Like David cried out to God when He saved him from his enemy Saul, so are we crying out to be heard. “But in my distress, I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears.”
— Psalm 18:6 NLT
I remember a time when we were at my parent’s house in Central Florida for the holidays. Our youngest daughter and our son were with us. We always play a lot of board games together, ride around on Mom & Dad’s boat and enjoy each other’s company. During this time, I observed that our daughter seemed a bit off. Little things would set her off. I noticed she had tears in her eyes at one point. Instead of ignoring her outward expressions and making incorrect assumptions, I went to her and asked if she was okay. That I noticed she was sad and seemed irritated. Not only was she not okay, but she went on to list all the things that were frustrating her. A lot of the items on her list included how her father and I had been neglecting her. It was eye-opening and forced us to put ourselves in her shoes.
As parents, we often think we are getting things right when in fact, we are coming up short. We assume we listen to our kids but are we truly listening and not just hearing the parts we want to hear? It’s important to completely listen to what they are saying but to also listen to what they are not saying. Observe their body language. Are they doing excessive eye-rolling? Are they mad at little things? Are they sad? Easily frustrated? If you see these signs go to them in private and ask them if they are okay. Don’t expect to fix all that is going on. The important thing is to genuinely listen and reassure them they are being heard. This is where healing begins—having conversations that are below the surface.
Let’s listen for each other’s cries and be heard.
There’s still time to register!
Thursday, June 9, 2022, featuring Dr. David P. Gushee
Our next Embracing the Journey Speaker Series features one of the worlds leading Christian ethicist Dr. David P. Gushee as our guest speaker. Dr. Gushee (bio included below) will share thoughts on “Transformative Encounters and Paradigm Leaps,” inviting listeners to understand and accept encounters with their own LGBTQ children as something that can change us and how we read scripture. Dr. Gushee has requested we leave plenty of time for Q&A, where he can address your questions.
There is no cost to attend, all our offerings are free of charge, and the Zoom webinar platform allows you to remain anonymous.
We hope you’ll join us!
Register NOW and and join hundreds of others who have reserved their spot.
Dr. David P. Gushee (PhD, Union Theological Seminary, New York) is Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer University, Chair of Christian Social Ethics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and Senior Research Fellow, International Baptist Theological Study Centre.
Gushee is the elected Past-President of both the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Christian Ethics, signaling his role as one of America’s leading Christian ethicists. He is the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of more than 25 books and approximately 175 book chapters, journal articles, and reviews. His most recognized works before 2014 include Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust, Kingdom Ethics, The Sacredness of Human Life. With his 2014 book Changing Our Mind and then After Evangelicalism, he has been charting a theological course for post-evangelical Christians, a course he more personally relates in his memoir, Still Christian. Now with the recent publication of the accessible Introducing Christian Ethics, these works have broadened his readership considerably.
Over a full 29-year career, he’s been a devoted teacher as Professor Gushee to college students, seminarians, and PhD students. He’s also led activist efforts on climate, torture, and LGBTQ inclusion, and is a keynote speaker at churches, forums, and universities.
For the general media, Dr. Gushee has written hundreds of opinion pieces and given interviews to major outlets and podcasts.
Dr. Gushee and his wife Jeanie live in Atlanta, and you can connect with him and subscribe to his newsletter at davidpgushee.com or @dpgushee on social media.
New Recommended Reading
The Big Reveal: Loving Your LGBTQ+ Child While Strengthening Your Faith
Debbie Causey approaches this book as a loving, caring Christian mom, licensed counselor, and pastor in a megachurch. She tackles this lighting rod topic by sharing her personal story with her son Noah in an honest, candid, and relatable way that will help countless hurting Christian families with LGBTQ+ loved ones; this book will indeed save lives.
David & Deb Quinones
David and Deb live in Chatham, Massachusetts, and are blessed with two adult children and one grandchild. High School sweethearts, they were born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, and have been married for 37 years.
When their son came out, David and Deb went into the closet, turned off the lights, and locked the door. This description best characterizes the start of their odyssey. Like so many other parents, their journey has been riddled with questions and doubts. They questioned their parenting, their son's identity, their faith, and God. Their journey is one that began in the darkness of shame, fear, and isolation and has led them to the light of Divine revelation and transformation. Along the way, they've experienced God at a level far deeper than they had ever imagined.
They have come to learn the trauma that many people like their son have incurred by the Church, family members, and community. They have also witnessed the healing power of walking alongside other parents of LGBTQ+ individuals in a spirit of grace, mercy, and love. It is for these two reasons that David and Deb are motivated to play a part in building bridges built on the foundation of God's love; bridges that foster healing and reconciliation between the Church, LGBTQ+ individuals, and their family members.
In response to a letter written by David and Deb about their experiences, their pastors met with the Quinones earlier this year. Coming out of this meeting, they were offered the opportunity to speak to the congregation. On April 24th, they spoke at each church service, where they shared their story and announced the creation of a Family Care Group for family members of LGBTQ+ individuals. The response to their talk has been overwhelming. On May 19th, they hosted their first gathering with several parents and grandparents. As gratified as they are by the responses, David and Deb are eternally grateful for their son, their journey, and God's faithfulness and love. This is an announcement of their new Family Care Group in the Brewster Baptist Church Bulletin.
“People start to heal the moment they feel heard.”
— CHERYL RICHARDSON
We love this quote by Cheryl Richardson, well, because it is true. Most people have experienced that when a relationship has been harmed, damaged, or worse yet severed, having the other individual feel like they have been heard can be the catalyst to restoring a broken relationship.
Nice Things People Say
Every day we have the privilege of hearing from incredible Christian parents with LGBTQ+ children seeking hope, help, and community. In most cases, these families find themself in a crisis after learning their children are LGBTQ+. Here are a few nice things people have to say due to our compassionate team meeting them where they are.
“Thank you for bringing light to what has been such a dark and scary place for us. You both and your ministry is a gift to the church.“ — Beth and Jack
“What an honor it has been for us to be with you all on this journey. We have learned so much from each of your stories and from so many amazing words of wisdom. I think both of us were a bit nervous going into this as to what to expect. But we have grown in our faith and grown closer together in our marriage and in our relationship with our daughter.” — Lisa
“You and Embracing the Journey have played a significant role in my journey as a parent of a son who identifies as gay. I'm not sure I'd be this far along in my healing and growth. My marriage, my relationship with my son, and my relationship with God have been both protected and strengthened.” — Marla
Support • You Are Not Alone
Our team of caring Christian coaches and counselors all have LGBTQ+ children and are here to walk with you and help you process the myriad of emotions associated with having an LGBTQ+ child. These are not uncharted waters for us. If you or a loved one want to talk with a member of our Care Team or are interested in joining one of our virtual Parent Care Groups, we are here for you. Please write us at email@example.com attention Melanie. We will schedule a time to talk in person. We do not charge for our services.