How Love Wins: Moms of LGBTQ Children Share Their Stories, Part 2

LoveWinsHands

One of my great joys is serving as honorary pastor for a private Facebook group of over 1,000 moms with LGBTQ children. These amazing women (who refer to themselves as “Mama Bears”) are from all places along the theological spectrum, an all walking out their own amazing stories of trying to love their children well.

Instead of me talking about them, I thought I’d let you hear from them. I asked them a simple question, and here were there responses:

What is the greatest/most important you’ve learned since beginning this journey with your child(ren)?

 

I learned that the truth was never hard to find. It was there every time I looked into my child’s eyes.
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How everything I had been taught and believed about God was small, confining, and judgmental. And that He is the opposite: large and loving. And that you can totally change your worldview even as an adult!
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That it’s more important to rest in the love and acceptance that comes my and my children’s way than to get all bent out of shape over people who don’t accept or understand. Why would I care anyway?
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That I had a wall up in my heart that I didn’t realize was there. My son tore that wall down. He taught me what I thought I already knew—unconditional love!
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Some religious people preach love and acceptance, but only when it does not conflict with what they believe. Then it is hate and ridicule.
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I cannot control my child’s journey. I am only here to enjoy the ride.
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The struggle of faith is real! And it’s OK to wrestle with God and his word.
Also, it really is ok to believe something different from your Baptist minister father. Truthfully, I think I’ve been choking on the dogma since Bible College.

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I’ve learned to just shut out the Christian world that judges my daughter and know that when I’m with her, nothing will taint our relationship because our love is a safety net against the world of judgment and condemnation that comes from some Christians.
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I’ve learned to be more open-minded; that all my beliefs and assumptions might need a closer look.
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That love is most important. That it’s OK to rethink what you were brought up to believe. That religion and being a Christian are not the same.
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That we are ALL THE BELOVED OF GOD. I truly believed I may die when our son first “came out.” I felt that I was being tested and this would be my salvation moment (what I was originally taught about the Abraham and Isaac story), but God NEVER left my side. Even when I was in the absolute depths of despair, I could FEEL the Spririt of God sitting with me when most of my “Christian” friends had fled. This journey has made my relationship with God more powerful than ever. Everybody has a story. I just LOVE better.
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That my judgment in the past was blocking me from experiencing God’s love for all people in profound ways.

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Love, love, love! It’s not about ME!

That the “hard” things are often the best things, that it’s important to listen, that everyone has a story, and that it’s possible to have true peace amidst all the questions.
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That once I really understood what my son was going through all these years before he told us. Now I understand (took a while).
Try my best to be very supporting to him and all the kids we have come to know through him who are also LGBTQ, and those kids who do not have a family that loves and supports them. That is from reading your blog a few yeas ago that made it all clear and these momma’s.

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God is amazingly different from what I had been taught, and that even at my age I can learn and grow in His love, and the love of my kids.
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To love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all you soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. I will take my chances, when I meet my Lord, explaining who and why I loved rather than who and why I didn’t.
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Choice is not involved.

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That each one of us have a role to play in our world, and our kids are a beautiful part of it !!! Through it all God is exposing the hatred that exists in the Church, we are to be known by our Love .
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I have learned God gave His sweet son to me to love and learn from this side of eternity—and no part of that was a mistake. We were both fearfully and wonderfully made and redeemed, and the God of the universe knew we needed one another. I step out in faith from there with confidence, compassion, and peace as best I can.
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I am also learning patience. My son just told me a few months ago and I am still the only one that knows. I love that he trusts me completely but I hate that he doesn’t trust anyone else. This is something that he will have to navigate and I can’t do it for him, just wait with him and love him and help him to not be afraid.
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That love trumps theology, God’s love for his creation, Jesus’ love for the outcast, my love for my child.
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To always tell my own story, and let my kids tell theirs. Their story isn’t mine to tell.
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That I was easily able to put my money where my mouth was.
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That I can’t be the Holy Spirit to any of my kids. I have to trust Him with their lives. That I can’t go through life living in fear of what others think. I have to do what is best for my family, and just be who He has called me to be, even if friends fail.
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That I don’t have to have all the answers. Faith is stronger when I don’t actually, as I have to trust in God, not in myself nor in my wisdom
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There is so much more hate and bigotry than I had imagined, even from otherwise good people who almost don’t even realize how they affect people.

Moving out of my comfort zone, while scary, has been liberating. I’m not afraid to voice my opinion to people or point out how their words/actions feel to those who are already marginalized. I’ve found that there really is no one I care about offending when I say “What you are saying is that you don’t believe my son should have the same rights that your son has.” I’ve lost friends. I’ve gained friends. But seeing the look on my son’s face when I actually said that sentence to our former pastor? Priceless.
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I’ve learned a lot about true love and true friendship. They have both shocked me, hurt me and blessed me.
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I’ve learned that pain grows compassion, that I am stronger than I knew, that this is my daughter’s journey and I am just here to love and support her. I’ve also learned that some just don’t have the capacity to have real empathy and compassion, they are not wired for it, and that I have no control over that.
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And this thread makes me weep. I love you Mamas.
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My first thoughts were: I don’t want to be this person with a gay son. I learned those were my son’s words way before they were mine. Our family loves each other with a deeper love and I wouldn’t want my son any other way now.
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I didn’t really believe that gay people were equal in the eyes of God. I thought I did but this truly tested me and I am so thankful for that. It also opened my eyes to the hypocrisy of evangelicals. I fought with the church the last 40 years or more and now I realize why. I can never go back to that and it is so freeing.
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I’ve learned that while young adulthood is challenging for everyone, LGBTQ kids have a more difficult time coming of age. Their conflicts are magnified and loving them through it isn’t as easy as it should be. They sometimes shut you out and they sometimes embrace you. But the bond that develops is profound and the adults that finally emerge are whole and perfect.
I am looking forward to meeting my son as an adult. Hopefully he will come through all of this triumphant; comfortable & happy with who he is!
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He has a big heart. He is more forgiving & loving than most people I know.
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Enjoy the ride because it goes by so quickly. Enjoy!!
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The most important thing I learned was I can trust God with my son.
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That raising teenagers (LGBTQ and otherwise) is hard, and can be overwhelming and full of anxious moments (and many tears) as a parent. As another mom said, it gives you great opportunities to trust God and to trust your own mothering instincts over any church doctrine. Having a gay son has given me a chance to be more accepting and compassionate to others who are on their own individual journeys too.
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I’ve learned so much, mostly about how culture and my own biases shape my perspective… How there is so much more I don’t know than I do, and that God is so much bigger. Micah 6:8 is where I land now.
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I feel like my heart has been burst open. I feel like I have more compassion, understanding and love for all oppressed individuals than I have ever had before. It took having an LGBTQ child to do that and not my years and years in church. God has been with me all the way on this journey.
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It’s all about love, really. But on the other hand, I’ve found it’s hard to be the nail that sticks up.
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ALL are fearfully and wonderfully made and loved by God. Not sure I believed that fully before our son came out. I do now though!
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Nothing can ever affect the love I have for my son.
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I have always known that I love my children unconditional. But this journey has taken it to a whole new level. Not only for my son but all of the LGBT community God has shown me how to love all of them.
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I look like a mama mouse. But I’m really a mama grizzly.
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“You hate gay, until someone you love is…”
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That we need to love people and let God sort out the details.
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That all kids aren’t alike! I haven’t posted this to the group yet but my child has asked me to stop posting so much “gay stuff”. She told me that “although she appreciated that I did what I do” she didn’t like how “obsessive” I seemed to be. I was so hurt I “unfriended her” but with her permission. I told her that I couldn’t stop my advocacy at this point and that if I was causing her undue pain, I would unfriend her and she agreed.
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That my child is well spoken and thoughtful beyond measure when someone questions his authenticity as a gay Christian. I have read some of his responses to friends and pastors and they have always been full of love and compassion. I totally want to be just like him when I grow up.
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Loving people is way more important than “being right”.
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I have learned to speak up on the side of love and acceptance in any situation and to anyone.
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I love my child more than other people’s approval. I put my trust in God.
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God speaks to us through our hearts as well as our heads. I should have trusted my mother’s heart voice because it had been shaped by the love of Jesus for years.
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That the end of one world is usually the beginning of another, infinitely more beautiful one. And that personal revelation trumps all else.

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The thing you are most afraid of ends up in your lap.
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I’ve been very sadden and shocked to learn how many close minded and scared people there are who have no problem using the Bible as a weapon. I’m very confused to find out that in 2016 there are people who will condemn my children to Hell based on their core being and who they love. Happily I’ve learned that I have a tribe who gets me without needing to unpack before I start taking, but are more than willing to look at my STUFF if I do share it with compassion and love.

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I consider this the gift of having a transgender child: you pretty quickly know who is good enough to keep in your circle.
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I wouldn’t trade this journey for anything. I no longer live in ignorance or fear or a closet either. I am so grateful for it all.
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The gift is knowing that your teenager has found himself in every sense of the word. His fear is gone.
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That however I feel is okay, even after 27 years of knowing. Denying my feelings only makes them fester. Exposing them to the light of day and accepting them allows me to move past them.

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I also truly believe that if/ when a person leaves their comfort zone and gets out and meets others unlike themselves, listens and learns more about that person; opinions are often changed, a lifetime of hatred or disgust about a certain group can be erased. People just need to get to know one another. Our perceptions are often very different from reality.
I guess what I am trying to say, is that I have been most surprised at how people change when they respect another human being. Suddenly the fact that the person is gay or trans no longer matters. Love really does win!!
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I have learned that there are some mountains worth dying on. And some that definitely aren’t. And day by day, I am acquiring the wisdom to know which is which.
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We have to get the word out to parents—it gets WAY better.
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That fear of something outside the norm paralyzes the mind’s ability for so many to achieve understanding and acceptance.
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There is far too much doom & gloom for so many people. They NEED to know there is a pot of gold.
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God has gotten so much bigger since I started studying to understand what the Bible really says about homosexuality!
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I didn’t ask God for gay sons, but I am SO grateful that He gave them to ME! He trusted ME with them! He knew I would love them regardless. I have learned more about unconditional love, compassion, not judging and striving to walk as Jesus did THROUGH THEM and their friends than I ever would have learned from sitting in church.
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All of my children are wonderful little people and they each have their strengths. But my gay son is more compassionate, more forgiving & more accepting than the rest of us. We have all learned a lot from him; about love, affirmation, and how we should treat others.
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That I’m not alone
That even though I’m strong, I’m weak
That the impossible is possible
That I never run out of tears
That I’m a mama bear
That sometimes I’m too tired to fight this fight and sometimes I’m too eager to fight this fight
That love wins
That the people you think will be there won’t
That it is possible to let it go
That I don’t have to have it all figured out
and finally…
That taking it one day at a time is the best
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I have learned more about forgiveness from my sons that I ever knew was possible. They have loved me and forgiven me for my weakness and for not standing up quick enough for them. I was so brainwashed by the church, that I allowed the gay issue to torment me for months. But, thankfully, once I knew better, I did better. I have learned that I am stronger than I ever knew I was, once the scales were taken off of my eyes, which were put there by my ex-husband and the church. I have learned total peace and contentment. And, I have learned that my boys being gay is a beautiful thing and that they are perfectly and wonderfully made. I adore them and I would not change a single hair on their beautiful heads.

Read Part 1 HERE.

13 thoughts on “How Love Wins: Moms of LGBTQ Children Share Their Stories, Part 2

  1. What a wonderful post. A common thread in these comments seems to me to be that having a LGBTQ child is actually a massive learning experience, to the good. It’s sometimes a hard learning curve, but these parents have learned to love unconditionally even more effectively than parents of non-LGBTQ kids. If not for these kids, we would know a lot less about Father’s Love.

  2. I suspect that my teenage son is questioning his sexuality. He has always been unique and sensitive. My husband and I will be and always have been accepting of who he is and of all who are LGBT. I worry about how family and friends will react I want to protect my son from the hate and lack of understanding in the world. These posts give me strength in the knowledge that others have been there and can say that the journey is also full of good surprises and love.

  3. Giving a face to what had been an issue usually changes most hearts. In issue we can dismiss. When that issue has the face of our own child, only the hardest of hearts and most closed of minds can continue with denigration of that child because of sexual orientation.

    Remember, all LGBTQ children are someone’s children and all are children of God. The same applies to all LGBTQ folks.

    Putting the face on the issue does change our outlook.

  4. The moms are amazing!!! Thanks for sharing their words and thanks for being there for us, John!!!

    If anyone is interested in joining our private facebook group for moms of lgbt kids send me an email at lizdyer55@gmail.com and put “Mom’s Facebook Group” in the subject line.

      • Why don’t you start a private FB page for Dads of LGBTQ children? I suspect they need a place to go for support from each other and to discuss the issues they are facing as Dads of kids who are LGBTQ. My experience is that men are not very good at sharing feelings, especially with other men.

  5. It continues to amaze me that people automatically assume that if one does not agree with or embrace the ideas or beliefs of the LGBTQ community, it means he/she hates them. Hate is a very strong word; and them making an assumption like that is no different from assumptions being made about them. I love my neighbors and family members who are part of the LGBTQ community, but do not agree with their choice of lifestyle. I believe that the Word of God is infallible, so I believe what God says about it. I don’t believe that a single person on this planet was born predestined to be gay. I do believe one can be born with more of a disposition towards it, but God makes a way to overcome it by choice. God calls it an abomination, a sin. I won’t go around imposing that truth on others, but when there is discussion or I know that God is prompting me, I have to speak the truth in love by faith. In my 20’s, I chose to surrender my own will for God’s and walked away from just such a relationship. The enemy of God is the father of lies and has deceived many into believing they were born to be gay with the impossibility to change. The LGBTQ community will say that anyone who leaves it never was gay in the first place. It is a lie straight from hell, according to God’s Word. The best thing my own mother did for me at that time in my life was to stand on the truth. If she had not done that, this prodigal may not have ever come back. I thank God that my mother loved me enough to do the hard thing, trusting God to do what she couldn’t. I have never regretted anything and have never looked back. I have a wonderful husband and four beautiful children. If one of them or all of them choose to live their lives contrary to God’s Word, I will love them unconditionally, but will not give them an excuse to deny the truth. They will know that their choices have consequences for all of eternity. I love them so much, I will not watch them defile themselves with their eyes closed. They will do it knowingly. My heart will break if they choose to forfeit God’s best for them; but at least I will know that I didn’t stand by passively and allow them to be deceived. That lifestyle is a form of bondage that God never wants for us, just like any other. The truth truly sets us free when nothing else does.

    • Lisa, there are a number of “things” referred to as being an abomination in Scripture. However, abomination does not equal sin. The word actually means to want to make throw up. And one cannot with honesty and integrity uphold “homosexuality” as an abomination unless one also upholds all of the items listed as being an abomination, which includes eating pork and shellfish, touching a dead body, etc. etc. etc. Scripture is a collection of narratives written down by people in the language and terminology of their time and culture. Much does not translate into our time. A good example is the belief that illness was caused by demons and/or by sin. We know that bacteria and viruses cause illness. And if you truly uphold Scripture as “infallible” then you would not even be writing on this blog because St. Paul instructed women to “keep quiet” in church and not instruct adult males.

      Remember that the 66 books of what we call the Holy Bible were the result of a very political discussion and vote around 400 or so AD at a council of Nicaea. Other books didn’t get voted into the canon of Scripture that were just as valid.

      Faith and salvation are between each individual and God. We cannot save each other or repent each others sins.

      And yes, if the language you use about and toward others causes them harm either physically or emotionally, then you are guilty of hating them. God hates nothing that God has made. No exceptions. Even the most vile acting among us is loved by God. One of the last commands of Jesus to His followers was a new commandment: Love one another as I have loved you. He made no exceptions or conditions to the commandment either. What makes any of us think we can add them now?

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