Growing up, I felt I was different from the other girls. I didn’t care about makeup, clothes, or boys; what I longed for was attention and nurturing from women. My mom was emotionally unavailable, so I reached out to teachers, youth ministers, or any woman who might affirm me or “mother” me. Unfortunately, they weren’t always the best examples of love, so I often felt alone and empty. Boys wanted to date me, but I was tired of them being attracted to me because I viewed myself as one of the guys.

I started hiding and rejecting my femininity. I cut my hair short and wore masculine clothes. I spent a lot of time wishing I was a guy, arguing with God, saying He made a mistake and put me in the wrong body. People often mistook me for a boy. My dad asked when I would start dressing like a lady, but I just didn’t feel right in “girl” clothes. I’m glad I grew up when I did; otherwise, people might have pressured me to become transgender, and I would have missed out on the blessings I’ve experienced being a woman.

In my early twenties, several people, including my mother, asked me if I was a lesbian. This confused me. I’ve never identified as a lesbian; I just wanted to be loved by women. Subconsciously, I sought intense female friendships hoping they would fill my needs for love and acceptance. I began living for these relationships, changing for each friend in an attempt to prove I was lovable and worthy of her time. Unfortunately, I felt like a beggar. I’d get so enmeshed with these women that I’d forget who I was; then I’d come to my senses and “break up” with them, walking out of their lives with no explanation. To my regret, I’ve hurt a lot of people.

In the 1980s and 90s, there was a lot of persecution against people who identified as gay. Scientists began looking for a “gay gene,” and I stopped what I was doing and listened intently whenever this came on the news. Could this be why I was different? Did I have that gene? Nope. It turned out a gay gene does not exist. Out of shame and fear of rejection, I didn’t breathe a word of my sexual confusion for many, many years.

During my college years, I began discerning my vocation. I considered entering the convent, but the strong desire to be a mother pointed me in the direction of marriage. I started dating, but when guys wanted to spend time kissing, I jumped ship. Then, one summer, while working at a camp with a no-dating policy, I met a guy named Dan; we quickly became best friends. When camp ended, we went to different parts of the country, so our dating relationship never had a chance to turn physical, and through letters and phone calls, we kept our friendship strong. In less than two years, we got married and were both surprised on our honeymoon with how difficult sexual intimacy was for me. As Dan and I have matured, we’ve realized that everyone struggles with their sexuality, and talking and praying together, that part of our marriage is now very good. We know our temptations do not define us, and we encourage each other to find our true identities in God.

A turning point in my life was when I attended my first Courage conference. I didn’t know what it would be like to meet other women who experienced same-sex attraction. I didn’t talk much at that conference but did a lot of listening and observing. I witnessed that the Courage women were hilarious, they cared for each other while maintaining good boundaries, and they loved Jesus. After a lifetime of feeling I was an outcast and that I’d never fully fit in anywhere, I knew I’d finally found a home. Alone in my room, I fell to my knees while healing tears washed over me, and I let go of lies admitting to Jesus, “I’m not a freak! There are women like me who are beautiful and awesome; I must be good, too.” 

Taking my wounds, confusion, and temptations to Jesus has allowed His light to shine in me and chase the shame away. As I’ve become more confident in being God’s beloved daughter, He has been healing my self-image and my relationships. My femininity used to seem like a curse, but now I understand God made me with beautiful strengths and gifts that I share through my womanhood. I have learned to find balance in friendships and no longer use others in an attempt to find my worth. The more I choose to live a chaste life, the more I experience freedom within myself and my relationships.

My dear sisters and brothers, your temptations and experiences do not define you. The world is shouting that we will not be happy or whole until we give in to our feelings and desires, but that is a lie. Jesus knows you and has never been surprised by your attractions or gender confusion. Talk to Him. He is waiting for you to accept His pure love and healing. Please know you are not alone. There is a whole community waiting to walk this journey with you. You are worth it. 

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Molly K. has been a Courage member for eleven years. She and Dan, parents of seven children, have been married for twenty-five years. Molly loves to talk with people, to be spontaneous, and to make memories. If you spend time with her, you will notice she loves to randomly break out in song.

The opinions and experiences expressed in each blog entry in “The Upper Room” belong solely to the original authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of Courage International, Inc. Some entries have been edited for length and clarity.