A life of sin converted
DeCole Shoemate Robertson says her life has been "a miracle in itself." From a background of rarely attending church to speaking at day two of the 38th Annual Community Prayer Breakfast in Clinton, the assistant women's basketball coach at Lander University said Tuesday her commitment to the Lord turned her away from a lesbian relationship to marriage to her husband - they are expecting her first child in August.
When she found the Lord, a minister asked her, "Do you have joy (in your life)?"
"I did not have it. I had been in a lesbian relationship for 10 years. I did not know my biological father until I was 25 years old. My mom worked all the time, as a single mother. I had voids. I filled it with females.
"People in a homosexual relationship, they don't know it's wrong. But it's constant turmoil. I went to my first homosexual parade at 10. I didn't know there was anything wrong with it. I grew up in California."
Moving to South Carolina, Robertson (DeCole Shoemate at the time) evolved into a top five basketball recruit, but she realized competing for a position at Florida International University she was well behind in work ethic - getting by on talent alone. She lost her scholarship, called the coach at Anderson University back home in South Carolina - "Anderson was struggling. I picked the worst team I could find, I knew I would play" - and talked her way onto the team. That worked its way into a job in food service, and DeCole went to church at the invitation of sweet Miss Dorothy. "I sat in the back, and pretended to pay attention. I didn't want Miss Dorothy to see me sleeping."
In one service, the music hooked her. Robertson said it felt like her heart was going to burst from her chest. She didn't go down for the altar call, "I couldn't really understand what the preacher was saying," she said. After, she hid her tears and found the preacher's wife. She and the preacher and the preacher's wife sat and stared at each other.
"They asked me, 'Do you have joy?' I said, 'I don't care about joy, I want to know what's going on with me right now.' I accepted the Savior and it's all calm now. It's like Paul said, the scales fell away from my eyes."
In addition to marriage and expecting a child, Robertson is experiencing with the Lander Bearcat women's basketball team a season in which the squad won the regular season and conference tournament championships (the Lander men also are conference tournament champions). "Hey," she told about 500 high school and middle school students attending the prayer service in the Clinton High School gym, "this is what it looks like. It's a 10-12 year process to the women you see before you today. I thank God for saving my life, the fact that God loved me enough to save me from my life."
"Seriously, take the time to examine yourself, where you are with the Lord right now. I love my husband to death, but he don't got nothing on Jesus. Seek God first, and all things will open for you."