Natalie Adams walked through much of her life feeling alone. Isolated and lonely, she tumbled into a sinful relationship that temporarily satisfied her longings for companionship and love, but ultimately left her feeling even more empty. While Natalie wallowed in a low place of both humble repentance and aching loneliness, the Lord began to woo her heart and renew her love for Him. As Natalie opened her heart to Jesus’ love and allowed Him to comfort her, He also led her into vibrant community with other God-lovers. Read Natalie’s story to see how the love of Jesus Christ swept away her lifelong loneliness, giving space for God to plant and grow beautiful fruit in her life.
Natalie: I grew up in a Christian home. My parents both followed Christ whole-heartedly. But even though they led our family well, we were never really involved in a church. So, even in a loving Christian home, we were very isolated. I was saved as a little girl, but I wasn’t motivated to read the Bible for myself. During middle school and high school, I wrestled with deep loneliness. I didn’t have any real friendships or connections with kids from youth group or school. The one thing I clung to was this dream of someday being married and having a family of my own. I thought marriage would be the end of my loneliness, and that desire became consuming.
Natalie’s desire to experience a fulfilling love in marriage was coupled with a crippling fear that she wouldn’t find the kind of love she dreamed about – that she was unlovable. She struggled with comparing herself to other girls and wondering why no boys wanted to date her during high school. Loneliness was a constant companion during her teen years.
After high school, I moved to Cody. I went to a local church for a bit, but didn’t really connect with anyone. I lived here for two years, but really my only friends were my cousins. I didn’t find the community or the fulfillment that I had hoped I would. So, I headed back to Sheridan, where my family lived.
Back in Sheridan, Natalie felt the Lord’s nudging to begin massage therapy training. While going to school, Natalie found work at a coffee shop.
A woman who worked at the coffee shop with me was openly gay. At first, I was almost repulsed, and judgmental. I knew her lifestyle wasn’t right. Then, I started to think that maybe I was supposed to share the Gospel with her. I thought I could be a light for Christ. Looking back, it’s almost laughable, because I wasn’t really walking in a close, dependent relationship with Christ. Any efforts to share the Gospel were just from me; they weren’t empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Friendship began to grow between the two women and soon they began to spend more and more time together. The woman told Natalie that she wasn’t pursuing her romantically, but it quickly became clear that her intention was to lead Natalie into a homosexual relationship. While Natalie felt confused and uncertain, she also loved the attention and the sense of being “loved.” For so long, she had hoped and yearned for a lasting and soul-filling love, and, in the moment, the love of another woman satisfied that desire.
We dated for about six months and then we got engaged. I always knew that I wasn’t going to marry her, but I was clinging so hard to the lie that this relationship was the only place I would be really loved. I knew that it was wrong. I also never really felt gay in the sense that I was attracted to women naturally. But I felt trapped. Our relationship was controlling and, in a way, I felt even more isolated than before because she was the only person I had. My parents couldn’t support my lifestyle choices, so during that time, they weren’t a part of my life.
The Lord pursued Natalie, rekindling a love for Himself within her broken heart and comforting her when nothing else could. She began reading the Bible for hours day, finding inexplicable solace in God’s unchanging Word.
After being engaged for about four months, I knew I wanted to leave the relationship, but I really struggled with knowing how. Finally, I called my dad and asked him to meet me for lunch. I thought he could help me make a plan for how to disentangle myself from my life. He asked me, “Do you want to just come home?”
And Natalie did. That day, she loaded up her belongings and left the relationship behind, both literally and figuratively. Her decision to turn from sin didn’t immediately bring joy or peace. Even though Natalie knew she had made the right choice, it was challenging, and she was steeped – again – in deep loneliness.
I didn’t miss the relationship, but I did miss the friendship. And I struggled for a long time with guilt and shame. I am thankful for how my parents welcomed me and loved me, but that wasn’t an easy season. Eventually, in my loneliness, I turned to the Lord.
The Lord pursued Natalie, rekindling a love for Himself within her broken heart and comforting her when nothing else could. She began reading the Bible for hours day, finding inexplicable solace in God’s unchanging Word. In November of 2020, Natalie was working at a daycare and continuing to devour God’s Word. She was also prayerfully considering her future and wondering what plans the Lord might want to unfold in her life. When her cousin invited her to move back to Cody, Natalie was hesitant, remembering that Cody had proved a lonely place for her during her previous stint there. But she agreed to come visit. During her weekend visit, Natalie’s cousins took her to Outpost. The church service that Sunday felt refreshingly different, and, somehow, Natalie knew that this community was one she desperately wanted to be a part of.
A couple months later, I moved to Cody. The Lord had opened the door for me to work in massage therapy again, which was such a gift. I jumped into Outpost, and was eager to join community, but the process felt slow. I was eager to serve and to be a part of the single women’s group, yet there were hurdles to those things. That time of waiting was hard, and I found comfort in continuing to study God’s Word, and in taking long walks to talk with Him. On one walk, I was pouring my heart out to God and asking Him to remove the roadblocks to community. As I kept walking, I felt His nearness and believed His promise that I was not alone – even in my loneliness. He answered my prayer that day so clearly and immediately. Soon I was serving on the worship team, involved in community group, and holding babies in the nursery.
The first time Natalie met Zach, a twinge of panic rippled through her along with immediate attraction. When Natalie told her mom that she was praying for the attraction to “go away,” because she was afraid, her mom counseled her to pray differently – to pray instead that God would strengthen the attraction only if it was from Him. The couple began dating in May of 2021, and were married in April 2022.
The Lord is so sweet, to allow me to be married now. Once I found fullness and freedom in Christ alone, He gave me Zach. Life is so much better and sweeter when we follow His ways.
Natalie now mentors and nurtures middle school girls at Outpost, counseling them to follow Christ whole-heartedly, to study God’s Word daily, and to embrace the opportunity to grow spiritually together. She also gets to share the Gospel frequently with her massage clients, sharing about the hope and healing she has found in Jesus Christ. After drawing her out of a lifetime of persistent loneliness, the Lord has filled Natalie with so much abundant love and joy that she has ample to share.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17