Autobiography With Purpose:What Would Anita Say?

In WalesBefore I move on with this autobiography, I need to lay a little background. I had gone to Living Waters Bible College in North Wales wounded by a relationship  with a heterosexual man. Yet that disappointment, as much as it broke my heart, didn’t have the deep impact that loving Trevor had inflicted on me. I clearly remember telling God that if I had to choose between this new relationship and the opportunity to minister with Love In Action (an ex-gay ministry affiliated with my church), I wanted to be a correspondence counselor for Love in Action.

Of course, I had never actually told Frank Worthen, the founder and director of Love In Action, about my desire to work for the ministry. I guess I assumed that he wouldn’t consider me qualified for the job. Of course he saw me at all the Tuesday night Bible Studies, Friday night prayer meetings and Love In Action parties, but he also knew about the relationship I wanted. I pretty much figured that he’d be amused by my aspirations, but that he’d encourage me to use my writing abilities elsewhere.

Interestingly, the directors of Living Waters operated on the premise that God had placed me in the College to prepare me for ministry with Love In Action. During that  first two weeks each student in the school had to declare a topic for their “project”–a research paper to be completed by the end of our three months there. When I requested to do mine on Freemasonry, the director said he believed studying the root causes of homosexuality would better prepare me to work for Love In Action. With that pronouncement, I embarked on the course of openly pursuing ex-gay ministry.

Frank, it turned out, was scheduled to teach at the school early in March (accompanied by his new wife, Anita). That meant that I needed to write him a letter by the first week of February to ask for an interview while he was there. I wrote said letter while fighting great fears that Frank and Anita would reject my proposal, and, with a gulp to summon my courage, put it in the mail.

Throughout that February, I enjoyed my life at Living Waters. As March approached, I knew that working for Love In Action would be my only reason for wanting to return to California. Yet I knew my disability precluded me from remaining at the school. On the day Frank and Anita were to arrive, I cried incessantly at the thought of returning home without the position at Love In Action. Obviously, I lacked the perspective that, regardless of the Worthen’s decision, the Lord would have His purpose in returning me to California.

When the Worthens arrived, Frank informed me that Anita would meet with me the next afternoon. Understand here that the Anita of 2016 is a much softer, gentler woman than  the Anita of 1985. Because I knew how blunt and hard Anita could be, as well as how Frank hated to disappoint me, I concluded that he had relegated the task of rejecting me to her.

As I sat with her in the dining hall the next afternoon, she was blunt — but not in the way I had anticipated. Her first words were: “When you start this job, these are the things you need to know.”

Of course, I wanted to jump up and down with sheer delight! But I managed to remain calm as she explained my duties and then preceded to counsel me on how to be a single woman. But as she left, and my curious friends came in to ask whether or not I had gotten the position, I rejoiced without restraint. Despite my improper focus, the Lord had shown His great faithfulness. I had a reason to go home.

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