Summer had brought that debilitating explosion of me being kicked out of that ministry, but that fall things moved like a roaring river running downstream, not just trickling along. Normally fresh starts take a little kick to get them going. This start acted like it had been prepared from the beginning. In fact, an evangelist who came to minister for Marie Louise told me the Holy Spirit was saying that my ministry was just now starting.
Marcel asked me to form a Catholic/Protestant Prayer Group with him on Monday nights. He thought we would hold the meetings in the chapel he had built in the attic of his house. I heard the question he asked with amazement spread across my face. The Lord had spoken to me in the morning and told me Marcel and I would have prayer meetings in his chapel, and we would teach Bible studies together.
We chose a night to begin, and to my great surprise, nine people showed up! After that, fifteen came. Then twenty-two were present. The attendance fluctuated but people were always there! In a few short weeks, five people were born again, and one man got healed. People in the village asked us to pray for them, and our prayers were answered right and left. A young girl wanted to pass her driving text, but being filled with fear, she asked for prayer the night before her exam. We prayed and she reported it felt like another person had been in the car with her, and she easily passed. We were asked to pray for a baby close to death. The next day the child flourished.
All of that was wonderful, but the best was yet to come; the cream of the crop, the delight of my summer and fall, came in the form of a dream fulfilled. I had wanted, seemingly forever, for Dan to be delivered, to be set free from homosexuality. It was the stuff my dreams were made of. I could see it; I could experience the romance, and like they say, I could almost taste it. But my dream eluded me.
However, God gave me my dream by giving me Pierre. Like a refreshing, God showed me the possibility—let me know the truth—that Dan really could have been free. If he had participated in what the Lord showed me over the years, if he had had a teachable spirit and a willing heart, he would be free today.
One afternoon, having invited some members of the prayer group to come for dinner—a man named Pierre plus two others—and after completing the preparation for the evening, I took a shower. While lathering up my washcloth, water pouring over me, the Lord said to me, “Pierre is coming tonight to talk to you about his homosexuality.”
I nearly dropped the soap. First of all, I am not accustomed to hearing from the Lord in the shower. And second of all, I was quite surprised to hear that Pierre was gay. Then I wondered how such a discussion could ever take place. The French prize their time conversing around a table, and surely Pierre and I would not discuss this in front of the others.
I stepped through the evening rather gingerly; everything seemed so normal, I wondered if I had really heard from the Lord, or had I imagined that conversation. However, our evening, though quite animated, found the other guests, oddly enough, excusing themselves right after the meal, leaving Pierre and I alone.
Before I could even clear the dishes, he began. With pensive face he said, “I’ve been, er, bothered about several things lately and would really appreciate your prayers. The thing is,” he cleared his throat, “I’ve been thinking lately about kissing men, and that just isn’t me. The last couple of mornings I have looked in the mirror and thoughts of other men have come into my mind. I promise you that is not me. I wondered if maybe you might have an idea of how I can get rid of these thoughts. I don’t know why I’m telling you this. Can you help me?”
I marveled that the Lord brought such a person to me, after all, my track record didn’t show much success, but I said, “Pierre, the Lord told me today you were coming tonight to speak to me about your homosexuality.”
“Tell me everything.” I said.
“Well,” he looked at me rather sheepishly, “I’ve never had any experiences, only fantasies I never act on. The only thing physical about my desires is that I’ve had wet dreams every night since my youth. I’m convinced I’m a homosexual. I think I always have been.”
“What’s your family like?” I asked.
“My dad’s an engineer, and my mom stayed home, but she was always sick. I have an older brother that I never see. I don’t go out with girls since I’ve been born again because before my new birth, I used to treat them like animals. The only thing I wanted to do was get them into bed because I thought I might make myself be different that way.”
So, you don’t want to be a homosexual?” I asked.
“Not at all!” He replied vehemently.
As if it were the most natural thing for me to do, as if I had been doing it for years, apparently coming across as some kind of an expert, I started in with a summation of all the things I had learned about homosexuality.
“Pierre, when you were born again, your salvation was planted inside of you. That salvation includes deliverance. You are the one who must bring that deliverance to the surface. The Holy Spirit will help you when you make the effort, when you trust Him to do it. He won’t respond to your need; He will respond to your faith. If God responded to needs, then Satan would be leading God around by the nose because Satan is the one who creates the need.
“Look at it this way, it’s as if you have a muscle called ‘deliverance’. That muscle has a cramp in it called ‘homosexuality’, and you must work that muscle, massage it, anoint it, rest it, and ‘deliverance’ will get rid of the cramp. It takes work; it takes effort, and the only way to do it is to put the Word of God into the muscle.”
“You mean God won’t do it for me? He won’t defeat the devil? He won’t get rid of this homosexuality demon? I can’t be instantly free of this thing?” Pierre asked with rising terror.
“Relax. God has already done it for you. The Bible says He already delivered us from the kingdom of darkness. Yes, there can be instant manifestations of the power of God, like miracles. I know of one who was instantly delivered, but it’s rare. The normal work of the Kingdom of God is to work out our salvation.” I assured him.
“If I’ve been delivered from the kingdom of darkness then how come I’m still a homosexual?” Pierre demanded.
“You’re not. You only think you are. Jesus defeated Satan, and homosexuality comes from Satan. When you were born again, your deliverance was established. Your spirit knows you are not a homosexual; now we have to get your body and soul to agree with your spirit.
“I don’t get it! This is going to be hard; I can tell.” He moaned.
“Maybe so, but it’s worth the effort. Shall I go on”
“Yes! He said with resolution. “I don’t care how hard it is! I don’t want to be a homosexual any longer!”
“Your mind is the battlefield where Satan fights for dominion. The Bible says he seeks wet places and doesn’t like dry places. The wet places are human bodies. Satan’s demons have no authority or control on this earth unless they can get into someone’s mind and control that person’s body. Evil accomplishes its dirty work only when the Evil One occupies the souls of acquiescing men.
Having your mind and body occupied by Satan does not mean you are possessed, because your spirit is still in charge, and Satan has no access there. It means you are obsessed or oppressed. From that position Satan attacks the thoughts, the emotions, and the will, filling the person with desires. When he attacks, that’s oppression, and when the person yields, that’s obsession.”
“You just described me,” Pierre interrupted. “That is a very accurate description of me. I am oppressed by these homosexual thoughts, and I am obsessed with fantasies and masturbation.”
I marveled at Pierre’s candor, but then I reminded myself that I am old enough to be his mother, and so it would be easy to talk candidly with me. “Pierre, you are going to have to confront the spirits that have been oppressing you. In the case of homosexuality there are three spirits who first oppress and then work at obsessing with the objective of finally possessing. What they want is your spirit. How far these three spirits will go all depends on you. What is your determination? Do you want Satan to obsess you with his thoughts or oppress you with his actions? Or do you want to be free of him?”
“I just told you I want to be free! Pierre seemed affronted.
“Just making sure,” I smiled. “The three spirits are homosexuality, of course, but that is the small one that the other two spirits hide behind. It is like the symptom, so to speak, and it is useless to deal with the symptom unless you are going to dig out the root cause. The other two spirits are self-love and hatred of women. They are the strongest of the three spirits, and they hide behind homosexuality, so you don’t notice them. These spirits have a right to be there because they came through some open door in your life. You opened that door by believing a lie about yourself. The Bible says Satan is the father of lies.”
“Self-love?” he squealed. “That can’t be right. I hate myself.”
“Don’t cringe at the sound of ‘self-love’. Most people who love themselves to a point where demons are involved, are people who were so unloved that they learned how to love themselves as a means of self-preservation. They built a wall of sheltering self-love around themselves which no one can penetrate.”
Pierre protested, “But I don’t hate women!”
“What was it you said about women, how you used them before you were born again?” I gently asked.
“You’re right,” he conceded.
“And what about your mother? Why was she sick?”
“I don’t think she ever was,” he replied indifferently. “She had allergies, and I thought then, and still think, she was pretending sickness to get my father’s attention.”
“Did she get it?”
“Never. He’s got a heart of stone. He’d sit in the living room reading his newspaper, and she’d call pathetically from the bedroom, but he’d ignore it.”
“How did you feel about that?” I asked.
“I didn’t understand why she didn’t get up and take care of me. I didn’t blame my father for not answering, but I wasn’t on his side, so to speak. I just didn’t believe her.”
“Are your parents still together?
“No. When I turned eighteen, they told me they had been waiting for that day to arrive, and now they were getting a divorce.
“Did this announcement bother you?”
“No. I could hardly wait to get away from both of them.
“So, you can see that it is possible that the spirit of hatred of women might be operating in your life?”
“Wouldn’t I hate my father just as much?”
“Pierre,” I said, “Satan, himself, hates women. It was a woman who pointed the finger at him in the garden of Eden, and he is out to destroy all women. If Satan can get inside a male body, he will use that body to torment and bedevil women. If he can get inside a female body, he will use that body for self-hatred and to belittle other women.
“Look at history. Women have carried most of the diseases; they have done most of the undignified labor; they have suffered more than men; they have been less prosperous than men, and in general have been the object of Satan’s hatred. Men must take the responsibility for their actions because they always had the choice of how to treat women well, but Satan has been at the root of their behavior.”
“Well, maybe I did hate my mother,” Pierre admitted. His confession encouraged me because Dan never acknowledged hatred for his mother. I think it terrified him so much to think that he could hate his mother—the woman he depended on to care for him—that he could not admit the truth. However, confession of hatred is required before letting go of hatred can be accomplished. Pierre, on the other hand, seemed so willing to face issues that I felt like I was running to keep up with him.
He said, “How do I get rid of these three spirits? I don’t want them in my life.”
I explained what I had learned during my years of cleaning up unresolved issues in my own life. “The Lord taught me a simple little process. He showed me that inside of me is a well of Living Water which springs up from my belly and flows out through my mouth. The earth it passes through is the seat of my emotions and then the seat of my will. The enemy likes to fill my well with rocks of unresolved emotions and stones of rebellious will.
“The Lord instructed me to ask Him for an unresolved issue. When I did so, I saw at the top of my well a rock imprinted with a name—the name of the unresolved issue. At various times I saw Money, Sex, Condemnation. The Lord told me to ask Him to show me the situation involving the name and to tell me the lie I believed about it. When I did that, a scene unfolded before me from my past that still held much emotion. As I observed the scene, I asked the Lord what the lie was that I had believed. For instance, one lie was that I was unworthy. Another lie was that I was uninteresting. Another lie was that I was guilty.
“When that scene ended, the Lord taught me to ask if there was a previous experience similar to the one I had just seen. When I did that, an earlier situation in my life appeared in my memory that was similar to the scene I had just observed. Apparently, our experiences stack on top of each other, and as long as we believe the lie, each experience confirms and reinforces the lie. When I got to the bottom of the ‘previous/same lie’, as I had come to call them, and heard the lie again, the Lord instructed me to ask for the truth and for Him to back it up with two Scriptures. When I did this, the lie disappeared in my life and I was free.”
Not waiting for any comments, I asked, “Pierre, are you willing to go through such a process?” But when I looked over at him, his eyes were closed, he had already begun.
“I’m eighteen again,” he said. “I’ve walked into my parents’ bedroom because I need them to console me. I’ve just been turned down by a girl for a date. It was really important to me, and they’re fighting and paying no attention to me.”
“What’s the lie you are believing?”
“What do you mean?” he asked plaintively.
“What are you thinking about yourself?”
“I’m thinking I don’t matter. They don’t want me. They probably don’t want me because I’m a homosexual.”
Pierre’s chest heaved under the stress of what he saw. When the emotion passed, I instructed him, “Now ask the Lord for a previous/same lie.”
“I’m fourteen. At school a bunch of guys started yelling at me on the stairway, ‘Hey, POP! You know what that means, don’t ya? It means ‘Piss-Off-Pierre.’
“So, now I’m at home in the kitchen, and I’ve asked my parents why don’t I have any friends. I haven’t told them about being called POP, because I’m afraid they’ll laugh. My dad’s at the table reading something, and he doesn’t even look at me. My mom is yawning saying she’s too tired to talk. But I really wanted to know; why didn’t I have any friends? My dad actually said, ‘Piss off Pierre’ and went back to reading.
“How do you feel? What is the lie?” I persisted.
“I don’t matter. I really don’t matter.” He wailed. “They don’t want me. I’m wondering if I am a homosexual.
After that emotion passed, I pressed, “Ask for another previous/same lie.”
Now Pierre became eight years old. His posture changed; his expression became childlike. This experience seemed to be so vital to him that he writhed in his chair, and his face contorted. “I’m in Physical Education class, and I’ve just come out of the restroom. A girl in the class covered her mouth with her hand and laughed uncontrollably. She pointed at my shorts. I looked down, and some drops of urine were on my shorts. She said, ‘Look at that! Pierre’s a queer!’ The whole class laughed until their faces were red, and some of them fell on the floor in hysterics.”
“What are you thinking? What is the lie?”
“I don’t matter. They don’t want me for a friend. I wonder if I am a queer. Maybe that’s why my parents don’t want me.” Pierre’s breathing had become labored.
When that emotion faded, I asked for a previous/same lie.
“I’m three years old. It’s night, and I’m in bed. I’m afraid. I don’t know of what, but I’ve screamed for my parents. Either one would have been fine. I don’t care if its mom or dad; I just need somebody to come comfort me. My older brother’s bedroom is between my room and my parents. I knew they were far away, so I screamed loud. But no one came. I knew if my brother screamed, they would hear him and answer, but not for me.”
“What are you thinking?”
“I don’t matter to them. They don’t want me.”
When Pierre calmed down, I asked for another previous/same lie.
“I’m six months old. I’m just a baby lying on the floor with my brother sitting beside me. Something white, something bigger than me is coming down, down, down, on top of me. It’s a pillow! I’m being suffocated! My brother has pushed a pillow down on my face. I can’t breathe! He’s pushing harder!” Pierre, living the moment, gasped for breath, gurgling sounds coming from his throat, his hands went up to his neck as if to tear away his shirt and bring air into his lungs. And then it lifted. “Pierre gasped, “My brother yelled, ‘We don’t want you baby, go away!”
Pierre thrashed a bit in his chair but when he subsided, thinking we had arrived at the bottom, I asked, “Can you see the truth?”
Pierre said, “I wasn’t wanted. I don’t matter. That is the truth.”
I said, “No, that’s the lie. Let’s ask for another previous/same lie.
The look on Pierre’s face registered such surprise. He said, “I can’t describe what I am seeing because I don’t know what it is, but I am probably at my conception. I think,” he paused, “I think I wasn’t wanted. I don’t believe my parents wanted another child.”
There was no emotion in this, so I knew we had reached the root. “Okay, Pierre, now you see the root of the lie, your parents didn’t want another child. Ask God to show you the truth, and when you know the truth, you will see all those rocks disappear from your well, and you will be set free.”
So, Pierre, with trembling chin, asked, “Lord, please show me the truth and set me free.”
I sat and waited, and then Pierre began speaking out the words he heard in his spirit. “You are My son. I planned your birth from the beginning of time. Before I had an earth to put you on, I planned your life, and I created your world for you. You give Me pleasure. You, Pierre, My beloved son, I like talking with you; I like seeing your world through your eyes; I like knowing you. You are a natural man, a heterosexual man, My creation, My prize, My dearest possession. You are perfect and wonderfully made. No weapon formed against you will ever prosper. If I am for you, who can be against you? I am your true Father.”
Pierre opened his eyes, his mouth also opened in surprise. “I am wanted.”
“Are you truly satisfied with the truth? Tell me, what is the truth about who you are?” I asked.
“I am a child of God. God is my Father. He wants me. He planned for me. I matter to him.” Pierre smiled a truly satisfied smile.
“Can I pray for you now?” I asked.
“Of course!” He complied.
I took his hand, and we closed our eyes. “By the power given to me in the Word of God, I loose the three spirits of homosexuality, self-love, and hatred of women from Pierre’s life; I bind them and cast them out! I command you to leave and to never bother Pierre again.”
I opened my eyes. “Pierre, how do you feel?”
“I think they’re still trying to hold on.”
We closed our eyes again. “In the name of Jesus Christ!” I practically shouted with all the intention I could muster, “Get out of Pierre’s life and leave him alone!”
Then we both felt them leave his body. Pierre said, “They’re still in the room, and I think they have left three holes in my side. At least that’s what it feels like.”
We closed our eyes again. “Holy Spirit, please stitch up the holes made by Satan’s agents and fill Pierre with Yourself. Please flood the places left empty by the departing spirits and make him whole.”
We opened our eyes and sat in silence for a while. Pierre asked, “What do I do now?”
I said, as if I knew all along, “Forgive them. Forgive your father for being so frightened of being real that he walled himself off from the most important people in his life. Forgive your mother for her psychosomatic illnesses. Forgive her for abandoning you in her defeat against her stonewalled husband. Forgive your brother. He also lived in a cold, unwelcoming atmosphere, and he took it out on you. Forgive him for trying to kill you and get you out of his way for the meager measure of love that he also desperately needed and didn’t want to share. Forgive them. Forgive your classmates.”
Pierre asked, “Will you hug me while I do this?” We stood and embraced. No doubt I embodied all the love he yearned to have from his mom. His body, hot like an iron from the fire, stood ramrod straight, at first unbending, then yielding, and then he sobbed on my shoulder as he forgave everyone.
I couldn’t hear what he was saying, but I could see the three demons that were so angry, so angry they were bouncing off the walls, swirling around, coming at me with ferocious faces. Their voices reverberated in the room with threats toward me. Finally, they reached such a pitch that they said, “This guy is really a serial killer, and he is going to kill you tonight. Nobody will find you for days, and finally they will break into your apartment and find you dead in hardened blood.
By this point it was all I could do to keep from laughing. Satan had overplayed his hand. Frantic, his lies became too fantastic. However, if I laughed, I would break Pierre’s flow of forgiveness, so I just kept patting him on the back. That made the spirits madder. I represented the comforting mother Pierre wanted, and that comfort was what these spirits were desperate to keep from him.
Finally, Pierre stopped shaking, the heat left his body, the sobbing subsided, and he quietly let go. We stood for a few seconds and then sat down. “What do I do now?” he softly asked.
Silence reigned as the answer formed on my lips. “You stand. You stand against the enemy from coming back on you. An army, when they have won, when they have defeated the other side, does not simply throw down its guns and start partying. A conquering army doesn’t start partying when the white flag goes up.
The war may be over, but they still have to go in, collect the guns and ammunition, round up the prisoners, and release the captives that were held by the enemy. The conquering army must go into the city, clear out the pockets of defiance remaining in the dark alleys and upper rooms of buildings. They must gather up all the soldiers and residents of the other side and put them in camps until orders from on high arrive saying what to do with the prisoners of war.
When the captured territory has been secured and guards posted on duty, then some of the soldiers, taking turns, can go on liberty and celebrate. Only when the prisoners of war have been shipped out and order re-established in the country can the entire army take leave, relax, and gladly recount the stories of their victory.
“You, Pierre, are like a conquering army. God has given you the victory. You’ve won the battle, but now you have mop-up work to do. You need to clean out old thought patterns that are hiding in the dark places and put them to death. You need to bring order to your life, change friends, change habits, change churches and jobs (if necessary), do everything to enforce your victory. You collected the guns and ammunition when you forgave the people in your life. When Satan is safely behind bars and your manhood fully released, then you can party, but not until you are sure the enemy is secured.”
Pierre mulled over some things he could think of right away that needed to be changed in his life. Then he paused. “But I still feel there is something more for me to do.”
I said, “Yes, you must be filled and keep being filled with the Holy Spirit. Every day.” Together we praised God and sang, filling the room with harmonious waves of spiritual songs.
As lovely as that was, it did not confront the unresolved issue. Pierre wanted to know what else there was to it. I was ashamed because I should have had all this stuff ready to dish out to him. Instead he prompted me like prodding a stage-struck novice from behind the curtain. Suddenly, I remembered the vision I had of Jesus whispering in my ear what to say while I stood on stage. As if prompted, I said, “Well, there is the issue of sex.”
“Oh, you mean solo sex.” He said.
I said, “Yes, only there is no such thing as solo sex. Every time you masturbate you are having sex with a demon.”
Pierre grimaced from head to foot in discomfort. “But men need a release. You can’t be serious. Just because my body needs to ejaculate doesn’t mean a demon is present. It is a biological fact that men have sex thoughts. . . .”
“Every forty seconds?” I finished for him.
“Yes.” He said rather emphatically.
I told him about my interview with an evangelist named Andrew Womack and that when I asked him if he believed the reports that men must have a sexual thought every forty seconds, his reply had been, “I don’t.” He said it rather emphatically.
“Pierre, it may seem impossible in the beginning, but you can control your thought life. In fact, full victory will be full control of your thoughts.”
“But isn’t it true that man has natural desires?”
“Yes,” I said, “but there is a difference between desire and lust. Lust is a compulsion. Desire is a gentle leading. Lust is a driving that must be fulfilled at the expense of another. Desire is a natural drawing to express love through sex. That’s why they call it making love. Jesus gently leads us. Satan drives us. When you masturbate, Pierre, are you gently being led? Or are you being driven? Do you fantasize during your solo sex?”
“Yes, I do. And I see what you mean. I am using that person to satisfy my needs; I’m not making love to them. But what do I do then? How can I relieve those physical needs?”
“A traveling evangelist I know who goes on the road for months at a time, leaving his beautiful wife at home, told me he prays. He asks God for help, and he worships Jesus, and the desires subside. Some people take cold showers. Some people go running. You must find your own outlet. When natural desires arise, we should always seek to fulfill them spiritually. Between a husband and a wife, the most spiritual way to satisfy that natural desire is to make love.
“It’s not natural to put someone else first. Physically, we want the best. Our physical bodies are self-centered. Our spirits are other-centered. If I were a man, I would pray; in fact, I would pray for those people the demons are bringing to my mind for fantasy. That should stop the demons that carry lust to flee from you like running from the plague”
Pierre said, “I need to ask for forgiveness for lust and solo sex, too.” Instantly he bowed his head and contritely asked God to forgive him and to cleanse him with the everlasting blood of Jesus. When he finished, he sat back in the chair, the grin of the Cheshire cat spread across his face. His elbows rested on the arms of the chair, his fingertips touching.
He looked around the room, and he looked at me, “I’m not gay,” he said matter-of-factly. “I am not gay.” He nodded to the other side of the room. “They’re still here, waiting to see what I’ll do next. But they can’t get back in because I’m not gay.” No great passion rang in his words, no defense, no self-exertion forcing himself to believe. It was simply a statement of fact. He said it several times, delighted with the new discovery.
I encouraged him some more about the bright future lying ahead of him and warned him not to rush into a relationship with a female. He needed to let the Lord gently guide him into that as well. There being little more to say, Pierre left. But I could not bring myself to go to bed. I was wired! My whole life had come to a pinnacle this night! The very thing I had always wanted for Dan had just happened under my hand.
What a gift God had given me! I stayed up till four in the morning, praising Him, thanking Him, loving on Him for giving me the grace to see this day, for having mercy on me. Going through all I had gone through with Dan was worth it in order to have the understanding to help Pierre. That evening will be a treasure to me for the rest of my life! Someday I’ll tell Pierre how much it meant to me.
The next day Pierre called. “Maggie, this has been the worst day of my life. Those three spirits came back, and they brought an army with them. Every single man who approached my desk looked delicious to me. I thought about how much I wanted to have sex with each one. What’s going on?”
“Where those thoughts yours?” I asked.
“No, they were not. They belonged to Satan.”
I said, “Those spirits want back in your body, which is a wet place where they like to live, so they will try to attack and sandbag you until you give up, acknowledge those thoughts as being your own, and therefore give them a right to live there. You cannot repress thoughts; you can’t stuff them down because they will pop right back up again. You can’t change thoughts because if they exist, they exist. But you can replace thoughts. Since those thoughts don’t belong to you, replace them with thoughts that do belong to you. Replace them with what the Lord said to you last night or replace them with the Word of God.
“When those spirits come along with a thought, just say, ‘Oh, yeah? Well, here’s what I think,’ and then quote what God says. Make a list of all the ‘In Him’ Scriptures and recite them to yourself daily. Put your name in there; after all, you are the son of the King—you are in Him.
I didn’t hear from Pierre for several days. This time when he called, it was with a completely different complaint. “Maggie, two different girls called me yesterday and the day before. They both invited me to dinner. I’m not ready for this! What do I do?”
“Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you how to honor them as daughters of God. Accepting a dinner invitation is not accepting a proposal of matrimony. It’s just a friendly acceptance of a friendly invitation.
“It sounds to me like the Holy Spirit is giving you an opportunity to learn to love women instead of hating them. Why not fill up on the ‘In Him’ Scriptures, go to dinner, and observe yourself. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you how to honor them as daughters of God.”
“But what if they want to develop a relationship?” He sounded genuinely fearful, and I wondered if women were really so frightening to men.
“One dinner does not a relationship make. Don’t be afraid. Just go and enjoy yourself.”
Then he asked how he would know when it was the right woman, how he could identify his future wife. I explained about the hormone that is secreted when you fall in love. It makes you crazy. You think about the other person day and night. You do foolish things. You throw caution to the wind. I told him I doubted he would be able to fall in love until he cleared his mind from the cloud of thoughts Satan sprayed him with. He might as well relax and just enjoy women as friends for now. This hormone that is secreted lasts for about two years, so it is no idle passing fancy. He will know that he knows, that he knows, that he is in love. There will be no doubt.
I also told him he must address the issue of forgiveness. Since he had treated women badly in the past, he must seek forgiveness for that. If he knows of anyone directly that he has wronged, he can ask her to forgive him for whatever he did; if the offense against women remained general, attitudinal, then he can ask God to forgive him. Pierre said he would attend to that the minute he got off the phone. From what I had seen of him previously, I was sure he would be true to his word.
About a month later he called again. “I just realized something, and I thought you’d like to hear the good report.”
“What’s that?” I asked lightly, happy to hear his light tone.
“I have not masturbated since the night we chased the demons out of my life! Plus, the wet dreams have disappeared because every night before I go to bed, I command my thoughts to be pure and lovely while I sleep. But I am wondering why can’t I keep my thoughts in line during the day? Why do I still desire other men?”
“Pierre, if you had cancer, you would fight it tooth and nail, wouldn’t you?”
“Yes, of course. I’d quote Scripture at it. I would stand firm. I would daily, maybe hourly, maybe minute by minute command that putrid stuff to get out of my body!”
“That’s right,” I encouraged. “because cancer is a matter of life and death and requires drastic action. But homosexuality is not a matter of life and death. However, to get rid of it you must treat it as if it is a life and death matter. Pierre, you’ve got to stand firm—command those thoughts, take authority, fight, make your confessions of who you are—like you said, daily, maybe hourly, and if it demands it, minute by minute, until those evil spirits get the message that you cannot be had any longer. They will go away.”
I didn’t hear from Pierre for about a month and a half. Then he called again and said, “I’m free.” And I could tell by listening to the tone of his voice that it was complete. It was over. The battle had been won, the enemy mopped up, and Pierre was ready to party.
A mutual friend called me after visiting Pierre and reported that he fairly danced around the room laughing, “I’m free! I’m free! She wanted to know what he was free of.
“Oh, just garden variety fear and doubt. That’s all.”
Thank God for freedom! I would have given anything for Dan to be set free like that. All I ever really wanted was a husband, a family, and a home. How delighted I would have been if he had been that and provided that for me, but it didn’t happen. Dan, no doubt, will be free someday, but not for me. My thirty-three years have already rolled by. Why couldn’t I have had what I wanted? I don’t know, and I am no longer asking why.
But this one thing I do know. I cannot be responsible for Dan’s decisions. I cannot be responsible for Dan’s willingness, or his openness. I can only be responsible for mine. God made each of us to account for ourselves. We can love and serve each other, maybe influence each other, but we cannot make up another’s mind or change their will.
Dan threw our marriage away. I am not responsible for that. Dan will have to answer to God. I am responsible for walking away from a belittling, debilitating situation and for that the Lord tells me He is well pleased.
Writing has been in my blood, so to speak, but when I surren-dered my life to Jesus Christ and He told me to write, all my trepidations rolled away and I began in earnest! After all, if God Almighty says it was His idea that I be a writer, who am I to stand in His way? My hope is that you not only like what I write, but that your life is moved by it, and that your party to Jesus and with Jesus turns your life into days of Heaven on Earth.