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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Leaving Homosexuality and Finding Forgiveness

Leaving Homosexuality and Finding Forgiveness

Growing up in a single-parent home, Jackie Hill Perry learned very early that men were unpredictable and sometimes dangerous, while women were loving and safe. She felt same-sex attractions at an early age, and eventually pursued an active lesbian lifestyle. When she was 19 years old, God called Jackie to purity, which led her into a wonderful relationship with the man who eventually became her husband and the father of her children.
Original Air Date: April 8, 2022

Preview:

Jackie Hill Perry: I did not fit the mold of what they said a girl was. And so because I did not fit the mold of what a girl was, naturally, I’m going to think that I must be something other than that. And so there’s this confusion that I have that was brought about by people teaching me womanhood that did not come from the creator of women, but from culture.

End of Preview

John Fuller: Jackie Hill Perry is our guest today on Focus on the Family with Jim Daly, returning with a prerecorded message that, as you might have guessed, is not going to be appropriate for younger listeners. So, please take that under advisement. Thanks for joining us today. I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: That’s right, John. Our interview with Jackie was one of our most popular shows of 2020. So I know our listeners will enjoy this presentation as well. And today is April 8th, a day that activist groups have labeled a day of silence for students who identify with the LGBT community. They say their goal is to protect against the harassment and discrimination of LGBT people in schools. But here at Focus on the Family, we believe in dialogue, not silence. And of course, we don’t want students struggling with these issues to be harassed, but we do want to reach out to them with hope and healing to dialogue with them. That’s why we’re sharing this testimony from Jackie. Growing up, she identified as lesbian and was involved in relationships with other girls, now she’s a believer, a wife, a mother, and she spreads the gospel message to those who struggle with sexual brokenness. She’s even written a book about her story. It’s called Gay Girl, Good God, and we highly recommend it.

John: It is a terrific resource, and you can get a copy from us here at the ministry. Our number is 800 the letter A, and the word FAMILY, or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Well, here’s Jackie Hill Perry now speaking at a Brave Conference for women hosted by Hope Fellowship Church in Frisco, Texas, on Focus on the Family.

Jackie: Tonight, I wanna talk about my story. And in talking about my story, I kinda wanna give you the encouragement to share your own. Um, I think when it comes to courage, when it comes to bravery, when it comes to fear, I think there’s a lot of fear in being honest about where God has brought us from. I think sometimes we could be comfortable with people seeing where we are now not recognizing that there would be so much more fruitfulness if they understood how we got there. And so, I wanna tell my story for that reason. But in all of our stories, I think it’s necessary to recognize that our stories start with a story. That is the story in Genesis 1 through 3. In Genesis 1, God creates the Heavens and the Earth, in Genesis 2, he creates Adam and Eve, in Genesis 3 we have this situation that has affected everything. Uh, you have Eve talking to the serpent not realizing that it’s the serpent she should already know something was odd when the snake wanted to have a conversation about the tree.

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: Have you ever noticed he didn’t even say hello, he just started going to questions. You already rude, you ain’t righteous.

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: That was a sign. Angels ain’t rude. All right.

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: (Laughs). So, I had to interact with her about this tree, this tree that God told them that the day they eat of it, they shall surely die. She chose to believe another voice, another person. And in believing the evil one she ate from the tree, gave some to her husband who was with her. I don’t know what he was doing, maybe cutting the grass. I don’t know how that worked in paradise.

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: He ate, him being the patriarch of all of humankind. What happened was sin entered into the human condition where all that will follow after them will have the same story. Where we are all born into this world prone to believing someone other than God. So, when I come into this world, I come in with a problem, I come in with a heart that isn’t bent towards God naturally. When I was born, born to a single mother, my mother loved me well, my daddy loved me sometimes. Uh, he loved me when he felt like, he loved me when he went down to the altar and got halfway saved and we’d be present and then we’d leave again. And so I grew up having this view of men that told me that men were very inconsistent beings, that they said things that they did… That they did not truly believe. Um, the first man to ever actually show me affection was through abuse. So, I already have this messed up framework that now affection from men is a dangerous thing. Something that’s not safe, something that isn’t, uh, built on love. But also have this framework that women are a loving thing, that women are the present ones, the loyal ones, the, the loving ones. So and maybe first grade, don’t remember I know it was before I knew how to spell my name, I recognized that I was same sex attracted. Didn’t have those words for it because again, I’m five. Uh, (laughs). But I knew… I noticed that the same way in which other girls like the little boys on the field, uh, was the same way that I liked the little girls on the field didn’t know what to do with it until I went to church. When I went to church, is when I found out what the name for this passion was, which was homosexuality. And my problem wasn’t with the condemnation pronounced on this behavior, my problem was with the way it was said. It was the, the tone, the inflection, the facial expressions, the mob mentality of the p- of the parishioners when it was talked about as if this wasn’t something that anybody should be free with discussing openly. So what happened was, naturally I’m gonna keep this to myself, because clearly Christians aren’t fans of people like me. Uh, growing up, it was a present desire, a desire that I wanted to go away, a desire that I want it to flee, a desire that I wanted to somehow leave cause I assumed that life would be easier if I had heterosexual lust instead of homosexual lust. But that’s neither here nor there. But growing up, I figured that this would be more, that it would be easier for me to do, but I was afraid of what the doing would bring me, I was afraid of how God might think of me and how my family might reckon with me until high school. Usually, you either act out in high school, or college. I chose high school.

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: I, I decided, you know?

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: Ain’t no sense in waiting to be wicked out loud.

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: (Laughs). So I felt, you know, that it was just becoming hard to act straight. It just was becoming a difficult thing. And so I said, “You know what? I’m gonna just try it, see what it was like, this is the thing that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.” And so I got on Myspace, I don’t know if y’all remember that.

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: It’s a social media network that-

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: … it was before Twitter. Uh, I got on Myspace and connected with a woman who I was in a relationship with for about two and a half years. And that relationship is when I transition into a stud. So, in the white lesbian community and the black lesbian community, the language is different cause culture is different. Right? And so a stud in the black lesbian community is a woman who presents or projects the kind of hyper masculinity about herself. And so, I sag my pants, I wore boxers, I wore, uh, sports bras, I wore small, like tighter to flatten my chest at that time, I didn’t have locks, I had straight hair. So I would put my hair and a ponytail, I would walk as masculine as I thought myself to be, I would sit masculine, my voice is already a little heavy, but I made it heavier. And so that’s what I did. I think this confusion honestly, was brought into place through people telling me what a woman was that wasn’t actually what a woman was. What I mean by that is, when you are a girl growing up, who doesn’t like pink? Do I want pink today? No I don’t. Who doesn’t like pink-

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: A, a girl who doesn’t like purses, even now I don’t like purses. Half of y’all got purses in here with only a charger and some Chapstick.

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: It’s just extra baggage. You know? Um-

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: (Laughs). Pun intended. I-

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: I did not fit the mold of what they said a girl was. And so because I did not fit the mold of what a girl was. Naturally, I’m going to think that I must be something other than that. Naturally, if I don’t fit this front, this box that you said that my frame is supposed to fit inside of, then there must be another box that was meant to me to be in which was maleness, which was masculinity. It’s the same idea that we give to little boys when we tell them that they’re acting like a girl because they’re emotional, as if emotions aren’t a human trait and not a gender specific trait. Right? And so there’s this confusion that I have that was brought about by people teaching me womanhood that did not come from the creator of women, but from culture.

Audience: Amen,

Jackie: And so naturally, I’m going to try to start embodying a sense of masculinity because that’s what y’all told me I was this entire time. In that space, I enjoyed myself. All sinners love sin. If you don’t, I don’t know what kind of sin you’re doing.

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: (Laughs). I enjoyed myself. (Laughs).

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: You are a boring sinner if you don’t like sin, but, o- outside of Christ. But (laughs) y’all get me off track now. I-

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: I enjoyed my sin. I enjoyed the affection of women; I enjoyed the freedom of sin or so I thought it was. I enjoyed the sense of rebellion that I had towards my mother and people. I enjoyed that. But even in my enjoyment of submitting to the flesh, I discovered that I could not find peace anywhere in it. It was a difference between joy and peace. And I think God was being kind to me, and that he would not allow me to be able to shake the disruption that was between us. Is that he made it very clear in my conscience that we were not at peace with each other, that we were at odds. But I didn’t know what to do with that. Because I figured that if he wanted me to be a Christian, then he wanted me to be like my Auntie. Let me explain my auntie.

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: My auntie is one of those Christians, I have never seen her wear a pair of pants in my life.

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: I haven’t even seen her knees. That’s how spiritual she is.

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: (Laughs). So, I felt if that’s what you want me to be, I, I can’t be that kind of saved, that saved saved.

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: And that ain’t me.

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: Even this she think is wickedness, you hear me?

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: I am immodest all in my leg. Now… (Laughs). I say that because I think one thing that kept me in unbelief is that nobody explained conversion to me. They told me to get saved, repent, get right with God, go to church. And so what I thought Christianity was, were people who did a lot of good stuff, that Christians were people who were really good at saying no to things that felt good. Didn’t recognize that Christians were people who God had snatched up and given them a new heart and a new spirit where they were able to say no on the virtue of somebody else’s power. I didn’t recognize that what was happening inside of them was not owed to them at all, but because they believed in a God who was risen from the dead, so they were rising from the dead daily. I didn’t know that. And so, when I was 19, I was in my room, I didn’t go to church cause I didn’t like Christians. Christians is extra. And so-

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: … they are- y’all are extra. (Laughs). You know those Christians? I had this one cousin; she was the one person that I could call that wouldn’t talk to me about Leviticus every time we got on the phone.

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: Some of y’all are in here. You know, you don’t know how to ask nobody about their day, you wanna go straight to Romans. You know you’re gonna die, right?

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: (Laughs). I ain’t like y’all.

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: My cousin, I felt, I felt that God was drawing me. I felt the sense of him wanting me wanting my life. Didn’t want him though. And so I called my cousin Keisha, who was the only cousin or the only Christian I knew that will have an actual conversation with me as an image bearer not just me as a gay person.

Audience: Amen.

Jackie: That’s the word. So, I got on the phone, and I was like, “Keisha, I feel like God is calling me, but I don’t want him. I’m just cool. I’m enjoying my life. I’m enjoying myself. I don’t want nothing to do with Jesus.” And she told me, she said, “Uh, God loves you so much, it is gonna show you how much you need him.” That was sounded real spiritual to me. I know what the heck she was talking about, so I say amen, got out the phone.

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: Cool. Whatever you say. And, um, what started to happen was my life started to get harder. Life started to get difficult. And I think that’s a kindness again, that’s a, a providential mercy of God, that he is not allowing my life to be so prosperous that I’m not… He’s, he’s allowing my life to be difficult in such a way where I’m constantly looking up. There’s something about prosperity or being in the palace that makes you look inside of yourself.

John: You’re listening to Focus on the Family. And today a presentation from Jackie Hill Perry, you can get her book, Gay Girl, Good God and a CD of this broadcast presentation when you call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. 800- 232-6459. Or you can donate and request those at our website, focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Let’s go ahead and return now to more from Jackie Hill Perry.

Jackie: There’s something about suffering and difficulty even outside of Christ that shows you that all that you have ain’t satisfying. That it’s not enough. That these people, these relationships, this pornography, this lust, all this stuff that you’re turning to as a comfort is nothing more than a mere idol and idols can make nobody happy.

Audience: Amen.

Jackie: So, coming back to when I was 19, I’m in my room and watching MTV something. I wouldn’t watch a CBN, listen to Beth Moore podcast, none of that.

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: Anyway, that podcast, that was just… They would just listen to the radio.

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: I’m in my room and I feel God speak to my heart. And I wanna caveat on this, is that our stories need to land on him always.

Audience: Yeah.

Jackie: Always. I’ve heard a lot of testimonies that sound like you overcame your sin. You somehow chose him. You somehow did it, instead of recognizing that we are saved by grace through faith. Grace was first.

Audience: Yes.

Jackie: And so God interrupted my room and all of a sudden, I had this awareness that my sin deserved death. It’s weird stuff. God spoke to my heart showed me that the sin that I so loved and so enjoyed deserved death. But the interesting thing is that it wasn’t just sexuality that was my problem. I started to reckon with the fact that every single thing that I loved and enjoyed deserved death too. So I started to make like a, a survey in my mind of everything that I loved and its consequences. And all of this is being motivated by grace. All of this has been motivated by the Holy Spirit, who in 2 Corinthians 4, he is lifting the veil off my eyes for me to see light for me to see glory. And me seeing light, it’s all that’s really happening, is that I’m seeing reality.

Audience: Yes.

Jackie: And I’m leaning towards believing it. That’s what light does. And so, I started to think, “Okay, I like to steal a lot.” Cause I used to steal because I figured if I steal my outfit for the club, then I got money for the drink.

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: Y’all don’t get that. I, I thought that was being a good story, you hear me?

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: I steal, that’s deserving death. I’m a porn addict, been watching porn since I was 5 to 19. Uh, lesbianism that’s obviously wrong according to, uh, the, these Christians I talk to. Every… Even authority disrespect to parents, I remember that the law had something to say about people who didn’t like authority and the authority or authoritative systems that God set in place. And so I recognized, “Jackie, everything you love has nothing to do with God’s glory. Everything you love and enjoy has nothing to do with him and you were created for him. Colossians 1:16. All things were created through him and for you. Nothing about your life proves that you’re submitted to the reason you were made.” But I also saw another thing. It wasn’t just that the scriptures condemned my life, it was at the same scriptures that condemned my life had hoped for me as a person. I remember the one scripture that everybody knows, which is John 3:16. And for God so loved the world, the world being me, that he gave his only Son that whoever, whoever being me, believed in him would not perish, would not be condemned, would not be judged the way they should be judged, but they would have eternal life. So, I figured that if God is trying to get me to turn from this stuff, then he must be the only alternative for me. He must be the satisfying one. He must be the good one, he must be the right one, he must be the true one, he must be the good one, or he wouldn’t want me to come to him.

Audience: Yes.

Jackie: That was the Holy Spirit. I was able to see Jesus for who he was. So I told him, I said, “God, I don’t… I don’t want to be straight, though.” Like… (Laughs). Uh, “I hear what you are just saying, but I don’t like men.” Which is a common response. Because oftentimes people have preached heterosexuality and not the gospel. So naturally, when they hear the call of God, they think they hear the call of marriage or the call of being with another person, what God is saying, “Come, come to me.”

Audience: Yes.

Jackie: “Come to me and I will figure out every single thing else. I’m not calling you…

Audience: Applause.

Jackie: I’m not necessarily calling you to be heterosexual in the sense of having no temptations. But I’m calling you to be holy in the sense of whatever temptations you have, you know how to flee now.” God was saying, “Come and love me and we’ll figure the rest out.” I told God, “I don’t know what it’s gonna look like, (laughs)-

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: … I know enough about me to know I can’t do this on my own. I, I’ve tried to be righteous, I’ve tried to be holy, you say this stuff is as filthy rags. And all I have to offer you is filthiness. My hands are not strong enough to walk like Jesus without Jesus.” I didn’t know that that was repentance and faith. I didn’t even have categories for those words. But it was repentance because I saw my sin for what it was. I saw that it was worthless. And I saw that it was not satisfying. I saw that even though it felt good, didn’t mean that it was good. But I also saw Jesus and so in my seeing my sin for what it was, I was able to turn towards somebody. I didn’t turn in on myself and say, “Okay, I just got to go to church more and I just gotta pray more and I just gotta do right and I just gotta do better and I just gotta fast a little bit.” All those spiritual disciplines are great, but they don’t get me to glory without the Holy Spirit. I had to turn to somebody to do the work that I could not do on my own. That was repentance and faith. And from that moment, something was weird about me. I went to work, and I work cash register, and there was this girl, um, b… Uh, she was in, in line trying to take order. And usually, the day before that, two days before that, I would have tried to flirt with her in such a way to see if she, you know? We go. And all of a sudden, I felt this awareness of God that I never had. And it wasn’t as if two days before, I didn’t know that God could see everything. I knew he could see everything cause I grew up in church. The difference was this time, I cared. The proof of my repentance and my salvation was not the absence of temptation. But now, it was the awareness of God and the power to obey.

Audience: Amen.

Jackie: That was the fruit of repentance. So, some of you in here might not have what you call a miraculous story. And so maybe, maybe that’s led you to be afraid. I’ve heard it a lot, especially people that grew up in church. It’s like, “You know, I, I came to faith when I was six, like, I didn’t have a crazy story like yours.” Um. (Laughs).

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: I’m sleepy, so I’m trying to control myself.

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: But that’s the devil. Because it don’t matter how you came to faith, you came to faith.

Audience: Yeah.

Jackie: And every single person in this room, no matter how you were raised, or your particular economic, political, social, whatever context, everybody in this room was a Lazarus. So there is no… It don’t matter how you came to faith; you were raised from the dead. And that in and of itself is crazy. So, don’t underestimate how God can use the power of a five-year-old testimony.

Audience: Yes.

Jackie: Because some of us who have children need to believe and recognize that God is saving even the little ones too.

Audience: Yes.

Jackie: Secondly, if you’re afraid of how people might think about you if you tell your story, really, you got to just not care about that.

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: Honestly. Because nobody’s opinion is authoritative except God.

Audience: That’s right.

Jackie: So if they reject you, it’s cool. The gospel says that you’re accepted. If they shame you, it’s cool. God put that on himself on the cross. You free. If they treat you like you are what you used to be, it’s cool. The gospel says you’re a new creation. The scriptures and what God has done for you, allows you to discern the lies of Satan inside of your fear and to walk free from it. Thirdly, stop making your story about you.

Audience: Amen,

Jackie: Remember, um, the lady at the well, who had… Jesus had… Okay, I’m paraphrasing this in hood language.

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: Remember?

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: Remember the lady that was getting some water-

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: … by herself and God was tired, and he said, “Give me some, some drink cause I’m thirsty.” And how (laughs) he told her about her life. And so she went back to the Samaritans and told them about Jesus. And she said, “He told me all that I ever did.” Crazy thing is that it said that the Samaritans went back to Jesus to hear from him after hearing what she said about him. She, in her telling her story, her story was her telling them about him. I think she probably said more about Jesus than she said about herself. And in her exalting, him through her story, is the reason that many believed. You have that same ability and that same privilege to be able to preach through your life. God is sovereign. Right? We agree?

Audience: Yeah.

Jackie: God wants glory. Right? We agree? If that is the case, don’t you think that he had his hands on your story for the sole purpose of his glory?

Audience: Amen.

Jackie: Your story don’t belong to you. You don’t own it. It is, it is yours to store it and give away so that he could be seen. And perhaps that might be why we hold it in so much, because we don’t see how useful it actually is. So, I’m not saying get on the stage in front of 1500 people and tell all your business.

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: I’ve been doing this for a minute.

Audience: (Laughs).

Jackie: (Laughs). But there are ways that God can use your day-to-day interactions to encourage, to lift up, to build up, to warn, to challenge in your relationships, in your friendships, on your social media. There are ways that God wants to use the things that he has taken you through or taking you through to encourage the people that he’s placed around you. So, don’t be so self-centered, or so near sited that you think God just wants to use the things you do and not the things you did. That sounded so good, I had never said that before.

Audience: (Laughs).

John: And on that note, we’ll come to the end of our presentation from Jackie Hill Perry today on Focus on the Family.

Jim: John, I really appreciate Jackie’s insights and her devotion to doing God’s will above all else. Uh, Jackie and her husband Preston, uh, just celebrated their eighth wedding anniversary. They have three daughters and a baby son.

John: Yeah, God has really blessed them with a beautiful family.

Jim: And had Jackie has written a book about her experiences, and in it, she offers practical biblical tools for finding wholeness in Christ. We all need that. Uh, the book is called, Gay Girl, Good God: The Story of Who I Was and Who God Has Always Been. And I wanna encourage you to get a copy from us here at Focus on the Family, where the proceeds go right back into ministry. Help us save marriages, save the lives of pre-born babies and impact the culture with God’s truth like Jackie shared today. And the best way to support us, is by making a monthly pledge. It doesn’t have to be a large amount. It’s the consistency that really helps us month-to-month. And when you make a pledge of any amount, we’ll send you a copy of Gay Girl, Good God as our way of saying thank you. And if a monthly commitment isn’t possible for you right now, we understand that we’ll send the book to you for a one-time gift of any amount. Get your copy today.

John: And you could do that when you call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459 or donate and request your book at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. By the way, if you’re interested in stories about how your faith can impact the culture, let me encourage you to check out our Daily Citizen website. You’ll find the link at our website. Well, have a great weekend with your family and your church family as well, and be sure to join us on Monday. We’ll share encouragement from Deborah Pegues on how to develop godly confidence.

Preview:

Deborah Pegues: So we all have some area of our lives where we are not sure of our adequacy. And so, I just say, “Okay, it’s learned behavior.” You can learn to be confident, but we learned through what we were told as a child, or through authority figures about failing and somebody poking fun at us about that. So, it’s all learned but the thing is, it can be unlearned.

End of Preview

Today's Guests

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Gay Girl, Good God: The Story of Who I Was, and Who God Has Always Been

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