When Gay Meets Grace: My Redemption Story pt2

NOTICE: This is a multi-part blog post series. It is the testimony of James Jewell, Jr. The entire story needs to be broken apart so give him time.

Fast forward to the teenage years… I was awkward and gangly since I had hit a growth spurt between my sixth and seventh grade years. Getting to the height of 6′ is not for the faint of heart. It was at the age of thirteen I was sexually molested in the boy’s bathroom by a senior in my Christian school. Again, I didn’t know how to handle the experience and situation, nor the trauma it created. Prior to this incident I had put the 2nd grade sleepover abuse in the back of my mind. I knew I was male, and it was at this tender age of puberty where I was totally becoming attracted to females. A teenage girl that was a friend of mine who went to the same church and school became pregnant by her boyfriend. My mama tried to get my dad to give us boys the “talk”, but he continually refused. For whatever reason he chose not to talk to us about sex or anything reproductive between men and women. My mama always said that if our father had been born in Intercourse, PA that he would lie and tell everyone he was born in Hershey. It was this neglect of knowledge that made sex so much more appealing to a fresh teenager. My grandparents lived in the country, and we would sometimes find dirty books thrown out onto their front yard from passing cars. We boys would pick them up and hide them to read later. My dad and Grandpa never sanctioned pornography nor anything demeaning or degrading of women. They always placed my mama and Grandma high, and showed us how to reverence them as our mother and grandmother. Since I didn’t have a girlfriend to express this highly charged sexual outlet, I began masturbating. To this day I remember how and where I started but will refrain from sharing. It led to a thirty-year bondage.

The summer before I turned fourteen, I began acting out sexually with a male friend. Our acting out only lasted several months, but it began a hunger in me for same-sex attraction as another sexual outlet. Since in my mind I didn’t have the connection to my father that other boys did, I gravitated to my mother. My mama would always tell us boys to ‘go to your father as he isn’t coming towards you’. This always bothered me as in my mind it should be his responsibility to come towards me. My mother did and other relatives as well. Again, he didn’t abuse us or treat us unfair. He always modeled stoicism and calm restraint as the masculine image. It was always easier to gravitate to my mama instead of my dad even though I loved both. My grandparents owned a quilt shop and all three of us boys worked in the family business. God had given me a gift of loving fabric as art. I could express it at the quilt shop, but nowhere else for fear of being bullied. Little did I know they were God-given talents that would be used throughout my life. Even to this day I continue to use the talent in ways I never thought was possible. God has never let my attention to detail go to waste.

At age fourteen I accepted Christ as my Savior and was baptized during an evangelistic service at my church. My mama swore that I had done this already at age seven, yet I couldn’t remember. My dad was just excited that I had finally placed my faith in Christ. As to me, I knew full well that it was more than the homosexual activity that condemned me to Hell. For instance, I had lied, cheated, and also disobeyed my parents multiple times and on many occasions. But Spiritual growth was slow as I chose to keep doing some of the sins from which I had been freed. The church I was a member and grew up in didn’t have the resources to help me. They taught that same-sex attraction and homosexuality was a sin God could not forgive. I still refused to let God have full control. From ages thirteen to seventeen, my fantasies were played out through vain imaginations, masturbation, and mutual masturbation with the occasional guy. After turning eighteen, I added pornography on video. Another hook the Adversary was sinking into my thoughts and actions. Through the porn video I could imagine and identify myself as the female being used by the male. Strange to say but it felt “natural” as I felt I had been used for those purposes. Still, I was in love with my high school sweetheart. We had met at our church, and I was immediately smitten with her. We saw a lot of each other as our mothers were best friends. Just as I was still sexually attracted to women I was becoming sexually attracted to men. I continued in both of those duplicitous fantasies. It was then the Adversary began feeding me the lie that, “Since I wasn’t having sex with women, I was still pure”.

Grace and peace, James

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