When God calls, He calls in love. My name is Janet Boynes and I have felt both God's calling and His love in my life.
Life hasn't always been easy for me. I grew up in Norristown, Pennsylvania, a northern suburb of Philadelphia. My mother was strict and abusive to me and my six stepbrothers and stepsisters. Her beatings made me want to be strong, so that I wouldn't have to be weak and vulnerable to anyone. I began beating up my siblings and the kids at school, earning a reputation as a tomboy and a bully.
When I was thirteen, the father of one of my sisters sexually abused me. I started doing drugs, smoking, and drinking alcohol to cope with all of the pain in my life, but everything I tried was empty. None of the drugs or alcohol could fill the void I knew I had in my life, so I kept searching.
I graduated high school and began going to college. I loved basketball, but I wasn't able to play because of my drug addiction. Things finally got so bad that I switched schools and began attending a Christian college in Minneapolis. I attended Bible classes and became involved with a church in Minneapolis, finally thinking that I had found what I was looking for in Christianity. I even met the man who would eventually become my fiancé.
Things didn't go the way I had planned, however, and before I knew it, I was slipping away from God. Even though I was engaged to be married, I spent a lot of time with a female friend from work, so much time that my fiancé began commenting on it. I told him that it was nothing, but I didn't realize what I was doing. One night I spent the night with my female friend and we became involved sexually.
I told my fiancé the next day and our wedding was called off until I could decide what it was that I wanted. I didn't go back to him, however. It was then that I started a journey that would last for many years and cause a lot of heartache for both myself and those around me.
For fourteen years I lived the lesbian lifestyle, moving from one relationship to the next. My old habits came back as well and I struggled in and out of treatment, even getting in to trouble with the law. Throughout all of those years, I always knew that I would one day return to God, that He was calling me, but I wasn't ready to come back.
Finally I met a woman at a grocery store who invited me to church. I went a few Sundays later and recommitted my life to Jesus Christ. Soon, all of my habits began falling away. It wasn't easy, but with the help of the Holy Spirit and with the support of those around me, I gave up drugs, alcohol, and smoking. I joined a women's Bible study and began to feel God calling me out of the homosexual lifestyle as well.
I knew that I had to sever all ties with my old lifestyle in order to make a clean break from it, so I moved in with a family from our church. I stayed with them for about a year, and for the first time, I was able to see how a family was supposed to function. God's love worked through that family and began healing many of my old wounds caused by my childhood.
It's been over seventeen years since I was called out of the lesbian lifestyle, but I don't feel any regrets. God has bound up my broken heart and I am a new creation. I know that He has a wonderful plan for me, and I believe that one day, He will even bring a husband into my life. My story is proof that it doesn't matter how far you've gone, or what you've done, God still calls, and He calls in love.