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Last year, around this time I had the opportunity of learning more about the woman you’re about to meet. Her story is one of courage and will remind you of this very fact: THE BLOOD OF JESUS HAS NOT LOST IT”S POWER!
May her words inspire, encourage and empower you to choose the road that always leads to LIFE.
SRW: Welcome to Inside My Chambers Chantelle. A year later and here we are. Tell me, when did you “come out of the closet” and what did you come out of the closet as? Lesbian / Bi-Sexual?
Chantelle: When I was 15 years old my friends actually asked me if I was gay. At first I said “Noo that’s so not me!” I knew what the church preached and what the Bible said and said this can’t be my life; it’s not God’s will for me to be a lesbian. However, I believe in that moment of question, something got planted into my mind and I began questioning the way I looked at women since I was a child. When I accepted it, I told my dad Colin and he didn’t believe me because he called me ‘boy crazy’ then he went on to say if this is true then I love you anyway.
When he said that, as the single parent he was raising two girls and also the disciplinary figure; I completely set out to prove to him and the world just how gay I was.
I wore rainbows every day hoping to help solidify my lifestyle. During this period God was pursuing my heart back into His, so I said I’m done with this homosexuality thing, God I’m all yours. I did that about 3 times and each time I tried to replace women and the desire with something else, either religiosity or men it didn’t work. They didn’t work because they both were empty void fillers. Then I plunged into the homosexuality deep end and stayed there for a long period.
At first, I battled with even the idea of liking women so I transitioned from bisexuality until I was ‘bold’ or ‘comfortable’ enough to call myself a lesbian – which happened within 6 months of coming out.
SRW: Thanks for sharing Chantelle. You know, many believe that once you’re gay this is who you are. God made you this way and you can’t change it no matter how hard one may try. Do you remember feeling this way?
Chantelle: Yes partially. I believed that this was who I was… but I knew God didn’t make me that way. So I think my mind almost took the easy route by saying this is just who I am, I’ve tried to change but can’t, I guess this is just me then. The thing is our attempts to change on our own for reasons such as, fear of hell or family condemnation or even just a conviction you believe Holy Spirit is calling you higher usually don’t work unless you are choosing to fall in love with Jesus again. I believe healing and transformation comes from intimacy and desire.
SRW: When you left the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LBGT) community how did your friends react?
Chantelle: Well the first time they didn’t know what happened I just deleted everyone, no words exchanged. The second time I did the same deleting method however this time they would try to add me back and I would decline. The third time people noticed a pattern and knew that ‘Chan was chasing God again’ they were all much closer to me in that period and I made many great friendships that when the fourth time rolled around there were certain people that was harder to let go of.
Some of my friends said ‘Chan you’re one of the biggest lesbians I know what are you talking about, this is who you are don’t run from it!’ One person that I was intimate with freaked out and tried to self medicate the idea of losing me with drugs. So the final time was much harder because I knew it was the last time. If I wanted to be an example at all it had to be the last time… They watched me play with my relationship with God for far too long and if I wanted any chance of them pursuing Him it was important to me that I truly said goodbye and pursue the uncreated One that is in love with me.
SRW: So here you are today happily married. When you met your husband did you tell him about your past? How soon? And why did you think he needed to know?
Chantelle: Yes I am very happily married! When I met my husband Joel, I did tell him about my past. When we first met I was not even considering relationship or anything I didn’t even want to get married!! God asked me to trust him with my future which was hard to say yes to because of the uncertainty of a completely new life almost foreign to me.
When Joel came in we were just friends, I lived in Edmonton, Alberta and he lived in Brampton, Ontario. We spoke through Facebook and BBM. When I told him it would have been within the first week I started chatting with him. I was convinced and still am that there is nothing beyond God so I said to God that I will no longer walk in deceit and lie to benefit me, if someone steps into my life I will be honest and open and if they accept me I know that there were no schemes in the mix.
I was tired of not being 100% true to myself and my heart and saying things that would either cause people to not be upset or to keep me. I didn’t want that anymore.
SRW: Now this question is for your husband. What was the first thing that came to your mind when Chantelle told you about her past?
Joel: Chantelle and I had been talking for hours upon hours since the first night we exchanged BBM pins over Facebook. For what may have been one week, seemed like four because of how much we spoke and got to know of each other. In the first week of talking Chantelle spoke to me about her past, which conveyed the testimony of God’s grace and power to deliver her from Homosexuality.
SRW: What did you admire most about her?
Beforehand our conversations were filled with Godly perspectives; the revelations and experiences He’s brought us through. This is what I admired about her most; her passion and pursuit for God was attractive and her fearless attitude towards expressing her heart for Jesus and the satisfaction He brings. Though she testified, I struggled with disbelief at first until being challenged by Holy Spirit with the question “Why can’t He do it?” The God that is displayed in scripture is the God of the impossible and ever since being met with this conviction I decided to come in agreement and never look back.
SRW: Chantelle what was it about your husband that made you feel like he was the man for you?
As I said before I had a moment with God and I said I’m not gay I’m not straight I’m just your daughter and He responded to me, “that’s all I want, I just want your heart’ then I said I’m not dating, not have sex at all, and don’t mention marriage or children. God then responded to me, I need you to trust me with your everyday even if you don’t know what it looks like. I said okay I trust you.
So after that dialogue, my only desire was intimacy with Jesus. When Joel and I started chatting I wasn’t intended on dating as I already said. Most men when speaking to me will not wait passed the first couple lines of conversation before complimenting my physical looks so when Joel didn’t I was shocked thinking it was possible to have a male friend.
After two weeks of speaking he said I was beautiful and I literally leaped and clapped my hands with giggles and smiles galore! In that moment I was baffled as to why I responded that way… 2 weeks earlier I was telling God “no, I’m never dating unless it’s my husband”, so I was blown away at the mere fact I was excited about a man calling me beautiful because I couldn’t remember the last time that felt like a good thing. I know it sounds cliché but when I met him in person I just knew it was like I did a check in my heart and mind and was like yep this is him.
SRW: Which word describes your proposal best:
1.Finally! 2. I had a feeling it was coming soon.
Chantelle: Number 1 for sure!
Chantelle: Yes some people do say that. For myself I thought that the ideal age to be married at was 25, so when I was 24, 9 months from my 25th birthday it didn’t seem too stranger. However, back to your question, we both knew we were ready because we both were in a place with God that we had abandoned the idea of dating or settling for the sake of comfort or lack of options. We had both said to God we are not dating anyone but we welcomed the possibility of meeting someone for marriage. So when we met and became friends and the rest of it, we were constantly talking with God as to what it was and what it was growing to become.
I really believe that our sensitivity to Holy Spirit allowed us to continue moving forward because we weren’t just blindly walking but we were attentive to Daddy and His heart for us and each other. As we individually fell more and more in love with Jesus we were becoming more and more aware of the passion and commitment that is meant for marriage in the natural and how clearly it depicts what we have with Jesus.
SRW: Did you have support from family and friends?
Chantelle: Yes we had family and friends support. It was great actually! We have had the honour of having a great friend base around us and amazing leaders in our lives as well that really were touched by our relationship and new that marriage was certainly coming soon, so they were excited when it finally happened. Our families were both excited for this new chapter as well, mine were more expecting as my age isn’t too rare, whilst Joel’s family saw what God was doing in our relationship and they were able to really see how we handled situations together and the legitimacy of love that we carried and blessed us despite of his age.
SRW: How do you think marriage prepares us for heaven?
Chantelle: Hmm that’s interesting… how do I think marriage prepares us for Heaven… Well, I feel like it starts before Heaven but that even still is hard for me to say because I believe Heaven is more than we could ever comprehend but that’s a whole other conversation! I feel like marriage more so allows you to see what Jesus really wants with us even while we’re on this earth for a moment.
Marriage blows your mind! I learned how selfish we can be how prideful we can be how arrogant and how much we demand to be heard and insist on our own way. The interesting thing about marriage is that it sifts you both like wheat at the same time. Your faults compliment each other and causes you both to be called higher into something great leaving the junk behind if you choose to let it. I believe marriage fast tracks you to a life of sanctification! Marriage is such a beautiful covenant and God pours out so much on us and we have so much revelation of us and the Bridegroom because of marriage. We fall more in love with Jesus in a whole different way because of marriage in even just the intimate connection of marriage. I hope I answered your question!
SRW: Wow this is good stuff Chantelle! Before we close off, what final words do you have to say to someone who might be struggling with their identity right now?
Chantelle: What I’d say is: You have an identity and sometimes things get in the way of us knowing it or walking in it. Daddy God is not condemning you saying ‘get it right’ He’s saying hey let’s work this one out together. Life is a process and an incredible journey the good parts and that not so good looking parts bring it all together and makes you victorious every issue you overcome.
We all struggle with identity issues to some degree and often times it can go back to something that occurred in your childhood. Holy Spirit wants to help you hear what your Father has to say about you! I encourage you to fall in love with Jesus for real. It’s not about joining a congregation or getting delivered. God wants your heart he looks at the intentions of your heart; He knows your heart, so start there! You’ll find your identity as you grow in your relationship because you hear what Daddy God has to say about you and you walk in the reality of the words of the One who pursues you! Ask Holy Spirit to tell you what you believe your identity to be and what the Father really says!
As I said this life is a journey, transformation is constantly happening and you have the ability to choose to fall in love with someone who is already crazy about you and from there; love changes your life forever.
SRW: You are a new and upcoming illustrator. Can you tell me the type of illustrating that you do? And how one can reach you?
SRW: Thank you so much Chantelle for sharing your testimony of transformation with us. Continue to soar to higher heights and deeper depths in God! You are such a blessing!!!
©This has been another In My Chambers interview, until next time..THERE IS NO SECRET WHAT GOD CAN DO!
If you’re not careful this holiday season someone may just make you their “BOOTY CALL.”
For those who are new to this terminology, a booty call is when a man or woman gives another man or woman a “sexual invitation for a rendezvous.” (Well, that’s how simple it was in the 90’s at least). Now booty callers have become even more sophisticated in their approach. They come disguised as men or women who are willing to take you out and even convince you of wanting to be in a relationship; when in actuality they’re not. They’re just interested in one thing; YOUR BOOTY under them sheets. And their prey? Individuals who are sexually frustrated, lonely and desperate for a relationship. (In my new book “Why Are Christian Girls So Easy” I give girls and women the heads up on Mr. Opportunistic; you know the guy who uses smooth talk to win the ladies over…I talk about the type of woman he looks for and much more. Be sure to get your copy!)
Friends, I hope you’re not offended by me saying it, like it is. I am simply a woman with a 21st century mandate to empower as many singles as possible to avoid what I call “relationship collisions” and arrive safely to their destination of marriage in one piece.
Has your experiences with women or men left you feeling like you’re nothing more than a booty call?
Well, you are worth so much more than a booty call!
You are God’s property on reserve for a special man or woman who will know your value (without sex) and want to still make you their bride/groom. BELIEVE that TODAY!.
So, if Miss or Mr. Booty Call comes a calling or knocking at your door this holiday season give them the real BOOT by letting them know “MY BODY, IT”S THE LORD’s TEMPLE! and this homegirl/homeboy don’t play dat!”
© Tanika Chambers, Author of Single, Ready & Waiting: Your Guide To Courtship and Why Are Christian Girls So Easy