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

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
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December 30, 2020 5:00 am

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

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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December 30, 2020 5:00 am

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)

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I never just getting really panicky like no I have to figure this out right now because my my Sunday school like two hours and I have to know what to say when Holly's son was considering suicide. She called a Focus on the Family counselor all those years I've been listening to focus. I was thinking about how they were like a practical guide for me that was founded by certificate from them.

I didn't really know where else to turn on Jim Daly.

Working together we can rescue hurting parents like Holly and give families hope. We need the truth that Focus on the Family brings into our minds and into our homes.

We need that if working to raise at the next generation of believers to walk in obedience and to walk in the truth that God loves us don't today Focus on the and your gift will be doubled. So was it that I chose Jesus) pale weather that I chose you because I want to be straight chosen because because of the Holy Spirit is able to see that he is better than everything on this entire Jackie Hill Perry is back with us today on Focus on the Family and hostess for Pres. and Dr. Jim Daly, thanks for joining us on John for John. Homosexuality is one of the issues that is hardest rust redresses Christians in the culture. See the people who hold angry signs and shout terrible and hateful things and we know that's not what Jesus would we have that afflicted with the woman caught in adultery is reflected back to the people who are ready to stone and said he was without sin cast the first stone. Wisely, they all dropped their stones and walked away because I think he was effective in their communication, and I think for us having that empathy the loving heart of God in that moment.

If you have that encounter when you have that encounters the right first approach and if you didn't hear the broadcast last time I'd encourage you to get a hold of it through the smart phone download or the app or whatever will you do whatever you tell all the links at the website but are just last time Jackie Hill Perry 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 working here. The other part of her story today and I Jackie is written very persuasively about her journey. It's in her book gay girl. Good God, and you can find that and other resources in the episode notes and as I mentioned last time, will be covering some mature topics today. So parents you want to direct the attention of your little ones elsewhere or listen later on on your favorite podcast app and you might've heard of Jackie Hill Perry through her popular artistic work. She's a spoken word artist and you can hear during our conversation today about her husband Preston and her kids as well to girls. Jackie, thank you. Welcome back. Okay, let's start there. Tell me about your girls.

A biologist is even she's five. My youngest is autumn. She's one they are completely different children how to bet half a grateful because Eden is the extrovert, the crazy one that I can't stop talking ever. Autumn is the quiet quiet storm things are yet quite the same as my life means the front you think the Lord gives you the variety just to say I know what it feels like to be merciful. I cannot have two crazies enough and that is apparently Jackie again for the listener you spoke last time so bravely, courageously, about those things that affected you 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 continue on you talked about through elementary school being attracted to girls in junior high that starting the blossom, I guess, and then high school kind of a full engagement in that direction.

What is that like you had a girlfriend in high school. What was that like the peer pressure of that.

Were you seen is that as a champion you seen as odd or all of the above lockup it a secret thought others knew about it. Not surprisingly, this is 2006 2007. It still wasn't up cool thing is on the out of becoming cool. Yeah, it was after I graduated that it became more of a okay thing to do and not so I think if I was in high school. Now I probably would've been out of the closet much earlier. Much more proud about it, but yeah not many people know, and we promise last time after knowing that background, we would get on with how the Lord began to reel your heart and that's I want to start conversation so year in this openly or somewhat openly lesbian relationship God was set try to get your attention, and he ended up having an interesting discussion with your cousin about sin out of that discussion go because it's informative to see and how to talk with a family member or friend about that same-sex attraction issue yet.

So that took me to church my cousin is her daughter okay 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 because all the other Christians in my life.

For the most part they just were the kind of Christians that if you call them and talk to him.

They had a bring up Leviticus and all these other things and repentance is 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.

Let me ask you because again, this is so instructive to the human soul and how were wired when the Lord says love your neighbor yeah… Start there. So when you have a conversation with somebody and you start with the ruler wrapping over the knuckles that doesn't open your heart, 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 try to fulfill the great commission you know which also not trying to love your neighbor as yourself, and how did the Lord draw you, did he draw you with somebody always bring a lot to you or did he draw you by saying hey you got everything you need. How are you doing, how is your emotional health, housing, mental health, I can appreciate the need a hug and make you cry recent like here 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 I wanted to call when I felt like I was driving himself and I want to hear what you said I would when I speak I say this because I don't ever hear this testimony that you know before I was a Christian. Christians were so hard on me and so harsh that I decided to become one of them is never here that testimony right only here someone like Keisha someone loved me enough to talk with me to help me to connect with me and that is what Jesus did all the time.

He connected with the person coming to him so still in the blank therewith. Keisha, what did she say that was compelling to you, it wasn't even anything she said. I think it was the freedom to confess one that got a place yet 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 loves me and I could not shake it did not matter how much weed smoke how much alcohol I drank I was continually being reminded that God wanted me and it felt like he would leave me alone and saw called Keisha Nessa. Hey.

So God wants me to be a Christian Christian fiction, and she was like you know what she was like for long time I beat myself up when you told me that you are 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, but I pray for you and God told me to hate Keisha I love her more than you do. Keep praying and so I think Keisha's method was motivated by her prayer life is that she started to go to God on my behalf and intercede so that he tempered her inpatients or her insecurity or her discouragement in her dealings with me.

How did you feel when you heard her say I've been praying for you is okay even if they don't elevate you know how it just was like I and then I was like so yeah what I do. She was like God has shown me that you don't realize how much you need him, but he's in a show you how much you Nina. She said she is. They come to church while she didn't say you know read Galatians 5 and I was like okay, that makes no sense and ominous sounding electricians we could profit up top as I think what happened is that God kind increase the intensity of my life are things begin to happen. My father passed away. I got arrested me.

My mother's relationship started to falter. All these things so downhill.

Yes, that was her point yet you need him and is going to show you which is interesting because I think a lot of times we talk about sufferings and trials. We talk about in relation to the Christian, 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 he wanted me to pay attention and because Keisha had already warned me, I saw that this had to be a providential reason are a providential thing of God that my life was becoming so hard to the point that I told my godmother I said to Scott really want me that much that he won't allow me to just be able to do me without the reminder that he exists. Yeah, I love it is my observation experiences, people who are in the valleys.

The Lord brings through the valley goes the people you want to be with the mountaintop people that never experience about what I think they just haven't learned what they need to learn so many ways. 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 brokenhearted and saves those Christian spirit is Christian, since the Lord, I know you to be hard but let's go hand and I think it's a teachable lesson for parents, Christian parents that you don't have to rescue your child out of everything hot Jackie speak to us as Christian parents and when that happens, we didn't talk a lot about where your mom was what she might've said that's okay that could be very personal to you but as Christian parents when you hear those words. Your mom and dad I'm gay, especially as Christian parents.

What are the right first moves to think about. Pray pray immediately in your mind. God help me, 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 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 and so I want to mirror Jesus and God in the way I respond. I go to Genesis 3. Lack is 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 approach them calmly and so I think I want to be the kind of parent that when they confessed to me say thank you first for sharing this with me.

I appreciate that you would think that I'm in a safe enough place for this. And then I would just process with them I would not go straight to Scripture. Honestly, 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. Once comfort needs correction.

Who needs wisdom and sometimes the best wisdom is not wisdom that will convict a wisdom that would even confront. But sometimes the wisdom is wisdom that will love and just be with them in that moment, one of the key things and that's it. I think we struggles 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. II would fall in that category, but helping your child develop their identity in Christ and what does it mean to have that identity in Christ. You can be kind of academic or lofty, but it's important that at age-appropriate times were helping them to identify who we are in Christ right now and have you thought about that for you girls. I'm learning it. I think for myself, I found that the best way to him for me to figure out my identity is for me to understand God's identity is contingent upon who he is and so he is a creator them a creature there a lot implications for me being a creature means that automatically subject to who he is and so even if it's my daughter is saying I want to do it. I want to do. Okay, 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 they're somewhat more authoritative than you are.

That is a kind of I think teaching of identity that made super dramatic but I think it's foundational yeah I think that's the kind of thing I was looking for how we can you know do that drip irrigation truck child hard to make sure they know who they are in Christ and who got it right. It's so important that is that you had. We got out despite the question you had that come to Jesus moment late one night what happened that night. The kind of put you on a totally different trajectory. Yeah so I was in my room doing something really irrelevant. Watching MTV or some and the strongest thought that I've ever had came to my mind, which was that the girl that I was with would be the death of me and when I heard the thought.

It actually disrupted all other thoughts with. I was the only thought that I think that moment you're in an active relationship with the girl. Yeah, we were just together the day before and so I just started to think about my life randomly and kinda did a survey of it. And with that, I thought about the consequences of everything that I love and enjoy all of this is being motivated by the Spirit of God is not me because it doesn't make any sense right as I'm thinking about all I really love leads you no addiction to that that sin will I steal that sin. I'm disrespectful to my parents that sent I just went down the list where I saw all the lesbianism is not your only issue you are holistically sinful and so you are holistically in need of God and sought total… 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 to call his holiness. And so what God I think was trying to show me is not come to me and will work all the other stuff out and so I just had to make a decision which is do I want to give up everything you see 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 wasn't that I chose Jesus because I was afraid to fail. It wasn't that I chose you 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 which is the holy spirit have emphasized that because people can think, oh, she made a logical decision not made a spirit made decision and so what would happen after that was that I repented and believed, but did know that I was repenting and believing that you felt God calling you to make a painful choice in it.

To me this is the first choice the painful choice to break up with that girl so this was step one after your night of conviction. If I could call it that. What compelled you to make that first step I you know and Jesus says if your eye causes you the same gadget out your hand because you say, and kinda she was my hand. She was my hat for me to walk in obedience to Jesus.

I had to let her go, which is typical of any disciple of Jesus.

He would say follow me in which you read next. As they left everything and so I had to leave everything to follow him and I was willing to, but he didn't mean it didn't hurt and saw Calder and I said hey at, I can't be with you anymore just because I have to follow Jesus now and ironically she expected it because again I was a really strange lesbian.

I talked Jesus a lot was really intrigued by him as though she she knew was coming.

For some reason but yeah so I grieved that relationship because I mean gay are not straight or not the emotions were real. The affections were real.

The love is real, but I had to love God more than I loved her jacket want to continue on because you make this commitment. Your connecting with the Lord your moving in a different direction.

You meet Preston your husband speak to that the elements of that how you went over that speed bump up like a call from still going to yeah so I mean that's all real stuff.

So how long you been married how did you guys meet give us the details of that were going on six years in March. It feels like 16 and a good way and the hard way what yeah yeah we met when I was 20 in Los Angeles. I was doing a poem about my story of being X lesbian he happened to be doing a poem about how he used to sleep with everything that could breathe and so he pulled kinda met with our skeletons out of the closet. Both of us being very sexually broken people but they are honest people and I had no intention of being with him. I wanted to just be a Christian love Jesus. I barely liked men at all. Not looking forward to that at all. But as our friendship grew, my affection for him start to grow and I thought it was strange and weird and I didn't know where was coming from but it was the Lord but I would say that the affection was minor and small, and it developed over the years.

It was me liking him as a person that then allow me to like him as a man, that makes sense. I like who he was, which then became me liking what he was, but it took time and it still takes time and it was odd and weird to be with someone who strong in 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 was like you, which is the opposite of complementarity and is in which we see in Genesis wanted to let they were like each other but they were unlike each other and I was some beauty and the complementarity of Adam and Eve, but in lesbianism, you don't actually be able you not able to experience the differences that come in a male and female relationships. I think now being with Preston able to enjoy and like the things about him that are different from me and I benefit from yeah that's a beautiful story that I'm thinking of the development that you had to move into the development of trust and safety huge 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.

What would you suggest to them about developing the trust.

That's what I hear you describing with Preston that over years like you said you were able to develop this trust.

In this sense of safety with him that you could trust yeah wasn't going to hurt you. 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 just a hardened person you know and sought 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 therapies but with her help than I was able to develop some level trust for him and all all people really well. It's really gaining knowledge, healthy perspective, what you cope with what you're doing how you go forward. I appreciate that you not done. It helps our merchants a doctor check. That's it. In that respect.

You emphasize that marriage didn't prove that you changed and that was one of things you mentioned a moment ago. Instead, you mentioned gave you a sense of greater purpose for all of us, even the heterosexual community.

What have you learned in the institution of marriage. What we talk about that it can be a cringe factor, but I've come to this realization as you mentioned a moment ago the complementarity nature of marriage.

I think that does this for a simple reason. He invented marriage. She had made as a sexual right now you could've done it anyway. He wanted to, but I think in his divine wisdom he set up, pull two people together that generally not always been generally very opposite. Think opposite extrovert introvert meeting all of it all and my conclusion now is it's really to rub off the selfishness that we possess to make us more like him. And do you feel that way. Is that what you felt depressed every single day. I would've been okay. Think I was totally fine to say Sir yes it's comfortable but I think with the marriage and relationship.

It's given me a neediness for God that I would not have had otherwise. Because you are commanded and obligated.

I was the 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. You 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 in a different personality to me in a different insight than me and he's gotten God has used him to pull out of me things that I would not of been able to pull out of myself. Marriage is a community 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 now and I think that's a great attitude. I really applaud you for that something it's been a change for me over the years, especially my work. Focus having a different appreciation for my wife and what we encounter in our little struggle strewn and it's something divine going on hate this a fun part. But five weeks after you married Preston you got some really special I was pregnant with our first child so you two are definitely quick enzymes and mufflers warrant. Her birthday is always 9 to 10 months after our anniversary, so that's the thing ever said you right now. They don't but it like your mom so disappointed, but it was fun. I think God knew that if if I did not have that child soon that we probably which is, delay it, which is okay. If that's the way God is leading the plan yeah but I think for us. He knew that man this will help you all love each other more to drop a baby into the mix will and in addition that five weeks and then later you found out some additional information about the baby and what you were going to have that impacted on. I was having a girl and I was scared I cried because again you talking to somebody who had gender identity issues their entire life. I never felt woman enough. I never felt girl enough and now the doctors tell me that I have the privilege and the responsibility of raising my own kind of woman in it. I felt insufficient for the task really, but I had to pray and read in the Scriptures and is just like all things really do work together for the good of those who love God, and God has given me this child, and 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 is like you are a princess without the dress eating, you don't. You don't have to wear a dress to be Royal and that's the kind of thing that I should've heard that I did. How did that Preston would be seen in him, knowing where you're coming from, how is Preston help to reinforce those feelings about well the inadequacies of not being a good enough mom and then encouraging you that you can be the right mom just I can explain he's just a good one 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 yeah. Even today, and 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 you've cooked a meal for her every night even when you're tired even when you get off the plane even after you've preached you still serve you, your tent if you listen you ask all answer all 3046 of her questions like a doll and so I think she's the extrovert. She's him she he he has an eye to the things that I don't have an eye to the great conversation we had with Jackie. As we conclude this two-part test of 2020 Focus on the Family broadcast John when we are this broadcast last time I was amazed by the variety of responses we received that one woman struggling with an eating disorder told us that this conversation reminded her of her identity in Christ. Another woman in the midst of a painful divorce Jackie story helped her remember how powerful God is.

That's why we share the stories. The goal is to point people to Jesus, it's all about encouraging people to commit or recommit their lives to him. And if your supporter focus know that your gifts are making that possible every day through this broadcast other ministries here Focus on the Family if you believe in what we're doing here. Focus would you join the support team today.

It's a critical time of year for us to hear from you so we can start the new year off really strong when you give us a copy of Jackie's book a girl to say thank you for helping, hurting families, our number is 800 K in the word family or click the link in the episode's on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back. As we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ. January is sanctity of human life, and you can join Focus on the Family as we love every heart with you.

Join us for the March for life in Washington DC or you make an impact where you live. We can all stand up for the truth, and for life. Share your heart, your kindness and your hope with others through the 2021 March for life and sanctity of human life on for life for life

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