Posted by: minnow | June 4, 2014

A Love Letter With Our Children

A month or so ago a friend asked me if I knew of any resources that could help her family navigate the “I just found out I have a gay son” path.  She knew I began my journey on the same path a couple years ago and she was still in the “this isn’t public knowledge yet” stage.  I immediately reached out to a woman I’d met on-line who was a few years further along the path than I am.  My new friend invited me to a private “Moms of gay children” support group and I’ve slowly been learning from these ladies and their experiences. Our two common threads are 1). We have and have chosen to love no matter what our children who identifies as part of the LGBTQ community, and 2). We are now or at one time were deeply committed Christians. Other than those two pieces these ladies run the gambit.

The stories, emotions, and experiences in this group vary.  Yet, one truth rings out–LOVE is the greatest resource, the truest strength, and the strongest tie.  It binds us to God, to our children, and to one another. If I didn’t believe it before I certainly believe it now–after getting to know some of these women–God is exceedingly able to use our darkest days, our most painful situations, the ugliest people, the most confusing circumstances, and our loneliest hours to reaffirm His unconditional love for us and His infallible presence in our lives.  As family turned their backs (both physical families and Church families), God remained faithful.  And not only faithful, it is as if He gave us our LGBTQ children like a precious gift, a way to draw us closer to Him and even more powerfully to open our hearts to the world.

One woman explained the more of what God has done in her family like this, “I have a better understanding of God and what it means to be a follower of Christ. Our whole family has become passionate about standing up for and making room for people in the margins.”  Another woman exposed her own transformation saying, “Luckily he [meaning her son] was always at peace with himself. I on the other hand, was a religion hostage. So since he came out, I have found a peace that I never had before, it’s so freeing! & I am SO less judgmental.”   A third woman confessed, “I have learned what true grace and unconditional love really means!” Finally, as I’ve heard in countless other threads this mom explains how her LGBTQ child pushed her to understand what the Bible actually says and doesn’t say because what she was told did not line up with the love God put in her heart for her child, “My husband has & continues to delve into scripture with an appetite for biblical truth like I’ve not seen before and he has defended my son to others valiantly with love and conviction. I have had the scales of judgmentalism begin to fall off my eyes.”

Sadly, the reason subjects like judgment, love, and truth have become so important for most of us is because the place we were supposed to feel the safest—the Church—has been the cruelest. Instead of walking with us many in our fellowships abandoned us. Worse yet—we have been ridiculed, made the subject of gossip, and even threatened by those who called us their friends. Some of us have felt forced to leave the only families—literal and spiritual—we have ever known. Many of us immediately went into hiding. Yet the worst part is most if not all of us have had to take a painful look in the mirror of our past behavior. We have had to face not only the ways we harmed those outside our groups but the ways our words, attitudes, and actions “before we knew” contributed to the suffering our children experienced.

Few in the LGBTQ community escape their closeted days and their coming out, unscathed. Thankfully a growing number are finding or creating safe places in which to live and thrive. A few moms from this group have become eloquent activists alongside their children. But for most of us it has not been without its own heartache. Repentance isn’t easy. Yet, as we face the truth about our part in our children’s pain, as we confess that our judgments made them afraid to be who God created them to be, as we admit that our words and actions created an atmosphere of shame, guilt, and despair, as we begin to acknowledge that we, like the Pharisees, held our own children back from knowing God, we can begin the healing process.

Repentance isn’t easy. The ladies in my group are each at different points in the journey toward reconciling with their children, with our God, and with themselves. But at the end of the day, we have tears of joy mixed in with our tears of sorrow and we have THIS BODY OF BELIEVERS, our little group on-line, to hold us up. I’d like to close with the following mom’s summary because I think it echoes most of our hearts on our best days,

I type this through a veil of grateful tears–for the first time in [my son’s life], I am truly finding out who he is, and I honestly believe he is too. In some ways his liberation has a childlike innocence as he learns to deal with his first serious relationship. He is leaning into me more and asking my opinion about things—when he laughs I hear joy bubbling up from the core of his being. He is learning to enjoy his life out loud where I can hear it and see it. All of my fears while he was growing up have dissipated and evolved into the most amazing gratitude for his precious life and it’s metamorphic way it has transformed my own soul. He has led me into a better understanding of who God is and what love is and everything in between. I look at him deeply now, and I am slayed by my feelings of pride over the man he has become despite all that he has endured. He is my heart—he is my hero—–the most courageous person I have ever known.

 

 

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Responses

  1. This is beautiful, Margaret.

  2. your posts are so Alive and FULL OF HOPE!!! i thank God for you, Minnowspeaks Mama!!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >


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