Janet Boynes—author of Called Out, Arise: The Journey from Fear to Faith, and The Top 10 Questions Regarding Same-Sex Attraction—described how God called her out of the darkness of homosexuality and drug addiction and into the light. It began when Janet was young. She was raised in a family of seven children fathered by four different men, and Janet was the only one who didn’t know her dad. Being fatherless left her unprotected and without identity. Her alcoholic stepfather beat her mother. During that time, the father of one of her other sisters raped her after he had sent his own daughter to the store. Further compounding her wounds, she was then raped at her church. All of this abuse created a chain reaction within Janet, who began acting out at school.
God intervened in Janet’s life through an eighth-grade English teacher who took Janet under her wing. Her influence helped foster Janet’s love of writing. However, just before college, Janet lost this support when her teacher moved five states away, to Minnesota, and a sense of abandonment gripped Janet.
Three years after dropping out of college, Janet bought a one-way ticket to Minneapolis. Her eighth-grade teacher got her back into college, and it was there that she met Mary. Mary took her to church, and Janet gave her heart to the Lord. She dove headfirst into Christianity. She met a professional bike racer, and he asked her to marry him. It looked like Janet would finally escape her brokenness and find happiness, but she was about to make a choice that would lead her on a fourteen-year detour.
With her groom-to-be on the road, Janet spent time with a woman at her job who gave her the attention she had never received from her mother: “When you don’t deal with your childhood, it could come out anytime.” This relationship with her coworker became sexual and led Janet to go from woman to woman. However, God never left Janet, even though she thought He had. Her true Father was about to renew her youth like the eagle’s (Ps. 103:5) and lift His daughter out of an identity that threatened to consume her.
Through a strange set of events, late one night in a grocery store parking lot, a woman gave Janet a brochure and invited her to church. Janet was stunned when she read the name of the church. Five years earlier, she had driven past that very same church and said to her partner, “Someday I’m going to go to that church.” The two of them looked at each other and laughed—where had those words come from?
Janet was about to find out that God had prepared a church of people who would love and accept her: “I looked just like a man. And they just loved on me.” Eight months later, one married couple stepped forward and asked Janet to move in with them. She sold her home and, at the age of forty, moved in with a Christian family who taught her what it meant to be part of a family. “Their goal was not to pull me out of homosexuality into heterosexuality, but into a relationship with Jesus. They wanted to watch God work on my life from the inside out.”
Stay tuned this week for more of Janet Boynes’ amazing story in God’s Great Do-Over – Part 2!