After years of panic attacks over her relationship, Stacy Olney made a drastic change
When Stacy Olney was at college, her favourite place to hang out was the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Inter-sex Association Centre on her university campus.
“My proudest memories were of marching in a gay pride parade,” Stacy recalls. “My partner (I’ll call her Kay) and I eagerly yearned for the day when same-sex marriage would be legalised. I felt I was changing the world, and I had everything that I wanted.”
A few years later, Stacy and Kay were overcoming a difficult period in their relationship, but things were looking up.
Kay had surgery to become a male and both were happy with her new identity. Stacy had started attending a small church which proclaimed that the Bible approves of homosexual behaviour.
Suddenly, though, she left Kay, her church and friends and never went back.
Three years earlier, Stacy had been challenged by a TV program on whether the Bible spoke the truth about God and mankind.
“I started watching a Bible teacher on TV out of curiosity at first, and eventually became convinced that the Bible was not just a collection of fanciful stories,” Stacy explains.
“The Bible was historically sound, the ancient documents matched our current ones and its prophecies were exactly fulfilled. I also saw that God is good and His Word and His law were relevant to me.”
Desiring to know God personally, Stacy says, “I told Jesus that I knew that I had a stony heart, and that I knew this was what was keeping me from loving Him the way that I should.”
She began reading the Bible daily, and, she recalls, “I loved every word — it spoke in a living way, like it said it would.”
As she examined what the Bible said about her relationship with Kay, Stacy recalls badly wanting a hint of approval, “but there was nothing”.
“In fact, the original understandings of the words concerning homosexuality and sex outside of male-female marriage were far more specific and devastating than I had anticipated. All the commentaries and all the verses agreed together.”
Unable to make up her mind whether to leave Kay, she ended up staying for two more years, but began experiencing severe anxiety and panic attacks whenever she thought about her relationship.
Stacy says this anxiety was due to her conscience and the Holy Spirit convicting her that she was purposely doing the wrong thing by God. She pleaded with God to let her stay with Kay and after ignoring the anxiety and taking medication, it eventually went away. “My life was back the way I wanted it,” recalls Stacy.
It was at this point that Kay became a man and Stacy started going to church.
“It was like, when I refused to hear what God was trying to say to me, God just let me go,” she says.
“Then, towards the end of 2004, my life began to crumble... Instead of working on my heart to change my life, God began to work on my life to change my heart.”
Stacy’s final decision came when she visited Kay’s mother who asked her, “At the last judgement, when we all must personally give an account to Jesus Christ, what will you say to Him when He asks you what you have done with His Word?”
Instantly, Stacy pictured herself giving a long rationalisation to God as to why those verses did not apply, and then remembered that Jesus said, “The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day” (John chapter 12, verse 48).
After six hours of reading and prayer, Stacy chose to turn away from her rebellion against God and wholly trust in Jesus.
“It is one thing to say that you trust in a parachute, and quite another to put it on and jump!
“I surrendered to Jesus as my Saviour, because I realised that I needed to be saved from the judgement I deserved.”
Not going back to Kay “was one of the hardest and most painful things I’ve ever done,” Stacy says, “But alongside me was Jesus Christ, and in me was ‘peace that passes understanding’ that I had read about, but had never known.”
Stacy says that she is proof that God can change people’s identities. No longer suffering from panic attacks or anxiety, she exclaims, “I am free!”
“Now I shun the gruesome and pornographic entertainment that I used to relish. I am now involved with other Christians in sharing God’s good news.”
Stacy has since visited old friends at the LGBT centre during a religious discussion among a dozen people and was able to explain what God had done in her life. She gladly shares that “Eight of them took a booklet that explained the good news of Jesus Christ.”