JESUS CHRIST! What would I become? Who was I if this was all stripped away? What would happen to my partner- would she die? Yet I was so desperate to be made whole again - to have purity mark my heart. God kept speaking; He really loved me; even in my utter failure and defilement. The fullness of His love transforming everything about me did not happen over night, over days, not over weeks but it was over years until I was able to feast on the fullness of His love- and still to this day I am receiving His love, and growing in it.

I thought I was gay. I thought I had become the sin that was devouring me; but contrary to what I thought, God said something different. He reminded me that He created me in HIS IMAGE- and that image was good and whole. He told me I was not my sin, but He could set me free. I am not going to pretend like this was an easy thing. It grieved me that I had to leave my partner, I lost all my friends, and I had to drop out of school. I was shocked the Creator-God loved me so much, that Jesus could set me free completely from sexual perversion and that He gave me His Spirit (Holy Spirit) to live in me and fill me with love, power, righteousness, and His holiness. I was overcome by HIS love and my own weakness ravished His heart (Song of Solomon 4:16). My own weak affection pulled on the heart strings of God.

I don’t know where you are at today. I know what it means to be caught in something that was never supposed to be a part of you. I know what it feels like to think something is right and find out later it is wrong. I know what it is like to struggle with your heart, feelings, and mind. I do know that God will set you free from homosexuality.

Please understand that God does not stand over you shaking His head, pointing His finger at you placing shame on you - that would be the devil. God is Holy and does not like sin at all and His heart breaks for you and He longs to restore you. It is not easy but it is possible. The blood of Jesus has healed me; I have been set free from emotional enmeshment, from lust, from depression, death, from the chains of darkness. Listen He is speaking to your heart even now.

Pastor Angie Sandquist
763.464.9952 or pastorangie@doorofhopechurch.net
www.doorofhopechurch.net ~ Christian Church of Brooklyn Park Minnesota

If Angie can be of any help to your church, a friend or family member please do not hesitate to call or email her. She is available for counseling, teaching, speaking, and equipping. Her ministry also does support groups for those (parents and friends) who have someone who is homosexual. Angie has also written several articles on this subject such as ‘Pro-Gay Theology ~ a closer look at how the gay-agenda twist Scripture’. (If you are wondering, the pro-gay agenda is a well-organized plan strategized by gay-activists which aims to desensitize people on the subject of homosexuality by covering a spectrum of mediums.) She has sent me this article in which she has outlined the scriptures that the pro-gay theology use to back their lifestyle. There is literally an entire religious movement riding on the back of this false theology which Angie is able to expose because of her first-hand involvement. Angie has also written an article entitled ‘Pro-Gay Agenda Invading American’s Classrooms’. If you would like any of these materials mailed to you she can do that as well, and she also has copies of her testimony in audio format on cd.

2 comments:

joyness said...

Janel-Thanks for allowing your friend to share her victory!
joy andrews

safecrac1 said...

Satan has many counterfeits to ensnare us. You are a shining example of Gods forgivness. God bless you and thank you for your testimony.

Ron S