The Holy Spirit is moving among this generation in miraculous ways. Charisma reached out to nine "new voices" who are advancing the kingdom of God around the world. Each story is featured in our Charisma January issue, and we've posted the transcripts below. This interview has been edited for grammar and clarity. For the full interview, be sure to download the podcast.
M.J. Nixon is a former lesbian who shares her radical conversion to Christ through her organization, Uprooted Heart.
Can you tell the listeners a little bit about your testimony?
So my story starts as a young little girl with hidden attraction. I was that little girl who, looking back, wanted to be a little boy. I always wanted to be the prince rescuing the princess. I never wanted to be rescued. I grew up in the church. So I knew about God, but I didn't really have that relationship. So throughout my adolescent years, my middle school years and into my high school years, I just hid it; I just suppressed it.
And getting into high school, I got involved with the wrong group of people. I thought if I partied, I thought if I drank alcohol and became part of the cool group, these attractions would go away. But what I found is that I was at those parties, and I was just trying to drink away my sorrows, but I would wake up the next day and still have these attractions. So I was always in that in between, of not knowing what to do, wanting to act out on them.
But also then on Sundays, being in church and hearing that homosexuality was a sin. And I really see as I look back on my life, right before I went to college, for the first time in my life, I opened up to another bisexual male in my school. And I said to him, for the first time, "I'm gay," and it wasn't even a few months later that I was in a full relationship with another female that I went to school with. And we ended up being in a relationship for over five years, did everything that couples do, even propose.
I had the life I finally always wanted. I wanted to live with one person, have a monogamous relationship, be able to live the American dream, and I had that. But at the same time, I always had the inner conviction—I say conviction, it was never condemning—but it was always this still, small voice that said, "M.J., I have something so much greater for you. If you would just surrender your heart, and you would lay down this part of you, your sexuality, and give it to me, then you would live in the fullness of what I have for you." So that was one of the hardest decisions we both ever made in our lives, but we decided to end the relationship completely, cut it off and go full-in with Jesus.
How have you used your salvation and your testimony to just minister to people around the world even?
Yeah, so it's actually been seven years since I surrendered my life and gave my full life to Jesus Christ. And it's been the best seven years of my life—you know, true joy, true happiness. Like I said, you know, drinking, partying, being around people trying to fulfill, you know, this piece that was missing inside of me, my whole life, this relationship with Jesus. Now I truly can celebrate. I truly have joy and peace.
And as I started to realize there weren't many people sharing their stories of overcoming homosexuality, as I started to share, God gave me this vision of my heart. He gave me Matthew 15:13. It says any plant that the Father has not planted would be uprooted. So He showed me my heart in the weeds of deception, of homosexuality, and uprooting it and planting it in His garden to flourish and to grow. So that's how I got Uprooted Heart Inc., and that is my nonprofit ministry. And we are actually established to uplift and show light to other testimonies of people who have come out of the LGBTQ lifestyle. And so we've been doing that now for four years.
That's amazing. I know you also had a vision for a documentary. Can you tell me a little bit about that?
Yes. So the documentary is called Here's My Heart, a documentary about surrendering to freedom. The Lord awakened me in the middle of the night. And He downloaded this whole vision of taking six males and six females from all over the United States and sharing their testimonies. And I was so excited about that, because the biggest thing I get when I go to minister is, "I didn't know people could come out of homosexuality."
But I really wanted to share the true stories of individuals whom I knew were overcomers that were living, you know, the fullest identity of who they were really created to be before the foundation of the earth. So we're just excited. We're traveling now. We love to encourage the church to really be the hands and the feet, to be the bridge to this lost and dying community, to really run toward the homosexual community, not away from them.
Can you tell me a little bit about the response to this documentary and some of the incredible miracles that have happened because you stepped forward in faith?
Yes. Daily, we receive emails from parents of LGBTQ children; we receive emails from people who have seen the documentary, who were just so encouraged in their own walk as they're walking out of homosexuality in their own process. We've received emails from people who have been on the fence, you know, with their sexuality, with homosexuality, who have said, "Thank you. Now I understand."
And what I love the most is this real community of what we call our freedom family of other overcomers; we really step out in a place of love, because love is what led us to repentance. And then we do come then with that truth side, because His truth is what sets us free.
As the freedom family grows, what are some things the Lord has planted in your heart for the future of this movement?
So what we're doing next are what are called Freedom Marches. So most people know the Pride Marches are in every major city. They sow perversion into the city. They sow destruction into the city. And what we found is, I like to call them humble marches, because the opposite of pride is humility, and we're coming in with such great humility. And we want to come into every major city and have a freedom march, where we are just there to share our testimonies, to share the freedom and the love of Jesus.
And so we're just coming together with other overcomers, and also local churches, with anybody who'd be interested in helping support the mission of just sharing. We have a different narrative. And we also have a space where we should share in a platform that God is giving us. So we're just all banding together and coming to a city near you.
What are some other things you've really had to sacrifice in pursuing forward with the Lord?
I think in the process of sanctification, there are many things. I think the greatest thing was, you know, cutting ties with people who were not the best influence for me, who were not necessarily going to lead me closer to Christ, but further away. So that was something in this process of letting go and letting God move in my heart. But then God is always faithful to bring true community around me.
You've conducted Freedom Marches in massive cities like Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. What is it like coming against the principalities that are ruling these cities with darkness?
That's where we have to band together. And prayer is so important. And also knowing the authority that Jesus has given us: life and death being in the power of our tongue. You know, we trample over snakes and scorpions and nothing shall harm us. So like I was saying earlier, The Lord was showing me even in these pride events what they're sowing into the ground of the city, and I love that, then we're coming forth, and greater power is in us, and we live life and we live it abundantly. We leave the peace of the Lord on that place. And so He goes before us, and we just believe that as He goes before us, that environment is just being cleansed.
The blood is literally pouring out over the city, cleansing the city of all the defilement, cleansing the city of all the perversion. You know, what's going on in the atmosphere as we come forth and take our authority and take the ground as He even gave to Joshua. He said, "Do not be afraid." So we're not timid. We're not afraid, because we know His love covers a multitude of sins, and we know His love abounds more. So we just go forth in His love and with His truth, and we just see a radical shift in environments and atmospheres.
How important is grounding yourself in the word when you have such an extensive battle in front of you?
It's everything. I wouldn't be able to do anything without God's Word. It is the most important thing in my life. Because His word is living. It's active. It's not just words on a page that don't mean anything. It's just not fairy tales and fables. It literally is life. It literally is breath. And I would not be anywhere without His Word.
What have you experienced, using the Word even, dealing with your own spiritual warfare?
I look to the example of Jesus. Even Jesus was tempted by Satan, but what did He do? He knew who He was. He is still like, "Get away, get under My feet," but He used Scripture, because he showed us the breakthrough in the battle. He represented what we would walk through when we were tempted, and He used the Scripture to remind Satan the truth. And so I think it's very important that we look to the Scripture and use it. It's a double-edged sword. It splits the flesh and the spirit. It's alive. It's active, like I said, and it has to be used. It's like having a sword in its sheath, and it's there, and we have it, but if we're not applying it, if we're not appropriating it, if we're not speaking it, it's not being used.
When we first met, we attended an event where tongues were a key part of praying for one another. Can you tell me a little bit about how important the Holy Spirit is as you fight this battle?
Yes, everything is well. I don't think you have one thing without the other. The word has been revealed to me through the Holy Spirit. And He is the revelator, and Jesus said that he would have to go so the Spirit could come and reveal these things to us. So Holy Spirit is just as important as walking with him daily as my time in the word. And yes, the gifts of the Spirit are amazing. And we see them used daily, you know, in prayer, when they go out and speak, just in every part of our lives. It's very important.
Even in the church, we have some people saying homosexuality is acceptable to Christ, that Jesus just wants people to be happy. As someone who was convicted about that, and now that you've left the LGBT community, how do you approach this with people who are still dealing with it?
Like I said, there was always that conviction within me. But when I really looked at the word, and I looked at Romans 1:26 and it says, "women were having unnatural sex with women," I could no longer justify my lifestyle.
You know, I could look at that and try to wipe that out and say, "Oh, no, God's not speaking about me." But that really, for me, was the end of my case of why it was okay to love Jesus and live in blatant homosexuality. I think the thing for me with the church is we try to put homosexuality its own category as something so abominable that those people are just so far gone: "Why even witness to them?"
But the thing is all have fallen short of the glory of God. And sexual sin is sexual sin. Sexual brokenness is sexual brokenness. Whether it be fornication, whether it be pornography, whether it be homosexuality, whether it be transgenderism, whatever it may be, and Jesus wants to meet each one of those people. But how does He meet them if the church is condemning, if the church is judgmental, if the church is standing on the street corner, saying, "Have you gotten HIV yet? You're going to hell." That's not the way Jesus met people.
And I look at Jesus' example. He always met people in love. He knew their sin, but He saw their identity; He saw who they truly were. And yes, He did not tell them that they couldn't. He told them that they had to go and sin no more. But how did He always meet them? And so we try to really live and walk that. Because for me, there were a lot of people praying for me; you know, I didn't necessarily get witnessed to. I wasn't in a church. I was in my car when I got saved. But we hear a lot of stories of rejection. And, you know, one of the greatest stories I think about is somebody we filmed named Montria in the documentary, and she was transgender. She was originally a female. She became male, very blatantly male—most people wouldn't be able to tell. And when she came into the church, they loved her. They didn't tell her, "You've got to grow your hair out; you've got to take off those men's clothes." They allowed the Holy Spirit to move in her heart. And it took time.
But she came to that place where she realized, I can no longer live like this. This isn't who God made me. But if that church would have told her she had to get her life together, she said, "I would have been back on the street." And so I thought it was a great example of the witness of the church and how we can love people and allow the Lord to work in them.
What about churches that are concerned that if they love like that, they're compromising what the Lord has asked them to do?
Yeah, that's a good question. I think that is that place where you bridge that relationship and you have a relationship with that person, because it takes that rapport and knowing that person then to be able to speak the truth into them.
It's a good point. Because I know in my church, we do have people who are actively dealing with this who are like, "What do we do? We all have our own sin."
And then I have friends who are still in the community who attend church, and they get offended if they're not allowed to serve at their church. And I think there's so much within the body of Christ right now where we don't know how to handle sin as a whole, and it's not just homosexuality. I mean, I write stories, sadly, every week about pastors who have fallen to sexual immorality, and the whole thing is a giant mess.
But one thing I am seeing is, there's a remnant rising, that the Holy Spirit is really purifying this generation to speak boldly and speak love, but they're also speaking conviction. What are you seeing in the charismatic movement right now?
Amen. I agree a thousandfold with that. And I pray for more leaders to step up. I believe God's doing something new. They always say you can't put new wine in an old wineskin. And I really see this generation that's coming—not only my Millennial generation, but the next generation after me, where God is supernaturally setting people free, baptizing them in the Holy Spirit. And they're just going forth in such a boldness. And it's exciting.
And I want to encourage the next generation in that too, because we're always supposed to pass the baton, you know, to the next generation. I'm just so grateful for what God has given the work of my hands to do so that it can leave a place for the next generation then to come through and do the same and so much more.
Do you have anything you'd like to share with our readers?
Just if you're someone who's reading this, and you're struggling with homosexuality, I just want you to know you're not alone. You have a Father who deeply loves you. You are known by Him, and you're not too far for Him to reach you. You're not dirty. I just want you to know that. Please reach out to someone you know. Reach out to me. He sees you. He knows you. And He has such a great purpose and plan for you that if you would just seek after Him, He says those who seek Him will find Him. He will show you who you really are, what you're meant to be in purpose for.
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