I share with you an email from a mother (with her permission) upset up by her daughter’s actions. I hoped it might offer hope for any in a similar situation.
Dear Susan: My daughter left her husband to become a lesbian. They also have a 5-yr-old daughter. This was a shock for everyone. I love my daughter but cannot accept her lifestyle so to keep the peace we have not spoken since Christmas. My son-in-law lets me see my granddaughter which I am really grateful for. Before all of this happened my daughter changed from being a christian to an atheist. She has had no contact with any of our side of the family since she came out and doesn’t seem to care. I am most concerned for our granddaughter because she is being put into the gay lifestyle at a very young age for which she has no choice.
I went thru the whole grieving process in a very short time but am left with feeling hurt that my daughter would give up her marriage, her family, and her faith. Why can’t we feel that this is Satan working in her heart? Why shouldn’t we pray that God will intervene in her life?
And my response…
Hello. Well, first, I am so sorry for what you are going through. I know it’s exceedingly shocking and painful — who could have predicted it? I don’t blame you for what you’re feeling.
Now, the question is, what will you do about it? What can you do?
Here’s what I know: God is at work because He’s always at work. He is working in ways we cannot see and have no idea.
What I mean by all of this is: 1. You don’t know what God is doing in your daughter’s life, 2. You have no control over it. 3. What is your job? Let me fill those out a little here.
1. She probably did not just “decide” to be a lesbian. It’s more likely that she finally decided she could no longer live that way, denying who she is. You may not believe this could be true, but it is the story I’ve heard time and again. We cannot decide it’s just not true and she should just give up all this nonsense and get her life back together – that is not ours to say. You don’t know what it’s been like for her to live a lie, pretending to be straight when she is gay, and the only way to know will be to ask her. And the only way she’ll tell you is when you have no agenda but to know her heart, period. Trust that God is doing more than you can see.
2. You cannot control it anyway. I’m glad you have grieved – that is a necessary piece for you. Just remember that grieving is not as linear as we expect. Sometimes things pop up (memories, thoughts) and we say, but I’ve already grieved that, but grief is random. A stray song or old picture may spiral your grief again. The more you can just let that be, and don’t try to stuff it back because you’ve “already grieved this,” the more authentic you can be to your own experience. (My mother died when I was 9; I grieved as a young adult, going through a whole process about it. When my third child was born — random — I wept for weeks because my mother was not there to say how beautiful she was. 😦 It still comes up unexpectedly these decades later.
3. What are you called to do? We usually think — and we’re wrongly taught in the church — that we have responsibility to “straighten people out” or “hold people accountable” — especially when it comes to our kids! Believe me, I had to learn this the hard way. Just hold your bible in your hands and say, “Everything in here is summed up in: Love God, love others.” We constantly underestimate these huge words of Jesus. You cannot direct your daughter, but you can love her even if you think she’s wrong. What about confronting people? Sometimes, that is quite necessary and helpful. But we’d better be sure we’re hearing God on that, because incalculable damage comes from “confronting people in love.” Plus, sounds like you’ve already done that. When Paul “speaks the truth in love,” he’s really reminding people who they already are in Christ! That is very different from trying to redirect their behavior. Your daughter’s already proven she’s beyond your reach, but God has her.
The prodigal son seemed out of his mind to the culture and the family, but the father (as God) let him do what was in his heart to do. The last thing to do is hinder your daughter’s personal relationship with Him by having her think His love is conditional when it’s not. She’s already withdrawn enough to say she’s an atheist. The worst thing would be to require compliance with a standard (staying with her husband).
You do not know what your daughter needs.
You be a prism of God’s love “shed abroad in your heart” (Romans 5:5). He will direct her by His plan, not yours.
These are choices only you can make, and it will be between you and God. I trust that He has you completely in His hands and you will hear His still small voice guiding you on this challenging and difficult journey.