When Gay Meets Grace: My Redemption Story pt1

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.

A lie is only able to live as long as it is constantly perpetuated by the believer. For fifteen plus years I believed a lie the Adversary had been telling me that I was a homosexual. Unfortunately, I bought it hook, line, and sinker only for it to drag me farther down than I ever wanted to go. Now, fifteen years of being set free of that lie by the grace of God this is my Redemption Story.

To start with me would be to actually start with my parents. My father was born and raised in a little town called Amherst just west of Cleveland, OH. He was born during the age when a young man would choose to serve their Country by enlisting in the military. He had always wanted to fly a plane with the Air Force, but with glasses they wouldn’t let him. As he was gifted with the knowledge of mathematics, he was given a “desk to fly” as he always put it. During the course of his four-year military service, he was stationed at Grissom Air Force Base in Bunker Hill just north of Kokomo, IN. It was here since he had a car that he met my mother on a blind date. She had been born and raised in Kokomo and worked at one of the local Kmart stores. According to my mother it was love at first sight, and after a six-month courtship they were married on the last day of the year. This was planned as my dad was to be deployed to Japan the next month instead of Vietnam during the war. After being in Japan for a year, my mama went over to be with him. About seven to eight months before they left in 1970 to come back to the States, I was born. In fact, my birth certificate is five pages long as my dad said I was “imported” back into the U.S.A.

My mama was raised Methodist and Lutheran based on which parent’s church she visited. Usually she went to the United Methodist Church that her mother attended. My dad had written “atheist” on his dog tags which my mom always said, “if she knew that she would’ve never married him.” I don’t believe her as looking back it was God’s plan they get married. In 1973 my paternal grandmother passed away in March of that year. My dad raised in a somewhat religious home where his mother was a devout Christian. His parents were members of the Foursquare Gospel Church, but he had left sometime during his teenage years. Her death shook him so much that he and my mama decided to find a church to attend – before they were saved. Several months later a friend of his invited them to attend a revival service at a Baptist church in Kokomo. My parents attended while my mother’s parents watched us three boys. It was at this revival service that both my parents came to know and accept Christ as their Savior. They immediately joined the church and enrolled all three of us in the Christian school.

To better understand my parents, my dad was raised in a home that didn’t express love very well. Neither one of his parents were abusive, but they were broken by the fall. His mom was more expressive than his dad. In fact, after his youngest sister was born (he was the oldest of three children) his parents slept in different bedrooms. My mama on the other hand was lavished in love. I can remember both of the grandparents hugging and kissing us boys (I am the oldest of three) in a good way. We were always told by our grandparents that they loved us. My mama would always reiterate that multiple times a day not just in words but also in deeds. In fact, she would expect a kiss from us whenever we left home, our friends watching was no matter to her. The summer between my 1st and 2nd grades of school, my parents switched churches and Christian schools to a more rigid form of Baptist faith. Immediately I had problems making friends, and the one I did have at the new school became fair-weather quickly. That first year I was invited to an all-boys birthday slumber party. My parents knew the other parents as they attended the same church, and their sons went to the same school. Most of the boys and I were in the same grade. It was at this slumber party where I was introduced to sex at eight years old. I was made fun of for not kissing a boy pretending to be a female. I was called a coward and it only brought shame on me so I never told my parents or teachers what had happened. It was after that night when being bullied and name calling of “gay boy” started at school. The same Christian school where my two brothers and I attended.

Grace and peace, James

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