Healed by the Touch of Love
By Josh Beaudoin
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”
1 John 4:18
Find part 1 here
Find part 2 here
Find part 3 here
I’m so excited to share this part of my story with you. This is when everything came together, and God worked a miracle in my life and saved me. I consider this to be my testimony.
My sexuality and my spirituality are inextricably intertwined. As my relationship with God strengthened, I became more comfortable and at peace with being bisexual. As I would learn, it was the fear I experienced about my sexuality that prevented me from having a meaningful relationship with God.
In the Bible, in Mark chapter two, a paralytic is brought before Jesus. Instead of healing his physical illness first, Jesus sees past his paralysis to what his greatest need really is: to have assurance of his salvation.
Regarding the paralytic, Ellen White wrote in The Desire of Ages,
“Yet it was not physical restoration he desired so much as relief from sin. If he could see Jesus and receive assurance of forgiveness and peace from Heaven, he would be content to live or die, according to God’s will.” 
Jesus saved him, and that salvation brought true healing.
My February 8th revelation (see part 2) marked the beginning of a long period of misery for me. Constantly on my mind was the thought, “What if I’m wrong about all this? What if I start sharing my story with other people and showing them from the Bible that being gay isn’t a sin, and they believe me, and I take us all to Hell?”
So, as I was studying the topic, my mind wouldn’t let go of this “what if” question. Over the summer of 2021, it was almost obsessive, where every day, all day, I would be debating people in hypothetical situations in my head. It would be the first thing on my mind when I woke up, and the last thing on my mind when I went to bed. Then the cycle would restart the next morning.
The fear this produced was suffocating. There were weeks where I would feel a physical weight on my chest from stress and fear, and others where it was like I was on the border of a panic attack. My heart would beat faster, and no matter how deeply I breathed, there was never enough oxygen.
I thought maybe this was God trying to convict me that I was wrong. I asked God that if I was wrong, to please reveal my error to me, but relief never came.
Everywhere I went, I felt fear: my dreams were full of it, my thoughts were saturated in it, my relationships were poisoned by it. People like to think that Hell is something that happens in the indeterminate future, but I assure you, it finds ample opportunity to thrive in the mind.
I was on my way back from hiking on Mount Rainier in July 2021 and was listening to a sermon by Doug Batchelor called “Persisting in Prayer” which advocated for the importance of prayer in a Christian’s spiritual life. 
Up till this point, my spiritual life had been pretty inconsistent. I turned to God when things were tough, and when the worst was behind me, I went back to my meaningless spiritual routines. For my morning devotion, I would read a chapter of the Bible, pray for five minutes (if that), and call it good. These devotions were repetitive, and I did them because I thought I should, not because I cared or felt God’s presence.
But after listening to the sermon, I decided to conduct an experiment: instead of my regular devotion, for one week I would pray for 20 minutes in the morning—no reading, just praying.
At first it was boring; five minutes in and I was checking my phone, but by the end of the week, I had gotten used to the extended prayer time and started to enjoy it. Most importantly, I could feel something subtle inside me was different. The fear was a little less prominent, and a fulfilling relationship with God was slowly starting to develop.
After the week was over, I decided to add reading back into my devotional time, in addition to the 20 minutes of prayer, and over the next couple weeks I started to notice God working in my life in small ways (which I’ll go into in part 5). My mood started to improve, I could feel God with me throughout the day a little more, and the fear, while still ever present, wasn’t as burdensome.
Then, tragedy struck. Three of my co-workers died in a car accident (read about it here). The day after the accident—still in shock—I went on a road trip. This gave me lots of time to think about my purpose, the meaning of life, and what God meant to me.
This is when everything happened quickly.
By the time I got back from the trip, I was feeling refreshed. As I was unpacking, I listened to a TED talk by a gay pastor, and after that I listened to a sermon by another gay pastor.  Neither of these were particularly noteworthy, but I felt a little happier after listening to them.
After this, rather impulsively, I had the impression of coming out to a couple of my conservative friends. I was nervous since I had no idea how they would react, but it went really well. They all had positive reactions, and that made me happy.
What happened next is impossible to describe, and I’m still not sure what exactly triggered it. It’s one of those mountaintop experiences you need to have had to properly know what I was feeling.
It was like a bolt of lightning struck me, and I suddenly became aware of God’s physical presence. David wrote in Psalms 16:8, “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy.”
I started praying and praising God uncontrollably, as if possessed by the spirit of joy. I went outside and beheld the stars and was hit with this euphoric feeling where for the first time I felt God’s love in all its power. It was so forceful I was brought to tears. The burden of fear I had been carrying for so long melted away and I was overcome as I felt God’s presence with me. I knew my sins were forgiven, and that the fear that had tormented me was not of God.
Ellen White writes regarding saving of the paralytic:
“The burden of despair rolls from the sick man’s soul; the peace and forgiveness rests upon his spirit, and shines upon his countenance. His physical pain is gone, and his whole being is transformed. The helpless paralytic is healed! The guilty sinner is pardoned!” 
That night, Jesus gifted me with the knowledge of my salvation, and in doing so he healed me.
1. The Desire of Ages, page 267.
4. The Desire of Ages, page 268
Hello everyone, I’m Josh Beaudoin, the editor-in-chief of The Collegian. I’m from central Alberta, Canada, and first started at The Collegian in 2019 as the writer of the food column. I love to spend time outdoors and regularly hike in places like Mount Rainier National Park and Banff National Park. I also do quite a bit of reading about social and political topics.