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Kristin (Johnson) Tremba

Compiled by Thomas Coy from Kristin Johnson’s testimony in the book God’s Grace and the Homosexual Next Door, the One by One website, and a 2006 interview at the Exodus Freedom Conference. Kristin’s actual testimony in the book is used by permission from Harvest House Publishers. The testimony was edited to fit the format of the Ex-gay Encyclopedia.

Family Status:
Married to Mike Tremba; one child.

General Information as of 2010:
Kristin J. Tremba is the Director of One by One — an outreach of Exodus International dedicated to equipping churches within the Presbyterian denomination to effectively address the issue of homosexuality. Prior to her position at One by One, Kristin taught English in the Bronx and served as an instructor at the Savannah College of Art and Design and at Boston University. She has also worked with the Peace Corps in Albania, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Kristin holds a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University as well as a Master of Divinity degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She is the author of Sexual Wholeness in a Broken World. She has been interviewed by national networks such as the Moody Broadcasting Network and Focus on the Family’s radio news feature Family News in Focus. Kristin came out of homosexuality around 1999.

Personal Testimony:
Kristin’s testimony in God’s Grace and the Homosexual Next Door is also on the One by One website.

“I had been a Christian since I was five years old, the daughter and granddaughter of Presbyterian ministers, yet I struggled with same sex attraction. I also had engaged in unhealthy relationships with men.”

“Although I dated in high school, I was ambivalent toward the boys I dated. I was very outgoing and active in music, theater, cheerleading, and other activities. Yet, underneath all this activity and “normalcy” I was struggling with my sexuality and self-image.”

“In college, I had a non-physical, emotionally dependent relationship with my roommate, which lasted over four years. I was terrified of the romantic love I felt toward her, rationalizing the relationship as merely a deep friendship. Because of my attachment to her, I was not motivated to date men or desire marriage.”

“After college, however, I became physically involved with a man while I was overseas. I was relieved to be in the arms of a man rather than a woman, but the loss of my virginity, my increasing promiscuity, and my occasional abuse of alcohol began to take its toll. My relationship with this man ended with my having a miscarriage.”

“In my late twenties, I finally acted out my homosexual feelings and had an emotional and physical affair with a woman. Initially, I felt euphoric, and yet at the same time I felt as if a war was raging inside of me. It was during this affair that I was forced to reconcile being a Christian and living in a homosexual relationship.”

“I wrestled with the Lord in prayer: I questioned him and I begged him. I attempted to find peace by reading books that described Christians who had reconciled their faith and homosexuality, and I even tried attending a gay-friendly church. However, my anxiety only increased because God was making it clear as I read Scripture that God’s plan for my sexuality was staring at me in Genesis and in the words of Jesus.”

“Even though I understood the intent of the Scriptures, my feelings and my need over-ruled what I knew to be true. For me to say “no” to this relationship was like someone telling me, “Kristin, you don’t deserve to be loved like this. You’ll never be loved as others are loved.” These thoughts produced such fear and anger inside of me. When I felt the Lord was making it clear to me that I needed to end the relationship with this woman, I would cry uncontrollably, shaking my fists at him for his apparent cruelty in depriving me of intimacy.”

“And yet despite my fear and resistance, I found myself on my knees, ending the prayer I had started: “Dear Jesus, I love you, and I do not know what to do…but, Lord, let your will be done.”

“God answered my prayer, but it was a difficult answer. The relationship came to a sudden end, and I had to pull myself away from people and places. I also had to address my anger at God and my circumstances. It was not easy. I was alone. I was tempted. Difficulties still entered into my life. I struggled being single when I had prayed and hoped eventually to be married and have children. I felt alone at church and had a hard time staying committed to a church.”

“Yet, in this isolation and suffering, my worst fear of never again experiencing an intimate and passionate relationship was not realized. An amazing thing happened: I discovered that Jesus was the best source of love I had ever known.”

“It was Christ’s intense and demonstrative love for me that led me to obedience, and it was my obedience to Christ that led me to sexual healing and wholeness.”

“Although I had always believed in God and loved him, what I failed to fully believe was how he longed to take care of me and provide for all my needs. I still have to stop daily and let the Lord remind me of this truth: that he is good, that he will provide, and that he loves me more than I can comprehend.”

“The world would have had me believe that my identity was found in embracing lesbianism, or embracing a healthy sex life, or embracing Mr. Right and riding off into the sunset, but my identity and worth was (and is) found in embracing and obeying my Creator, my Lord and Savior. For I am daughter and heir of the living God.”

“My greatest fear in confessing sin and turning from it was in thinking that God would have nothing waiting for me at the other end. How wrong I was. God has provided so much: His love, human friendships, a deeper relationship with my family, a healthy church community, ministry, and a husband and child.”

“For I am a living witness to the Scriptures which attest that God is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to his power at work within us. To him be all glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Factors of Homosexual Causation:
The factors of causation for Kristin’s same-sex attractions are not obvious from her testimony. What is revealed is that Kristin was ambivalent toward boys in high school; there was neither a strong attraction nor a strong repulsion toward the opposite sex. It would appear that this ambivalence contributed to her struggle with her sexuality. Part of her struggle with her self-image is related to the American culture that she grew up in. In a 2006 interview Kristin stated “I remember growing up in the 1970s. It was a period, and era where the tomboy was glorified, and I wanted so desperately to be more masculine and I idolized girls who were masculine.” It would appear that the hard line feminist culture was also a factor of Kristin’s journey into homosexuality.

Kristin college life is probably similar to many other young women who enter college with sexual ambivalence and then are programmed by academia that homosexuality is just as valid and good a lifestyle as heterosexuality. The hard line feminist mantra has been for many years that there is no difference between men and women except their genital physiology.

Kristin’s first heterosexual relationship led to “increased promiscuity” and “occasional abuse of alcohol,” and ended in a miscarriage. Heterosexual intimacy had brought pain. For a woman who had struggled with her sexual identity, this scenario probably pushed her away from a heterosexual relationship.

Motivations to Change:
Kristin’s motivation to change is clear from her testimony. Kristin had identified herself as a follower Jesus Christ from an early age. When she entered into lesbianism she sought to reconcile her Christian beliefs with her sexual life. She sought out a gay friendly church and gay theology that argues homosexual behavior is not sinful, but from her own objective reading of Scripture she was convicted that homosexual behavior was not God’s will for anyone.

For Kristin the choice was not between God and homosexuality, it was a choice between God and her need for intimacy. She felt human intimacy for her was only achievable through lesbianism. In this emotional junction in her life she chose to trust in God without knowing what changes the future would bring.

Process of Change:
Kristin’s decision to follow God’s will and leave her lesbian identity and source of human intimacy led to her feeling isolated and going through a period of emotional suffering. But this soon passed and as she rekindled her relationship with Jesus she found that Jesus was the best source of love she had ever known.

Although Kristin does not go into a lot of detail of the change process, she did summarize how it happened. “It was Christ’s intense and demonstrative love for me that led me to obedience, and it was my obedience to Christ that led me to sexual healing and wholeness.”

Kristin’s need for intimacy were met abundantly through her relationship with Jesus, new “human friendships, a deeper relationship with my family, a healthy church community, ministry, and a husband and child.”