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Set Free

Growing up, it was just my sister, my mom, and I. My father has been incarcerated since I was about 6 years old. Living life without a dad was really hard for me and extremely detrimental in regards to accepting love. Unlike many of my friends, I was not the type of girl who needed to be dating a boy. On the contrary, I was so focused on my schools theatre department, that I had no time to involve myself with boys. I found my passion for acting at the age of 10, and it has only sky rocketed since then. It is what I believe makes “me” me.

When I got to college in 2011, I was exposed to a whole new world. Coming from such a sheltered home where my mom barely let my sister and I out of her sight, I found myself attaching to things I had no business even associating myself with. My very first show that I was rehearsing for was our annual children’s show “Snow White.” During one of our rehearsals, one of my cast mates approached me and said, “You’re a lesbian, I can see it all over you.” Now, mind you, I’m 18 years old, never been in a relationship, never had sex, nothing. So, naturally, when she said that, I just brushed her off by saying, “No, I’m not. I’m a Christian and that lifestyle is not pleasing to God.” Talk about BOLDNESS! Weeks go by, however, day after day, this girl is constantly feeding me these lies. I would go back to my dorm and pray every night begging God to keep me strong and to get this girl away from me. But, the enemy is cunning and loves to kill, steal, and destroy what is not his. I begin hanging out with this girl more and more, going to parties together, and getting drunk together. After all, she was a very fun, lovable person! I was beginning to lose who I was. Shortly after, I find myself loving everything about this girl. Thinking about her from the moment I would wake up until the time I passed out on my pillow. I remember getting so angry, I wrote my dad a letter informing him of what was happening to me. I so strongly remember BEGGING him not to tell my mom. I didn’t want my mom to hate me. I cared way too much about her opinion of me to let something like this destroy our relationship. My dad never told her, but he did tell her to talk to me. So, my mom randomly comes up to my college talking about “Hey, boo. Come outside, I’m at your school.” My heart dropped because I just KNEW my dad had betrayed me. So, I get to the car and my mom says to me, “Hey, I talked to your dad. He said that something serious is going on with you.” Long story short, I never told her exactly what was going on but, a mother ALWAYS knows. We spent about an hour or two in that car crying and praying together. I remember my mom yelling, “Devil, leave my daughter alone! Come after me instead.” After that moment, my mom told me that everything was going to be alright because we were going to get through this together as a family. When she said that, I felt so much peace. I believed and held on to each and every word she spoke to me as I walked back into my college down the long hallway leading me towards my dorm room. For a while, I tried my best to stay away from this girl outside of rehearsals. It was so hard because when you are in a show you spend countless hours per day with the same group of people, it’s like I was running reverse on a treadmill. No matter how fast I ran, I still wasn’t getting anywhere. That’s how it was with her. No matter how short and direct I was with this girl, she remained persistent. She continued to pursue me even though I tried my hardest not to show any interest.

Fast forward to the beginning of my Sophomore year of college, when I felt independent because I had an apartment. My first night in my new apartment as a Sophomore, this girl pops up out of nowhere. This was the first time that I had seen her since the summer. When she came to my door I felt so nervous, like there were 100 butterflies in my stomach. I had fallen in love with her without even knowing it. She came in and that was the night I completely lost myself and became the exact person that I said I would NEVER be. That was the day that my life shifted. I began drinking excessively, changed my entire wardrobe, and stopped talking to God. I no longer had a desire to touch or even look at the Bible that sat so perfectly on my mini fridge adjacent to my bed. I cursed like a sailor, went to the gay club every Sunday night, and cared about only two things; girls and theatre. Once this girl and I became an "item", I hid from everyone and everything that would stop me from feeling proud of who I was. I would strategically schedule my trips to the campus cafeteria so that certain people wouldn’t see me dressed as a boy. I was still ashamed and very afraid of what people thought and/or would say. Even when I went home on breaks, I had to search deep down in my dressers for clothes that weren’t men’s clothing. I was living two lives. At home, I was still my mom’s angel. Her baby girl who dressed so sweet, wore makeup, and attempted nice hairstyles. But, at school, within the walls of the theatre, I was accepted. I was gay, and I was loved. After becoming confident in myself, I became cocky and full of pride. There wasn’t a girl I couldn’t get. My goal was to get girls who labeled themselves as “straight” because I had the mindset of “Once you get with me, you’ll never be straight again.” I was very successful, too. Everything became a competition to me. I continued this lifestyle for years, six years to be exact, six years in bondage.

One night, during a party that I co-hosted, this girl came to the party with someone else. Another chick. Out of anger and jealousy, I chugged the remaining bottle of alcohol that I had hidden in my closet. I ended up in the hospital that night due to alcohol poisoning. Opening my eyes to see the look of disappointment on my mother’s face was the worst feeling in the entire world. That pain lasted a while, but soon after, I was right back doing all of the same things again. I created a life for myself that was a complicated rollercoaster. There were many highs, but oh, so many lows. I never felt convicted, but I felt hatred towards myself because I knew that I would never fully be accepted. From 2011 until 2016, I lived life to get drunk, get girls, and get accepted. For 6 years, I was committed to the same routine; meeting a girl, talking a real smooth game to her, making her fall in love with me, breaking her heart and then on to the next.

Once I moved to New Jersey February 2016, I tried to stop drinking and cursing. BIG FAIL. I tried to stop searching for girls. BIGGER FAIL. At this point in my life, I wanted to stop living in sin but, it’s like as soon as I made my mind up that I wanted to get my life together, the devil brought SO many temptations my way. It seemed so impossible to refuse so, I gave in once more. This time though, I wasn’t happy. The last girl that I talked to was from Philly, and it’s like I had NO game. I was sitting in her apartment saying the DUMBEST things. I know this girl thought I was wack and probably regretted inviting me over. I had never felt so lame in my entire life. I was embarrassed. It was like God was tapping me on my shoulder saying, "It’s time, Bre.”

I began attending High Place Church in March, 2016 and from that point on, my entire life changed. The very first service, Pastor preached on “freedom.” My heart felt so heavy and at that moment, I knew something had to change. I decided that day to give my life back to the Lord. I allowed Him to do a great work in me. It was not easy. I was still weak, still craved a woman’s touch, and desired so badly to still be in the world. Honestly, handing my life back over to Him was one of the HARDEST things I had ever done. Although it was the hardest I can boldly say that my life has changed for the best! I was baptized on October 8, 2016 by Pastor Edgar Alvarez. The moment I came up from under the water I felt chains being broken and my heart that was once in a thousand pieces, felt whole again. I am forgiven, loved, accepted, and a BRAND NEW me. The girl who I used to be, no longer lives inside of me. I have been totally and completely set free.

James 4:7

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

John 8:32

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

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