This message is for those who feel abandoned by
God, betrayed by the religious and mortally wounded by a scary world rife with
danger and temptation. It is a message of hope for those who pray for loved
ones far from God. This is the testimony of a “last hour worker” –
one who has rediscovered the loving invitations of Christ after many years wandering.
I am an Asian-American woman, born and raised in Hawaii.
When I was 10, my parents had a dramatic “born again” experience. Being so
young, I followed their faith accepting Jesus and receiving the baptism of the
Holy Spirit. My parent’s religious fervor – amid mounting financial problems
and heated arguments over which one of them was more “right” with God – brewed
a bitter stew of hypocrisy that I could neither digest nor forgive.
When I was 17, my mother wrote checks to cover the mortgage
believing that God would miraculously deposit money in her bank account. Soon,
we lost the only house I had ever called home – and. I lost any remnant of
faith in God (and my parents). I cut myself loose choosing to live untethered
in the world. God seemed too dangerous. Maybe security might lie elsewhere, I
Meanwhile, my father became an evangelist. I know now that I
was born with a passionate desire to know God as truth – it is in my spiritual
DNA. But at the time we lost our home, grief and anger sent my truth-seeking
During the last 33 years, I was busy with life. I got
married and had 3 sons (my second son died at 5 months of pregnancy). I had a
lovely family that looked good on a Christmas card, a husband with a highly
successful career, and – finally – the material stability I yearned for myself
and my children.
During all these years, however, I was constantly on the
lookout for God – and danger. The material security could not quench an
insatiable thirst for love in my marriage, dissatisfaction with life in general
and the intense longing to fill deep deficits in my spirit.
About 4 years ago, a new urgency to seek God surfaced. I
investigated Buddhism, peered into Hinduism, and learned all about New Thought,
New Age, Self Help, and paganism. I was looking for “anything” that might lift
the increasing burden of emptiness and longing to find truth.
While I felt faith growing, the feeling of “missing
something” intensified at every turn. Even so, I remained convinced that Jesus
was not the answer. I had already looked under that rock years ago.
The blessing of always feeling the need to be ever vigilant
and on the lookout for God (and danger) is that it made me very aware of
everything around me. I saw God everywhere and heard Him speak to me through
all that He has at his disposal – which is everything! While this kept me
growing, it also kept me convinced at every turn that I had finally arrived.
Although I still did not recognize Jesus as the only one who
is mighty to save, I had a growing confidence in my ability to read the “signs”
of a cosmic God force whom I gradually surrendered to and trusted more. He
responded to me…and we were sharing conversation.
In May 2012, my marriage ended. I had not worked for 13
years so this was a big step to trust that God would meet my needs. He met me
every step along the way giving me increasing confidence that my
“non-acknowledgment” of Christ was the right way. Little did I know that God
had a plan.
After my husband moved out, the scales were removed from my
eyes and I saw the truth of my life. During fall 2012, I was brought to my knees. The internal desperation
sent me running back to the faith of my childhood. I decided to go to Lakewood Church. My soul had been craving the praise and worship of my childhood. When I
experienced this worship, I deeply reconnected with Jesus!
Suddenly I felt “neutral” – instead of triggered – when
hearing the name of Jesus. It was the prior years spent in a New Thought church
that had allowed me to slowly become comfortable moving closer toward Jesus.
Embraced by their non-judgmental message of hope, I began to see God as loving.
This was crucial for me: that the God who might turn against me for any little
mistake and take my home away was becoming a Father who cares, loves and
To my surprise, my oldest son began attending church with
his girlfriend and her family at First Presbyterian Church of Houston. He made
the decision to commit his life to Christ – something I never expected him to
do. During Christmas, he bought me a Bible and Tim Keller’s book, “The Reason
for God.” In early January of this year, he asked me: “So mom, what is your
problem with Jesus?” I said: “I don’t have a problem with Jesus. My problem is
with the exclusivity of Jesus. There are many pathways to God and I honor them
A week later, my son’s youth program invited parents to
attend Posture Shift with Bill Henson. I was so intrigued by the topic and the
strong endorsement of Bill’s message. I was intrigued because while not gay
myself, I had shared a spiritual journey with many LGBT+ friends deeply wounded
by conservative Christianity. I had a number of gay spiritual leaders who loved
me and guided me toward a loving God when I was most broken. I knew their pain,
and they understood mine. I thought: “can conservatives really lovingly reach
out to the LGBT+ community?” I made the decision to attend: a decision that has
changed my life forever – for eternity.
Posture Shift proved to be a divine appointment…one where
God revealed Himself and His truth through the Holy Spirit via Bill Henson’s
message of truth AND love. On day 2, I found tears streaming down my face as
Bill spoke. I never thought I would hear someone who professed to be an
evangelical Christian owning his struggles with the flesh so authentically and
speaking with such compassion for a community so disenfranchised by the
Christian community. My heart was opened by the Holy Spirit and the next day, I
recommitted my life to Christ at Lakewood Church.
I mentioned earlier that my father was an evangelist. His
testimony was printed in the February 1973 issue of Full Gospel Business Men’s
“Voice” magazine. He went to be with the Lord 25 years ago yet his words written
40 years ago guide me today: As human beings it is often very difficult to face
the truth about ourselves. But with the companionship and support of the rest
of Christ’s body we can face the world unafraid, strengthen our convictions,
and enjoy the fellowship of other believers of the holy Gospel. I can honestly
testify that all of us, who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Saviour and
received the Holy Spirit, can look to the Bible for all the answers to our
My son now seems like a reflection of my father – serving in
his footsteps as an evangelist who helped guide me toward Jesus. In looking
back over the last year, God’s faithfulness shines not only in meeting my
spiritual needs but also in tending to my children in all of their needs.
God is the same yesterday, today and forever! I am so
grateful to God for His faithfulness to forgive me and show me how to forgive
through the blood of Jesus Christ. For those of you who have been wounded by
religion, Jesus invites you to come to Him. For those who pray for a loved one
who has strayed from God, I believe your prayers will be answered.
My mother died last summer just short of her 90th birthday.
Her countless prayers for me were finally answered after she left this earth to
be with our Lord. Her prayers were answered decades later – but they were
answered! I know that she and my father are rejoicing in Heaven.
I now honor my mother and father and their faith. I am in
awe as I read the Bible only to recall the many verses my mother committed to
memory and planted in my heart. Even though I rejected Jesus 33 years ago, He
never rejected me. Despite my many transgressions, the Holy Spirit never left
me. I was lost, but Jesus stopped at nothing to find me.
Post Note: Special THANKS to First Presbyterian Church (FPC) for hosting Lead Them Home’s Posture Shift seminar. One attendee said: “Posture Shift is unequivocally the most intelligent and Christ-centered teaching on outreach and care of LGBT+ people that I have encountered. You don’t know what you don’t know until you experience Posture Shift!” The Executive Pastor of FPC writes: “Posture Shift was actually a spiritual experience. Many came wrestling with a conflict between their strong biblical faith and a desire to be compassionate and non-condemning. Bill’s authentic and self-disclosing presence set a tone for teachable spirits, invited heart-felt identification with all who struggle with life and was soundly rooted in the Gospel message.”
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