As Christian women, we strive to please God in every area of our lives. Sometimes though, especially with relationships, we find it difficult to distinguish the good from the bad.
This can lead to heartache, pain, and sometimes, even worse choices. So, it’s a good idea to listen for God’s voice…establish His approval, if you will, when it comes to choosing a mate.
In our “When God Said Yes” series, Author and BMWK Writer Nikki Carpenter introduces three phenomenal women who paid attention to God’s voice and the life changing results that followed.
Jackie Hill Perry has a story like no other. Once a lesbian, in 2009 Jackie released a poem entitled “My Life As A Stud”, chronicling her transition from homosexual to heterosexual. Today Jackie is married and a mother to a beautiful baby girl. We had a chance to chat with Jackie about her unique love story and why it’s imperative for women to wait for God to say yes.
BMWK: What were you doing before you met your husband?
Jackie: Prior to coming to know Jesus in October 2008, the only meaningful relationship I ever had was with a woman. So, during the first few year’s of trying to understand life through the lenses of surrender, I had a lot of challenges: “Who will I marry?”, “Will I be genuinely attracted to them or will I secretly want a girl instead?” are a few of the questions I rehearsed on occasion.
I was pretty sure that God didn’t call me to singleness, but how me being in a relationship with a man would flesh itself out kept me still. Still- as in, patient with life as I knew it. There was a lot of healing that needed to take place within, so I chose to focus on learning how to live.
BMWK: How did you and Preston meet?
Jackie: After discovering that I had a knack for creative writing in the form of poetry, I spent much of my time traveling to different churches in my hometown of St. Louis to perform. I eventually got introduced to a ministry by the name of The Passion For Christ Movement (P4CM for short).
They had an event called The Lyricist Lounge in Los Angeles that was growing like wildfire due to their presence on social media. Through some sovereign led instances, I ended up being invited to feature on their stage around 2009. During the show, two poets walked on stage to do a poem entitled “Soul Ties”.
One was a young woman with wood brown locks and deep Nigerian skin by the name of Itohan. The other was a 5’7, crooked cap wearing, Chicago bred, young black poet named Preston Perry. I didn’t care to know either of them to be honest, I was more intrigued about what would tumble out of their mouths. As I heard them “spit”, the skill and passion captivated me.
They spoke about pre-marital sex with such conviction and warning to those who were recklessly falling into it’s trap. After I performed my poem entitled ”My Life As A Stud” that chronicled the lesbian life I lived a year and some change prior to that moment, I walked to the back of the church to visit the restroom.
When I looked up, I saw Preston standing near the bathroom, he complimented me on my poetry and I critiqued him on his performance. From there a small friendship developed. We exchanged numbers a few months later over facebook. Neither of us had any romantic feelings for the other, but rather a mutual respect anchored in being kindred in personality.
BMWK: When did you realize you had feelings for Preston?
Jackie: Preston and I were friends for 3 years when my heart began to shift. My mind started to flip itself into affection for this “homie”, which I thought was weird. I presumed that I was probably thirsty for a relationship. I couldn’t possibly be attracted to a man, let alone one of my closest male friends. But he was different.
Preston was everything I thought men were not. He was patient, attentive, compassionate and CONSISTENT. His traits were so contrary to the father I saw once every 2-?3 years. So much so, that it softened me. His character opened me up to the idea of relationships. Most would’ve probably taken it upon themselves to pursue the man their hearts dance for, but I did the opposite.
Instead of pursuing Him, I sought God. I sought Him for wisdom, self control, and contentment in His will. I was aware that God calls the man to pursue the woman, so with that in mind, after laying my thoughts out before God, I waited. I didn’t wait with twiddling fingers and an anxious heart but I continued to live and enjoy life. There was no reason to worry or force God’s hand in the matter. If I really believed He was sovereign when it came to my circumstances, then surely He would be in control when it came to my relationships.
Two weeks after I prayed that prayer, Preston called me and said, ”I know this may be weird, but God has laid you on my heart as the woman I should pursue. I don’t even know if you like me but …uh… do you like me?! “ To which I told him with humor in my tone, “Yes, I do.” God is faithful.
I trusted Him to do what I know He does best, BE GOD. To make a long story short, Preston and I were engaged 6 months later and married on March 1, 2014. Our journey was one of the most difficult times of my life and still is in some sense. There was much healing that needed to take place. I cut him a lot. Not with knives but with the brokenness I had hidden.
Yet, he loved me through it all. Our love story mirrored, by grace, the ultimate love story – of God in Christ, dying for His creation so that they may be His bride. The bride of Christ is not as it should be, just like me, but she will be a picture of perfection one day. In the mean time, she is being led with love and truth by her bridegroom, just as Preston strives to do daily.
BMWK: What is your advice for women who desire to be married?
Jackie: We are all made in the image of God, so we are inclined to desire relationships in some way, whether romantic or friendly. For some of us, these inclinations seem to overpower us, subsequently causing our souls to crave marriage or the like. This crowds our judgment, kills our peace, and distracts our souls.
Marriage is beautiful, but marriage is hard. Luckily, I was surrounded by a community of married women that allowed me to not only see it’s joys, but it’s difficulties, which gave me a great perspective. There were things that God needed me to do that required my singleness. And I did my best to enjoy it to the max.
I traveled all over the country, poured my self into ministry, and made God my aim. I was not merely made for human relationships but mainly for a supernatural one with the creator of the universe. It’s important to understand that because it will not only build contentment but ready you for when God says ,”Yes.”
BMWK: Why is it important for women to wait on their “When God Said Yes” moment?
Jackie: If we love God while we are single, with all of our heart, mind, and soul,when providence places your husband in your path, you will be able to love him rightly. Not as a worshipper becoming one with it’s idol, but as a wife ready to serve her husband as her first ministry. Just let Him do what He does best, BE GOD.
BMWK, how did you know God said yes?
“When God Said Yes” is Nikki’s first book discussing a woman’s journey from rejection to total trust in God’s timing for love. Available Now! Click here for more information.