If you have ever asked me or wanted to ask me how my family has reacted to me being a lesbian, read this. Now. Right now. This is my Moms wisdom which can be applied to almost all relationships. We both decided to stay in the room and that made the difference for everything.
Staying in the Room
“A few years ago I watched an interview of a man who had been married for over 50 years. His wife lay dying in a hospital room and he sat faithfully by her side. A nurse who was struck by his commitment asked him for the secret of his long marriage and he answered, “We stayed in the room.” As John and I celebrated our 32 anniversary this last summer his answer resonates with me. We have weathered changes in jobs, horrible arguments, too little money, too much drink….really things to depressing to list. But our marriage is alive because we stayed in the room. Sometimes we were in opposite corners with arms crossed ignoring each other but we didn’t walk out the door. Relationships are about commitment and unconditional love and I know God has called us to be in a relationship with each other.
I am just as confident the He has called me into a relationship with my four daughters. My daughter Allena proposed to her girlfriend Dana a few days ago and John and I chose to stay in the room. Was is easy? No. Was it comfortable? No. But when as a parent do I get to remove my support? Is it if she has sex outside of marriage? If she drinks and drives? If she has a child out of marriage? Divorces? Lies? Smokes? Where is the sin line that is so strong that God says I am not allowed to engage in her life? This is not to diminish my responsibility to clearly define my beliefs and I am sure both Allena and Dana know where I stand.
Whatever discomfort you may feel about the subject of lesbianism I assure you I have lived through those emotions and wrestled with the ramifications for my daughter, her girlfriend and our family. And I have prayed the desperate prayers only a parent who loves her child can understand and each time God has been clear. Love her. I love her.
I am guilty of gossip, gluttony, murder, fornication, lying and so much more and how grateful I am for those who loved me unconditionally in the midst of it all. As a Christian I reject the idea that the goal of my faith is to make others change their lives by rejecting them or judging them into repentance. What drew me to Christ and His broken, dysfunctional family was His unconditional love and the efforts of His children to show me His love.
For me the church is not an exclusive clique in high school where only the beautiful and athletic get in, it is a place where I can safely and honestly work through my struggles. As His children we have the challenge of standing firm in our journey to be more like Christ in a broken world surrounded by broken people that He adores.
I don’t have easy answers but I also am no longer confused about my response to my daughters no matter what they choose. I am called to stay in the room.”
I was perusing Facebook when I noticed a post on my dear friend Allena’s wall that caught my attention and captured my heart. I’ve known Allena since 2006 (wait, WHAT!?!? 6 years already!?!? – sorry, I just realized this – crazy!) I walked with her for a tiny bit of her journey as she struggled to make sense of her attraction to women and her love of God. Because in a Christian world these two do not go hand in hand. I’m not saying that’s what I personally believe (I’m not taking a stand for or against being a gay Christian at the moment), it’s just a fact. Most of you who know me would (should/hopefully?) know that I am a Christian. Though I admit (with some sadness) that I have not had a lot to do with the Church in the past few years, I have not let go of my faith nor will I; I will white knuckle it till my time here is over. I understand that this may seem a strange post for those of you not raised with Christian beliefs, but I encourage you to read on because that said, you’re probably waiting for this post to head straight downhill. Instead, I believe that this should remind us of what the God I believe in is all about.
The following is Allena’s post: