Grace Set Me Free To Make Mistakes
By Linda C Dipman

    I threw my hands into the air making exploding noises as my super hero grandchildren giggled in anticipation of
their next attack.  They were on a crusade to stop the evil grandma villain from destroying the world.  Almost five
year old Samuel, dressed in his Spiderman towel pretended to cast webs while three year old batman Paige ran full
force flinging herself into my arms.  Eighteen month Sophia wrapped in her princess towel, aimlessly mimicked
whichever super hero captured her attention.

    Giggles and laughter filled the room as they begged me to continue to play with them.  I loved my grandchildren
very much and I would do anything for them and if it meant I had to be the villain then I was going to be the best
baddie I could be.  

    When I was a young mother I always dreamed that I would be the kind of mom that would bring fun and adventure
into my children's lives.  I wanted to take them on safaris while teaching them how to enjoy all the things the world
had to offer.  I wanted to be there for them in church, school, activities, and anything their hearts desired.

    My greatest wish was to give my children a warm, loving and safe world, but when you live in a teaching world
sometimes the best of intentions can be thwarted.  I guess that is the reason I feel it's so important to share what
happened to me in life with as many people possible so they can learn from my experience.

    When my children were ages 6, 9, and 11, in 1987 their father and I went through a very bad divorce.  It was a
divorce that involved our church, family, and society in a tug-of-war that escalated with me being totally cut off from
my children.  Before this time I had lived a perfect Christian life with the admiration of all who met me.

    It all began one day when I was praying in church for a friend with a terminal heart condition.  A supernatural
thing happened to me resulting in her healing.  It was an experience that led me down a path I would have never
traveled if it hadn’t been for God telling me through supernatural messages that it was right.  These messages
taught me things I would have never understood unless I went through the worst thing that ever happened to me.  I
fell in love with a woman and now I was condemned as a perverted homosexual sinner.

    Today's church teaches about sin and has no tolerance for those who sin against their doctrines.  They even
take it as far as cutting off anyone that is gay, gets a divorce, has an extra marital affair, has had an abortion, drinks
too much or just breaks one of the multitudes of sins described in the Bible!  As a result most churches today have a
reputation of judgment.

    I was raised under these principles that declare that if you sin then you are not one of us.  Unfortunately the
present day church skipped over the most important lesson that each person of the world needed to understand,
grace.

    When Adam and Eve were tempted to eat the apple and they did, they brought sin into the world.  Satan became
the evil god of this world and as a result people became the players in a spiritual war that taught them the difference
between good and bad through real life experiences.

    In order to gain knowledge you must be presented with good and evil. You must also have rules when you play
the game of life.  In the Old Testament the Laws were the formula that each player was to follow in order to win, but
in the New Testament everything changed with the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ brought forgiveness by dying for the sins
of people.  Suddenly it was no longer about what you did in order to succeed in the game of life, now it was all about
grace.

    Grace means that we no longer have to work our way to Heaven.  Grace gives us the freedom to make mistakes.  
Grace means that when we place our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord we are forgiven for all of our sins.  
The best thing about grace is when we fail we can start our game of life all over again.

    Romans 5: 12-14, "Sin came into the world through one man, and his sin brought death with it.  As a result, death
has spread to the whole human race because everyone has sinned.  There was sin in the world before the Law was
given; but where there is no law, no account is kept of sins.  But from the time of Adam to the time of Moses death
ruled over all mankind, even over those who did not sin in the same way that Adam did when he disobeyed God's
command."

    God spoke to me supernaturally just like He did to many people in the Bible.  He knew that making me gay was
going to pit me against the beliefs I was taught in the Bible.  He knew in order for me to stand up to my church,
society, and family that He would have to teach me just exactly how grace changes the rules in the great game of life.

    The most important rule you must learn is who is God.  God is love and if we love we do God's will.  Loving is a
sign that God is in it.  

    When I fell in love with a woman it completely changed what I thought sin was all about.  Because I loved Tori, the
love I felt for her made the persecutions I suffered from the church bearable.  Our love was so strong that it gave us
the strength we needed to stand up to everyone who told us we were sinning before God.

    God explained to me that "His ways are not human ways."  From the moment I was young it was instilled within my
very conscious how I was to be faithful to God.  It was a formula of laws and how following them would help me to
work my way to heaven, but when I loved a woman instead of a man, I had to change the way I thought.  I had to
understand the power of grace.

    Romans 5: 14c-16, "Adam was a figure of the one who was to come.  But the two are not the same, because
God's free gift is not like Adam's sin.  It is true that many people died because of the sin of that one man.  But God's
grace is much greater, and so is his free gift to so many people through the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ.  
And there is a difference between God's gift and the sin of one man.  After the one sin, came the judgment of
'Guilty'; but after so many sins, comes the undeserved gift of 'Not guilty'!"

    This means that the rules for the game of life changed.  No longer are we subject to the law, now we are free to
make mistakes.  For instance young people are easily trapped into marrying the wrong person because they don't
understand the difference between lust and love.  It is only after time that they realize the person didn't love them at
all.  So when there is grace they are free to get divorced.

    Satan uses the things of the world to tempt people and lead them from God.  Jesus takes the temptations that
lead to sin and cancelled the crime by forgiving sin.  When sin is forgiven then we can start our game of life over
again and again.
    
    Romans 5: 18&19, "So then, as the one sin condemned all mankind, in the same way the one righteous act sets
all mankind free and gives them life.  And just as all people were made sinners as the result of the disobedience of
one man, in the same way they will all be put right with God as the result of the obedience of the one man."

    Being gay was the worst thing that ever happened to me, but it was also the best thing that happened to me.  It
humbled me and showed me that I could not win my game of life without Jesus.  Being gay took away my pride and
taught me the difference between right and wrong by teaching me the principle of grace.  It helped me to understand
the power of love.  It helped me to stop being judgmental.  It changed me into God's servant.  It helped me to listen
to the Holy Spirit and to do God's will in my life, because I was no longer allowing people to tell me what God's will
was for me.

    My grandchildren love to play super heroes because it teaches them to do what is right.  But God uses our
inability to save ourselves to teach us how much we need Him in order to win our game of life.  We are destined to
fail, but with God's help we will win.