Have you ever had a time in your life where you began questioning something that you’ve always believed? You know all that you’ve been taught in your head, and maybe even in your heart, but something has happened, or maybe a series of things have happened that make you wonder how those can be true. I’ve been there for at least a couple of years, maybe longer. I can’t even remember when it all began. I started questioning how the church has treated the LGBTQ community. I knew all the rote answers and sayings (“love the sinner, hate the sin,” “your identity is in Christ, not your sexuality,” and the too many to add here sayings…..) but they just were not sitting well in my spirit, even before I knew about my child. In ink on paper, yes, I could see where thoughts and beliefs lead there. I know that there are very well intentioned hearts that say those things, too. But looking around at life’s realities, viewing it through that lens that encompasses not just words on a page, but also our relationships, history, life experiences, etc. I began to ask, “could it be that we have gotten this wrong?” Because if we have, the depth of the damage caused to people has been enormous. ( I emphasize people here because I think that, too often, we see this as a “theological issue,” we look at words on a page and don’t realize we are piercing PEOPLE’s HEARTS when we say the things we say…)
The statistics are alarming of the suicide rates and homelessness rates of LGBTQ youth. Within this community, if you grew up in a conservative Christian home, your rates for these are double. The fear of rejection from God, from church, from family and friends can be paralyzing and lead to hopelessness, and unfortunately, to despair to the point of suicide. Are you alarmed, yet?
This is my first blog. My “coming out” of sorts. There is a saying in my new circle of people, “when the child comes out of the closet, the parents go in.” I’m not sure who said it, but they are spot on! I am not writing, or speaking for all parents, but the thoughts and insights here at this place are my experience, and mine alone. They are not even my husband’s, he has his own! Other people have a whole different experience. My hope though, is that this will be a place to come and process through questions and doubts, and to do so safely. It seems that you have either the conservative church side telling and yelling at you one way, or the totally affirming side doing the same. I have just wanted to shout back, “SHUT UP!” I wanted to be able to work this out with God. As time has passed, I have met a few people, where I found safety and freedom to be authentic, to be loved and accepted regardless if my “belief” matched theirs, or not. For them, I am so thankful. I love that they consider my spiritual journey equally as important as theirs. I have really wrestled in my heart over whether to do this ministry, or not. In doing so, I am aware that some friends may walk away, or at least distance themselves. And a word to those who want to push their own belief/stance – there are plenty of ministries and organizations that are standing up one way or the other for their “rights.” If that is what you are seeking, go find them. This is a place to be safe in your questions, your doubts, or if you simply need PEACE….. 🙂