Her Birth Identity Restored by God’s Providence
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“This is who you are. You were born this way and God has to love you this way. You can’t change. And I embraced that lie.” Trish Choyke was 22 when she had given over to feelings she had been fighting since she was 10.
The youngest of five, she was the victim of an abusive father who forced her to live as a boy – in the way she dressed, the way she looked, and how she was treated. Trish said, “I was punched and hit in the face, abused at 11, 12 years old. He always used to say, 'You’re stupid. You’re never going to amount to anything. I wish you were not born.' Going to school, wearing boy’s clothes, I felt that around that time. I felt that rejection and I felt different.”
There were only two places she felt safe. At church, where her mother took Trish and her siblings. And her older step-brother, her protector and friend. Until he committed suicide when Trish was 12. She said, “The pain was so great. I could never describe in words how that was. It was the worst pain I ever went through. It was that point that I turned from God.”
Drugs and alcohol soon entered her life. They helped suppress the pain, and the growing attraction to girls. Despite attempts by her mother and sister, to get her to look and act like a girl, Trish could not shake the identity her father had forced on her. “I held that in and I had rage. I was angry all the time. I fought with other kids.”
At 18 she married a man just to get out from under her father’s rule. The four-year marriage, rife with physical violence from both of them, ended with Trish being thrown through a 90-gallon fish tank. Soon after, Trish cut her hair, put on men’s clothes, went to a bar and hooked up with a woman. Many relationships would follow.
Trish said, “I lusted after women. I was obsessed with being in their life. I also was obsessed with what a man should be like and what, what a man wasn't like in my life. And so, I set out that I was going to be that man to them. That I was going to love these women the way that they should be loved.”
Her life over the next 14 years consisted of sex, failed relationships, addiction to drugs and alcohol, lost jobs, and a suicide attempt. In her mind, there was only one outcome, one she could not escape.
“You're going to hell, there's nothing you can do about it. You've lived your life this way. And that's it. And I would wake up with the shakes and the tremors and I would grab that bottle and I would chug it down just to hope that it would just dilute these thoughts in my head and in this terror, in this panic. And it would do nothing,” said Trish.
Meanwhile, her mom, brother, and sister, Ruth, were praying constantly. “God, please, you know, go after her. I know you love her. Save her. She was just going down a bad road and we feared for her life,” said Ruth.
By 2010, Trish now 38, was still battling addiction and engaged to a woman. In March of that year her mother died. Two weeks later, Trish was hospitalized with severe kidney and liver problems. Now, facing her mortality she called Ruth.
Ruth said, “She's like, 'I’m in the hospital and the doctors are saying, I’m going to die Ruth, I don't want to die.' And I was like, 'You are not going to, you're not going to die. You call out on Jesus; you call on the Lord and He is going to save you.'”
Trish said, “And He’ll hear you. So I hung up the phone. I said, 'God, you got to help me because I don't want to die this way.' And in that moment, right after I said that I felt this heat, this warmth, this peace, this fire shoot through my entire body, from my head to my feet. And it just kept coming more, more, more. All those years that I didn't feel God, I felt them in that moment, just fullness of Him come on me.”
Trish began to recover and was released two weeks later. She never drank or took drugs again. She broke off her engagement, started going to church and surrendered her life to Jesus Christ.
She said, “Joy just began to come in my life. Purpose came in my life from Him. I knew that every lie that I believed, everything I believed wasn't, you know, it was buried. I’m really saved and I’m not going to hell. And God really saved me. I began to feel that just love of the Father.”
Trish’s struggle with same sex attraction would also come to an end. One day she asked her pastor to pray for her. “God spoke to me that I'm your heavenly Father who truly loves you, who has never left you. And in that moment, He said, 'I am healing your childhood. I’m healing all your hurts.' And when He healed all of that, it took away from me every desire for the same sex attraction. It really did,” said Trish.
The following year, Trish married Jack. They are both grateful for the love of Christ that reaches out, rescues, and heals those in pain.
Trish said, “My confidence is in Him. Not the masculinity, the things that almost killed me in my life, but my identities in Him. And that I was beautiful in His sight.”
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