A Mother’s Journey to Love Her Gay Son

mom-and-son

“My firsthand experience with my own child, has radically changed my attitudes toward the LGBT community. I feel compassion, not judgment. Love, not condemnation.”

A reader sent this to me and, with her permission, I am sharing it with you…

When our son told us he was gay, I pleaded with God to show us the path forward. I felt completely lost, trapped between the official, loudly articulated position of “the church” and my overwhelming love for my son. So I clung to God daily, as I felt I had nowhere else to turn. The journey was revealed one tortuous step at a time, one day at a time. While difficult, the process has also strangely been a blessing and a joy! Great good has come from it! How exactly this can be is a mystery to me.

God spoke to me in a clear voice early on – He said, “Just love him and trust Me.” That voice was so strong and unmistakable that I took it as my daily command. A few months after I heard God’s direction so clearly about just loving my son and trusting Him, I received a huge confirmation.  My son and I were having a conversation in the kitchen, and he told me that awhile back he’d been in such turmoil that he’d been planning to kill himself. He said he just couldn’t deal with it anymore, so he’d decided to jump off the “high five,” a new freeway interchange that had already been the site of one suicide. He had written his final letter.  My knees went weak – I asked him why he didn’t go through with it.  He said it was because he suddenly saw how much we loved him!  He realized we loved him so dearly that he decided he couldn’t kill himself because it would hurt us too badly.   I knew in that moment that God is completely trustworthy and he was indeed present in our situation!  His timing and his direction were so absolutely perfect – my trust grew in a single leap and I haven’t doubted him since.

I am gradually learning to love my son and my husband the way God loves us. Without conditions. Extravagantly. Selflessly. Steadfastly. I have discovered that this kind of love brings transformation—in all of us. That this love doesn’t come from me, it comes from God. And as I learn to trust in God, to rely on him and not in my own efforts, I see him do some amazingly wonderful things! Life becomes an adventure, a daily unknown—I can live expectantly, never knowing what God will do next. My only job is to love, just as Jesus directed. It’s God’s job to do everything else, it’s too much for me. I am free to simply love. That freedom brings joy!

I can’t express how this has changed my attitudes! I read and reread the gospels to see how Jesus interacted with people and I see what you see. I find I’m no longer fixated on other people’s sin, just acutely aware of my own. And of course this, coupled with my firsthand experience with my own child, has radically changed my attitudes toward the LGBT community. I feel compassion, not judgment. Love, not condemnation. A burning desire to encourage a closer walk with Jesus Christ for all. I care so strongly about these kids who feel like my own children.

How thankful I am our paths have crossed. I appreciate your gentle spirit and the urgency and directness in your grace-filled message, and I thank God for the encouragement you give me! I see confirmation regarding the journey on which God has led me the past 5 years. What you write sounds very much like what I believe God has guided me to.

I love Ephesians 3:20 in the Message: “God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” I live by that promise.  I also love this from Billy Graham, “It’s God’s job to judge, the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, and our job simply to love.”

So, I agree with what you write – it has certainly been proven true in my own experience!

Blessings,

Beth

12 thoughts on “A Mother’s Journey to Love Her Gay Son

  1. Is this debate about whether God approves of gays. It’s my opinion that God loves everyone. I do not believe that God is gender biased. Personal attraction often has little to do with gender. We are made male or female and we are “programmed” to be such in ways I cannot explain. Love is complicated matter. It is not always an attraction in the psychical sense. True love honors the person for who he or she is. There are all kinds of loving relationships. This is a confusing issue . . . . I do not “gender preference” believe it belongs in the realm of religion. That’s where I stand on this issue.

  2. Dear Beth,

    Thank you so much for sharing the powerful message that we all need to hear. We, too, have been changed by having a gay son. He has taught us much about what it means to truly love one another, without any conditions. We know that Jesus is as madly in love with him as He always has been. This was his favorite verse, and I rejoice in the truth of it everyday….”The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you wth singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 ~Under His mercy – Janis and Tim

  3. Beth:

    Great letter. When our 13 year told us that he may be gay or bisexual I prayed to God about this. I was given 1 Cor 13 and also the scripture fathers not exasperating your children.

    Our relationship as father and son has blossomed. It was put to the test when he was outed by his sister. He wept for an hour and expressed his fears and concerns. I could do nothing more than cry with him, hug him, pray for him and tell him that I love such a special young man.

    We must love our kids!

  4. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I SO needed to read your words today, Beth. Praise God for the amazing work He has done and is continuing to do.

  5. Beth, Thank you for the story. My wife and I can identify with this story. We recently came to the same conclusion about our son. We are having him and his friend for Thanksgiving and we know that we want more than anything is to let them know that we love them unconditionaly. We have been trying to share the same message in our church.
    Phillip Harris Pastor E320 Church
    Our God is able to so much more in our lives with Him working in us.

  6. Thank you for your story Beth. I can totally relate to it as my son is also gay. It has been a painful journey (he wanted to kill himself too), but God has done amazing things through it. One of which is starting a blog that talks about my journey. It was my way of “coming out of the closet” so to speak :-). As I struggled with how to handle “the news”, I very clearly heard God remind me that I wasn’t Him, it wasn’t up to me to “figure it out”, and I was to love EVERYONE. And I have found it so easy to do! Your son is lucky to have you. Thanks for posting Susan.

  7. Thanks for sharing your story Beth, and allowing Susan to post it. Your son is very fortunate to have your unconditional love.

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