This is part 2 in a two-part series. Click here for part 1.
I began to follow Jesus, and things changed. As time went on, the Lord was changing me. I accepted Christ Jesus, and I had a yearning to be baptized again. I was baptized by my dad and his friend Darron in South Carolina's Lake Keowee. Soon after this, my father asked me to go with him to a Sunday service at his friend Darron's church in South Carolina. It was a Pentecostal church, and they were having an evangelist from Ireland coming to speak. I agreed to go, and we went that Sunday morning.
I didn't exactly know why the evangelist was there or what he would talk about, but as he began preaching, I listened. I remember during worship there was a point when I couldn't stand up for long. I didn't know if this was the Holy Spirit or the medicine withdrawal, but something was happening. After the service, the Irishman had his wife pray for healing over people, and he gave prophetic words. I almost didn't go up to the front for prayer, but I knew I needed to. I told my dad I would go at the end. I remember thinking, If he says one thing wrong, it will crumble everything you have established, God!
At the end of the service, I went up with my father. It was incredible! The man told me I had dreams, so many dreams it could break a millionaire. That was one of my problems. One day I wanted to be a teacher, another day a lawyer, another a writer, another day thinking about opening a business. I had the right heart, and all my dreams were mostly about helping people. He told me the Lord was going to open the right doors for me to do what He wanted me to do.
Then the man prophesied that my intellect would go under God, and He would show me things. I couldn't believe it. How did this man know about my aimless thinking every day when the evil and good were battling in my mind about creation and other things pertaining to God? It was as though this man knew about my many nights asking God to please let me quit battling with Satan over whether He was real. The spiritual warfare during those nights had been tormenting and heavy!
Then the prophet told me I would have platforms open for me quickly and that it wouldn't take long. I was astonished. The Lord had just recently put a burning on my heart that one day, I would be sharing my story and helping others. When he said platforms would open soon, I knew I had to finally submit to God fully. The Holy Spirit spoke through that man, and I am grateful for his obedience in doing and saying what the Lord Jehovah wanted him to speak forth. When I walked out of the church building, the Holy Spirit started showing me that I needed to make a video cutting ties with everything from my past. He was asking me to lose even more of my life.
The video was hard for me to make. Up until that point, everything that was happening spiritually in my life was secretive. I wasn't telling my close friends or other family members I was close with. Now the Holy Spirit was wanting me to make a video and publicly renounce homosexuality and Scarlet. He also wanted me to share about my life and other struggles I had been through. In my mind, this was too much for Him to ask of me at this time.
I fought the Lord on this. I didn't want to speak the truth. I didn't want to lose my friends. I didn't want to lose some family who would disagree with the truth. If I made the video, I knew several would have some negative comments about it, and some would leave me. The Lord showed me one day which of my friends would leave. He also told me it wasn't so much to do with me, but that they had their hearts hardened to Him. He showed me I would have to lose them and lose that part of my life. It was a hard pill for me to swallow.
I put it off for some time, but then on Aug. 16, 2016, I made the video. I went to Dr. Story's office, who had been there through it all. I told her I needed to go live but didn't have the newest iPhone to do it on. She let me use her phone. I could see the excitement on her face. She knew that what I was about to do was going to be powerful and life changing. I made the video and discussed my life. I also stated I didn't want to be part of the homosexual lifestyle and would be cutting ties with all things involved with it. While I was making the video, I could feel good and evil fighting outside the door.
The day the video was made, my life really changed. My old life was over. It felt as if the weight of the world was lifted off me! I felt born again, truly like a new creation. After that video, I felt such joy and peace. From that day forward, the Bible became alive to me; it was no longer just a historical book with rules and regulations. I would begin to lose a lot of friends, something that weeks before seemed unimaginable. It was as if suddenly I had the grace to lose them. Following Jesus just seemed more important. He had sacrificed so much for me. He had laid down his perfect love for me. Could I not lose some friends? Some of the friends I lost felt like baggage being cut off, and some I still miss to this day. Jesus tells us that blessed are those who lose family and others for His sake. If you have ever been left out of friends' or family functions because of your belief in Christ, then let this Scripture encourage you right now: "If you are reproached because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified" (1 Pet. 4:14). I knew I had to move forward with God's plan for my life, and not everyone was coming with me.
I know now the Lord has so much in store for my future. I have much responsibility for my life and my future. I have to be a shining example of what Christ can do and how He can use anyone no matter their past. I want to help people move out of sexual sin and move into their identity in Christ.
You see, you are not the identity the devil makes you think you are. Jesus can wash away your sins; He can make you whole; He can show you that you have identity through Him. It is not what others say you are, but what Jesus claims you are.
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