By Ryan Zepeda —
Samuel’s mother prayed but couldn’t get pregnant. So when Samuel was conceived, he was her miracle child.
Growing up in a Christian household in Fort Myers, Florida,, little Samuel Jordan III dreamed of becoming a pastor.
But at eight years old, he was sexually abused by a friend’s family member.
“He starts saying things like ‘We’re just acting, I’m gonna be the man, you’re gonna be the woman,’” says Samuel. “The innocence that I carried as a little boy that loved Jesus, I really felt like that got snatched away from me,” he recounts on a 700 Club video.
Samuel didn’t tell his mom about the first traumatic abuse. It happened again, followed by more violations.
Perversely, Samuel began to enjoy the sin and seek it regularly.
By age 14, he was exploring homosexuality on his own with friends from school.
Meanwhile, feelings of guilt and shame troubled him at church.
“I asked God, ‘Whatever this feeling is, I need you to take this out of me,’” Samuel recalls. But “it seemed every time I prayed, nothing really changed.”
The routine of secret sin got upended when mom discovered an explicit note in his backpack. She was shocked and decided to take a radical stand of tough love: to cut off her relationship with her son.
“My relationship with her at that moment took a shift. She told me, ‘If this is how you’re gonna live, I can’t talk to you.’” Samuel remembers, crying. ”I was like her blessing, but I became her curse, and she could no longer look at me.”
In hopes to restore his relationship with his mom, he halted the promiscuity.
He never could patch things up with his mother. She died of cancer after two years of broken communication with her son.
“I felt like that last piece of me had left the earth,” he says. “There was a hollowness in my heart and Samuel was gone.”
Then his father moved in with another woman and Samuel was left on his own.
With no one around to support him, Samuel gravitated back towards the life of sin and found acceptance in the gay community.
“I really hated Samuel. He wasn’t accepted, Samuel was disowned, Samuel was alone,” he continues. “So when I finally saw (the gay) lifestyle and found a sense for belonging, I went for it.”
Samuel changed his name to Simone and lived as a transgender and got breast implants and worked as an escort.
“Simone was that person that got the level of affirmation and love and acceptance that Samuel never got,” Samuel states.
At the same time, he wrestled with guilt and shame.
“Though I had become this person, I didn’t know who I was looking at,” Samuel recalls. “I just felt like my inside who I really was, was now being destroyed.”
After he dropped out of Tallahassee Community College, he moved back to Fort Myers into the home of a family friend who took him on the condition that he go to church with her.
He wasn’t altogether turned off by the idea of going to church. He felt very lost and hoped to find some direction.
As he listened to the worship, he felt a new sensation coming over him.
“I knew I was desperate for something, and that moment made sense,” Samuel says. “I was desperate for Him and I was lost without Him, and so as he began to sing, began to cry from a very desperate place.”
Right there in church, a spiritual battle erupted with Samuel in the middle. The devil told him: “You can’t go back. You have implants.”
On the other hand, God spoke to his heart: I’m desperate for you too. I want you to come back. I’ve been waiting on you, I don’t care who you’ve become, I don’t care what you’ve done to your body. I’m willing to do anything it takes to bring you out, if you’re willing to say yes.
Samuel responded and threw his hands up to God.
“I’m free! I’m free! I’m free!” he said in service.
“As I’m saying I’m free, I feel like all of the junk, all of the shame, everything the enemy had placed on me had let me go because I was free.”
Not long after, Samuel transitioned back to being a man, starting with removing his implants.
“God told me you just gotta say yes and I’m going to show you that I am God enough to fix it,” Samuel says. “I’m God enough to show you that I can bring you back to my original intent for your life. And that’s what He did for me. That won me over.”
If you want to know more about a personal relationship with God, go here
Ryan Zepeda studies at the Lighthouse Christian Academy in Santa Monica.