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Craving Intimacy and Peace

“I just knew what I had tried, I liked. And so, it had created almost a craving now within me.”

Ever since middle school, California girl Kim Zember had felt “different” than other girls. Growing up in a loving, Catholic home with two older brothers, she preferred sports to makeup. Then, in high school, she heard a rumor that a friend of hers was gay, which brought other feelings to the surface.  

“I started for the first time thinking, maybe I was gay. I was drawn to this girl, and yet I knew that what God said, the Scriptures were clear that, you know, acting on homosexual desires was not in His will. And so, it was a wrestle for me, but it didn’t change the feelings I had.”

So, one night at a party her senior year, Kim kissed her friend. Turns out, the girl wasn’t gay and ended the friendship. For Kim, however... 

“I just knew what I had tried, I liked. And so, it had created almost a craving now within me. From that moment on, I saw women differently.”

So, after high school, on her own and building a successful career in real estate, Kim started having secret relationships with women, even while dating men and going to church.

“I really was craving someone to be intimate with that would love me, care for me, and that I could love and care for too. So, I lived a double life for years.”  

Confused and ashamed, Kim turned to a Christian counselor for help.

“And I was told that that's kinda who I am. That I shouldn’t fight it and that God loves me.”  

Then, at 21, Kim started dating a Christian man who inspired her to live out her faith.

“It didn't take away my desires for women, but I did love who he was. I saw Christ in him. I could see Jesus literally within this man and I loved him.”

Kim says it was then God led her to move to Ethiopia with her boyfriend, where she taught English and started a non-profit.

“It was in Ethiopia that my heart started opening, uh that I started seeing past myself and into other people. I didn't really have a desire for women. When I was walking in purpose, on purpose and for a purpose there were very few distractions.”

That changed very quickly after they returned to the states and her boyfriend proposed.  

“I was absolutely terrified. I knew that I was using this man. I knew that I was staying with him to not be alone. I loved who he was, but I was not in love. I didn't know what to do because I didn't know what my life would look like without him.”

In 2009, they married, yet Kim still struggled with her attraction to women. A year later, she had an affair.

“I had promised God the night I got married that I would never cheat on him with a woman. I made a promise to God, but I didn't ask God for help. And I broke that promise cause it's one I couldn't make, and I couldn't fulfill on my own.”  

Kim admitted to her affair and they divorced. She also went back to counseling.

‘“The advice that I got was ‘This is who you are. Live it. God loves you,’ and I heard so much about how much God loves me, I thought 'Well, why am I not loving myself?' And so, I embraced the lifestyle.’” 

No longer 'in the closet', Kim spent the next few years, bouncing from girlfriend to girlfriend afraid to be alone and still searching for intimacy and peace.

“Everybody told me that once I would openly date women and stop hiding and stop cheating then that I would finally find freedom, and I didn't. Because now I was living a lifestyle openly that I knew was not right. In the depths of my being, I knew.”

Then, in the fall of 2014, Kim discovered her girlfriend had cheated on her. That pain was the wake-up call she needed.

"I realized not only was I hurting myself, I was hurting so many people. My family, the people I was dating, my ex-husband, and I was done. And so, the only option I had in my heart and my mind was to surrender. And I said, ‘I'm done, God. I surrender. I give up. I want You to be Lord over my life, Lord over my desires, Lord over everything I've got because I can't do this anymore.’"

Kim invited God to help her deal with her struggles, not just in that moment, but daily.

“I felt this intimacy that I was craving in the physical or in-in the deepest part of me, was now actually being fulfilled in a way I never heard about. And so, it was absolutely life-changing for me.”  

Kim continues running her ministry in Arica and is now what she never thought possible--a happily single woman who has found true companionship in Christ.

“Jesus Christ Himself was tempted and never fell. And so, for me I'm not looking for a life free of temptation, I'm just thankful that I have a Savior that is greater than any temptation I face. And that's why He wants me to journey with Him every day, because I don't know what temptations are ahead of me. God created happiness. He created fullness. And He created us to live in that. But we cannot find it without Him. We cannot find it separated from Him in any way.”

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