I write today to Christian parents of LGBTQ children who are worried about their kids - struggling with this whole thing. From a Mom’s heart to yours.
Easter is the day Christians celebrate new life in a risen Savior. It’s a day to think about crucifixion and resurrection. What God is calling us to do versus what we want. It’s a day of new beginnings.
My favorite memories of Easter as a child are the Easter baskets (of course!), the matching dresses with my older sister (a tradition the younger one loves and the older one dreads!), and the patent leather shoes and white gloves (not kidding!).
Every bit as fun as the actual baskets on Easter morning is the search to find the baskets because Easter bunny hid them! I don’t remember personally finding them (I was the youngest of six until my brother came along) but the hunt was always a thrill.
One particular year we were searching for the baskets when suddenly my mother asked me to go outside to get the newspaper. What?? Right now?! We’re right in the middle of the hunt!
I dragged myself outside, grabbed the paper, and headed back in. Then, I saw them. In the front window behind the living room drapes were the baskets. I bounded in the door: “I found the baskets!” Mom had a big smile on her face. Even though the bunny had put the baskets there, Mom knew—and she’d sent me out so I’d find them!
I thought that going out in the middle of the hunt was the wrong move. I thought I knew, but Mom knew. Mom had something better for me than searching in vain for the baskets. Her plan led me directly to them.
So here’s the point. I have met so many parents in turmoil because their children have come out. They feel lost, their head is spinning and they are in despair. They don’t see how this could possibly lead any of them to a peace and joy beyond their understanding, and actually deepen and strengthen their faith.
But it does–if you take the journey.
I am asking you to step outside, as Mom asked me to that Easter morning. Really. Step outside of your box. "What? Right now? But they can’t be gay/bi/trans–I have raised them in the church."
I know. But you will not find life inside among the chaos where everyone else is frantically looking. You need to step outside and get a new perspective. God knows how to lead you in this, my friends. God calls you to love, and let the answers come when they come. You know that magnificent God you sing about and learn about and talk about every Sunday? That God really has got this.
If you can quiet your spirit, you will hear that still small voice saying, "Shh… just go where I lead you. No need to be afraid—your child is fine. There’s a journey ahead, and you can trust me. I got it. I will crucify your understanding and resurrect new love, beautiful and free."
Before you even realize it, you will find yourself more in love with your family, and more in love with God, than you ever dreamed possible. It’s counter-intuitive, but then crucifixions and resurrections usually are.
Give up searching in the usual places, open the door, and go outside. God will give you everything you need.
As Jesus says, Just follow me.
Susan is a prominent voice for Christian parents of LGBT children. She is an international speaker, teacher, theologian and pastoral counselor. She is the Founder and President of FreedHearts and FreedHearts Online. Her book “Mom, I’m Gay”—Loving Your LGBTQ Child and Strengthening Your Faith is published by Westminster John Knox Press. She is also the author of a healing workbook for LGBT - True Colors: Celebrating the Truth and Beauty of the Real You. She has just released full comprehensive video courses for Christian parents of LGBT children, for those who are LGBT, and for the faith community. You can find details on Susan, her books and video courses, and lots of other great resources at www.FreedHearts.org.
See previous articles by Susan Cottrell