Shelley's Journey
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the 30
plus years I’ve been walking with the Lord,
It is how much I don’t know and how much I
have to learn.  The Lord has been
relentless in breaking down the neat little
boxed packages I keep trying to put Him
(and my theology) in.  I came to Christ in a
very conservative, fundamentalist
fellowship and during those early years I
thought I had it all figured out.  It seems the
Lord has been mercifully challenging my
rigid thinking ever since.  

In 2004, when I discovered my then 20 year
old son was gay, I was not at all prepared
to cope with a challenge so
Coming Out for Christians
so great.  The only words I had ever heard in the same sentence as
homosexual were words like abomination, hell, and destruction!  I was
devastated.   After weeks of depression, I had a nervous breakdown as I
tried to grapple with the ramifications of it all.    Mike was gay!!  How could
that be?!  We hadn’t a clue all his growing up years!   We talked with Mike
for hours, scouring over his past – what had happened to make him gay?!  
Mike told us that it wasn’t his choice to be gay, he just was, and that nothing
we had done made him that way.  I was inconsolable.  If it wasn’t a choice
how could God be so condemning of it!?  My husband and I went to
counseling where we were told that our parenting was partly to blame. The
counselor suggested I distance myself from Mike and encouraged my
husband to spend more time with him.  I knew we weren’t the perfect
parents, but, wow, if our parenting had caused this, then I figured there
should be a whole lot more gays out there, including our other son!   We
read books and went to meetings, most of them encouraging us to pray
Mike straight and consider ex gay therapy.   We so wanted to believe Mike
could be “cured”, mostly because he was not a Christian and I saw his
homosexuality as an almost insurmountable obstacle in the way of his
salvation.   I spent months in a fog trying to put the pieces of this impossible
puzzle together.

Months turned into years as I prayed and prayed that God would “do the
Impossible” in Mike’s life. I even prayed God would bring a “godly wife” into
his life. Maybe he would discover some latent heterosexual desires that
would drown out those gay tendencies.   I had lots of talks, arguments really,
with God in prayer.  I had more questions than answers, but one thing I was
becoming quite convinced of was that Mike really had not chosen his sexual
orientation.  Watching what he went through, I knew no one would choose
that.  For months he had made us promise to keep his secret, fearing his
straight friends would disown him.  He didn’t even want his own brother and
sister to know.   When he finally let the truth out some years later, I saw first
hand how it rearranged his life.  It was not easy.  In the political social scene
I saw his disappointment as he and his gay friends encountered so much
animosity as they struggled for gay rights.   The frenzy over Prop 8 only
widened the gap between us, as we could not sympathize with him in the
debate.  No, I was sure he hadn’t chosen this anymore than I had chosen to
be heterosexual.    Still I wondered, choice or no choice, was it something
he could be healed of? Could exgay therapy work?  I prayed the Lord would
bring me into contact with gays (or ex gays) who loved the Lord and had
found some answers in their lives.  I contemplated contacting these
ministries or searching the web, but I seemed paralyzed to take the steps.  I
was afraid, of what I’m not sure, except maybe of compromising my faith.  
Yes, I was really afraid of that.

In 2009, after five years of hoping and praying,  Mike was still unsaved and
as gay as ever. I decided to make 2009 a year of concerted prayer for
Mike.  I invited all my friends and family to join me in committing to pray for
him.  The first thing that happened that year was that Mike met a guy and
began dating him.   It wasn’t looking good, but I was not thwarted in my
prayer for him.   Months passed as I continued to pray that God, Who is the
Great Interrupter, would do just that in Mike’s life.   November rolled around
and still nothing.  Then one day, we were invited to an event where we were
to connect with many of our dear long time friends, all whom I respected for
their godly example.  As we met and did some catching up, talking about
our kids and such, we mentioned that our son Mike was gay.   The response
we got from one of our dear  friends was very unexpected!  She asked how
we thought our son had come to be gay!  No admonition to pray for his
deliverance! No encouragement to get him into exgay ministry!  Then she
directed us to a website called
Musings on Christianity, Homosexuality and
the Bible.
 I was so intrigued,  I wasted no time getting onto the site when I
got home.   

That was the day God began to open my eyes!  I devoured the website and
the links.   To my amazement, I met many godly Christians, both straight and
gay, who helped me understand the dilemma of finding yourself same sex
attracted in a world of misunderstanding and prejudice.  I have learned so
much from my Christian friends who happen to be gay.  I have read about
many of their struggles to “be healed” and finally accepting their same sex
attraction and surrendering it all to Him.  I have been humbled by their godly
desire to please and serve the Lord, even at great personal cost.  I no
longer use terms like “the gay lifestyle” or the “homosexual agenda” .    My
perspective has been changed and so has my husband’s!  We are on this
journey together and trusting God to give us wisdom and His heart for the
gay community.   I thank God that He is the Great Interrupter and that He has
my life.