(Warning: this is a longer post than my norm, but if you will stay with me to the end I pray you will be blessed and the eyes of your heart will be opened. This is a controversial topic and it has hit us in our home.)
“Mom, I’m in love.” Those are the words we wait expectantly to hear from the mouths of our children. We dream of this day, plan for this day, and sometimes we nudge toward this day. Our hope, once we’ve raised them, is that our child, the precious one of our womb, will find their prince or princess, marry, and create grand-babies. Am I right moms? Dreams don’t always come true as we’ve pictured them. As a matter of fact, sometimes our dreams seem crushed and it feels like God doesn’t care at all. That was where Hubby and I began with this journey and we are still working to redefine the dreams we had in our hearts because God has a plan and purpose even in this place we find ourselves.
On Easter Sunday this year, our eldest daughter sat on the back porch with her dad and I quietly as she bit on her lip. I’ve watched this woman since she was a baby, I know that she is afraid of something that she knows is the right thing to do when she bites on her lip. I excused myself, as much time had passed with nothing, and entered the house to dry our dogs from their bath. Shortly after, Coree followed me into my bathroom and proceeded to bite her lip and make small talk. Finally, she blurted out, “Mom, I’m in love.”. My heart skipped a beat because I hadn’t met anyone nor heard of anyone that was special in her life. I knew in that moment that what I would hear might not settle well. It meant that she was hiding something. Something major. The next half of the her sentence is what changed our lives forever, “Her name is Kate.”, she almost whispered as if that would change the blow.
I started a new paragraph hoping that in the gap you will stop and picture yourself in my shoes. Corinna Ann Rosebud, our sweet baby, our first born, the apple of our eye, just told me she is in love with a woman. The ball dropped. I bet you are familiar with the balls, the ones we keep in the air attempting to look the part of a “good Christian with no sin to scorn”. In that moment, all I could think was, “what in heavens name will people think??”. This subject, for me, just became real. I don’t know of anyone that raises up their children and dreams that they will go against the current and choose life riddled with a community full of sin. I know that wasn’t our dream. But, what if our dreams are wrong? What if they are selfish and God made us for more than what we have the ability to imagine?
My journey began and I stopped writing. This journey of a few short months has opened my eyes to a whole new reality and that is, there are gay people in this world. I know our daughter, she loves Jesus to the place that she has experienced love. That is true of anyone who is a child of God. The journey is Him loving us so much that we lay ourselves down for Him and He is the one that woos us there. He pursues us. So, did God let Hubby and me down by not fulfilling the dreams we had for our daughter? No. The truth is no. Somewhere in this journey that she and I will travel, there is life and truth and love. I believe that God is working in all things and He created us for a purpose. I am really starting to see my purpose in this life situation come alive. As we seek a new church home, we are having to ask the tough questions like, “will you accept Coree and Kate, especially when the law says they are married?”. I want to know that this isn’t a “Gays vs Christians” church before I sign my name to support, pray for, and become family with the people in MY church. These are our kids and regardless of their choices, I want them sitting on the pews next to me on Sunday morning worshiping and loving Jesus with me. If my church can’t handle it, then I need to move forward and find one that can. I’m still waiting on a contact from the pastor but I will tell you that the Coree and Kate have spoken with some people at the church we’ve been attending and they are ready to join, so yay! I’m grateful!
Now, I may touch on some nerves. Please know that I don’t intend any harm in what I am about to write but I want you to know my journey. As I have been praying and seeking God’s heart on this, He has led me to consider sin. What is sin? When is a sin so great that we are no longer welcome in the family of God? (By the way, if you choose God, that sin never gets here!) I recall a time when getting divorced was that sin, the one that the church shamed people for and shunned them as well. My mom told me when I was a little girl that Christians don’t get divorced, so she and my dad wouldn’t be divorced. My parents then divorced when I was 15 and my life changed forever. My mom met Bill within a year or two after the divorce, and they had so much fun together but she couldn’t remarry because the Bible specifically says that if you remarry you are an adulterer.
“So while her husband is alive, she would be committing adultery if she married another man.” Romans 7:3a
You see Moses gave us an out if our spouse committed adultery on us, however, he did not free us to marry again. My mom struggled with that. She dated Bill for many years because of that. She really deserved a man that loved her and doted on her, her marriage to my dad didn’t look anything like that. When she remarried, it was hard for her to even attend church because of her own shame. Is that right? Do we shun anyone because they are living in sin forever with a second spouse? NO! How do we show the love of God to anyone by shunning their sin over our own. That’s ludicrous to think we wouldn’t allow anyone who’s on a second or more marriage to attend church, right?!? Who are we to judge that?
The Bible also says this…
“If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.” Roman 11:23b
Wow. What a verse! I don’t know about everyone else, but I do things pretty much daily that I don’t think are the right thing. That leaves the door wide open for me to sin. I know that I am grateful I can hide some things so that others don’t point their finger in judgement, but how can someone who says they are born gay hide that? What about men and women who have remarried, they can’t hide it either. So, where does the love come in?
The past few months have been spent seeking Jesus in the midst of something that looks wrong to me. My greatest conclusion is this… I am not God and I have no idea if a person is born gay. If people are born gay, why are we persecuting them? Especially, why is the church excluding them, did Jesus exclude anyone? I have definitely not arrived and that was never more true than on Sunday when a guest in our home asked Hubby and I to ask Coree to remove her arm from around Kate’s neck. We complied. Did we do the right thing? The reasoning he gave us was because of their children, they are raising princess warriors for Christ and they didn’t want them subject to that sin. A few short minutes later, our youngest daughter’s best friend had her arms around my daughter’s waist and her chin resting on her shoulder. Their display was much more attention grabbing than Coree’s arm around Kate’s neck. This friend who’d asked us to stop Coree, then asked our youngest daughters friend to define their “relationship” and when he discovered it was platonic, there was no issue. Now I realize it was more about their own judgement and disgust level, not about the kids observing homosexuality love in our home. So, did we do the right thing? We have told all our kids that we will love whomever they bring home who they love, so was it the right thing to ask her to stop showing love to Kate because someone considers it a greater sin than their own?
This is new for us. We don’t always do the right thing. I judge as much as the next person and I like to be right as much as anyone. That being said, I don’t know the “right” here so I can’t even choose it. I know that if someone is looking down on our children for their sin, they are setting the yard stick by which my children get to judge them. I wonder how green their grass really is? We raised our kids to love everyone, and nothing they ever did was worth less than their love. We also taught them to choose their friends wisely because if you walk with the wise, you become wise. Kate, Coree’s girlfriend (I am practicing saying that), seems to be rather wise. She is a precious young woman and if I had picked for Coree, she would have been among the litter. She is kind, generous, and loving and I am really enjoying getting to know her.
Love is personal. I love my husband mostly because of the way he loves me. I chose a man. Coree loves Kate because of the way Kate loves her. She chose a woman. It isn’t an easy road and I don’t think anyone would choose it if they didn’t feel as though they were born that way. She and Jesus are okay with it. (She’s even talked of having a ministry to help gay women weave into the mainstream church!) For her, this is not a sin. If it is for others, I guess they will have to figure out what love looks like or opt to not be a part of our lives. I know we could lose friendships because of our daughter’s choices, my thought is, good riddance. You weren’t a true friend to begin with and I certainly don’t want to be judged by you so we can love from afar.
Coree and Kate, we love you two. Kate, we are grateful that you are in our lives and we pray that we show the heart of Jesus to you every day. Please forgive us for Sunday, we are learning and growing. Thank you for trusting us with your heart and your relationship. We pray God blesses your relationship and we are grateful Coree has found a partner in you. We pray you bring the best out in one another. We pray you will be good to one another and encourage one another to become the best you that you can. God created each of you for a purpose and walking your journey with the love of your life is a gift, hold it sacred and seek Christ in all you do and He will not fail you.