The other day I saw a preview to a movie that was about a young man’s struggle in being gay and the risk he felt like it would cost in order for him to be open about his reality.
I cried during it.
A few weeks ago I saw an interview on Ellen about a dad who regrets how he responded to his daughters sexuality which eventually led to her committing suicide and how he hoped in some small way to honor her life by his political protest of Roy Moore.
I cried during it.
I cried because my parents do not see or understand my husband’s worth and value and would prefer I married someone else because his on-going struggle and natural orientation is being attracted to other men. And if I’m truly honest that rejection has felt more painful and brought more tears than even losing Asher.
I cried because I knew how I felt when I “came out” publicly that we drink on occasion after hiding it for 10+ years from my parents and family friends because we knew it would break their hearts….and it did. I felt disowned. And this isn’t even CLOSE to having to tell your parents that you think you have a sexual orientation that you didn’t ask for and that they believe is a choice as well as an abomination to God.
I cried because we have sat across from a seminary professor of counseling who told us that if Dan would just love Jesus more than he loved himself that he could be done with that struggle today.
I cried for all the times pastors have taken my husband as a teen to an alter and told him to lay down this part of him and that if he really means it then he will walk away a new person.
I cried because I know the fear of wondering if he would lose his job as a bible teacher because a parent went to the head of the school and demanded that “that pervert not be allow to teach or be around kids at that school”.
I cried because many people who want those with gay orientations to reject those desires have not stopped to feel or understand what the cost truly might be for them, even in light of the joy Christ brings. I’ve often said if praying for a loved one to stop living a certain way doesn’t bring conflict within almost to the point that it makes it hard to even pray for… then I don’t think you are close enough to that person or have pressed in to really know someone with a different orientation than your own.
I cried because I can imagine the pain a teen who faces this loss might experience and then add to that the likelihood of them hating themselves and not understanding this hell they are living through to the point where many take their own lives. I hate that… but I get it.
I cried because if only the fear that surrounds this issue could only be met with love, acceptance of that person, and real honest conversations that don’t have their relationship on the table as a bargaining chip…. then I wonder what LGBTQ realities within Christian families could look like. I wonder if more narratives could look like ours. I wonder if the church could be richer and better because of the trust and honesty in all of our struggles.
We need relationships to not have a tipping point.
We need each other no matter our sexual orientation.
We need the Church to be a safe place for all to be honest and struggle in.
We need love to triumph over fear.
If the pain that I have experienced has led me to where I can cry during a movie preview, or a interview on Ellen, or struggle in how to pray for my LGBTQ friends….. then I trust that it’s been far worth the tears it’s brought!
Today I am more empathetic, more bold and more dependent upon the love of God because of having experienced it!
So I will thank God for allowing me to enter into another’s suffering and to use my voice to stand up for those who are despairing and disheartened and who feel rejected by their loved ones.
Knowing that our weaknesses make perfect HIS strength.
Knowing He is the one that gives me and so many others the grace day by day to live above bitterness and hate, and resting in His approval alone.
Knowing that there is coming a day where all things will be made right and every tear wiped away.