After living as a lesbian for 26 years, Mary and her whole family came to Christ through Discovery Bible Study
Following up from a previous story which you can read here, Michael had just done a Discovery Bible Study in Genesis 2 with Mary, a Lesbian of 26 years, and her family. In response to reading about God's design for gender and marriage, Mary told him, "It's nobody's business who I sleep with." Here's the continuation of that story:
A Whole Family Baptized After Discovery Bible Study
Even so, we continued the Discovery Bible Study (DBS) process. About 3 week later, Mary's daughter's fiancé gave his life to Christ. After reading the Genesis passage about the fall of man, and he told me, "I'm ready."
Shortly after that, Mary, her daughter, and daughter's fiancé came to me and said they would like to be baptized. I gulped and thought to myself, "I'm okay with baptizing the others, but what about Mary? She's given her life to Christ, but she's still living as a lesbian." Then I realized that when I got baptized, I wasn't squeaky clean either. So I went to my lead pastor and he gave permission to baptize them.
Baptism was a big step. I knew that God would have the final say, and I saw Mary's heart was devoted to Christ.
We continued the DBS until we had gone all the way through the 27 weeks of the Creation to Christ Scripture list. At the last story we read, Mary's two grandchildren said,
"We want Jesus, what do we have to do?" Now, Mary's whole family had given their lives to Christ! God was moving powerfully.
Mary then went down to Florida to help a friend. God began to work on her even deeper while she was there. One day, after finishing a 21 day fast, I called to Mary to tell her what God had done in my life as a result. "I think I need to do that too," Mary said.
Mary's Life Came Crashing Down
While Mary stayed in Florida for 2 months, she began to talk to God. She said that God brought her away from her home so she could see the brokenness that was in her home with fresh eyes. Every time she called home, she could feel the negativity and oppression.
At the time, Mary was struggling with her now ex-wife. They were getting a divorce. She was battling with the dread of losing someone to whom she had committed her life. Now that God was in the mix, Mary felt even more pulled in every direction. The more she prayed, the more the distance grew between Mary and her wife.
When Mary returned home, all her life was crashing down. Her father had a stroke. Her family was financially unstable. She was going through a divorce. All while in quarantine.
"I wanted to die," Mary said. "And if I didn't have God, and if I didn't have my pastor, I would have done it."
God Freed Mary from Lesbianism
But then Mary cried out to God like she had never done before. She said, "What do you want from me God? Speak to me what I need to know!" Then she opened up to Leviticus 20 in which God talks about His laws for sexuality. "Then I started to get sick," Mary recalled. "I knew it was God talking to me. I couldn't unsee it."
"...So I did the most difficult thing I could—to give up my sexuality as a sacrifice to God."
"I had been giving my flesh more attention and idolization than God," Mary continued. "I wouldn't even say good morning to God or have a conversation with Jesus."
"If I give up my sexuality to You, will you please take away this pain?" Mary told God, "As long as I live, I will never sleep with a woman again, because I've read your law, and I know what the consequences are." It was in that moment that Mary became free from 26 years of being a lesbian.
"It was the hardest thing in the world to give up," Mary recalled to me. "But I'm telling you—there's nothing in this world that I could take, drink, or experience that would make me feel the way I feel right now. You can't make this up. You just can't."
After Mary finished making things right with God, I was the first person she called. She later told me why. "I wanted to honor you, Michael. I wanted to share my good news with the man who helped deliver me, who saved my life. You cared enough about me it didn't matter the color of my skin, who I slept with, how much money I made, or where I lived. You went against your own grain, for me. And I loved you and your wife for that."
God Answered All of Michael's Earnest Prayers
I journal all my prayers. So I went back and looked up the first prayer I had ever prayed for Mary. I wrote, "God, I pray that Mary Thompson will become a disciple worth following. Help her to be an influencer with her life." Then I read the other prayers I had prayed, day after day, for Mary. I would ask God things like,
"I don't know how to share the truth about Your standards for Marriage with Mary! You're going to have to show her, God. I can't."
So as I was on the phone with Mary when she told me how she had surrendered everything to Christ, there was no greater joy. To get that call from Mary was one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me.
I want to encourage all of you to not give up on people. Let God do His work. He is going to use us, and it will be a joyous thing. God can do anything. Mary is a testimony of that. I told Mary that she will be my greatest church planter. Mark my words. This is just the beginning of this story. God is amazing. He can take two strangers who have prejudices against each other and make something really beautiful out of it.
Michael said it himself—God can do anything. Never give up on people, because He can use the most unlikely people to bring about transformation. Let God do His work. Moreover, God answers our faithful, earnest prayers. Michael prayed every day for Mary when he had no idea how to help her become free from her sexuality. God came through. Michael's story displays how our life testimony of our walk with God makes all the difference. Michael openly shared about his walk with God, such as his 21-day fast, with Mary. She was able to witness what a transformed life with Jesus looked like, and it changed her.
Free Podcast: How Do You Overcome Spiritual Warfare?
Michael had to help Mary overcome extreme spiritual warfare in her life and in her entire household. Learn from David Watson on the CDM Podcast on how disciple-makers can deal with the attacks of Satan.