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Discovering the Truth About My Identity (Part 2 of 2)

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Discovering the Truth About My Identity (Part 2 of 2)

Jackie Hill Perry shares her story of her former struggles with homosexuality and how she's come to know and experience God's love and grace. (Part 2 of 2)
Original Air Date: June 24, 2020

Today's Guests

Episode Summary

Jackie Hill Perry shares her story of her former struggles with homosexuality and how she's come to know and experience God's love and grace. (Part 2 of 2)
Original Air Date: June 24, 2020

Episode Transcript

Excerpt:

Mrs. Jackie Hill Perry: And so, it wasn’t that chose Jesus because I was afraid of hell. It wasn’t that I chose Jesus because I want to be straight. I chose Him because, because of the Holy Spirit, I was able to see that He was better than everything on this entire earth.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: Jackie Hill Perry is back with us today on Focus on the Family and your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly. Thanks for joining us. I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, uh, homosexuality is one of the issues that is hardest for us to address as Christians in the culture today. We see, uh, the people who hold angry signs and shout terrible and hateful things. And we know that’s not what Jesus would have done. We have that reflected with the woman caught in adultery. Um, you know, He just reflected it back to the people who are ready to stone her and said, “He who is without sin cast the first stone.” Wisely, they all dropped their stones and walked away because I think He was effective in that communication. And I think for us having that empathy, the loving heart of God in that moment, if you have that encounter or when you have that encounter is the right first approach. And if you didn’t hear the broadcast last time, I’d encourage you to get a hold of it, uh, through the smart phone download or the app or whatever, we need to do (laughter).

John: Or YouTube or whatever…

Jim: You tell us that.

John: …We’ve got all the links at the website.

Jim: But, uh, our guest last time, Jackie Hill Perry, uh, you know, talked about her same-sex attraction, her battle through that through elementary school, junior high, high school and really set the stage for us to continue the discussion today about how God continued to work on her heart and how she came out on the other side of that loving God. And we’re gonna hear the other part of her story today.

John: And, uh, Jackie has written very persuasively, uh, about her journey. It’s in the book, Gay Girl, Good God. And, uh, you can find that at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And Jackie Hill Perry is a well-known spoken word artist. And as you’ll hear during our conversation today, uh, her husband is Preston, and, uh, she’s the mom to two kids.

Jim: Two girls…

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: Welcome, Jackie.

Jackie: Thank you.

Jim: Hey, Jackie, uh, again for the listener, you spoke last time so bravely, courageously, about those things that affected you. Um, you know, you were molested as a young girl and all of the things that developed – not a great relationship with your dad. You did have an aunt who was nearby praying for you, taking you to church. That’s a beautiful thread for you…

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: …As you continue on. You talked about through elementary school being attracted to girls. In junior high, that’s starting to blossom, I guess, and then high school, kind of a full engagement in that direction. What was that like? You had a girlfriend, I think – at least one girlfriend in high school. What was that like, the peer pressure of that? Were you seen as a – as a champion, or were you seen as odd or all of the above?

Jackie: Well, I kept it a secret…

Jim: OK.

Jackie: …Because…

Jim: I thought others knew about it.

Jackie: No, because surprisingly – uh, this was 2006, 2007. It still wasn’t a cool thing…

Jim: It was on the…

Jackie: …To be out of the closet.

Jim: …Cusp of becoming cool (laughter).

Jackie: Yeah. It was a little bit after I graduated that it became more of, uh, a OK thing to do. And so, I think if I was in high school now, I probably would have been out of the closet much earlier, uh, much more proud about it. Um, but yeah, not many people knew.

Jim: And we promised last time after knowing that background, we would get on with how, uh, the Lord began to reel your heart in…

Jackie: Mm hmm.

Jim: And that’s how I want to start the conversation. So, you’re in this openly, or somewhat openly, lesbian relationship, but God was, uh, trying to get your attention. And you ended up having an interesting discussion with your cousin about this.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: And how did that discussion go? Because it’s informative…

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: …To us…

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: …In how to talk with a family member or friend about that same-sex attraction issue.

Jackie: Yeah. So, my aunt that took me to church, my cousin is her daughter.

Jim: OK.

Jackie: Um, and she’s about 15 or 16 years older than me. So, she was in her late 20s, early 30s. And she was the only Christian that I wanted to call, um, because all the other Christians in my life, for the most part, um, they just were the kind of Christians that if you call them and talk to them, they gotta bring up Leviticus and all these other things and repentance, and it’s like, “You didn’t even ask me how my homework is? What school I plan on going to? Do I like almond milk in my coffee?” Nothing.

Jim: Now, let me ask you because, again, this is so instructive to the human soul and…

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: …How we’re wired. When the Lord says, “Love your neighbor”…

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: OK, let’s just start there. So, when you have a conversation with somebody and you start with the ruler rapping over the knuckles, it doesn’t open your heart up, does it?

Jackie: No. It doesn’t facilitate a relationship because the whole relationship is based on the law and not actually – like, I felt like a lot of the Christians in my life were only there to fix me. Your only job is that you’re trying to fulfill the great commission, you know, but you’re also not trying to love your neighbor as yourself. And how did the Lord draw you? Did He draw you with somebody always bringing the law to you, or did He draw you by saying, “Hey, you got everything you need? How are you doing? How’s your emotional health? How’s your mental health? How can I pray for you? Do you need a hug? Did anybody make you cry recently?” Like, care for my whole person, not just my sexuality. And that’s what Keisha did. Keisha was able to see Jackie the image bearer and not just Jackie the lesbian. And so, that’s why she was the only Christian that I wanted to call when I felt like God was drawing me to Himself.

Jim: So, fill in the blank there with Keisha. What did she say that was compelling to you?

Jackie: It wasn’t even anything she said. I think it was the freedom to confess, one, that God…

Jim: In a safe place.

Jackie: Yeah, God had been drawing me. Like, it just – my convictions were getting weightier and weightier and heavier and heavier to the point that I just was continually being reminded that I was sinning against God and that God still loved me. Um, and I could not shake it. It did not matter how much weed I smoked, how much alcohol I drank. I was continually being reminded that God wanted me. And it felt like He wouldn’t leave me alone. And so, I called Keisha, and I said, “Hey. Um, so, I feel like God kind of wants me to be a Christian. I – I don’t really want to be a Christian. And He just won’t…”

Jim: (Laughter).

Jackie: “…He won’t chill out. Like, He just won’t go away.”

Jim: I just love that picture. Yeah.

Jackie: And she was like, “You know what?” She was like, “For a long time, I beat myself up when you told me that you were a lesbian because I thought that I didn’t do enough, that I didn’t pray for you enough, that I didn’t read enough Bible with you. Um, but I prayed for you. And God told me that, ‘Hey, Keisha, I love her more than you do. Keep praying.’” And so, I think Keisha’s method was motivated by her prayer life…

Jim: Hmm.

Jackie: …Is that she – she started to go to God on my behalf and intercede so that He tempered her impatience or her insecurity or her discouragement in her dealings with me.

Jim: How did you feel when you heard her say, “I’ve been praying for you”?

Jackie: Uh, I was just “OK.” You know, because…

Jim: OK. So, it didn’t mean…

Jackie: That’s what Christians says all the time.

Jim: It didn’t elevate, you know…

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: Wow.

Jackie: It just was like, “All right.” And then I was like, “So, yeah. What do I do?” And she was like, “God has shown me that you don’t realize how much you need Him. But He’s going to show you how much you need Him.” That’s all she said. She didn’t say, “Come to church with me.”

Jim: Wow.

Jackie: She didn’t say, “You know, read Galatians 5.” She’s didn’t say none of that. And I was like, “OK. That makes no sense.”

John: Kind of ominous-sounding.

Jackie: Yeah. But, you know, black Christians – we get prophetic all the time.

John: (Laughter).

Jackie: And so, I think what happened is that God kind of increased the intensity of my life, where things began to happen. My father passed away. I got arrested. Me and my mother’s relationship started to falter. All these things started to happen.

Jim: So, it went downhill.

Jackie: Yes.

Jim: Yeah. That was her point.

Jackie: Yes.

Jim: You’re going to need Him, and He’s going to show you you’re gonna need Him.

Jackie: Yes, which is interesting because I think a lot of times, when we talk about sufferings and trials, we talk about in relation to the Christian. Uh, but I think, in relation to the nonbeliever, God was allowing me to not experience prosperity and peace because He wanted me to look up, you know?

Jim: Yes.

Jackie: He wanted me to pay attention. And because Keisha had already warned me, I saw that this had to be a providential reason or a providential thing of God that my life was becoming so hard, and to the point that I told my godbrother – I said, “Does God really want me that much that He won’t allow me to just be able to do me without the reminder that He exists?”

John: Hmm.

Jim: Hmm.

Jackie: And He did.

Jim: Yeah. I love it. My observation and experience is people who are in the valleys that the Lord brings through the valley – um, those are the people you want to be with…

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: …Not the mountaintop people that never experience the valley.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: I think they just haven’t learned what they need to learn in so many ways.

Jackie: Sure.

Jim: So, I’d say run to the valley. Let God show you those things of humility and brokenness. He says that He’s “close to the broken-hearted and saves those crushed in spirit.” So, we as Christians should say, “Lord, I know it’s going to be hard, but let’s go.”

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: “Take my hand” (laughter).

Jackie: And I – and I think it’s a teachable lesson for parents, Christian parents, that you don’t have to rescue your child out of everything hard.

Jim: Jackie, speak to us as Christian parents when you hear those words, um, you know, “Mom and Dad, I’m gay.” Especially as Christian parents, what are the right first moves to think about?

Jackie: Pray (laughter). Pray immediately in your mind, “God, help me. Um, give me the words.” I think – I think what would help all parents is to remind yourself or even study how God responds to our confession. Even though it’s not a confession of sin potentially leading to repentance yet, it’s still a confession. They’re bringing something from the dark into the light. And so, it is a privilege and important that they were willing to give you that confession.

Jim: That’s a good point.

Jackie: And so, I want to mirror Jesus and God in the way I respond. Uh, I go to Genesis 3 a lot because it’s my favorite, but I think – it’s always interested me how, when Adam and Eve sinned, how God – it says He was walking in the cool of the day. He did not approach them running. He did not approach them raging. He approached them calmly. And so, I – I think I want to be the kind of parent that when they confess to me, I say, “Thank you, first, for sharing this with me. I appreciate that you would think that I am in a safe enough place for this.” And then I would just process with them. I would not go straight to Scripture…

Jim: Right.

Jackie: …Honestly, um, unless it’s a Scripture that you think is important for the moment. But I would not go straight to the condemnation of their sin. I would address them as a person who is thirsty, who needs help, who wants comfort, who needs direction, who needs wisdom. And sometimes the best wisdom is not wisdom that will convict or wisdom that would even confront, but sometimes the wisdom is wisdom that will love and just be with them in that moment.

John: Hmm.

Jim: One of the key things and it’s – I think we struggle as parents to convey this to our kids because we think it’s maybe too big a subject for them or they won’t get it. I – I would fall into that category. But helping your child develop their identity in Christ. And what does it mean to have that identity in Christ? It can be kind of academic or lofty, but it’s important that at age-appropriate times, we’re helping them to identify who we are in Christ, right?

Jackie: Yeah. Yeah.

Jim: Have you thought about that for your girls?

Jackie: I’m learning it. Um, I think for myself, I found that the best way to – for me to figure out my identity is for me to understand God’s because my identity is contingent upon who He is, right?

Jim: Right.

Jackie: And so, if He is a Creator, then I’m a creature. There are a lot of implications for me being a creature. It means that I’m automatically subject to who He is. And so, even if it’s, uh – my daughter is saying, “I want to do what I want to do.” “OK, I understand that you want to do what you want to do, but you don’t have the authority to do whatever you want to do. Why? Because there’s someone more authoritative than you are.” That is a kind of, I think, teaching of identity that may not be…

Jim: I agree.

Jackie: …Super dramatic, but I think it’s foundational. So yeah.

Jim: Yeah, I think that’s the kind of thing I was looking for, how we can, you know, do that drip irrigation into our child’s heart to make sure they know who they are in Christ and who – who God is, right?

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: It’s so important.

Jackie: Yeah. It is.

Jim: Uh, you had – we’ve got a – this is probably the question. You had that come-to-Jesus moment late one night. Uh, what happened that night that kind of put you on a totally different trajectory?

Jackie: Yeah. So, I was in my room doing something really irrelevant, watching MTV or something. And the strongest thought that I’ve ever had (laughter) came to my mind, which was that the girl that I was with would be the death of me. Um, and when I heard the thought, it actually disrupted all other thoughts, where that was the only thought that I could think.

Jim: So, at that moment, you’re in an active relationship with a girl.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: OK.

Jackie: Yeah. We were just together the day before. And so, I just started to think about my life randomly and kind of did a survey of it. And with that, I thought about the consequences of everything that I loved and enjoyed. All of this is being motivated by the Spirit of God. This is not me because it doesn’t make any sense, right? And so, I’m thinking about, “Oh, I really love weed, you know, addiction to that sin. Oh, I steal – that sin. Oh, I’m disrespectful to my parents – that sin.” Like, I just went down the list…

Jim: Hmm.

Jackie: …Where I saw, oh, lesbianism is not your only issue. You are holistically sinful. And so, you are holistically in need of God. And so, I told God, though – I said, “God, I don’t want to be straight” because the immediate thought, I think, for anyone in the same-sex community is that to come to Jesus is to be heterosexual when that’s not the call. The call is holiness. And so, what God, I think, was trying to show me is, “No. Come to Me, and we’ll work all the other stuff out.” And so, I just had to make a decision, which is, do I want to give up everything that I’m used to, everything that’s kept me safe to trust in this person that I’ve never met, this Jewish man named Jesus? But I figured that if He was offering Himself, He had to be a better alternative than everything that I’ve ever trusted in my entire life. And so, it wasn’t that chose Jesus because I was afraid of hell. It wasn’t that I chose Jesus because I want to be straight. I chose Him because, because of the Holy Spirit, I was able to see that He was better than everything on this entire earth which is the Holy Spirit (laughter). I have to emphasize that because people can think, “Oh, she made a logical decision.” No, I’ve made a spirit-made decision.

Jim: Yeah.

Jackie: Um, and so, what happened after that was that I repented and believed but didn’t know that I was repenting and believing.

Jim: You felt God calling you to make a painful choice. And to me, this is the first choice – a painful choice to break up with that girl.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: So, this was step one after your night of conviction, if I could call it that.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: What compelled you to make that first step?

Jackie: Uh, you know, when Jesus says, uh, “If your eye causes you the sin, gouge it out. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off?” She was my hand. She was my eye. I – for me, to walk in obedience to Jesus, I had to let her go, um, which is typical of any disciple of Jesus. He would say, “Follow Me.” And what you would read next is, “They left everything.” Um, and so, I had to leave everything to follow Him. And I was willing to. Um, but it didn’t mean it didn’t hurt. And so, I called her, and I said, “Hey, I – I can’t be with you anymore, um, just because I have to follow Jesus now.” Um, and, ironically, she expected it because, again, I was a really strange lesbian. (Laughter) I talked about Jesus a lot. I was really intrigued by Him. And so, she – she knew it was coming for some reason. Um, but yeah. So, I grieved that relationship because, I mean, gay or not, straight or not, the emotions were real, and the affections were real. The love was real. Um, but I had to love God more than I loved her.

Jim: Uh, Jackie, I want to continue on because you, uh, make this commitment. You’re connecting with the Lord. You’re moving in a different direction. You meet Preston.

Jackie: Mm hmm.

Jim: …Your husband. Speak to that, the elements of that, how you went over that speed bump, if I could call it that…

Jackie: Oh…

Jim: …From…

Jackie: …Still going over it (laughter).

Jim: Yeah. I mean, so – I mean, that’s all real stuff.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: So, how long have you been married? How did you guys meet? Give us the details of that.

Jackie: We’re going on six years in March. Um, it feels like 16, uh, in a good way…

Jim: (Laughter).

Jackie: …And a hard way. But, um…

Jim: Well, yeah.

Jackie: Yeah. We met when I was 20 in Los Angeles. I was doing a poem about my story of being a ex-lesbian. He happened to be doing a poem about how he used to sleep with everything that could breathe. (Laughter) And so, we both kind of met with our skeletons out of the closet, both of us being very sexually broken people but very honest people. Um, and I had no intention of being with him. I wanted to just be a Christian, love Jesus. I barely liked men at all.

Jim: Right.

Jackie: Was not looking forward to that at all. But as our friendship grew, my affection for him started to grow. And I thought it was strange and weird, and I didn’t know where it was coming from. But it was the Lord. But I would say that the affection was minor and small, and it developed over years. Um, it was me liking him as a person that then allowed me to like him as a man, if that makes sense.

Jim: Totally.

Jackie: I liked who he was which then became me liking what he was. Um, but it took time, and it still takes time. And it was odd and weird to be with someone who’s stronger than you, someone who is physically different than you, someone who speaks differently than you, thinks like you. I mean, like, when you think about lesbianism, you are with someone who is like you, which is the opposite of complementarianism, which we see in, uh, Genesis 1 and 2, that they were like each other, but they were unlike each other. And there was some beauty in the complementarity of Adam and Eve. But in lesbianism, you don’t actually be able – you’re not able to experience the differences, uh, that come in a male and female relationship. And so, I think now, being with Preston, I’m able to enjoy and like the things about him that are different from me, and I benefit from it.

Jim: Yeah. And that’s a beautiful story. I’m thinking of the development that you had to move into, the development of trust…

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: …And safety.

Jackie: Huge.

Jim: …To be able to do that coming from where you came from. So, for those people who are still struggling with something that keeps them from a fuller life in Christ…

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: …What would you suggest to them about developing that trust? That’s what I hear you describing with Preston…

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: …Is that, over years, like you said, you were able to develop this trust and this sense of safety with him that you could trust him.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: He wasn’t gonna hurt you.

Jackie: A major part, obviously, is Jesus, trusting Jesus, begging Jesus to help you and heal you. But a really huge part that Christians are afraid to do is therapy. Therapy was transformative for me because I was able to identify the traumas that I’ve experienced and how they have rendered me, uh, just a hardened person, you know? And so, my therapist was able to be able to help me see where I’m hurting but also give me the tools to fight against it, you know? And so, I think with her help – I had several therapists – but with her help, then I was able to develop, uh, some level of trust for him and all people, really.

Jim: Well, and it’s really gaining knowledge in a healthy perspective…

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: …About what you’ve coped with, what you’re doing, how you go forward. I – I appreciate that. Jean and I have done it. I – we (laughter) – it helps our marriage.

Jackie: It’s a doctor.

Jim: That’s right.

Jackie: A mental checkup.

Jim: That’s it. In that respect, you emphasize that marriage didn’t prove that you’d changed. And that was one of the things you mentioned a moment ago. Instead, you mentioned it gave you a sense of greater purpose.

Jackie: Hmm.

Jim: For all of us, even the heterosexual community, what have you learned in the institution of marriage, what – you know, when we talk about that, it can be a cringe factor. But I’ve come to this realization – as you mentioned a moment ago, the complementary nature of marriage – I think God does this for a simple reason. He invented marriage. He could have made us asexual, right?

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: He could have done it any way He wanted to. But I think in His divine wisdom, He said, “OK. I’m gonna pull two people together that generally – not always, but generally – are very opposite – think opposite, extrovert, introvert – I mean, all of it.”

Jackie: All of it.

Jim: And my conclusion now is it’s really to rub off the selfishness that we possess, to make us more like Him.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: And do you feel that way? Is that what you have felt with Preston?

Jackie: Every single day.

Jim: (Laughter) Every single day.

Jackie: Because I would have been okay single. I was…

Jim: Oh, yeah.

Jackie: I was totally fine with just…

Jim: It’s safer.

Jackie: Yes. It’s comfortable. But I think with marriage and relationship, it’s given me a neediness for God that I would not have had otherwise because you are commanded and obligated – obviously, out of affection, but a lot of times out of duty – to love this person more than yourself. And you don’t have the convenience of going to another home (laughter).

Jim: Right.

Jackie: We are in the same bed in the same room, and we need to learn how to work through struggles and work through things. But I think because Preston has a different brain than me and a different personality to me and a different insight than me, that he’s – I think God has used him to pull out of me things that I would not have been able to pull out of myself. Marriage is a community. And I think that’s what community is supposed to do. And so, it’s been a beautiful thing to try to mirror the Gospel with him.

Jim: Now, and I think that’s a great attitude. I really – I applaud you for it. And that’s something – it’s been a change for me over the years, especially my work here at Focus, having a different appreciation for my wife and what we encounter – you know, our little struggles, too. And it’s something, uh, divine…

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: …That’s going on there.

Jackie: Oh, absolutely.

Jim: Hey, uh, this is a fun part. But five weeks…

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: …After you married Preston, you got some really special news. What was it? (Laughter)

Jackie: I was pregnant with our first child.

(LAUGHTER)

Jackie: So…

Jim: You two are definitely quick (laughter)…

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: …In terms of being pregnant.

Jackie: My firstborn, her birthday is always, uh, nine to 10 months after our anniversary, so….

Jim: Right.

Jackie: That’s a thing.

Jim: Does anybody ever say, “Uh, let me do the math real quick”?

Jackie: Calculate? No, they don’t. But it was…

Jim: Like your mom? (Laughter).

Jackie: (Laughter) She was so disappointed. But it was fun. I – I think God knew that if I did not have that child soon, that we probably would just kind of delay it, which is OK if that’s the way God…

Jim: Sure.

Jackie: …Is leading one couple.

Jim: But there’s a different plan.

Jackie: Yeah. But I think, for us, He knew that, man, this will help y’all love each other more (laughter) to drop a baby into the mix.

Jim: Well, in addition, that five weeks – I mean, then later, you found out some additional information about the baby and what you were gonna have.

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: How did that impact you?

Jackie: Yes. So, I found I was having a girl, and I was scared. Um, I cried because, again, you’re talking to somebody who had gender identity issues their entire life. I never felt woman enough. I never felt girl enough. And now the doctor is telling me that I have the privilege and the responsibility of raising my own kind of woman. And I felt, uh, insufficient for the task, really. Um, but I had to pray. And then I read in the Scriptures. And it’s just like, all things really do “work together for the good of those who love God.” And if God has given me this child, then God is going to equip me to raise this child. And if anything, I can empower her to be the kind of woman that I wish people would have empowered me to be. So, for example, every time she puts on a dress, she always says, “I’m a princess.” And it’s like, ”You were a princess without the dress, Eden. You don’t have to wear a dress to be royal.” And that’s the kind of thing that I should have heard, but I didn’t hear.

Jim: Yeah. How did, uh, Preston – what have you seen in him – knowing where you’re coming from, how has Preston helped you and reinforced those feelings about, well, the inadequacies of not being a good enough mom…

Jackie: Yeah.

Jim: …And then encouraging you that you can be the right mom?

Jackie: Uh, he’s just a – I can’t explain. He’s just a good one, you know?

Jim: (Laughter).

Jackie: He tells the truth, you know? And he empowers me and allows me to be a safe place. And I’m able to come to him and say, “I yelled at Eden today” or “I don’t feel like I’m good in this way.” And he’ll point out all the ways that I’ve been a good mother over the last week that I haven’t even noticed, you know? It’s like…

Jim: Oh, that’s good.

Jackie: …”You’ve cooked a meal for her every night, even when you’re tired. Even when you get off a plane, even after you’ve preached, you still serve. You’re attentive. You listen. You ask all – answer all 3,046 of her questions,” like…

Jim: (Laughter).

Jackie: …You know? And so, I think…

Jim: She’s the extrovert (laughter).

Jackie: Oh, yeah. She’s him. She – he – he has an eye to the things that I don’t have an eye to. And so, he’s able to empower me.

Jim: Man, Jackie, this has been so good. And I’m so glad we can land on that high note about where God has you today. What an amazing change. And your testimony is so powerful and helpful. It’s a guide for the rest of us on how to really love our neighbor and speak to them in a way that doesn’t condemn them but points to hope and truth. I really encourage our listeners to get a copy of your powerful book Gay Girl, Good God: The Story of Who I Was and Who God Has Always Been. And, if you can’t afford it, get in touch with us. I want to get this into your hands, and we’ll figure out a way to do that. We’re here to help you.

John: And in addition to Jackie’s book we have our counseling team as a great resource for you if you need to work through these issues. Our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. Or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: John, before we close, I want to share this comment we received from a mom of a young adult. She said, “Our oldest son just told me he’s been struggling with same-sex attraction. Because of podcasts I’d heard on Focus in the past year, especially with Rosaria Butterfield, I was able to react in a God-honoring way. Now, I’m shell-shocked, but I told him that I still love him. Thank you for your podcast and resources. I know there are many parents who need to hear this.” And all I can say is wow. I am so thankful that God prepared that mom through this broadcast. If you want to be a part of what we’re doing at Focus to help people, especially parents, be ready for that critical moment like that, please join the support team. There’s a shortfall in our budget because of the pandemic. I mean, we were slightly ahead of budget early March. Now we’re behind. And we’re relying on those who can to help support the ministry so that we can keep moving forward in helping people.

John: We’re really grateful, Jim, that right now we have a matching gift opportunity. Uh, some generous friends have suggested that they will match your gift dollar for dollar. So, please consider a $20 gift that becomes a $40 contribution to the work of Focus on the Family. It’s a limited time matching gift opportunity. Donate today as you can. When you do so, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’re stretching your dollars, doubling them, and that you’ll get a copy of Jackie’s book as our way of saying thank you for making a difference and supporting the ministry. Again, our phone number is 800-A-FAMILY. Or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Well, next time we’re going to have marriage expert Gary Thomas sharing how to view your expectations in light of God’s plan for your relationship.

Teaser:

Mr. Gary Thomas: I really believe that holiness is the doorway to happiness. Holiness is what protects our happiness. When you have two people that are fighting over selfish things, and James talks about this, nobody can win.

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