“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!