This is the text of the full-page ad that ran in the New York Times:

Toward hope and healing for homosexuals.

[Large Picture of Anne Paulk - "wife, mother, former lesbian"]

I'm living proof that Truth can set you free. "Recently, several prominent people like Trent Lott, Reggie White, and Angie and Debbie Winans have spoken out on homosexuality . . . calling it a sin. When I was living as a lesbian I didn't like hearing words like that . . . until I realized that God's love was truly meant for me."

One boy's sin and the making of a lesbian. "I was four years old when a teenage boy molested me. When he warned me not to say a thing, I went silent. But as I grew, the pain wouldn't stay quiet. It would shout when I made male friends. It laughed when I tried to feel pretty. It told me I was unlovable. But saddest of all, when I wanted to turn to my parents to make everything all right -- it wouldn't let me tell them why."

Being a woman became a mystery. "By the time I hit my teens I was rough . . . my heart cold. I believed being 'feminine' meant being weak and vulnerable . . . so looking and dressing hard felt right. I had so thoroughly rejected my own femininity that, even though I had a lot of male friends, I just wasn't attracted to men sexually. I became drawn to other women who had what I felt was missing in me. But the pain inside kept yelling."

There's a God-shaped hole in everyone's heart. "My sexual attraction to women blossomed in college, and after a gay counselor affirmed my feelings I joined the campus gay/lesbian group. But it was in the course of those group meetings that I knew something was still missing. While I longed for a female life-partner, I knew it just wouldn't work. That's when I went home and prayed, "God, please show me who You are, and fill the void in my heart."

Knock and He'll answer. But the next step is still yours. "Change didn't come overnight. Within six months I'd made a firm decision to forsake homosexuality, but I still had sexual desire for women. Even though I filled my days with Christian activity, I fell back into a relationship with someone who quickly became my priority in life, over work, over family, and friends . . . over God. By now the pain inside was throbbing, and my delight eroded into conviction, deception and emotional instability."

Once God answers He never hangs up. "I knew I was running from God, and one day just put it to him: "Lord, You know that I really enjoy this lifestyle, but I want You to be my first love. I need Your help. I need You to change my heart." Shortly after that prayer, I met a Christian woman, a former lesbian, who listened patiently to my story and led me to a ministry helping people overcome homosexuality. Because they loved me without judgement, I was able to finally give all my relationships to God, and begin the real road to healing."

Changing hearts. Changing lives. "Leaving homosexuality was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I finally saw the patterns of my same-sex attraction and came to understand the underlying needs that had sparked my longings. As I grew in my relationship with God, I knew He had changed me forever. Gone was the hardness. Gone was the hurt. And gone was the shrill cry inside, replaced with God's still, small voice. In His gentle love I found forgivemeness, and the acceptance I sought so hard on my own."

There is another way out. Please, if you, or someone you know or love, is struggling with homosexuality, show them this story. If you truly love someone, you'll tell them the truth. And the truth that God loves them could just be the truth that sets them free.

Thousands of ex-gays like these have walked away from their homosexual identities. While the paths each took into homosexuality may vary, their stories of hope and healing through the transforming love of Jesus Christ are the same. Ex-gay ministries throughout the U.S. work daily with homosexuals seeking change, and many provide outreach programs to their families and loved ones.

If you really love someone, you'll tell them the truth. For information on an ex-gay ministry in your area, please call 800-264-0877.

In the public interest, this message was paid for by the following organizations, representing millions of American families:

Alliance for Traditional Marriage - Hawaii 808-523-8451

American Family Association 601-844-5036

Americans for Truth About Homosexuality 202-393-2100

Center for Reclaiming America 877-INTRUTH

Christian Family Network 937-236-5433

Christian Coalition 800-325-4746

Citizens for Community Values 513-733-5775

Colorado For Family Values 719-573-4229

Concerned Women for America 800-458-8797

Coral Ridge Ministries 877-468-7884

Family First 303-471-8067

Family Research Council 202-393-2100

Liberty Counsel 800-671-1776

National Legal Foundation 757-424-4242

Kerusso Ministries 800-

©1998 Oasis Magazine. All Rights Reserved.