When Gay Meets Grace: My Redemption Story pt5

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.

Don’t ever believe someone when they say that doing your own thing pays… because one day it will collect. Collection for me began with several car accidents. Nothing life-threatening, but enough to shake me so that I could tell it was chastisement from the Lord. In the first accident the Chrysler Le Baron I was driving was completely totaled, yet I walked away miraculously without a scratch. I’m talking total T-bone in the driver’s side, almost every window smashed or cracked. The kind of accident where the car’s frame moved 16” over on the chassis. Second accident I was driving my Chevy Blazer trying to not hit someone who pulled out in front of me then stopped. I saw the baby car seat in the back seat, so I decided to aim for the closest light pole. That didn’t work so I drove headfirst into the ravine behind them. If you know anything about SUV’s you are not supposed to drive straight into a ravine. Instead of flipping the car over, it chose to just bounce off the other side of the ravine and after dancing around a bit on the pavement come to a complete stop upright on all four tires. That car was partially totaled. I’ve had several deer accidents, the soft top of a Chevy Tracker flies off while being driven in the middle of a thunderstorm, sitting at stoplights and having another driver hit from behind going forty plus mph. None of those accidents stopped me or my sinful actions. Let alone change any part of my heart to get my attention. God then chose to use bankruptcy where all my worldly possessions totaled a measly $2,000.00. That Chevy SUV, repossessed by the bank. My apartment vacated, furniture and anything of value was sold in multiple yard sales. Ended up moving into the basement of my youngest brother’s house. I had to use a taxi service for several months until I could save up $300.00 to buy an old teal colored Geo Prism with the front window busted, and the replacement window sitting in the back seat. Yes, I knew my Heavenly Father was chastising me all the way, but I refused to listen as I kept quenching the Holy Spirit.

After several years of pulling myself back up by my “bootstraps”, I considered myself back on my feet. I had a stable job with income that was paying the bills. Through a gay dating app I met a guy that I liked and wanted to have sex with. We met, hit it off, and I “fell in love”. My mother died in Spring 2001 at the age of fifty-four, and by the end of that year he asked me to move in with him. He had just bought a house in Lafayette, IN, and I was wanting to get out of Kokomo with all it’s bad memories. Thinking that moving would solve some of my problems. Again, the church I had grown up in pushed all of us boys out of her will. With this being the last straw against us, I hired a lawyer to get back what we thought was ours. More on that later. We read in the Bible how the Lord uses lost people to bring about his plans, and that is exactly what he did here. I lived with my male partner for seven plus years, yet those years were literally hell on earth masqueraded by a happy facade. Sin was creating a gap that I could never fill as I would not be faithful to my partner. I had become addicted to sex, and used chat rooms, dating apps, and bars to try to dull the never-ending desire to be with as many men as possible. Drinking, drugs, and parties only caused more problems than solve them. My partner became less interested in me as I was in him since we were using each other. A sad part of this story is he fell in love with me. When we started dating he was in the closet. I being totally out and having my flame on high made him become bold. He soon came out to his family, and followed me to the bars, etc. I was so self-absorbed that when I cheated his affection didn’t even cross my mind. He was already addicted to pornography, and I would never be perfectly pixelated to please him. It didn’t take long to want out of it all, but I could never find a way on my own. A couple of years into living together I left him and went to stay at a friend’s home close to Kokomo. Little did I know that she had become a Christian and gave me Spiritual advice of leaving my partner. After a couple days he showed up to take me back to his house. It was a vicious cycle of one more year, one more year. When I did listen to the Holy Spirit, he always told me it would be better if I removed my grip from off my life. Sadly being stubborn and in love with my sin I refused by pushing him to the back of my mind. Sedating it with drinking, drugs, and my sins.

It wasn’t until at the age of 33, after family elders died, that through a series of events I chose to get sober. Even though I was still addicted to sex, it was the drinking and drugs that affected me more. I had inherited some money from my mother’s estate, and used it to get another degree, an Associate of Arts in Interior Decorating. So here I was a homosexual with the ability to make your home fabulous! It was through this love of fabric that made me see it was a God-given talent. Since I knew all about quilts, it took some time to understand color theory for interior decorating. Yet I knew how to manufacture window treatments and soft fashions. The Lord allowed me to start a business, but even through this endeavor he used for his purpose. I was the only male interior decorator in town, so my sales skyrocketed the first three years. This was the beginning of my “reigning” downfall and ultimate return to the Father. God chose to bless the business and in three years it tripled in profit. Unfortunately, the credit was taken by myself via the contacts I had made while being a server at a downtown restaurant. I was given jobs that only seasoned decorators would be able to acquire. Some of the more established designers and decorators were not the least pleased. A couple did give great business advice. Then like a crack in a dam God began to slowly erode all my plans. First, God drove a wedge between me and my partner. Happiness and bliss were fading quickly, and I was becoming more aware of the pigsty I had placed myself. Reality is way too real of an existence compared to pornography, and since we were both addicted it made for an awful reality. Sex was also becoming less fun and more of a chore. No longer drinking my way through sex made me see how tedious it had become. I started sleeping at the office just to stay away from home. Excuses were made, and no amount of couples therapy was going to fix our problem. Friends only advised “Band-Aids” that too soon were ripped off during the next fight. I poured myself into the business just to feel something of a high or accolade.

Grace and peace, James

Photo courtesy of istock

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