"I used to be a lesbian."
I picked this book up not really knowing what to expect. My first thought was "Ooooh! What a pretty cover!" Then, "Oh wow, I need to know more." And then I began reading, which didn't take me long because it's not even 200 pages. But what is in here is so good and raw and honest and beautiful and chalk FULL of God's goodness and mercy and grace.
Jackie's Hill Perry's story is a unique one for sure. She writes that before she could even spell her name, she knew she liked girls instead of boys. Her father was absent, minus a day here and there, and he told her once that if he never saw her again that he wouldn't be that upset. At age five, she was sexually assaulted at a friends house by the older brother. Then by the time she was 18, she had embraced both masculinity and homosexuality with every fiber of her being. And it was during her second relationship with a woman that she started using drugs.
Then God broke in and changed everything.
I seriously can't get over how powerful this book was. Not just her story, but it made me look at my own life and my own sin, and how I look at the friends and family I know and love that would identify themselves as gay and ask myself, "have I been truly loving them and speaking the gospel, or have I failed"?
After finishing this book, I came out with two big take-aways. The first is that as Christians, who may or may not have people they love who are gay, we need to make sure we are speaking more about Christ to them than hell. As soon as I finished the book, I pulled out my phone and started following Jackie on Instagram. I scrolled through and found a video of her being interviewed about the book and she said that when she was living her life before, all she heard was hell and that's where she would end up if she didn't change. Nobody talked to her about Jesus and his mercy and grace and wisdom. What?! The second would be that we stop making marriage the ultimate goal to hit as Christians. It's wonderful and awesome ( I would know) but it's not the "highest glory" that I think we sometimes preach that it is. To a same-sex attracted Christian, they may (like Jackie) marry someone of the opposite sex, but they may not. They may be called to a life of singleness. And that is OKAY. In both, God is glorified.
I encourage you to pick it up even if you're hesitant. This topic isn't always easy, but reading something that challenges you is important. It helps you grow. And reading someones story, I find, is a helpful gateway into challenging topics.
For more information on Gay Girl, Good God by Jackie Hill Perry, come in and see us, or visit our website here.