I was talking with one of my friends who was gushing about being a grandmother. Her excitement was contagious. She was telling me about the recent weekend that her granddaughter got to spend with her. She was explaining that when it was time to go to bed her granddaughter told her she was scared. Thinking that this would be a good teaching moment she said to her granddaughter, “honey you won’t be by yourself…Jesus is always with you in your heart.” Her granddaughter looked up at her with big crocodile tears, “but Grandma…I want someone with skin.” I thought this was the cutest way to describe that she just wanted someone to be physically there with her. Do you know that feeling?
Today I join my fellow blogger Holley Gerth and her “Coffee for Your Heart” challenge. Today’s topic is…You’re Not Alone. I have to tell you when I first read this I cried. It reminded me of the many years I spent keeping the secret that my son was gay and how lonely that made me feel. I didn’t keep it a secret because I wanted to…I felt like I had to.
We ALL have “stuff” in life that we go through. It’s so easy for us to share the happy and joyous moments of our lives, but it is so much harder to share our struggles. This can leave us feeling like we are all alone. We know that the Holy Spirit is always with us to strengthen us, to give us life-giving energy, and to help us accomplish things that we could never do on our own. Nothing can compare to the gift of the Holy Spirit. He is our helper. I would always tell you to completely rely on his wisdom and guidance. But God also calls us to love each other, to be there for each other…because sometimes we just need someone with skin (smile).
It can be a scary thing to share your insecurities, your struggles, your grief, etc. But I am here to tell you that if you can find someone to share those things with, it can completely help to change your life. If we could all open up our lives to each other, we would all realize that there is no reason to feel alone. Let’s look at my life for a moment. I can share with you about the trials and tribulations of having a sibling that is an alcoholic…and about practicing the most difficult form of love…tough love (I’m happy to say that my sister is now 10 years sober…woo hoo…and I couldn’t be prouder of her). I can share with you about the grief of losing a parent…especially in a sudden and unexpected way (see my post I will see you again). I can share with you about the stress of dealing with family members that deal with OCD, anxiety, and depression. I can share with you about having an illness for a long period of time without having answers about what is wrong with you (I’ve had fevers, headaches, pain and chronic fatigue for 20 years). And my latest is… I can share with you (and have with this blog – smile) what it’s like to be a Christian and have your child come out to you. As I said earlier…we all have difficulties that we deal with along this journey we call life. One of the things that gives me great joy is to be able to share these life experiences to help others. It makes the pain somehow worth it. You are not alone my friend. There are others out there who struggle with difficulties…just like you.
I mentioned that I felt like I had to keep the fact that my son is gay a secret. It was to protect him and my family. We weren’t ready for people to know. We had experiences with fellow Christians that made it clear where they stood on the subject and it wasn’t one of love. We couldn’t help but be fearful about how people might respond to the news. It took time and prayer to get to the place where we were strong enough to deal with what might come our way once the news was out there. I’m happy to say that the response has been mostly good. It was worth the risk. And I don’t feel alone anymore.
If you or someone you know is gay or has a family member who is gay, and they don’t feel like they have anyone to turn to, please have them email me. I would be happy to talk to them. If you go to my contact page, it will send me a private email. No one else can see it but me. It’s a start. You don’t have to go through it alone.
Take some time this week to prove to someone that they aren’t alone. It will change not only their life…but yours.
And remember to love each other…because love matters.