American soldier Kathy Simonini should be dead. A gunner in the National Guard, she was serving in Iraq when the Humvee she was in rolled and she was thrown from the vehicle.
She believes she would have died had she not agreed earlier in the day to trade her regular spot post as M60 gunner with another soldier. He was much bigger than her and she is sure that is why both of them survived the accident.
This incident, which occurred over 10 years ago, caused Kathy to wonder why her life, riddled with darkness and despair, had been miraculously spared.
She says that she was abused as a child and, as a result, chose a homosexual lifestyle.
Around the time where Kathy was struggling to find her identity, she was told, by someone she trusted and admired, that "God planted the seed of homosexuality. Let it grow."
Growing up, Kathy knew of God and believed that He existed but she did not know what Jesus had done for her or how to have a personal relationship with Him.
Upon returning from her near-death experience in Iraq, Kathy tried searching for answers amidst her ongoing homosexual relationships.
Then, one of her relationships went sour and the outcome was so bad Kathy was driven to her knees and begged God to help her.
"When I had enough, He became enough," she tells of the day she gave her life to Christ. "He delivered me."
Today, Kathy is a volunteer chaplain and an inspiring example of a life saved and changed by God's grace and forgiveness.
She is awestruck by the amazing sacrifice of Jesus, who was crucified as a sacrifice for the sins of the world.
"Anyone in their right mind would not want to volunteer to die a horrific and painful death on the cross. It doesn't make sense! But Jesus says [in the Bible] in John 14:6, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'"
Today, Kathy does not let her past define her. Instead, she uses the opportunity to reach out to others who are feeling lost. "I thank God I went through what I went through because I can use it for my ministry today," she says. "I can say, 'Look, I've been there, I've done that. Listen to me. I can tell you. It works.'"
Kathy serves as a community chaplain and is taking international chaplaincy courses. She particularly ministers to young adults who are struggling with their identities and views on homosexuality.
"The younger generation who's into this, I'm telling them don't go down the road I went down. God is using my testimony to open their eyes. And I'm using it. I tell them, 'He's real. He exists. He loves you. Don't fall for the_lies of the enemy.'"
Kathy has grown spiritually in her faith over the years and shares her knowledge of the Bible with others. "The Bible doesn't say anything [positive] about man and man, woman and woman. I tell people, 'God didn't make you this way. The enemy [Satan] is feeding you lies and you're watching society, which is convincing you in your mind. Block out the world and go to Him.'"
She continues, "When you sin you need to repent and confess whole heartedly and God will forgive you. When someone repents their mind is changed and they are truly sorry for what they did. When someone just says words and goes back to doing that sin, their heart is not in it and God does not play the fool. Why am I telling you this? So you will have the chance to grasp the truth of God and know that His way is the only way."
Kathy concludes her testimony with these words: "It didn't happen overnight, but as I got to know my Lord and Saviour, the homosexual lifestyle makes me sick to my stomach to be quite honest. If He can change me, He can change others. Was it easy at first? No, because you have to break away from your old life, your old friends. But God is good."•