7 May 2013 James Hoh CM –
“As a Christian, I knew that I was not living a life that was pleasing to God, more so as I wanted to serve God as a pastor. The Holy Spirit convicted me of this, but I did not know how to get out of the lesbian lifestyle. I was realizing too that I would never find the faithfulness and commitment I longed for in a same-sex relationship. Something had to happen, and happen soon.”
Tryphena relates her struggles as she recalls her story from her youth.
A strapping baby girl, Tryphena was the firstborn of fairly typical Chinese parents who preferred a son first. While they never verbally expressed their disappointment of having a girl, they did not seem to take pride in her either. Growing up, she was dressed in jeans and t-shirts most often as it was difficult to find pretty dressed for the chubby little girl. From as early as six years of age, she was called “tomboy” and “fatty” by family and school friends, adding to her gender confusion and poor self-image. She envied her younger sister’s slim built and pretty long hair, longing for the femininity she felt she lacked.
Whenever she faced rejection, she would find comfort in her bolster, using it for self-stimulation to give her pleasurable feelings. Then, in her early school years, she discovered hardcore porn videos at home. She watched in awe and amazement as the beautiful women did things she could never have imagined. What started as an occasional viewing soon became a full-blown addiction in her teens.
In secondary school, Tryphena had many friends, both boys and girls. She was attracted to the boys but they only saw her as a buddy. She yearned for acceptance as one of the girls, to feel that she was part of their group.
She recalls, “Their femininity intrigued me, but I felt like I could never be like them. I was not sexually attracted to girls at that time. I just admired them and wanted desperately to be like them.”
Her hunger for love drove her to find acceptance and admiration by excelling in sports, but even this could not fill the deep void within. Then, at age 13, she heard about God’s love for her at the school’s Christian Fellowship and she gave her heart to Jesus. That same year, however, her father forced the family out of their home after a violent quarrel with her mother. The incident shattered her image of men. She had no choice but to take on the role of surrogate husband, supporting her mother emotionally and listening to her bitter complaints.
In all of this, Tryphena was still not a lesbian. As a young adult, she has many girl friends that were feminine and affectionate. Craving their approval and attention, she slipped into an emotionally dependent relationship with one girl although there was no sexual attraction then. It was during her posting after Teacher’s College, however, that she was introduced to lesbian love and a sequence of partners, one after another, ensued.
“As a Christian, I knew that I was not living a life that was pleasing to God, more so as I wanted to serve God as a pastor. The Holy Spirit convicted me of this, but I did not know how to get out of the lifestyle. I was realizing too that I would never find the faithfulness and commitment I longed for in a same-sex relationship. Something had to happen, and happen soon,” she relates candidly.
The turning point came when she received a phone call from her lesbian partner wanting to end the relationship because she was getting married. It was the final blow that brought Tryphena to her knees before God, suicidal and broken.
“I was crushed, I wanted to get into my car and drive it into a tree. Since I would never find love, wouldn’t it be better to end it all?” she shares. “I realized that through my years of lesbianism, I had struggled with my spiritual convictions. While I was doing what was right as a Christian in some areas, I had not allowed God to take full control of my life. It was in that state of total despair when I saw the truth clearly – the only road to freedom for me was in a real and complete relationship with God.”
It was the right choice that would set Tryphena free. God responded by bringing her in contact with Rev. Mike and Diane Constantine, a loving couple who listened without judgment as she shared her struggles. They introduced her to Choices, a program that ministers to same-sex struggles in Singapore. Four months of weekly trips to Singapore meeting with a counselor, listening to lectures and being in a support group helped her on her journey to wholeness. She was diligent to put into practice everything she was taught because she knew a life of true freedom would result.
The year 2001 marked Tryphena’s restoration and she has not only lived as a healthy heterosexual woman since then but she has also helped many others who struggle with same-sex attraction and confused sexual identity through the ministry she heads, Pursuing Liberty Under Christ (PLUC).
“While I am ashamed of my past, I’m proud of God’s work in my life. With His healing has come grace to forgive those who hurt me in the past. And God has restored my femininity without me even realizing it – I enjoy dressing up in pretty clothes, enjoy cooking and gardening and I even enjoy having guys open doors for me or carry my things!” she grins.
I have been crucified with Christ; It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
“It’s really all about choices. I chose to go into lesbianism back then. But bad choices can be redeemed. By choosing to give my life fully to Christ, I’ve been set free of my past struggles. I’m grateful that I no longer need to live a lie – I’m living the truth!”
The story is resourced from Rev Tryphena’s Journey booklet with permission.
PLUC seeks to assist individuals who desire restoration of their sexual identity to God’s original intention, empowering them to take ownership in maintaining moral and relational wholeness. For more information, please visit www.pluc.org.my.
If you are facing issues with sexuality and seeking help, or if you are interested to volunteer, PLUC can be contacted at:
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 03-7887 3501 (Tuesday – Friday 10am-5pm).
Picture reference:https: http://blog2-pakatan.blogspot.com/2011/03/mimpi-senja_07.html
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