Kristin Tremba: Conquering Confusion
By Amy Reid
The 700 Club
“When I was seven years old I gave my life to the Lord,” says Kristin.
When Kristin Tremba was young, her spiritual focus was clear, but her self-image was more difficult to establish. She envied her older sister and wanted to be more confident.
“All the boys would look at her and I would feel, ‘Wow, I don’t measure up.’ I was insecure,” says Kristin. “I grew up in the ‘70s where tomboys were fashionable and I thought, ‘You know, I wish I was more like them. I wish I was more athletic; I wish I was more confident.”’
Kristin also longed to be closer to her family. “Even though I knew my mom loved me, I knew my sister loved me, we never just stopped and connected emotionally with each other. And I needed that. And so that emptiness was kind of like a hunger that I needed filled,” Kristin recalls.
In high school, Kristin got involved in lots of activities and was a cheerleader. She dated a lot, looking for the emotional connection she lacked in her family, but something was wrong. “I wanted boys to look at me and desire me. And then when finally boys would ask me out on a date, I noticed that I was kind of numb in their presence,” Kristin remembers, “I wasn’t excited to go out with them. There was a disconnect there and it bothered me.”
Things got even more confusing one afternoon during play practice. “I was standing in the wings ready to go on stage and one of the girls came off stage,” Kristin says, ‘“And she was crying and she put her arms around me and I had these feelings and they were very terrifying to me because I was a Christian. And I remember driving home that night thinking, ‘Lord, no, I’m not gay. I can’t be gay.’”
Kristin kept her attraction to girls a secret, but it came up again in college. “I had a roommate that exemplified all those characteristics that I admired in girls, and we became fast friends. But unfortunately that friendship, for me, turned into sexual feelings for her. And I didn’t know what to do,” Kristin recalls, “I went to the library to look for materials; I couldn’t find anything. Certainly no Christian materials. And I left feeling very shameful. Like this problem is so bad no one even writes about it.”
After college, Kristin joined the Peace Corp hoping to distract herself from her struggle. “I was hoping, ‘Well, now I’ll find a husband,’” Kristin says. “And what happened was I exchanged feelings of lesbianism for immorality with men. And I lost my virginity. And thought, ‘Well, as long as I’m not gay, that’s okay.”’
Kristin got her Master’s degree at Columbia and started teaching at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Her plan to avoid same sex attraction unraveled completely. “I fell into a lesbian relationship: physical and emotional,” Kristin says. “I went through a period of being at a crossroads where I had to decide, ‘Can I be a Christian and be in a lesbian relationship?”’
Kristin and her girlfriend planned to move in together until one day when Kristin says God got her attention. “I felt His Presence come over me, and I got on my knees, which I normally didn’t do and prayed,” Kristin remembers. “I said, ‘Lord, I love You. But I don’t know what to do. But Lord, more than anything I want Your will to be done in my life.’”
Two weeks later, the woman called and broke up with Kristin. “You would think I would have been happy, but actually I was angry at God,” says Kristin, ‘“Because I thought, ‘Living in obedience means that I’m going to be unloved, that my needs to love and be loved aren’t going to be met.’”
What came next Kristin never saw coming. “I was driving down the road one day, I was smoking a cigarette and listening to Alanis Morissette on the radio,” she recalls, “and I got hit by a truck. The car was totaled, but I was fine. And I thought, ‘Lord, I can’t believe I’m still alive here, but part of me wishes I wasn’t.’ And I just started to break down. And wouldn’t you know, I crashed right in front of an apartment where I had prayed with some Christian women, and they came out into the street. And one of them put her arms around me and started to hug me. And she knew about my struggle, so I pushed away from her because I didn’t want to give her the wrong impression. And instead she took my arm and put it right back around. It was like God telling me, ‘Kristin, I have not come to deprive you of love, but to give it to you. But let Me give it to you in My way.’”
From that moment, Kristin says that everything in her life changed. “I loved the Lord,” says Kristin, “I just didn’t trust Him to take care of me like a good father would take care of his daughter. But at that moment I knew I could.”
Kristin began to study the Bible in earnest. “What God was teaching me is, ‘Come to Me.’ And so I did,”’ says Kristin. “I allowed the Lord to love me in those deep places where I had felt unloved. And He filled me with His love and He healed my heart. He gave me back my true self. Some people say, ‘You’re denying your true self, Kristin.’ and I want to say, ‘Oh, you’re so wrong. My true self is a child of God. Is a little girl who loves God and that God made me and created me. For my sexuality and my sin to identify me--God forbid that any of us take that on as an identity.’”
Kristin went on to seminary and later joined Exchange Ministries; they offer hope and help to people dealing with homosexuality. Ten years later, she met Mike. “What I have with my husband is a peace and a joy that I never had in those other relationships,” Kristin says.
Today, Kristin and Mike are happily married and have a daughter of their own. Kristin wants others to know that God is there for them. “The world says that you have to be ruled by your feelings and to have them met on your own terms,” Kristin says, “And God says, ‘No. Come to Me. I have everything for you because I created you. I designed you. I know what’s best for you.”’
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