By Leanne Payne
from her newsletter archives, June 1987
A fine looking young Christian father and husband, suffering with the homosexual neurosis, came to a PCM with little or no hope. His expectation, since he had so long sought help, was exceedingly low. With his lovely wife’s encouragement, and for the sake of his family, he came. Here’s the letter we got shortly after the conference, followed several weeks later by one from his wife:
Bless the Lord! My life (and my family’s) will never be the same! My walk with the Lord has quickened considerably. I am loving the Lord more, being His son from the deepest parts of my being, listening to His beautiful words and obeying Him.
Having been a Christian for fifteen years, married for five years, and a member of a Spirit-filled ecumenical community of believers, I’d been steeped in the mind’s way (alone) of knowing and did not know that my heart’s lagged behind. I was so used to a pastoral leader taking responsibility for my life that somehow I got things screwed up and left God out of the picture. I had prayed earnestly that I would get the opportunity for you to pray with me. That didn’t occur. You see –that thinking was from the former self– a self that didn’t think he was able to approach Christ first hand to receive what he needed. The most important thing that God showed me was that He was going to do it–not my pastoral leader, not a community of believers, not even the person of Leanne Payne– but Him. I needed to look to and rely upon Him. He refreshed and strengthened me. He revealed Himself to me as never before, and is continuing to do so. I’ve spent many an hour on my floor crying since that week. Not so much in sorrow, but in awe of who and what God really is, and who I am in relationship to Him– and certainly there has been a flood of tears.
Hope and victory shine through your ministry– blessed be God! I so sorely needed to see that — along with an unbelievable example of abiding in God. I am finding I need (and want to most of the time) to abide in His presence consciously as often as possible. If I don’t, I begin (almost immediately) to practice the old, rotten self. I desire none of that — only to live and die in Christ. I’m finding my major struggle at this point is in the controlling of my eyes — probably more from habit at this point.
[to understand this, listen to Mario Bergner’s tape on how, after his initial healing of homosexuality, he then dealt with the symbolic confusion — part of which included the habit of “cruising” with the eyes];
I am trying to discipline myself and always am giving my eyes to the Lord. I will be praying more about this.
My wife can’t believe the significant change either! She wants to sign up for the next PCM conference now. We will work out something even though it will be difficult with three young children. I pray for you, Mario, and all the PCM staff daily and will continue to do so.
In Christ, signed “Chuck”
I am writing to tell you about the way God has worked in my life and my husband, Chuck’s, as a result of his attending your recent conference in _____. My husband and I have been married for five years. We have been members of (–) community for ten years. We have three small children.
Last year, when I was pregnant with our third, I accidently found out that my husband had difficulties with homosexual desires. He had read your book, The Broken Image, and had written you a letter asking to be prayed with. Apparently he sent it to the wrong address, because it was returned to our house. I thought it was a check he had written to a religious organization, so I opened the letter and read it.
I was shocked. I felt like it was the worst thing that could have happened — for me to have married a man with this problem. I didn’t tell Chuck that I knew about this problem for a few weeks, because I wanted to be able to love him unconditionally for a period of time before I let him know. So that he could have a chance to see that I still loved him when I knew. Needless to say, I also prayed like crazy for him. I also read your book.
In a way, I felt like it was a step toward healing for Chuck when I told him that I knew about his problem. At last there were no more “secrets” in our marriage.
It was almost a year from the time I found out til the time he attended your conference. During that time we talked to almost no one about it, thinking that most people wouldn’t understand or be able to handle it. I finally wrote and told a former pastoral leader of Chuck’s about it; he had known about the problem when he was responsible for Chuck several years ago. He wrote back and told us to get it out in the open and get prayer. Another former pastoral leader we talked to basically said Chuck would just have to “grin and bear it.” Two others that we talked to were more helpful, urging us to seek prayer.
So, Chuck attended your conference in , and came back a changed man. The night he came back, he didn’t get home until late, 11:00 or so. And he and I stayed up talking for hours - that in itself is very significant because Chuck and I never had communication that was that good. (I understand now that it had to do with him rejecting his feminine [intuitive, feeling mind] side.) As he told me how God had worked, we both wept for joy.
The way God worked in Chuck’s life has been one of the most significant things ever in our lives. Not just the healing of his homosexual desires, but the fullness of his relationship with God. He asks the Lord about everything, he is always practicing being in God’s presence. In the past, God didn’t seem to have much to say to Chuck — or rather, Chuck didn’t know how to listen. So, Chuck didn’t spend a lot of time talking about his prayer life. I had always kept a prayer journal, arid written down what God said to me, but we just didn’t talk about our prayer lives. If we did discuss our prayer times, it was only to find out if we were getting them in. For months, or years, I had been asking Chuck if we could take time to pray together about our lives, our marriage, our family, and he just wasn’t very open to it. But now … we talk about the Lord all the time! For hours at a time. Scripture has come alive for both of us. Chuck is teaching me how to come in to God’s presence more fully.
As a result of this, God has been able to do some very significant healing in my own life. Stuff related to self-hatred, and a ten pound weight problem, and guilt related to a terrible accident I had as a child. All of this has been very good for me. Chuck even prayed over me for healing of these things — something he never would have done in the past.
I was baptized in the Spirit years ago, and never have I known God as I’ve known him this past month. God has also filled me with compassion for those who suffer from homosexual problems. In the past, I knew only revulsion at the condition, but God is really working in my heart. And now I, too, want to be able to bring God’s love and freedom to all those in bondage.
Our sex life, too, has greatly improved! In fact, not too long ago (after the PCM Conference), Chuck and I had just made love and he said, ”The Father is smiling at us!” Talk about living in the presence of God!
There is so much more I could say, but I think this is enough … may God continue this mighty ministry!
Reprinted with permission, copyright ©1999-2013 by Pastoral Care Ministries, Inc.