Emily Thomes was only 15 when she met her first girlfriend.
“I love her,” she told her parents. “It’s a girl, and I’m gonna be with her, and this is how it is.”
Emily didn’t hesitate to embrace her homosexual lifestyle.
Little did she know how God would eventually change her heart!
The first romantic relationship in Emily’s life “went terribly,” she admitted. Gossip and questions from her friends, family, and even that first girlfriend embittered her toward those who cautioned her against homosexuality.
She believed that homosexuality was a natural lifestyle choice for her and she was angry when those around her disagreed.
“I can either cower away or I can own it,” she decided, “so I’m going to own it.”
Emily was convinced that if her friends and family were truly Christians, they would be on her side and support her decisions. Anything else was “backward thinking” or a legalistic misinterpretation of God’s Word.
As so many gay people have claimed over the past few decades, Emily believed that God’s call to “judge not” was a tacit blessing of her lifestyle choices.
“God being love meant God was nice, and God was chill with what you were cool with,” Emily argued. She continued to live in that mindset throughout her teens and early twenties, partying wildly and entering relationship after relationship with other women.
While in nursing school, Emily met the woman she thought she could spend the rest of her life with. They became engaged, and Emily tried to change her wild lifestyle for the sake of the other woman’s two children.
Emily was ready to marry another woman, and she believed there was nothing wrong with that.
But God had other plans.
Emily’s life started to change when she was invited to a Bible study. As a lesbian, she expected to be ridiculed and judged by the Christians there, but the welcome she received instead caught her off guard.
The other women in the Bible study shared their experiences of God, and Emily couldn’t stop wondering, “What if all of it’s true?” She began to question her identity, wondering if her homosexual behavior was really natural.
“I need to feel okay, because I don’t feel okay anymore,” she realized.
She started searching for truth, looking up Bible verses about homosexuality. She quickly found the answers she was looking for in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.
“Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
Emily realized that she was on the list of people who would not enter heaven, and it scared her. But then she read the next verse.
“And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).
Through this verse, Emily discovered that she was not alone, and she was not beyond help. Others had been in the place that she was in, and Jesus had saved them.
She needed that salvation herself.
“I could hold on to my sin and reject God, or I could turn to Him. All the debt that I’d racked up, living like I’d lived, didn’t have to be mine if I could trust Him.”
Emily’s eyes were opened to the truth of the Scriptures. She understood for the first time how she had twisted God’s Word to fit her own agenda, and she repented of her sins to turn to Christ.
Since that day, she’s never ceased to be amazed by the grace God has shown her, and she wants others to know it as well.
“People say to me all the time, ‘I was born this way.’ I say, ‘Okay, yeah, me too,” Emily admits. “You’re not born with right affections. That’s why Jesus had to come.”
As she speaks of her conversion, she continues, “It’s not gay to straight. It’s lost to saved. God calls us not to heterosexuality but to holiness.”
Emily has left behind her homosexual lifestyle and is now living in the grace of Christ – a powerful reminder for all of us who have been saved from our sin. All of us who are in Christ have much to be thankful for.
Pray for Emily and her witness to the so-called gay community she left behind, and pray for the worldwide efforts of the church to reach those who are deeply entrenched in homosexual lifestyles.
Have faith, like Emily does, that God is working in these communities! As Emily well knows, “God’s Word is clear, and He can save, and He does, and He will.”