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Laura Perry (right) with her mother Francine
Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

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Former transgender: ‘I bought into the lies of Satan’

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges
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BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma, August 11, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Laura Perry experienced such a tumultuous life during her teen years that she decided to become a man. As it turned out, God had other ideas.

As an adolescent, Laura felt uncomfortable being a girl. Teenage trauma drove Laura away from her family and God. By her 20s, Laura began to call herself “Jake” and lived as a transgender “man” for eight years, taking opposite sex hormones and undergoing a double mastectomy.  

Laura later told the Baptist Press, “I bought into the lies of Satan.” She explained that in her desperation she honestly thought being transgender “would make me happy.”

At one point, Laura wrote her mother, “This is what I was supposed to be. Please accept me.” Her live-in transgender partner reinforced Laura’s all-too-typical “if you don’t accept transgenderism then you don’t accept me” outlook.

All the while, Laura admits, “Inside, I was miserable and searching for real peace.”

Laura’s mother, Francine, was crushed to her core. “It seemed like a dark tunnel with no end in sight for many years,” Francine told LifeSiteNews.  

Francine and husband Paul brought Laura up in church. Laura was active in Sunday School, choir, Bible drill, Vacation Bible School, the missionary-minded Girls In Action, and more.  

“How could she do this?” Francine asked God.

All along, however, God was at work — in both Laura and Francine.

“When my mom sought God with all her heart and let the Holy Spirit change her, that’s when God started working on me,” Laura explained to LifeSiteNews.

It started with prayer. Francine turned to her ladies Bible study group for intercessors.

Little did the support group know, but while they were praying for Laura to come out of the transgender lifestyle, their prayers were also releasing God’s healing in Francine.

God began to soften Francine’s heart. She entered a period of spiritual renewal, realizing her own “Pharisee-like ways.” She and Paul became more open with each other.

And intercession for Laura began to bear fruit indirectly. Her transgender partner was politically conservative and got Laura into radio talk shows. This eventually led to Laura listening to Christian radio.

As the Baptist Press summarizes, “God began to awaken faith and belief in Laura.”

Slowly but surely, “God opened my eyes to the truth,” Laura later explained. “He made me realize that the transgender life was … a dead end.”

Things didn’t change overnight. “I was still conflicted,” Laura admits. But finally, after reached a particularly low point in her life, Laura tearfully asked God to help her.

Then one day, Laura asked her mother, “Is it OK if I come to church?”

Francine wasn’t sure. She feared that if Laura came to church as a “man,” it would be an embarrassment. But despite her hesitation, “grace won out,” Francine said.

It was a turning point. Ultimately, in July 2016, Laura broke up with her transgender partner and repented of her sin.

Doing so was scary. “I didn’t know what came next,” Laura confided, “but I was clinging to God’s promise that He would take care of me.”

A key to Laura’s healing came from the loving acceptance of Christians in Francine’s Bible study group. “I experienced such love and acceptance from my mother’s Bible study group,” Laura said.  

"It was hard, but I had never experienced such peace and love as when I came back to church.”

Another key to transgender healing was a same-sex loyal friend and mentor. In Laura’s case, Pastor James Biesiadecki’s wife Brandi took Laura under her wing.  

Brandi gave Laura genuine love, a listening ear, Christian wisdom, and bedrock solid friendship, like David and Jonathan in the Bible.

“I’m so humbled by all that God has done,” Laura told LifeSiteNews.

A month after her repentance and lifestyle change, Laura made a public confession of faith in Jesus as her Lord and Savior. She was baptized into Christ last fall.

And God has healed Laura’s relationship with her mother. “Only God could have done this,” Francine gratefully acknowledged. “Laura's story is a story of God's amazing grace and redemption,” she told LifeSiteNews.

Since then, Laura has been able to share her remarkable story with many people. She was even a featured guest on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” with Tony Perkins.

“I am living proof that God’s love is greater than the devil’s lies,” she testified.

LifeSiteNews asked Laura if she had any advice for teens or youth who are gender confused or hurting. “It's not about what we want, it's about Christ,” she urged. “Jesus said, ‘If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it, and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.’”

“My advice is the same for both teens and parents,” Laura continued. “If we will look to the Lord Jesus, deny ourselves, and seek Him with all our heart, mind, and soul, He will set us free.”

Then she added, “And God will work on the hearts of our loved ones.”

Francine and Paul now advise parents of gender dysphoric children to never give up hope and to keep praying.

“To other parents who are in despair regarding their children's choices, I absolutely have walked in these shoes,” Francine empathized.

The main thing Francine wants to share with other parents is to focus on their own spiritual life and personal reliance upon Jesus. “God impressed upon me that I was to seek Him with all my heart, soul and mind and develop a relationship with Him” she told LifeSiteNews.  

“When I was obedient to seek Him and quit ‘trying to fix Laura,’ He was so gracious and He began to work on Laura,” she said.

“It was not overnight, but He was faithful and long-suffering,” Francine added. “God alone deserves all the praise and glory for His mighty work in Laura. I could have never dreamed what He would orchestrate in our lives because of obedience to Him.”

The Perrys’ pastor says Laura’s story proves that Jesus Christ continues to transform lives today, no matter what sin someone has become entangled in. Homosexuality or transgenderism are not too big for God to heal.

“I pray Laura’s testimony of salvation and new life in Christ will continue to inspire many people,” Pastor Biesiadecki shared.

Laura now helps and offers counsel to others with the sober wisdom that comes from experience. If any struggling teen or despairing parent wishes to contact her, email [email protected].

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