Testimony of Michelle Slade
I was born in March of the bicentennial year to Dr. Richard Gregory Slade and Jeannine Lynn McIntyre (Maiden name), to a woman who was told she’d never have children and to a man who never thought he wanted any. My father was an Adventist and my mother a convert from Catholicism so I was raised in an Adventist family. My place of birth is San Jose, CA. So I grew up about half in Northern and half in Southern California. The majority of my schooling was of Adventist education with public schooling a year here and there, and I remember a very happy early childhood.
A volatile relationship developed between my mother and me as she started physically and verbally abusing me around the age of 11. I started experimenting with members of the opposite sex at around 12 or 13 and had boyfriends from time to time like most young teenagers. I used alcohol periodically at around 15 with drugs to follow soon after. As time went on the abuse from my mother increased to my detriment, as did my use of alcohol and drugs. I started to sample more and of course they were of the stronger variety.
I was 16 when I had my first feelings towards a member of the same sex. It wasn’t so much an outright realized crush, but one day, lost in thought, I realized I wanted to kiss my then best friend. I thought, “If I could kiss her and no one would know, not even she would remember, would I…?” The answer was “yes”. I was then saying to myself, “What?! What am I thinking? I can’t be a lesbian; that’s a sin!” However, I didn’t really dwell on this but kind of forgot about the incident and went on with my day-to-day life.
A couple years passed, years of abuse, ditching school, drinking and drug use. I even willingly left Loma Linda Academy towards the end of my junior year, and I loved that school! I thought I wanted to go to the public high school my brother Richard was attending, and once that happened we proceeded to ditch every day for the remainder of that school year. We would go to a girl’s house whose parent was at work during the day and indulge in drug use with quite a few friends. It really was a daily ritual. My senior year I realized my mistake of leaving LLA, and to this day it’s a great regret in my life. I neither graduated in a school I loved nor with friends. Later that year in a hysterical state because of an abusive fight with my mother I tried to commit suicide. Thankfully unsuccessful, the incident made me realize how much of a mistake it was. I did not want to die.
Sometime later a friend of mine “came out” to me as being bisexual. She started flirting with me, and I then realized I was bisexual as well. Not too long after, I had my first experience, and, due to the Internet, I easily embraced my new sexuality in AOL chat rooms and met my first love. Instantly, being with a woman felt more natural to me, like I had been missing something all along. While I was still involved with said first love, I woke up one night to a good male friend of mine basically raping me. This incident happened the week before my parents left California for a new home in Columbia, Tennessee. The ordeal was never reported to authorities, and, unfortunately, I just learned to deal with what had happened.
So, in November of 1995 my parents moved out of state. I went with them for the holidays leaving my vehicle and belongings in a California storage facility. Plans were in place for me to later return and live with a friend in the LA area. Fast-forward. I had left Tennessee, moved to Moreno Valley, then to Burbank, Van Nuys, Hollywood, San Francisco, Long Beach, Glendale, and Hollywood again. On September 10th, 2001 I left LAX on an American Airlines flight for Bluefield, Virginia. I later moved in with my parents in Bluefield, West Virginia. While living there my father died in June of 2004. Then my mother, brothers, and I moved to Las Vegas, Nevada – my mother’s hometown.
Fast-forward again to 2007. I was still in Vegas, and, by the grace of God, I finally reached a point where I did not want to be romantically involved with anyone. All my life I had had the dream of wanting to find “the one.” But finally, I had enough of my share of heartbreak. I had been in many relationships and was just done. It was a welcome blessing. Through these adventures I had always called myself a Christian though I now know I wasn’t. I was living my life for myself and myself alone. I did not really know Him, but yet He had always been calling me, waiting patiently for the day my heart would start to answer.
My roommate and youngest brother Michael had found that 3ABN came in on the TV antenna. I was already wanting to go back to church and keep the Sabbath again, so this was an amazing blessing and was no coincidence of course.
So, it was the Sabbath of June 30, 2007 and the 4th day of Operation Global Rain. I was watching 3ABN on a rabbit eared TV in my living room and It Is Written featuring Shawn Boonstra came on. The subject was of a homosexual man who had lived the life for 16 years but the Lord had changed him.
(Editor’s Note: This was the 4 part series “Compassion Without Compromise” hosted by Shawn Boonstra and featuring “Victor J. Adamson”, pen name for Ron Woolsey, available through this web site on DVD.)
I really don’t remember now much of what was said, but after the program was over I solemnly walked into my bedroom and asked God, “Lord, are you trying to tell me something?”
I don’t remember if I was on my knees already when I asked the question, but I know I ended up there. I believe I was crying. I know I was kneeling down with my Bible on my hope chest at the end of my bed. It was summer, hot, and the fan was blowing.
I was enormously convicted of what I had just seen, and I KNEW the Lord had set this appointment especially for me. I was in great distress. You see, I had recently started going back to church, and I was a lesbian.
I don’t recall if I asked the Lord to show me the answer through the Word or if I just opened my Bible to a random page, but what I landed on was page nine hundred sixty two, and my life would never be the same.
The book I’d opened to was Jeremiah, 2nd chapter verse 16, and I just started reading. I was looking for the Lord to speak to me, to answer my distressed heart. It didn’t take long before a verse caught my eye. I stopped at verse 19:
“Your own wickedness shall chasten and correct you, and your backslidings and desertion of faith shall reprove you. Know therefore and recognize that this is an evil and bitter thing: [first,] you have forsaken the Lord your God; [second,] you are indifferent to Me, and the fear of Me is not in you, says the Lord of hosts.”
”THIS is an evil and bitter thing!!” I thought. “I have forsaken the Lord my God! It’s as if this Scripture is JUST for me.”
v:23 “How can you say, I am not defiled; I have not gone after the Baals [other gods]? Look at your way in the valley; know what you have done. You are a restive young female camel [in the uncontrollable violence of her brute passion eagerly] running hither and thither.”
It was almost beyond belief. The Word was speaking directly to me.
v:25 [“Cease from your mad running after idols, from which you get nothing but bitter injury.] Keep your feet from being unshod and your throat from thirst. But you said, It is hopeless! For I have loved strangers and foreigners, and after them I will go. V:33 How you deck yourself and direct your way to procure [adulterous] love! Because of it even wicked women have learned [indecent] ways from you.”
In one of my relationships I was a young woman’s first…
v:35 “Yet you keep saying, I am innocent; surely His anger has turned away from Me. Behold, I will bring you to judgment and will plead against you because you say, I have not sinned.”
My excuse for my homosexuality was, “It’s just love. How can it be wrong?” I was fooling myself into believing it wasn’t a sin.
Jeremiah Chapter 3:2 “Lift up your eyes to the bare heights and see. Where have you not been adulterously lain with? By the wayside you have sat waiting for lovers [eager for idolatry], like an Arabian [desert tribesman who waits to plunder] in the wilderness; and you have polluted the land with your vile harlotry and your wickedness (unfaithfulness and disobedience to God). V:3 Therefore the showers have been withheld, and there has been no spring rain. Yet you have the brow of a prostitute; you refuse to be ashamed.”
I was now on my knees, so convicted, so amazed that the Word was answering me and yet so scared, in turmoil. I wish I were a poet and could accurately paint the agony I was in, to try to convey what this felt like. I was just stuck on these pages. Overwhelmed by the Scripture, I repeated, “What do I do, what do I do?”
I’m not sure how long I sat there, but I wasn’t going any further. I didn’t search any further. I just stared at the black words on white and cried out to the Lord. Then there was an occurrence, something so small I almost missed it. It took me a second to process, but the right top hand corner of the page curled, as if someone had started to curl it, to almost “dog ear” it. The fan was blowing, but I realized if the breeze was to catch the page it would have started to flip. No, this was different. It looked as if the page wanted me to turn it. So, I did, and Jeremiah 3:13-15 was staring back at me.
“Only know, understand, and acknowledge your iniquity and guilt–that you have rebelled and transgressed against the Lord your God and have scattered your favors among strangers under every green tree, and you have not obeyed My voice, says the Lord. Return, O faithless children, says the Lord, for I am Lord and Master and Husband to you, and I will take you, …and I will bring you to Zion. And I will give you [spiritual] shepherds after My own heart [in the final time], who will feed you with knowledge and understanding and judgment.”
That was it. I knew what I had to do. I had to leave this life. Again, I can’t even begin to explain what was going on inside me. Everything I felt, who I felt I was, my very identity, I was leaving behind.
I got up and got a trash bag, and, starting at my DVD rack, grabbed every lesbian film, every love story and tossed them in. I went to my bookshelf threw out the lesbian almanac an old roommate had given me, a lesbian photography book given by my best friend, and anything else that was tied to who I thought I was. And then I just stood there, with this bag hanging from my right clasped fist. So much more than just possessions, this bag was symbolically my whole life, and my resolve started to wane.
Telling myself “I don’t have to throw this away now”, I was torn. I thought, “I can just put it in the closet… (Kind of ironic, though I didn’t see it at the time.)
This went on probably for a minute or two, and somehow I went back to my Bible and started scanning again and now Chapter 4, verse 1 called to me: “IF YOU will return, O Israel, says the Lord, if you will return to Me, and if you will put away your abominable false gods out of My sight and not stray or waver…”
Here I stood with this bag of gods, and all of a sudden I had the resolve! I had a supernatural strength! I picked up that trash bag and as if on autopilot, I walked right out my front door. It was amazing really, I felt like I was being driven by something, as if I was along for the ride. I know now it was the Holy Spirit. I walked right to the dumpster and tossed it in.
An Observation: Operation Global Rain was a movement in that summer of 2007 to pray for the Latter Rain. I don’t know who all were involved, but they were specifically praying for certain subjects each day for about a week or two, Adventists all over the world. On that June 30th they were praying for “confession and repentance”. How awesome is that?!
This article is by Michelle Slade