From an early age, I sensed the hand of God on my life.
Living In Guyana, South America, with my missionary parents, I remember accepting Jesus into my heart as a five-year-old. That experience was very real to me. At the age of 10 I was baptized. I understood being baptized was an obedience issue as a Christian and wanted to let people know I was making a serious commitment to follow God for the rest of my life.
As a result of being abused as a child and raped as a teenager along with other ungodly influences, I struggled with a lot of depression, fear, anxiety, anger, and I felt like I didn’t really belong anywhere. I secretly believed God had meant to create me as a male but then decided to make me a joke and therefore, created me to be a female. I was in so much turmoil and confusion and did not really believe God loved me.
Because at that time the church rarely addressed issues around sex nor shared or discussed everyday struggles, as a young person I had come to believe we couldn’t talk about these things. In this turmoil and confusion, I decided that I didn’t want the church or God in my life. I felt I could do life better without God.
This decision led me to quit high school, leave home and find my first job. At work I met a woman who became my friend and she took me to a gay bar. In that bar it seemed like all my questions of who I was were answered. I had always felt different because I now knew I was a lesbian. I now knew where I belonged and who I was. I was only 17 years old when I took on the lesbian identity and became involved sexually with my friend. Initially, I tried to copy the loving relationship I’d seen in my parents’ marriage. I soon discovered the commitment I had didn’t stop my lover/partner from fooling around with other women. Once again I was in so much pain and my emotions were all confused, but now I added guilt to the equation because I knew God didn’t like how I was living. To survive, I learned how to play the games.
I tried everything I knew to numb the pain. I drank impressive quantities of alcohol, took dangerous amounts of drugs, got involved with other women and gained quite a reputation as a street fighter; although I never fought women--only men. All it took was a guy asking me to dance, and I’d attack with full fury. I hated men.
But these things gave me nothing more than a temporary relief, after which I was worse off than before. I became more and more depressed, fearful, anxious, and hopeless until finally I couldn’t stand the pain any longer. I wanted to die. Actually, I didn’t really want to die. I just saw no other way out of the pain which had become so debilitating. I could no longer live with it so I attempted to kill myself with pills. After I was rushed to hospital and recovering, the doctors told my parents the concentration of drugs in my body had been so far above the lethal level, it was a miracle that I had survived and was alive.
A Christian friend of mine encouraged me to talk to God about my messed-up life. So after 10 years of not talking to God, I prayed asking Him to transform me. That night God gave me a vision. I was down in a pit, with chains and filth all over me. Jesus came right down into that pit, threw His arms around me and said, "Pat, all I’ve ever wanted was you. I love you for who you are.” Since that night, my life has never been the same. He touched me so deeply that my response was, “God I will do whatever you ask of me even if I don’t like it.”
Slowly Jesus Christ began to transform me, and with the Holy Spirit’s leading and enablement, I could resist falling back into old habits of doing things that were not God’s plan for my life. As I moved into receiving the deliverance and freedom He had for me, I gradually became free from depression, anxiety, and fear. I learned about the power of prayer and the great things that can happen when we pray. I learned about the importance of worshiping and praising God and the transformation that takes place in our souls when it becomes our priority. I learned that the more I obeyed God, the more I changed. In fact, God changed me and my life so much over these years that today I hardly recognize myself from the person I used to be. The best part is that I know what He did in me, He can do in anyone. That’s why my goal in life is to help others find that same freedom, healing, restoration, fulfillment, and purpose that I have found. I want them to know the wonderful life-transforming power of God’s love and all that He has for them, so they can become all He created them to be.
Over the last 30 years I have served God in full-time ministry.
The cross-cultural experience of my formative years in Guyana, my involvement in the church and in homosexuality, and my experience of laying the structural foundation for ministry in Toronto, have all been a part of God's plan and preparation for my present ministry. It is awesome the way God has brought all these things together in His sovereign way.
I have been married 17 years to a man who loves me and supports me. God called me to be involved in ex-gay ministries throughout the world and then into church ministry. As I continue to grow in the Lord, I have learned that my responsibility is to be obedient before the Lord, to do my best, and God will do the rest. Whatever the future brings, it’s reassuring to know I’m in His hand. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.