Every year, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth’s ministry, Revive Our Hearts, holds a conference at which a number of different speakers share on a single topic. In 2018, Jackie Hill Perry, a writer, poet and hip hop artist was one of those speakers, sharing her story of God setting her free of lies she had believed that kept her from the truth about God and herself.
Gay Girl Good God: The Story of Who I Was and Who God Has Always Been is just that. This isn’t a linear autobiography, but a memoir focusing on what was and is the most important thing about the author-her identity. From a very young age, Jackie Hill Perry always knew she was different in a way that should be hidden.
The first section of the book is titled “Who I Was.” Raised by a single mother who took her to church, Perry was aware of the conflict between what church said about her same sex attraction and what she felt. By high school she had moved from a closeted tomboy to openly lesbian relationships. Experiencing affirmation and acceptance in the gay community didn’t lessen the conviction that God wasn’t affirming her life. God was, as she puts it, haunting her, her mind and even her dreams. How could, why would God love her if He knew she was gay? Feeling pursued by Him and not understanding why, she finally sought out a cousin who knew the Lord. Eventually, alone in her room, the realization of her need for God, and not just because of her sexuality brought her to the point of surrender.
The second section of the book is titled “Who I Became”, and follows her story as she engages in discipleship, discovers that God will use her gift of words for His glory, and pursues transformation into the identity God has always known was hers. On the subject of discipleship, Perry is very clear that believers need to discipleship in every area of their life, and not just in a particular area of sin or temptation.
In fact, throughout the book, especially the last half, the perspective that her lack of peace with God was about sin, not a sin is prevalent, and makes the book helpful for anyone no matter what they struggle with. The last section of the book is titled “Same Sex Attraction AND…” It is the last three chapters that take the book from her story and God’s work in her life to what we need to know about same sex attraction (SSA) and the gospel. As important as Perry’s story is, these chapters are worth the price of the book. While they primarily address themselves to the person who is SSA, they will also benefit the Christian who aren’t. The chapters on identity and endurance are encouraging and informative and the final chapter on what she calls the heterosexual gospel is gold. The gospel isn’t so people become heterosexual and eventually marry, it is so sinners of every sin can be saved. God works out what that looks like in each one of us, and this chapter has so much hope for not only the same sex attracted but singles as well.
Throughout the book, Perry reveals herself to be as good a Bible teacher as she is a story teller. Her unpacking of scripture is solid as she lays truth alongside the lies she was trying to make peace with in her own life. In doing that within the chapters of her story she is leading us from darkness and confusion to light and life in a non-confrontational way. As a poet and writer, Perry’s words are lyrical, sometimes weighty and always illuminating. Her style is uniquely transparent, not because of the details of events she reveals but the language she chooses to expose the thoughts and emotions of her experiences.
The story of a life transformed, insights into an important topic in our culture today, and above all, the power of the gospel to save and to keep make Gay Girl Good God a book that is worth the reading.
Read well, friends.
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B & H Books 2018
***Thank you to B & H Books for providing threeladiesoflit.com with a complimentary copy for review. ***This post contains affiliate links, which means purchase made from said links provides a tiny remuneration to the ladies.***