The other day over lunch with a good friend of mine I mentioned how thankful I am that God gave me a gay son. At first, my friend looked confused by the statement. I could see it on her face. How could I be thankful for having a gay son? Just to be clear, I would not have chosen this life for him; and furthermore, he would never have chosen it either. Members of the LGBTQ community face obstacles that often make their lives more painful. Having a gay son produced pain for me as well, but God has a knack for taking painful circumstances and transforming them into something beautiful. So, when my friend asked why I was thankful for having a gay son I offered more than handful of examples:
1) At first, having a gay son made me franticly search God’s word for instructions on what to do. I read the scripture with a passion that I had not previously experienced, because now I was reading it with a new purpose. I found myself praying to God all day and all night: My desire to communicate with God blossomed because of my son’s same-sex attraction. It took some time, but eventually the combination of the scripture and prayers showed me that God is in complete control. I know that I can rest in his arms and that he has a plan and purpose for us. I have experienced a level of intimacy with God that I had not previously experienced.
2) Before I learned that my son was gay, I was content with the course that my life was on. My days were focused on my children, my marriage, and the pursuit of my own happiness. I was unaware that God was about to change my life for the better. Slowly God began to redirect my focus and my calling. God’s plan for me started with a call, literally. Once people learned that my husband and I had a gay son we started receiving phone calls from friends who knew struggling families with LGBTQ children. That first phone call ultimately led me to my life’s calling. I believe God wants me to be there for parents of LGBTQ children because I can relate to them; and I have been in their shoes. When parents find out their child is LGBTQ they need someone who is willing to listen to them and to walk alongside them. They need someone who will love them and their child for where they are at. I am incredibly humbled that God continues to use my family’s experiences to help other families reconcile and heal. My life has been given a greater purpose because I have a gay son.
3) I hate to admit this, but I used to be very judgmental of the LGBTQ community. They made me uncomfortable, afraid, and disgusted: Or at least I thought they did. Truthfully, my feelings towards the LGBTQ community came from a place of ignorance. I didn’t actually know any people who were LGBTQ, but what I had heard about them was enough for me to come to those conclusions. Thankfully, God gave me a gay son who challenged my beliefs and finally introduced me to people in the LGBTQ community. Over time, God has brought more LGBTQ people in my life and changed my heart. Today, some of my most valued friendships are with members of the LGBTQ community: I love every minute that I spend with them and getting to know each of them as individuals. My fear has turned to love. Being uncomfortable has turned to joyful. My disgust has turned to compassion. I have learned so much from hearing their life stories and what God has been teaching them. I am convinced that when you hear anyone’s story, it’s hard not to love them. If I didn’t have a gay son, I’m afraid that I would still be the ugly judgmental person I was and missed out on these cherished friendships .
The next time that you face a challenging circumstance, try to think positively and look for reasons to be thankful. It may not change your circumstances, but it may change your heart.
Think About It
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
Is there something beautiful in your life hiding in some uncomfortable circumstance?