THIS is the gay lifestyle…

This whole week I’ve been walking around thinking and chanting to myself, “I’ve had the radish!”  It’s a Vermont saying (well at least that’s what my friend from Vermont told me).  I explain it here, but it pretty much means I’m fed up.  Apparently I was feeling the same way two years ago.  I wrote a blog post with that as the title and it was my Facebook memory for today.

On Sunday, I shared a blog post from Benjamin Corey that was also written two years ago.  I found it to still be valid today so I shared it.  It has the following quote from Franklin Graham in it:

“We have allowed the Enemy to come into our churches. I was talking to some Christians and they were talking about how they invited these gay children to come into their home and to come into the church and that they were wanting to influence them. And I thought to myself, they’re not going to influence those kids; those kids are going to influence those parent’s children.

What happens is we think we can fight by smiling and being real nice and loving. We have to understand who the Enemy is and what he wants to do. He wants to devour our homes. He wants to devour this nation and we have to be so careful who we let our kids hang out with. We have to be so careful who we let into the churches. You have immoral people who get into the churches and it begins to effect the others in the church and it is dangerous.”

I find it incredibly sad that the first two comments I received about the post were about whether or not the homeless statistic in the post was accurate because the person couldn’t believe that is was…and the second asking at what age do I think children should be allowed to decide whether or not they are gay or transgender.  Nothing about what this man of God said about precious souls.  It was the same old conversation…it’s a choice, it’s a lifestyle, they are sexual deviants, etc.

So although I’ve written about this before, I guess there needs to be a refresher course so I am calling this:

The key to living the Gay Lifestyle is to first decide to be gay.  Now that means that you are attracted to both men AND women.  I mean if it’s a choice you need something to choose between and if you aren’t attracted to both…then it isn’t really a choice.  Right?  Everyone goes through this process and at the end of it you are either straight or gay…

But wait.  I’m straight and I’ve never been attracted to BOTH men and women.  So how could I choose to be with the opposite sex?  It’s not a choice.  I was just naturally attracted to men.  There wasn’t a thought that went into it…no decision to be made.  It just was what it was so to speak.  So I guess you could say that since I didn’t have a decision to make, and it wasn’t a choice…I was born this way.  Well it’s the same for gay people.  They don’t decide…they don’t choose…it’s how they were born.

So scrap the first part of the Gay Lifestyle…you don’t decide to be gay.

I know lots of gay people, but since my own kid is gay I’m going to use him as an example to explain this gay lifestyle.

He has blue hair.  That is your first clue that he is living the gay lifestyle.

But wait…my daughter at one time had red hair, blue hair, and green hair and she is straight.  In fact, lots of straight people that I know have had different color hair.  So I guess that isn’t a clue into the gay lifestyle.

So scrap the second part of the Gay Lifestyle…different color hair isn’t part of it.

Let’s see.  Each day my son wakes up,  goes to school, comes home, does some homework and then goes to work.  But sometimes he wakes up and goes to work, comes home, does some homework and then goes to school.  Some days he doesn’t go to school or work, but that’s rare.  But that can’t be part of the gay lifestyle either because I know lots of straight people who do the same thing.

So scrap the third part of the Gay Lifestyle…working and going to school doesn’t count.

Maybe it has to do with his interests.  Well he likes to snowboard.  He likes to go camping (and I don’t mean glamping).  He will go for a week, in a tent, to far out of the way places where there are no bathrooms and no showers.  Yuck!  Not my idea of a fun time, but he loves it.  He likes to swing dance…and is quite good at it.

But his interests don’t explain the gay lifestyle because he does all of those things with straight friends.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that he has a boyfriend.  When his boyfriend comes over to the house, they meet up with my daughter and some other friends and they either go out to eat dinner, or they cook something up at the house.  After dinner they play games.  Sometimes it’s video type games, sometimes it’s board games.  Scandalous…I know!

Now that I think about it.  Maybe there isn’t anything to this Gay Lifestyle that everyone keeps bringing up to me because when I look at the gay people I know…they are just like the straight people that I know.  The only difference is in who they love.

The difference I see between gay and straight people are how they are treated.  The bullying tends to be worse.  They are discriminated against. They are denied services.  They are called sexual deviants, perverts, pedophiles.  The list goes on and on.  This week one of the kids in my mom’s group received death threats.

So until you really know what it’s like to be gay.  Please don’t talk to me about the gay lifestyle that you don’t agree with…it looks like lazy Christianity to me.

And church if you are ok with a man of God saying  that “We have to be so careful who we let into the churches. You have immoral people who get into the churches and it begins to effect the others in the church and it is dangerous.”, then you are a big part of the problem.

Where is the love of Jesus…it matters…

 

 

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Something beautiful…

It was a simple request.  “Tell me something beautiful you saw over the weekend.”  It was a post that a friend of mine put on Facebook.  It didn’t take me long at all to think about it.  My something beautiful came to mind immediately…and it was Facebook.  I know right??  Really…Facebook?  Well it wasn’t exactly Facebook, but what was posted there.

This weekend was the GCN (Gay Christian Network) conference.  If you’ve been around for some time, you know that I went last year.  You can read about it in these two posts “On Holy Ground” and “The Best Parts” if you missed them.  I go into detail there about what the conference is about, but you can also check it out on their website Q Christian Fellowship (they announced their name change this weekend).  I want to get to the something beautiful (smile).

So this year I was unable to go, but I had a lot of friends that were there.  They posted on Facebook throughout the weekend and because I had been before it wasn’t hard to imagine being there.  I wish there wasn’t so much hurt in the LGBTQ community, but I’m glad that this conference allows for some “something beautiful” moments:

On Thursday night, they have an icebreaker and this year one of the moms got to sit at a table with about 11 LGBTQ young people.  She explained to them that she has a gay son who she loves and supports.  She told them that she has tried to shield him from the condemnation from the church.  A young man sitting across from her covered his face and wept.  She assured him that he didn’t deserve that kind of hurt.  Something beautiful…

One of the moms met a young woman who came to the conference because she had heard about the “free mom hugs.”  Stop and think about that for a moment.  You go to a conference to receive a hug from an affirming mom because yours isn’t.  So sad, but she was able to experience…Something beautiful…

Hundreds of people gathered for a worship service…hands raised and faces turned towards Heaven…tears streaming down their faces as they worshipped.  For some, it’s the first time they’ve been ALLOWED to worship with other believers.  Here they are welcomed.  It reminds me of this C.S. Lewis quote:

“If all experienced God in the same way and returned Him an identical Worship, the song of the Church triumphant would have no symphony, it would be like an orchestra in which all the instruments played the same note.”
C.S. Lewis – The Problem of Pain

Something beautiful…

Stories of children having to hide who they are from their parents.  Some who have recently come out and have been rejected by family and church.  When you spend your whole life in church, to then be rejected by it, where do you go?  You go to a conference that’s filled with love and acceptance and parents who give you hugs.  Something beautiful…

I’ve been a part of those hugs…at the conference last year…and also at the march in DC and the pride parade in Baltimore.  When someone collapses in your arms and sobs telling you that they’ve never felt so accepted, believe me when I say you are in the presence of God.  Something beautiful…

I’m so thankful for this conference.  When I went last year, it was life changing.  I hope to go next year.  In the meantime, I’m going to hug people who need them.  I’m going to love as God calls me.

Love is important to God…because it matters.

 

Looking ahead to 2018…

Another Christmas and New Year’s have come and gone.  So much preparation…and just like that…it’s over.  It’s all worth it though.  Actually our Christmas isn’t quite over yet as we will be getting together with family to celebrate this Sunday.  We just couldn’t squeeze in all the fun in December so we are extending it into January (smile).

As I’m sure everyone does, I’ve been reflecting on 2017 and looking ahead to 2018.  It’s so nice to feel like we get a clean slate each year.  New goals, new adventures, stepping out into the unknown and embracing what lies ahead.

Each December I think of a word that can be my focus for the coming new year.  I know a lot of you do this.  It’s fun.  I pray about it and see where or how God would want me to place my focus.  Honestly the last four years or so I didn’t have any word come to me besides LOVE.  So…I just rolled with it.  This year, however, I was so excited to have a new word come to me.  And it was unexpected.  When I began praying about it back in December, the word INTENTIONAL came to me.  Huh…I thought I was intentional about things.  After some reflection, and a bit of “Are you sure God?”, He revealed some things that I have not been intentional about.

The word has come through so strongly that I know I’m on the right track.  I’m really excited to see where this year takes me as I strive to be more intentional with what God has laid on my heart.  But what about love??  Well, I think that is a permanent word for me at this point (smile).  It’s not going anywhere.  I get a little teary every time someone posts something about love on my FB timeline, or posts a picture of a heart.  It’s a reminder to me that the message is getting out there.  Love matters!

I hope that you have a word that you can focus on this year, and I pray that 2018 is a year of health, happiness, and healing, if need be, for you.  And of course, I pray that this year is filled with abundant love.

This year I had 3,398 views from people in 58 countries (fun facts that I like to look back on) (smile).  The following posts were the most popular:

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Tears
I Don’t Know Where I’m Going, but I Sure Know Where I’ve Been
Sometimes a Bark Comes Without a Bite
On Holy Ground
A Mother’s Heart

If you missed one, be sure to check it out.  And as always, thanks to everyone who have commented on or shared a post.  You are helping to spread the love.

Because it matters…

Happy New Year everyone!

 

A sacred space…

When I was little, I loved books.  I couldn’t WAIT until I could actually read one.  Things back then were different then when my kids were in school.  They were reading in kindergarten.  I don’t remember reading until the 2nd grade and even then it was SO painful.  Those darn Dick and Jane books.  So boring to me!  I wanted to sink my teeth into something a little more adventurous then “See Spot run.  Run Spot run!” (smile)

Well as it turns out, maybe the elementary school that I went to in the city was a bit behind.  They wanted me to skip the 3rd grade and go into the 4th because I was ahead of my class.  My parents didn’t want to do this so they pulled me out and I started going to a private Catholic school.  Good thing!  Boy was I behind…especially in math.  The kids in my class were reviewing their time tables at the beginning of the school year and I had never learned them!  And so began the time in my life that I refer to as flash card hell.  Hours upon hours sitting at the kitchen table with my dad going over those darn times tables.

Being behind in my studies was hard, but for the first time in my young life I realized that I was different.  At least different then my fellow classmates.  As I mentioned, this was a Catholic school…and I wasn’t Catholic.  I was the only non-Catholic in my 3rd grade class.  It made me feel a bit like an alien.

So now I was in this new school trying to catch up on my math skills and I had this new thing I had to learn….religion.  Specifically the Catholic religion.  I had to learn it, memorize a lot of it, pass tests about it, but I wasn’t allowed to practice it.  After all…I was not Catholic.  It made me feel like I wasn’t good enough.  From the 3rd grade all the way through 12th, I was left to sit in the pews while my classmates participated in sacraments like communion and confession.  At my 8th grade graduation, I was not eligible for the scholarship for high school because…you guessed it…I wasn’t Catholic.

I don’t regret my time in Catholic schools.  In fact, I really liked the sacredness of the mass.  When I go to a Catholic mass these days, I still remember all the words…when to sit and when to stand.  To this day during communion in my non-denominational church I still say these words to myself…”Lord I am not worthy to receive you, but just say the word and I shall be healed.”  But I can say that as a young child, I felt out of place.  I felt like I was not good enough.  And I felt like because I wasn’t part of this special “club”, I was going to hell.  After all…that’s what they taught us.

Here’s the kicker though…if I had wanted to…I could have become Catholic.  All it would have taken was going to some classes and voila…I would be Catholic.  I didn’t think that was necessary though.  Even though I didn’t have a lot of knowledge at the time about God other than what I was taught in school, I just didn’t think I needed to change who I was for Him to love me and not send me to hell.

When I think back to those times, it gives me a small inkling as to what my LGBTQ friends must go through everyday.  There are many differences, but the big one that stands out to me is the fact that they can’t change who they are like I could change my religious affiliation if I had wanted.

Many people tell me that change is possible because they know someone who was gay and is now no longer gay.  There were several stories like that when I did some research when my son came out.  I held onto those stories for dear life.  And quite frankly I wasted 5 years of my life clinging to those stories while my child was contemplating leaving this world.  Each story that I had found years later turned out to be a lie.  Maybe that is too strong of a word.  I think the people truly wanted change and thought it was possible.  Some of them were of the mindset of “Fake it to you make it.”  Sadly many hurt people were left in their wake.

I’m not going to say it isn’t impossible.  God can do anything after all.  But I think taking one person’s story and expecting it to fit thousands of others is just wrong…in fact I think it’s cruel.  If a person is given a miracle and cured of cancer because they prayed to be healed, is it fair of us to tell other people who aren’t receiving that miracle that their faith is too weak, or they aren’t trying hard enough?  Gay people are told if they just surrender to God or have faith in God, then they can change their sexuality.  What many people don’t realize is that many of them already have faith in God, have turned their lives over to God (often times before they even know they are gay), and have surrendered to God.  And you know what happens?  They are told that they aren’t broken.  That they are loved just the way they are.

I have heard so many stories from gay Christians about how their family or their church think it would be easy for them to change.  Many of them are heart wrenching.  Today I have the privilege of sharing part of my dear friend Elyse’s story.  I met Elyse at the Reformation Project conference in DC back in November of 2014.  It was my first conference regarding the LGBTQ community.  It was amazing and I met a lot of great people…Elyse being one of them.  We became friends on Facebook and kept up with each other through the years.  I got to see her again this past January at the Gay Christian Network conference.  And just recently we went to the Our Shared Humanity conference in Baltimore together and she was able to spend a few days with my family.  It was during this time that I learned a little more of her story.  I’m happy to be able to share it here as I can only shed so much light on this topic.

Elyse’s story:

Although I would not have actively taken my own life, I was at a place in the mid 1980’s where I was praying to die every day. In the loneliness and despair of an unhappy 10 year marriage, I tried desperately to pray away the gay.

I felt I was a failure as a Christian, and a wife. I believed I was just a broken human being, incapable of being normal after years of unanswered prayer to remove this burden, this thorn in the flesh. I believed it was my cross to bear, but it was too heavy.

In the last year of my marriage, I began to lay down every day, to hold my breath, and try to will my heart to stop beating. Even though I wanted my life to end, I wanted my death to appear to be from natural causes. After years of professing faith in a wonderful, loving God that sent Jesus, I didn’t want to tarnish God’s reputation by taking my life. I wasn’t worried about going to hell, I just didn’t want to tarnish my testimony and make people think God was powerless.

It never occurred to me that perhaps God wasn’t answering my prayers to be cured of these unwanted feelings, because there was nothing wrong with me. I simply believed that the failure was mine. Somehow, I just wasn’t praying the right way, or doing enough to change how I felt inside.

Thankfully, God didn’t answer my prayers to die. I was nearing 40 before I began to allow the Holy Spirit to open my eyes to a new way of understanding the scriptures that I had believed condemned me all my life.

During the first year of my marriage, God spoke to me in a voice that was so loud and clear, it was nearly audible to the ear. God said, “I want to empty you out of all your preconceived ideas about me, and all the things that man has taught you, and I will teach you anew.” That was in 1976.

Ten years later, I am getting a divorce, feeling completely broken and “empty.” While in prayer one day, after reading one of my favorite devotionals about laying all my burdens at God’s feet, I cried out saying, “I just can’t live like this anymore. I don’t know what is going to happen, but I know I just can’t do this anymore.” Once again, a voice came through, loud and clear. God said, “it is about time you recognized that, now I can finally begin a work in you.” I immediately felt a great peace, and that a great weight had been lifted, after years of inner turmoil. I had been “emptied out,” brought to the end of myself, standing at the edge of a cliff with nowhere else to go. Now God could begin fulfilling the second part of teaching me anew.

It still took many years for me to reconcile what I now felt in my heart about God’s love, with my understanding of the scriptures. It has been a long incredible journey. I am going to be 66 years old in less than a month, and I am so grateful for an amazing life that God has blessed me with. I still haven’t found the life companion that I strongly hope for, but there is such freedom in at least believing in the possibility that there might be someone out there for me, as opposed to believing that what I long for could never be because it’s an abomination to God.

I now know what it means to be truly free in Christ. Free to ask hard questions, and to live each day in the confidence that God’s love for me is without end. There is such freedom in knowing that there is nothing I can do to make God love me more than he already does, and that there is absolutely nothing that can ever make God stop loving me.

I hope you can feel the love that Elyse has for God in her story.  It’s not something that she took lightly.  She didn’t just “believe what she wanted to believe.”  She spent years searching the heart of God.  There are many stories like hers.  I hope you will remember her when you are in conversation with someone from the LGBTQ community or about the LGBTQ community.  If you have a question for Elyse, or would like to hear more of her story, let me know.  I’m protective of her so I’m not going to put her contact info here.  She is open to conversation so if that is something you are interested in I can get you in touch with her.

Thank you Elyse for opening your heart to us.  It is sacred space.  Love you friend.

And love matters…

Rainbow tears…guest post

A friend of mine from high school is a photographer.  I really enjoy her work and was so excited when she contacted me recently and told me she was working on something for me.  I was so touched by that!  She told me she was inspired by the message that Love Matters.  Well today she tagged me in a Facebook post that had me in tears while I was waiting in line for my coffee at Starbucks.  I just had to share it with you all!

You can check out her website at Debbie Payne Photography.

She also wrote this lovely poem to go along with the picture:

Rainbow tears don’t stain, they can be dried
Love should never question why

Mama bears will love no questions asked
To help find security to move from dark pasts

Love is the core of our human essence
To be given to all through His grace and His presence

The rainbow created from water and light
Three sided prism shine love, hope and new life

Holy is following His Perfect example
Above all else, it is Love that Matters

Inspired by Love Matters, model Alexis G

Thank you so much Debbie for sharing your creativity and artistry with us.  I am honored to have my message inspire your wonderful art <3.

There’s more than one way…

Two weeks ago I went to a conference in Baltimore called “Our Shared Humanity.”  It was a conference about a couple of things, but the main focus was racism in the church and what the church can do about it.  Yep…racism in the church.  Just doesn’t seem like the church should have that problem…but sadly it does.

One of my favorite parts of the conference was what they called a Baltimore immersion tour.    I grew up in Baltimore, but I learned a lot from the tour.  We were in a passenger van and went neighborhood to neighborhood and noted the visible changes in each area.  You could tell which neighborhoods were invested in and which were not.  We got some history as we drove through and the problems that were shared seemed insurmountable.  And really they didn’t need to be pointed out…they were easily seen.  I liked this part of the conference because it really gave me a visual of the things that were talked about.  Although it was hard to see and hear about, we also learned about some really cool things that some churches are doing to make a difference.

During the tour, we stopped and got out of the van in a wealthy neighborhood.  We were asked to take notice of our surroundings.  We each took a turn and mentioned what we noticed…large, beautiful houses with pretty landscaping.  Big trees with singing birds in them.  It smelled like recently cut grass.  It was peaceful.  We walked a block to a big stone wall that outlined one side of the neighborhood.  Even though it had an opening for the road,  it was clear that it was used to create a separate space.  On the other side of the wall was a different section of the city.   A not so wealthy part.  The smells were of exhaust from the traffic.  There weren’t any trees or singing birds.  It was noisy and dirty.  What a comparison.

The thing that struck me the most about this experience was the fact that we entered this neighborhood on a one way street.  This street took us to the stone wall.  We entered the neighborhood in a safe part of the city and it ended in a less safe part of the city.  The message was clear to the people on the other side of the wall…you aren’t welcome here.  In fact, there is only one way in and one way out and from your side of the wall you can’t come in.

Staring at that sign that day reminded me of the church and the LGBTQ community.  Many churches believe there is one way to be…and that is straight.  In some cases, all it takes it checking their website to see whether or not the LGBTQ community is welcome.  It can be tricky though because many will say that they are welcoming…and they very well may be…but when it comes right down to it they want the gay person to change.  They believe it is possible.  I’m not going to say that it’s impossible, but it’s very unlikely.  Thousands of people have tried.

Unfortunately one of the methods of this change is the “fake it to you make it” mentality.  Just date someone of the opposite sex and eventually you will begin to be attracted to them.  Now I am guessing if you are straight, thinking about being with someone of the same-sex is uncomfortable.  It may even gross you out.  It seems so unnatural.  Imagine being gay and marrying someone of the opposite sex to try to change your same-sex attractions.  They have all the same thoughts about being with someone of the opposite sex as you do of being with someone of the same-sex.  Can you imagine how damaging it is to their psyche?  Many have tried this approach out of desperation and with council from the church.  It destroys both lives.  There is more than one way to approach love…and sometimes it’s happens between people of the same-sex.

This Thanksgiving, like every Thanksgiving since beginning this journey, I saw story after story of families that were hurting.  Children not allowed to come home for the family gathering if they brought their partner.  Grandparents refusing to accept their grandchildren.  People in the LGBTQ community with no place to go.  All because people think there is only one way to handle disagreement.  Only one way to interpret the Bible.

One of the other topics of the conference that I attended was acceptance of the LGBTQ community in the church.  This particular denomination had voted a year or two ago to allow LGBTQ pastors and same-sex marriage.  The congregations that have accepted this have grown tremendously.  There are some that are opposed to it and are not as accepting of this new “normal” for their denomination.

In Andrew Marin’s book “Us Versus Us“, he reports his findings on some research he did regarding the LGBTQ community.  He found that 86 percent of LGBTQ people spent their childhood in the church.  More than half of them have left..but his research showed that three out of four would be happy to come back.

Three out of four. 

Church there are a lot of people out there longing for a community of believers to belong to…but not at the expense of not being who God created them to be.  Do we want to be a group of God’s people who build one way roads and stone walls?  Do we want to be a group of people who believe there is one way to deal with someone different than ourselves?  Are we going to continue to make the LGBTQ community feel left out?  Discarded?  Unworthy of God’s love?

If we are going to be a “one way” community, then for me that way is love.

Because love matters…

 

Boo boo bunnies…

When my kids were little, there were three types of injuries that occurred.  The first being the I’m not really hurt, but I’m mad because I fell down or tripped.  There would be tears, but no real injuries.  In these cases, I would “spank” the offender (usually the sidewalk).  Yes I looked like a crazy woman yelling at the sidewalk and giving it a swift stomp, but I would do anything for my kids…even if it meant looking like a raving lunatic (smile).  These shenanigans would usually get a giggle and the crying would stop.  The second kind was a little bit more serious.  They would fall and skin their knee a bit, but a quick kiss on the boo boo would fix things and they would be off playing again.  The third kind was the most serious…a fall that would produce crocodile sized tears and ice would be needed to prevent swelling.  These desperate times called for…the boo boo bunny.  A terry cloth bunny that held ice to make fixing the boo boo a little less traumatic.  It was cute, it was soft, and it wasn’t quite as cold as putting ice directly on the boo boo.  The bunny gave them something to focus on and before you knew it they were off playing again.

I recently saw a post from an affirming pastor (Stan Mitchell) on Facebook.  It was a request for prayers for a gay 17-year-old boy who messaged him asking if he could talk to him sometime.  He had come out to his parents and they took him to his youth pastor and the pastor of their church and things went horribly wrong.  He told the pastor that he messaged that he didn’t think he “can make it much longer.”  Thankfully the next day Stan shared on Facebook that the response he got from his original post was “an avalanche of love.”  The teen read every post and so did his parents.  They want to speak with him because as he states, “they are broken open by your love.”  Many of the posts of love were from my fellow mama bears who have gay children.  Once again we see that love matters.

This young man was hurting and his parents weren’t able to be there for him.  I see this often with kids that come from Christian families.  I’ve heard horrendous stories and most times the parents think they are doing what God would want them to do.  The consequences of their actions are often devastating.

I’ve been contacted by a lot of parents on this journey, but lately there has been a change.  Recently I’ve been contacted by several young adults whose parents can’t accept them and they are looking for help.  Their parents won’t listen to them.  So I wanted to say a few things about that tonight.

From a Christian perspective, I know it is not easy when your child comes out to you.  It can literally take your breath away like you’ve been sucker punched right in the gut.  And it can be really hard not to go into full on panic mode.  With this knowledge, you probably think your child is destined for hell.  In your mind, their very soul is at stake.  Rather than reacting I’m going to ask you to take a step back.  Breathe.  Let your child know that you love them no matter what.  That’s right…say “no matter what”.  God is not going to hate you for loving your child.

You may struggle with denial.  You may think it’s a phase.  You didn’t raise them this way…it can’t be true.  You may get angry at them.  How can they do this to you?  Are they rebelling?  What did you do to deserve this?  You may bargain with them.  You are going to want to ask them not to tell anyone…I mean after all…are they really sure?  How can they be so sure?  They haven’t even dated yet.  Maybe they just haven’t met the right person.  You may get depressed.  How did this happen?  How can you fix it?  What are people going to think?  You may feel ashamed or embarrassed.

Again…take a step back.  All of these things are about you when really this is about your child.  Telling you this information about themselves was not easy.  They may have been suffering for quite some time before coming to you.  It will be really hard for them to process your reaction so keep it to yourself…at least in the beginning.  Give yourself time to process.  If you can, find other parents of gay kids to talk things through. Read as much as you can get your hands on and talk to God.  He will give you answers.  If you really think God is big and in control, you taking some time to figure things out is ok.  If you believe in the Holy Spirit, take the time to listen.  And in the midst of this…love your child.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve told my kids it doesn’t matter how old they are…they will always be my babies.  And you know…it doesn’t matter how old your kids are…you will always be their parent.  Chances are you will still be a place they go with their hurts no matter their age.  Remember…they are still the same child with the scarred knees that you kissed when they fell down all those years ago.  You don’t want to cause scars that are the emotional kind that can take years to get better.  You don’t want them to feel like they can’t “make it much longer.”  Show them “an avalanche of love.”  It will mean the world to your child if they see you trying to understand them.

Love changes things…because it matters.