My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
“The Story of Who I Was and Who God Has Always Been”
Jackie Hill Perry and I couldn’t be more different, which makes this an odd addition to my book list, but it came highly recommended as a resource for empathy and understanding when talking to people in the LGBT community. I actually put this book in my Amazon cart to purchase later, but my wife saw the description and wanted to read it as well, so she ordered it and this one got moved up to the top of my list.
Perry’s book is divided into three parts – the first section tells who she was, the second who she became after an encounter with God, while the third takes a closer look at the issue of same-sex attraction itself. The first two parts are primarily biographical while the remaining one is informative. All three parts are full of scripture and stories and poetry and love. She can’t help it; her confidence and passion leaps off the page.
Jackie is a poet, and the words seem to flow from her pen so freely, making this book an easy read. When she describes her struggles, she paints a picture with words that allow you to imagine yourself standing right beside her through it all – when her dad leaves, when she is smoking with her girlfriend on the back porch, when she is talking to God in her bedroom.
As a young adult, she knew God was calling her, but not in the way she had expected.
“God was not calling me to be straight, He was calling me to himself. The choice to lay aside sin and take hold of holiness was not synonymous with heterosexuality. From my prior understanding of God as told by the few Christians I had met, to choose God would be to inevitably choose men too, even if my liking of them became a way for me to chase away the gayness without God’s help. I figured that’s what would please him most. That when He looked at me He saw a wife before He saw a disciple, but God was not a Las Vegas chaplain or an impatient mother intent on sending a man my way to cure me of my homosexuality. He was God. A God after my whole heart, desperate to make it new, committed to making it like Him. In my becoming holy as He is, I would not be miraculously made into a woman that didn’t like women. I’d be made into a woman that loved God more than anything. If marriage ever came, or singleness called me by name, He wanted to guarantee by the work of His hands that both would be lived unto Him.”
Put all three parts together, and this is a powerful biography packed full of scripture. I began reading with the understanding this this was a book about Jackie Hill Perry, but by the end I realized that this was really a book about our Good God.