Last July Jessica Cooper boldly took the stage at Women of the Word and shared her riveting testimony of being led into a lifestyle of same-sex attraction, and how the Lord rescued her and delivered her into a place of freedom, passion, and purpose. It's a difficult topic for many to discuss, but a necessary conversation for the church to have. As a follow up, below are some additional thoughts from Jessica in response to questions many have had.
Q: What were your thoughts after you shared your testimony at WOW? Was it hard to share such a personal journey in such a public way?
A: With each new level or task the Lord leads me to, I think He lets go of my hand just for a second to see if I will take that first step on my own. God didn’t create us as robots, He gave us the freedom of choice. Leading up to the first time I gave my testimony I was terrified worried myself almost sick all day. Then God finally said to me, “Jessica, this is your story so just get up there and read it. It doesn’t have to be fancy. The story itself is what people care about.” Once I thought about it like that, I wasn’t quite so anxious. You see I’m not comfortable on a stage and it could be simply from lack of being on a stage, never the less it still scares me. July 18th, I was expecting the anxiousness and jitters to overwhelm me all the same but they didn’t’ this time. First, because of all the prayers that were covering me, and second because I accepted the task and God could see in my heart that I wasn’t going to let my feeling and emotions control what He had called me to. So He let go of my hand and let me walk on stage, and in his perfect timing with the Holy Spirit he spoke thru me and covered me with the anointing of my testimony and our Victory together.
Q: How do you feel about dating men now? Are you looking for a relationship?
A: I didn’t leave that lifestyle with the desire to be with a man. I left with a desire to be with Christ. I haven’t really thought about dating or developing a love life with a man because I am in love with God. Right now my time is sacred; I’m selfish with my time. But I have had talks with the Lord about this and have asked Him to please only bring a man into my life if he is going to drive my passion for Christ even higher. I pray that the man God has chosen for me is even now continuing his walk with Christ so that everyday his love for Christ grows stronger so that when we do meet we will be perfect for each other (equally yoked). I ask the Lord to please give him an understanding heart, one able to accept that he will never be number one in my life. Jesus Christ is my father, my husband, my best friend, my provider, my comforter, and He is such a gentleman to me even when He is disciplining me. I truly feel that I am His bride.
Q: There had to be so much more to your testimony. What else would you have shared at WOW if you would have had more time?
A: There is a part of my testimony that is in a journal entry I wrote July 14, 2015. I wrote this one night as I was watching a show on Netflix called The Bible Series. It was the episode of Jesus being crucified and then his resurrection.
As Jesus stood there griping the post, being beaten repeatedly, skin ripped from his flesh and then crucified for our sins, my heart hurt. How could I deny his word?! How could I not strive to live without sin?! Now I know I’m not perfect and I will make mistakes so every day I repent of my sins. The more I am taught the truth, the greater my desire becomes to live denying my flesh. Jesus lived a perfect live free from sin yet he suffered more than anyone could imagine. And why? So that I could live for eternity so that we could receive our inheritance into the kingdom of Heaven. I have turned away from that lifestyle, that part of me is dead and I have been reborn to live for Him. Every one of us have sinned every one of us have struggles. Can you choose to deny your flesh desires that you have? I can’t turn my back on what he sacrificed for me. Sin is sin but I chose to live my life everyday striving to stay on the path God has chosen for me. I am a child of God and nothing can take me from Him! Father I am your daughter I will fight the good fight. The enemy no longer has control over me any longer. To one day stand in his presence and hear him say “welcome home Jessica, I love you so much” is the greatest gift I will do anything to receive. Where does my help come from, my help comes from the Lord. He will not let my foot slip and I will not let the enemy get a foothold on my promises from my Father.
Q: What would you say to friends and family members who have loved ones either struggling with or committed to a same-sex attraction lifestyle?
The other day a very close friend of mine asked me this very question. What was the most surprising about this was I’ve been spending so much time thinking about how I would answer these questions, and then when someone actually asked me, the answer came so clearly.
"Pretty sure my daughter has a girlfriend. I’m praying. I’ve sent her your testimony but not sure if she's even watched or listened. I feel so defeated right now."
I would've rather had this conversation over the phone instead of via text, but she wasn't available to talk. I responded by telling her it is okay to let her know you don’t agree but you need to also stress that regardless of her decision, you love her all the same. It is not her decision that defines her. This is a symptom to a deeper issue.
If I didn't know my family would be there for me when I walked away, I don’t know if I could've walked away. I don't know If I would’ve had the courage to step out on my own and trust God to be there to pick me up. I had faith but it was very small or immature. Now that I have a relationship with God, my faith has matured beyond what I could've ever imagined. So knowing my family would be there with open arms ready to support me, pick me back up and love me gave me so much confidence that I could do it. It’s not your job to keep her from that lifestyle, but if she comes to you for advice for help then you help show her God’s truth and what His word says. Yes pray, pray every day but don’t ever feel defeated. If you try to take this in your hands, then you take it out of God’s hands. When I was still very much in that lifestyle, if someone would’ve tried to force or aggressively tell me how wrong I was, I would run as fast as I could to get away from them. It was not effective and I did not have ears to hear what truth they were trying to give me. Please just show her constant love, a direct reflection of God’s love. Because the greatest of these is LOVE.
So if someone were to ask me what to do I would say LOVE, PRAY and have FAITH to wait patiently for God to work.