A divine dream leads a troubled teen to reject trans ideology

News & Politics

She had a dream.

Ariella Crouse was a sophomore in the fall of 2022 at Carlisle High School in Iowa when, before she went to bed one night, she cried out to God that she was going to kill herself unless He showed her He was real.

She hadn’t prayed in years, but she had been going to church with her mom for about a year at that point. It was a church that regularly preached the truth about homosexuality and transgenderism, a world that Ariella was consumed by after years of emotional instability and therapy as well as being groomed into the lifestyle by a former middle school art teacher. In fact, she was in a relationship with a transgender satanist and thought she couldn’t care less about the preaching she had tried to shun.

But then the dream.

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There were two fields set across from one another. Standing in one of them was Ariella. She was surrounded by nothing but barren, dry ground and a single dead tree.

In the other was God. He was surrounded by what looked to be the Garden of Eden itself in His field. And then He spoke.

The truth shall set you free. Even if you are isolated or being bullied like Ariella.

“He told me that I was perfect when He made me,” Ariella recalled as if it happened yesterday. “He said that there was nothing wrong with my body and that He created me in my mother’s womb.”

Then she woke up, but it would be more accurate to say she was resurrected. She went to school the next day and ended the relationship she was in, which in turn led to rejection and constant harassment by her old friend group for going on two years now. It was deeply depressing to experience the rawness of this new loneliness — this new cross — for about two weeks, at which point she gave her life completely to her dream and fought back against the darkness by getting baptized.

The clouds were lifted. For good. She was transformed, speaking now about her faith as a teenager almost as Peter did after being consumed by the tongues of fire on Pentecost. And her capacity for mercy and deep insights in a school district from which my book editor, Todd Erzen, had to rescue his own children is … well, nothing short of miraculous.

In the last three years, the Carlisle school district “war zone,” as Ariella now calls it, has had a staff member convicted of a sexual relationship with a student, used a secret and illegal book committee exposed by the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, and had its gay-straight alliance teacher “resign” midyear and get suspended from X.

“It’s always mind games,” Ariella said of the bullies she once called friends. “They just can’t leave me alone, and I stopped reporting things because there is no point. Nobody does anything because the [LGBT group] is protected. But all of my old friend group have parents who are divorced or who just don’t care. Those are the broken homes that the enemy slithers into and into their broken hearts. They feel it’s the only thing they have to hold onto.”

Looking back, Ariella knows she was helped long before she had her dream by being exposed to the truth “and not just what we think should make us happy” during the year she went to church and thought she was learning nothing at all.

“Our church is not afraid to talk about everything that is going on in the world,” she said. “Even though I rejected it, I still heard it.”

How about that? The truth shall set you free. Even if you are isolated or being bullied like Ariella still is. The world wasn’t made perfect after her dream and her baptism, but she is happier than she has ever been. And she wants you to know why.

More specifically, she wants you to know “who.”

“Nothing is so severe now that I can’t run to God for help,” she said. “Before I just really couldn’t talk to anybody. But faith is not meant to be easy. It’s a relationship, and relationships are hard sometimes. But I don’t have to feel alone anymore because I know that’s not true.”

Amen, amen, I say to you. God bless you, Ariella. Thank you for your courage. May we all learn from it and go and do likewise in faith, hope, and love, because we desperately need to.

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