BROOKE SMITH

God has used so many  people to love, encourage, counsel, and help me. Now I have a gentle, kind, and loving husband whose love has brought out a new woman within me.
— BROOKE SMITH

My mom taught my siblings and me that if we were ever in a dangerous situation, we could call on God to help us. Little did I know that in my early 20s I would come face to face with death on several occasions.

My trouble began in the 3rd grade, when I was sexually assaulted on numerous occasions. The sexual and verbal abuse shattered my childhood and my femininity, and as I got older I used my broken femininity to hurt men.

After several failed relationships with boyfriends, I met a woman, fell in love, and made the decision to completely reject men and embrace lesbianism. My girlfriend and I frequented the underground punk clubs and gay night clubs. Drinking, drugging, and violence became part of my daily life. My hatred and rage towards men and Christians grew. Eventually, I rejected my childhood beliefs in favor of gay-affirming Christianity, even tattooing my new beliefs on my arm.

When my family tried showing me what the Bible said about homosexuality, I screamed in their faces that I hated them. Instead of retaliating, they chose to pray for me. Twice, God rescued me from dangerous situations when I cried out for help, showing me that He was listening to me.

My heart began to soften towards the God of my childhood.

One night, I met a homeless man who was crying. When our eyes met, I was overcome with the most incredible and overwhelming feeling of love. It felt like I was looking directly into the eyes of Jesus. This incredible love softened my heart to pray a prayer of surrender. Over the next few weeks, I began to feel that I needed to choose between God and my girlfriend. I chose Jesus. I left her and flew to South Carolina to live with my parents. My heart was so broken from the loss of the life that I had with my girlfriend. Following Jesus had cost me everything. Slowly my heart began to mend. Over the past 22 years God has used so many  people to love, encourage, counsel, and help me. Now I have a gentle, kind, and loving husband whose love has brought out a new woman within me.

Bree Stevens