June is pride month, and I realize its been two years since I posted anything specifically on this topic. Granted, this time last year I was getting ready for my own wedding so my mind was just a BIT pre-occupied….
This year though, I’ve been a bit more thoughtful of what I wanted to post. I will start with my usual disclaimer that this might be harder for some of you to read because we have opposing views, and I can respect that. But write it must, because… my love for Jesus and how far he will go to reach people compels me. I am hoping this and the next few posts will explain.
This year, its more personal than ever before. Re-reading the posts from a few years ago that outlined some of my journey in this space
I realize I lost my way a little over the past three years. If I’m honest, it has a lot to do with my fear of what others think getting in the way. I thought I was past that… but I guess not. Time for me to fess up and deal with it, which is not easy because the track that runs in my head goes something like this:
Yes, yes I know its ridiculous. Maybe some of you do this, maybe some of you don’t. But if we are honest, a lot of us have a default track that runs in our own heads, right? Maybe it comes from your childhood, maybe its your own inner critic. I’m sure your track runs differently, but if you have one, you can understand how compelling they can be – and how paralyzing sometimes. Or maybe you are one of those people like my husband who doesn’t have an “inner voice” track that plays in your head (I would really like to ask God one day why some people are blessed with that ability to NOT have one.. LOL).
I am just starting to make some really good friends here in my new life, and I am pretty dang sure that is why this is so frightening for me. I flat out do not want to be rejected. There. I said it. So, I fight the inner critic of mine (and the voice of the enemy which sounds strangely like my inner critic), and press forward.
Part of why this is so personal for me is that over the course of the past year, both of my kids have come out and identify now with the LGBTQ+ community. Although they are no longer dating, my oldest dated a woman for a year, and my youngest is now identifying as non-binary (meaning not female, not male, using they/them pronouns, has changed their name, and has begun to share some of what it’s been like for them the past few years.
NOTE: All of this is public knowledge as they posted it themselves on social media, so I am not violating their privacy in sharing.
Even with my heart for the LGBTQ+ community and how I have tried to advocate for them quietly in my corner of the world, I have to be honest that this was MUCH harder than I expected. You would think I would celebrate them coming into their own identities. Instead, all it did was push to the front that maybe I had some unanswered questions and concerns of my own. It put me back into a huge gray space theologically, ground that I thought I’d covered. I hate admitting that – and will cover more of that in the next post.
As a mom, I remained committed to LOVE my kids no matter what, no matter how much internally I might have struggled. It has been a “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” kind of thing before God for me. I’m grateful that some close friends have been really gracious and been loving both me and my kids, getting to know both of them for who they are. I am not sure I could do this without them.
That being said, I have a lot to say and its going to take a few posts this year, so consider this Part 1.
I am by NO MEANS a scholar on this, but I’d like to share some of the scriptures that have been guiding scriptures for me in this journey.
Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus”. Pretty sure I don’t have to explain that one
Romans 12:9 “Love must be sincere”. To me, to show love and then harbor internal judgement on how someone is living their life isn’t sincere
1 Corinthians 13:7 “Love bears all, believes all, hopes, and endures all”. To me, this has meant I have to bear the burden of working through the theology I need to work through, because the relationship with my kids depended on it. It wasn’t something I could lightly explain publicly and then feel differently at home.
Psalm 33:15 “He who forms the hearts of all, who understand, has insight to all they do”
Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” -these challenged me both that maybe God was thinking differently about all this than I was. (I realize the verse in Isaiah is taken out of context, but it has still been something the Holy Spirit has used to speak to me so … I have to let it speak to me about this.)
All that being said, I’m not here just because of my kids. Or my relationship with my ex-husband. I am not here because of being convinced by some “fine sounding arguments saying what I want to hear” that Timothy warned about, or because I have ignored scripture. In fact, over the past year I have delved deeper into study of the text, reading from accredited biblical scholars on both sides of the discussion, and have spent much time in prayer knowing very specifically what the Lord wants me to walk out.
I am still at the place knowing that the LGBTQ+ community is welcome at the table of Jesus, they are loved by God and are worthy of the grace of Jesus, and that to exclude them means we are missing part of the body of Christ. And I’m facing the fear of saying that publicly.
So I guess I want to ask: Are you willing to recognize there might be some mystery to this that we do not understand?
My next few posts will delve into some questions I think we all could be asking, if we are willing to listen. The next generation and their willingness to hear the gospel may very well depend on it.
Blessings my friends!