My minister-husband and I have been moving through this book, but it's taken me a while to set aside some typing time to share some quotes with you. Here are the ones I underlined as we finished up chapter one:
(For some readers this may be uncomfortable or hard to read, as Rosaria is a convert from a Lesbian lifestyle. But I think it is very powerful because it's like a window into the heart of a person going through world-rocking change. It sheds bright light on the human heart and also on what it takes emotionally to turn from a life of sin to a life of obedience.)
"I learned that we must obey in faith before we feel better or different. At this time, though, obeying in faith, to me, felt like throwing myself off a cliff. Faith that endures is heroic, not sentimental."
"Slowly but steadily, my feelings did start to change - feelings about myself as a woman and feelings about what sexuality really is and what it really isn't. I - like most everyone who identified as gay or lesbian - felt very comfortable, very at home in my body, in my lesbianism. One doesn't repent for a sin of identity in one session. Sins of identity have multiple dimensions, and through-out this journey, I have come to my pastor and his wife, friends in the Lord, and always to the Lord himself with different facets of my sin. I don't mean different incidents or examples of the same sin, but different facets of sin - how pride, for example, informed my decision-making, or how my unwillingness to forgive others had landlocked my heart in bitterness. I have walked this journey with help. There is no other way to do it. I still walk this journey with help." (Italics mine)
"God sent me to a Reformed and Presbyterian conservative church to repent, heal, learn and thrive. The pastor there did not farm me out to a para-church ministry 'specializing' in 'gay people.' He and the session knew that the church is competent to counsel (to quote the title of one of Jay Adams' useful books). I needed (and need) faithful shepherding, not the glitz and glamor that has captured the soul of modern evangelical culture. I had to lean and lean hard on the full weight of scripture, on the fullness of the word of God, and I'm grateful that when I heard the Lord's call on my life, and I wanted to hedge my bets, keep my girlfriend and add a little God to my life, I had a pastor and friends in the Lord who asked nothing less of me than that I die to myself. Biblical orthodoxy can offer real compassion, because in our struggle against sin, we cannot undermine God's power to change lives."
"I think churches would be places of greater intimacy and growth in Christ if people stopped lying about what we need, what we fear, where we fail, and how we sin. I think that many of us have a hard time believing the God we believe in, when the going gets tough. And I suspect that instead of seeking counsel and direction from those stronger in the Lord, we retreat into our isolation and shame and let the sin wash over us, defeating us again. Or maybe we muscle through on our pride. Do we really believe that the word of God is a double-edged sword, cutting between the spirit and the soul? Or do we use the word of God as a cue card to commandeer only our external behavior?"
"Conversion put me in a complicated and comprehensive chaos."