Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Kerry Cook's Tesimony

I attended a Christian Science church with my mother and older brother until I was 16, when I started staying home on Sundays with my father and two younger brothers. I had cut myself off from God and my mother after being sexual assaulted by a boy at church, and the feelings I had for girls since elementary school were being encouraged in Girl Guides. I left home suicidal at 17 and found a place to belong by 18: radical lesbian feminism politics at Sydney University. I had a party lifestyle in numerous short term lesbian relationships, and studied homosexual and feminist history. After I graduated I worked in anti-discrimination, sued my employer for lesbian discrimination, and was elected to Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby Board.

But the peace I thought I had found was threatened by a transgender board member pressuring everyone to adopt a queer identity. I withdrew from my public role to the privacy of a permanent relationship, where I was becoming increasingly aware of emotional abuse and co-dependency in lesbian relationships. My partner ended our relationship when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, claiming it was sinful. I strongly disagreed, but decided to try going to church because I had great respect for her mother who had died gracefully overseas after a long illness.  Her mother wrote to me on a Catholic card in her last days and I was deeply touched.

I was welcomed at an inner-city Anglican Church, where I was gently told that it didn’t matter what I had done in the past - all sin separates us from God. A few months later I took an Alpha course and later recognized my decade in homosexual relationships as a sin. I began to see that I had tried to replace my mother’s love with a woman who was similar to her in many ways. Then one Saturday night, I was getting ready to attend a homosexual party near my parents’ house when I hit my head on the corner of my fireplace and fell to the ground bleeding. I stayed there, said a prayer of repentance and got up feeling loved and forgiven. I accepted Christ.

My behavior and thoughts changed to heterosexual quickly, despite the local pastor’s advice not to mention anything about my homosexual past, because I worked hard on identifying with my mother. I was baptized in June 1999, left Australia for California and got married in 2000. A year before I gave birth to the first of our two sons, my mother was dying of cancer. I stayed close to her hospital bed and accepted the mother-daughter peace, love, and belonging I had always been looking for. One day while looking up a parenting question on the Focus on the Family website, I saw the link to Exodus. The testimonies inspired me to speak publically a couple of years later when biased homosexual and transgender curriculum was introduced into my son’s kindergarten.

I am grateful for any remaining freedom to call homosexual behavior a sin and share my insights into the deeper sins and hurts behind homosexual behavior. I didn’t just magically become a devoted wife and mother. God forgave me just as I was because I accepted the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. God continues to forgive me as I walk out on a limb learning heterosexual skills.

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” 1 John 4:18.


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