“Mom, I’m gay” were the words my daughter told me as I sat on the toilet.
Let me clarify. I didn’t run to the bathroom to sit on the potty when she called me. I was already sitting down taking a leak and chuckled a little when she asked me if I was sitting down. “Yeah, I’m peeing. What’s up?” I thought it to be a quite fitting place to have this conversation since her and her siblings always came into the bathroom while I was on the toilet as they were growing up. I guess they knew they had my undivided attention while I went potty. I can remember a lot of laughter and numerous serious conversations while all four of us girls were cramped into that small bathroom. My son was never interested in “potty talks”, he always chalked it up to a “girl thing”.
I remember the 1st time my husband (my children’s stepdad) experienced this phenomenon. All the kids were over for dinner…mind you, they were all adults at this point, and I had to pee. I started walking to the bathroom and my oldest daughter followed. We locked the door, and she sat on the counter as I started to sit on the toilet. We heard a little knock on the door, and it was her twin. She unlocked the door and let her in, but before her twin could close the door behind her, my brown-eyed babe scrambled in. “I didn’t want to miss out on anything,” She said. I’m not sure how long we were in there but there was some laughter and a little arguing and some conflict resolution that took place. We all walked out wiping our eyes and my husband pulled me to the side and asked, “What in the hell was that about?” as he looked at me with such confusion. I just smiled.
When my daughter asked if I was sitting down, I thought she was going to tell me she was pregnant. That news wouldn’t come until several months later but that’s a completely different post! I sat there, on the toilet, pondering her words…letting them sink deep within my heart. Allowing “I’m gay” to penetrate into those places where tradition taught me it was a sin. “I’m gay” wedged its way into my beliefs and wonderings. “I’m gay” put its finger into the very soul of my being and began to provoke me, poking its finger ever so deliberately into my Biblical understanding.
In Christian tradition it has always been taught that the bible says homosexuality is an abomination to God, it is sinful. I have heard Christians say that gay people could never be Christians and they are “anti-god”. If a homosexual were to follow God they had to become straight. Being gay meant they were damned to hell. As I sat there listening to my gay child expose parts of her vulnerable heart, I had to make sure she knew the truth. She needed to know exactly where I stood on the matter! As silence broke through, I shared the truth with her.
“Baby, I will always love you no matter what.”
There was nothing else she needed to know at that moment. She didn’t need to know bible scripture, what Christian tradition taught, or the thousands of questions that ran through my mind. I held on to the one truth that could anchor each of our souls. Love. My love for her and her love for me. The love we shared as mother and daughter was the anchor we held on to over these last 5 years and will always be the anchor of our relationship.
I’m not going to lie and say that everything was rainbows and unicorns after she “came out”. No, actually, it was quite the opposite. It was very challenging and uncomfortable and awkward and weird and such a major learning process, for all of us! We’ve both had to apologize for saying stupid things to one another. We’ve also had some arguments because of misunderstandings or differing beliefs. We’ve each felt uncomfortable as we placed ourselves in the activities of each other’s lives. We’ve had to learn new ways to relate to one another and learn new lingo that neither of us really ever used. And I’m still learning to use the right adjectives, being careful not to mask my ignorance in front of others.
As I’ve stated earlier, the words, “I’m gay” deliberately poked its finger into my Biblical understanding. I knew what the bible SAID about homosexuality, but I never studied what the bible MEANT about homosexuality. “I’m gay” made me ask two important questions: 1. Why do I believe what I believe about homosexuality? 2. Is what I believe based on truth I studied in God’s word? And so, my journey began.
I had A LOT of questions! Do homosexuals really go to hell? Is there no salvation for those who are same sex attracted? Can someone be gay and a Christian? Are people born gay? Why does Christian tradition put such a great emphasis on homosexuality? Did Jesus talk about homosexuality? What did homosexuality mean in biblical times? Is it okay to marry the same sex? These were just a few of the many questions I’ve had. I still have a lot of questions and I still wrestle with God’s word to answer those questions. And some questions are not clearly answered. So, I sit neutral on certain subjects.
As I began my journey not only did I study scripture I also read books on the matter. Searching for books on Christianity and Homosexuality was difficult. It was hard to find an author and teacher who didn’t hold to strict beliefs and an undying conviction to those beliefs about homosexuality. I’m not saying its wrong to have undying convictions but when one uses ignorant theology to back up those beliefs, that’s when I have a problem. I wanted someone to help me dig deep into those scriptures about sexual sin, homosexuality, marriage, gender identity, and love. As I was scrolling Instagram one day, someone posted in their story about this fella Preston Sprinkle.
I believe the “coincidence” of his post being shared that day wasn’t coincidence at all! I believe it was a divine Instagram appointment! I googled Preston Sprinkle to read about his background and get a feel for what this fella was all about. I looked up his podcast, Theology in the Raw, and the first episode I listened to was episode #760-Life as an Intersex Christian: Lianne Simon. I won’t lie, I binged listened to his podcast because so much of what he shared and discussed and what I heard from his guests resonated in my soul! I bought Preston’s books ‘People To Be Loved’ and ‘Embodied’ on audible and listened to them within a few days. They were filled with so much truth and grace and love.
I think that’s why I was so drawn to listen to his podcast and read his books. Never once did Preston approach homosexuality and same-sex attraction or anything LGBTQ+ without a great amount of grace and love. Honestly, that’s what Jesus has called us to, isn’t it? To love Him and to love our neighbor. Jesus never called us to a political posture, an ethical battle, a stance on social issues, or to be caught up in religious legalisms. He called us to love. Love always wins!
As I continue to grow and learn and question and search, I also grow in my understanding of LGBTQ+. For me, gay isn’t just a word, but it’s a face. It is the face of my daughter who recently shared she’s non-binary. It’s the face of my husband’s uncle who recently passed away, who was in a monogamous relationship with the same man for over 40 years. It’s the face of a childhood friend who we never questioned if he was gay and loved hanging out with him. It’s the face of my friend’s son whom she supports with all her heart. It’s also the face of a dear friend who I hang out with and will probably call this week to go out to eat!
Gay is a human, made in the beautiful image of God.
UPDATE: Alex Prather was the winner of this giveaway! Congrats Alex!!
For this Messy Monday Post, I’d love to have a giveaway! To enter this giveaway, comment below and let me know your thoughts about what I shared! Also, head over to my Instagram and give me a follow! Easy as that! If you’d like an extra entry, go ahead and subscribe to my blog! The giveaway will run from 6/28/2021 to 7/6/2021! The winner will be chosen and announced on Instagram on July 7th, 2021!
For those of you who love to crochet, you can find the free pattern for this beautiful rainbow pillow here.
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3. Notification. The winner will be notified via Instagram on July 7th 2021 around 12pm EST.
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5. Claiming Your Prize. The winner must respond within seventy-two hours of notification or forfeit the prize. If the prize if forfeited, another entrant will be selected via the random number generator.
6. Prize. Winner will receive one handmade crochet rainbow pillow and one copy of Preston Sprinkles ‘People To Be Loved’
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