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More than Same-Sex Attracted

If you’re a woman who loves Jesus and you find yourself attracted to other women, reconciling your “identity” may feel impossible. 

The world we live in reduces who we are to the smallest sliver of our sexuality. But there’s so much more to you than being a lesbian or straight or a Christian or not. 

Take some time with us to stop hiding or defining yourself. For now, set aside the condemnation you might be hearing (or assuming) and just listen for the calling.

Your identity is Sacred by Design – fuller and deeper than you may realize.

Let’s begin with a story…

https://youtu.be/KUQriXDPOpw

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This Episode’s Transcription

Andrea  0:01  
I wonder if you find yourself here or know someone who does. You’re a woman who loves Jesus, you want to live a life pleasing to Him. But you’re wrestling with same sex attraction. So what do you do with that? Do you close your eyes and wish it away? Or do you abandon yourself to what you feel because you think it’s the only way to experience joy in life? Welcome to sacred by design. Kyle is with us today to talk about walking with Christ. While same sex attracted. Kyle and I are both spiritual coaches here at regeneration ministries. And in this episode, Kyle is bringing us some of her story. So I’ll let you begin the conversation today. And you start the story.

Kyle Bowman  0:42  
All right. So I spent 11 years involved in same sex relationships. And if you were to ask me during that time, I would have told you it was great. And thinking nothing was wrong with it. Now I was brought up in a Christian home. So it wasn’t Christianity wasn’t a foreign concept at all right? I knew about Christianity and knew about Jesus, I couldn’t tell you that I’ve had a personal relationship with him. But I thought he was okay. With what I was doing. It was cool. And so, you know, I walked through that, but there was there came a point at which, you know, you still kind of go, gosh, there’s this hole, there’s still this place that’s not filled. And I thought this relationship thing would do it. And it really didn’t. And what I ended up going is like, Okay, I do something else that I still am longing for that this relationship is not filling. And so that’s when I really then started to say, Okay, well, let me let me really delve into what it means to be a real true life, Christian. And that’s when the Lord just started guiding me out of that. And I’m not saying that it was an overnight thing. This was a process. It was a process. For me, the process was about three years. But the Lord certainly brought me to a place where I could understand His truth. And I didn’t feel condemned by it. It was like, I have something so much better for you. And life will be so much fuller for you. And I noticed there was a change in my heart in that. And so then I had this thing of like, okay, I really want to follow Christ. And so then I just started jumping into what it means to just follow Christ every day. Not tomorrow, not next week, not five years from now. But what does it mean, just for me to follow Christ today?

Andrea  2:46  
In two minutes, you just handed all of us a precious, beautiful part of who you are. So thank you for that. And what I hear and what you’re saying is, and what I love, is that you heard a calling, not a condemnation. And I think that that is really important to bold, underline highlight in this conversation, that when you if you are wrestling with feelings of same sex attraction, that I hope that our listeners hear that, that they hear a calling and not a condemnation, and what we’re sharing today and what we’re walking through. So if we could go into a little bit of the details of just even the transition, what did that three year period for you? What does that look like? To follow the column we’re calling? And to not? What does it fit? What does that look like?

Kyle Bowman  3:43  
Yes. So I think, you know, you feel like, it feels like okay, here’s this huge part of myself, that I have to discard it. And it was because I had attached my whole identity to being in same sex relationships. So now there was this feeling of, Oh, my goodness, who am I? Who, who am I really? And what I really discovered is that, how much sense does it actually make to attach your identity to your sexuality? And because I’m so much more than that, and so, this, the it was, it was a feeling of being able to really figure out who I really was. And so, and that meant even, um, the differences in me and other women, right? I always tell people, I am not the pumps and makeup chick, okay. I always say that. That’s that’s just not who I am. But that what I realized is that’s not what makes me a woman first and foremost. And so I really started to be able to feel good in my own skin like, and I didn’t have to give off this other false persona that I was living Again, either. And so I was able to kind of go from an extreme of, oh, let me you know, shed as much of being a woman as I can, by the way, I look the way I dress the way I act. But let me just come into, okay, well, but who is Kyle really? And so I was able to be comfortable in the way I dressed in the way the things I was interested in, like, I love sports, I love being active, you know, you know, as a kid, you know, I’m wasn’t just playing with Barbie dolls. But I made my mother get me GI Joe to go with the Barbie. Right? So, you know, being able to just understand that, like, that’s cool, to be who I am. And to know that who I am, I can still reflect Christ in an amazing way that nobody else can.

Andrea  5:55  
Nobody else can. And the idea of being not being a stereotypical girl. I think even shedding that and putting that aside, like you said, there’s a lot of diving into identity. And you’re so detailed, we are each so detailed and so different. That that’s important work. Yeah. Important work. So how did you connect with others in the Christian community.

Kyle Bowman  6:21  
So in the within the Christian community, that was a little bit difficult. But I had a friend, amazing lady who was always just calling me to be me. And she would she reflected Jesus, and just this wonderful way, she was always interested in me, and what I was doing in my life and how things were going with me. And I knew, like she didn’t keep it a secret that she was a follower of Christ. But she didn’t come at you with guns blazing with it either, right? But she just showed me the love of Jesus. And I think she be I think, if I had probably encountered anyone else, other than her, my experience might have been different. She didn’t again, there wasn’t the condemnation, there wasn’t a oh, I can’t believe you doing that kind of thing. But she just continued to just love me where I was. And to call out the Christ in me in so that way, I was able to feel a little more comfortable in Christian community, you know, every now and again, sometimes you run into the person who says they’re not so nice things, or they think they’re saying something helpful, and they’re really not. But otherwise. My entry into really understanding what real Christian community was like, was this good friend who and I’m still friends with her today.

Andrea  7:52  
I love that. And no hidden agenda, right? Just the invitation. Yeah. That’s so that’s so powerful. And I feel I love that you mentioned her because I feel like that’s what we try to do here as spiritual coaches is to come alongside and to call out with no hidden agenda. Exactly. But who what the special qualities are that make up who you are?

Kyle Bowman  8:17  
Yeah. And how much the Lord is not trying to take that from you. I think so many people think that, okay, I need to be changed in some way. There’s something, whether it’s outer, or thought processes that like there’s parts of my personality, like, oh, I can’t engage in this fun thing that I used to do, but that’s not what God wants. I think those are we have to remember, those are gifts from God. Right? If you were a person who just enjoyed kayaking, the Lord sat down and not make you kayak anymore, right. That’s a that’s a gift that He’s giving you something to engage in. And so I think it’s just learning. What are these things that I thought were really a part of the sick being same sex attracted identity, and separating that from No, like? What are the things that are just truly just me apart from that?

Andrea  9:21  
That’s a lot of work. Yes. Yeah. That’s a lot of work. Yeah. So you work with women who struggle with same sex attraction? What are some of the common themes that you hear in conversations with them?

Kyle Bowman  9:36  
I think the first is shame. A lot of women feel like you know, being a Christian, this is like the most, you know, horrible thing sin that you can have. And so they’re shrouded in shame with that. They are thinking that they will never be able to be like the kind of Christian They think they should be. And I think once they understand that, you know, this isn’t about your eyes, this really isn’t about your identity. This is more about what’s happening in your heart, as opposed to taking what’s happening in your heart and making an identity. Right? It’s this is really, it’s an invitation from God to say, let’s examine what’s really happening in your heart. And so that’s one of the things that a lot of women just struggle with the shame around it like they don’t, and they don’t feel safe. I think safety is another thing. They don’t feel safe sharing that in a Christian community.

Andrea  10:40  
Now, you grew up in a Christian community, did you hear messages of shame or, you know, danger or not being safe? Or threats? Yeah,

Kyle Bowman  10:49  
for me, I didn’t. But that I think that’s just because of the era that I grew up in. I grew up at a time where there wasn’t a lot of conversation around same sex attraction, like it is today. Like it wasn’t. You know, I was in one of those communities where they didn’t You didn’t even talk about like nobody said, never heard the word homosexual, or gay. I can remember one instance, where my grandfather was dating a lady who had a son who was a crossdresser. And that’s the extent and then there wasn’t even anything that was said particularly about him. They just made the statement, this is what this guy does. And that was it. I never heard anybody say, Don’t do it. Or, you know, this is awful. And you know, the Lord will condemn you. I never heard that. But so many women today, that’s the message they’re hearing. They’re hearing that they’re going to hell, and the Lord is condemning them. And this is such an abomination to the Lord. Those are the kinds of wars that they are hearing.

Andrea  11:56  
It’s so interesting, because the quiet and like avoiding the conversation creates so much shame. But then also, our culture now is not quiet. It’s very loud. And then there’s these competing voices of shame, but also Ubu. And what I love about what we’re, I hope that the message that’s coming across is that it’s not fitting into the Christian woman mold. That’s not what did it actually, God, God doesn’t have a mold. God made each of us so different. And we all can reflect Him. So uniquely, and beautifully. Yes. And so what an invitation is not a forced. So I hope that that’s the message that’s coming across. I know that certainly that’s what you’re saying this calling for more? is, we want it to

Kyle Bowman  12:48  
be loud. And well, yeah, yes. Yes.

Andrea  12:52  
So how are you able, through spiritual coaching, especially with these women who are coming in with same sex attraction? How are you able to encourage them and their process of becoming whole?

Kyle Bowman  13:01  
Yeah, well, you know, I take try to take the stigma away from the actual same sex attraction and ask a different question, okay, and say, Okay, let’s think about what’s really happening in your heart, your heart is telling you something. Um, the same sex attraction is not just about being in a relationship with a woman, your heart is saying, hey, there’s a legitimate need that you have that has not been met. And so your heart is starting to seek okay, how do I get that met? And so some of the is spending some time just even talking about family of origin stuff and, and relationships, relationships with mom relationships with dad, and really just trying to take the stigma away from the actual same sex attraction and stuff and say, let’s see if we can go just a level deeper. And, and really think about what your heart is telling you.

Andrea  14:00  
That transformation can probably feel hopeless. So how do you push past that hopelessness?

Kyle Bowman  14:09  
I think there’s when a person can make connect dots. So if I’m talking to a woman who, maybe she really had a rough relationship with her mother, and I’m not gonna say, like abusive, maybe it just wasn’t the kind of relationship that she wanted. That doesn’t mean that her she still didn’t need that, like God planted within her. This need to connect in a healthy emotional way to her mother first, and then to other women. And so when you start to talk about okay, what does that was what was that emotional connection like for you? Do you feel like you were seen and heard and loved first from your mom? And then typically, will start to hear maybe some things and people All again, assume that it has to be something that’s so super traumatic. You know, she had to be an alcoholic or she had to be just this mean person. But the perfect example I like to give is that, okay, let’s say your love language is physical touch. But your mom was a words of affirmation person. Like she may have told you all day long, like, you’re great, you’re awesome, you’re wonderful. But God designed you to get some hugs. And then if you don’t get your hugs, as early as four years old, your brain is going to start to think that you’re unlovable. And your brain doesn’t have the capacity at that age to figure out oh, my goodness, like, my mom’s love language is words of affirmation. And so she stopped giving me like you’re, you know, you’re just thinking, what’s wrong with me. And so there’s this, there’s this thing that you need, the way God designed you to receive love that you don’t get. So you start to figure out what how I’m gonna get it. And that process will happen over the course of time. And oftentimes, by the time God, even maybe it could be before puberty, you notice that you have this stronger pool toward women. And you don’t understand why. And in today’s culture, that equals Oh, you must be gay. And so Oh, that must be why I feel this way. And so that’s the kind of life I have to live. But the truth is, your body, your heart is saying, No, I can need good healthy connection with other women. And there’s nothing wrong with that. That is so good.

Andrea  16:48  
I love that so much. Yes, connecting the dots. Yeah. How can you do that? When you’re little you? Can’t

Kyle Bowman  16:54  
you have no, no way? No way you can do it.

Andrea  16:58  
So say you’re doing this work. And you’re trying to connect the dots and you’re trying to understand your attraction and your desires and what God wants for you. What are some practical things that women who experience same sex attraction, what can they do in the midst of their temptation?

Kyle Bowman  17:12  
Sure, um, that people might think this is weird. But if you can start having a conversation with God, okay, and to actually say, you know, what Jesus, like, in this moment, I feel like being with a woman is what I need. And if I could, Lord, I would do that right now, just being honest there. Jesus loves that, because he can do something with that. So I think having the being free enough just to invite the Lord into that, and then also just say, Okay, what’s going on for you that day? Did you not get enough sleep? Hey, maybe you missed the meal, and you need to just get some food. You know, maybe it was a stressful day, or maybe you haven’t had the opportunity to connect with some friends or with people who really love you and glad to be with you. And so your heart is like that, like, I’m missing something. And so just really talk, walking through just an inventory of what your days like. And you know what the other thing I have to say to women, like you have to think about how close are you to have in your menstrual cycle? Because as your progesterone and estrogen go up, those feelings will probably go up as well. And so even just checking something like that, and then finding out okay, what are the ways that you then can get your heart filled in, as you know, getting away from either sexual fantasy or even trying to hook up with someone, instead of making that your kind of remedy, then maybe is, you know what, I need to call some friends and just see if they can hang out. Or it might be you know, what, I didn’t eat lunch today, let me just go eat, I need a meal. And then you may find that the temptation and the feelings of that are, are kind of less intense, not saying they’re going to go completely away, but they’re certainly be less intense.

Andrea  19:24  
I’ll just say that never would have thought that the first reflex to in the midst of temptation would be Hey, got it. But that’s that would be really powerful.

Kyle Bowman  19:35  
Yeah, I remember first time I said that to somebody, and she went, you can’t say that to Jesus. It was so good. But I was like, Oh, yes, you can. Like I was like, do you think you’re hiding from him? No, you’re not.

Andrea  19:49  
Well, that’s the thing is he’s always near and for us to reach out to him as we connect the dots is just an invitation for him to step in with us. And so Beautiful. We’ve covered a lot today. But I think it’s just like the kickoff for a lot of other conversations. And so thank you for being here today. And for sharing your story. Part of your story. Yeah, because there’s a lot more to it a lot more than these 12 minutes that we get today. But I really hope that just the encouragement that you offer, like what’s stewardship of that gift and your journey to be able to pass that on and share that with other women who might be struggling with same sex attraction to not listen to the shame, but to listen more for God calling them yes, and D. Amen. Thank you, Kyle.

Kyle Bowman  20:43  
Oh, so great to be here.

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