When I was around five years old I had a dream that stayed with me my entire life.
I was in a gym and there were two doors. One directly in front of me and one door at the other end of the gym.
Two men, in ancient clothes, with white hair and beards came through the door in front of me. They looked at me, somewhat acknowledged me, but did not speak to me.
They were talking amongst themselves, walked to the other end of the gym and exited. Suddenly, the roof was ripped off! I saw a very angry bear, roaring, opening its mouth and showing me its teeth! I then woke up. I will explain the dream later.
I was raised by two parents who were not perfect, but loved the Lord and tried to raise me in environments that taught me about God. I saw the power of God in various forms from a very young age. I believed that God was real and I grew up around Christians.
One thing that still sticks out to me is I Corinthians 13:1-3 – ”If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have absolute faith so as to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and exult in the surrender of my body, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
Loving people wasn’t always the main objective of the Christians I saw. It seemed almost everyone was longing for his gifts, ministry, and anointing, but when it boiled down to really loving people I didn’t see that much.
The life that I would live would definitely need someone to love me and show me Christ’s love.
At an early age I was exposed to some things that I should have never seen. Satan saw this and used it for his advantage.
I started looking for acceptance and love from men. My heart was so big and I was a very emotional person. Growing up, I would cry or even do things all other little boys didn’t want to do. I wasn’t the most masculine boy and the other boys at school soon caught on.
There were some awkward years between 5th and 8th grade where I was told I was ‘gay’ from other students.
By the 9th grade I had somewhat accepted this idea. I had felt same-sex attractions and decided it was time to give in.
I began thinking about what my life would be after I was finished with school. I could move from the rural countryside of the south and relocate to a city where homosexuality wasn’t looked upon as the ‘great plague.’
By my sophomore year, I had ‘come out’ – as they call it. I began to date guys and by my senior year was living the full homosexual lifestyle. I began dating older men and at this time I also started drinking and experimenting with drugs.
My brother passed away when I was fifteen and then shortly after that a very close aunt passed away. I began having panic attacks. I went to the doctor and described to him what was going on. He prescribed Xanax – this would become a lifelong foe of mine.
After graduating high school, I dated a much older guy. I began living in the gay scene in Nashville, Tn. It was exciting to me. There were so many others that felt the way I felt. There were parties, drag shows, club events, after parties, and scenes for the homosexuals to interact and live their lives.
‘Straight’ people in the cities had gay friends, designers, party planners, and just integrated with homosexuals. I didn’t feel so different anymore. I felt unique and I put my whole identity into my sexual orientation. I had even quit the ecstasy and cocaine that I had been addicted to in younger years. I put my identity and who I was in my boyfriend who was known throughout Nashville.
After the relationship ended I went back to alcohol. Immediately after alcohol I started experimenting more with crystal meth. These were some of the darkest days of my life. Xanax entered the picture again and before I knew it I was taking Xanax everyday, throughout the day, while smoking crystal meth. I would stay up for days – one time I even stayed up around 5 or 6 days.
I was living in downtown Nashville in a new area called the ‘Gulch.’ I was living with an older man who was my boyfriend and basically took care of me. I started working at an after hours club and things spiraled more and more out of control. The club opened up at around 12 am and closed around 8 or 9 am. It was the perfect environment for me to stay high, and I did.
My weight, spirit, and emotions just plummeted. I knew I had to leave Nashville.
My father called on my birthday that year and explained to me that he had been hired for a baseball coaching position at Emmanuel College, a Christian college in Georgia. He further explained that I could go to college, tuition-free at Emmanuel. This was my chance to get out of Nashville. I was ready to leave. So, I smoked as much crystal meth as I could at my friend’s house, met my dad at a gas station to pick me up, and moved to Georgia. This gas station will come back later in the story.
When I moved to the super small town of Franklin Springs, Georgia, I was almost in shock. This is what I left Nashville for? From living in a downtown area to living with chicken barns everywhere – but the Lord was working on me. This was a four-year period away from everyone and everything I had known back home in Tn.
I started doing very well.
I succeeded in this academic setting, even surpassing most of my fellow students. I won the History Award my senior year, was secretary in Pi Gamma Mu Honor Society, graduated with honors, and even applied to graduate school and received a TA position with full pay for my Masters. Everything on the outside seemed like I had my life together, but on the inside I was screaming for help.
In my last semester as an undergraduate student at Emmanuel I started really wanting more and I was getting depressed. I reached out to a professor that I had been told had been molested when she was young. She wasn’t bitter, enraged, sexually immoral, or trying to find herself. She was married, had children, laughed, loved the Lord, and talked about how her life was fulfilled by God.
I took one of her science classes in my last semester and immediately attached to her. I eventually told her of some things that had happened to me and she listened. I shared about my life and struggles and that I knew I wasn’t living right.
You see by this point I pretty much thought I was down for the count with God. No one really reached out, besides my parents, to show me God’s love. No one had shown me my importance to God, that He loved me and had a much better planned for me.
The enemy comes in like a lion, roaring and seeking whom he may devour. When the devil saw that I was receiving healing, seeing some hope, and feeling loved – he immediately swept in.
I graduated from Emmanuel and moved to Tennessee to take care of my niece and nephew for the summer. Something that summer kept enticing me to do a drag show. I had always felt more feminine than masculine. I had played with Barbies when I was little and loved dressing up; imagining sheets as dresses and always identifying with the strong, courageous female role in a film.
When I did the drag show everyone asked me if this was something more. At first, I denied it, but internally I had felt somewhat like a woman and I thought ‘this could be it! This could be my new life.’
Months after I did the show I began to live more and more of a transsexual life. I began to buy women’s clothing, makeup, wigs, and started partying and going out as a woman. I named myself ‘Scarlet’ and even started dating men.
I began drinking heavily during this time. I couldn’t do shows unless I was drunk. When I drank and was dressed up I felt so alive. I felt like this was the life I was supposed to have. I thought I felt happy.
I started a whirlwind of promiscuity. It was like being a teenager again. It was a whole new field of people. All these men were interested in me. I felt important, special, and even loved. Now, I had put my identity in ‘Scarlet’ – my new found life. I was going to find a husband (gay marriage had passed) and I was going to live a full life, so I thought.
The men changed with the days and it was always someone new. I was sleeping with these men and it got to the point when I lost track of the number. I thought surely no one would want me forever. While drunk I even had sex with married men. After I was sober it would bother me so much. How could I even think of being part of hurting someone’s wife and possibly destroying a marriage? I would have to get drunk again not to think about it.
One young man showed me attention and even after awhile said he loved me. We started spending a lot of time together.
When I first met this guy he was my ideal type and I wanted him to love me. He was a country guy and very down to earth. He showed me attention, said I was pretty and wanted to spend a lot of time with me.
After some months, things went bad in the relationship and it ended. I remember drinking so much whiskey that night and thinking of killing myself. What was there to live for? What was left for someone like me?
I spent days in the psychiatric ward in a Johnson City hospital and from there spent days at Woodridge mental facility. My soul was distraught and I felt vanquished. I stayed in both facilities living as a woman and the state trained employees completely treated me as a transgender individual.
I had been seen by a psychiatrist since I first went to ETSU for graduate school. By my second year I was seeing a psychiatrist who told me he thought I was transgender. I told him things about my life as Scarlet and I began to think I was transgender also. He diagnosed me with ‘gender dysphoria,’ what so many transgender people want to be diagnosed with to begin surgeries.
I thought, ‘I will move forward as transgender and live my life as a woman. I could have surgeries and transform into this new body.’
Now, I lived fully as Scarlet even going to classes dressed as a woman. At the public university, nobody ever said anything. I was accepted. I even went on a local ABC affiliate news station in Johnson City and spoke up about transgender rights and how I thought we should be treated. I was looking for real love but in all the wrong places.
During this time, I started listening to Jentezen Franklin. I had visited his church when I was in undergraduate school in Georgia. Sometimes I would play his messages from YouTube and just cry. What he was saying was truth. What he was saying was real. Even when he would address sin, or even homosexuality, I wouldn’t turn it off.
I was feeling the Holy Spirit through his words.
I was feeling the love of God through his messages.
Some nights I would listen and cry so hard, beg the Lord to forgive me – I knew that I was going to move forward with him. Then, I would wake up the next day, put God on the back burner and just start my life again.
During these years at graduate school I would talk to Dr. Story, my professor friend at Emmanuel. Between her and Jentezen Franklin’s messages, the Lord was working on me and tugging at my heart.
Dr. Story never condoned anything I did that was sin. BUT, she did confirm my worth to God. She let me know that I was worth a lot and that I could be restored to God through Jesus Christ and only through Him.
She loved me through the toughest time and never gave up hope for me. She didn’t yell Bible scriptures at me because she knew I had already heard it all. She loved me, encouraged me, and wanted the best for me. She would address sin if I brought it up, with the truth of what God wants for us – His best not our best.
One night, I asked God, ‘Will I ever live for you or not! This looks impossible at this stage and I need to know!’
God actually replied, “Yes, you will live for me.”
I was stunned. I think even had to stop for a second and think – God said I would live for him. I had repented a hundred times and I had cried out for help so many times, but I was not living for Jesus Christ.
This encounter gave me some hope.
I was done with ETSU and would finish my last class with them through independent study. I packed my up apartment and eventually moved to Nashville again. On my way to move into my friend’s house, I saw that gas station where my dad had picked me up years before when I was on drugs. I thought ‘wow. I have come full circle.’
I got a job downtown serving in a bar. I continued to drink and slept with men sporadically in Nashville. I was so depressed and I felt an emptiness that nothing could fill – sex couldn’t fill it, the alcohol, not even the Xanax that I had always kept using during all of these years.
One night I went to a party at the friend’s house that I was at when my father had picked me up years before. He called me an Uber because I was so drunk that I had gotten into fight with the guy I had brought to the party.
The Uber driver took me to the gas station I had been picked up at years before by my dad. Apparently, I had asked to stop at the store by my friend’s house. The Uber driver had to call the police because I was drunk and out of control. The police took me home.
Just the week before I had been pulled over for drunk driving down the wrong side of the street in downtown. I knew I had to leave Nashville. I just couldn’t do this anymore.
I decided to leave Tennessee and move back to Georgia with my dad. I wanted to give up drinking, prescription drugs, and possibly even Scarlet.
I started praying and even trying to read my Bible sometimes. I took all of my Scarlet things from the past – clothes, shoes, makeup, wigs, and other things and threw them away in the dumpster. I couldn’t believe I had thrown everything away.
You see you have to understand this part of my life with Scarlet. This was my hope at that time in life. It was everything I put my life into and it was my identity – my friends accepted it, my life and my future was all wrapped up in this identity as ‘Scarlet.’ I remember one day that summer even walking back to the dumpster to see if all of it was still there. The enemy was mad and trying everything to lure me back.
The enemy attacked the hardest he had ever attacked me. He went straight for my thoughts on creation. I had six years of academia and two of them in public university. Satan attacked my mind by telling me that creation wasn’t possible. He used every tactic he could to make me not even believe in God – how could I believe in God and Jesus if I didn’t even believe he created me?
There were some nights when I had to ask God to stop my brain from even thinking. Satan would fill my head with doubt about God and at the same time the Holy Spirit would be telling me the truth.
One day while talking to my father I told him, “I don’t even know if I believe that God created the world and mankind.” My father was devastated, but told me the truth.
We even argued that day. I went to leave the room, but my dad stopped me and said he loved me very much, no matter what. He kissed my shoulder and hugged me towards him.
Now I know God was showing me, through my dad, who had always been there for me, His (God’s) love for me. Even if I turned my back on Him (God), He loved me. Jesus died for me – an agape love, a love that is unconditional. I could be separated from God by disobedience but He died for me while I was still in sin. It was what my dad was saying that day. He was actually being a great example of what God felt for me and he showed me this. He would love me no matter what but if I chose disobedience there could come a time when I would be separated from him and his love.
I went to my bedroom and the Holy Spirit lead me to some Christian videos on creation. I watched people with Ph.Ds and other credentials talking about God and how He created everything and even us. They showed facts that an atheist won’t present to you because it doesn’t go along with their lies. God restored my belief in Him and also that Jesus was his only begotten Son and that He died for my sins. Soon after, I was baptized and then made the video that changed my life.
I called Dr. Story and told her I needed to use her phone to make a Facebook Live video cutting all ties with the past. I couldn’t live it anymore, I didn’t want to choose sin over God. I made a public announcement to everyone about my life, what I had been through, and where I was going.
I wasn’t going to let anyone hold me back anymore. Not friends, not family, not anyone. I was cutting ties with the past and moving forward with the Lord.
I immediately received texts, calls, and Facebook messages. “What are you doing? Why are you trying to be straight? Are you heterosexual now?”
It was a lot to handle. I had to explain to people that it wasn’t about becoming ‘straight’. It was a choice not to follow sin. The alcoholic, transgender, homosexual, prescription drug life I had was not what God had created me for.
I was going to follow Jesus, deny myself and put God first. God had shown me love. God had shown me mercy and compassion. My sins, though they were many, were forgiven. The Holy Spirit started speaking to me daily, I stayed in the Word, listened to Christian music, preaching and teaching.
I was so happy. I had found real joy and real peace that the world doesn’t have.
I finally understood my new found life when I read Hebrews 11:24-25
“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharoah’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.”
I wept profusely the first time I read this verse. It was describing my life. I could have stayed in sin and enjoyed the pleasures of it for a short time more, or choose to live for God! I was going to do all of this by putting my faith in Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit started growing me in the Lord. My life was made new! God gave me a prophetic word early in my Christian walk.
The man said all the intellectual thoughts I had would go under God and they did! He also told me that platforms would open soon, that it wouldn’t be long for me.
God showed me that I would be speaking on this topic throughout the United States and the world! For such a time as this when darkness is prevailing and media is pushing out all kinds of evil and lies from Satan that I would be a voice pushing back against darkness! God even showed me one day I would be going to Thailand to help share Gospel of Jesus Christ with the huge transgender community there!
I remember thinking one day I would find someone who walks in a gift possibly of interpretation; to interpret the dream I had. But one day God interpreted the dream I had when I was young boy that I could never forget. The two men were Moses and Elijah. He showed me Elijah represented the years of being driven out, even unto wanting death.
In I Kings 19:3-5, Elijah is driven out by the evil spirits in Jezebel. During this time Elijah literally asks God if he can die.
This is what I had cried so many nights alone in the transgender years. I would just repent and ask God to take me out of this world. The Jezebel spirit wants that voice of God silenced. That is what the enemy tried to do to me through this transgender spirit.
He wanted God’s voice silenced in my life; he didn’t want God’s destiny to come forth in my life. There were so many evil spirits attached to me during this time that wanted me dead.
The Lord showed me that Moses represented the people in bondage and slavery but they were set free by God using Moses. The Lord showed me not only homosexual or transgender people being set free, but lots of people in sexual sin being set free because of how he would use me and my testimony to show the power of his redeeming glory! I was so honored to get this dream interpreted by God Himself!
Dr. Story showed me love and helped me move forward with God. Love is the greatest!
As the body of Christ we are to accept humbly and gladly all gifts from God, especially the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and they are to be encircled with love!
Love isn’t always telling people what they want to hear, but telling them truth. Show people mercy and compassion.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” – Matthew 5:7
As Christians, we are Jesus’ ambassadors here on earth.
We are supposed to represent Him, show His love to others, and tell them of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
God poured His grace all over my life; for I can not walk this out daily without His grace!
God wants me to tell people of His grace, His mercy and compassion. His Mercy for us is so vast – if people only knew!
Mercy triumps over judgement! So many people are just told of judgement and not of mercy!
His love is perfect. God is Love! The enemy didn’t want me to know God loved me! He knew if I understood God’s love (that He loved me so much he gave his only begotton Son to die for me and reconcile me to the Father) I would choose God.
Now I understand this and I want to share his great mercy with everyone I can!
As the Body of Christ, we have got to put down the stones and show mercy and compassion to all people!
Sometimes this means investing time in people because we know that we aren’t perfect all of the sudden after we surrender to Christ Jesus. It is atransformation that happens daily!
When we become new creations in Christ Jesus, we are spiritual infants who begin to grow and mature!
The Holy Spirit then comes in and and helps us daily choose Jesus over ANY desire.
Have hope in whatever your struggles are because Jesus paid the price for all of us and only HE can set you free!
Now I know what David meant when he wrote the words in Psalm 23,“He restores my soul.”
NEWS CLIP FROM BEFORE ABOVE