In the fall of 2007 we received a piece of snail mail that prompted my wife to ask our son if he was gay. His affirmative response was not what we wanted to hear. I was deeply wounded, but let him know that I still loved him. My wife wanted to let others know so that they could pray, but I only let her tell a few friends that were not in the area. It took a long time for me to go through my grieving process and I can’t say that I’m completely finished with it yet! The times of sadness have been fewer and God has been faithful in comforting me. By God’s grace, my wife and I have been able to support one another without pointing the finger of blame. We are in agreement that we love our son unconditionally, but we do not approve of his decision to be in a relationship.
Jennifer & I have started Unconditional Ministries to offer comfort and support to those who have been impacted by an LGBT family member or friend.
Although Gordie and I were both overwhelmed with grief and sadness, we did not process the same at all! Where as I needed to discuss and pour out my feelings, his response was to “wall up” and not discuss it! We have been married for over 30 years and he knows that if I keep things inside there is likely going to be an explosion of some kind! It isn’t pretty and neither one of us needed additional drama. So, I talked and cried, Gordie listened. On occasion he would express some of the feelings he was having but, by and large, I’m the “talker.” In the summer of 2008, I had an overwhelming sense that the Lord was going to have me talk about our experience. I have to admit, the thought of doing that terrified me. At some point, I asked Gordie what he thought about this. His response was, “Better you than me.” We both sort of laughed about that and, for a while, it seemed as if it was a passing thought. Fast forward to September 2010. Gordie’s job was eliminated and, although we were not surprised, we knew seeking God was our top priority. Over the years we have done ministry together and have had a desire to serve Him full time. We wanted to be in His will though and not our own. Through a series of seemingly small steps, the Lord moved our hearts to contact another ministry and offer to help them. A series of small “disconnects” took place that led up to a necessary ending of that plan. God used the 8 months of communicating with various individuals to prepare us for starting a new ministry. In July we founded Unconditional Ministries. The need is so very great and we know firsthand the isolation, shame and confusion that comes when discovering your child, friend or other family member identifies as LGBT.
We have nothing in and of ourselves to offer, but what God has done for us can bring the comfort hurting people need.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4