A Journey Out of Sexual Brokenness

Renee grew up in a Christian environment but found herself in her late teens dealing with same-sex attraction. That led to nearly twenty years in same-sex relationships that were in conflict with her personal faith. Three years ago God began a work of transformation that continues to this day. Wayne met Renee during his recent trip to Austin and introduces her to Brad as they hear her story and the amazing relational transformation that is going on in her life. She shares freely about her personal struggle and how God's love is reshaping her life. And she talks about the love of her mom that communicated to her even though her mom did not approve of the choices she was making. Renee is an OB/GYN in Texas, active in sports and medical missions as well as helping facilitate a growing community of brothers and sisters in the Austin area.

Podcast Links:
Renee's Blog Lead Me On
Resources helpful in Renee's Journey
Renee sharing her journey as part of a panel presentation at Gateway in Austin, TX
Orphanage Relocation in Kenya


  1. Looking forward to hearing this, as I almost went in that direction two years ago, at 46. Instead, I’ve decided not to embrace that part of me (due to lack of freedom of conscience and family), but instead to continue on as single, celibate, and satisfied in the Lover Of My Soul. I’m grateful for how The God Journey has helped me in this area of my life over the last few years, and thanks, Dr. Renee, for sharing your journey with us, your brothers and sisters in Christ.

  2. How inspiring, how humbling to listen to a life really lived out as a living sacrifice. I was so moved by so many things she said. Really willing to ask God to shine that light whereever it needed to go to remove whatever obstacles there were to the relationship with Father. Following God regardless because the prize is worth it and in this particular case probably still taking heat from “both camps”. I wish I could find better words,what an awesome testimony. Thanks Dr. Renee, your walk should give such hope to everyone seeking to follow Jesus out of whatever false self they have embraced or has been thrust on them.

  3. I want to stand and applaud Renee’s mom! Having kids of my own who are on wayward paths, she is a real encouragement to me to stay close to the heart of God and show His love to my kids. Great podcast!

  4. Thank you, I was so needing encouragement for this. As a Christian for 30 years, I was in a lesbian lifestyle for four, but the temptation has haunted me all these years; till this day I still struggle. I have yet to find a steady environment to heal at. I have been through “Living Waters,” but it is an on going struggle within a “Christian” environment, where I find more acceptance from gay friends I have than from “Christians” . Thank you for this inspiring podcast. I love the tenderness of the guys and the frankness of the struggle from Renee. Patience is the key and what I needed to hear.

  5. Thanks guys (and Renee). The encouragement was so needed and so appreciated. Walking through difficult places and learning how to love in the midst of a “mess” is something so challenging. How valuable to know that God’s timing (even if it’s 20years…or more) cannot be limited to fit our “schedule” for ourselves or others. Also to know that whether it’s sexual sin or other kinds of sin…to grade those is false. All sin is sin in front of God and processing our relationship with a Father who loves us allows us to bring whatever our bondage is to Him and to learn patience with His working. Blessings

  6. Great testimony and I applaud the willingness to openly share. However it still leaves me with a WHOLE bunch of unaddressed questions. 1) We’re created in the image of God but someone with homosexual tendencies is supposed to deny how they have been physically created & wired? 2) If scripture is to be interpreted as an unfolding love story versus a legal document, how does that play out when addressing passages that condemn homosexuality? 3) Recently you shared a comment about how Paul may not have gotten it right in his admonitions…. couldn’t that apply to others as well?

    It just seems to me that until we can find a consistent way to address our culture that we might should be cautious in calling something sin but rather our message should be one of being loved in or out of sin…. whatever that may be.

  7. Good points, Roger! As we all are learning how to navigate in loving ways through these issues around sexual identity, our identity in Christ, and how that plays out in the cultures we find ourselves in …. I’d like to recommend to the wider group (who may be stopping in to view the comments) a particular blog post by Wendy Gritter, who has a bridge-building ministry to those who are “outside the margins of the heterosexual mainstream.” It’s the concept of creating “generous space” in the discussions around this very sensitive issue … an overall disposition that breeds an atmosphere where the Holy Spirit can be working in everyone’s lives involved (like He did in my life – like He did in Renee’s life). Here’s the link (Wayne, I hope this is OK with you to post): http://btgproject.blogspot.com/search/label/generous%20spaciousness

  8. This was like sitting in a very sacred moment of sheer Grace washing down and in my own soul. I was in a long term hetrosexual relationship – not married and he an unbeliever – there just came a day when I too knew I couldn’t go on any further and asked for my Father’s help. It has been a very intense time ever since and the battle to fight the guilt that I have when it comes to a broken family for our children can sometimes be so overwhelming that I think all kinds of crazy stuff.

    I need to be with a community of believers and have recently tried to go back to fellowship, the second week was after the Japan disaster and the sermon was about how much God hates sinners…yeah…not going back there 🙁 I will keep trying though. I need a Grace Community who know how to celebrate a lost sheep being carried back to the flock on The Shepherd’s shoulders.

    Thank you all for one of the best conversations ever!

  9. The identity struggle is huge. Our culture teaches us to believe that we are the sum total of our experience. I think that’s why we tend to identify with groups of people with similar experiences, and why we so desperately defend those experiences as part of who we are.

    But I am not my experience. I am the one who was “formed in my mother’s womb”, long before the experiences of life began to shape my responses to it.

    I’m even uncomfortable saying that I am “who I am in Christ”, because that is also a group identity, born of a particular shared spiritual experience. No – I am who I am, Christ is who He is, and we come together in that wonderful mystery of “oneness” which bonds us together, yet somehow leaves us both as individuals. And He still encourages me daily to discover who “I” am, so that the relationship we share can be authentic.

    I spent so many years being an illusion of myself, following an illusion of who I thought Jesus was. The day God finally revealed to me that neither was real, I sat in my den and literally wept, grieving the loss of those two dear friends I had known for so long. Then I heard the real Jesus whisper, “Ken, it’s just Real You and Real Me from now on, and we’ve got to walk this out together.”

  10. I, too, found this podcast very valuable. A long-time friend of ours has recently decided to leave her husband of over 20 years and their 2 children in order to move in with another woman because she has always had these feelings and is tired of fighting them. It has been a real struggle to know how to respond when she is desperately seeking our approval. To hear Renee talk about how her mother walked through this period of her life was a real inspiration, particularly the insight she shared about erring on the side of what seems the more loving thing.

    Thanks for having the courage to put this podcast out there. It meets a real need in the real world.

  11. This was great to hear. I just wanted to say thank you. I really liked the bit on identity and how there just seems like something inside of us that craves for someone to validate us and so we try so desperately to find others that think like us, to validate and approve of us. It can be such a struggle to find that identity of “I am one in whom Christ dwells and the Father delights in”. It can be such a painful cycle of feeling in/out and up/down basing everything on the circumstances of the moment. There is a better way to live. My feelings are not who I am, my past is not who I am. I doesn’t even feel right saying that but then I guess I just have to decide who I will trust, me or God. Thanks again!

  12. This was a very moving and inspiring podcast. But like Roger brought up in his above comment, I’m still left with many questions. Not that I expected them all to be answered by Renee—she has her own unique story. For most of my life as a believer, I’ve held the commonly accepted Christian view of homosexuality, based on Romans 1 and Leviticus. Now I’m not so sure if those scriptures apply across the board. This isn’t in regard to my own sexuality, but a close relative, as well as others that I’ve talked with who have same sex attraction. Usually when Christians discuss homosexuality, they liken it to “other sins” such as alcoholism, porn addiction, even anger problems or violent tendencies. In Renee’s case, she was brought up with the Bible and the teaching that it’s wrong, sinful. As became involved in same-sex relationships, she had a conflict with her faith. What about a person that was never brought up with the Bible, had no faith-relationship with God, and the conflict isn’t between “right and wrong”, as much as feeling confused and different, not fitting in with the rest of the world? After going through puberty, approaching adulthood, that person comes to a sort of realization that they’ve never had a natural attraction to the opposite sex; they may even try to force themselves into a dating situation, but to no avail, it just doesn’t “fit”. Who knows why or how they got to this place? Eventually they conclude that they are only attracted to the same sex. So how do you approach that situation? Romans 1 doesn’t seem to apply. Comparing this person to a drug addict or alcoholic doesn’t make sense.

  13. We do tackle Roger’s question and other emails from the last three podcasts on the one that airs this Friday. I hope it helps clarify some of this, though your question, Chris, runs in a bit of a different direction…

  14. I’d like to bring up another senario that I wrestle with: How does a community of faith respond to a same-sex couple who come to faith in Jesus? Does the couple end their relationship altogehter, or just the physical part? What if they have children that they are raising together? Should that family be broken up? These are tough questions, but we need to be talking about them. It sure would be helpful to see this discussion (i.e. how to work out the “nitty-gritty”) continue here.

  15. Judy, you’re asking an important question. I think it’s not up to the church to break them up in any way. There are a few churches that try to break up couples who are remarried after a divorce, yet most of us reject that, even though we think divorce (or remarriage) is a sin. If we look at scripture, it seems like they all (except Ezra) say be faithful to your spouse, not try to undo that marriage and go back to a previous one.

    I think if we as Christian communities feel we must find answers to these questions, we really do have to deal with all the scriptures that talk about breaking or not breaking family relationships, and to what degree we consider the circumstances under which they were formed. If we can reconcile Ezra with Malachi and Jesus and Paul, then maybe we can find an answer, but I’m not confident we can.

    I live in a world where the people I know and love are in all kinds of messy relationships. A broken relationship is at best a tragedy. I for one am not willing to be part of a community that pushes people in that direction.

  16. Yes Good is great word for this. Thank you so much for sharing your testimony! I was very moved by your story. It’s a beautiful story of God’s love…I really needed to hear that today.

  17. In listening to Renee on the pod cast I am thinking this lady is real. So many adjectives that I would use to define who Christ is also define who Renee is. After listening to the podcast and reading her blog I went and listened to her testimony at Gateway Church. Thanks Renee for sharing from your heart, you represent your Jesus well.

  18. Great podcast. Reading through the comments, I am compelled to search further into what it means to have feelings that one must resist. I have trouble coming up with a personal example, but my soon-to-be-ex-wife seems to find herself constantly plagued with feelings she can’t control. I wonder what Jesus wants us to do with these feelings? It seems that horrible things happen when one resists, and when one indulges.

  19. Renee and Guys,

    I listened to this podcast yesterday while working finish carpentry in a home remodel job. I was smiling, laughing, crying and high-fiving the wall just celebrating Father’s LOVE as reveled in your epic journey. THIS was “rubber-meets-the-road” Christianity and my own heart was so drawn to Father just witnessing His gentle pursuit of you all these years.

    Rich blessings to you.

  20. As one who has wrestled with this same issue, I was heartened and encouraged by your honest, humble, and sincere testimony! What a blessed podcast. I, too, am discovering the two foundational truths of your message; Namely, it is God who is at work in, through, and over the entire process of redeeming His own AND that our deepest and truest identity is in Christ himself and Christ alone. Again, just a rich trove and reminder of grace and truth.

    Blessings to you all!

  21. I am confused……so did Renee decide to stop acting out on her homosexual feelings bc she felt it was wrong in the eyes of the lord? Is she still gay, but not acting on it?? I feel that God loves everyone and does not base his judgement on what someone does in the bedroom. I feel sorry for the people that base their lives on the fear of what they think is wrong in the eyes of the lord. 20 years of living the gay lifestyle is a very long time to then just wake up and think something with it is wrong. I can’t imagine a God that would judge my love for someone else gay or straight being wrong. What a terrible life to live. You can run all of your frustrations out as long as you want….one day you will wake…..maybe and learn you have been running away from yourself.

  22. Chris, why do you characterize people responding to God as “fear”? Renee didn’t express it that way. Her journey inside a relationship with God opened a door to liberate her from a way of living and thinking that she wasn’t settled about. She never said that everybody should do similar or “fear” what God might do to them. This change grew out of her relationship with God, not her attempts to escape some kind of punishment. It was Father’s love that invited her onto this part of the journey not is disapproval. I think you missed the point. I have worked with the gay community for over 20 years in dealing with anti-discrimination here in California and while I appreciate their generosity of spirit for others, I’m amazed at how much anger is stimulated in that community by even the possibility that sexual attraction can change and seek to discredit any story that suggests its possible. While I agree that “reparative therapy” is not the way to go about it, I do know God can transform someone inside a relationship with him. Why wouldn’t you be happy for her in a process that rises from her deep beliefs, rather than disparage it. Here story doesn’t make the points you claim it does, nor does it need to threaten how you live your life.

  23. Maybe you misinterpreted what I asked. My question was to Renee, but since you answered for her I guess you can answer this….I was wondering if she gave up any and all relationships with women or men to pursue strictly a relationship with God??? Just a question….since you seem to speak for everyone including the California gay community maybe you can answer that. Just a simple answer will do….I don’t need a bunch of psychological babble. Also, I am happy for her and do not feel threatened in the least. I just had a simple question.

  24. Chris, I was only trying to help, since I don’t expect people are going back to blog postings that are this old. And I wasn’t speaking for the gay community, only my experiences with a certain segment of it. The answer to your question as you have worded it, is no.

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